Instructables

Update on International Entries in Instructables Contests

Currently, we can only accept entries from the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada (excluding Quebec), China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland in our contests and challenges. Here's why, and what we're doing to expand.



UPDATE 7/25/2012:
Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland are now eligible for all contests!  We've updated the rules to make this clear.  More countries coming as fast as we can. --Christy


Broadly, there are two types of contests: games of skill and games of chance. Most of our contests are games of skill because they are judged, but we have occasionally run games of chance (random winner in a contest, random commenter wins a prize, etc..). Both types are regulated, sometimes stringently, across the world.

As an independent entity, we may have been violating the contest and gaming laws in every country on the planet except the US. While ignorance of the law isn't an acceptable reason to violate it, I did not spend the time to understand and comply with every country's contest laws. Without locations across the world, the potential for enforcement of laws I didn't know about was low.

We are now part of an international company, and the potential for enforcement is real.

Complying with laws is not a drag! It's what sustainable businesses that expect to be around for a long time do!

If you are upset about this, before you complain here, please write or call your representative, member of parliament, or dictator and ask them to simplify contest law in your country. The easier to understand your country's contest laws, the faster we can open our contests to you, and comply with your country's laws. Remember, obeying the law is what good websites do!

Autodesk is not trying to destroy the Instructables community by reducing the number of entrants to our contests; in fact, they're very concerned about the issue. We are trying to make sure we obey all the laws of all the countries where we operate. We are simultaneously working to understand the laws of more countries so we can legally run contests in more areas.

The terms and conditions of our contests are now in full compliance with the requirements of the US and Canada, except Quebec. Doing so required many hours of me talking to lawyers, and very large costs.

I have sorted the countries we will work on next by where our traffic comes from, and where past winners and entrants have come from. For reference:

Top 10 Countries by traffic:
US - open
UK - open
Canada - open (minus Quebec)
Australia - open
India - open
Germany - open
Philippines
Brazil
Mexico
France

Top 10 Countries by winners and entrants:
US - open
Canada - open
UK - open
Australia - open
Netherlands - open
Germany - open
New Zealand - open
Argentina
Colombia - open
India - open

The rules for games of skill and games of chance are drastically different. I foresee a situation where there are countries in which we can run one type of contest, but not the other.

Since we don't collect your country of residence during registration, our method of determining who is eligible is based on where a winner wants us to ship a prize.

Obeying laws is not a drag, but this is a tricky situation. I'll concede that you might view this as a bait and switch: we should have fully understood the contest laws of any country where we wanted to encourage DIY through our contests before allowing entrants from those countries. Instead, we allowed everyone, and now have to pause until I can talk to more lawyers. For that I apologize. Fixing this is one of our top priorities.  Even yesterday, I discussed how to get the UK and Australia added to the approved list, and we'll work from there.

Bojarski18 days ago

Any updates on Sweden?

Any updates about making Brazil elegible?

Thank you!

zzz zzz zzz

amgworkshop3 months ago

HI

I really hope you add Morocco to the list . i live there and i really want to

participate in the metal contest .so how can i get around this obstacle?

thank you

Hi! When you win a prize, there is a way to work around this: If you can provide them with a prize shipping address in one of the countries that *is* accepted, so if you know someone one lives there, you can let it ship there and then let it get send to you.

Phillistine4 months ago

I really would like to see South Africa on the approved list, can wait to be able to enter some contests

This is not the official word, but I would expect SA to be fairly low down the list of priorities, purely because relatively few members are based there.

Hi there,

I am just wondering about France, where we live. Here is just a suggestion, which might help some of us who felt a bit outside the community because of this - why don't you give us a little parity by allowing us to have live links in our descriptions to our own blogs or Youtube channels. These are relevant to our work and would be giving us at least a 'prize' of recognition that we are adding something to your community. Just my 10 cents worth anyway. All the best from Normandy from two Instructable non-eligibles Sue (Pavlovafowl) and Andy (Organikmechanic

add Trinidad and Tobago please i don't think my country have rules on entering contests in other parts of the world

... but there will be laws about contests *within* Trinidad and Tobago, which are the laws the site needs to abide by.

ok i will look more into it and give you more feedback. but if you have a US shipping address can your prize be send there if u win.

Yes, yes it can.

Thanks

Philippines or Argentina is next on the list. Better prepare our entries then...

Philippines or Argentina is next on the list. Better prepare our entries then...

mgirado10 months ago
I really hope Philippoines will be eligible too. looking forward to it.

I really wish that would be sooner. I'm eager to join in it.

mgirado mgirado10 months ago
Philippines**
cuongtl mgirado8 months ago

you ar philipino ?

mahf12306 months ago

mexicoo!!! wuu

I don't understand why Argentina is not on the allowed country list but at the same time is in the list of the most winners ...
Can you explain it to me ?
the same idea to u
It's winners and *entrants*, presumably of past contests before Autodesk took over.

If you can find a link to the body that administers Argentinian contest & gambling laws, and pass that on to service@instructables.com, that would speed things up, if only by a little.
mercuryxixi10 months ago
I like your lists, and it's very usefu and detailed.
sbhandari311 months ago
hello,i am from nepal and i would like to enter contests. can you please add nepal?? beautiful country near India :) it would be great. please. my cousin sis is from india and has mailbox there. so if i win can i get my prize sent there?? is there any way we can make this more flexible???
Simple thing you can do is,enter a contest & if you win something give the address of your cousin sis(who is in India, as India is eligible for entering most of the contest's)
Kiteman sbhandari311 months ago
If you can find out who is in charge of contest and gambling law, and send their cc intact details to HQ, that might help.
sbhandari3 Kiteman11 months ago
how can i find who is incharge of contest and gambling law?? sorry i am new to all this :)
Kiteman sbhandari311 months ago
Google is your friend, I guess.
can you please add Jordan i rely want to enter the contest
yaly2 years ago
Can you add Egypt please? and my father has a mailbox in the US can my prize if I win be sent there?
canida yaly1 year ago
Yes, we can ship to winners with US addresses.
yaly canida1 year ago
Thank you so much :)
tumidaj canida1 year ago
sure.
DragonDon1 year ago
Aww, South Korea not listed. :( And my Korean is far from being able to find such websites/info. Hmm, will keep this in mind though should I run across it.
Elridion1 year ago
Why isn't Austria allowed in the Contest? I know we are small but we share most laws and the Language with Germany which is already in the contest.
Are your contest laws identical to Germany's?

If you can find a link to the body that administers Austrian contest & gambling laws, and pass that on to service@instructables.com, that would speed things up, if only by a little.
So I had to write an E-mail to Instructables with the contest laws of my country?! :-?
You don't have to, but if you know a link to those laws, it will speex things up.
Awesome I will send you that, ok?!
Not to me, send it to support@instructables.com
tumidaj1 year ago
Oohh This is it. Fine information. Thank YOU!!!
TobaTobias1 year ago
Nice! Hopefully Mexico will be eligible too. Great information, thanks ;)
Yes! this is great information! ;)
tumidaj1 year ago
This is awesome!
Davide3111 year ago
Hi! I live in Italy. If i win a contest, can i send my prize to a international shipping service (like myus.com) that provide me an US address? Thanks
*Not an officially approved answer*

Yes, you can, or you could find a friend or family member who lives in a legitimate country and give their contact details as your own.

*Officially endorsed answer*

If you collaborate with a member in a legitimate country, then it is perfectly acceptable to give their contact details, should you win a prize.

Be aware, though, for either option, if the person who lives at the address you give decides to keep the prize for themselves, there is nothing that the site can do on your behalf.
Thank you!
You're welcome.
elsatch1 year ago
Hi,

As a betatester on the Spanish language translation, I would suggest to include Spain in the countries allowed to participate, to promote further materials and contributions in the site.

I feel there is a strong surge in the maker force in Spain ;)
+1

(Although it may be due to the large number of Spanish speakers in the USA and countries like Mexico.)
LeoMarius1 year ago
Hi, I live in France and I'd like to entry a contest.
France is not eligible (yet? nothing to expect this month? :p ) for contest entry but I have friends who live in Belgium or India who could get the price for me.
If i won something Is this possible to sent them the price and keep my ownership on the project ? Or I have to truly cheat and tell it's them who did the work. I don't like to cheat but if i really have to... :'(
Thanks.
Kiteman1 year ago
On behalf of another member; Do we know where the African nations, especially South Africa, are in this process?
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
We are working on Brazil! It's in the top 3 for next countries to add. I'm sorry I can't be more specific on timing, but don't want to make promises I can't keep.
I do not understand this because I have already won international competitions (including London) and received my prizes as normal.
The only rule that exists, is that the award must be submitted personally, declared as a product of no commercial value and the result of a contest.
Simply this.

http://www.elance.com/s/studiodomingos/portfolio/
http://pinterest.com/studiodomingos/
There are some other complicating features about Brazil. We need to have a local partner, and must translate everything (including the legal docs/official rules) into Brazilian Portugese. It's entirely possible that other companies don't follow the rules 100%, but since our parent company does business in Brazil we are especially careful about following the laws exactly. In the meantime, I'm working with our lawyers, and hope to have good news for you soon.
Different kinds of contest a subject to different laws in different countries, and making one set of rules legal everywhere is a stupidly complicated job.

In some countries, Instructables contests are counted as gambling, in others as contests of skill. Different countries have different age restrictions, and there are also laws about hi-tech prizes being sent to certain countries (for a while, it was illegal to export laser cutters from the US).

Be glad you do not live in Quebec, because they demand that all contest organisers be based in Quebec, which rules out all international contests for the Quebecois, forever.
You need a friend or contact in an eligible country who can collaborate with you.
If you win, your collaborator can give their contact details, receive the prize, and pass it on to you.
I have another question.
If I win a contest today and if for example in 2 months my country becomes eligible, I would receive my prize?

Thanks,

Daniel Domingos
I don't think so.

But, if your country becomes eligible during a contest, you are fine.
Thank you for your clarification.
But I regret not being able to compete in full.
Maybe you couldemail this page to your politicians, get them to work on the law?
I understand.
And I confess that I like of this type of proactivity (claim about my rights). However the policy in Brazil is very large and I need to know what is the law specifically for know which politician I should complain.

Thanks,
Hello, Kiteman!
The problem is I do not know any person in another country.
Sincerely I'm a little sad because I would like to engage in search of these wonderful prizes.

Thank you for your attention.

Daniel Domingos
What I would do is to write my project, and at the same time start a forum topic to look for a collaborator to make your entry eligible.
DriX2 years ago
I noticed that Argentina is the only country in the "Top 10 Countries by winners" list that hasn't yet been confirmed to be elegible.
Is there any problem with Argentina? Can I help you in any form? I have some lawyers in the family that could be helpful.

Thanks.
canida DriX1 year ago
I've got Argentina through most of the contest hoops, but there are a few more small things including translation of all the rules, etc to Spanish before we can open in Argentina. Soon! One of the next 3 countries on my list.
Kiteman DriX2 years ago
If they have knowledge of your country's laws on contests, gaming and gambling, then I would email their details to service@instructables.com.
Lindsley2 years ago
What about Brazil? It is number 8 in the top ten list!
Technically, you can enter any contest, BUT, if you win, you have to be able to provide an address in one of the eligible countries.

Instructables is working hard in getting more countries eligible for contests, but it takes time as every country has a different set of rules that the lawyers must work out.
Very glad to know that :)
canida Lindsley2 years ago
We're working on Brazil, but there are some complex contest rules we've got to follow. Hopefully soon!
Thanks a lot for the info. Very useful.
I was shocked when I read "Canada (excluding Quebec)". So, I started reading our laws and all that really interesting stuff... I found out that the governement's authority in the matter is right by where I live so I'll stop by and ask and get back to you concerning this exclusion. I was offended at first and started to browse the forum to find a post concerning this. I did. Hope we can resolve this issue and let Quebec join the contests like the reste of Canada.
Good luck! (Yes, seriously, not sarcastically). With a x5 smaller population, the federal and provincial governments seem to pay more attention to individual citizens than your U.S. counterparts. My read (as an outsider) is that Quebec's restrictions are either an outgrowth or a relic of their "Napoleonic code" history, as compared with British common law. Louisiana down here has some similar issues, although our stronger federal system limits the differences much more.
+1 Being a fellow Canuck, I can say your fighting a losing battle. I see contest all the time (from many sources) that exclude Quebec because of the difference in rules. (This isn't unique to Instructables).
I read be4 writting that dcomment yesterday and there were some mentions about the prize's value being less then 2000$ and also concerning the fact that its a skill and "luck" contest, if it was only skill I think it wouldnt really matter. But I'm not a lawyer and there are always so many little precisions and exceptions, in any case, ITS A STUPID LAW AND THEY WILL HEAR ABOUT IT!!! Don't they want us to have the opportunity to win stuff for 1, second, wouldnt it make Quebec look good (or not of course :P ) and 3rd : WAKE THE **** UP, its legal everywhere else in Canada and the US!!! Theres only 350million poeple around us that are fine with it. DUUUUUUUUUUUH!!!!! Ok I'm done :) felt good I'll get a US friend to send me my stuff if I have 2
misko131 year ago
Hi there!

I already won 2 contests (Hands on learning & Back to school). I live in Spain, which is a country that's not in any Instructable shipping list. To get the prizes I had to ask two contacts from China and the Netherlands to do me the favor of providing an address to send the prize.

I want to cause them no inconveniences, so I was wondering if the Instructables staff is working in making shipments to Spain be possible for future contests and if I could provide any help in the process.

Thanks  ;)
msaleiro1 year ago
Any info on when will Portugal be eligible? :)
Misac-kun2 years ago
i'm looking for the Federal rules for contest on brazil. probably it will hit on other various laws and burocracy. Damn Brazilian confusing laws!
Hello! I'm from Taiwan. Can I join the contest? Thanks :) ~
Technically, you can enter any contest, BUT, if you win, you have to be able to provide an address in one of the eligible countries.

Instructables is working hard in getting more countries eligible for contests, but it takes time as every country has a different set of rules that the lawyers must work out.
This is great pat answer.

Polite, succinct and helpful. :-)
ASCAS2 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Kiteman ASCAS2 years ago
I can say with authority that it's the anally-retentive-lawyer-speak that's slowing things down, not the will of HQ staff.

kelseymh2 years ago
I'm guessing that while you've prioritized countries based on traffic and past contest participation, the order in which AutoDesk's shysters experienced legal team are adding countries is based on level of difficulty.

Just out of curiosity, what is it about New Zealand's contest laws which make it more difficult?
I was about to suggest that it's a traffic issue - there are less than 4.5 million people in the whole country, after all - but then I checked Quantcast, and NZ is ninth on the list of uniques.

It must be an activity issue - there may be a lot of readers from NZ, but how many are members, and how many of those are active members, posting projects and entering contests?
I asked the question because of the original forum topic above. Christy listed the top 10 traffic sites, followed by the top 10 contest entry sites. NZ is number seven on the contests list.
Maybe it's something as simple as communications - lawyers (in my experience) often dislike emails, and it's a long way from San Francisco to Auckland by mail steamer...
amorarun2 years ago
Is India approved yet?
canida amorarun2 years ago
We just added India today! So yes, please enter. :)
amorarun canida2 years ago
Thank you......
Hack42Moem2 years ago
YAY !!!
That's great news that so many countries have been added to those that are eligible to enter contests on here.
Welcome, Instructablers from Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Norway, and Switzerland! Have fun and good luck!
006.png
BrittLiv2 years ago
It's been so long is there a problem with Germany?
canida BrittLiv2 years ago
We just added Germany today!
BrittLiv canida2 years ago
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait for my exams to be over!
lord_kian2 years ago
Someone know the status of Colombia?
VIVA COLOMBIA!!!! :-)
GRACIAS A TUS VALIOSOS APORTES ESTAMOS EN LA LISTA....!!!INSTRUCTABLES...I'M BACK....!!!!
QUE VIVA CARAJO!!!!!!Ahora si a patear traseros se dijo....Muchisimas gracias!!!!
We just added Colombia today!
"...Top 10 Countries by winners and entrants:
US
Canada
UK
Australia
Netherlands
Germany..."
Does this mean I can even join a challenge if I live in a country which isn't integrated yet?
Whats the different than living in a country which is already alowed?
MFG
Germany is now eligible! We just added it today. :)
Since the lawyers are working on the job "now", it's OK to enter a contest you are not officially eligible for.

The site does not officially know where you live until you tell them, which means that, should you win a contest you are not eligible to enter, you can give them an address of a friend in an eligible country, and your friend can mail the prize onwards to you.

Or, maybe, your country becomes eligible between your entry and the deadline...
Mike73 Kiteman2 years ago
Thanks, too. What a pity though.
But at least, having the chance to have a friend forward any price seems ok.
Thanks :)
MFG
M.C. Langer3 years ago
VIVA COLOMBIA!!!!! :-)

I love you guys!!! Instructables is the BEST!!!!!
Colombia has a remarkably large number of contest winners! Nice work. ;)
Yes? How many? I thought we are only two colombian constest winners: Mr. Sanchez and me :-)
Y seguiremos ganando.!!!!Arriba colombia!!!
In case you missed it, we just added Colombia. :)
Thanks!!! :-)
To clarify: Colombians win a large number of contests, meaning that the two of you do extremely well.
M.C. Langer2 years ago
Hi people! I have a question: now when the TPA with Colombia is fully in vigency, there is a chance for us to be included in the countries allowed for the contests?
Colombia is now on the approved list! Please start entering contests immediately. :D
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! :-) VIVA COLOMBIA!!!!! :-) INSTRUCTABLES IS THE BEST!!! And, well, before those great news, I enter the Green Tech Contest!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-3R-Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Campaign-for-yo/
So Philippines is listed in the top 10 countries by traffic. Does this mean entries from the Philippines a legible?
India and Germany need sorting out first.
Bot1398 Kiteman2 years ago
Man India should get included soon I want to enter the arduino challenge
canida Bot13982 years ago
We just added India today!
I hope we get included soon :)
Can Indians also participate in contests
We just added India today! Go ahead and enter. :)
victorjung2 years ago
Add switzerland, we have really great ideas and skills here!
We just added Switzerland! Please enter, and tell your friends!
so I m italian but my husband is from san francisco and I often live there but I m not a legal resident, can I partecipate?
The important part is where we send the prize! So if we can send it to your SF address, that's fine.
It's a good news india is going to become one of the entries in instructable contests, but it would be really nice if all the countries in Asia would join. An other thing is that if you enter a country in renown postal service, such as in UAE, you can send the prizes to a wide range of countries.
Anyway the happy thing is that India is going to be able to participate.
India is now on the list! Please enter!
vishalapr2 years ago
Having india allowed in contests will be great :D I would be able to enter contests as well then :)
We just added India! Go ahead and enter!
lord_kian2 years ago
Some news about the viability of Colombia?
We just added Colombia today! Enter away. :)
Thanks you guys are great, I hope you will add Malaysia in soon.. i was so happy to win one of the previous contest i hope i had more chances now..
thanks again
uttaradhi2 years ago
PLease help me out!!
Now am working a medium sized company in bangalore(INDIA) as a software developer. But my problem is i am not in a live project from last 6 months n gettin paid by that company..What i ve to do.? Do i complete 1 yr here for getting 1yr experience as a JAVA developer OR Quit this cmopany n try for other?
You ought to ask people who are more familiar with your particular situation and the context.

[LINK]
please add Portugal too, becouse portuguese people are simple and effective, such as their ideas
I'm sure Portugal is on the list, but not as high as other countries, because not many Portuguese use the site as residents of other countries.

It is quite a lot of work to alter the contest regulations to be legal in as many countries as possible.
npnlamp2 years ago
Please add LITHUANIA, there are smart people with good ideas, too!!!
puzka3 years ago
Hi,
Hope the work to include international entries is going well. I thought I'd post a link here that discusses Australian competition requirements:

http://www.digitaldialogue.com.au/online-competition-permits-australia

So far as I can see, if an online competition involves skill rather than chance a permit is not required in any Australian state or territory. I realise that there may be other legal issues to look at other than just permits, but it's a start.
canida puzka3 years ago
Thanks! We've finished up the Australia rules mods, so post away. :)
Not yet.
Yes, Chinese residents can now win contests.
canida Kiteman2 years ago
Actually, China became eligible as of 4/18! Please pass along the word.
Kiteman canida2 years ago
Cool.
YES! You're in, post away.
kelseymh canida3 years ago
Is an "Australian rules contest" anything like "Australian rules football"? And if so, why did it take so long? ;->
canida kelseymh3 years ago
It's exactly the same thing!
Most of our time was spent running marketing surveys to determine whether "australian rules Instructables" could gain traction outside the colonies.
mkarvonen2 years ago
You should include Finland to your list. To here you can send everything exept Drugs, nicotine and alcohol(nicotine and alcohol only inside EU) and guns. And if it is a price won from some contest there is not tax in it because its not something bought from the internet. its a price.
It's not the postage, it's the participation.
what is the problem then?
The problem is that the law on who can participate in contests, and how, is different in almost every country on the planet.
ahaa. What if you know that you can participate in contest but your country is not on the list? i mean, there is nothing wrong in that.
You just can't win a prize...
Actually, you CAN win the prize, you just can't get it shipped to your country of origin....
(But you can get it shipped to a cooperative person in a "valid" country.)
can i shipped to a postal box and still valid?
It has to be shipped to an actual person, who usually needs to sign for valuable prizes.
Not in your country.
+1
win
What about Italy?
Italy actually has a very odd rule: you can't run a contest in Italy AND also allow outside countries to enter. So effectively, you're not allowed to run international contests in Italy.

This is a very clear and specific case where if you'd like to be able to enter a contest on Instructables, you're going to have to get your country to change its laws. Or, you can collaborate with a partner who lives in an eligible country!
This is not happy news, but I understand the need for this decision.
I was thinking, 1. Why do governments make (complicated) laws on games and extend them to foreign organisations? 2. How can Instructables members and contest participants help?

1. Well, governments make (complicated) laws on games because they want to protect their citizens from organisations running games that are not honest and/or lead to gambling addictions. And of course because they want to raise taxes on them when people pay to participate. The reason this is extended to games of skill is because the line between both is sometimes (intentionally) thin. And of course they need to extend that legislation to foreign organisations offering games to their citizens, as with modern media this would be the obvious way around. It is just another example of the basic mechanism where well meaning people and organisations have to bring up more effort, because people meaning less well, gave rise to a need for regulations.
One important and as such not unreasonable regulation is often that the rules of the game should be published in the official language(s) of the participants country. Obviously that alone represents work for Instructables.
Obviously the country's regulation and legislation itself is also in the official language(s). Not making it easy either.
I guess that in many countries a special case applies when the participants do not have to pay to participate. On the other hand some complicated regulation might exist to determine no indirect or hidden payment mechanisms are involved.

2. I'm afraid that appealing to representatives to simplify legislation is not realistic, as actually there are lot more voices and media attention asking for more regulation, with the protection of the citizen in mind (at least in Europe). Of course, stricter rules do not mean more complex rules, even on the contrary, but the priority in this field is not set on simplification yet.
But we might be able to help in translating to and from our official language? And we might be able to check our local legislation an see in how far Instructables' typical game rules comply? Is that useful or does that need to be done by sworn translators and/or contracted lawyers anyway?
ewilhelm (author)  masynmachien3 years ago
Thanks for your offer to help! If I can figure out a way for you to help, I'll ask.

By the way, Belgium is 11th on the list of countries by winners, so you are not forgotten!
Would this say that I can enter any contest at the moment if i'm from Belgium?
Belgium is now officially eligible to enter! Good luck!
Yeah!!
thnx
You're welcome, but more important thank YOU, four all your efforts.
Belgium is now officially eligible!
Great!
Masynmachine, thank YOU (and all other Instructable members) for posting such great projects. Great projects make Instructables such a great place to be.
Are middle eastern countries ( Saudi Arabia Bahrain and Jordan ) on the bottom of the list and if not what country is on the bottom of the list and where are the middle eastern countries?
I don't know that we've had any winners from those 3 countries yet, but we still hope to have some in the future!
Twinmum3 years ago
Are we any closer to having some other countries added to the eligible list?
canida Twinmum3 years ago
Update! We finally got feedback from the UK/Australia lawyers yesterday afternoon, and are now working over the rules to incorporate their edits. Should be able to give ETA after tomorrow's lawyer meeting.
Kiteman canida3 years ago
*Does a little dance*

When it's sorted, you'll need to clarify the situation regarding contests that have already begun - specifically, if a Brit has already entered an already-running contest, will they be able to legitimately win a prize?

canida Kiteman3 years ago
Yes. ;)
Kiteman canida3 years ago
EEK!
canida Kiteman3 years ago
(time to get cracking!)
ynze canida3 years ago
Oooowwwwww, this rips me apart!!! I'm glad to hear other countries are eligible now, and at the same time it makes me jealous... I want to be able to take part as well. Please, please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzz? I want to EEK! just like Kiteman does...
canida ynze3 years ago
We are working on it - Netherlands is on the list above.

But do notice it took two months to get UK and AUS approved. I hope we can move faster, but we have to consult outside lawyers in each country - this means I can't stop by their offices and hurry them up, so sometimes it's very slow. :( I want to be able to send more prizes - hopefully soon!
ynze canida2 years ago
Yup, I noticed! I won't hold my breath...
canida ynze2 years ago
Good news, you're officially eligible!
ynze canida2 years ago
Owwwwwww, you deserve a big hug now! Someday I'll come over and bring it to you.

I'm going to change my avatar right now!

Big big smile from overseas!
Kiteman ynze2 years ago
You can still enter my contest!

Most recent projects are eligible.
ynze Kiteman2 years ago
:-D I hadn't noticed your guerilla-contest yet! Thanks, I will enter!
ynze canida2 years ago
Canida, I watch the announcements of FANTASTIC new contests go by and by. So I started counting: If it took you two months to include UK and AUS, it will be 2014 before NL will be included... if it ever will.

I'm sorry to say, but I feel left out by the way you're handling this issue. Big time.
Twinmum canida3 years ago
Nice.. thanks for the update.
M.C. Langer2 years ago
Please!!!!!! Don't forget Colombia!!!!!!!!! :-)

Thanks friends!!!! :-)
I currently reside on Panama, but I will be moving to study in a US college this fall. Is there a way for me to participate in a contest and if I win (a big IF); my prices held by instructables until I move? or should i just wait until I move before participating?
If you already have a contact address in the US, you can give it now, and pick your prize up when you get there.
marrogante2 years ago
Hello excuse me for barging in but I'm just curious, when will the Philippines be able to join such contests?
Hoping for a reply
Thanks. God bless!
sitzikbs2 years ago
hope you add Israel too :)
good luck.
CR34M32 years ago
I just want to add a shout for minority countries: South Africa!!!

While winning a contest is statistically slim, at least being allowed to try is a good start. :)
Just a query about the UK.

If you're an Irish person, *normally* you'd prefer not to be lumped in with the UK because we've had our disagreements in the past.

But in the case of instructable competitions i personally wouldn't mind a whole lot.

So basically, are we or aren't we lumped in with the UK in this case?
Thanks.
syribia2 years ago
If you need some help in looking for Mexico game rules and making translations, please let me know. I'll be happy to help!
Meanwhile I have question: I live in Mexico but I have a friend address in the USA where you can ship the prizes (in the case I win some), can I participate in the contests?
dexhand2 years ago
Hoping that someday, very soon, Indonesia will become eligible country. Hoping so much.
Kiteman dexhand2 years ago
You have until Sunday to enter the International Go-Pro Contest.

Entry requirements are flexible, and there are year-long pro memberships up for grabs.

Click here to see the rules and enter.
hafsteinn3 years ago
wow... wonder where / if Iceland is on the list :-/

I have been super busy over the last few months with school and other things so I haven't been here in quite a while and I really can't believe this has happened...

Hope you guys will be able to fix this and return everything back to normal :D
Iceland is on the list, but unfortunately not at the top - just a simple matter of numbers.

In the meantime, we can still send you things if you post awesome projects. Check out the info here.
ynze3 years ago
Eric, it's been a week since your last comment on this lovely subject. Do you have any news yet? Or should I start another drawing ;-)

Y.
Please do.

Epic meta-spoof-video! Next Level!
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
canida ynze3 years ago
I am knocking myself out to get this done. I spent 2.5 hours in meetings with lawyers today, and should have updates on UK and Australia beginning of next week.

Good news for you: Netherlands is now 8th in traffic, so moving up the priority list.
Twinmum canida3 years ago
yay, good news for us Aussies and Brits
canida Twinmum3 years ago
Update on our stopgap solution: http://www.instructables.com/community/Good-news-for-International-Authors/
ynze canida3 years ago
Good to hear! Thanks for replying. Stand strong in meeting the lawyers!

Y.
Kiteman canida3 years ago
Excellent.
M.C. Langer3 years ago
Hi! I'm from Colombia. I have a question: while the rest of countries are unlocked for the contests, we could participate if we have a related one who lives in US or Australia and could receive the prize for us?
Yes, you can. That is, you could before the Autodesk takeover. I won a prize in the Monster-contest, in february '11. That was a US-only contest, I had the prize shipped to my niece, who lives in the US. Her kids have spent HOURS building monsters with the prize :-)
bajablue3 years ago
To the entire Staff at Instructables:

YOU'RE THE GREATEST!!!
F2Q7TILGI0TGFJ6.SMALL.jpg
claudiorox3 years ago
When Italy?
ewilhelm (author) 3 years ago
http://www.animationmagazine.net/vfx/chinese-artist-wins-autodesk-rendering-revolution-contest/

With winners from China, Germany, and Italy, clearly Autodesk has some "boiler plate" contest terms and conditions. I'm going to go yell at lawyers right now.
Now that's progress!
I'm certain there is no need to reinvent the wheel here.

Don't forget that the lawyers are working for Instructables. Not the other way round. If they aren't doing the job properly give them the old heave-ho and find someone who is solution driven.

Here's another world famous and highly regarded group that runs international competitions to make use of international talent.
http://www.kaggle.com/

There must be hundreds of others.

Good luck.
canida cammers3 years ago
Australia is now officially on the contest list!
Good luck. ;)
ewilhelm (author)  ewilhelm3 years ago
Autodesk paid an international contest agency a "boatload of money" to run this 3DS Max contest in a way that wouldn't run afoul of any country-specific restrictions. The work unfortunately does not appear to be directly applicable to other contests. The legal team is very concerned with opening up eligibility in the wrong way, because doing so exposes the company to monetary sanctions and in some cases even criminal liability. In this context, I heard an anecdote about an advertising campaign run by another company that ran afoul of India's obscenity laws; when an executive of the company landed in India, he was held in prison for a week while a settlement was reached. This is an example parade-of-horribles that has lawyers all worked up over the way we previously ran contests, even if not directly applicable.

The good news is that I have the attention of the top brass and they understand and value the reasons I want to open up eligibility. Further, Autodesk marketing wants to do more international contests themselves, so there are many parties interested in finding a solution.
My father has a lot of dealings with corporate-type lawyers.

He finds that the most efficient way to get his point across is to shout at them and threaten gross physical violence.

"What do you have if a room full of lawyers are buried up to their necks in sand?"

(Not enough sand)
splazem Kiteman3 years ago
I told this one to my dad (an ex lawyer), and he gave the answer before I could. At least they (well, some of them) have a sense of humor (note the correct spelling on humor).
Yay! Go sic Robot on them! Robot does have an override switch so that lawyers are exempted from the Three Laws, right?
Twinmum3 years ago
Yay, I see the UK and Australia are now added in the latest contests (photo edit and Hack it)
That news adds a question for me though, does that mean we can now enter the existing contests or will we only be able to enter new contests as they are added?
Great news though guys, thank you
canida Twinmum3 years ago
Yes, it just took us a while to get the updates through because we were also launching Halloween. Go to it!
ynze3 years ago
Thanks to Fungus Amungus, I started a "30 day project". I make a drawing every day, for 30 days. Today's drawing was easy :-P
30-day-project-drawings-11.jpg
Kiteman ynze3 years ago
Zing!
splazem Kiteman3 years ago
Ohhhhhh...
ynze splazem3 years ago
Let's go off-topic: Did you start on your 30-days-cartoon-challenge already?
Just wanted to say thanks for explaining and maybe it would help to post a link to this explanation on the affected competitions where it say which countries are eligible, thankfully lots of people are adding it to the comments but otherwise its easy to miss

Will
jochemspek3 years ago

"Remember, obeying the law is what good websites do!"

oemf, sorry ? with all due respect, that's what knights of morality in shiny capitalistic armor do.

-this comment probably doesn't comply with the "be nice policy" but it should, because I'm not being nasty, it's how I and many people feel about this.
Kiteman3 years ago
Any news yet on a timeline?

bajablue3 years ago
Two words:

THANK YOU.
PKM3 years ago

"Since we don't collect your country of residence during registration, our method of determining who is eligible is based on where a winner wants us to ship a prize."


That sounds like an important point to me. As a person who lives in a country where we spell it "colour", can I have prizes shipped to my friends in the US and therefore enter contests?  I'd imagine the spirit of the site very much frowns upon the alternative, having sock-puppet accounts registered to a US resident who publish the work of others.

It sounds like a loophole that wouldn't stand up to a lot of scrutiny, legally speaking, but then I'm no more familiar with this area of international law than anyone else who isn't a lawyer.
It is not that far fetched. When someone visits the States and participates in a game or contest, everything is ok, is it not?
Can we fix this problem with the community? What about this:

- We'll search for US / Canadian (sans Quebec) citizens, who are willing to ship the prize(s) to the winner(s) who live abroad.
If a prize is won by a "foreign" Ibler, the prize is sent to one of the people mentioned above.
- To cover the expenses of shipping, we make a fund. All "foreign" participants to a contest chip in some money to a Paypal-account. The money collected can be used for shipping costs and / or customs fees.

We bypass all laws, rules and lawyers this way, don't we? Please let me know what you think.

We should be carefull with any systematic or larger scale setup. As the whole problem originates from authorities that want to extend their protection of citizens against uncontrolled games to foreign games, there is difference betwen the occasional, individual escaping the rules versus any organised setup.
Instructables never got in trouble sending prizes to different countries. Why should we? Besides, what is shipped by us isn't a "prize" anymore, but can be send as a gift.
"We won't get caught" was certainly the former operating policy of Instructables (according to this post), but it was still not legal.

If person A from overseas legally wins some item, and it is shipped to person B to then ship to person A, B is *not* giving A a gift.
I think you're right that it will still be a prize if B ships the item to A.

It's probably extremely hard to really get around the law. By shipping the item to person B, Instructables will be off the hook, I'm sure. They shipped the prize to a person within the approved countries. What happens after that with the prize, is not of their concern, I guess.

I'm willing to take the chances of getting caught :)
Kiteman ynze3 years ago
There are, definitely, some US members who would collaborate in such an enterprise, but please remember that, if you get caught, the worst that can happen to you is, well, nothing, but the US citizen could be liable to prosecution.

Speaking as a member in this for the long-term, I'd rather wait until the lawyers get things sorted.

I would also, though, prefer not to wait very long. I am firmly of the opinion that id Autodesk's lawyers are in any way competent to deal with this situation, they should have enough knowledge of international contest laws, and enough previous versions of the appropriate paperwork, to have fixed this already.

Racketeering and conspiracy are federal level crimes.

But look at this, re: that Autodesk sponsored contest below has pretty stringent rule because it was to promote their own product and rule #13 states: 

13. The Contest is open to any individual, except the following who are not eligible to participate in the Contest: (i) individuals who are residents of: (1) the following states of the United States of America: Florida, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island; or (2) the Province of Quebec, Canada; (iii) individuals who are residents of a country, state, province or jurisdiction that (1) prohibits any aspect of the Contest or requires localized translation; (2) prohibits unregistered contests; or (3) requires Sponsor to post a bond. An Entrant may be required to submit proof of eligibility.

It may be the shoe will be on the other foot when the smoke clears.  Maybe there is something against NYer's.   I will concede that Florida does have all of our retirees, don't know how Rhode Island got involved and Puerto Rico and Quebec just can't get a break.
ynze3 years ago
So, in this case: Selling Instructables to Autodesk was not in the interest of the Instructables community, aka as the client...

I really hope this can be fixed soon. Given the fact that Autodesk issues international contests themselves, I do not understand the problem:
- Autodesk tells Instructables to stop doing international contests
- Autodesk issues international contests to celebrate AutoCAD's anniversary

So: Instructables can issue international contests as well. Period. It's really as simple as that. In big corporation peptalk: Just do it.

If that makes Autodesk's lawyers mad (which can be expected, since you're violating laws with the current terms and conditions), let the lawyers fix the problem.

I get the feeling from your post that you think you are the one responsible to fix this problem, but you're not. Autodesk Legal Office should fix it. It's their problem, not yours. They are not happy with your contest terms. To fix that, _they_ should come up with other terms and conditions, instead of telling you to stop running international contests.
Instructables is not in a position to dictate things. Autodesk has aquired Instructables; all former Instructables employees are now Autodesk employees.

Autodesk is in charge. What Autodesk says, goes.
By saying "just do it" I don't mean to dictate things. I mean to be deliberately disobedient. I completely understand that Autodesk is in charge, but every good employer withstands his boss now and then, if there's a good reason for it. And in this case, there is!

Since Autodesk has run international competitions before. Everyone knows beforehand that this "contest-thing" is not a real issue. The solution is already there, and everybody knows that. It just has to be found by Autodesk's lawyers.

So what happens here is powerplay. Autodesk is showing the Instructables team who is in charge. If Instructables wants to keep their identity, and wants to be able to take their own decisions, they must play the game and show Autodesk what they stand for.

I think it is _really_ important that Eric et al show their teeth to the Autodesk management here (Eric, are you reading this?). If they obey without any resistance, they will also create a precedent for future "differences in policy" that may occur. And will occur. Because the differences between the way Autodesk and Instructables run their businesses, is huge. And that difference is the most difficult bump to be taken, to make the merge successful for all parties.
>Everyone knows beforehand that this "contest-thing" is not a real issue.

Pray tell, what motive does Autodesk have for inexplicably hacking off the community the instant they acquire it? It doesn't make any sense that Autodesk is just screwing around with their employees/this community to assert power. They have absolutely nothing to gain by doing so, and tangible things to lose (if nothing else, the attorney bill!). I do not think it is accurate to say that "everyone knows" anything about this situation.

> I mean to be deliberately disobedient.

That's...not how it works. Not if you want to keep your job.

The time for standing up for principles is past. That time was during negotiations. That time was during the inking of the agreement. That time was before Autodesk became the legal owner of Instructables. Instructables then had a measure of power - or at least autonomy. No longer.

This cannot be a matter of power plays, for Instructables has no power anymore. Autodesk literally owns them. It can do whatever the hell it wants; Instructables is now mercy to its whims. It's like your 5 year old kid trying to make a "power play" with you - you might give in to their screaming just to make it stop, true, but it's not like little Susie or Bobby can actually force you to let them stay up all night. Not if you are determined they are going to bed. You're quite simply bigger and way more powerful. 

Barring some sort of clause guaranteeing his continued employment, Eric will eventually get fired if he just blatently ignores orders. It no longer makes sense to operate under the model of Eric-in-control or Eric-as-CEO, because he *isn't* anymore.
> Pray tell, what motive does Autodesk have for inexplicably hacking off the community the instant they acquire it?

This comes down to my point. They don't, from the viewpoint of the Instructables community. So there must be something else.

That "something else" is _not the legal issue_, I'm absolutely certain of that. Autodesk issued an international contest themselves! (see the post of Eric, of Aug. 18th). International contests are issued all over the world, all the time. Think of design contests, programming challenges, Lego NXT Leagues, etc, etc, etc. The legal stuff around that has been set up ages ago.

> Eric will eventually get fired if he just blatently ignores orders.

Eric will get fired if he doesn't do his job properly. He is Community Manager now. An important part of his job is to keep the Instructables community alive and kicking. Closing the contests for international entries is a very, very bad thing for 38% of Instructables' visitors. That is not what good community managers do. Besides that, over 64%(!) of Autodesk's revenues come from Europe and Asia!

Autodesk doesn't exactly have a reputation of being strong in keeping communities sound and happy (and that's a very mild way of putting it. If you want to know how a howling audience sounds, try the users of Autodesk's pro apps). That's probably (and hopefully) the reason why they asked Eric to keep the Instructables family alive. To do that, and to keep his job, he must stand up against this kind of behavior from Autodesk legal department.

What I mean to say is not that Eric should "blatently ingnore orders". He must stand up for the Autodesk community, and convince management of his decisions. Ignoring orders that are so clearly very foolish, is a wise thing to do, from all viewpoints. It's up to him to convince Autodesk on that part.
jochemspek3 years ago
By the way, what's next ? many products here rely on using other products, even advocating taking those apart and modifying them -which may be illegal !-. Is Instr- sorry, autodesk now going to look for a solid legal base for each and every post ? are posts going to be removed if they don't comply with the terms and conditions of the '3rd party' products ?

The more I think about it, the gloomier Instructable's future seems..


jochemspek3 years ago
So, instructables shuts the door in the face of its contributors.

Why didn't you sort this out behind the scenes ? When any one country that wanted to enforce their law on instructables, the lawyers had looked at the claim of that country, and IF that government wouldn't be satisfied with the response from autodesk that they work as hard as they can to comply to the law, you could have temporariliy kept participants from that country out of competition with big waving apologies and those people would be mad at their governments, rather than at you.

I think that instructables is going the Rhizome way - the site that in the 90's grew large from artistic contributions of their visitors and then turned 'private'. The company and so-called art(data)base is still there, and they probably make money off it, but the spirit (and the community) has long gone.

J
splazem3 years ago
To keep on the positive side, U.S.A. is on the top of both lists! Yay!
brianfss3 years ago
Great Explanation. Thanks for taking the time to sort it all out. I used to be a "desker" and got caught up in the rules game. Because they are in so many countries, and want to stay there, Autodesk tries really hard to follow the rules of that country.
DJ Radio3 years ago
How exactly could those gaming laws that you potentially broke be enforced when you were an independent entity with no locations outside the US? You pretty much implied that there was still potential for enforcement above.
Kryptonite3 years ago
...I love you guys, kudos from Australia!
jeff-o3 years ago
Sounds reasonable to me. Perhaps, in order to clarify things, you should post not only the eligible countries but also the reason why. And, make it clear that if someone from an ineligible country wins a prize, they may opt to have it sent to a friend or family member in a country that IS eligible.
rimar20003 years ago
Every day I admire more Instructables and all his staff !

Since my subscription July 6 2006 I am saying to my friends that it it one of the better (if not the best) page of the web. Not only for its contents, but for its management and ease of use.
Kiteman3 years ago
I keep hearing about how slow and steady the lawyers like to take things - any ideas on an actual timescale, even if it's only "by Christmas"?
If you'd just upgrade to AutoDesk 2012 it would be a non-issue.
I'm sure they'll have something solved by Christmas. The only uncertainly is which Christmas.
Maybe the Christmas that will never come, 2012? We will all be gone by then, so they don't have to do anything!

I dont actually believe in that, I am not crazy :D
Will it mean this is the year the AutoGrinch stole Halloween? It will be a sad day in Gotham City if it happens.
caitlinsdad3 years ago
Aaarrrgh, not the pirate way but definitely better than wearing wide orange horizontal pinstripes.
iceng3 years ago
Sounds as the only reasonable way to proceed expansion activity.

A