Thursday, May 6, 2010

Father of Creative Commons licenses co-founds new nonprofit to change campaign finance laws

According to paperwork recently filed with the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Harvard Law School professor and "Free Culture" advocate Lawrence Lessig, who is also the father of the popular Creative Commons licenses, just co-founded a new non-profit organization called The Democracy Fund Inc. to change campaign finance laws. According to the articles of organization:

The purposes for which the corporation is organized are to advocate for a federal constitutional amendment, legislation and policies that will accomplish the public funding of campaigns, limit the ability of corporations and special interests to make expenditures in federal, state and local elections, and achieve other fundamental reform in the financing of election campaigns in the United States.

While the mission of The Democracy Fund Inc. seems to be in line with Lessig's recent piece in The Huffington Post, I would prefer that he leverage his skills, assets and networks to further the cause of financial reform in the nonprofit sector. Two reforms that Lessig could lobby Congress to institute:

• Prohibit nonprofits, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), from soliciting or accepting online donations unless they post their audited financial statements

• Prohibit nonprofits, such as the Creative Commons Corporation (CC), from soliciting or accepting personal loans from board members

Makes cents sense to me!

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