An alteration to Kickstarter's terms and conditions has warned project creators that they may face legal action should they fail to delivery on successfully funded projects.
When a project is successfully funded, the creator must complete the project and fulfil each reward. Once a creator has done so, they've satisfied their obligation to their backers,” the updated document reads.
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they're helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there's a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.”
The crowdfunding platform understands that things don't always go to plan, however, and says creators are still OK even if they fail to deliver provided they fulfil the following conditions:
• they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
• they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that's communicated to backers;
• they're able to demonstrate that they've used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
• they've been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers; and
• they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.
Should they fail in this Kickstarter now warns that creators may be subject to legal action by backers”.
An additional blog post from the company explains it as follows:
For the overwhelming majority of projects, it's pretty simple: creators finish the work they planned, backers are happy, and nobody sweats the details. But there are exceptions,” it said. 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.”