Kickstarter revamps Terms of Use, straightens out creator accountability

The crowdfunding website has clarified its Terms of Use in order to make sure that campaign creators know their responsibilities.

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Kickstarter has overhauled its Terms of Use to make sure campaign creators know what is at stake if they do not hold up their end of the arrangement.

The crowdfunding website's CEO Yancey Strickler announced the changes in a blog post last week. According to the firm, many changes have been made over the past year in order to streamline and keep the Kickstarter system clear and straightforward. The firm's Terms of Use are next up in line for an overhaul, and alterations come into effect for projects launched on or after October 19 this year.

Simplified language, the removal of legal jargon and a revamp of terms to make them straightforward and as clear as possible are all changes the firm have made.

However, there's more.

"For the overwhelming majority of projects, it's pretty simple: creators finish the work they planned, backers are happy, and nobody sweats the details," Kickstarter states. "But there are exceptions. Sometimes problems come up, projects don't go according to plan, and people wind up in the dark about what's supposed to happen next. So we're spelling it out -- what’s expected from backers, what's expected from creators, and what needs to happen if a project runs into trouble."

The beauty of crowdfunding campaigns is that startups and entrepreneurs can secure the capital needed to get a project or product off the ground, whereas they may not have been able to if applying to the bank or to corporate investors for funding. However, sometimes things do go wrong, and if you back a project as an investor -- whether as an angel or via crowdfunding -- you may not see a return on your money.

While such investments do encompass risk, Kickstarter sees things in a different light. As a result, the company's Terms of Use now make it clear to campaign creators that they are obligated to issue refunds should a product fail in development; as well as there being the possibility of facing legal action by backers in this scenario. The company states:

"This update reflects the best practices we've seen from our community to get the best possible outcomes from challenging situations. Incorporating them into these terms is a small but important part of building a healthy, trusted environment where people work together to bring creative projects to life."

The new Terms of Use related to campaign creators is below.

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