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The Boston Globe

Opinion

GARETH COOK

Community chest

IF THE COMMON person wants to become a patron of the arts, the Internet has an answer. At Kickstarter, anyone can browse through the dreams of creative types — a documentary film, works of paint on plexiglass, a “trash truck ballet’’ — and help fund the ones that strike a chord.

But what if the common person wants to be venture capitalist, investing a little bit here and there in businesses with tiny staffs but outsized potential? The Internet now has an answer for this too. It’s a brilliant concept that could create jobs and improve communities. It’s also illegal — at least for the moment.

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