Cultural Environmentalism and Beyond

17 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2017

See all articles by James Boyle

James Boyle

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2007


It is hard to explain how honored I was when Larry Lessig and his colleagues at Stanford organized this conference around some of my ideas — or more accurately, around a set of ideas for which they gave me greater credit than I deserved. This kind of thing generally happens when one is either dead or retiring (I am hoping that the contributors do not have some knowledge I lack about the imminence of either of those events). The event was doubly humbling. The scholars who agreed to write for this volume are a remarkable group whose work I admire greatly, while Larry’s own scholarship and work as a public intellectual are also a great inspiration to me — he is clearly the one whose work deserves a symposium, if anyone’s does.

The contributions to the symposium include four main articles that engage in different ways and degrees with my work and with the idea of cultural environmentalism, commentaries on those articles, and, at the end, two papers that evolved from commentaries but that are no longer directed towards the articles on which they originally commented. I could not hope to respond to everything in the volume point by point, and I am not going to try. Instead, I will offer my own thoughts on the failings, limitations, occasional promise, and possible future of the ideas discussed in this symposium — both the work on cultural environmentalism and the surrounding ideas on authorship, the rhetoric of economic analysis, the structure of intellectual property scholarship, and the jurisprudence of the public domain. Where appropriate, I will try to link my comments back to the individual articles and comments in this symposium.

Suggested Citation

Boyle, James, Cultural Environmentalism and Beyond (March 1, 2007). Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 70, No. 2, 2007, Available at SSRN: or

James Boyle (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7287 (Phone)
919-613-7231 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics