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Blades in the Dark and Kickstarter Ethics


Registered User
Validated User
It is probably relevant that the authors of many stretch goals appear to maintain ownership of their text and are selling their work separately. To me, that counts as payment — ownership has value.

For comparison: is anyone assuming that Arc Dream paid Ken Hite for his work on The Fall of Delta Green? I think that book was a Pelgrane jam, and they’re publishing and profiting from it.
Ken Hite does NOT work for free.


Validated User
I don't think ownership of the work necessarily counts as "payment", but I kind of think that is looking at the deal the wrong way. These were products that the authors wanted to do, kept all rights to, and can sell independently (probably making more off those sales than a simple work for hire arrangement would). None of them (as far as I understand), were John approaching people and asking them to do it for him. They approached him and he gave them a royalty free licence to create and sell content.

You could look at the stretch goals as John getting his cut of the royalties for each product up front, rather than doing so in a more traditional way.

Of course I still think there could have been more clarity about the arrangement and/or a more formal relationship between the project and these other products, but it doesn't smell like intentional misrepresentation or exploiting poor authors to me.
Six of one, half dozen of the other, but yeah -- the fact that they're retaining ownership is important no matter how you phrase it. Also agree on clarity.
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