The Google Highly Open Participation Contest

The first Google Highly Open Participation Contest concluded on February 4, 2008. We've left up the contest rules for contestants reference and for those wishing to learn more about the initiative.


1. Description of the Contest

The Google Highly Open Participation Contest (the “Contest”) is designed to (1) encourage and inspire pre-university students to begin participating in open source development, (2) help open source projects identify and bring in new contributors, and (3) provide pre-university students interested in computer science and other fields with exposure to real-world software development, including coding work, localization, documentation and open source community involvement. Google will work with various Open Source Organizations to develop a list of Tasks that Participants can attempt to complete. Judges will choose winning entries in accordance with these Official Rules and prizes will be awarded to eligible winning Participants.

2. Sponsor

The Contest is sponsored by Google Inc. (“Google”), a Delaware corporation with principal place of business at 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043, USA.

3. Binding Agreement

In order to enter the Contest, you must agree to these Official Rules (“Rules”). Therefore, please read these Rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that submission of an Entry in the Contest constitutes agreement to these Rules. You may not submit an entry to the Contest and are not eligible to receive the prizes described in these Rules unless you agree to these Rules. These Rules form a binding legal agreement between you and Google with respect to the Contest.

4. Eligibility

The Contest is open to individual students who are thirteen (13) years of age or older on November 27, 2007, who are currently enrolled in a pre-university, high school or secondary school program, and who have agreed to these Rules (“Participants”). You must demonstrate the consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to be eligible to receive any prizes as well as written proof of age and proof of enrollment in a pre-university, high school or secondary school program. The Contest is not open to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), or to other individuals restricted by U.S. export controls and sanctions, and is void in any other nation, state, or province where prohibited or restricted by U.S. or local law. Employees, interns, contractors, and official office-holders of (1) Google, (2) participating Open Source Organizations, (3) the parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries of either Google or any participating Open Source Organization, and members of their immediate families (defined as parents, children, siblings and spouse, regardless of where they reside, and/or those living in the same household of each) are ineligible to participate in the Contest. You must have access to the Internet and either have or sign up for a free Google Account in order to enter.

5. Content Period

The Contest begins at 12:00:00 A.M. Pacific Time (PT) Zone in the United States on November 27, 2007 and ends at 11:59:59 P.M. PT on February 3, 2008 (“Contest Period”). You are responsible for determining the corresponding time zone in your respective locations.

6. Submission of Entries

a. Tasks: In order to submit an Entry to the Contest, Participants must visit the Main Contest Webpage at From there, they may choose to visit one or more of the Project Hosting webpages corresponding to the various participating Open Source Organizations. Each Project Hosting webpage will include a list of Tasks chosen by the relevant Open Source Organization for Participants to attempt to complete. Each Task will identify the problem, explain some general background information, set the time limit for the Task, and define the requirements that an Entry for that Task must meet in order to be designated as a Completed Entry.

b. Claiming a Task: You must first claim a Task in order to begin working on it. You claim a Task by posting the exact text “I claim this Task” as a comment to that Task. The first Participant to enter the precise text will be considered the proper claimant to the Task. You may not claim a Task that another Participant has claimed UNLESS that Task has been reopened as explained in subsection (d) below. Participants may claim only one Task at a time.

c. Submitting an Entry: Once you finish a Task you have claimed, you submit an Entry by uploading your original work product as an attachment to a comment posted to the Task. You may then, if you choose, select another Task to work on, claim it in the fashion set forth in subsection (b) above, and submit your Entry to that Task in the manner set forth in this subsection.

d. Reopening a Task: Each Task has a time limit associated with it that is set forth in the Task description. The time period begins to run from when you claim the Task. If you claim a Task but do not submit an Entry for that Task within the allotted time period, the Open Source Organization responsible for that Task will post a reminder. From the time the reminder is posted, you will have three (3) days to either post an Entry or inform the Organization through a comment to the Task that you will not be posting an Entry. At that point, the Open Source Organization will reopen the Task for other Participants, any of whom may claim the Task according to the procedure set forth in subsection (b).

e. Language: All Entries must be in English unless otherwise specified in the Task description. Entries in any other language will not be considered unless otherwise specified. Entries that are lewd, obscene, pornographic or otherwise inappropriate to the Contest will be disqualified at Google’s sole discretion.

7. Judging

Each Entry will be judged by a panel of experts associated with the Open Source Organization that defined the corresponding Task. Each Entry determined by the judges to be a successful completion of the relevant Task (i.e., meeting all stated requirements) will be deemed a Completed Entry. If a Participant wishes to challenge the Open Source Organization’s determination as to whether or not an Entry should qualify as a Completed Entry, he/she must do so through the email link provided on the Main Contest Page. In this event, Google will reexamine the relevant Entry and make a final determination, in its sole discretion, as to whether the Entry should be classified as a Completed Entry. The decision of Google in this matter is final and binding.

Open Source Organizations will judge each Entry according to the following equally weighted factors: (1) Creativity, (2) Thoroughness, (3) Quality of Work, and (4) Open Source Community Involvement. Each Open Source Organization will then determine the Participant with the highest overall score for Completed Tasks set by that Organization (Grand Prize Winner). In the event of a tie, the Participant among the tied Participants with the highest score in Quality of Work will be declared the Grand Prize Winner for that Organization. In the event that more than one Organization selects the same Participant as their Grand Prize Winner, all Organizations but the first to declare that Participant its Grand Prize Winner to Google shall choose their next highest scoring eligible Participant from their respective pools as their Grand Prize Winner. In the event a potential Grand Prize Winner is disqualified for any reason, the eligible Participant with the next highest total score in the pool of Participants who have submitted completed Entries to the relevant Open Source Organization will be chosen as the Grand Prize Winner. In the event that no Completed Entries are received, no prize will be awarded. Determinations of judges are final and binding. Winners will be notified by email and a list of winners will be posted on the Main Contest Page on or before February 11, 2008 for a period of at least 60 days.

8. Prizes for Completed Entries

Each Participant submitting at least one (1) Completed Entry will receive one T-shirt with an approximate value $24 USD (twenty four U.S. dollars). For every three (3) Completed Entries submitted by a Participant, that Participant will receive a $100 USD (one hundred U.S. dollars) prize. Participants may submit as many Entries as they choose but each eligible Participant is limited to one T-shirt and $500 USD (five hundred U.S. dollars) in prizes. No prizes in excess of this limit will be awarded unless one of a Participant’s Entries is a Grand Prize Entry, in which case the provisions in Section 9 will apply.

9. Prizes for Grand Prize Winners

Each eligible Participant judged to be the best overall entrant by a participating Open Source Organization (“Grand Prize Winners”) will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, California, USA in addition to any prizes awarded under Section 8. Each Grand Prize Winner will receive round-trip coach air transportation for himself/herself and one parent or legal guardian from the major airport nearest the Participant’s residence, hotel accommodations for two people for four nights, and a meal allowance of $75 USD per person per day. Hotel accommodations will be arranged at a hotel of Google’s choice. Certain black out dates apply. All other expenses not specified herein are the responsibility of the Grand Prize Winners.

10. Taxes

PAYMENTS TO POTENTIAL WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THEY SUBMIT TO GOOGLE ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY GOOGLE TO PERMIT IT TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE US, STATE, LOCAL AND FOREIGN (INCLUDING PROVINCIAL) TAX REPORTING AND WITHHOLDING REQUIREMENTS. ALL PRIZES WILL BE NET OF ANY TAXES GOOGLE IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO WITHHOLD. ALL TAXES IMPOSED ON PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS. In order to receive a prize, potential winners must submit the tax documentation requested by Google or otherwise required by applicable law, to Google or the relevant tax authority, all as determined by applicable law, including, where relevant, the law of the potential winner’s country of residence. The potential winner and his/her parent or legal guardian are responsible for ensuring that (s)he complies with all the applicable tax laws and filing requirements. If a potential winner fails to provide such documentation or comply with such laws, the prize may be forfeited and Google may, in its sole discretion, select an alternative potential winner.

11. General Conditions

Google reserves the right to substitute an alternate prize of equal or greater value in the event all or part of a prize set forth above becomes unavailable. Prizes are awarded without warranty of any kind from Google, express or implied, without limitation, except where this would be contrary to federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations. All federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations apply. Submission of an Entry in this Contest constitutes agreement by the Participant to the terms and conditions of these Rules. Decisions of Google and the Judges are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Contest. Return of any prize/prize notification may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Any potential winner who cannot be contacted by email within 15 days of attempted first notification will forfeit his/her prize. Potential prize winner(s) and their parents/legal guardians may be required to sign and return an Affidavit or Declaration of Eligibility, and Liability/Publicity Release within 30 days following the date of first attempted notification. Failure to comply within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Travel companions of Grand Prize Winners must also execute a Publicity/Liability Release prior to ticketing and both Grand Prize Winners and companions must possess required travel documents (e.g. valid passport and visa if applicable) prior to ticketing. Once the travel schedule has been arranged, it cannot be altered and failure of a Grand Prize Winner to follow such schedule shall not obligate Google in any way to provide the winner with alternate arrangements. Google reserves the right to disqualify any Participant from the Contest if, in Google’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the Participant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other Participants, Google, the Judges, or participating Open Source Organizations. Please allow six (6) weeks from the Contest closing date for winners to be selected and prizes to be awarded.

12. Intellectual Property Rights

As between Google and the Open Source Organizations on the one hand and Participant on the other hand, the Participant retains ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to the Entry that Participant had before submitting the Entry. As a condition of entry, Participant grants Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display any Entry that Participant submits to this Contest (1) for the purposes of allowing Google and the Judges to test and evaluate the Entry for purposes of the Contest, and (2) in connection with advertising and promotion via communication to the public or other groups, including, but not limited to the right to make screenshots, animations and video clips available for promotional purposes.

All Entries requiring the writing of code must be released by the Participant under the open source license specified by the applicable Open Source Organization in the manner appropriate to that open source license. If no license is specified by the Open Source Organization, the code must be released under an Open Source Initiative approved license of the Participant’s choice in the manner appropriate to the chosen license. All Entries not requiring the writing of code must be released by the Participant under the open content license specified by the applicable Open Source Organization in the manner appropriate to that open content license. If no such license is specified, the Entry must be released by the Participant under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License in the manner appropriate to that license.

All Entries (code and otherwise) must be submitted and published on the Project Hosting site as specified in Section 6, a publicly accessible location on the Google Code site. Participant may mirror code or other works on her/his personal infrastructure at her/his option and expense. Use of project hosting on Google Code service is subject to the Google Code Terms of Service.

13. Privacy

Participants agree that personal data including, but not limited to, name, mailing address, phone number, and email address may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used for the purposes of conducting and administering the Contest. This data may be transferred into the United States. Further, this data may also be used by Google to verify a Participant’s identity, postal address and telephone number in the event a Participant qualifies for any applicable prize as well as to deliver the applicable prize(s). Participants have the right to access, review, rectify or cancel any personal data held by Google in connection with the Contest by writing to Google (Attention: Leslie Hawthorn) at the address listed above. If a Participant does not provide the required data when requested, that Participant’s Entries will be ineligible for any prizes. All information provided will be maintained in accordance with Google’s Privacy Policy, which Participants should read and understand, and will be used solely for the purpose of administering the Contest.

By accepting a prize, Participant agrees to Google and its agencies use of Participant’s name and/or likeness and Entry for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.

14. Warranty and Indemnity

Participants warrant that their Entries are original and that they are the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted Entries and that they have the right to submit the Entries in the Contest and grant all required licenses. Each Participant agrees not to submit any Entry that (1) infringes any third party proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, industrial property rights, personal or moral rights or any other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or confidentiality obligations; or (2) otherwise violates applicable U.S. law or the law of the Participant’s country of residence.

To the maximum extent permitted by law, each Participant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified Google at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the Participant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law, each Participant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Google, its affiliates and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims, actions, suits or proceedings, as well as any and all losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or accruing from (a) any material uploaded or otherwise provided by the Participant that infringes any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent or other intellectual property right of any person or defames any person or violates their rights of publicity or privacy, (b) any misrepresentation made by the Participant in connection with the Contest; (c) any non-compliance by the Participant with these Official Rules; and (d) claims brought by persons or entities other than the parties to these Official Rules arising from or related to the Participants involvement with the Contest.

To the extent permitted by law, Participant agrees to hold Google, its respective directors, officers, employees and assigns harmless for any injury or damage caused or claimed to be caused by participation in the Context and/or use or acceptance of any prize, except to the extent that any death or personal injury is caused by the negligence of Google.

15. Elimination

Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by any Participant concerning identity, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of right or non-compliance with these Official Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the Participant from the Contest. Google further reserves the right to disqualify any Entry that it believes in its sole and unfettered discretion infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party, otherwise does not comply with these Official Rules, or violates U.S. or applicable local law in Participant’s country of residence.

16. Internet

Google is not responsible for electronic transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission. Google is not responsible for theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind. Google is not responsible for inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by Google on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site or any combination thereof, except to the extent that any death or personal injury is caused by the negligence of Google. If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, Google reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. Google further reserves the right to disqualify any Participant who tampers with the submission process or any other part of the Contest. Any attempt by a Participant to deliberately damage any Web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Google reserves the right to seek damages from any such Participant to the fullest extent of the applicable law.

17. Not an Offer or Contract of Employment

Under no circumstances shall the submission of an Entry into the Contest, the awarding of a prize, or anything in these Official Rules be construed as an offer or contract of employment with either Google or any participating Open Source Organization. You acknowledge that you have submitted your Entry voluntarily and not in confidence or in trust. You acknowledge that no confidential, fiduciary, agency or other relationship or implied-in-fact contract now exists between you and Google or the Open Source Organizations and that no such relationship is established by your submission of an Entry under these Rules.

18. Forum and Recourse to Judicial Procedures

These Official Rules shall be governed by, subject to, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, excluding all conflict of law rules. If any provision(s) of these Official Rules are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all remaining provisions hereof will remain in full force and effect. To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, seek injunctive relief or make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded, and all Participants expressly waive any and all such rights.

19. Arbitration

By entering the Contest, you agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute, claim, or demand related in any way to the Contest will be decided by binding arbitration. All disputes between you and Google of whatsoever kind or nature arising out of these Terms, shall be submitted to Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (“JAMS”) for binding arbitration under its rules then in effect in the San Jose, California, USA area, before one arbitrator to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. The parties agree to share equally in the arbitration costs incurred.

20. Winner's List

You may request a list of winners after February 11, 2008 by writing to:

Leslie Hawthorne
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheater Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043