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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.

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Kiteman5 months ago

As a general observation, the further down this list your country lies, the lower the priority it is going to have for adding to contests:

https://www.quantcast.com/instructables.com?qcLoca...

fendyr Kiteman3 months ago

I'm from Indonesia, can I participate to audio contest?

Frankly,
I'm confuse for I must be a registered member of the Sponsor Site in
order to publish a project to the Sponsor Site. So, what Sponsor Site is
it??? And where is its Link???

Please help me for some information regarding to enter the Audio Contest.

Thanks.

Kiteman fendyr3 months ago

You only need to be a member of this site to join in any contest.

At the moment, the contests are only legal in these countries: US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada (excluding Quebec), China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland

If you live outside of those countries, you are not officially allowed to win.

BUT...

Instructables do not check where you live, and do not ask you for the address to send the prize to until you win.

If you have a friend, family member or business contact in one of the countries above, you can give their address as your own, the prize goes there, and then your contact sends the prize on to you.

Please note, this is not official advice from headquarters, but it is proven to work.

chienline Kiteman5 months ago

I see that Indonesia is on 16th [ hope and pray ] (^_^)

Nemo66612 hours ago

Last update was 3 yeas ago. Is there any newer updates?

I see it that there are two type of eligibility cases:

First - where you need to change rules.

Second - where you don't need to change rules.

I don't see any reason, not to add all those second type countries.

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.

Well i tend to disagree, according to quantcast, we give the 8th highest traffic. I think that is high enough that we deserve some attention

Traffic and members are two different things, of course. SA provides 1% of the site traffic, but (I think) much less than 1% of the active participation in the site.

Perhaps, instead, it is the complexities of the SA contest laws? Maybe you could speed up things by finding out what laws & regulations need to be met, and passing them on to service@instructables.com?

Flenters Kiteman3 months ago

I know, I know....but the few of us need this.

Ok only joking. Hopefully we will get there soon.

Laesaurus2 months ago

If I am in the Philippines and I won a contest, can you send it to me directly or do I have to give an address in the legal countries and let a friend send it to me?

You have to have an address in a country that the contest was/is open to.

creareunblog2 months ago

how can i participate to this contest? i'm from italy but i live in spain!

Kisaa3 months ago

Sorry! maybe i couldn't understand it but what i understood was that the countries laws are not supporting us to take part in these contests????????

myinst026 months ago

Yes please add Pakistan to it. You must be getting a high traffic from Pakistan although it is a small country. You will get more high traffic if you open Pakistan because people here have great potentials for DIY's and most of the population have technical and engineering education and also just like India it has English as official language and there are no rules that ban DIY contests. Thanks.

Kiteman myinst026 months ago

According to Quantcast.com, Pakistan are 19th on the list of countries visiting the site, by traffic. Pakistan provides roughly 160,000 visitors per month, compared to India's 1,200,000, and America's 14,400,000.

myinst02 Kiteman6 months ago

But comparing it with a huge country like India and USA is totally unfair. Please compare it's traffic with a small country like Colombia (28,700), Norway (78,100), New Zealand (88,000), Switzerland (70,500) [Stats by qunantcast.com]. Also considering that Pakistan is developing country and internet is available to only 10% of population while in the above countries, 85%-100% population has internet access. So, considering that 160,000 is very much good traffic coming from Pakistan. Also, the traffic will be much more increased when you open these contests and in Pakistan there are no laws banning such contests. So, Pakistan deserves to be have these contests opened. I hope you will look into this. Thanks and cheers!

Kiteman myinst026 months ago

It is entirely fair to compare with larger nations - the site have to balance the effort required to jump through a nation's legal loopholes (international lawyers are *expensive*), against the benefit to the site in terms of increases in participation.

Maybe you could speed things up by finding what contest and gambling laws need to be complied with, and getting your nation's legal bodies to get in touch with the site's lawyers?

simba1 Kiteman3 months ago

Sorry! maybe i couldn't understand it but what i understood was that the countries laws are not supporting us to take part in these contests????????

please tell me if i had understood the message correctly????

Kiteman simba13 months ago

Correct.

Laws are similar in many countries, but not identical. It takes time and money to adjust the rules until they fulfil the requirements of the various laws.

simba1 Kiteman3 months ago

Thanks!! now i have understood

gmuzzammil6 months ago

Please add Pakistan to it. Just like India it has English as official language and do not have any laws prohibiting DIY contests. Thanks

simba1 gmuzzammil3 months ago

You are right!!!! I too want Pakistan to have this opportunty.

Are you sure? Have you checked? Some countries classify contests like these as gambling.

GinaBidd5 months ago

Dear Instructables

Please add South Africa. It would be a great hit here. SA is filled with lots of ingenuity and creativity. (And English is the main language here so no need for translations!!)

Please consider it.

Thanks... A proud South African.

LD_P GinaBidd3 months ago

Yes! A fellow South African here, and I've been a winner in quite a few contests already - luckily I was able to have someone bring my prizes to me from Canada, but that's no longer an option, so it'd be great to have SA on the list!

Flenters GinaBidd4 months ago

I agree....yes!

goldenshuttle6 months ago

Please add Malaysia if possible. Malaysia widely adopts English for business & Education.

mjawed7 months ago

Hi Instructables team,

How long I have to wait get included my country into the list of valid countries.....?

its been a long time waiting............to participate into contest regarding technology, specially, OSHW and IoT.

Thanks.

PaulJ97 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lflarQC8r9I&index=2&list=PLo2rQ1ze4ZhC6vfVcBNvaVmBSKQQn4tE6

chienline8 months ago
OscariusThio8 months ago

What about Indonesia? I think DIY competition is not prohibited by the law. It encourages us to think and create. Maybe you all you need to do is contacting Minister of Social Services of Indonesia to make sure Contests held by Instructables do not against the law. We have plenty of DIYers over here :-)

Bojarski9 months ago

Any updates on Sweden?

Robson Couto10 months ago

Any updates about making Brazil elegible?

Thank you!

zzz zzz zzz

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.

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...

mgirado1 year 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.

Philippines**

you ar philipino ?

mahf12301 year 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.
I like your lists, and it's very usefu and detailed.
sbhandari31 year 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)
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.
how can i find who is incharge of contest and gambling law?? sorry i am new to all this :)
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 yaly2 years ago
Yes, we can ship to winners with US addresses.
yaly canida1 year ago
Thank you so much :)
tumidaj canida2 years 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
tumidaj2 years ago
Oohh This is it. Fine information. Thank YOU!!!
TobaTobias2 years ago
Nice! Hopefully Mexico will be eligible too. Great information, thanks ;)
Yes! this is great information! ;)
tumidaj2 years ago
This is awesome!
Davide3112 years 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.
elsatch2 years 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 ;)
Kiteman elsatch2 years ago
+1

(Although it may be due to the large number of Spanish speakers in the USA and countries like Mexico.)
LeoMarius2 years 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.
Kiteman2 years 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 DriX2 years 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!
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