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Microsoft Donates $25K To Creative Commons

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The licensing organization headed by Lawrence Lessig made its 2005 fundraising goal courtesy of a late-arriving check with a Redmond return address.

Santa Gates came through to help out Creative Commons avoid some IRS unpleasantness by contributing $25,000 to the project. Lessig had posted that Creative Commons needed to raise $225,000 by the end of 2005 or lose its tax-exempt status.

Many individual and corporate contributors had made efforts to move Creative Commons out of the penumbra of the IRS shadow. Microsoft gave Creative Commons the same kind of last-second nudge that Reggie Bush gave Matt Leinart at the goal line at Notre Dame to win that tilt.

Lessig described the late donation in his blog:

At 12:30pm, an envelope from Redmond appeared at the Creative Commons office. Inside, a check for $25,000. From Microsoft.

We’ve made our target in the most (pleasantly) surprising of ways. Thanks to everyone who helped on this, and especially those who pulled so hard at the end.


Unfortunately, several posters to Lessig’s blog proved the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished. Here’s a few of the comments that might make one wonder if the word “gratitude” got deleted from the latest revision of the Oxford English Dictionary:

you should return the money stating that you don’t take money acquired by lying, cheating, and stealing.

I believe that Gates uses the Rockefellers as his model for charitable giving: Give lots of “karma” boosting donations to improve your public image, no matter what your business practices are.

hush money


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Microsoft Donates $25K To Creative Commons
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