What is Kickstarter's copyright policy?
Kickstarter has adopted a general policy regarding copyright in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Kickstarter removes material that is the subject of a compliant DMCA takedown notice. Section 512 of the DMCA provides the rules for reporting copyright infringement and for filing a counter-notification.
If you believe your copyright is being infringed, you can report the alleged violation.
If your project was the subject of a takedown notice, you can submit a counter-notification.
If you’ve backed a project that was the subject of a takedown notice, you can learn what that means.
Kickstarter has adopted a policy of, in appropriate circumstances, terminating user accounts that are repeat infringers of the intellectual property rights of others. Kickstarter also may terminate user accounts based on even a single infringement.
How do I report a copyright violation?
If you're not sure whether material on Kickstarter infringes on your copyright, please consult with an attorney before filing a DMCA notification. Misrepresenting that material infringes on your copyright may subject you to liability for damages, including costs and attorneys' fees incurred by Project Creators or other parties.
If you believe that your copyright is being infringed, you can file a DMCA notification by completing our DMCA form or by emailing us at email@example.com. Your claim must include the following information (please note that all information must be submitted in English):
- an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
- a description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
- a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the Site, sufficient for Kickstarter to locate the material;
- your address, telephone number, and email address;
- a statement by you that you understand that under 17 U.S.C § 512(f) you may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, if you knowingly and materially misrepresent that reported material or activity is infringing;
- a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- a statement by you that the information in your notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.
Submitting your notification via our form is the fastest way to file your claim, but you may also send the required information to our copyright agent at the following address:
Attn: Copyright Agent
58 Kent Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
What happens if I receive a DMCA notification about my project?
If Kickstarter receives a DMCA notice about your project, our policy is to remove the infringing material or disable access to your project until the dispute is resolved or the DMCA process is complete. You will receive an email from Kickstarter attaching the alleged copyright owner's notice and providing instructions for filing a counter-notification. Kickstarter will process DMCA notifications and counter-notifications that it receives, but we cannot adjudicate these disputes.
How do I file a counter-notification to dispute the claims?
If you receive a DMCA notification and believe that your work has been removed or disabled by mistake or because of misidentification, you can submit a counter-notification to Kickstarter's copyright agent by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your counter-notification email must contain the following information (please confirm these requirements with your legal counsel or see the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §512(g)(3) for more information. Please also note that all information must be submitted in English:
- a physical or electronic signature of the user of the services;
- identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;
- a statement made under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material; and
- the subscriber's name, address, telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriber's address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the user will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subscriber (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
This information can also be mailed to Kickstarter's copyright agent at the following address:
Attn: Copyright Agent
58 Kent Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Under the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.
What happens after I submit a counter-notification?
After Kickstarter receives your counter-notification, we'll forward it to the copyright owner. If we do not receive a notice within 10 business days after forwarding the counter-notification that the owner has filed an action seeking a court order to prevent further infringement, Kickstarter may reinstate the project at issue.
Access to your project or to the infringing material will remain disabled after we receive your counter-notification until the dispute is resolved or until 10 business days have passed without notification that the owner has filed an action seeking a court order. During this time, you will still have the option to message your backers, edit your project, or cancel your project.
Will anyone see my DMCA notification or counter-notification?
Kickstarter is committed to transparency in disabling access to users' content. We publish a copy of each DMCA notification and counter-notification on our site and on Lumen. Personally-identifying information such as the claimant's name, email and telephone number will be removed from notifications and counter-notifications before they are published. However, a claimant’s address and company name (if provided) will be posted publicly.
Kickstarter also reserves the right to forward all materials received (including full contact details) to the opposing party in the DMCA dispute.
What happens to my pledge if the project I backed is subject to a copyright dispute?
If a project you’ve backed becomes the subject of a copyright dispute and Kickstarter removes part or all of the project from public view, you’ll get an email that explains the status and next steps. Any material that becomes subject to a copyright dispute will be removed until the dispute is resolved or the DMCA process is complete. If a project or any of its contents are removed because of a dispute, you'll still be able to manage your pledge by going to the project page.
If we aren't able to re-post the project within 30 days, we will cancel it, all pledge authorizations will expire, and the project will be permanently unavailable. If, on the other hand, the dispute is resolved or the DMCA process resolves within 30 days, the project will be restored to public view. We’ll update you by email if any of these steps are taken.
How do I report a project for patent infringement?
If you believe that a project is offering an item or service that infringes on a valid and enforceable patent, please submit the valid patent registration number and a court order finding infringement of the patent by the project to email@example.com.
Additionally, please be sure to include the following information in your message:
- URL of infringing project
- Your full legal name
- Your email address (please use company email address)
- Company name (optional)
- Company street address (optional)
- A statement that you understand that Kickstarter may provide third parties, including the affected user, with a copy of this complaint.
- A statement under penalty of perjury that the information in this complaint is true and correct and that you are the patent holder or are authorized to act on the patent holder's behalf.
Kickstarter will review claims of patent infringement and will remove from public view any project that is the subject of a court order finding infringement of a valid and enforceable patent.