A Crowd Supply project should add something new and exciting to the world. Improvements on existing projects are fine, knock-offs are not.
A Crowd Supply project should address a real need. Just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean it should be done - no one needs more landfill.
A Crowd Supply project should honor user rights: curiosity, independence, association, longevity, transfer, discourse, privacy, and security.
Success at Crowd Supply means delivering products to backers. In practice, this means taking a hands-on approach to helping creators, like shipping packages out of our own warehouse. The results speak for themselves:
Delivery is paramount, but we also care a lot about what gets delivered, which is why we have a Proclamation of User Rights to guide us.
At Crowd Supply, we vet products not only for originality, usefulness, and feasibility, but also for their commitment to user rights. Below are the rights our users can expect and our creators agree to uphold. We’ve also provided an example of a way (but not every way) each right can be enacted in the covenant between user and creator.
Undoubtedly, edge cases, ambiguity, and uncertainty will arise and so any legal contract would quickly crumble. Instead, we rely on a good faith effort from creators to hold these users’ rights in the highest regard rather than sacrifice them in the name of profit, efficiency, or carelessness. Similarly, we rely on users to assert their rights both by supporting projects they care about and by speaking up when their rights are threatened. In all cases, we will lend as much guidance as we can.
User: The user has the right to explore, hack, investigate, reverse-engineer, and circumvent the product.
Creator: The creator agrees not to take any legal action that would prevent users from circumventing and exploring the product.
Example: The creator will not sue the user under section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or similar anti-circumvention laws.
User: The user has the right to use the product unencumbered by a subscription or any other connection to the creator.
Creator: The creator agrees not to require any association with the user after delivery of the product in order for the product to maintain its inherent utility.
Example: The creator can offer a subscription service with the product, but cannot require the user to use that service to get utility from the product.
User: The user has the right to use, combine, or otherwise associate the product with other products or services, whether produced by the creator or not.
Creator: The creator agrees not to prevent the user from freely using the product with other products or services.
Example: The creator grants license to the product's API in a way that doesn't preclude free use of the product with other products or services.
User: The user has the right to use the product indefinitely, limited only by normal wear and tear, without suffering interference from the creator or planned obsolescence.
Creator: The creator agrees in good faith not to inhibit, disable, restrict, or otherwise hamper the use of the product by the user.
Example: The creator cannot remotely disable a device owned by the user, but can disable or limit a service connected to the product.
User: The user alone has the right to decide to whom and for what compensation to transfer the product.
Creator: The creator agrees not to restrict the user from transferring the product to another person.
Example: The creator cannot lease or rent the product to the user.
User: The user has the right to freely and publicly discuss, promote, and criticize the product.
Creator: The creator agrees not to prevent the user from sharing information or opinions about the product.
Example: The creator cannot coerce a user into withholding benchmarking results or bad reviews from public scrutiny.
User: The user has the right to control and know how information collected by the product is shared with and by the creator.
Creator: The creator agrees in good faith not to use the product to collect information about the user without explicit and revocable permission (opt-in) from the user. For all user information collected by the product, the creator agrees in good faith not to share this information with third parties without explicit and revocable permission (opt-in) from the user.
Example: The creator can't share the IP address of the user with a third party unless the user explicitly gives their permission to do so.
User: The user has the right to be informed of and to address safety and security concerns stemming from the product.
Creator: The creator agrees in good faith to disclose to users in a timely and responsible manner any flaw in the product that may compromise the safety of the user or the security of the user's data, to the best of the creator’s knowledge.
Example: In most cases, the creator won’t share a security vulnerability with the general public without first making a good faith effort to disclose it to users with enough time for them to remedy or prepare for the vulnerability.