Kickstarter Transparency Report 2015

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Kickstarter Blog | Michal Rosenn ·| ·

Kickstarter is a space for creative people to present and find support for new and imaginative ideas. Like many sites entrusted with hosting others’ content and personal information, we field intellectual property claims and government requests for user information. We’ve developed clear protocols for assessing and addressing each type of claim or request so they’re handled consistently and fairly. And by publishing an annual transparency report, we aim to shed light on process too often hidden from public view.

 Considering Intellectual Property Claims

When reviewing and acting on intellectual property claims, we balance Kickstarter’s stake as a place where creativity can thrive, with our responsibility to protect rights holders’ content. We strike that balance by seeking out solutions that avoid content removal whenever possible. Those who submit copyright or trademark claims are encouraged to resolve the issue with the project creator directly. We also help creators modify their projects to address intellectual property claims.

We process copyright claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) — you can read more about that process here. And, in the absence of a law like the DMCA to guide platforms in handling claims of trademark infringement, we follow a DMCA-like system, which you can read about here.

All DMCA notices that result in a project being hidden are published publicly on the project page and on Lumen — The Berkman Center for Internet Society’s independent research project to collect and analyze complaints about requests to remove online content.

Now the numbers.

Copyright Claims

  • In 2015, Kickstarter processed 336 total copyright claims involving 215 distinct projects.
  • We rejected 202 of these claims. We reject claims when they are incomplete, when they involve material that can’t be protected under copyright, or when they target fair use.
  • We avoided hiding 28 projects by helping creators make project modifications to address a copyright claim.
  • We hid 78 projects, or 36% of projects reported, in response to DMCA claims.
  • Twelve of these have been returned to public view, and 66 remain hidden.

See:  Crowdfunding must ensure IP rights are not infringed

Trademark Claims

  • In 2015, Kickstarter processed 67 total trademark claims involving 63 distinct projects.
  • We rejected 33 of these claims. We reject claims when they are incomplete, when they involve material that can’t be protected under copyright, or when they target fair use.
  • We avoided hiding 13 projects by encouraging claimants to resolve the dispute directly with the project creator or by helping the creators make a modification to their projects to address the claim.
  • We hid 21 projects in response to trademark claims.
  • Eight of these projects have been returned to public view, and 13 remain hidden.

Government & Law Enforcement Requests for Information

Kickstarter is a community of millions of people, represented by hundreds of local and federal governments all over the world. In instances where a government or law enforcement agency requests private information about someone in our community, we're committed to protecting that person's private information, complying with the law, and acting transparently. For more information about how we handle law enforcement requests for non-public information, please take a look at our Law Enforcement Guidelines.

  • In 2015, Kickstarter fielded 10 separate requests for user information from U.S. and international government and law enforcement agencies.
  • One came in the form of a search warrant. We responded to this request in full.
  • Five came in the form of subpoenas. We declined to disclose any information in response to one of these. We withheld at least some information in the remaining four.
  • Four came as informal requests — not pursuant to a subpoena, a court order, a search warrant, or any other recognized process. We declined to disclose any information in response to any of these requests.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1300+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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