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19.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 4, 2014, 15:03
19.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 4, 2014, 15:03
May 4, 2014, 15:03
 
Cyanotetyphas wrote on May 3, 2014, 03:09:
WaltC wrote on May 3, 2014, 01:44:
jdreyer wrote on May 2, 2014, 23:20:
Kickstarter is very similar to the lottery or to gambling casinos: you're often told about how wonderful it would be if you win the Powerball...


I don't think this is a great comparison. Scuzzy and psychologically manipulative certainly describe Vegas and state run lotteries, but they are also heavily regulated. Vegas has to pay out a certain amount over a certain time period, get shut down. Same with state run lotteries, some one gets the pay out eventually. If either of these institutions ever just said "sorry, no one won, we're pocketing it" they would be dismantled.

Agree that Kickstarter should still by buyer beware though.

Actually WaltC wrote that, not me.
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18.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 4, 2014, 15:03
18.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 4, 2014, 15:03
May 4, 2014, 15:03
 
@WaltC

Not going after people for crimes, be it KS or patent trolling, just because it isn't the most cost effective thing to do, is what I'm talking about. You can't just continually let yourself get bent over the table because, as we've seen with patent trolling, the line for free money gets pretty fucking long. That's why the WA AG, NewEgg, Google, and the EFF standing up to law breakers, despite the cost, is so valuable in the long run.
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17.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 15:46
NKD
17.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 15:46
May 3, 2014, 15:46
NKD
 
Dirwulf wrote on May 3, 2014, 15:31:
NKD wrote on May 3, 2014, 00:04:
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

The suit is brought by the office of the Attorney General, who is appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee, who isn't up for re-election until 2016. Also, as a resident of WA, I can assure you no one gives a fuck about crowdfunding fraud and it's not really a hot button issue that's going to sway voters 2 years from now.

Whatever the motivation here, just ignoring this kind of activity because it's not profitable to go after it is a pretty fucking stupid position to hold.

I'm a WA state taxpayer, and the portion of my taxes that goes to the Attorney General's office is supposed to be used for stuff like this, so more power to them.

If you lived in Washington, you would know there is no state income tax. So I guess you mean your federal tax money?

We have a sales tax, and all the other myriad taxes states levy upon their residents. I doubt my federal income tax goes to the WA state AG. You should see the taxes we have on booze now after we opened up liquor sales to non-state-run stores.

But what is the point you're trying to make? That the AG's office runs on cupcakes and happy thoughts and the citizens of WA don't pay them?

This comment was edited on May 3, 2014, 15:51.
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16.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 15:31
16.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 15:31
May 3, 2014, 15:31
 
NKD wrote on May 3, 2014, 00:04:
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

The suit is brought by the office of the Attorney General, who is appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee, who isn't up for re-election until 2016. Also, as a resident of WA, I can assure you no one gives a fuck about crowdfunding fraud and it's not really a hot button issue that's going to sway voters 2 years from now.

Whatever the motivation here, just ignoring this kind of activity because it's not profitable to go after it is a pretty fucking stupid position to hold.

I'm a WA state taxpayer, and the portion of my taxes that goes to the Attorney General's office is supposed to be used for stuff like this, so more power to them.

If you lived in Washington, you would know there is no state income tax. So I guess you mean your federal tax money?
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15.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 03:49
NKD
15.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 03:49
May 3, 2014, 03:49
NKD
 
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?

Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) This information can serve as a basis for legal recourse if a creator doesn't fulfill their promises. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.

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.
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14.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 03:09
14.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 03:09
May 3, 2014, 03:09
 
WaltC wrote on May 3, 2014, 01:44:
jdreyer wrote on May 2, 2014, 23:20:
Kickstarter is very similar to the lottery or to gambling casinos: you're often told about how wonderful it would be if you win the Powerball...


I don't think this is a great comparison. Scuzzy and psychologically manipulative certainly describe Vegas and state run lotteries, but they are also heavily regulated. Vegas has to pay out a certain amount over a certain time period, get shut down. Same with state run lotteries, some one gets the pay out eventually. If either of these institutions ever just said "sorry, no one won, we're pocketing it" they would be dismantled.

Agree that Kickstarter should still by buyer beware though.
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13.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 02:50
13.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 02:50
May 3, 2014, 02:50
 
Looking over it, it looks like they picked a good one to go after. Physical rewards, a printing company they can check to see if these guys even tried to do it, and a deadline of late 2012 if funded.

Seemed awful cheap for a one series of a limited print card/other rewards there though, either was an obvious rip off or the guy had no idea what he was getting into and decided to keep the money anyway.
12.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 02:31
12.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 02:31
May 3, 2014, 02:31
 
When you connect a pledge to a reward, it is in fact legally binding. Only default pledges "You get the finished product, if and when it finishes" are not legally binding assuming the wording is in such a way that it's clear. Until a court says otherwise this is literally why you should make sure how the wording of a reward tier is specifically. If it promises you something that is connected to the KS producing an actual product, you are out of luck. But if it is a "gift" of something the KS project actually has in it'S possession they are legally required to deliver.

And you actually have a legal requirement to inform your backers of the failing of a kickstarter. Any money left needs to be fairly redistributed, refunds are out of the question though. And if nothing is left, the backers need to be informed about that at least.

Going silent and changing company names makes it clear cut fraud.

Especially since printing cards is so fucking cheap. You could do it for a 10k budget, art and cards included. (not best cards ever, but delivery of 1000 card sets (50 to 60 unique cards) in printed boxes at least ,p)

I freelanced on several card games, I know the price ranges of these things. For a single card you are looking at about $50 to 100$ (art) for printing you are looking at less than 1000$ for 200 card sets. 100% unique. Metal boxing 2$ to 4$ per set (usually factories offer this in-print price already for some and ask extra for other variations), shipping 20$ (You get it in a big box, if it's too heavy, someone actually brings a normal industry palette to your door

For more than 200 sets you get rebate. And the prices go down accordingly. (Ie, 1000 sets + proper metal box would not be more than $5000 ) + ART cost. Not more than $5000 to $10000

So non delivery of these things with proper calculation done is nearly impossible. Either way, this is why Kickstarter needs accounting rules.

This comment was edited on May 3, 2014, 02:56.
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11.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 01:44
11.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 01:44
May 3, 2014, 01:44
 
jdreyer wrote on May 2, 2014, 23:20:
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

It's this kind of attitude that allowed patent trolls to flourish for so long. Companies decided it was cheaper to pay them off than litigate. You go to court to show not only that you won't be bent over the table, but also to ward off others from doing the same, even if it's more expensive and difficult in the short term.

(A long-ish post for a huge topic, imo)...

Panickd has the right of it, and Panickd has exactly the right attitude, because it isn't a question of attitude. It's a very real question of getting blood from a stone/turnip...;) The original Kickstarter personnel named in the suit didn't get away with millions of dollars, remember: only ~$25k or so seems to have been raised, years ago, and has surely been long gone for quite sometime. That's--what?--*minimum wage* for 18-months or so? It's peanuts and it will be completely uncollectible.

No doubt the individual named by the state of Washington is completely broke (if he isn't in jail, dead, deported, or an invalid) so that any judgment Washington gets will be ostentatiously symbolic and won't help any of the so-called "victims,"--who won't get a dime even if the state wins its case by default simply because the defendant can't afford an attorney. By default, of course, is the only way Washington has a prayer of winning such a civil suit. Because...

If you study the terms of service for any and all Kickstarter projects, both Kickstarter and the people who run the Kickstarter projects are well indemnified against fraud and/or other criminal complaints & charges (exactly why the state of Washington is conducting a civil suit as opposed to a criminal complaint.) The Kickstarter TOS fine print (and otherwise) clearly spells out to all contributors that they are being guaranteed nothing in absolute terms, they are not "pre-ordering", and they are putting every dime of their money at risk. It's all there in black & white. There's no "safety net" for contributors--no "guarantee" of anything, let alone a game, a deck of cards, a T-shirt--anything.

So why would the state of Washington express interest in a public Kickstarter civil suit? IMO, because the state feels the probability is extremely high--they most likely made sure of this before they launched the suit--that this individual cannot defend himself in court because he has no money and they will win by default as a result. The real goal of the lawsuit, again imo, is to bring positive publicity to the personnel inhabiting the Washington state AG's Office--especially those personnel running for election, if indeed Panickd is correct in his hypothesis.

It could also be that a number of current political incumbents not themselves directly employed by the AG's Office (but serving in the state legislature, for instance), and who are up for election, are also interested in milking the filing of the suit for whatever publicity value they can squeeze out of it. They want to be seen as Crusading Defenders of the Public Good in the state of Washington, when the reality is that this suit won't defend anyone's "good" except maybe their own at election time..;) And, just like Panickd says, they'll use Washington state taxpayers' money to do it all. I would say this was positively brilliant if it weren't for the fact that this kind of thing is so horribly common in politics all across the nation.

The fact is, that for reasons already mentioned, even if you thought Edward J. Polchlepek III was promising you a slice of the London Bridge because you thought he promised it in return for your $50 Kickstarter contribution, the Kickstarter *legally binding* terms of service specifically state otherwise and exist to *protect* the people smart enough to read them *before* they start dinging their credit cards.

Kickstarter is very similar to the lottery or to gambling casinos: you're often told about how wonderful it would be if you win the Powerball, told that unless you play in the casino or buy a lottery ticket you have *no chance* of winning the Rolls, the mansion, the butler, the servants, and so on--and yet, should you fly to 'Vegas and throw away your life's savings at the crap tables in two hours--you cannot say you were defrauded because they told you that you had *a chance* of winning the "big one"...! Because they told you the truth. They never told you that you were going to get the big payout. They said you might get it. World of difference.

And the reason you cannot sue *them* for "fraud", either, is because in the case of the Powerball you are told on the back of the ticket in exceedingly small print that your actual "chance" of "winning the big one" is like one chance in 85,000,000 to 100,000,000--always depending on how many tickets are sold. And they don't tell you what that means, either--that you have a greater chance of being struck and killed by lightning coming out of a clear blue sky than you do of winning the "big one." That part they never quite explain to their prospective suckers.

Casinos, too, are infested with signs everywhere telling you to "game responsibly" and that "the odds are always in favor of the house." Those signs also protect them from charges of fraud and so on. Can you imagine calling someone gambling with his life-savings a "gamer"? Bwa-ha-ha...;) No, in a "game" the losses are never *real* and the consequences never permanent. Monopoly & Boardwalk. Skyrim. Gambling is not "gaming," no matter what they say.

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...;)

Last, I think Kickstarter is great and I personally love the whole idea. But Kickstarter is not pre-ordering, either legally or conceptually. Kickstarter is your chance to "invest" in a project with *no* guarantee that your "investment" will ever net you so much as a worthless stock certificate--let alone anything else like a game, a refund, a T-shirt or a hamburger. As long as people clearly understand this there won't be any more foolishness about "fraud" and all of that. Kickstarter and its project owners have that all sewn up legally. Caveat Emptor.


It is well known that I don't make mistakes--so, if you should happen across an error in something I have written, you can be confident in the fact that *I* did not write it.
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10.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 00:04
NKD
10.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 00:04
May 3, 2014, 00:04
NKD
 
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

The suit is brought by the office of the Attorney General, who is appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee, who isn't up for re-election until 2016. Also, as a resident of WA, I can assure you no one gives a fuck about crowdfunding fraud and it's not really a hot button issue that's going to sway voters 2 years from now.

Whatever the motivation here, just ignoring this kind of activity because it's not profitable to go after it is a pretty fucking stupid position to hold.

I'm a WA state taxpayer, and the portion of my taxes that goes to the Attorney General's office is supposed to be used for stuff like this, so more power to them.
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9.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 3, 2014, 00:02
9.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 3, 2014, 00:02
May 3, 2014, 00:02
 
jdreyer wrote on May 2, 2014, 23:20:
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

It's this kind of attitude that allowed patent trolls to flourish for so long. Companies decided it was cheaper to pay them off than litigate. You go to court to show not only that you won't be bent over the table, but also to ward off others from doing the same, even if it's more expensive and difficult in the short term.

You act like that kind of shit doesn't happen all the time.

Creston wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:35:
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

You're so naive, it's adorable.

Really, you can't print a few shitty asylum playing cards for $25,000 and prevent some vote needing asshat from pandering against you for the vote? WTF?
8.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 23:20
8.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 23:20
May 2, 2014, 23:20
 
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

It's this kind of attitude that allowed patent trolls to flourish for so long. Companies decided it was cheaper to pay them off than litigate. You go to court to show not only that you won't be bent over the table, but also to ward off others from doing the same, even if it's more expensive and difficult in the short term.
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Vaccines administered: 711M - - - Vaccine deaths: 7 - - - Death rate: 0.00000001%
Your choice is clear.
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7.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 23:13
7.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 23:13
May 2, 2014, 23:13
 
I've sort of been waiting for this to happen.

The people who take the money need a wake up call that KS money isn't a free for all. It comes with some responsibilities.

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6.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 22:35
6.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 22:35
May 2, 2014, 22:35
 
Panickd wrote on May 2, 2014, 22:34:
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.

You're so naive, it's adorable.
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5.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 22:34
5.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 22:34
May 2, 2014, 22:34
 
“This lawsuit sends a clear message to people seeking the public’s money: Washington state will not tolerate crowdfunding theft

Good on ya, Washington. It seems these guys literally just took the money and ran.
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4.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 22:34
4.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 22:34
May 2, 2014, 22:34
 
Seems somewhat strange. How hard could it have been to have weird ass playing cards printed up?

And what, exactly, will this end up costing the Washington taxpayer? More than the $25,000 that was taken? Oh yes, it's an election year. Silly me. I thought this was about the consumers getting fleeced.
3.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 19:44
3.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 19:44
May 2, 2014, 19:44
 
jdreyer wrote on May 2, 2014, 19:11:
Also, this KS got sued after failing to deliver within two years. Will someone sue RSI for failing to deliver Star Citizen within two years?

Next stretch goal: money to lobby against the ability to sue kickstarters. Failing that an extra lawyer so Chris Roberts can ignore legal threats and vacation more often.
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2.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 19:14
2.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 19:14
May 2, 2014, 19:14
 
jdreyer wrote on May 2, 2014, 19:11:
Will someone sue RSI for failing to deliver Star Citizen within two years?

Someone may try, but the big difference is that this KS has gone a year without update.
1.
 
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup
May 2, 2014, 19:11
1.
Re: Evening Crowdfunding Roundup May 2, 2014, 19:11
May 2, 2014, 19:11
 
Last KS update was July 2013. It looks like they had the art done and just needed to produce the cards. It'll be interesting to find out what happened. Intentional fraud? Incompetence?

Also, this KS got sued after failing to deliver within two years. Will someone sue RSI for failing to deliver Star Citizen within two years?
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Vaccines administered: 711M - - - Vaccine deaths: 7 - - - Death rate: 0.00000001%
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