We successfully launched Friday on Valentines Day with a great start – everything was looking positive. Sunday evening, I was posting on a few different social networks when I signed onto Reddit for the first time. I posted information on Jakket and noticed a link called “related.” Yes, of course I clicked it - and to my surprise, someone had copied and posted our project. In less than 48 hours of being live on Kickstarter, Jakket was ripped off and posted as a project on Indiegogo.com!
The project was live, copied verbatim
– the exact same text, images, rewards, amounts – everything was the same, and the copycat called "Sami Kat" was raising funds too. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do at first – I was really frustrated. I notified the Jakket Team and our attorney while frantically looking for a phone number, I quickly realized there was no way to contact Indiegogo or Kickstarter directly. Anytime there is an issue with bigger websites, your only option is to send an email to their support desk and then… just wait. As we waited for responses we started to search for other sites with the same link. We found Jakket on theawesomer.com, two accounts on google plus and it was also posted on YouTube. Indiegogo responded by Monday mid-morning and quickly removed the project with their apologies – they were great. The Awesomer corrected the links so folks were corrected to the real Jakket. The process to remove google plus fraudulent accounts was so intensive we decided to let it go and move forward. In the end, it slowed us down a bit but we recovered quickly. It was completely unexpected and we were not prepared at all. So for those of you planning to launch a new product or project on a crowd-funding site, here are a few tips:
- Set a google alert so you are notified of any postings relative to your project. You can set the alert to “as it happens” and you will immediately get an email. Simply go to google alerts and put in the name of your product or project. This is also good idea to do at the beginning of your launch to learn of positive news being shared as well.
- Have emails handy for support personnel and/or security personnel so you can quickly contact them – it can take 24-72 hours to receive a response.
- If someone fraudulently copies your work and posts it, send as much detail as you can such as screen shots, links, etc. I also used Facebook pages/messaging in one case to get attention quicker. Provide details upfront, it can certainly help expedite resolution.