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Finnish Bureaucracy Takes Issue With Crowdfunded Textbook 149

Posted by timothy
from the grey-goo-of-the-big-s-state dept.
linjaaho writes "Senja Larsen, who runs popular Facebook study group Senja teaches you Swedish, collected $14,161 via Kickstarter's crowd funding service. The project caught much media attention in Finland (TV and all major newspapers), since it is the first crowdfunded book project in this country, and among the first Finnish crowdfunded projects. (Previous ones include the movie Iron Sky, the role-playing game Myrskyn Sankarit, and the Wishbone headphone wire manager). Now, after successfully collecting the funds for the book (and after the book has been edited and printed), the National Police Board of Finland has asked Senja to submit a statement [PDF; Finnish] concerning using crowdfunding to finance a project [PDF; Finnish] and the terminology used. It is possible that all the funding collected must be returned. The main problem is that direct translations of terminology at Kickstarter, such as 'bounty' and 'support,' are interpreted to mean collecting money without giving anything back, and this kind of operation requires a permit which can be only given to associations, not to private persons, and it takes long to apply for such permit."
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Finnish Bureaucracy Takes Issue With Crowdfunded Textbook

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  • .gov gone wild (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kergan (780543) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @06:35AM (#41272113)

    Yet another case of bureaucracy gone wild...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Keruo (771880)
      This legislation has very valid reasons to exist, it prevents money laundering.
      It's not bureucracy gone wild, just common citizen doing things without finding out all required details and getting slapped by government for not getting permits to operate.
      This stuff is taught in elementary school, maybe the author should have paid more attention at Yhteiskuntaoppi classes.
      • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:00AM (#41272181)

        It's not bureucracy gone wild, just common citizen doing things

        So you're quite happy to live in a world where every time you want to "do things" you have to go scouring through law books and beg the government for permission?

        • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jerry Smith (806480) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:15AM (#41272237) Homepage Journal

          It's not bureucracy gone wild, just common citizen doing things

          So you're quite happy to live in a world where every time you want to "do things" you have to go scouring through law books and beg the government for permission?

          http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/world-happiest-countries-lifestyle-realestate-gallup-table.html [forbes.com]

          I guess s/he probably is. And since his/her gouvernment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index [wikipedia.org] is considered pretty decent, Kickstarter might rethink some of the terms and conditions. They could be misinterpreted, after all.

          • So, because the countries are nice in many respects, all of their policies are better than those of other countries?
            • So, because the countries are nice in many respects, all of their policies are better than those of other countries?

              The accusation was that the government was teh sux0r because of the bureaucracy. My addition was that the government seems to do quite well, despite the bureaucracy/because of the bureaucracy.

              I hope that answered your question.

            • by tsm_sf (545316)
              Oh, so you're saying I twist everything you say into some kind of bizarre absolute?
          • by Javit (68742)
            That doesn't address the issue. Obviously. Unless you'd consider an on-average "happy" constituency and credible government a defense of any possible policy. But I suppose it's to be expected; your planet probably doesn't have propagandized citizenries and disenfranchised minorities.
        • by Keruo (771880)
          (name your favorite hate/extremist group here) is collecting money to "do things".
          If there is no law preventing them to do so, therefore it's ok to fund "doing things", even if those things could be considered illegal
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by AK Marc (707885)
          When "do things" is a business, then nearly everywhere there are regulations, and everyone knows it. Only an idiot would start a business without figuring out what the rules are.
          • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:5, Insightful)

            by zyzko (6739) <kari.asikainen@g ... minus physicist> on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:55AM (#41272375)

            Actually, in this case the defense of Senja Larsen is that she is doing business, not collecting money without giving anything back - which is easier in Finland than getting a permit for asking money for "nothing" or a "good cause".

            The law is considered by many associations a relic and it can be abused - for an example Electronic Frontier Finland was sued by the state because their website stated that according to their rules they can receive donations and there was an account number visible. State lost - but they "had to prosecute" because someone anonymously demanded so.

            On the other hand the law:

            - Prevents money laundering.
            - Makes it easier to shut down shady operations which for an example state to collect money for cancer kids and the money goes actually to Thailand vacations of a few "charitable persons" and the kids get two used playstations - at least there is some oversight on who can publicly collect money.

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Unlike in the U.S., which has a huge mess of laws nobody knows about from dozens of agencies and levels of government, in the Nordic countries the legal system is actually fairly streamlined, and most citizens are aware of their rights and obligations under the law. One reason you don't see the jails as full of people as in the USA.

          • One reason you don't see the jails as full of people as in the USA.

            And here I thought it was the lack of a "war on drugs", maximum sentences of 20 years, where we'll toss you in prison for 40 for mere possession, if you have enough of it.

            Not many people end up in prison over the more unusual laws. It's normally stuff like violence - murder, assault, robbery. Theft - burglary, theft, shoplifting, and the WoD.

        • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:4, Insightful)

          by asdf7890 (1518587) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:57AM (#41272385)

          It's not bureucracy gone wild, just common citizen doing things

          So you're quite happy to live in a world where every time you want to "do things" you have to go scouring through law books and beg the government for permission?

          And I suppose you are happy living in a world where kids can't have decent chemistry sets because TERRORISM!!1!, and where it is difficult to get through an airport with a laptop because TERRORISTS!!!, in fact where you have to be intimately rubbed down by the TSA in said airport because TERROR!!!!!!!, and so on and so forth.

          America: the land of the brainwashed-into-thinking-they-are-more-free-than-others.

        • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @12:06PM (#41273809) Homepage

          So you're quite happy to live in a world where every time you want to "do things" you have to go scouring through law books and beg the government for permission?

          In a lot of cases where I'd call it preemptive crime prevention, yes. For example if you pretend to be a doctor but don't have a license to practice medicine, we don't have to wait for an actual malpractice case. You are already breaking the law just by trying. If you operate a restaurant I don't mind that you have to have a permit so that health inspectors both know you exist and have a right to investigate your facilities before you put people in the hospital. If you pretend to operate a charity, I don't mind that you need a permit that requires documentation that the money goes where you say it's going and is not a fraud. I don't mind that the government must approval of your rental units before there is a house fire where someone doesn't get out because there's no fire exit and you're charged with manslaughter.

          A permit is not something the government should hand or not hand out on a whim, it should have a clearly defined list of requirements and those who fulfill the requirements should get a permit. Of course you could say that the "free market" should fix this, that people would simply stop going to unsanitary restaurants but the practical experience has been that the market hasn't fixed this so instead of quoting dogma we found a solution that did. Sure you can have too much bureaucracy as well, but a lot of the time the businesses trying to fly "under the radar" without a permit do so because they are breaking a lot of other laws and regulations that are there for a reason. If I just pick a place to eat at random I don't expect great food, but I do expect that it's fit for human consumption. It's really not too much to ask.

        • And you'd be happy in a country where "Oh sorry, i didn't know that this is forbidden" can be used as a excuse for abny kind of crime?

          I agree with you that there should be things considered forbidden and things you obviously should be free to do without permission, but it's obvious that the notion of what is what is not commonly shared amongt everyone. That's why we need laws.

      • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ewanm89 (1052822) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:52AM (#41272365) Homepage

        Kickstarter is operating under US law in terms of monetary transfers, from the Kickstarter FAQ:

        To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:

        —You are 18 years of age or older.
        —You are a permanent US resident with a Social Security Number (or EIN).
        —You have a US address, US bank account, and US state-issued ID (driver’s license).
        —You have a major US credit or debit card.

      • by Kergan (780543)

        Seems to me that there are a gazillion other, better means to launder money... For instance gambling outfits or night clubs, or RE development in 3rd-world countries.

      • You miss the point, there is no permit he can get. He'd have to form a business or organization. As always government regulation adds cost, complexity and may even kill this project. All for the noble purpose of preventing money laundering? Which this is clearly not. But we can't let common sense intervene.
        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Whoever wrote this is either massively misinformed, or intentionally lying. It's very easy to simply form a ry (rekiströity yhdistys - registered organisation) and then apply for all necessary permits in this ry's name.

          Seriously, this is taught here in 9th class of mandatory school. It's not rocket science. The person in question failed HARD at basics, and whoever wrote the article is basically whining "this country with different approach from mine is bad". Which as pointed above, is factually false j

          • Ok, let me put it more plainly: Why the fuck should he have to register with anyone or apply for any permits, to get free money to do something good for the community? If you wanted to take up a collection for someone that was dieing of cancer you'd have to go to a local comity to get approval? Fuck the Finnish government and their bullshit, wipe your own ass for you legal system.
            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              Because otherwise your friendly neighbourhood drug seller/tax evader could pretend to be doing good for the community and launder his money, as a result causing significant damage to people who actually do want to do good for the community, as well as the rest of the community.

              Granted your "I won't listen to your dumb arguments you pinko commies" attitude shows that you don't care, and probably don't know that you don't have to "take up collection" for someone dying from cancer around here. He/she will be t

              • Taken care of by the system? LOL Golden chains my friend.
                And, I'm not defending my government, I'm admonishing yours.
                • by Luckyo (1726890)

                  Yes, I understand that you're a supremacist, completely unable to view the world outside your narrow lens what it "should be" as you have been taught.

                  Reality is, it's not chains, golden or not. It's a normal human society performing its base functions. Something that has apparently been so perverted in yours, that it rendered you apparently incapable of even understanding what the issue is, much less that there are functional and better alternatives to your very narrow view of "what should be right".

        • He'd have to form a business or organization.

          And where's the problem with that? At least in some other european country, setting up your own business is a matter of 30min. Forming a charity or other registered organisation (what might be more suited here) takes 7 people agreeing and signing a common charter, electing a president, vice president and treasurer and as soon as you register that at the local court, you even have your tax exepmtions for non-profit organisations.

          And I doubt it's much more that a mere formality in finland, too.

      • by SQL Error (16383)

        It's not bureucracy gone wild, just common citizen doing things without finding out all required details and getting slapped by government for not getting permits to operate.

        So it's bureaucracy run wild, then?

        • Re:.gov gone wild (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Tore S B (711705) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @11:49AM (#41273709) Homepage

          The person is operating a business - admittedly, on non-standard terms - but she is running a business. That does include a requirement to understand and comply with the basic laws of the land. And she has done it in a way which runs afoul of some laws that are there for good reasons but which are not impossible to get around.

          It's bureaucracy doing exactly what it is supposed to do: Ensuring a functional market by regulating it competently.

      • by khallow (566160)

        This legislation has very valid reasons to exist, it prevents money laundering.

        Yet another reason to deep six that legislation. The Finnish government could just tax stuff, like property, that can't run off and hide in another country. Taxing cash flow is very tempting for obvious reasons, but like so many other usually well-intended efforts, it requires intrusive government monitoring in order to work.

        Now, I recognize Finland isn't ever going libertarian and most of their citizens aren't going to care in the least about my observation above. But they really need to recognize bad u

    • by Meski (774546)

      Yet another case of bureaucracy gone wild...

      I find myself wondering how the Finnish bureaucracy thinks it has jurisdiction for Kickstarter.

      These Terms of Service (and any further rules, policies, or guidelines incorporated by reference) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York and the United States,
      ...
      Be a US resident and at least 18 years of age with a social security number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.

      Yes, non-US people can get involved, but they need a US resident to run it for them. And that's the point, it's run under US laws, not Finnish.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ericloewe (2129490) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @06:44AM (#41272133)

    Aren't you supposed to get something (say, a copy of the final product) in exchange for your contribution? Sounds like some Bureaucrat thinks his workload is a bit low...

    • Supposed to, yes. It should fall under contract law. Things do get a little more complicated with KickStarter and similar CrowdFunding platforms, though.

      Let's say the project is for Group X to perform at Broadway. What is the final product you would get back from that?
      Let's say they then offer stickers at a $5 pledge level. But you pledge $100 instead. Is that $95 then not a donation with nothing in return?

      Even when pledge level/reward are all on the up-and-up.. what if the project doesn't deliver?
      By K

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Seumas (6865) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:20AM (#41272255)

      No. You are making a donation. Period. (Note that it is not a *charitable* donation, however). Kickstarter's literature specifically uses the word "donation".

      The only requirement for the project to receive your money is that, collectively, the amount of money pledged reaches their pre-defined goal.

      Kickstarter states that any promised rewards *should* be fulfilled, but those are essentially an aside to the pledge itself and if the reward is never fulfilled, you essentially have no recourse whatsoever. Well, that's not entirely true -- you can try to get it from the person who is running the project, but since Kickstarter never actually touches the money, they have no mechanism through which to refund you. Assuming they even would bother with a process to facilitate that -- which they probably wouldn't, since they aren't even willing to establish a process to vet submitted projects.

      In the few years that Kickstarter has been going, there have been no catastrophic horror stories. There have been a few scams detected while in-the-act and cancelled and there have been some that are taking their own sweet delayed time to fulfill them, but I think we're a good year and a half away from any potential major backlash due to lack of fulfillment. That's because projects really started to surge once Double Fine threw their hat in the ring and most projects after that won't be culminating for some time, still.

      Of course, you should get something if you're told that you're going to, but you should also not back a project with your rent-money. I think of every dollar I throw into Kickstarters as a spin at the roulette wheel. If it fails (to follow through), I paid the price of admission to go along for the ride and get the updates and see how the project goes. If it succeeds, I get something cool that I wanted, too. Not to mention, not every kickstarter is about "if you pledge $20, I'll give you a thing". Sometimes it's just "I want to produce a play in my town, please back me to get it going". Video games and board games get the most attention, but there have been some cool things like a project to massively automate the preservation and archival of a massive collection of black history photographs.

      Unfortunately, a lot of people immediately scream "REGULATION DURP DURP!". I don't see the point in that. You're free to chip in your money or not and the up and downside is clearly laid out. I think people who scream about that tend to misunderstand (and have never even visited the website). They somehow think you're literally investing in the project in a real way. As in, a way that would require filings and SEC administration.

      What is going to happen is that Kickstarter will remain the king for awhile and if they ever seriously falter, they will have to quickly get their shit together (vetting projects and getting more involved in their facilitation to assure backers -- perhaps even to the point of establishing SafeHarbor gaurantees like eBay and Amazon do for purchases from merchants that use their marketplaces)... or someone else will do those things and eat their lunch. Competition will ensure that if this remains a viable idea that the public is interested in, someone finds a way to improve upon it and make it more stable.

      In the meantime, I've paid out about $1,600 of about $5,000 in pledges. Had some great experiences (met some fantastic people I would never have imagined I would), got some cool games and albums, kept up with projects via lots of updates. Participated in community decision-making projects on some things I've liked, and jumped in as a beta tester (actual beta-testing; not the modern video game industry definition of beta-testing as marketing) and have seen some really passionate people rewarded with community interest in their projects. If I get screwed on a couple of projects, I'll get over it.

      • by msauve (701917)
        "Kickstarter states that any promised rewards *should* be fulfilled,"

        You're emphatically making things up. The Kickstarter Terms of Use [kickstarter.com] are quite clear:

        Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.
        Project Creators may cancel or refund a Backer's pledge at any time and for any reason, and if they do so, are not required to fulfill the reward.

        • That's not of much use if they don't enforce it.

          • by msauve (701917)
            And exactly how would they enforce it? The money's already been distributed. If you order something from a retail web site, and they don't deliver, do you expect your ISP to "enforce it?"
            • And exactly how would they enforce it?

              I think you just made ericloewe (2129490)'s point for him.

            • by Compaqt (1758360)

              Hmm, very interesting idea.

              Perhaps this could be put to good use in the net neutrality battle.

              I.e., if Verizon says they want a portion of Google's pie because they're providing the pipes, well then, wouldn't that make them responsible for every Internet retailer out there?

        • by Seumas (6865)

          Then it has changed.

          Their site used to employ the terminology of "donations" and "donators" along with "pledges", but with the exception of not allowing *charities*. I recall when I first read it and found the language a bit surprising. You could just do a search for "donation" in their help section and it'd pull up instances of it, which I am no longer able to successfully do. The references to fulfilling rewards, however, is meaningless, because they also mention elsewhere that there is basically nothing

          • by msauve (701917)
            "Then it has changed. Their site used to employ the terminology of "donations" and "donators" along with "pledges", "

            You continue to mislead. Even the earliest terms of use [archive.org] stated

            Though Kickstarter cannot be held liable for the actions of a Project Creator, Project Creators are nevertheless wholly responsible for fulfilling obligations both implied and stated in any project listing they create

            Nothing there which could lead to a claim that they "suggest" rewards be fulfilled. Also, they never use the term

  • by houghi (78078) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @06:47AM (#41272141)

    In an ideal world, we would adapt the laws to the people. In this world we try to adapt the people to the law.

    Basically looking for a technical solution for a social problem.

  • by dnaumov (453672) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @06:49AM (#41272149)

    As can be seen from the lawyer responce (the "concerning using crowdfunding to finance a project [PDF; Finnish]" link in Summary, while asking for money while giving nothing in return in Finland requires a license, on Kickstarter, people submitting money are actually making a pre-order of a product (the book in question), so that particular law does not apply.

  • Only the government and those they anoint may request money without giving anything back.

    Also:

    The main problem is that direct translations of terminology at Kickstarter, such as 'bounty' and 'support,' are interpreted to mean collecting money without giving anything back, and this kind of operation requires a permit which can be only given to associations, not to private persons, and it takes long to apply for such permit.

    The problem isn't the translation. That is, literally, how Kickstarter works. Pledges are to be considered "donations". Not *charitable* donations, but donations none-the-less. There is no guarantee that the project will succeed or that anything promised to backers will ever be fulfilled. This is stated in Kickstarter's own information. Backing requires some degree of investigation, judgement, and an understanding

    • by msauve (701917)
      "There is no guarantee that the project will succeed or that anything promised to backers will ever be fulfilled."

      In exactly the same way there's no guarantee you'll get a package when you order something from Amazon.


      "This is stated in Kickstarter's own information."

      There you go again, making things up.
      • by Seumas (6865)

        Instead of stalking me in every post on Slashdot and claiming that because Kickstarter has changed the language they used since I last reviewed it, that I'm "making things up", try adding something of value to the conversation.

        First - THEY ARE DONATIONS. I'll grant you that they no longer seem to actually call them that, but in every regard, they definitely treat them as donations. If they're not donations, then what is it called when you click a button to give someone five bucks and there is no reward leve

        • by msauve (701917)
          "Instead of stalking me in every post"

          That's under your control - simply stop posting incorrect and misleading information. They are not donations, as you claim. KS makes that very clear [kickstarter.com]. Searching their FAQ finds the word "donation" one single time:

          We know there are a lot of great projects that fall outside of our scope, but Kickstarter is not a place for soliciting donations to causes, charity projects, or general business expenses.

    • Only the government and those they anoint may request money without giving anything back.

      Anyone may request money from anyone else without giving anything back to the giving party. Whether or not the party decides to actually give anything is a different issue.

      That is, Bob can always ask Alice for money and never give Alice anything for it. Whether Alice decides to fulfill Bob's request is her decision and her decision alone.

      That is simply how the Free Markets work.

      That said, there are certain regulations that governments generally impose; those regulations however tend to be on what

  • The main problem is that direct translations of terminology at Kickstarter, such as 'bounty' and 'support,' are interpreted to mean collecting money without giving anything back, and this kind of operation requires a permit which can be only given to associations, not to private persons.

    Does this mean people in Finland cannot also accept donations for projects they are working on since this is technically the same "giving money for nothing in return" issue?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well you need a permit in order to collect. This makes it a bit harder to collect money for legimite purposes but also much harder for all kind of scam artists for collecting money for "cancer kids" (alghtough that also happens in Finland from time to time. So its not bullet proof.)

    • by Zironic (1112127)

      Indeed. This is not particularly surprising.

      However the solution is fairly simple, you just get some registered organisation to sponsor the project.

    • by zyzko (6739)

      The definition in the law is that you must "appeal to the public" and "provide no compensation" (translations mine). So donations can be accepted as long as you are not actively asking for them from the public at large.

      The court has ruled (in the case of Electronic Frontier Finland) that stating that you can accept donations and providing an account number on website is not appealing to the public, so the line is somewhere between that and running running a nationwide ad campaign where you ask for money (de

  • Being oppressed again when something comes in the way of making everyone worship their language above all others... or else :-) This Senja Larsen person is quite an annoying example of the idea that being a member of her language-cult is an expected feature of a person who isn't somehow particularly closed-minded, uncivilized, yadda yadda. Perception is everything, and she and her kind truly know how to push an agenda.

    It's not as if our tax money aren't already being used to fund Swedish textbooks... I wond

  • Especially in this situation. What a total load of bullshit!
    • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:40AM (#41272331)
      People asking for donations without the intention of delivering are a major problem. That fraud takes billions every year. Finland has a law to cut down on that. That way, if someone is asking for money, you know they are legitimate, as they have filed all the proper papers and are traceable, even if not fully vetted. I don't see anything unusual or even onerous about this law. But it seems silly that someone entering a business venture didn't find out commonly known rules related to it.
    • by jovius (974690)

      I think the point is the novelty of the concept to the bureaucrats. They are confused and asked for a statement.

      Organizations like the Red Cross and such often have urn at the malls, and you can - if you want to - make sure it's legitimate by checking the permit number to collect money on their website or elsewhere. There have been many cases where money has been asked for imaginary causes or on behalf of some organization (even the police :)) by telephone or going door to door.

      In general you need a permit

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:25AM (#41272277)

    Only permanent US residents paid through a US bank account are eligible for Kickstarter [kickstarter.com]. Why does the Finnish government think it can dictate the terms of a project where a US company is paying a US resident to do stuff?

    • While KickStarter's ToS requires that the KickStarter be set up by a U.S. resident paid through a U.S. bank account, the project can actually be led by - and funds transferred to - anybody from anywhere. The clause itself is fallout from their working with Amazon to handle payments.

      You'll see projects from Finland, Germany, Israel, etc.
      http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/ [kickstarter.com] - hit up the 'cities' search.

      In this case, the project creators seem to be from Finland and thus likely subject to Finnish law.

  • by shaitand (626655) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @07:57AM (#41272389) Journal

    Basically this seems to suggest that all charity and donations would require a special permit. Even asking someone for help when starving.

    But after a bit of thought, it occurs to me that people in Finland don't have to beg for help. Here you need no permit but the collection jar on the counter is for something like a child with cancer. In Finland you wouldn't need a collection jar. Poor and hungry or in need of shelter would beg here. In Finland they would be fed, housed, and given medical treatment without any begging.

    We truly are barbaric here in the US in some ways.

    • So barbarism is the opposite of taking from people according to their abilities and giving to them according to their needs?

      • by shaitand (626655)

        Barbarism is watching another human being die of treatable illness when you have the means to stop it or watching people starve when you have more than you need. I don't care how you spin it.

        And cut the BS fallacies about those who lack means being lazy or lacking ability. There are plenty of talented people starving and plenty of worthless idiots with full bellies and full pantries.

        • I assume, then, you donate blood as often as they'll let you, and are on the list to provide your spare kidney to whomever needs it? I'd hate to think your comment was empty sanctimony.

    • As a Finn, I don't think the this law is very good one. Few years ago, there was a lot of criticism against it as people though that it was unfair. It more or less prevented collecting money in certain situations -- like if a home gets burned down and the family don't have home insurance, you cannot collect money to help them build a new home (although you are free to donate, but you cannot organize collection of donations -- if I remember correctly).

      I cannot remember if some details of the law has been mod

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @10:05AM (#41273125) Homepage Journal

    The main problem is that direct translations of terminology at Kickstarter, such as 'bounty' and 'support,' are interpreted to mean collecting money without giving anything back

    It's impossible to translate anything into Finnish. Even if it's in Finnish to start with.

  • The law about money raising predates Internet and is heavily based on assumption that you go from door to door with a box. This is kind of "known issue" and EFF has been pushing changes. So I'd hope the law will get updated sometimes in future.
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @12:55PM (#41274177) Homepage

    In the US, Kickstarter projects are subject to the FTC's Mail Order Rule. [ftc.gov] The Mail Order Rule basically says that if you order something, it has to be delivered or your money refunded within a specified time. The seller can specify a firm future delivery date, and if they don't, there's a 30 day default. Also, if the seller can't deliver, they must refund your money without you having to ask for it. The seller can ask for more time, but if you don't respond, they have to refund the money. This is a good rule; it keeps the mail order industry honest.

    In the early days of the Web, many companies that accepted online orders got into trouble with the mail order rule. Usually, this was because they had online ordering but a paper-based order fulfillment system, and accepted far more orders than they could fill. Then they made excuses rather than refunds. The FTC fined companies for that. Now, everybody serious has the shopping cart system connected to the inventory system, so the order isn't accepted if it can't be shipped.

    So Kickstarter companies in the US can get in trouble if they don't deliver. ZionEyes, with their vaporware "HD glasses", ran into this.

  • exactly what europe (small e intended) is doomed to ... brainless bureaucracy that entangles any and all innovation in the name of vested interests. If the powers that be do not reverse this horseshit thinking we are doomed to law regulated, asphyxiating bureaucratic thinking that will doom any chances of future growth .
  • "...asking for money while giving nothing in return in Finland requires a license..."

    Does the Finnish government have the license required for asking for money for a license (that gives nothing in return)?

  • It's not bureucracy gone wild
  • you're quite happy to live in a world where every time you want to "do things"

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne

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