Kickstarter Accountability

The Verge just did a Ping/Counterping article about Kickstarter and after reading the comments, I felt the topic may deserve its own forum post.

I think something that has been overlooked so far is that a project creator on Kickstarter makes two promises (explicitly and implicitly). First, that he or she will perform the project as promised. Second, that he or she will deliver on the rewards.

I think it may be difficult for a contributor on Kickstarter to try to force a creator to perform the project as advertised. The contributor, as is pointed out in the comments of the Ping/Counterping article, is not an owner of the venture. The contributor has no control over the activity and thus has no relationship in which he or she is owed a duty by the project creator.

However, I think the enforcement of rewards is overlooked as an avenue where Kickstarter contributors may find some justice (and by extension, may even be able to force a Kickstarter creator to complete the project). Kickstarter contributors often make a contribution in exchange for the reward. Unless this is considered a gift, basically this is an enforceable contract between these two parties (it's a sale of goods). And, if the reward is the project itself (which it often is), a contributor could sue for breach of that contract in an attempt to recover his or her funds or even try to get the project creator to actually complete the contract.

I would be interested to know how others feel.