By Jeff Roberts
Oct 4, 2011 6:13 PM
The startup Kickstarter is suing to stop what it says is a shakedown by a former musician from the band Journey. The musician has obtained a patent for a process that resembles Kickstarter’s own crowdfunding model—whereby a member of the public can invest in artists, musician and inventors. (This story has been updated to include the patent owner’s response)
In a claim filed in New York, Kickstarter says Brian Camelio repeatedly turned up to demand that the website license his patent related to crowd-funding. Camelio is a studio musician and the CEO of ArtistShare, a site that lets fans contribute to musicians’ recordings in return for an opportunity to participate in the creative process. He obtained a patent for the process earlier this year.
Kickstarter launched in Manhattan in 2009 and is reported to have already raised $75 million for more than 10,000 projects in fields like music, design and publishing. It takes a 5% cut of the funds it raises but is popular with participants because it doesn’t demand an ownership stake in the project.
Updated: Kickstarter’s Patent Battle Over Crowd-Funding | paidContent