Primavera De Filippi

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Primavera De Filippi is a researcher at the CERSA / CNRS / Université Paris II. She is currently a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where she is investigating the legal implications of cloud computing and peer-to-peer technologies. Primavera holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, where she explored the legal challenges of copyright law in the digital environment. Primavera is a founder of the IGF dynamic coalition on network neutrality, legal expert for Creative Commons France, coordinator at the Open Knowldege Foundation and administrator of the Communia association for the public domain.

Long Bio:

Primavera De Filippi is a postdoctoral researcher at the CERSA / CNRS / Université Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). She is currently a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where she is analyzing the challenges raised by distributed architectures and multimedia applications in the context of cloud computing and peer-to-peer networks.

Academic career:

After obtaining a master’s Degree at the Bocconi University of Milan, where she analysed the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems for the online distribution of digital content, she enrolled into a second master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law at the Queen Mary University of London to further investigate the legal implications of DRM technologies. Primavera also holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, where she has been exploring the legal challenges of copyright law in the digital environment, with special attention to the corresponding strengths and limitations of private ordering. During these years, she spent two months at the University of Buffalo in New York and 1 year as a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, where she worked with internationally renowned IP scholars such as Pamela Samuelson, Molly Van Houweling, Jason Schultz and Suzanne Scotchmer.

Her current research interests are mostly related to the development of ICTs and their repercussions on the legal system, online practices and the preservation of civil rights in the cyberspace.

Online activities:

As a strong believer in free culture and information, Primavera is currently involved in several organizations dedicated to promoting the sharing of cultural knowledge and advocating the values of openness. Since 2007, she participated to the activities of COMMUNIA’s thematic network for the promotion of the public domain. As the project came to an end, she co-founded, together with other members of the network, the International Communia Association for the promotion and the preservation of the digital public domain (

In 2010, she joined the Open Knowledge Foundation as the coordinator of the Public Domain working group, through which she actively contributed to the making of the Public Domain Calculators ( By the end of 2012, she established the French chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which she is currently coordinating.

In 2011, she became a French representative of Creative Commons, working as legal expert to translate, explain, and promote the use of Creative Commons licenses in France.

In 2013, she co-founded and is currently coordinating the Dynamic Coalition on Network Neutrality of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum.

Research interests:

Fascinated by the intricate relationship that exists between Internet, law and society, Primavera pursued her research - over the past 10 years - in several countries (such as Italy, France, UK, South Korea and the U.S.) with a view to investigate the impact of the Internet and digital technologies on the development of culture and innovation.

Her research project investigates the regulation of distributed architectures based on cloud computing and peer-to-peer technologies through a combination of legal rules, contractual provisions, social norms and technological means. Yet, her involvement with civil society organisations and the feedback she received from the key actors of civil society has progressively shaped the direction of her research. What was once a mere analysis of emerging legal challenges resulting from the advent of cloud computing has evolved into a more comprehensive analysis regarding the viability and sustainability of alternative solutions based on decentralized architectures and peer-to-peer systems of governance.

At the Berkman Center, Primavera is currently investigating the concept of “governance by design” as it relates to cloud computing and peer-to-peer technologies; she is exploring innovative systems of governance -combining regulation by code, contracts and social norms- that would support the deployment of decentralized architectures, while ensuring the respect of civil liberties and legal norms.


De Filippi, P. Gracz, K. (2014) : « Copying is theft » vs. « Information wants to be free » : the regulatory failure of copyright law through the lenses of autopoietic systems theory, in International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Oxford University Press.

Belli L., De Filippi P. (eds.) (2013) The value of Network Neutrality for the Internet of Tomorrow, Report of the Dynamic Coalition on Network Neutrality.

De Filippi P. (2013), Ubiquitous Computing in the Cloud : User Empowerment –vs- User Obsequity, in Jean-Eric Pelet, Panagiota Papadopoulou (eds.) User Behavior in Ubiquitous Online Environments, IGI Global.

De FIlippi, P. (2012) Copyright Law in the Digital Environment : Private Ordering and the regulation of digital works, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

Primavera De Filippi, Luca Belli (2012), The Law of the Cloud v the Law of the Land : Challenges and Opportunities for Innovation, European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 3, No 2.

De Filippi P., McCarthy S. (2011), Cloud Computing: Legal Issues in Centralised Architectures, in Cerrillo-i-Martinez, A., Peguera, M., Pena-Lopez, I. & Vilasau Solana, M. (eds.) Net Neutrality and other challenges for the future of the Internet. UOC-Huygens