WaltC wrote on May 3, 2014, 01:44:
Sure, backing a Kickstarter isn't *exactly* like "gaming" at a casino or buying a lottery ticket--it's not exactly the same thing at all. But in the case of backing a Kickstarter, just like in the case of gambling, your money legally guarantees you *nothing*, and it simply doesn't matter what it was that you understood the particular Kickstarter project to be giving you *in return* for your money. In that case, you understood wrong. The fine print says it all. Learning how to read is the first step towards a long and happy life, imo...;)
I hope you're not a lawyer because this is factually incorrect, at least in the US. It does not comport with US law, Kickstarter's TOU, or even their FAQ.
From Kickstarter FAQ:
Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
There is no "fine print" that states you have no recourse if delivery of rewards is not made. In fact, Kickstarter's "fine print" only protects Kickstarter from liability. It does not protect the project creator in any way, shape, or form.
When backing a project, if your funds are accepted you are entitled to what is listed as a reward. If the project creator has not made good faith efforts to deliver that product, they may be guilty of fraud, but that's involved proving intent to defraud and laws vary from state to state and internationally.
The reason this is a civil suit is because it's trivial to prove that money was given by a large number of individuals, and none received a product. Intent to defraud isn't necessary, only failure to deliver on what was promised. You were right about one thing, this is being pursued because it's a guaranteed win. The guy most likely will not even show up to court and will just eat a default judgement because he has no significant funds or assets left to lose.
Saying "I will give you this in exchange for X amount of dollars" in a way that can be proven is as legitimate a civil contract as one 50 pages long written by ten lawyers. Saying otherwise is incorrect. And as to the claims of trying to grab political capital, there is little or none to be had in the political climate of Washington right now with penny ante issues like this one, at least not in terms of votes. At best it'll beef up the resume of the Assistant AG working the lawsuit.This comment was edited on May 3, 2014, 03:58.