The Webby Awards were established in 1996, when most people were, at best, just becoming aware of the Worldwide Web. The Webby Awards are presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. The Academy includes among its membership Kevin Spacey, David Bowie, Vint Cerf and Lawrence Lessig. Most people have heard of the first two, but fewer would know the other two. Briefly, Doctor Vinton Cerf is one of the pioneers who brought the Internet into being, giving the Worldwide Web a place to live. And Doctor Lawrence Lessig, among his other achievements, co-founded the Creative Commons.
Lawrence Lessig is receiving a Webby Award this year (Monday, May 19, 2014.) It is a lifetime achievement award for, to quote the announcement, “. . . his groundbreaking work as cofounder of Creative Commons. Creativity based on collaboration is absolutely fundamental to everything that makes the Web successful and wonderful – but none of that would be possible without the ability (and encouragement) to share, mix, and match creative works.” As usual, Opensource.com has an excellent article on this. If you’re interested in a deeper understanding of Lessig’s thinking on copyright and Creative Commons, here is an annotated speech he made this year. Warning: it’s about 45 minutes, so get comfortable.-)
Lawrence Lessig is also involved in the politics of his native country, the United States. His causes support increased openness and fairness. This one, which aims to expose and democratize political campaign funding, is interesting and audacious.
A man to be admired, but today we’re talking about the Webby Awards. So congratulations Lawrence Lessig on your Lifetime Achievement Award at this quarter century mark for the Worldwide Web.