Kickstarter has been a boon to numerous creators who've had an idea but needed help with the finances in order to make it real. It has numerous famous success stories from small projects like the game Cards Against Humanity to big technical projects like the Oculus Rift VR headset. Not every story has been a success however and failure now has a price. The State of Washington has successfully sued a company who never provided the promised goods.
The suit was brought last year against a company called Altius Management who launched a project to create a deck of "Asylum" horror themed playing cards. The project eventually raised over $25,000 after only looking for $15,000. The cards were expected to be received by backers in December 2012, but they've never been seen.
The judgment has finally come through and the court has ordered restitution be paid. Unfortunately, most of the 810 backers will never see a refund. Only those who live in Washington, about 31 people, are covered by the ruling.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission taking action against another Kickstarter epic fail. In June, the FTC found that the man behind the crowdfunded board game The Doom That Came To Atlantic City used "deceptive tactics" by raising over $120,000 to create the game, and then spent the money on himself.
The law always takes a while to figure out how to handle new ideas but it appears to be coming around to crowdfunding. While not every project that has trouble delivering is guilty of fraud it is clear that both the state and federal government will be watching, and that's a good thing.