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Kickstarter Expands Allowed Projects, Automates Launches

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the money-bots dept.

Technology 58

itwbennett (1594911) writes "On Tuesday, Kickstarter announced 'Launch Now,' a feature that will let creators launch their project as soon as they're ready and not require review by 'community managers'. Instead of human feedback, the tool uses an algorithm incorporating thousands of data points to check whether a project is ready to go live, such as its description, funding goal, and whether it's the creator's first project, Kickstarter said. As part of the changes, Kickstarter also said it simplified its rules for projects, allowing projects to be hosted on its site that previously weren't allowed, including more types of software."

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Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47165009)

And people said my Death Star project was Kickstarter jumping the shark.

Re: Wow... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47165133)

And Obama refused to build it even after he promised if a petition got enough signatures he would do it. The death star one did. Just another lie from this terrible president

Re: Wow... (3, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#47165799)

You misunderstood. If a petition gets enough "signatures" the President promised that the White House would *respond* to it, not do it.

The response to that one was actually fantastic-

Responding to a petition on the White House Web site, science and technology adviser Paul Shawcross tells disappointed "Star Wars" fans, "This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For."

Shawcross explained that at $850 quadrillion, the cost was simply too high in a time of tight budgets. Moreover "the administration does not support blowing up planets." And anyway, "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/01/12/white-house-rejects-death-star-petittion/

Back my project: (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47165025)

Please back my kickstart project: Get a +5 funny post by ironically mocking the general quality level of "art" projects on kickstarter.
Goal $2,000

For $5: you will get my heatfeltfelt thanks(but I won't actually talk to you)
For $10: I will let you know when I make the post so you can reply
For $20: I will put your name on a website, no one but other backers will ever look at
For $50: A T-Shirt with the post-ID image printed on it.
For $1000: You can talk to me for a day, because the fact that I ran a kickstarter makes me interesting.

Re:Back my project: (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47165289)

Oh, looks like we met our goal.

Stretch goals:
$10,000 Post again.
$20,000 Write a book about how I posted
$30,000 Exclusive backer-only behind-the-scenes documentary including interviews with all the people worked on the project, like me, and me. You will get so fucking tired of my smug face.

Re:Back my project: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166479)

OMG!! I am throwing money at my screen but nothing is happening!

Lazy. (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#47165073)

> a feature that will let creators launch their project as soon as they're ready and not require review by 'community managers'.

So they got lazy and wanted to cut out all the manual labour.

Re:Lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47165153)

Congratulations, that's precisely what they're not doing. You can still request review by community managers, if you want to. The difference is you no longer have to. Clear now? Good.

Lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47165187)

> a feature that will let creators launch their project as soon as they're ready and not require review by 'community managers'.

So they got lazy and wanted to cut out all the manual labour.

So they're basically trying to move more towards what the Slashdot editors have been doing for a while now?

Re:Lazy. (3, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#47165523)

>So they're basically trying to move more towards what the Slashdot editors have been doing for a while now?

Kickstarter Beta?

Re:Lazy. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 6 months ago | (#47165475)

More like:

They're tired of getting flak for projects appearing on their site that people have issues with, raise a stink about on twitter, and then complain when it's still there 1 hour later - or getting flak for removing projects that use questionably language, get buckets of crap dumped on them by thousands of people alleging them of having a political agenda, and that decision being exploited for the benefit of the project getting launched at a different site.

Speaking of which...

They're probably not fond of all the attention that IndieGoGo has been getting as the 'more accessible, lower barrier, and less stuck up Kickstarter.

Regarding one specific other rule change, they probably realized that project creators - when faced with the "you can't set up pledges for multiples of a perk!" rule, simply told people to pledge more than what the tier requires, or - worse yet for Kickstarter - hit their website and use the online storefront (often using PayPal) as a pledge mechanism instead. When that happens, they might as well try winning back that slice of the pie and shrug off any scams that involve multiples (part of the reason why the rule was instated in the first place - under the guise of protecting project creators from themselves in case their project can't scale) the same way that scams involving single items have been shrugged off. The PR defense on that one is pretty strong by now, with more than half the backers toeing the company line that they're only a facilitator (who just happen to take a % of the take, scam project or otherwise) and so do not get involved in disputes ( except where there's enough negative press to warrant a statement ).

Re:Lazy. (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 6 months ago | (#47165631)

Any company that bans gun related stuff does have a political agenda.

Re:Lazy. (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#47165691)

>Any company that bans gun related stuff does have a political agenda.

Or isn't a licensed interstate gun dealer and wan't to avoid the legal consequences of dealing in guns without such a license.

Re:Lazy. (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 6 months ago | (#47165869)

Except they also ban weapons and weapons accessories, to include, but not limited to axes, and knives, and archery gear.

Re:Lazy. (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47166011)

The same type of problem exists to a lesser degree with those types of projects too. Various areas get really twitchy over non-gun weapons and since only guns are 2nd amendment protected are free to have all sorts of laws about their sale and use.

Re:Lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166559)

The same type of problem exists to a lesser degree with those types of projects too. Various areas get really twitchy over non-gun weapons and since only guns are 2nd amendment protected are free to have all sorts of laws about their sale and use.

The second amendment doesn't protect "guns" it protects "arms".

That term has historically referred to basicly every weapon type ever invented (it's even in the name of some such as "pole-arms").

Re:Lazy. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47166739)

Weapons?
I thought it was about arms [sodahead.com]

Re:Lazy. (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 6 months ago | (#47168025)

Well it was also about Organized Militias -- not just everyone who wants a lethal weapon.

But really, the 2nd Amendment protects profits for the NRA and the Gun Lobby. No need to look for a RATIONALE reason for why guns have more rights than I do.

Re:Lazy. (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47170915)

In practice it is been interpreted as applying to firearms exclusively. Even at the time it was understood to cover 'guns', but not knives or canons.

Re:Lazy. (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 6 months ago | (#47168013)

OK. So we can have an Arrow Gun -- no problem. In fact, let's do a kickstarted for a home surgery kit, that is attached to a gun. Then you can remove the gun at home -- but don't tell anyone.

As long as something has a gun attached, I can bring it everywhere. Now I don't have to pretend I'm blind to bring my Bijon Frise into the theater attached to a shot gun. Easier to get a weapons permit and just say; "That animal is my fancy holster." OK, and it poops, but that's constitutionally protected poop.

Re:Lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166861)

It's almost like they are aware that laws about weapons other than guns also vary by state, and they don't want to go there because the small number of projects that are interested in doing something weapon-related is outweighed by the legal costs associated with any screwups.

Did you know that in Massachusetts, our weapons laws make it illegal to possess all of the following: (Chapter 269, section 10, part b)

  -Double-edged knives
  -Switchblade knives
  -Leather armbands with metal studs
  -Shuriken
  -Blowguns
  -"kung fu sticks"
  -stilettos (the knife kind, not the shoe kind)
  -dirks
  -ballistic knives
  -... that section goes on and on for about a page, with phrases like "anything that could be put to the same use", or "of similar material or construction"

No, we don't have cops shaking people down for weapon violations most of the time, they've got better things to do with their time, but they very easily could if they wanted to -- I worked with a historical reenactment group, and the question came up of whether you could legally own or transport various medieval weaponry, and after consulting with the local police, the answer was no, there just plain wasn't a legal way to own a sharp polearm or sword in this state.

Are axes of the type designed to hurt people illegal somewhere in the US? Almost certainly (though interestingly, I don't see anything about them in the MA section, unless they fall afoul of the knives-with-overly-long-blades part). Are knives designed for fighting illegal in the US? They sure are in MA, and probably in a bunch of other states too. Kickstarter doesn't want to have to know all of these laws and police the projects for whether they are "legal everywhere" knives. Archery gear, if you make it clear you are using it for hunting or target shooting, is likely fine across the country, but crossbows are illegal in many places too -- remember that those things were invented for the purpose of punching through armor, and realize that they will shoot through a cop's bullet-proof-vest quite well...

So when you complain about a company not wanting to help you sell "axes" of the weapon variety, perhaps you should instead complain about state legislatures that make those not uniformly legal? Kickstarter is making an entirely rational reaction to a confusing mess of overlapping legal jurisdictions (remember there are city and county laws about possession and sale of weapons too! So if they ship knives around, it isn't just 50 state laws, they need to know every set of city regulations...)

Re:Lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166693)

Aha! So you admit they've sided with the US Federal legal system! ;-)

Re:Lazy. (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 6 months ago | (#47167995)

>Any company that bans gun related stuff does have a political agenda.

Or isn't a licensed interstate gun dealer and wan't to avoid the legal consequences of dealing in guns without such a license.

Help Help -- I'm being repressed!

As long as Kickstarter doesn't support my Anthrax deployment system -- I'm going to bitch on Slashdot!!!!!!

And let me add some more !!!!!!

I mean, we can't just assume they stay clear of things that require excessive licensing and oversight. Anyone for a Kickstarter fast breeder reactor? Come on, everyone can't be a baby about this.

Re:Lazy. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 6 months ago | (#47165885)

Yeah, this was more about a film that doesn't need any more free press - but in terms of weapons, U.S. law itself is funky (imagine that), so inconsistency happens.

Re:Lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166051)

If by "political agenda" you mean "desire to not get prosecuted for violating federal firearms laws", then yes.

McDonald's also refuses to sell guns -- what's their agenda?

Re:Lazy. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47169137)

"firearms accessories" are included.

Would one be prosecuted for selling scope mounts without a license? Or how about a battery powered bore cleaner?

LK

Quality schmality (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 months ago | (#47166875)

Ooooh, you cynic, you.

I thought it was more like "We need more traffic. Can we afford to be fussy?"

Re:Quality schmality (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#47167097)

>Ooooh, you cynic, you.

Thank you. Yes, I'm a cynic.

kickstarter slashvert onslaught (-1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 6 months ago | (#47165145)

what's with the onslaught of kickstarter "stories"? we get at least one a day recently. did kickstarter sign up for the premium slashvertisement plan?

Yawn (3, Interesting)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47165217)

As long as kickstarter bans "weapon accessories", I can't take my idea there.

Fuck kickstarter.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 6 months ago | (#47165617)

Agreed. It's incredibly stupid and shortsighted for kickstarter to ban "weapons and weapons accessories".

Re:Yawn (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47166049)

Not really. Kickstarter is big enough that they have to worry about legal issues, and weapons gets into a legally difficult area to operate in, just like all the other things on their prohibited list. It is annoying and I wish it was not so, but it is neither stupid nor shortsighted.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47166499)

What would be the legal ramifications for kickstarter if I raised funds for finishing development of my quick release scope mount?

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#47166789)

The time and resources spent deciding what is legally dubious and what isn't plus the risk of getting it wrong probably exceeds the cost of just saying "if it's vaguely related to guns, it's not allowed".

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47166827)

By all means it's within their rights to make such a decision.

But that justification is nonsense.

There is no legal liability issue in play.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#47166911)

There is no legal liability issue in play.

Someone still needs to look at every potentially vaguely weapon related thing and make that determination, and that someone is probably going to need to have a law degree. "Some guy on a forum said it was cool" isn't enough for a large business with resources to lose in a lawsuit. Untangling the laws surrounding complex, heavily related areas like weapons and medicine (also prohibited, I imagine for the same reason) is expensive.

And then you get into the stuff that's borderline, and you inevitably have people angry because you allowed one thing and didn't allow another.

It all just turns into a big mess, and for the profit they might get out of it, they've obviously decided it's not worth it.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47166967)

You're grasping at straws.

There are potentials for legal liability for everything.

What if Oculus Rift caused eye damage to someone?

What if The Dash caused someone to go deaf?

Liability concern does explain why they don't want weapons, it doesn't explain why they won't allow weapon accessories.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#47167039)

So your belief would be:

- kickstarter and their team of lawyers don't understand the law as well as you do?
- kickstarter is pushing some kind of agenda, not just against guns, but against medicine, GMOs, alcohol, tobacco, porn, etc. And this is more important to them than money?

or something else entirely?

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47167307)

I'm sure that any staff or retained layers working for kickstarter understand the law better than I do.

I'm saying that this decision is obviously political.

And yes, pushing their political agenda is clearly more important to them than money.

LK

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47167477)

So you're just mad they wouldn't take your idea and decided it was really about a political agenda and not the aforementioned legal issues that you yourself admitted their team would know better than you

Got it.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47167509)

Where does the kickstarter page say the decision is for legal concerns?

You are grasping at straws.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47170967)

Having worked in an industry that has to deal with the maze of local regulations, you would be surprised how much of a headache that can be, and yes, if you are big enough, those localities WILL come after you if someone in their jurisdiction buys something that is illegal there. We ended up having to do things like forbid sales to Canada, New Jersey, Utah, etc, because of all the little (but enforced) laws that come into play. All of the things they list are product types that frequently have restrictions regarding who can sell them, who they can be sold to, or variations of the items that need to be validated by local authorities before sale. It really is that much of a mess.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47175107)

If kickstarter was actually the entity shipping the rewards, this might be a bit more relevant.

It's not. The people who would make and send such items are not kickstarter, hence they need kickstarter to raise funds.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#47170941)

They would have to check all the states and jurisdictions involved, which is pretty much everywhere unless they implement some kind of geo-ip blocking. Weapon accessories, including scopes, sometimes have local restrictions.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166103)

Or it's just a matter of reducing their regulatory burden in a sector where they don't expect exceptional profit. But that wouldn't fit the victimization narrative, so that can't be right.

So let's go with "It's incredibly clever and farsighted for Kickstarter to ban 'weapons and weapon accessories'". Usually I'd be tempted to offer some sort of supporting evidence for my claim, but apparently that's not welcome around here.

Re:Yawn (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47166779)

"Oh woe is me, this website doesn't assume a US monoculture, and many places make the thing I want to sell illegal for quite reasonable reasons"

Let me ask you a question: Do you even know the US's laws regarding exporting weaponry?

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47166873)

Who said that I was talking about exporting or even building a weapon?

I'm specifically talking about weapon accessories.

It looks like you kan't read.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47167067)

"Hey jerk, why don't you acknowledge this minor technicality with regard to the subject of why its a bad idea"

I'm not sure that has much bearing at all on the potential legal quagmire they'd be stepping into for the sake of supporting a notion of freedom that's unique to just one country.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47167319)

If you would be kind enough to limit your responses to me and exclude the voices in your head, that would be great.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47167387)

I'm sorry I parodied your absurd complaint.

In simpler terms, you're making an arbitrary and irrelevant distinction.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 months ago | (#47167915)

No, you mis-paraphrased me and invented arguments that I never put forth.

LK

Re:Yawn (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47168493)

Nope. I re-read the argument and can't acknowledge that.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47168763)

Different poster here, but I don't feel like being stalked by your idiocy and inability to deal with distinctions between concepts. You're a stupid fucking twat and a disgrace to the largely intelligent /. community (and humanity). Kan you reed that?

Re:Yawn (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47171503)

Yeah, you communicated your own idiocy quite competently.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47167279)

I think this prohibited item came about because of the clamp-down on 3D printed weapons and the inherent danger of producing something that doesn't work and can be dangerous to the operator.

As for the "no porn" rule... Really, how many kickstarters have I seen for comics that classify as porn? I think maybe they're going after "porn featuring real people" because of the potential for people to kickstart their own porn site/videos or whatever. They can't verify anyone on the site is over 18, and in some countries that's not even the age of consent.

http://xapk.wapseo.mobi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47165303)

http://xapk.wapseo.mobi

But can they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47165671)

detect sarcasm?

I was thinking about using kickstarter for my OSHW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47166769)

project. But I am in Switzerland and they don't allow it in this country.

My OSHW project [twibright.com]

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