Not fulfilling Kickstarter rewards can lead to court trouble
May 5, 2014 | 5:08 am
Kickstarter has been a success for many people and companies looking to get capital for new projects. However, some campaigns don’t reach the intended goal, and still some reach the goal but get delayed in giving rewards.
Yet, sometimes a campaign is funded and backers never get any money.
So what happens? In the case of a playing card deck that did not get delivered, the Washington state attorney general has intervened.
The campaign: Asylum playing cards were supposed to be printed on Bicycle paper stock. The cards were to be designed by Serbian artist Milan C. A pledge of $9 would get a backer one deck of cards. The cards were inspired by classic horror movies, according to the Kickstarter campaign.
In Oct. 31, 2012, the campaign was funded, receiving the $25,000 it asked for from more than 800 backers.
Yet, no one has received their rewards, although the estimated delivery was supposed to be Dec. 2012.
“Consumers need to be aware that crowd funding is not without risk,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “This lawsuit sends a clear message to people seeking the public’s money: Washington state will not tolerate crowd-funding theft.”
This isn’t the first time a Kickstarter campaign was funded and the backers didn’t get their rewards. Although, this is believe to be the first lawsuit brought against someone using the crowd-sourcing platform.
Earlier this year, a comic artist raised $50,000 in funds to bring an online series into a physical book. The artist, John Campbell, created Pictures for Sad Children. The only people who were sad at this point are those who never received what they paid for. Campbell wrote on the Kickstarter wall that anyone who had not received the book — because some did — will not be getting one. He ran out of money and, well, too bad.
To make matters worse, Campbell also said that he would start burning books for every email he received asking about the books. A video posted to the Kickstarter page showed he has already destroyed some of the books in a pyre.
Based on the comments of that Kickstarter, it seems that those who received the book have tried to help out other backers by creating PDFs and distributing them to others.
Another artist, Paul Jenkins is trying to make good over what Campbell wrongly did by sending backers of Campbell’s campaign a PDF, but as of right now there hasn’t been a major move against Campbell not fulfilling his rewards.