Script to notify you when a locked Kickstarter pledge level becomes available and optionally, change your pledge level.
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README.md
ks-watch-and-manage.py

README.md

Kickstarter pledge watch and manage

This Python program notifies you when a locked Kickstarter pledge level becomes available and optionally, manage your pledge.

Disclaimer

I, in line with the original author of this script, believe that this script does not violate the Kickstarter terms of service (TOS) listed here https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use :

Additionally, you shall not: (i) take any action that imposes or may
impose (as determined by the Company in its sole discretion) an
unreasonable or disproportionately large load on the Company's or its
third-party providers' infrastructure; (ii) interfere or attempt to
interfere with the proper working of the Service or any activities
conducted on the Service; (iii) bypass any measures the Company may use to
prevent or restrict access to the Service (or other accounts, computer
systems, or networks connected to the Service); (iv) run Maillist,
Listserv, or any form of auto-responder or "spam" on the Service; or (v)
use manual or automated software, devices, or other processes to "crawl"
or "spider" any page of the Site.

As long as this script is run no more frequently than once a minute, it will not "impose ... an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on the Company's or its third-party providers' infrastructure". Secondly, this tool does not "crawl" or "spider" the Kickstarter web site or any page. Wikipedia defines crawling as "an Internet bot that systematically browses the World Wide Web, typically for the purpose of Web indexing." The script does not index any pages, it just scrapes a single page. Furthermore Wikipedia states that "Sites use Web crawling or spidering software to update their web content or indexes of others sites' web content. Web crawlers can copy all the pages they visit for later processing" This script does not store any data for later processing, rather it relays real-time information directly to the user.

However the other functionality of the script, namely managing the plege, I feel may violate the TOS:

You shall not directly or indirectly: (i) decipher, decompile, disassemble,
reverse engineer, or otherwise attempt to derive any source code or underlying
ideas or algorithms of any part of the Service, except to the extent
applicable laws specifically prohibit such restriction; (ii) modify, translate,
or otherwise create derivative works of any part of the Service; or
(iii) copy, rent, lease, distribute, or otherwise transfer any of the rights
that you receive hereunder.

After coming across the original script I tried to extend it's functionality due to my curiosity for which I had to monitor the network request created by the manage pledge page. The monitoring would probably fall under deciphering the system so use this functionality at your own risk. KS clearly states that they:

Kickstarter reserves the right to cancel a pledge at any time and for any
reason.

The Company may terminate your access to the Service, without cause or
notice, which may result in the forfeiture and destruction of all information
associated with your account. If you wish to terminate your account, you may
do so by following the instructions on the Site. Any fees paid to the
Company are non-refundable. All provisions of the Terms of Use that by their
nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including,
without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity,
and limitations of liability.

Again, for the sake of clarity, I state that the automated pledge selection functionality may violate the TOS.

License - BSD 2-Clause

Copyright 2013, Timur Tabi
Copyright 2014, Prakhar Birla

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

 * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice,
   this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
 * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
   this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
   and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

This software is provided by the copyright holders and contributors "as is"
and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose
are disclaimed. In no event shall the copyright holder or contributors be
liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or
consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of
substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business
interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in
contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise)
arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of
the possibility of such damage.

Usage guidelines

In-built help message:

    usage: ks-watch-and-manage.py [-h] [-v] [-i {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}] [-nb]
                                  [-c COOKIES-FILE] [-p [PLEDGE [PLEDGE ...]]]
                                  [-pa] [-pm PLEDGE_MULTIPLE] [-fa FIXED_ADDITION]
                                  [-np]
                                  URL

    positional arguments:
      URL                   project home page URL

    optional arguments:
      -h, --help            show this help message and exit
      -i {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}, --interval {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}
                            frequency in minutes to check the project page for
                            changes (default: 5)
      -nb, --no-browser     don't open the browser when a pledge is unlocked,
                            default false
      -c COOKIES-FILE, --cookies COOKIES-FILE
                            path to the cookies file used to manage the pledge
                            (only the Netscape format is accepted)
      -p [PLEDGE [PLEDGE ...]], --pledge [PLEDGE [PLEDGE ...]]
                            pledges (numbers separated by spaces) ordered by
                            priority, highest to lowest
      -pa, --pledge-amount  pledges specified in terms of the currency amount
      -pm PLEDGE_MULTIPLE, --pledge-multiple PLEDGE_MULTIPLE
                            multiply the pledge amount with this factor (default:
                            1)
      -fa FIXED_ADDITION, --fixed-addition FIXED_ADDITION
                            add to the pledge amount (default: 0)
      -np, --no-priority    pledges don't have any priority

Examples

Basic

./ks-watch-and-manage.py https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/

Next you will get a list of pledges avaialbe in the project and a prompt to "Select pledge levels" wherein you can enter multiple pledges (numbers based on the list displayed) in order of priority highest to lowest.

The script will monitor the pledges entered and open the manage plede page in the default browser.

Note: The script will keep running until the highest priority pledge is unlocked.

No priorities

If you want the script to continue running until all selected pledges get unlocked, you an use the no priority option as follows:

./ks-watch-and-manage.py --no-priority https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/

Don't open the browser

If you do not want to open the browser automatically, rather just give an alert in the console do this:

./ks-watch-and-manage.py --no-browser https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/

Custom interval to check for pledge availability

Check the page for unlocked pledges once every 10 minutes.

./ks-watch-and-manage.py --interval 10 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/

Automatic re-pledge

First I urge you to read the disclaimer, if you haven't already done so.

To be able re-pledge automatically there are some prerequisites without which it will not be possible.

  1. Cookies from your browser, for authentication with KS, in the netscape cookie file format. Once you supply the file, the script will test to see if it can successfully login to KS. You can use the following extensions to get the required file:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Opera
  1. You need have an active pledge to the project and make sure that the payment gateway has approval for the maximum amount that you expect this script to pledge. This is vital as the script doesn't check this amount and if it falls short the re-pledge will fail. Note: Kickstarter stores information about you location which influences the automatic addition of the shipping cost, if applicable.

To run the script in re-pledge mode add the path to the cookies file as shown below:

./ks-watch-and-manage.py --cookies ks_cookies.txt https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/

All the previously given examples work in this mode as well. Following are options specific to this mode:

Fixed addition

Sometimes a project may have some add-ons for which you have to additionaly pledge an amount apart from the base.

./ks-watch-and-manage.py --cookies ks_cookies.txt --fixed-addition 10 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/
Pledge multiple

Recent policy changes have allowed pledges for multiple rewards from a single pledge, especially in the Product Design and Technology/Hardware sections. Here you can specify the number of times you would like to multiply the base amount with, while adding the shipping cost only once.

./ks-watch-and-manage.py --cookies ks_cookies.txt --pledge-multiple 5 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12345678/some-project-i-love/

Closing note

Kickstarter is not a marketplace. It is a platform for people to show their support for a cause or an idea. When you use this tool make sure to be fair to others who might not be as well equipped, regardless of your aim to use this tool. Many people may use this tool to get on the early bird pledge level. If you are one of them who end up saving some money, I urge you to invest it into another project at KS and ask for no rewards. With great power, comes great responsibility.