Michael Madison

Professor of Law and John E. Murray Faculty Scholar


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.

Classroom subjects include various disciplines of intellectual property law, contracts and commercial law, and property law. 

He 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).

Professor Madison is a Senior Scholar with the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security (Pitt Cyber). 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).

At Pitt Law, he is Faculty Director of the Future Law Project and a John E. Murray Faculty Scholar.

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.

He has been a pioneer in teaching leadership to law students and lawyers.

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.

Key/Recent Publications

Books and Chapters

Scholarly Articles


  • Down With Law (What Cyberlaw Has Taught), Lastowka Cyberlaw Colloquium, Philadelphia, PA, May 2023
  • Policy Panel, CMU Secure Blockchain Summit, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2023
  • The Future of Legal Education Reform: We’re Done. What’s Next?, Disarmed, Distracted, Disconnected, and Distressed: Modern Legal Education and the Unmaking of American Lawyers, University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Law & Humanities Institute (in person), Pittsburgh, PA, April 20-21 2023
  • Book launch for Governing Smart Cities as Knowledge Commons, co-presented with Karen Lightman, Executive Director of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, April 12, 2023
  • Unsettled: Frames for Examining Generative Artificial Intelligence, University of Pittsburgh annual Senate Plenary, Pittsburgh, PA, April 4, 2023
  • Biomedicine and the Many Uses of Knowledge Commons, the Enabling Openness in Australian Stem Cell Research (EOAR) research cluster at the University of Adelaide, March 29, 2023
  • OSS [Open Source Software] Sustainability Forum at the Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA, March 5-7, 2023
  • Sixth Annual Three Rivers Intellectual Property and Technology Law Colloquium (co-host), University of Pittsburgh School of Law (co-sponsored by the Duquesne University School of Law), January 27, 2023


Faculty Director, The Future Law Project

Associate Dean for Research (2005-2010)

Other Activities

  • Faculty Director, The Future Law Project at Pitt Law
  • Co-director, Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons Affiliate faculty member
  • Center for Governance and Markets at the University of Pittsburgh Co-host
  • The Future Law Podcast Founder
  • Future Law Works Member, Board of Directors
  • Partnership to Advance Responsible Technology (PART) Columnist, Postindustrial magazine

Programs & Courses