Introducing the Coding Freedom Online Symposium

This week, a deep bench of thinkers, tinkerers, and scholars will be blogging to discuss Professor Gabriella Coleman’s book Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (Princeton University Press 2012). Coleman, the Wolfe Chair Scientific and Technical Literacy at McGill University, is a leading scholar and cultural guide in all matters concerning digital activism and engagement. Coding Freedom untangles and illuminates the contributions of computer hackers to the trajectory of intellectual property law specifically and liberalism generally. Joining Gabriella Coleman and the CoOp crew for this weeklong symposium are Karl FogelAmy KapczynskiEdward W. FeltenLaura DenardisNicklas LundbladJulie CohenSteven BellovinNabiha SyedLawrence Liang, and James Grimmelmann as well as permanent CoOp authors Deven Desai and Frank Pasquale. Welcome!

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  1. Soon after ending my official fieldwork, I was having dinner in Chicago with three local free software developers. One of them asked me about some of my memorable fieldwork experiences. There were many stories I could have chosen, but I started to tell the story of a speech by Kevin Mitnick—a more transgressive hacker (for he had engaged in illegal behavior) than most free software developers and one of the most infamous of all time—that I heard during summer 2004 at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE)—a conference founded in 1994 to publicize his legal ordeals.