In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: What Jefferson Can Teach Us About the Internet (and vice versa)

Stay connected



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

CIS Colloquium, Sep 16, 2009, 11:00AM – 12:00PM, Wachman 447

In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: What Jefferson Can Teach Us About the Internet (and vice versa)

David Post, Temple Law

Jefferson — Jefferson the natural historian, the Jefferson of “Notes on the State of Virginia” — has a great deal to teach us about the Internet. And the Internet — how it works, how it is organized, and the reasons why it has flourished — can, in turn, help illuminate many of Jefferson’s ideas. That, at least, is the premise of my book, and in this talk I’ll try to sketch out some of the things I learned about the Net by studying Jefferson and some of the things I learned about Jefferson by studying the Net.

David G. Post is currently the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, where he teaches intellectual property law and the law of cyberspace. He is also a Fellow at the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and at the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, and a contributor to the influential Volokh Conspiracy blog. Prof. Post holds a Ph.D. in physical anthropology, and taught in the Anthropology Department at Columbia University before attending Georgetown Law Center, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1986. After clerking with then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, he spent 6 years at the Washington D.C. law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, after which he then clerked again for Justice Ginsburg during her first term at the Supreme Court (1993-94), before joining the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center (1994 – 1997) and Temple University Law School (1997 – present). He is the author of the recently-puublished book In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace (Oxford, 2009), as well as Cyberlaw: Problems of Policy and Jurisprudence in the Information Age (West, 2007) (coauthored with Paul Schiff Berman and Patricia Bellia), and numerous scholarly articles on intellectual property, the law of cyberspace, and complexity theory. He has been a regular columnist for The American Lawyer and InformationWeek, a commentator on the Lehrer News Hour, Court TV’s Supreme Court Preview, NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC’s World, and on the PBS documentary series “The Supreme Court.” Professor Post’s writings can be accessed online at and at