Further nudging outward the boundaries of online publishing, Stanford University Professor Larry Lessig will put his 1999 book ``Code'' online today and invite Internet users to help him write an updated version.
A noted copyright expert and proponent of free software, Lessig is putting the 297-page treatise about technology, culture and regulation on the Web in the form of a ``wiki,'' a site that can allow people to freely edit its contents. The law professor will take the contributions at http://codebook.jot .com and edit them into a printed version of the book.
``Code has become a part of cyberspace law culture,'' Lessig said. ``And what I found most interesting is that people outside of the academic world talk about it and use it a lot. I was really trying to find a way to encourage them to contribute to the evolution of `Code.' ''
Lessig said he also wanted to use the process to better understand the concept of wikis.
Lessig is the latest in a string of authors -- often from the technology world -- to open up their writings to the public. Former Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor published chapters of his book ``We the Media'' online as they were written and sought feedback. And East Bay author J.D. Lasica allowed online readers to edit chapters of his book ``Darknet: Remixing the Future of Movies, Music & Television.''