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May 31, 2002
11:20 AM   Subscribe

The Dark Side of Google? Google's first annual programming contest was a shrewd way to encourage Java and Python programmers. But this may be shrewder than the programmers who entered the contest realized. David Egnor may have nabbed a cool $10,000 as the contest winner, but for all the other entries, Google nabbed "worldwide, perpetual, fully paid-up, nonexclusive" rights.
posted by ed (14 comments total)

 
...as discussed when the contest was first announced. I don't think it's a great contest structure, but they were up front about their intentions.
posted by precipice at 11:30 AM on May 31, 2002


Sounds like what Limp Bizkit did when they "auditioned" new guitarists. The audition-ees had to pony up 60 seconds of original music, which then became the sole ownership of the Limp Bizkit empire.
posted by bryanzera at 11:31 AM on May 31, 2002


Of course... Google isn't a corporation like Microsoft or... Limp Bizkit.

Helping them out in some way is hardly a bad thing -- they do good stuff. 'Sides, I dunno about you, but I'd get a kick out of seeing my code help millions of users find what they're looking for.
posted by ph00dz at 11:35 AM on May 31, 2002


How shrewd do you have to be to read and understand these words: "With regard to an entry you submit as part of the Contest, you grant Google a worldwide, perpetual, fully paid-up, non-exclusive license to make, sell, or use the technology related thereto, including but not limited to the software, algorithms, techniques, concepts, etc., associated with the entry." That's pretty clear, as far as things like this go.

If Google didn't place that restriction entries, it wouldn't be worth having the contest. Any entrant could sue Google later on, arguing that their brilliant idea had been ripped off. That's why Limp Bizkit had a similar restriction; that's why many companies don't want unsolicited submissions.
posted by subgenius at 11:37 AM on May 31, 2002


This is great -- everyone wins. Google gets a better product (and some more ideas), the contestants have their crack at fame and become better programmers, and the winner gets $10k. I love it.
posted by davidmsc at 11:59 AM on May 31, 2002


Who cares? It's even nonexclusive. That's better than a lot of creativity contests. Do you really think Google ran this contest just to give away money?
posted by daveadams at 12:03 PM on May 31, 2002


Most photo contests do the same thing. If you don't like it, don't enter. Nothing wrong with selling your photo/code/product on your own.
posted by Tacodog at 12:16 PM on May 31, 2002


The Dark Side of taking advatage of people who never bothing to read or understand contest rules to get page hits?

News.com really needs to deliver those Dell ads. Hopefully, slashdot will pick this up too. Trolling pays.
posted by skallas at 12:50 PM on May 31, 2002


blah
posted by rhyax at 2:01 PM on May 31, 2002


I just look forward to the day when an organisation can run a talent search which doesn't demand all sorts of rights 'just to cover their asses'. How about the winner gets the right to negotiate a contract in good faith?
posted by skylar at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2002


How about running one, Skylar? I don't understand why people think a deep-pocketed group or company shouldn't reduce its liability in order to run a contest. It's up to the entrants to figure out the terms and decide if they're acceptable.
posted by rcade at 2:15 PM on May 31, 2002


I just look forward to the day when an organisation can run a talent search which doesn't demand all sorts of rights 'just to cover their asses'.

Umm...I think this has already happened.
posted by plemeljr at 11:05 PM on May 31, 2002


[i]Sounds like what Limp Bizkit did when they "auditioned" new guitarists. The audition-ees had to pony up 60 seconds of original music, which then became the sole ownership of the Limp Bizkit empire.[/i]

Nice to know people only read the fraud articles, not the ones that address the allegations. The reason everything became property of Limp Bizkit was for the purpose of, possibly, making a video package out of the auditions, and avoiding some kid coming back and saying "I was in this - I want money". It's pretty normal legal stuff, from what I can see.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:41 AM on June 1, 2002


I just look forward to the day when an organisation can run a talent search which doesn't demand all sorts of rights 'just to cover their asses'.
i look forward to the day when an organization goes about the business of its business and doesn't fuck around having stupid contests. bizkit, for example, should really have spent all that time stiffening up.
posted by quonsar at 12:40 PM on June 2, 2002


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