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From Greg Blasko at on 12 Nov '99
replying to CAREFULL! posted by David A

>We had the same idea. Contest yeah good idea, bring traffic. And it brought a lawsuit. Last month we teamed up with another site. They ran a trivia contest and we supplied the prize. We each had increased traffic. The contest was very popular, hundreds of entries. We randomly selected a winner and mailed off the prize. Thought everything was ok. WRONG! A disgruntled contest entrant contacted his lawyer about the validity of the contest. To make a long story short, we were contacted by the lawyer and told we had to be able to provide detailed records of who entered the contest, we were told the questions were too subjective, the list goes on and on. We have currently taken the contest offline until we can do it legally. My advice; be careful, maybe contact a lawyer, expect the unexpected. Oh yeah the prize had a value of about $30. Shows you what some people will do.
>David A

This is the main reason I want to hold a very objective contest. Does anyone know if there is any format or guidelines for posting contest rules or any other type of disclaimer for that matter? There is an inherent risk of legal action just by running a Web site as it is. I have a generic "terms of use" disclaimer on my site to protect myself from someone filing a lawsuit because that skied at a resort that they saw on my site, and broke there leg, or something crazy like that. I guess the next step for me will be to become an LLC (limited liability corporation). At least someone can't sue for your personal assets then.

I was planning on posting a disclaimer for this contest, but I will now consider this much more seriously. Thanks for the warning David. By the way, I'm not sure how much you can talk about this, but what grounds specifically did this person have for a lawsuit, besides feeling that the contest was too subjective? It also seems strange that they would ask you to provide detailed records of contestants. Why should that matter, and doesn't that break some privacy policy?

Thanks again for the warning. Now that I know what the contest will most likely be, it's time to research protecting myself.


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