Over the past year or so we’ve seen a sudden surge in the popularity and success of crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter, most notably within the video game industry but also in other creative areas such as music and movies. Many independent artists are flocking to the idea of being able to work free of corporate commitments, and fans are more than happy to help support their favourite artists. In a way, it sounds like it’s too good to be true… but maybe it is. At what point does a Kickstarter campaign just become shameless begging for money and when are artists taking advantage of their fans? Is it time to establish some limits on its use?
The ethics of Kickstarter were recently called into question in the music industry when Amanda Palmer raised over $1 million to fund her new album. She was criticized for the fact that she would profit from the album while supporters would not get a return on their investment. It’s an interesting point, and although most fans are just happy to get a copy of the album, perhaps they should be entitled to more. With regards to David Fincher’s new Kickstarter campaign for The Goon, some people are also feeling a bit miffed that a rich Hollywood director is asking for their money instead of investing his own. Then there is the issue of all the money that gets lost when a Kickstarter project fails to deliver. What do you think? Is there anything wrong with established and/or wealthy people using Kickstarter? Should people be allowed to profit from crowdfunded projects? Do the benefits of Kickstarter still outweigh the drawbacks or is it eventually going to fall apart? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.