spotted this on my Facebook feed: LendInk's founder, Dale Porter, has launched a crowdsourcing campaign to raise $10,000 and bring the site back online. There are some unanswered questions about the new plan (see comments, below). Nevertheless, the campaign is very encouraging to supporters who were dismayed by the news of LendInk's forced closure last week.
Here's the text of Dale's message on fundrazr: (aside: Kickstarter apparently doesn't handle Web projects):
Lendink.com is an online community created to help readers discovery new authors and books by way of facilitating the legal lending of eBooks via the Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble lending programs. The site was recently shutdown by a group of angry authors who thought Lendink was pirating their books. This was the result of misinformation being spread via numerous online portals and by the time word got out that Lendink was a legit service, the damages had been done and the site taken down due to threats to Lendink and their web hosting company.It's great to see that instead of dropping down to the level of his attackers and threatening legal action, or pouring more fuel on the backlash-driven witch hunt, Porter is taking the high road and simply trying to make the site come back to life. So far, he has raised $60, but I expect that number to increase as people discover the campaign.
We have had hundreds of people write us and offer their support to bring Lendink.com back but in order to do this, we must transfer to a web host capable of handling the increase demands the recent exposure has brought. We also want to have the site worked on in order to better explain the book lending process and ensure that authors and readers alike understand how the site works.
We would also like to have some additional features built into the site such as "Meet the Author" and "Book of the Week".
Unfortunately, we also anticipate further issues from some of the misguided authors that still do not fully understand how the site operates. To this end, we also need to setup a legal fund to hire legal representation.
The success of Lendink is dependent on your donations. If you like Lendink and would like to see the site back online, please consider helping us.
Breakdown of funds needed:
Legal Retainer: $3,000
Hosting (12 months): $1,000
Website Redesign: $6,000
In addition, I have two questions after reading about the crowdfunding campaign:
- Who will handle hosting? Are they equipped to deal with the misguided cease-and-desist letters and DMCA takedowns that brought down LendInk's hosting last week?
- Assuming LendInk is hosted anew and new C&D/DMCA takedowns come in, is $3000 enough to handle the legal challenges?