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Open-sourcing the election

March 20, 2012, 9:00 AM UTC

Harvard professor Larry Lessig made a career of trying to reduce legal restrictions on intellectual property. (Think Napster.) Now he wants to apply open-source tech principles in the grandest way — to this year’s election. His thoughtful new e-book, immodestly titled One Way Forward: The Outsider’s Guide to Fixing the Republic, argues for all kinds of political reform, including an “anti-corruption pledge” for members of Congress and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. His most radical position: He advocates an “open source” election where you can vote online for an unaligned, third-party presidential candidate.