Terms of Use

1. Welcome to SparkThis!

This page explains our terms of use. When you use SparkThis, you're agreeing to all the rules on this page. Some of them need to be expressed in legal language, but we've done our best to offer you clear and simple explanations of what everything means - hence the brief summaries in these blue boxes. The summaries, for the record, are not part of the official legal terms.

Welcome to SparkThis. By using this website (the "Site") and services (together with the Site, the "Services") offered by SparkThis, PBC (together with its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, representatives, consultants, employees, officers, and directors - collectively, "SparkThis", "we", or "us"), you're agreeing to these legally binding rules (the "Terms"). You're also agreeing to our Privacy Policy and agreeing to follow any other rules on the Site. We may change these terms from time to time. If we do, we'll let you know about any material changes, either by notifying you on the Site or by sending you an email. New versions of the terms will never apply retroactively - we'll tell you the exact date they go into effect. If you keep using SparkThis after a change, that means you accept the new terms. SparkThis is for your personal, non-commercial use, except as explained in section 4 and section 5 below.
2. About Creating an Account

To sign up for a SparkThis account, you need to be 18 or over. You're responsible for your account and all the activity on it.

You can browse SparkThis without registering for an account. But to use some of SparkThis's functions, you'll need to register, choose an account name, and set a password. When you do that, the information you give us has to be accurate and complete. Don't impersonate anyone else or choose names that are offensive or that violate anyone's rights. If you don't follow these rules, we may cancel your account. You're responsible for all the activity on your account, and for keeping your password confidential. If you find out that someone's used your account without your permission, you should report it to To sign up for an account, you need to be at least 18 years old, or old enough to form a binding contract where you live. If necessary, we may ask you for proof of age.
3. Things You Definitely Shouldn't Do

This section is a list of things you probably already know you shouldn't do - lie, break laws, abuse people, steal data, hack other people's computers, and so on. Please behave yourself. Don't do this stuff.

Many people use SparkThis. We expect all of them to behave responsibly and help keep this a nice place. Don't do any of these things on the Site:

  • Don't break the law. Don't take any action that infringes or violates other people's rights, violates the law, or breaches any contract or legal duty you have toward anyone.
  • Don't lie to people. Don't post information you know is false, misleading, or inaccurate. Don't do anything deceptive or fraudulent.
  • Don't offer prohibited items. Don't offer any rewards that are illegal, violate any of SparkThis's policies, rules, or guidelines, or violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, or regulation.
  • Don't victimize anyone. Don't do anything threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, tortious, obscene, profane, or invasive of another person's privacy.
  • Don't spam. Don't distribute unsolicited or unauthorized advertising or promotional material, or any junk mail, spam, or chain letters. Don't run mail lists, listservs, or any kind of auto-responder or spam on or through the Site.
  • Don't harm anyone's computer. Don't distribute software viruses, or anything else (code, films, programs) designed to interfere with the proper function of any software, hardware, or equipment on the Site (whether it belongs to SparkThis or another party).
  • Don't abuse other users' personal information. When you use SparkThis - and especially if you create a successful project - you may receive information about other users, including things like their names, email addresses, and postal addresses. This information is provided for the purpose of participating in a SparkThis project: don't use it for other purposes, and don't abuse it.

We also need to make sure that the Site is secure and our systems function properly. So don't do any of these things - most of which boil down to "don't mess with our system."

  • Don't try to interfere with the proper workings of the Services.
  • Don't bypass any measures we've put in place to secure the Services.
  • Don't try to damage or get unauthorized access to any system, data, password, or other information, whether it belongs to SparkThis or another party.
  • Don't take any action that imposes an unreasonable load on our infrastructure, or on our third-party providers. (We reserve the right to determine what's reasonable.)
  • Don't use any kind of software or device (whether it's manual or automated) to "crawl" or "spider" any part of the Site.
  • Don't take apart or reverse engineer any aspect of SparkThis in an effort to access things like source code, underlying ideas, or algorithms.
4. How Project Work

Most of our Terms of Use explain your relationship with SparkThis. This section is different - it explains the relationship between idea creators, backers and makers of SparkThis projects, and who's responsible for what. This is what you're agreeing to when you create or back a SparkThis project.

SparkThis provides a funding platform for creative projects. When an idea creator posts an idea on SparkThis, they're inviting other people to vote on the idea. If the idea is deemed to be "good", not necessarily practical or viable, byand reachingriches a specified number of up votesquorum it becomes fundable and that triggers an invite to the backers to pay purchasefor their votes to choose a team to create the idea and thus and fund the idea's creation. Anyone wants to build the idea applies as a maker and makes an offer to the backers. The idea backers approve a qualified maker based solely on their perception of the maker's ability to deliver the idea in product form and cast their vote to make the product and b and by accepting the maker's offer are forming a contract. SparkThis is not a part of this contract - the contract is a direct legal agreement between creators and their backers. Furthermore SparkThis does not guarantee the delivery of any product originating from the site or the makers selected to built it. Here are the terms that govern that agreement: When a project is successfully funded and maker is approved, the maker supported by the idea creator must complete the project and fulfill each reward. Once a maker has done so, they've satisfied their obligation to the backers. Throughout the process, the maker owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they're helping to create something new - not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there's a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised. If a maker is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they've failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A maker in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:

  • they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
  • they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that's communicated to backers;
  • they're able to demonstrate that they've used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
  • they've been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers;
  • they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts voted), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.

The maker is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their project. If they're unable to satisfy the terms of this agreement, they may be subject to legal action by backers.
5. How Funding Works

This section goes over the details of backing and creating projects - things like how money gets collected, whether votes can be changed or canceled, and how makers can contact backers to provide rewards.

These are the terms that apply when you're backing a project :

  • Your credit card will be charged at the time of bidding. You'll provide your payment information when you buy a vote and your card will be charged. The exact amount of votes you purchased is the amount SparkThis will collect. The payment will only be refunded if a team is not selected by the voters (no qualified teams are present and no one votes) or no teams applied to build the product (see refund policy).
  • You can change or cancel your vote at any time before the project is funded. You can increase, decrease, or cancel your votes at any time during the campaign. Once the project has been funded, you can only cancel or change your vote by making special arrangements directly with the maker.
  • The Estimated Delivery Date is the maker's estimate. The date listed on each reward is the maker's estimate of when they will provide the reward - not a guarantee to fulfill by that date. The schedule may change as the maker works on the project. We ask makers to think carefully, set a date they feel confident they can work toward, and communicate with voters about any changes.
  • The maker may need to send you questions about your reward. To deliver rewards, the maker might need information from you, like your mailing address or t-shirt size. They'll request that information after the campaign has succeeded. To receive the reward, you'll need to provide the information in a reasonable amount of time.
  • SparkThis doesn't offer refunds. Funding Period: SparkThis will collect funds during the duration of the funding period for an idea. No refunds will be granted during this period in order to ensure the makers can be sure the pool of funds does not drop significantly and unexpectedly. Please contact the maker to request a refund if desired once funds are released to the chosen team. Undelivered Ideas: Responsibility for finishing a project lies entirely with the maker(s) as selected by the crowd. SparkThis doesn't hold funds on makers' behalf, cannot guarantee makers' work, and does not offer refunds. Please contact the maker to request a refund if desired once funds are released to the chosen team.

These are the terms that apply when you're posting an idea:

  • You are granting exclusive rights to SparkThis for your idea. By posting an idea on SparkThis you are making an election to assign your rights to the idea to SparkThis. By so doing, you are granting SparkThis exclusive ownership to your idea in return for the rewards (seen below) as the idea generator.
  • You are eligible to receive a percentage of the pooled funds. By creating the idea you have brought something into existence that has the potential for real world applications. As a reward, you will be awarded five percent (5%) of the funds pooled by the backers AFTER the idea has successfully been awarded to a maker to produce the idea. If no makers apply or no makers are selected by the backers, you will not receive any funds, all funds will be returned to the backers less a processing fee.
  • You are eligible for royalties. As the idea generator you are eligible to receive ongoing royalties from the gross sales of the item for a period of 24 months after the deliver of the product to the backers. The percentage of royalties is 5% of gross sales of the product/service.
  • We'll charge our fees before putting funds in your account. SparkThis and its payment partners will subtract fees before transmitting the proceeds of a campaign.
  • We'll help resolve payment-card disputes. If a backer of your project disputes the charge with their card issuer, we'll handle re-presenting the charge to settle the dispute with the card issuer. You'll be notified that a dispute has been filed, and you'll be able to provide evidence to help us resolve it in your favor. If the cardholder's dispute is found valid, you authorize us to charge the credit card number you provided when you started your project for the amount of the chargeback.
  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Don't assume you'll be able to launch your project when you want; there could be a reason we're not able to accept it, or a problem that takes time to resolve. Don't assume you'll be able to immediately collect your funding; there may be a delay between the end of a successful campaign and your access to the funds. And don't take any actions in reliance on collecting any of the money voted until you actually have the ability to withdraw it from your account.
6. Stuff We Don't Do and Aren't Responsible For

We don't oversee projects' performance, and we don't mediate disputes between users.

SparkThis isn't liable for any damages or losses related to your use of the Services. We don't become involved in disputes between users, or between users and any third party relating to the use of the Services. We don't oversee the performance or punctuality of projects, and we don't endorse any content users submit to the Site. When you use the Services, you release SparkThis from claims, damages, and demands of every kind - known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, disclosed or undisclosed - arising out of or in any way related to such disputes and the Services. All content you access through the Services is at your own risk. You're solely responsible for any resulting damage or loss to any party.
7. Our Fees

Fees are only charged on successfully funded projects. We charge 5% of the total funds pooled, in addition to any fees from our payments partners.

Creating an account on SparkThis is free. If you create a project that is successfully funded, we (and our payment partners) collect fees. Our partners' fees may vary slightly based on your location.SparkThis will charge a 5% fee of the total funds pooled plus an ongoing royalty from the sale of the product or service. The royalty will be five percent (5%) of gross sales for a period of 5 years beginning from the time the first units are offered for sale at retail pricing. _______ We will not collect any fees without giving you a chance to review and accept them. If our fees ever change, we'll announce that on our Site. Some funds voted by backers are collected by payment providers. Each payment provider is its own company, and SparkThis isn't responsible for its performance. You're responsible for paying any additional fees or taxes associated with your use of SparkThis.
8. Other Websites

If you follow a link to another website, what happens there is between you and them - not us.

SparkThis may contain links to other websites. (For instance, project pages, user profiles, and comments may link to other sites.) When you access third-party websites, you do so at your own risk. We don't control or endorse those sites. SparkThis partners with other companies (such as Stripe) for payment processing. When you back or create a project, you're also agreeing to the payment processor's terms of service.
9. Your Intellectual Property

We don't own the stuff you post on SparkThis. But when you post it, you're giving us permission to use or copy it however we need in order to run the site, or show people what's happening on it. (We generally just use this to promote projects and showcase our community on the website.) You're responsible for the content you post, and you're vouching to us that it's all okay to use.

SparkThis doesn't own content you submit to us (your "Content"). But we do need certain licenses from you in order to perform our Services. When you submit a project for review, or launch a project, you agree to these terms:

  • We can use the content you've submitted. You grant to us, and others acting on our behalf, the worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable right to use, exercise, commercialize, and exploit the copyright, publicity, trademark, and database rights with respect to your Content.
  • We encourage you to patent your idea. We are not involved in the patent process although we encourage the makers or idea creators to patent their idea if they see fit. Be aware of all applicable rules for patenting your invention for more info: If you choose to patent the idea after the idea appeared on the SparkThis platform, you must make an assignment to SparkThis for two percent (2%) ownership of the patent.
  • When we use the content, we can make changes, like editing or translating it. You grant us the right to edit, modify, reformat, excerpt, delete, or translate any of your Content.
  • You won't submit stuff you don't hold the copyright for (unless you have permission). Your Content will not contain third-party copyrighted material, or material that is subject to other third-party proprietary rights, unless you have permission from the rightful owner of the material, or you are otherwise legally entitled to post the material (and to grant SparkThis all the license rights outlined here).
  • Any royalties or licensing on your Content are your responsibility. You will pay all royalties and other amounts owed to any person or entity based on your Content, or on SparkThis's hosting of that Content.
  • You promise that if we use your Content, we're not violating anyone's rights or copyrights. If SparkThis or its users exploit or make use of your submission in the ways contemplated in this agreement, you promise that this will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party, including (without limitation) any privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights.
  • You're responsible for the stuff you post. All information submitted to the Site, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person from whom that content originated.
  • We're not responsible for mistakes in your content. SparkThis will not be liable for any errors or omissions in any content.
10. SparkThis's Intellectual Property

The content on SparkThis is protected in various ways. You do have the right to use it for certain personal purposes, but you can't use it for anything commercial without getting permission first.

SparkThis's Services are legally protected in various ways, including copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade secrets, and other rights and laws. You agree to respect all copyright and other legal notices, information, and restrictions contained in any content accessed through the Site. You also agree not to change, translate, or otherwise create derivative works of the Service. SparkThis grants you a license to reproduce content from the Services for personal use only. This license covers both SparkThis's own protected content and user-generated content on the Site. (This license is worldwide, non-exclusive, non-sublicensable, and non-transferable.) If you want to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, or store any of this content for a commercial purpose, you need prior written permission from SparkThis or the relevant copyright holder. A "commercial purpose" means you intend to use, sell, license, rent, or otherwise exploit content for commercial use, in any way.
11. How We Deal with Copyright Issues

We comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. To learn more about how we deal with claims of copyright infringement, read our Copyright Policy.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act lays out a system of legal requirements for dealing with allegations of copyright infringement. SparkThis complies with the DMCA, and we respond to notices of alleged infringement if they comply with the law and the requirements set forth in our Copyright Policy. We reserve the right to delete or disable content alleged to be infringing, and to terminate accounts for repeat infringers. (We do this when appropriate and at our sole discretion.) If you'd like to submit a claim of copyright infringement, please visit our Copyright Policy. Our designated e-mail for notice of alleged copyright infringement is:
12. Deleting Your Account

You can delete your account at any time. Deleting your account won't make content you've already posted go away.

You can terminate your account at any time. All provisions of this agreement survive termination of an account, including our rights regarding any content you've already submitted to the Site. (For instance, if you've launched a project, deleting your account will not remove the project from the Site.)
13. Our Rights

To operate, we need to be able to maintain control over what happens on our website. So in this section, we reserve the right to make decisions to protect the health and integrity of our system. We don't take these powers lightly, and we only use them when we absolutely have to.

SparkThis reserves these rights:

  • We can make changes to the SparkThis Site and Services without notice or liability.
  • We have the right to decide who's eligible to use SparkThis. We can cancel accounts or decline to offer our Services. (Especially if you're abusing them.) We can change our eligibility criteria at any time. If these things are prohibited by law where you live, then we revoke your right to use SparkThis in that jurisdiction.
  • We have the right to cancel any vote to any project, at any time and for any reason
  • We have the right to reject, cancel, interrupt, remove, or suspend any project at any time and for any reason.
SparkThis is not liable for any damages as a result of any of these actions, and it is our policy not to comment on the reasons for any such action.
14. Warranty Disclaimer

We work hard to provide you with great services, but we can't guarantee everything will always work perfectly. This site is presented as-is, without warranties.

15. Indemnification

If you do something on SparkThis that winds up getting us sued, you have to help defend us.

If you do something that gets us sued, or break any of the promises you make in this agreement, you agree to defend, indemnify, and hold us harmless from all liabilities, claims, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees and other legal costs) that arise from or relate to your use or misuse of SparkThis. We reserve the right to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to this indemnification clause, in which case you agree that you'll cooperate and help us in asserting any defenses.
16. Limitation of Liability

If something bad happens as a result of your using SparkThis, we're not liable (beyond a small amount).

To the fullest extent permitted by law, in no event will SparkThis, its directors, employees, partners, suppliers, or content providers be liable for any indirect, incidental, punitive, consequential, special, or exemplary damages of any kind, including but not limited to damages (i) resulting from your access to, use of, or inability to access or use the Services; (ii) for any lost profits, data loss, or cost of procurement or substitute goods or services; or (iii) for any conduct of content of any third party on the Site. In no event shall SparkThis's liability for direct damages be in excess of (in the aggregate) one hundred U.S. dollars ($100.00).
17. Dispute Resolution and Governing Law

We're located in Arizona, and any disputes with us have to be handled in Phoenix under Arizona State law.

We at SparkThis encourage you to contact us if you're having an issue, before resorting to the courts. In the unfortunate situation where legal action does arise, these Terms (and all other rules, policies, or guidelines incorporated by reference) will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Arizona and the United States, without giving effect to any principles of conflicts of law, and without application of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act or the United Nations Convention of Controls for International Sale of Goods. You agree that SparkThis and its Services are deemed a passive website that does not give rise to jurisdiction over SparkThis or its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, assigns, employees, agents, directors, officers, or shareholders, either specific or general, in any jurisdiction other than the State of Arizona. You agree that any action at law or in equity arising out of or relating to these Terms, or your use or non-use of SparkThis, shall be filed only in the state or federal courts located in Maricopa County in the State of Arizona, and you hereby consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of these courts for the purposes of litigating any such action. You hereby irrevocably waive any right you may have to trial by jury in any dispute, action, or proceeding.
18. The Rest

These are our official terms and our rules for how things work. (So if you ever see confusing or conflicting information about any of this stuff, just check these terms - they're the last word.) Thanks so much for reading them, and for using SparkThis!

These Terms and the other material referenced in them are the entire agreement between you and SparkThis with respect to the Services. They supersede all other communications and proposals (whether oral, written, or electronic) between you and SparkThis with respect to the Services and govern our future relationship. If any provision of these Terms is found to be invalid under the law, that provision will be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that the Terms otherwise will remain in full force and effect and enforceable. The failure of either you or SparkThis to exercise any right provided for in these Terms in any way won't be deemed a waiver of any other rights. These Terms are personal to you. You can't assign them, transfer them, or sublicense them unless you get SparkThis's prior written consent. SparkThis has the right to assign, transfer, or delegate any of its rights and obligations under these Terms without your consent. SparkThis will provide you notice via email, written notice, or by conspicuously posting the notice on our Site.