Instructables

Good news for International Authors!

If you don't live in the US, Canada-minus-Quebec, US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada (excluding Quebec), China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, or Switzerland, (keep an eye on THIS PAGE for updates) and have been bummed that we can't yet open contests for your country, I've got some great news for you!

We're going to give you gifts!  Here's how it works.

Editors' Pick gifts
Our editors will scan the site for particularly excellent Instructables from international authors.  This way we can tell you we think your project is awesome, even if you don't get a ton of pageviews within the first month.  The number of editors' picks gifts will vary every month, depending on the number of amazing international projects we see.

The legal reasoning: while there are all sorts of stringent and varied laws governing contests around the world, the lawyers say we can send you non-contest-related gifts without fear of fines and imprisonment.  Thus, while we're waiting for the lawyers to figure out the wacky legal details for each country, we're identifying the most popular projects each month and sending along a thank-you gift.  Which is a gift, NOT a prize.  Ahem.

We desperately want to be able open contests up to the entire world, and are working as fast as we can to make it happen.  (See Eric's post here.)  I realize this isn't the same as being able to enter contests, but this is our attempt to make the wait a bit more pleasant, and let you guys know you're top on our minds.

Picture of Good news for International Authors!
tokokipiani10 months ago
if i win the prize, will you send me a prize to Georgia,Tbilisi?
You will need a friend or relation in a valid country, willing to let you give their address for prize delivery, should you win.
hxavierxo1 year ago
how can i help my country to be elegible??
Please help me out.
I do not understand it correctly.
I live in Brazil and I'm currently participating in a important contest.
If I win the contest, I can not get the prize?

Thanks,

Daniel Domingos
That is unfortunately correct. Please see this long, descriptive posting which explains why it's so hard to run contests in multiple countries.
Thank you for your attention.
I'm glad to hear it! Hopefully Brazil will be able to receive gifts! I could redeem one prize I got,, but no. T.T
chuangt2u2 years ago
Gift received in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Thanks guys!

Received with love! Thank you Instructables for this wonderful gift! I love it! :D Cheers, Alberta (Singapore)
533267_10150635525002694_547452693_9761472_939077430_n.jpg
Congratulations!
Thanks! :D
Where can we read the Authors Newsletter?
vishalapr3 years ago
Im a little confused...

"Every month, we're going to sort new projects in each category by Instructables view count. For each category, we'll send a gift to the author who:
- isn't from the US or Canada-minus-Quebec (ie, isn't allowed to win contests yet; will update this as we add countries)
- has the highest number of project pageviews among international authors
"

What does projects in each cateogary by view count mean?
And what does the highest number of page views mean?
That's the Instructable posted in "Food" that has the greatest number of views in (say) September, the Instructable posted in "Living" that has the greatest number of views in (say) September... etc.

So does "isn't from the US or Canada-minus-Quebec (ie, isn't allowed to win contests yet; will update this as we add countries) D" mean that any international ibler who posts ibles gets gifts?
As long as they get a lot of people looking at their projects, yes.
OK! Thanks!
canida (author)  vishalapr3 years ago
The top-ranked project by an international author, ranked by pageview numbers, gets the gift!

Good luck, I hope your Instructables do well so we can send you something. ;)
Are you sure such statements are wise? "If you meet this quantifiable, objective bar we will send you something" does not sound particularly like a gift.
Wait a min...does this apply only for new ibles or even for older ibles?
canida (author)  vishalapr3 years ago
New Instructables - this is going to be a monthly thing. We're trying to identify good Instructables that might have won a contest if they were geographically eligible.
I have a question, wich is the process to identify the international author who may be elected
Has it started for this month?
canida (author)  vishalapr2 years ago
It's running constantly!
ok!
So does this mean that this ible :
http://www.instructables.com/id/Nintendo-Wii-Table-Tennis-Racket/

Will be counted for this month?
And it can be photo or video ibles as well right?
Hey, don't knock it - anything we can snatch from under the vultures' claws lawyers' grasp has got to be a good thing.
That is funny!
canida (author)  Lithium Rain3 years ago
I know, right?

But it's a legal definition. I'm looking for ways to reward excellent Instructables that would potentially have a good chance to win contest prizes (if they were allowed in), and this is a reasonable approximation. But agreed, the word choice seems weird. Because it IS weird.
M.C. Langer3 years ago
Thanks Canida!!!! :-) And greetings from Bogota, Colombia!!!!
canida (author)  M.C. Langer2 years ago
You're welcome! We're doing the best we can - hopefully Colombia will be eligible soon.
I really hope so
I Hope so ..!!
ynze3 years ago
Thanks for this! I think I'm just too dim to understand laws... You can send a _gift_ to the person who attracts the most views for a project, but you can't send a _prize_ to the person who makes the best project? I can't find any logic in it, really. It must have something to do with a contest being judged, I guess...

Sheesh, I'm SO GLAD I'm a Maker, not a lawyer...
kelseymh ynze2 years ago
Please do read Eric's posting on this subject, along with the comments there, especially those from Canida.

Contest rules seem to be an absurdly complicated area of regulation, with horrendous differences and obstacles from country to country. Presumably, this grew out of each country trying to protect their citizens from whatever mix of shysters (non-lawyer shysters, of course) happened to be running local scams. But it seems to make life difficult, if not impossible, in this era of international online communities.
ynze kelseymh2 years ago
I posted replies like a madman on that topic. Although Christy, Eric and the bunch work hard on a very righteous and politically correct solution, they still slam the door in front of thousands of registered (and even paying) users.

Eric's posting was the inspiration for my brand new avatar :-D...

Y.
30-day-project-drawings-11.jpg
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
Unfortunately, they're not being politically, they're being forced to be legally correct.
ynze Kiteman2 years ago
You're right, I mixed up the words legally and politically.

If you were forced to choose between being legally correct and leave out thousands of (paying) members, what would you do?

I'm in a bad mood about all this. Probably because of the great contests that are running now, and me being left out. Insert an obstruction to the be-nice-rule here...
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
When Instructables was independent, it only had a corporate presence in California, so could get away with ignoring international rules, because they weren't in the other countries' jurisdiction (like you don't need to bother with British rules on intoxicating herbs).

Now they are part of Autodesk, and Autodesk has corporate presences in most countries (even if it's just a sales desk), they have to follow al those local rules (like you would have to follow British laws if you wanted to post recreational herbs to a family member in the UK).
Hey, just curious as to where you read that? I'm not doubting, but Eric has said elsewhere that Instructables was specifically violating the law with past contests...
I think I just said that, but in different words - Instructables was (apparently) breaking UK law, but doing so safely, because (if UK authorities ever noticed) it would have been too much effort & cost to attempt to get Eric extradited to the UK in order to face a prosecution that would have resulted in a fine.

Now, they wouldn't have to extradite anybody, just summons an Autodesk representative already working over here (probably not Penfold Plant, though).
Ah! I see; you're saying the risk of enforcement has now dramatically risen, not that the legality of their actions has changed. >nods<
Yup.
canida (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Since this is the longest thread... reread, as I made some mods. We're now giving away more gifts as editors' picks to those who may have posted something awesome but not gotten a ton of pageviews.
ynze canida2 years ago
:-) You're sweet!

I just wondered: Will a collaboration (between, say, a Russian and American author) be eligible for a contest?
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
I would say "yes", and if the main author was already in a position to enter legitimately, I would say "absolutely".

But how would you split a grand prize?
ynze Kiteman2 years ago
Oh, that's easy: One gets the jellyfish, and the other the bowl :-)

But seriously, uhm... splitting the prize is entirely up to the authors, I think.
canida (author)  ynze2 years ago
Yes, we look at the primary author. They may choose what to do with the prize.
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
(I've been wondering how they plan to post a jellyfish to the UK or Australia...)
ynze Kiteman2 years ago
Salmons and eels find their way home over 1000's of miles. Maybe jellyfish can do that as well?
Kiteman canida2 years ago
Raises eyebrow?
canida (author)  ynze2 years ago
As Kiteman and Lithium Rain explain below, as a small company we were ignoring the laws in all countries but the US. (Since we didn't KNOW the laws, it's possible we weren't breaking them, but who knows.) Now that we have business ties (and often employees) in every country, we have to do it right.

I'm sorry the Netherlands aren't on the list yet! I'm working on it as fast as possible, and it will definitely be done before 2014. The Netherlands is in fact the next country on the list to be added, so it depends on how fast the lawyers we contract in the Netherlands work. Maybe I should get their address so you can pay them a visit and encourage them to hurry?
I have to say I find the petulant whining here really grating. Almost as grating, in fact, as the screaming for blood because "the bloodsucking lawyers aren't getting it done fast enough."

I'll preface this with the statement that I'm sure it COULD go faster - a lot faster. I'm not saying otherwise. I'm sure there are tons of unnecessary delays, and that many of these are attributable directly to the attorneys involved.

However.

I bet a lot of the users here are either in school, whether at the primary level, undergrad, or even graduate school, or have at some point been at school. I bet almost everyone here has had to write a paper at some point in their lives.

How long would it take you to write...say...a 10 page paper on, I dunno, the American civil war? I'm assuming a US-centric focus here, but if you're in another country, insert some other war, or really any subject, preferably humanities (more similar to law than the sciences) with which you are reasonably familiar. The point is that you know something about this humanities topic, but there's plenty to have to look up and lots and lots of tiny, crucial details. I'll be super-easy on you and let you get away without citing ANYTHING. That's right, all you have to do is research the issue, think about it, and write 10 full pages in 12 point font with standard margins on 8.5*11 inch paper.

How long would that take you? Would it take you a day? A week? A Month? You don't have all day, every day to work on this - it's in addition to anything and everything else you are doing right now: work, school, whatever.

OK, now imagine you have to write 30 of these. They're due at different times over a period of 6 months. They range in length from 5 pages to 30 pages. Some of them must be perfectly cited with complete bibliographical essays to accompany them; others carry the exacting requirements of a 4th grade history paper.

NOW imagine that you don't just have to complete these papers. You want - no, _need_ an "A" on every paper. It's vitally important; you are desperate to get the highest possible grade on this paper, because for whichever reason motivates you most highly - money, job security, social status - failure here will spell disaster.

Still think you could just churn those suckers out?

This is not the only issue those firms have to deal with. As anyone who has ever written ANYTHING knows, writing takes awhile. It takes even longer when the stakes are huge fines or jail time, and/or you are committing people to binding contracts.

Don't turn lawyers into scapegoats for mistakes they had nothing to do with. They're the ones fixing this mess.
First: Thank you for your statement on the way you think this matter is handled!

I am _very_ aware of the fact that I'm whining about this issue. I don't like it either, but I keep posting. Two reasons for that:
  • I seem to be one of the few _international_ authors who expresses his feelings about the new Contest-rules. If these postings were filled with lots of nagging comments from other international authors, I would probably be more quiet. But I get the feeling I'm a bit alone on this (there's a proverb in dutch for this: "I feel like a caller in the desert", but I don't know how that translates in english).
  • I think I'm entitled to whine. The new rules affect me very directly, since my prize-to-instructable-ratio is pretty high.

Just to be clear: I'm not blaming the lawyers for being a lawyer. It is their job to call attention to issues like this in a multinational company. I blame the lawyers for letting the Instructables-staff solve the problem. I think problems like this should be resolved by lawyers: Behind the screens, without anyone noticing there's a problem in the first place.

The same goes for the Instructables staff: I criticize them for letting the lawyers take over the way they want the run Instructables. They didn't stand up strong enough for the international authors. As a result, we're being left out.

In the mean while, I did win a prize in an International Contest :-D Thank you Kiteman!
canida (author)  ynze2 years ago
We're not happy with the fact that our contests aren't fully international again yet, and neither is Autodesk - they're an international company, and it's important to them that we can run contests all over the world.

I criticize them for letting the lawyers take over the way they want the run Instructables. They didn't stand up strong enough for the international authors. As a result, we're being left out.
I understand why you feel this way - it's certainly a very personal issue, especially since we know how well you do in contests. :) However, it was physically impossible to get this done "behind the screens." The lawyers couldn't start work until the documents were signed for us to be part of Autodesk, so there's by definition some lag time. And we simply can't continue to break laws around the world in the meantime. It's frustrating that this takes so long, but that's why we've added a second type of non-contest-prize gift for International authors. I hope to have good news in the next ~3 months. Also, we are going to give away some even better prizes next year, so don't worry that you're missing out on everything! There is more to come.
tl;dc
Mysterious...

GREAT bunny ears, by the way!
that meant too long; didn't Cite, you know how she is...
and they are arduino cat ears...heehee
Coo, somebody's changed their tune!
Changed my tune how? I think Instructables has back-@sswards policies. I just think the wrong people are getting blamed for their screwups. I'm sick of hearing "stupid lawyers blah blah blah." It's like hearing complaints that the firemen aren't being quick enough about putting out the fire.
Oh, OK.
kelseymh ynze2 years ago
Being legally correct means avoiding civil or criminal proceedings, including having company officers detained overseas. Since Instructables is now owned by Autodesk, that means that any executive of Autodesk (not just I'bles staff) could be detailed as a consequence of I'bles acting illegally.

Just because you may not care about being arrested in a foreign country doesn't mean others feel the same way. More importantly, if Eric, Christy, et al. chose to deliberately act in such a way as to put others in such a situation, I don't think they would continue to be running I'bles for very long.

Keeping your eye on the bigger picture can sometimes help you understand why you are personally being inconvenienced.
ynze kelseymh2 years ago
I'm a bit fed up with looking at the bigger picture. The issue of the Autodesk takeover can be looked at from various viewpoints. In my comment, I looked at it from my viewpoint, and that is not a pretty sight.

The problem that came up with the contests is for the I'bles staff to solve. In the way they deal with the problem now, they leave out too many members for way too long, as far as I'm concerned. That's all I'm saying.
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
Firstly, remember that I understand your feelings, but this is largely about numbers.

According to Quantcast, contests now include 74.48% of all visitors.  The Netherlands only contribute 0.79% of all unique visits.

I don't know how "location of visitors" matches "location of contest entrants", but I imagine it will be very similar.

On the plus side, the countries between Australia and the Netherlands seem to be those with either younger or more organised (and, thus, simpler to negotiate) legal systems.  The only problem may be India - they have an efficient national bureaucracy, but I don't know how variable the law is between provinces.

canida (author)  ynze3 years ago
There are tons of laws around contests, but apparently nothing prevents us from sending gifts of this nature. Very strange, but I'm glad we can do something!
dombeef canida3 years ago
Can't you just send the prize as a gift? You could say that who ever wins a contest will be gifted the prize?
canida (author)  dombeef2 years ago
Unfortunately no. It's the process of winning the contest that's legally complicated!
dombeef canida2 years ago
Oh ok!
kelseymh ynze3 years ago
"Prize" implies either a competition or gambling, or both. These are heavily regulated in all countries, both to prevent the unscrupulous from creating dishonest or fraudulent "competitions," and to ensure that the local government collects revenue.

A "gift" implies an unsolicited donation, which is not made in exchange for any goods or services. Gifts, especially from corporations tend to be regulated as well (for example, to prevent bribes or kickbacks), but in a different way than competitions.
iceng2 years ago
The devil wins, if we cant be pleasant with each other :-(

A
Ah the belgians are very pleased with this! Definitly a good step in the right direction! I support this!
canida (author)  MichelMoermans3 years ago
Thank you! We're working hard on this, but I realize this is only a short-term solution. We'll add more countries soon.
What are the countries that are available right now?
Please do read Eric's posting on this subject, along with the comments there, especially those from Canida.

Contest rules seem to be an absurdly complicated area of regulation, with horrendous differences and obstacles from country to country. Presumably, this grew out of each country trying to protect their citizens from whatever mix of shysters (non-lawyer shysters, of course) happened to be running local scams. But it seems to make life difficult, if not impossible, in this era of international online communities.
canida (author)  vishalapr2 years ago
Right now, only US and Canada-minus-Quebec can win prizes in the official contests. We're working with the lawyers to edit the rules so we can be legal in a wider variety of countries; hopefully UK and Australia soon. You can learn more in Eric's post here.
ok thanks!
xavec2 years ago
Awesome Instructables! This is a real sign of your committment to the international community, and is a great interim measure. Thank you so much! I actually feel inspired to post things again now *happy crazy inventor dance* XD
kelseymh xavec2 years ago
Please do read Eric's posting on this subject, along with the comments there, especially those from Canida.

Contest rules seem to be an absurdly complicated area of regulation, with horrendous differences and obstacles from country to country. Presumably, this grew out of each country trying to protect their citizens from whatever mix of shysters (non-lawyer shysters, of course) happened to be running local scams. But it seems to make life difficult, if not impossible, in this era of international online communities.
canida (author)  xavec2 years ago
The UK is now officially eligible for all contests! Post away.
xavec canida2 years ago
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

(thanks! XD)
plugable2 years ago
Looks like staff is actually making an effort to take this issue forward. Thank you an keep on it! Waiting from Spain turn!
Please do read Eric's posting on this subject, along with the comments there, especially those from Canida.

Contest rules seem to be an absurdly complicated area of regulation, with horrendous differences and obstacles from country to country. Presumably, this grew out of each country trying to protect their citizens from whatever mix of shysters (non-lawyer shysters, of course) happened to be running local scams. But it seems to make life difficult, if not impossible, in this era of international online communities.
canida (author)  plugable2 years ago
Thanks for your patience! We're trying hard - this is extremely important to us. Spain is near the top of the list as well!
geo bruce2 years ago
And Belgium?

Belgium is at the right of the UK?
:P
canida (author)  geo bruce2 years ago
Belgium is quite high on the list! Hopefully soon.
iceng2 years ago
Mine comm just disappeared !

Askin, if this month included in these page view's ??
canida (author)  iceng2 years ago
I'm sorry, I don't understand your question?
tropidavo2 years ago
Does the term "U. S." include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ,automatically,or are there restrictions for us too. This is"virgin" territory for iblers. I don't know if there are others here, but it would be nice to find out. I'm working on something that might be of interest to someone, but still needs more details before posting.
canida (author)  tropidavo2 years ago
I've asked the lawyers, and will give you an answer ASAP.
sunshiine2 years ago
You rock Instructables! I was feeling real bad that the international members could not be part of the contest.
bajablue2 years ago
Instructables is doing it's best to accomodate International Makers. That says A LOT for the Management Team.

This is great news... at least for the time being!

Thanks for the update!!!
canida (author)  bajablue2 years ago
Thanks for the vote of confidence!

I realize this is a stop-gap measure, and we're continuing to push hard to get more countries approved. Or rather, get our rules modified to fit an ever-growing list of countries.
vishalapr3 years ago
What is the authors newsletter?

This is quite incredible! GOOD JOB INSTRUCTABLES!
Nice!
Kiteman3 years ago
Yay, a step in the right direction!

canida (author)  Kiteman3 years ago
Here's to many more steps ASAP.
jeff-o3 years ago
Great news, indeed!
canida (author)  jeff-o3 years ago
Yes! We were psyched to discover this would go.