Lessig, a founding board member of Creative Commons and former board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Reuters the objective is to find a way to change the way that elections are funded. In its first two weeks, the imitative garnered $1 million from grassroots donations.
In addition, Thiel and Hoffmann, venture capitalists Brad Burnham and Fred and Joanne Wilson, and Chris Anderson, organizer of the TED conference, agreed to donate $1 million apiece. Lessig hopes to raise an additional $5 million by July 4.
If successful, Mayday will launch a much larger campaign in 2016 to reverse laws that have granted undue political influence to corporations.
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According to Lessig, the goals for the campaign are "narrow." Mayday is not a veiled effort to advance the tech agenda, he repeatedly stressed.
"If we're successful, some of our donors will have less influence than they do now, personally and through their corporations," he added. "They are spending money to reduce their political influence."
This wouldn't be the first attempt to curb the explosion of outside spending. A similar effort, dubbed Soros' Friends of Democracy, is being run by Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire financier George Soros.
"Until we fix the root problem—the big money problem—we're going to keep dealing with attack after attack on a free, open and innovative Internet," Wozniak said in a video to promote the Mayday campaign.