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Post by Eorl @ 11:56am 22/09/14 | 0 Comments
Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding tool that has seen a number of both successful and unsuccessful projects filter through its system, has announced new changes to their terms of use that will focus on the responsibilities that creators have to their backers, namely in delivering a product at all costs.

Traditionally Kickstarter has taken a more laissez-faire approach to the crowdfunding service, with no real definition on what exactly a creator is required to do if their project doesn't deliver after taking backer money. The website has made it clear - and continues to make it clear - that they will not offer any kind of guarantees or enforcement of project completion, and won't get involved in any disputes between backers and creators except to work with authorities investigating fraud. What has changed in their terms of use is less legalese and more plain English.

"If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they've failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers," reads the updated document.

"Every reasonable effort" includes starting off with an explanation of the work that has been completed by that point, how the backers' funds were used and the circumstances preventing the project from being completed. Creators must "demonstrate that they've used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised," and throughout the process, creators must continue to communicate honestly with backers. And as always, creators are required to offer refunds for unfulfilled rewards, "or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form."

Failing to meet those requirements will mean creators are open to possible legal action from backers. This comes in the wake of a number of big Kickstarter projects that have since passed their goal, but failed to provide any form of content to backers. One example was science fiction author Neal Stephenson, who canceled his swordfighting game CLANG after it successfully raised more than $526,000 two years ago.

The new terms of use will now apply to all projects launched on or after October 19th. You can read more on the subject at Kickstarter's official blog post.

kickstarterterms of usecrowdfundinglegal actiondevelopment

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