Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

A Google Guy Keeps His Charity in the Family

sergey_brinGoogle guy Sergey Brin and his wife, 23andme CEO Anne Wojcicki, have donated $500,000 to Creative Commons, the nonprofit that’s trying to reinvent copyright.

If you’re a media mogul, you might note the symbolism of a Google (GOOG) co-founder boosting a group dedicated to overhauling intellectual property law.

If you’re a cold-hearted cynic, you might note that at least this is a bonafide donation made by private individuals, as opposed to the $6.5 million that Brin’s company has invested in his wife’s “personal genetics” start-up.

But since I don’t fall under either category, I’ll just make this note, directed at other nonprofits looking for a billionaire’s donation: It helps if you can leverage family ties.

In this case, very close ties–Wojcicki’s mother, Esther Wojcicki, chairs the Creative Commons board of directors.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald