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Coversourcing: Legal Update From Random House

OK – we promised last week that we’d appeal to the legal team about only allowing entries from the UK and ROI. The good news is that we’ve done that, and had a response. The bad news is what they said:

As discussed the only way to open this competition up to entrants from outside the UK and Northern Ireland is to have our terms vetted by a lawyer specialising in the law of each territory (eg California and NY, Sweden, France, Japan etc). This is because we risk unlimited liability if our terms do not comply with the laws of each applicable territory.

Unfortunately, until the law catches up with and embraces the fact that the internet has no territorial boundaries I’m afraid there’s little more we can do.

They also gave us this note to place in the T&Cs, which have now been updated.

Notice to entrants:

Unfortunately we can only accept entries from residents of the UK and Northern Ireland. This is a real shame for us because there is a lot of amazing talent out there but our lawyers tell us there is nothing we can do. However, if you live outside the UK and Northern Ireland and you want to send in your design nevertheless, we will upload it with your consent.

You cannot take part in the competition but we may include your designs on the website, as well as crediting designers in Crowdsourcing and/or send him/her a signed copy of the book. We can’t make any promises, but this is the best we can do!

So there you have it. Sorry. We’re not yet sure if this means that anyone who isn’t from the UK or Ireland should withdraw their entries, or whether we should just remove voting from those which aren’t. Or, hopefully, neither. But it is a bummer.

For the moment, we’re suggesting that people upload their (new) entries with comments / notes in Flickr that make it clear if they aren’t eligible – and see what happens.

And yes – we will be trying to get something to reward all entrants… watch this space.

Posted by Peter Collingridge in Apt Studio work, Design, coversourcing.

On Covers, Voting & Comments // Apt’s links for February 4th through February 6th

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