Official Rules for the RecLab Prize on Overstock.com Contest
No Purchase or Payment Necessary. A Purchase or Payment Will Not Increase Your Chances of Winning.
1. Eligibility: The Reclabs Prize on Overstock.com Contest (the “Contest”) is open only to individuals who are over the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry. The following individuals are not eligible to participate: (a) residents of Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria; (b) employees of RichRelevance, Inc., Overstock.com, Inc., or any of their subsidiary or affiliated companies; and (c) the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees. Individuals may enter individually or as part of a non-commercial team (in either circumstance, a “Team”). To enter individually means the individual is entering the Contest for himself or herself, and not on behalf of any other person or any legal entity. A “non-commercial Team” is defined as two or more individuals who are entering the Contest on behalf of themselves and not on behalf of any person who is not a member of that Team or any legal entity. Teams may or may not be affiliated with an educational institution as described in Section 4(b) and (c) below. The words “you” and “Team” in these Official Rules refers to each individual, Team, or educational institution, as applicable.
2. Sponsor: The Contest is sponsored by RichRelevance, Inc., 275 Battery Street, Suite 1150, San Francisco, CA 94111 (“Sponsor”).
3. Agreement to Official Rules: By participating in the Contest, you indicate your full and unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, (a) these Official Rules and (b) Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
4. Registration: You may register to participate in the Contest between at 12:00:01 am PT (GMT -8) on May 4, 2011 and 11:59:59 pm PT (GMT -8) on March 1, 2012.
a. Instructions: To register, visit http://overstockreclabprize.com/teams/register and complete the registration form in its entirety. You will be required to provide a Team name and the names and contact information for all individual Team members. You must identify a Team Leader. In addition, if you or your Team claim affiliation with one or more educational institutions, you must specify the name of such educational institutions. Sponsor will communicate solely with the Team leader. Sponsor reserves the right to change the Team name, in its sole discretion.
b. Team Composition: Individuals may be members of multiple Teams; however, Teams with an identical set of members are not permitted. Multiple Teams may be affiliated with the same educational institution. Multiple individuals from multiple educational institutions are allowed; however, if individuals from multiple educational institutions collaborate as a Team, the Team Leader must designate which institution(s) will receive the Institution Prize (as defined below), and in what proportion, if the Team wins. Any designated institution may be changed by the Team Leader at any time prior to the deadline for Entries. Sponsor disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between members of a Team and between individuals and affiliated educational institutions.
c. Educational Institution: In order for an educational institution to be eligible to receive the Institution Prize, at least one member of a Team must be actively enrolled in or employed by such educational institution at the time of entry. If you designate that you or your Team are affiliated with an educational institution, by registering, you represent and warrant that you, and all Team members have obtained any and all necessary consents from all applicable educational institutions, including but not limited to the right to participate in the Contest and, if applicable, the right to convey the rights set forth in Section 6. If, as a result of claiming affiliation with an educational institution you, or any Team member, are unable to convey the rights set forth in Section 6, you, all Team members and the educational institution which you and your Team members claim affiliation with will be deemed ineligible. Sponsor may require at any time that you provide documentation from any applicable educational institution confirming that: (i) you and/or your Team are authorized to participate in the Contest; (ii) you and/or your Team have the right to grant the license to Sponsor set forth in these Official Rules; (iii) the applicable educational institution(s) can and will grant a license to Sponsor as set forth in these Official Rules; and/or (iv) the applicable educational institution(s) has/have no claim or right in the algorithm being created by you or your Team and therefore no such consent or license from any applicable educational institution(s) is/are necessary. If Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, that you are in violation of your educational institution’s policies, or if you cannot provide the documentation required by Sponsor, you, your Team (if applicable) and the educational institution(s) with which you and/or your Team are affiliated may, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, be disqualified. To be eligible for the Institution Prize, educational institutions must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education or, for foreign educational institutions only, by an accrediting agency approved by the national government of the country where such institution is located.
5. Entry: You may submit an Entry between 12:01 am PT (GMT -8) on October, 3, 2011 and 12:00 pm PT (GMT -8) on March 1, 2012.
b. Instructions: We’ve developed a great algorithm that helps predict whether a customer will like a product, but we’re curious to know if you can do better. Your job is to create an algorithm that will produce more revenue per session than our algorithm. To enter, you must submit the complete source code for both the model building code and the runtime algorithms. The source code and other material you submit as part of this Contest constitutes your Entry. Any text you submit as part of your Entry must be in English. Your Entry must not require any third-party software or licenses, payments to any third parties, or otherwise prevent Sponsor from exercising its rights described below. Click here for detailed instructions and technical requirements for Entries.
c. Restrictions: Entries may not encode in any way a signal that, when visible on Overstock.com’s website, identifies a specific Entry, including, but not limited to combinations or arrangements of products, product IDs, product names, prices, or other data in the recommendation that is designed to provide a fingerprint that identifies the source of the recommendations. Any violation will result in immediate disqualification and a lifetime ban of all individuals on the Team from further participation in this and any subsequent competition. Criminal or civil fraud claims may also apply.
6. Sponsor’s Rights to Entries and Your Representations: By submitting an Entry, you (a) irrevocably grant to Sponsor, Overstock.com, Inc. (“Overstock”), and each of their respective agents, assigns, licensees and other third party designees an irrevocable, royalty free, fully paid up, worldwide, non-exclusive license, right and permission to test, analyze, copyright, reproduce, encode, store, copy, transmit, publish, post, broadcast, display, publicly perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works of, exhibit, and otherwise use your Entry or any Residuals (as defined below) as-is or as-edited in any media throughout the world for any purpose, without limitation, and without additional review, compensation, or approval from you or any other party; (b) unconditionally and irrevocably forever waive any rights of copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights, and any other legal or moral rights that may preclude Sponsor’s or Overstock’s use of your Entry or Residuals, or require any further permission for Sponsor to use the Entry or Residuals; (c) agree not to instigate, support, maintain, or authorize any action, claim, or lawsuit against Sponsor or Overstock on the grounds that any use of the Entry or Residuals, or any derivative works, infringes any of your rights as creator of the Entry, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights, and any other legal or moral rights; and (d) represent and warrant (i) that you have obtained all rights, licenses, and permissions necessary from your educational institution, and that you can make those available to Sponsor upon request, (ii) no third party intellectual property rights are violated by the Entry or by exploitation of the licenses granted in clause (a) above; and (iii) the Entry does not contain Open Source (as defined below) that will obligate a licensee under clause (a) above to (A) distribute or disclose any other software combined, distributed or otherwise made commercially available with such Open Source Software in source code form or (B) license or otherwise make available such Open Source Software and/or other software combined, distributed, linked to or otherwise made commercially available with such Open Source Software or any associated Intellectual Property on a royalty free basis. The term “Residuals” means information in intangible form, which is retained in memory by persons who have had access to the Entry, including ideas, concepts, know-how, or techniques contained therein. Neither Sponsor nor Overstock shall have any obligation to limit or restrict the assignment of such persons or to pay royalties for any work resulting from the use of Residuals. The term “Open Source” means any software code that contains or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software, shareware, or similar licensing or distribution models. Open Source includes, but is not limited to, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (i) GNU’s General Public License (GPL), or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (ii) the Artistic License (e.g. PERL), (iii) the Mozilla Public Licenses(s), (iv) the Netscape Public License, (v) the Berkeley software design (BSD) license including Free BSD or BSD-style license, (vi) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (vii) an Open Source Foundation License (e.g., CDE and Motif Unix user interfaces).
7. Selection of Winners: Entries will be judged in up to three (3) stages, as set forth below.
a. Peer Review: On or about April 16, 2012, a peer review committee appointed by Sponsor will select the top ten (10) Semi-Finalists based on their opinions of the expected effectiveness at generating lift and novelty of design of each of the Entries. They will also attempt to ensure their selections reflect a diversity of approaches from among the Entries. Each Semi-Finalist Team (including each Team member and, if applicable, in Sponsor’s discretion, the Semi-Finalist’s affiliated educational institution) will be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility and the license agreement described in Section 8 below. If a Semi-Finalist Team does not submit all of the required documents within the time period specified by Sponsor, that Team will not be eligible to proceed to the Semi-Finalist Stage.
b. Semi-Final Stage: Before the start of the Semi-Final Stage, Sponsor will build models using thirty (30) days of context history from the Overstock.com website, representing the past thirty (30) days of activity of the full set of shoppers who visited the site. Model build jobs will be run for up to one (1) hour on an HDFS cluster of no less than twenty (20) machines. In the live evaluation, the code will be run as described above, subject to a 50ms time limit for recommendations to be generated. When results are returned, they will be displayed to shoppers who may then choose to interact with them. On or about April 23, 2012, each of the Semi-Finalists will be given a randomly-chosen 1% of sessions on the Overstock.com website for a period of three (3) weeks. If any Entry’s allocated traffic produces more than 1% more revenue per session than Sponsor’s existing algorithms, then up to the top three (3) Semi-Finalist Teams (as measured by revenue per session) that each produce more than 1% more revenue per session than Sponsor’s existing algorithms will proceed to the Final Stage. If no Entry produces more than 1% more revenue per session than Sponsor’s existing algorithms, then there will be no Final Stage and no prize will be awarded.
c. Final Stage: Each of the Finalists will be given randomly-chosen 5% of sessions on the Overstock.com website for an additional three (3) weeks. The best performing Entry, as judged by increase in revenue per session over Sponsor’s existing algorithms, will be deemed the winner. If no Finalist produces more than 1% more revenue per session than Sponsor’s existing algorithms, then no prize will be awarded.
8. Grant of License and Condition to Receipt of Prize. As a condition to participating in the Semi-Final stage, each Team and educational institution (if applicable) must execute with Sponsor and Overstock (including its affiliates and subsidiaries, employees, agents and contractors), in a form reasonably acceptable to Sponsor and Overstock, a license agreement granting to Sponsor and Overstock (including its affiliates and subsidiaries, employees, agents and contractors) the perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty free, fully paid up, non-exclusive license set forth in Section 6 without limitation and without additional review, compensation or approval from the Entrant and/or Entrant’s affiliated educational institution or any other party. The license agreement shall include (i) an unconditional and irrevocable waiver of any rights of copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights, and any other legal or moral rights that may preclude Sponsor or Overstock’s use of the Entry or Residuals (ii) a representation and warranty that Entrant has obtained all rights, licenses, and permissions necessary from any applicable educational institution, and that Entrant can make those available to Sponsor upon request and (iii) a covenant from the Entrant and/or Entrant’s affiliated educational institution not to instigate, support, maintain, or authorize any action, claim, or lawsuit against Sponsor or Overstock on the grounds that any use of the Entry or Residuals, or any derivative work, infringes any of Entrant’s and/or Entrant’s affiliated educational institution’s rights as creator or owner of the Entry, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights, and any other legal or moral rights.
9. Prizes: Conditioned upon Team (and, if applicable, Team’s affiliated educational institution) granting the license as set forth in Section 6 above, the winner, if any, will receive a cash prize of $100,000 USD multiplied by the percentage that such Team’s algorithm performed over Sponsor’s algorithm rounded down to the nearest tenth of one percent, up to a maximum amount of $1,000,000 USD (the “Prize”). (For example, if the winner produced 3.34% more revenue per session than Sponsor’s algorithm, the winner will receive $330,000 USD.) In addition, if applicable, Sponsor will set aside an additional 25% of the Prize paid to the winner, to be paid to the educational institution(s) (“Institution Prize”) affiliated with such winner according to the proportion designated by the Team Leader. All prize values are listed in US Dollars. The prizes will be paid within sixty (60) days of the date the winner is determined. We recommend that you use a currency converter, such as this one, to determine the value in your currency. Prizes will be distributed to the members of the winning Team and the affiliated educational institution(s) in accordance with the instructions of the Team Leader. We recommend Teams determine ahead of time how the Prize, if any, would be shared among Team members. If applicable, Teams are responsible for ensuring that their acceptances and use of the Prize complies with any applicable policies set forth by their affiliated educational institution(s). Any prize details that are not specified above will be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Prizes may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. The value of a prize may be treated as income to a winner and the winner may be responsible for reporting and payment of income taxes. In some cases, Sponsor may be required to file tax forms with government agencies. We encourage you to consult your tax advisor to determine how winning this prize may affect your tax obligations.
10. General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, purpose, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, cancel, suspend, or modify the Contest. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it considers to be tampering with 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, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Failure by Sponsor to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to Sponsor by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by Sponsor. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Contest. The Contest is subject to federal, state, provincial, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.
11. Release and Limitations of Liability: Except in cases of death or personal injury caused by the negligence of the Sponsor, you agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Overstock.com, Inc, their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of these Official Rules, your participation in the Contest, or your receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, internet providers, or telephone, or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from your participation in the Contest or receipt, use, or misuse of any prize. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, except where prohibited by law, you agree that the Released Parties’ liability is 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. You further waive the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.
12. Indemnification: You agree to defend, indemnify and hold the Released Parties harmless from and against any and all responsibility of any kind, including but not limited to claims, losses, damages, costs, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of, or in connection with (a) your submission of algorithms and executables, (b) your participation in the Contest, (c) your Entry, (d) any claim or allegation that your Entry (including but not limited to any algorithm, residuals or other material submitted by you) infringes any copyright, patent, trade secret or any other intellectual property right or contains Open Source, (e) disputes between Team members, (f) disputes between Team members and educational institutions, (g) claims relating to damage to persons or property relating in any way to your Entry and (h) the Prize and Institutional Prize.
14. Disputes: Except where prohibited, you agree 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 state or Federal court located in the City and County of San Francisco, California. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of California or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of California. All of Sponsor’s decisions in relation to the Contest are final and Sponsor will not enter into any correspondence with Teams other than winners.
15. Results: Winners will be posted on the Contest website.