[email: david.g.post [at] gmail.com]



David G. Post:  Research & Writing 

[updated: September, 2014]


                I have recently retired from my position as Professor of Law at Temple University’s Beasley School of  Law in Philadelphia, PA.  I'm currently a Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, a Fellow at the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School, and a contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy blog at the Washington Post.  I’m also a pretty serious musician.


                Want more details?  Here's a brief bio, and my complete CV.  


Some of My Writing:


A.  In Search of  Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace (Oxford Univ. Press, 2009)


This book recreates Jefferson’s analysis (contained in the only book he published during his lifetime, Notes on the State of Virginia) of the natural, social, and political history of the New World, but this time for “cyberspace” – the Internet and its constituent networks.  Along the way, we discover some pretty interesting things about the Internet, and about Jefferson — about network design, and Jefferson’s plan for governing the Western Territory, about the protocol stack and the canals of France, about distributed routing, end-to-end design, and the Louisiana Purchase.  And about why Jefferson had a moose shipped to him in Paris while he was serving as US minister to France, and why we should care about that.


                Lawrence Lessig wrote a particularly interesting “Foreword” to the (recently-issued) paperback edition.       The book received the Green Bag “Exemplary Legal Writing” award, as well as the Friel-Scanlon Legal Scholarship award.  Some testimonials:


“Reading this beautifully written and extraordinary work today is what it must have been like to know or read Jefferson then. Post has crafted an experience in understanding that allows us to glimpse the genius that Jefferson was, and to leave the book astonished by the talent this extraordinary writer is.” 

Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School, author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace and Remix


“Now and then, ingenious insight yields an authentic work of genius. David Post’s musing about cyberspace, the law, history, and a great deal more has produced such a work, conceived and written in the finest Jeffersonian spirit.”

Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Age of Reagan.


“Jefferson’s Moose is brilliant - and a joy to read. It is the book of a career: sweeping in scope, without dropping a stitch of detail. No one but David Post could have produced this sparkling analysis of the relationship between the world and worldview of Thomas Jefferson and today’s puzzles of cyberspace.”

Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School, author of The Future of the Internet­ and How to Stop It


“A fresh, insightful, and eminently readable look at cyberspace policy. It’s surprising and fascinating how much the debates of 200 years ago continue to be relevant today and continue to be echoed today, even in media about which Jefferson and Hamilton could not have dreamed.”

Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School and founder, The Volokh Conspiracy


“David Post is the Jefferson of cyberspace, and in this creative, playful, and entirely original book, he applies Jefferson’s insights about governing the American frontier to think about governance on the Net. Even those who don’t share all of Post’s intuitions will be enlightened by his unique combination of technical precision and romantic imagination.”

Jeffrey Rosen, Nat’l Constitution Center, author of The Unwanted Gaze and The Naked Crowd


                                                                [Some other Jefferson-related pieces I’ve written that didn’t quite make it into the book:


·         Jefferson Ascendant -- Transcript of a Talk at the Wyoming Humanities Festival, Casper Wyoming, April 2000

·         ‘Words Fitly Spoken': Thomas Jefferson and the Slavery Question

·         Napster, Jefferson's Moose, and the Law of Cyberspace   

·         The Free Use of our Faculties:  Jefferson, Cyberspace, and the Languages of Social Life ]



B.  Selected Scholarly Publications  [Note:  Most of my papers can be accessed at my SSRN author page]


(1)  Internet/Intellectual Property Law


                Don't Break the Internet (with Mark Lemley and Dave Levine)  64 Stan. L. Rev. Online 34 (2011)

                Sex, Lies, and Videogames:  Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 2011 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev 27 - 56

The Theory of Generativity (78 Fordham L. Rev 2755 (2010))

What Larry Doesn't Get:  Code, Law, and Liberty in Cyberspace (52 Stanford Law Review 1439 (2000)). A review (sort of) of Larry Lessig's book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace.

Against 'Against Cyberanarchy ' -- a reply to Jack Goldsmith (17 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1363 (2002))   

Anarchy, State, and the Internet: An Essay on Law_Making in Cyberspace (J. Online Law, 1995)  An early attempt to grapple with some of the new features of cyberspace "law" and, in particular, the relationship between the software that defines this new place and traditional rules and rule-making institutions).

Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace (co-authored with David R. Johnson) (48 Stanford L. Rev. 1367 (1996))  (developing in a (hopefully) more coherent way the argument that irrelevance of physical location on the net strengthens the argument for decentralized 'self-governing' institutions in cyberspace).

His Napster's Voice  (20 Temple Env. & Tech. L.J. 35 (2002), reprinted in Copy Fights: The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age (W. Crews and A. Thierer, eds (Cato Institute, 2002)) and Mots Pluriels , special edition No 18 (August 2001) [ MS Word version here

And How Shall the Net Be Governed?  A Meditation on the Relative Virtues of Decentralized, Emergent Law ,” (co-authored with David Johnson) (in Coordinating the Internet, Brian Kahin and James Keller (eds.), MIT Press, 1997)

The 'Unsettled Paradox': The Internet, the State, and the Consent of the Governed (5 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 521, 1998)  (describing some of the ways that the a-geographical character of cyberspace might affect our thinking about the relative advantages of State and non-State institutions in regulating activity there)

Governing Cyberspace (43 Wayne Law Review 155 1997)  (describing the contrast between centralized and de-centralized law-making institutions as a battle between "Hamiltonian" centralizers and "Jeffersonian" de-centralizers for control over the relevant law-making institutions).

Of Horses, Black Holes, and Decentralized Law-Making in Cyberspace   (Yale Private Censorship/Perfect Choice Conference, March 1999) (focusing on the dramatically different ways that one might attempt to control the problem of "spam" on the Internet).

Pooling Intellectual Capital: Some thoughts on Anonymity, Pseudonymity, and Limited Liability in Cyberspace .  1996 U. Chi. L. Forum 139.  A longish piece, arguing that pseudonymity is a kind of "limited liability" (in cyberspace, as elsewhere), and that attempts to regulate "anonymity" in cyberspace must take into account the sometimes profound benefits that pseudonymous communications can afford.


(2)  Complexity Theory and the Law


How Long is the Coastline of the Law:  Thoughts on the Fractal Nature of Legal Systems (co-authored with Michael B. Eisen) (29 Journal of Legal Studies 545  (2000)

 The New Civic Virtue of the Net: A Complex Systems Model for the Governance of Cyberspace   (co-authored with David Johnson) (in The Emerging Internet, 1998 Annual Review of the Institute for Information Studies, (C. Firestone, ed.)

Chaos Prevailing on Every Continent": Towards a New Theory of Decentralized Decision-making in Complex Systems (73 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1055 (1998)


C.  Amicus Briefs (and other “advocacy” pieces)


                ABC, Inc. et al. v. Aereo, Inc., US Supreme Court, 2013-14 Term, Amicus Brief of 36 IP and Copyright Law Professors, available online at http://tinyurl.com/p53gnke  (co-authored with James Grimmelmann)


                WNET-Thirteen et al v. Aereo, Inc., US Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit, 2012, Brief of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property and Copyright Law Professors in Support Of Aereo, Inc., available online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/111298508


                Viacom International, Inc. et al. v. Youtube, Inc. et al., US Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit, 2012, Brief of Amici Curiae Intellectual Property and Internet Law Professors In Support of Defendants-Appellees And Urging Affirmance, available online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/109867487 (co-authored with Annemarie Bridy)


                Craigslist, Inc. v. Superior Court of California, Supreme Court of California, 2010, Amici Letter Supporting Writ Petition


Nebraska v. Drahota, Supreme Court of Nebraska, 2009, Brief of 13 Amici Curiae Law Professors Urging Certiorari.


The Cartoon Network, Inc. et al., v. CSC Holdings and Cablevision Systems Corp., US Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit, 2007, Brief of Amici Curiae Law Professors in Support of Defendants-Counterclaimants-Appellants and Reversal, available online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/239174484


New York v. Direct Revenue LLC et al., NY Supreme Court, 2006, Brief of Amicus Curiae in Support of Neither Party, available online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/239173866 (co-authored with Eric Goldman and Scott Christie)


                My "Writing Guidelines”  [PDF Format]  


Law Professors’ Letter (with Mark Lemley and Dave Levine) urging Congress to reject the Protect-IP Act.




Recent Blog Postings


                Click here for a reverse chronological listing of all of my recent Volokh Conspiracy posts.