Public Enemy had some well-publicized problems recently when they tried to rely on fan-funding to help in the recording of a new album. The hip-hop legends attempted to use Sellaband to raise money for the record, but many fans pulled their donations and the project collapsed. Now, it appears the Sellaband website has gone the same way as that Public Enemy album, opening up pertinent questions about the fan-funding model and its viability.
The Sellaband website has been down for several days, and bears a message saying: “We have extended our maintenance window. We expect to be back tomorrow at the end of the day.” But documents filed in an Amsterdam court yesterday (Feb. 22) suggest we may have seen the last of the site.
Hypebot believes Sellaband has been declared insolvent, which basically means it has gone into bankruptcy. The folks at Hypebot believe this message in the court documents has sealed their fate: “Pronunciation ams.10.146.F.1306.1.10 bankruptcy after termination suspension on February 22, 2010.”
No official word has come out of Sellaband yet, so don’t completely discount a comeback, although what will happen to partially funded projects that were under way on the site is currently unclear. Similar sites, such as Kickstarter, are no doubt following these developments with a mixture of interest and extreme nervousness.