Status of the Librem 5

I strongly disagree. They are 2 very different types of legal contracts. A preorder is simply a purchasing arrangement with a supplier. Crowd funding involves the crowd taking an investment risk as a collective, regardless of how far along the company is in its product development and manufacturing stages.

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If you can’t see the difference between the statements
“We need funding to develop x product”
“We need to pre-sell to reach a minimum order quantity to produce X product”

That seems like a you problem…

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Why do you think the minimum order quantity is necessary? You are providing financing.

If you participate in a collective purchasing agreement, then you should be prepared to follow the terms of that agreement, including any refund policies, if there are any.

There are a lot of value statements and appeals to emotion in your argument here, and unfortunately, not everyone shares your values or your motivations. For the record, I wanted a linux phone that I could install the distro of my choice and have a KDE interface on; that’s why I participated. Doesn’t matter, the point is a purchase contract is a purchase contract–you can bring your feel good moral for the sake of being moral values to it, but I would recommend that you not apply those values to others.

If you are collective investor, viz., you have to rely on thousands of i-don’t-know-joe-six-packs to help you drum up capital for your “investments”, and you have a basic understanding how contracts work, then perhaps you should not participate in kickstarters with explicitly defined refund policies as that will obviously be a high risk to your $599 “investment capital”. Plus it’s a waste of time and energy to have to tell a bunch of randos on the internet: “You’re not doing it right!”

Can I assume you are talking specifically about the Purism funding?
Perhaps you should try using specific language, instead of general language.

there are lots of other crowd funding campaigns, and other types of crowd funding campaigns.

including campaigns that are for fully developed products that have a minimum order needed…
let me put it another way. manufacturing ONE thing, could be very uneconomical, so instead you need to order one thousand such that you can split the costs.
Not all “crowd funding” is pitched as investing in ideas, some are pitched as group buys.

That’s why it is possible to set a minimum funding goal, (i.e if you need funds for a thousand, the platform provider won’t let you walk off with funds for ten.)

it really depends what the specific terms described when you parted with your money were.

I was looking for screenshots of the crowd funding campaign and I found that this topic has been discussed before, which is not surprising: Chestnut shipping

Librem 5 crowd funders could donate any amount of money they wanted to, and could select a reward if their contribution was above a minimum. Any lawyer will tell you that these words have meaning under law. You could have donated to the cause and not have selected any reward. This is clearly not your standard purchase contract. If you just want a KDE phone, just wait for the product to be made and buy it when it is stocked. Then, your standard purchase contract exceptions will apply.

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Congrats on your big win. I hope you learnt your lesson and stop pre-ordering stuff though.

You talk in absolute terms, for all campaigns. - which as i’ve pointed out isn’t true.

Contract terms form addition to law, they don’t replace law. - and generally can’t remove consumer protections.
for example I can say that if you reply to this message there are specific conditions attached, or limitations placed on you. (e.g you must pay, or you lose some right) but just saying something doesn’t make it true, or legal, or enforceable.

This is only partially true, again, it depends on what is described at the order point.

Think this through…
The conclusion of this is that you donated, and you got what you paid for as soon as your payment was processed.
would you be happy for Purism to start shipping to customers that purchased after November '20 before your pre-order? - there are a lot of people that would be more than happy to take your place in the line if you’re convinced that you ONLY donated and HOPED for a reward.

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The legal system often favors the less informed, such as a consumer in the consumer-business contract. But if you are fully aware of the agreement that you commit to, will this bias towards protecting the less informed still work in your favor? The specifics in the situation will also be considered. Personally, I would at least be a little embarrassed to try the “I’m owed a refund for my donation” excuse in front of a judge given my extensive experience in crowd funding. I am not going to try to feign ignorance because there is plenty of evidence that will work against me. Also, I am a bad at lying.

If two parties enter into a contract with full disclosure, both parties are bound by that contract. Only a violation of the terms of that contract by one or both parties voids the contract and potential damages can be sought for remedy. Whatever the law is doesn’t matter, the law in this case is your contract, period. If you can argue that information was withheld then you might have an argument, but I don’t think there was any doubt when I sent my money to Purism that there was no guarantee that I was even going to get a phone let alone having to wait 3 years for it. If you enter this space on the bleeding edge of a new product expecting a standard retail experience, I think it’s pretty clear that your risk is much higher when supporting a product on this platform. You enter those crowdfunding websites fully aware that it’s more risky than buying an already existing product. Hell I’ve lost money supporting products on Kickstarter that never got off the ground and they made off with the cash…too bad so sad. Nobody forces you to spend money in a casino.


Expect the initial agreement was one could ask for a refund at anytime which was later changed breaking the initial “contract”

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That just isn’t true though. There are plenty of contracts that are legally unenforceable no matter how much both parties want to sign. You cannot sign a contract that waives your human rights for example… contracts do not (in general) supercede the law.

(I’m not claiming that’s necessarily relevant here - just pointing out that it’s more complex than just - you signed a contract, you’re bound by whatever it says)

That simply isn’t true.
there are limitations on contracts. - for example a contract with my work can require me to not discuss matters related to work outside of work, but could not remove all freedom of speech outside of work.

lets rephrase it this way:
I bought my phone a month ago, the product, with a promise that I’d get it in a few months, - would you be happy if my order shipped before yours?

What if i got my device and you never received yours?

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This refers to a refund within 30 days of receiving it. I was under the impression that we were talking about refunds outside of that period, such as before receiving it.

Amazing how many want a refund. Why did you even pre order?

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I received a modem selection e-mail in November. I received no e-mail in January. And no estimate for when anything will be sent. And no phone.

Sounds like something has gone wrong in the process. I would be contacting

The post that you replied to only - it turns out - applies if you are someone who was part of the original set of backers to get to the crowdfunding target, which equates to an approximate order date at or before the end of October 2017.

If you ordered before the end of October 2017 and you received the modem selection email but have heard and received nothing else then it definitely sounds like something has gone wrong.

When did you order?

Lets say you have had an iphone for a year. and you think “I’ve got to get away from this constant upgrade race” and “I want to load whatever apps I like easily” and “I want a device I can trust”

Time line wise, Donator/backers were 2017,
pre orders were at the end of 2017.
by 2018 there were dates assigned for projected deliveries in 2019…
by the end of 2019 the phone was going to be released January 2020 (ok, then a global pandemic happened!)
end of 2020 mass production had arrived (though it still outwardly appears to be a batch production process.) and they were saying order now get in a few months.

So you expected your iphone to last another 1 - 2 years, and you bought a librem 5 on pre-order in 2018 expecting the release schedules to be met… if you bought in 2019, if was coming in 2020…

And here you are now, paid for a phone wondering if you need to buy another whilst you’re waiting. because if people are able to buy now and get in a few months surely your device will also come in a few months (less than!). - but then you’re also being told a few months might also be next year. and you don’t know if it’s even worth buying another device with a 2 year lifespan to tide you over until your Librem 5 arrives…

I honestly believe that if the company could say OK, we are mass producing, and we will deliver orders from X to Y by Z, and actually hit those deadlines… people would not be dropping out, but so far they apparently haven’t even been able to get email updates (delivery schedule) promised out when they were promised… (self imposed deadlines.)

So yes, whilst it seems absurd to patiently wait for years only to give up on the final stretch… I get it.


Meanwhile, I decided to put my $599 into Bitcoin. It increased in value by 1000%, and I didn’t have to threaten legal action to get my money out. Knowing this, why would you ever pre-order anything ever again?

Be careful, i hear it may take a drastic fall