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Tim Wu

Tim Wu

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Tim Wu is a professor at Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

, the former chair of media reform group Free Press
Free Press (organization)
Free Press is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, national organization working to reform the media in the United States.It was founded in 2002 by media scholar Robert W. McChesney, The Nation contributor John Nichols, and Josh Silver, current CEO of the Democracy Fund, a foundation challenging the influence...

, and a writer for Slate Magazine. He is also a former Bernard L. Schwartz and Future Tense fellow at The New America Foundation
New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a non-profit public policy institute and think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, CA. It was founded in 1999 by Ted Halstead, Sherle Schwenninger, Michael Lind and Walter Russell Mead....

. He is best known for coining the phrase network neutrality
Network neutrality
Network neutrality is a principle that advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers or governments on consumers' access to networks that participate in the Internet...

 in his paper Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, and popularizing the concept thereafter, leading in part to the 2010 passage of a federal Net Neutrality rule. Wu has also made significant contributions to wireless communications policy, most notably with his "Carterfone" proposal.

Wu's academic specialties are copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 and telecommunication
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

s policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

. For his work in this area, Professor Wu was named one of Scientific American
Scientific American
Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

s 50 people of the year in 2006. In 2007 Wu was named one of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

's 100 most influential graduates by 02138
02138
02138 was an independent magazine founded by Bom Kim and purchased by David Bradley; it featured graduates of Harvard University. The publication was, however, not actually affiliated with Harvard. The title is a reference to the ZIP code of Harvard University's main campus in Harvard Square,...

 magazine. His book The Master Switch was named among the best books of 2010 by The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

 magazine, Fortune
Fortune (magazine)
Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

 magazine, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly, aka PW, is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents...

, and other publications.

On February 8, 2011 Columbia Law School announced that Professor Wu "[had] been named senior advisor to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for consumer protection and competition issues that affect the Internet and mobile markets."

Background


Wu is an American citizen, but grew up in Toronto, Canada. His father is from the Republic of China (Taiwan
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

) and his mother is British
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

. They both studied as immunologists at the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

. Wu and his younger brother were sent to alternative schools that emphasized creativity. Wu's father died in 1980 and his mother bought him and his brother an Apple II
Apple II
The Apple II is an 8-bit home computer, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, designed primarily by Steve Wozniak, manufactured by Apple Computer and introduced in 1977...

 computer using some of the insurance money, starting Wu's fascination with computers. He is married to Kate Judge.

Clerkships and academic career


Wu graduated from McGill University
McGill University
Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

 in 1995 with a B.Sc. in biochemistry
Biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

 and received his law degree from Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

 in 1998. At Harvard, he studied under copyright scholar Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications, and he has called for state-based activism to promote substantive...

. He worked with the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, after graduating law school, and before starting a clerkship with Richard Posner
Richard Posner
Richard Allen Posner is an American jurist, legal theorist, and economist who is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School...

 on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998-1999. Wu also clerked for Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court in 1999-2000. Following his clerkships, Wu worked at Riverstone Networks, Inc. (2000–02) and then entered academia at the University of Virginia School of Law
University of Virginia School of Law
The University of Virginia School of Law was founded in Charlottesville in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as one of the original subjects taught at his "academical village," the University of Virginia. The law school maintains an enrollment of approximately 1,100 students in its initial degree program...

.

Wu was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

 from 2002 to 2004, Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

 in 2004, Visiting Professor at Chicago Law School in 2005, and Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School is a graduate school at Stanford University located in the area known as the Silicon Valley, near Palo Alto, California in the United States. The Law School was established in 1893 when former President Benjamin Harrison joined the faculty as the first professor of law...

 in 2005. In 2006, he became a full professor at Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

and started Project Posner, a free database of all of Richard Posner
Richard Posner
Richard Allen Posner is an American jurist, legal theorist, and economist who is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School...

's legal opinions. Wu called Posner "probably America's greatest living jurist."

Political contributions and activities


In 2003, Wu contributed to the Howard Dean
Howard Dean
Howard Brush Dean III is an American politician and physician from Vermont. He served six terms as the 79th Governor of Vermont and ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. Although his U.S...

 and John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

 presidential campaigns. During 2008, Wu served as an adviser to the Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 presidential campaign.

Influence


Wu is credited with popularizing the concept of network neutrality
Network neutrality
Network neutrality is a principle that advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers or governments on consumers' access to networks that participate in the Internet...

 in his 2003 paper Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination. The paper considered network neutrality in terms of neutrality between applications, as well as neutrality between data and Quality of Service-sensitive traffic, and proposed some legislation to potentially deal with these issues.

In 2006, Wu wrote "The World Trade Law of Internet Filtering", which analyzed the possibility of the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 treating censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 as a barrier to trade
Trade barrier
Trade barriers are government-induced restrictions on international trade. The barriers can take many forms, including the following:* Tariffs* Non-tariff barriers to trade** Import licenses** Export licenses** Import quotas** Subsidies...

. In June 2007, when Google Inc. lobbied the United States Trade Representative to pursue a complaint against China's censorship at the WTO, Wu's paper was cited as a "likely source" for this idea. In 2006 Wu was also invited by the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 (FCC) to help draft the first network neutrality
Network neutrality
Network neutrality is a principle that advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers or governments on consumers' access to networks that participate in the Internet...

 rules attached to the AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

 and BellSouth
BellSouth
BellSouth Corporation is an American telecommunications holding company based in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies after the U.S...

 merger.

In 2007, Wu published a paper proposing a "Wireless Carterfone" rule for mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 networks; the rule was adopted by the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 for the 700 MHz spectrum auctions on July 31, 2007, with FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
Michael Copps
Michael Joseph Copps is a Commissioner on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission , an independent agency of the United States government. He has served as one of the commissioners of the FCC since May 31, 2001, and took on the additional role of acting chairman on January 20, 2009...

 stating: "I find it extremely heartening to see that an academic paper—in this case by Professor Timothy Wu of Columbia Law School—can have such an immediate and forceful influence on policy." In November 2007 BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...

 credited Wu with providing "the intellectual framework that inspired Google's mobile phone strategy."

With his Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

 colleagues Professors Scott Hemphill and Clarisa Long, Wu co-directs the Columbia Law School Program on Law and Technology, founded in 2007. In August 2007, in collaboration with the University of Colorado School of Law
University of Colorado School of Law
The University of Colorado Law School is one of the professional graduate schools within the University of Colorado System. It is a public law school, with more than 500 students attending and working toward a Juris Doctor or Master of Law. The Wolf Law Building Located in Boulder, Colorado, and...

's Silicon Flatirons Program, the Columbia Law School Program on Law and Technology launched a Beta version of AltLaw
AltLaw
AltLaw was an American academic project from 2007 to 2010 aimed at making federal appellate and Supreme Court case law publicly available, "to make the common law a bit more common." The project was a collaboration between Columbia Law School's Program on Law and Technology and University of...

, which he produced.

The Master Switch


Wu's 2010 book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires described a long "cycle" whereby open information systems becoming consolidated and closed over time, reopening only after disruptive innovation. The book shows this cycle develop with the rise of the Bell AT&T
AT&T Corporation
AT&T Corp., originally American Telephone and Telegraph Company, is an American telecommunications company that provides voice, video, data, and Internet telecommunications and professional services to businesses, consumers, and government agencies. AT&T is the oldest telecommunications company...

 telephone monopoly, the founding of the Hollywood entertainment industry, broadcast and cable TV industries, and finally with the internet industry. The book was named one of the best books of 2010 by The New Yorker magazine, Fortune magazine, Amazon.com, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and others.

Selected publications


Book:
  • Tim Wu (2010). The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. New York: Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house, founded by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. in 1915. It was acquired by Random House in 1960 and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House. The publishing house is known for its borzoi trademark , which was designed by co-founder...

     (ISBN 0307269930, ISBN 978-0307269935)
  • Goldsmith, Jack L., and Tim Wu (2006). Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World. New York: Oxford UP
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

     (ISBN 0195152662, ISBN 978-0195152661)


Articles:

Features:
  • "Airports". Timwu.org. Accessed August 24, 2008. (Personal Webpage
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     review.)
  • "Keeping Secrets: A Simple Prescription for Keeping Google's Records out of Government Hands". Slate
    Slate (magazine)
    Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

    , January 23, 2006. Accessed August 24, 2008.
  • "Network Neutrality FAQ". Timwu.org. Accessed August 24, 2008. (Personal Webpage
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     feature; hyperlinked articles by Wu and others.)
  • "No Ice". Timwu.org. Accessed August 24, 2008. (Personal Webpage
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     feature.)
  • "Why You Should Care about Network Neutrality: The Future of the Internet Depends On It!". Slate
    Slate (magazine)
    Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

    , May 6, 2006. Accessed August 24, 2008.

Articles about Wu



  • Kim, Ryan. "Net Neutrality Guru to Speak at USF". "San Francisco Chronicle
    San Francisco Chronicle
    thumb|right|upright|The Chronicle Building following the [[1906 San Francisco earthquake|1906 earthquake]] and fireThe San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, but distributed throughout Northern and Central California,...

    ", January 25, 2008.

External links


  • Tim Wu – Faculty biography, Columbia Law School
    Columbia Law School
    Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

    , Columbia University
    Columbia University
    Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

    .
  • Profile at The New America Foundation
    New America Foundation
    The New America Foundation is a non-profit public policy institute and think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, CA. It was founded in 1999 by Ted Halstead, Sherle Schwenninger, Michael Lind and Walter Russell Mead....

  • Tim Wu – Personal Website.
  • Tim Wu – Publications and papers by Tim Wu in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
    Social Science Research Network
    The Social Science Research Network is a website devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities. SSRN is viewed as particularly strong in the fields of economics, finance, accounting, management, and law. SSRN was founded in 1994 by Michael Jensen ...

    (abstracts; full texts).
  • Tim Wu on The Innovation Cycle at IIEA, 25 May 2009