Kickstarter changes its crowdfunding rules

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The crowdfunding website Kickstarter has relaxed its rules, making it easier for projects to be accepted.

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Kickstarter, which launched in 2009, has become the most well-known and successful crowdfunding platform in the world – attracting more than $1bn worth of pledges.

Now the BBC says that the changes to the rules at Kickstarter end outright bans on cosmetics, eyewear, electronic surveillance equipment and all health, medical and safety products. However, weapons, drugs, pornography and political fundraising remain prohibited.

In a blogpost at the service’s website, Kickstarter CEO and co-founder Yancey Strickler said the rules had been boiled down to to three basic principles: projects must create something to share with others; projects must be honest and clearly presented; and projects cannot fundraise for charity, offer financial incentives, or involve prohibited items.

“We want creators to have the support and freedom they need when building their projects,” Strickler wrote. “That’s why we’re introducing a feature called Launch Now. It gives creators a simple choice: go ahead and launch your project whenever you’re ready, or get feedback from one of our Community Managers first.

“The feature uses an algorithm incorporating thousands of data points to check whether a project is ready to launch — things like the project’s description, rewards, funding goal, and whether the creator has previously launched a project.

“If the project qualifies for Launch Now, the creator can go live whenever they’re ready. If the creator wants to connect with someone at Kickstarter, we’ll review the project and offer our feedback and advice.”

Kickstarte has funded many projects over the past five years – including the Android-based MiiPC, a new album from Former Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer, and the Pebble smartwatch.

But the most successful Kickstarter so far has been The Veronica Mars Movie Project, which raised almost $6m for the Kristen Bell TV series spinoff.

Stuart O’Connor

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