After a this week's discussions and follow up emails, the advice so far is that a full legal review is required to make a change to the "U.S. only" clause for the Mac OS X Innovators contest.
"... But advising O'Reilly on this would take several thousand dollars in legal fees to do it right."
The fact of the matter is that laws governing "competitions of skill" for prizes vary from country to country, state to state.
The news gets a little better when we remove prizes with cash value from the equation. Then it appears that all we have to do is include a good privacy clause (to protect your privacy rights) and we're set. "Appears" is a key word here, but I'm optimistic.
So here's what I'm thinking for round two of the Mac Innovators Contest that begins on May 1, 2003:
1. We keep the same "U.S. Only" competition with the existing prizes and benefits.
2. We add an "International" version (that also includes U.S. Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico), that identifies the first and runner-up entries in that category.
3. There would not be prizes with cash value for the International version, but there would be fame, glory, and lots of bragging rights, including an interview published on Mac DevCenter and publicity for the winning software.
4. Both International and Continental U.S. winners would be featured at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, OR this coming July.
Before I push ahead with this idea, I'd like to hear your comments, especially if you are presently excluded from the contest because of the "U.S. only" clause.
Depending on the feedback I get, I'll take this new approach to the legal advisors (who have smiled favorably on it at first mention), and see how far I can get.
Much thanks for your patience,