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A brief biography

Professor Michael Madison is Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a Senior Scholar with the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security (Pitt Cyber). At Pitt Law, he is Faculty Director of the Future Law Project and a John E. Murray Faculty Scholar.

He is a principal investigator of the Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons global research collaborative. He is a founder and leader of Future Law Works, an independent corps of volunteer leaders focused on re-institutionalizing legal education and the other institutions of the legal system. He is an affiliate faculty member with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Governance and Markets. From time to time, he publishes The Future Law Podcast, together with Dan Hunter, dean of the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London.

Research interests

As a researcher and teacher, Professor Madison focuses on institutions for producing, storing, and distributing knowledge. The scope of his writing includes information, data, creativity, innovation, and art; it ranges from the development of research universities to patent history, from the law of fair use and production of conceptual art to legal rules governing data, network security, and computer software.

Some details

Professor Madison is the author of more than 60 journal articles and book chapters, the co-author of The Law of Intellectual Property (Wolters Kluwer, 5th edition 2017), and the co-editor of Governing Knowledge Commons (Oxford University Press, 2014), Governing Medical Knowledge Commons (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and Governing Smart Cities as Knowledge Commons (Cambridge University Press, 2023). 

He is the co-founder of the global research network titled the Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons and the global law reform platform titled Future Law Works. He is a general editor of the “Studies in Governing Knowledge Commons” book series at Cambridge University Press. He is an Affiliate Researcher with the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University, with the EDHEC Business School Augmented Law Institute in Lille, France, and with the Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a secondary appointment as Professor in the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

He has been a social media creator and publisher for nearly 20 years, most recently as the co-founder and co-host of The Future Law Podcast.

Professor Madison’s awards and distinctions include the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at Pitt, a fellowship from the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers project at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) in Denver, and election to membership in the American Law Institute in 2016. In 2014, he was awarded the Yale Medal by Yale University.

Before becoming a law professor in 1997, he practiced law for nearly 10 years in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Specialties and expertise

Research and teaching relating to (i) intellectual property law, particularly copyright, (ii) knowledge and information institutions, including knowledge commons, (iii) innovation and creativity, (iv) leadership and leadership education, (v) higher education, legal education, and the legal profession, (vi) football/soccer, and (vii) post-industrial urbanism, with a focus on Pittsburgh.


Professor Michael J. Madison
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA
+1 412 648 7855
madison [at] pitt [dot] edu

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