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Matchstick Pulls Plug on Open Chromecast Alternative, Will Issue Refunds

The startup said the difficulties of dealing with digital rights management proved too daunting.


Startup Matchstick, which raised money on Kickstarter to build a Firefox OS-based open alternative to Google’s Chromecast, said Monday that it will offer refunds after failing to overcome the hurdles necessary to manufacture the device.

The company had already delayed shipments, saying it needed more time to deal with digital rights management issues in order to offer premium content.

“After struggling with the [digital rights management] development based on Firefox OS for most of this year, we realize continued development of DRM, though showing early signs of promise, will be a long and difficult road,” Matchstick said in an update on Kickstarter. “We have come to the conclusion that we will not be able to reliably predict the completion date of the DRM development without significantly more research, development and integration.”

As a result, the company said it will offer full refunds, though returning the money could take up to 60 days. Matchstick had raised nearly half a million dollars from more than 17,000 backers, according to Kickstarter. The company was backed by Chinese hardware maker aBitCool and other unnamed investors, General Manager Jack Chang told Re/code last year. Mozilla, which makes the Firefox OS, was not an investor, Chang said.

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