02/23/2012 04:41 pm ET Updated Jun 27, 2012

Off The Bus "Cover The Conventions" Contest Official Rules




ELIGIBILITY: The OffTheBus “Cover the Conventions” Contest (the “Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the United States (including the District of Columbia) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 or older at time of entry. Employees of AOL Inc. and its subsidiaries, affiliates, parent companies, distributors, divisions and agencies, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. Subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law.

SPONSOR: The Contest is sponsored by AOL Inc., 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 ("Sponsor").

AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES: Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor which are final and binding. Winning a Prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

TIMING: The entry period starts at 9AM ET on February 21, 2012 and ends at 11:59PM ET on June 29, 2012 (the "Entry Period"). Entries received prior to or after the Entry Period will be disqualified.
UPDATE: The end time has been changed to 11:59PM ET on July 9, 2012.

HOW TO ENTER: To enter, tag your Tumblr video with “OfftheBus” or submit the URL of an embeddable video to offthebus@huffingtonpost.com in which you explain why you think you would make a good citizen political journalist and why you need to share your views on the Republican or Democratic Party conventions (your “Entry”). Videos must be less than 120 seconds long to be considered.
Your Entry must not: (a) violate any third party rights, including, but not limited to, copyrights, trademark rights, , or rights of privacy and publicity, and must not include any third party photographs, likenesses, film or video clips, music tracks as underscore, or music played on a radio or television in the background; (b) contain defamatory statements; (c) include threats to any person, place, business, or group; (d) be obscene or indecent; (e) depict any risky behavior; (f) prominently feature any third party trademarks or logos; or (g) have been entered in any other contest or have been published or distributed in any other media.
By submitting an Entry, you represent and warrant that: (a) the Entry is an original work created solely by you for entry in the Contest; (b) you own all rights to the Entry; (c) to the extent the Entry depicts any individual or features the voice of any individual, you are the individual pictured and heard in the Entry, or, alternatively, that you have obtained written permission from each person appearing in the Entry to grant the rights to Sponsor described in the “Rights to Contest Entries” section below, and can make written copies of such permissions available to Sponsor upon request; and (d) the Entry complies with all requirements of these Official Rules.

JUDGING: All entries will be judged according to the following criteria (the “Judging Criteria”): originality; creativity; user feedback and overall excellence. The twenty-four (24) entrants with the highest scores will be deemed potential winners. In the event of a tied score, the entries involved in the tie will be reviewed by an additional judge who will serve as a tiebreaker and who will evaluate entries according to criteria listed above. Decisions of judges are final and binding on all matters relating to this Contest. Becoming a winner is subject to validation and verification of eligibility and compliance with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules. Sponsor reserves the right to select fewer than twenty-four (24) winners if it does not receive a sufficient number of entries that are of a high enough quality, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

NOTIFICATION OF POTENTIAL WINNERS: Any entrant who is notified that his/her entry was selected is a Potential Winner. Potential Winner is not a Winner until he/she has returned all required documentation and his/her eligibility has been verified by Sponsor. Potential Winner must comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. Potential Winner will be notified by U.S. mail, e-mail and/or telephone. Except where prohibited, Potential Winner may be required to sign and return to Sponsor, within a time period to be determined by Sponsor, an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release and W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification in order to claim their Prize. Potential Winner will also be required to agree to the Off the Bus terms located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/off-the-bus-terms-of-service_n_890814.html. If Potential Winner fails to sign and return the above paperwork within the required time period, the entrant with the next highest score will be deemed a Potential Winner. Potential Winners are subject to a background check.

PRIZES: Up to twenty-four (24) winners will each receive a trip to either the Republican or Democratic party conventions in 2012, as selected by Sponsor, in its sole discretion, with the opportunity to report on the convention. The prize includes: (a) round-trip (coach) air transportation for one (1) person from a major airport nearest the winner’s residence to the convention city; (b) hotel accommodations for five (5) nights; and (c) a per diem of $51 for 5 days, to be used toward meals and incidentals. The Republican Convention is scheduled to take place from August 27 to 30, 2012, and the Democratic Convention is scheduled to take place from September 3 to 6, 2012. The approximate retail value of each prize is $1500. The actual value of the prize will vary depending on various factors, including the date of booking and the point of departure.
Any prize details not specified above will be determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion. Sponsor may substitute ground transportation in lieu of air transportation if the winner lives near the convention city. Winner is responsible for obtaining all required travel documents. All costs and expenses not specified herein are the sole responsibility of the winner, including, but not limited to, meals and beverages, ground transportation not specified above, taxes and gratuities. The winner is responsible for any obtaining travel insurance (and all other forms of insurance) he/she may wish to obtain (at his/her own expense) and hereby acknowledge that the Sponsor has not and will not obtain or provide travel insurance or any other form of insurance. Airline carrier’s regulations and conditions apply. In the event a convention is cancelled or does not take place as scheduled, or in the event Sponsor is unable to obtain permission or the proper press credentials to allow Winners to attend the conventions, then Sponsor’s only obligation is to award the remaining portions of the prize. Prize is nontransferable and non-refundable and must be accepted as awarded. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor, who reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to substitute a prize with another prize of greater or equal value in the event that a prize or portion of prize is unavailable. Winner is solely responsible for any and all applicable fees and taxes associated with prize receipt and use. Any posts or reporting submitted by winners for potential publication are subject to the Off the Bus terms located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/off-the-bus-terms-of-service_n_890814.html.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prize from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address from which the entry is made. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. A potential winner may be required to provide Sponsor with satisfactory proof that he/she is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the potentially winning entry.

PUBLICITY: Entrants grant Sponsor the right to use their names, images, likenesses, photographs, voices and biographical materials, and Entries, for advertising, publicity and promotion purposes or on a winner’s list and other online announcements, whether TV or print, without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law. Entrants shall not receive any compensation or credit for use of entries, other than that disclosed in these rules.

RIGHTS TO CONTEST ENTRIES: Entrant hereby agrees not to instigate, support, maintain or authorize any action, claim or lawsuit against the Released Parties (defined below), or any other person, on the grounds that any use of the entry as provided herein, infringes any of entrant's rights as creator of the entry, including, without limitation, trademark rights, copyrights and moral rights or "droit moral." Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the entry is the property of Sponsor and that Sponsor has all rights under copyright law including intellectual property rights. By submitting the entry, the Entrant irrevocably assigns and transfers all intellectual property rights therein to Sponsor and agrees to execute such additional documents as may be requested by Sponsor to evidence Sponsor’s ownership of the intellectual property rights in the entry. To the extent such assignment of rights is prohibited under State or local law, the Entrant submitting the winning entry hereby agrees to grant Sponsor and its agents an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, exclusive right and license to reproduce, publish, display, edit, market, store, distribute, have distributed, communicate, transmit, have transmitted, promote, create derivative works based upon and use the winning entry for promotional, advertising, editorial, commercial, merchandising and/or all other purposes. Additionally, ALL ENTRANTS grant Sponsor and its agents an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive right and license to reproduce, publish, display, edit, market, store, distribute, have distributed, communicate, transmit, have transmitted, promote, create derivative works based upon and use any entry for promotional, advertising, editorial, commercial, merchandising and/or all other purposes. In no way is Entrant to be construed as the agent of or to be acting as the agent of Sponsor in any way. Nothing herein shall constitute an employment, joint venture, or partnership relationship between Entrant and Sponsor.

RELEASE AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: By participating in the Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, AOL, their officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (b) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (c) errors in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or (d) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest or receipt of any prize. Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Released Parties’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest, and in no event shall the Released Parties be liable for attorney’s fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.

DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.

CONTEST RESULTS: Contest results may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: John Ness, OffTheBus “Cover the Conventions” Contest Winners List, 584 Broadway, 8th Floor, Room 810, New York, NY 10012. Requests must be received by July 30, 2012.