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Yochai Benkler Wins Electronic Frontier Foundation Award

Yale Law School Professor Yochai Benkler has been named a winner of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s 2007 Pioneer Award, which “recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant and influential contributions to the development of computer-mediated communications and to the empowerment of individuals in using computers and the Internet.” Benkler is the Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

“The EFF has played a central role in preserving Internet freedom for over fifteen years,” said Benkler. “I am deeply honored.”

Professor Benkler researches the effects of laws on information, knowledge and culture in the digital world. His contributions include a theoretical explanation of how the Internet has allowed decentralized groups to produce things like technologies and bodies of knowledge more efficiently than any centrally organized corporation or trade-based marketplace could. He is author of the 2006 book, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.

Joining Benkler in receiving Pioneer Awards this year were Boing Boing blog co-editor Cory Doctorow and security technologist Bruce Schneier. Distinguished past recipients include World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Linux creator Linus Torvalds, science fiction writer Bruce Sterling and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

“This year's award winners have all provided important analysis and criticism of our digital world, educating the public on how electronic systems really work and what it means to us and our future,” said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. “They are truly pioneers of the electronic frontier.”

For more on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Awards, visit