We saw your comments on LEGO® CUUSOO regarding the coming changes to the site. Several of you expressed questions and concerns regarding our post yesterday about the new requirement that from January 12, users must be 18 or older to have a Project on the site.
One user created a new Project called “No to 18+!” to protest the coming change. Other users commented there expressing opposition, support, questions, and concerns. We were really grateful to see that the comments were polite and civil, even from those who disagreed. Thank you for keeping comments constructive, and thank you for being so passionate about sharing your LEGO ideas with us through LEGO CUUSOO.
Our team read every single comment within the “No to 18+!” project, took note of the concerns you expressed, and used your questions as a basis for this response. The project itself has now been removed, because it is not a LEGO product idea. We allowed you some time to vent and ask your questions there, and now we are responding here on our blog.
LEGO CUUSOO is in public Beta, which means we’re encouraging users to participate while we continue working out bugs and making feature improvements. By inviting your participation now, we’re able to learn much more about what will make a great site and experience than we would with a closed test site. Thanks for your patience through the inevitable snags and glitches during the beta process.
Here are some questions gleaned from the comments, along with our responses:
Q: I am under 18. Can I still support projects on LEGO CUUSOO?
Yes. Users who are at least 13 years old are welcome to support others’ projects and comment on them.
Q: Why is the age to create a project being raised to 18?
During the course of writing our new Terms of Service, due to be published after January 12, we have determined that users must be 18 years old or older to enter into the agreement with us.
Q: Will I be able to restore my project once I turn 18?
Yes. We are not deleting your projects, we are simply un-publishing them from the website. You will be able to re-publish your project once you are 18.
Q: If my project is unpublished, when I turn 18 will it still have the supporters I have already earned?
Yes. You will not lose your supporters when your project is un-published. When you re-publish your project it will have the same number of supporters you had before.
Q: I am over 13, but under 18. May my parents create an account on LEGO CUUSOO and may I upload projects through that account?
If your parents create an account on LEGO CUUSOO, the account belongs to them and the LEGO CUUSOO Terms of Service apply to them. Therefore, our agreement regarding the necessary commercialization rights to any projects created is with an individual who meets the legal requirements.
Q: I am under 13. May my parents create an account that I can use on LEGO CUUSOO?
We’re sorry. LEGO CUUSOO requires individuals to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account.
Q: Kids and teens are the LEGO company’s target audience. Why are you restricting them, and if kids under 13 can’t vote, how will you know what they want?
Legally we cannot allow users under 13 to participate on a website that is open to all ages unless we comply with very specific rules to protect them. LEGO CUUSOO is intended for a grown-up audience. We believe even though project supporters are over 13, the amount of support required to produce a product is significant enough that it demonstrates demand and a market opportunity upon which we can make an educated decision to develop and release a new product.
Q: How will you give credit to users when more than one person has uploaded a Project related to a particular idea?
Other crowdsourcing sites that invite users post their ideas for product development have created methods to solve this issue and allow multiple users to contribute to a common idea. Some of these systems weight contributions based on effort and value added, and we think that’s a smart approach as long as it is transparent to you. We are investigating how we wish to approach this on LEGO CUUSOO.
Q: I’m concerned that another user will take my idea. How are you going to handle that?
There are two types of “ideas” submitted to LEGO CUUSOO; “generic” ideas and unique ideas that you conceived entirely yourself.
Many projects are “generic” ideas of things that already exist in the world built with LEGO bricks; for example a LEGO elephant, or a LEGO vehicle from a movie. If you post your version of something generic, we won’t stop someone else from posting their own version. This means the value of a generic project is in the substance behind your work, combined with the popular support. If two users publish the same generic idea and one does a better job communicating and gaining support, it is only fair to give weight to the better executed project.
In short, you can’t squat a generic idea and be the only person allowed to submit that concept to LEGO CUUSOO.
If you come up with your own unique creation (vehicle, story, etc.), that is not based on something generic (or someone else’s intellectual property), that idea is yours and it is unique. We won’t allow someone else to submit your idea, change it a little, and benefit from it. We’ll know it is yours based on when you submitted the project and the fact that it is not based off of someone else’s LEGO creations on the Internet.
Q: How do you plan to address the number of low quality projects that are on LEGO CUUSOO?
We have been discussing various solutions to the issue of low quality project submissions. We believe in a two-sided approach: The first solution is to educate the community on elements of a good project, providing examples and how-to guides. The other approach is to review individual projects for quality and moderate accordingly, or to consider moderating all new projects for quality and adherence to the Guidelines before they are posted to the site. We will continue developing our approach to project quality and keep you informed.
Thank you for your patience as we’ve taken the time to consider and respond to your questions. We hope the above responses provide some clarity.
In the coming weeks, we will expand on the thoughts introduced here regarding project quality, what makes a unique project and things you can do to improve your project submissions.
We understand that some of you are disappointed by the news of the new project age restriction, and we’re sorry for being the bearers of bad news. There are certain rules that we must follow to provide this opportunity to submit your product ideas and see them produced as official LEGO products. Thank you for understanding that we truly appreciate LEGO fans of all ages.
The LEGO CUUSOO Team