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Kickstarter Fights Lawsuit After Pulling Plug on Book Project

12 June 2013

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Ever wonder what sort of legal trouble would be in store for Kickstarter if the upstart platform decided to terminate service for a user in the midst of a big fund-raising campaign? Wonder no longer because the subject is front-and-center in a pending court dispute.

The plaintiffs in the case are Kristen “M.K.” Ducote and her husband and professional race car driver, Chapman Ducote. M.K. is the author of a book entitled Naked Paddock about life, love and drama in the world of professional motorsports. At the end of 2012, the Ducotes decided to use Kickstarter’s platform to raise funds they say were needed to publish the book.

. . . .

But in January, after Kickstarter approved the initial project, and five days after it launched on the site, Kickstarter allegedly hit the breaks.

. . . .

“The unexpected and unexplained actions by Kickstarter in suspending the Project on the website at the same time the Kardashian appearances were occurring on television was an unexpected and huge shock,” said the lawsuit first filed in Florida state court in April. “It is almost as if Kickstarter decided to pull the plug at the exact moment they knew MK, Ducote and [their publisher] War Chest needed them the most.”

. . . .

The lawsuit is premised on the theory that Kickstarter holds itself out as a successful innovator in the field of crowd funding with advertisements that state that $500 million has been pledged to more than 3 million people for over 35,000 projects.

. . . .

But Kickstarter also gives reasons why it believes the lawsuit fails.

First, the popular crowd-funding platform points to its Terms of Use, which states that “Kickstarter reserves the right to reject, cancel, interrupt, remove, or suspend a campaign at any time and for any reason.”

The Ducotes accepted the Terms of Use, says Kickstarter, which allegedly “explicitly negate(s)Plaintiffs’ breach of contract claim.”

Link to the rest at The Hollywood Reporter on Yahoo and thanks to Elizabeth for the tip.