Tighter Restrictions On Kickstarter: Know Before You Fund

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Kickstarter is getting a bit tougher on creators who don’t complete their projects in good faith. As you are all aware, time is a flat circle — we are all programmed to make the same mistakes throughout the course of history, until someone decides to flip the switch and shut this whole thing down, man. Someone popular’s going to say something racist, your mother is going to nag you, as you will nag your child, and Kickstarter goals will be met but the adventurous backers will find themselves empty-handed, whether by opportunistic scamming or simple incompetence.

Kickstarter, however, aims to change that by implementing new Terms of Use stating in very plain language that the creator of a project now has an obligation to fulfill their rewards and finish their project, lest they find themselves in legal hot water with their backers. From their page:

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Now calling this a “contract” between “backer” and “creator,” Kickstarter appears from here to feel as if they have the best of both worlds — not restricting the creator in what they can and cannot do, but also having consequences for bad faith actors. The relevant passage:

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What’s of interest here is that Kickstarter themselves will not be taking any sort of legal action, but that they’ve opened the door to allow backers the possibility of doing so. They don’t have to take on each and every case, but they’ve effectively crowdsourced the policing of their massive, massive site, which is probably the most Kickstarter-y thing ever done.

As major projects start cancelling — even wildly successful six figure ones — leaving their backers without even the basic reward they requested, much less the end product itself, it becomes clear that in order to break this cycle, for the light to win against all that darkness, Kickstarter had to simply step aside and let that light be the torches of the mobs.

So if you want to make a play for that crowdfunding money, you’d best pay heed: if you make your goal and you’re not getting it done, there will be consequences for bad faith actions. You might want to consider who you’re getting in bed with before you start something up.

And lest you think of just disappearing and letting the project fade away with your money in hand, know that the crippling void, that brightest dark that is legal counsel will find you, and their words will erode your humanity until you become but ash. As we all are doomed to be.

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