"The Mobbies" contest -- Official Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. "The Mobbies" Contest ("Contest") is sponsored by the Baltimore Sun Company ("Baltimore Sun"), 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, Maryland 21278, and is designed to highlight Maryland's Best Blogs, i.e., the "Mobbies," and Social Media Accounts. A "Blog" is defined as a Web page with dated entries, with the most recent entries at the top of the page. A Blog includes all text, images, video, sounds, content, graphics or other material included or posted to the Blog, all of which together are subject to all requirement and limitations in these Official Rules. A "Social Media Account" is a Twitter account, Instagram account or Facebook public page.
Contest period begins on October 18, 2012, at 8:00 a.m., and ends on November 9, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. All times stated in these Official Rules are Eastern Time. The Baltimore Sun's computer is the official time-keeping device for this Contest. The geographic scope of this Contest is the 50 United States and District of Columbia. Contest void where prohibited. By submitting a nomination, being nominated, voting on a nomination, or accepting a prize in this Contest, all participants agree to these Official Rules and to the decisions of Baltimore Sun, which are final and binding in all respects. Blogs are limited to one Category Prize per Blog; Social Media Accounts are limited to one Category Prize per account. This Contest will consist of the following two stages, which are more fully detailed below.
Stage 1 -- Nominations: Nominations will be accepted starting on October 18, 2012, at 8:00 a.m. and ending on October 25, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. (the "Nomination Period"). During the Nomination Period, baltimoresun.com users may nominate their favorite Blogs and Social Media Accounts.
Stage 2 -- Online Voting: Nominations that are timely and properly submitted during the Nomination Period will be published on baltimoresun.com (the "Contest Web Site") for public voting beginning October 29, 2012, at 8:00 a.m. and ending on November 9, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. ("Voting Period").
To be eligible for a prize, each Blog or Social Media Account must satisfy the following eligibility requirements: All Blogs or Social Media Accounts must be written by legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia (each a "Nominee"). Nominees must be at least fourteen years old at the time of nomination. You are not eligible to be nominated or win a prize for any category except "Baltimore Sun" Blog (although you remain eligible to nominate or vote for other Blogs or Social Media Accounts) if you are a current employee of the Baltimore Sun Company or Tribune Company or any of their respective parent companies, advertising companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, promotion contractors and/or public relations companies or any other entity that participated in the creation, operation or fulfillment of this Contest or you are a member of the immediate family of any such employee. "Immediate family" includes only spouses, parents, siblings and children.
3. STAGE 1: NOMINATION PERIOD
Blogs and Social Media Accounts may be nominated during the Nomination Period at the Contest Web Site, located at baltimoresun.com. You may nominate your own Blog or Social Media Account. All Blogs and Social Media Accounts must satisfy the "Submission Requirements" below. To nominate a Blog or Social Media Account, visit the Contest Web Site during the Nomination Period and follow the instructions to nominate one or more Blogs or Social Media Accounts in any of the following categories (each a "Category"):
BEST NEW BLOG (i.e., a Blog launched after October 20, 2011)
BEST COMMUNITY BLOG
BEST TECH BLOG
BEST FOOD BLOG
BEST PHOTO BLOG
BEST ENTERTAINMENT BLOG
BEST FASHION BLOG
BEST LIFESTYLE BLOG
BEST PERSONAL BLOG
BEST COMPANY/BUSINESS BLOG
BEST NEWS BLOG
BEST POLITICS BLOG
BEST HUMOR ACCOUNT (blog, Twitter, Facebook)
BEST PRO-SPORTS BLOG
BEST COLLEGE/AMATEUR SPORTS BLOG
BEST BALTIMORE SUN BLOG
BEST TUMBLR BLOG
BEST PERSON ON TWITTER
BEST ORGANIZATION ON TWITTER
BEST FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
BEST VIDEO/WEB SERIES
BEST INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
You may nominate as many Blogs as you like, but you may nominate each Blog for only up to two Categories. You may nominate as many Social Media Accounts as you like, but you may nominate a Social Media Account for only one Category. Once the Voting Period begins, a Blog may be listed in up to two Categories. A Social Media Account may be listed in one Category, Baltimore Sun reserves the right to select and edit Categories and Blogs' and Social Media Accounts' categorization. All Nominations will be approved by Baltimore Sun staff before they're included publicly in the Contest. However, as noted below, publication of a Nomination on the Contest Web Site does not constitute an acknowledgment or determination of satisfaction of these Official Rules, including without limitation eligibility limitations and Submission Requirements.
In addition to the Categories above, the Blog or Social Media Account that receives the most votes in any category will be named the "Best Overall." If a Blog or Social Media Account is nominated in more than one category, vote totals will not be added or averaged. Nominations will not be accepted via regular mail or any other method. Nominations must be received by Baltimore Sun no later than October 25, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. Baltimore Sun is not responsible for Nominations that are lost, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete, not legible, if they contain errors or if for any reason they are not received prior to the stated deadline and all such Nominations are void. All Nominations become the property of Baltimore Sun and will not be returned or acknowledged. Nominations that lack any required information or do not adhere to the above guidelines, the Submission Requirements or these Official Rules in any way, as determined by Baltimore Sun at any time in its discretion, may be disqualified without further notification by Baltimore Sun.
4. STAGE 2: VOTING PERIOD
All Nominations that are timely and properly submitted during the Nomination Period will be published on the Contest Web Site for public voting during the Voting Period. The publication of a Nomination on the Contest Web Site during the Voting Period does not constitute an acknowledgment or determination by Baltimore Sun that the Nomination satisfies these Official Rules, including the Submission Requirements, or that the corresponding Nominee is otherwise eligible. Baltimore Sun reserves the right, at any point during this Contest, to refuse to publish to the Contest Web Site, or to remove from the Contest Web Site, any Nominations that Baltimore Sun determines, at any time and in its sole discretion, do not satisfy all requirements of these Official Rules.
During the Voting Period, any registered users of baltimoresun.com (including Nominees) (collectively referred to as "Voters") may visit the Contest Web Site to view all properly submitted Nominations and to vote for their favorite Nomination in each Category. Registration on baltimoresun.com is free. Voting is limited to one vote per person per 24-hour period per Category.Proxy voting is not allowed. You must be located in the United States at the time you vote. This includes but is not limited to creating multiple or dummy emails. No one may purchase votes. The use of automated devices for voting is not permitted and will result in the disqualification of all votes received through that method and/or from that Voter. Baltimore Sun reserves the right to disqualify any votes cast in violation of the above restrictions or any Voter who violates the above restrictions. Subject to verification of eligibility, the Nominee whose Blog or Social Media Account receives the highest number of votes in each Category will be declared the "Winner" of that Category.
If a Blog wins in more than one Category, it will be declared the Winner in the Category in which it received the highest number of votes and the Blog with the next highest number of votes in the other Category will be declared the Winner. If the new Winner also receives the highest number of votes in another category, this process will be repeated as necessary to ensure that each Blog is limited to one prizes.
If there is a tie, the Voting Period for the tied Nominations will be extended by 24 hours. This process will continue as necessary until any such tie is broken. Baltimore Sun reserves the right not to award a prize in any Category in which it does not receive a sufficient number of timely, properly submitted and otherwise eligible Nominations or votes.
5. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Each Blog and Social Media Account (as defined in Section 1) must satisfy all of these Submission Requirements. The Blog or Social Media Account must be written (or created in the case of Instagram) by a Marylander, or concern a Maryland-based company, or have a Maryland focus. The Blog or Social Media Account must also have been updated at least once in the month prior to the Contest start date. Each Blog and Social Media Account must be the original work of the Nominee. Blogs or Social Media Accounts must be written in English, must not include misused copyright notices or watermarks. Blogs or Social Media Accounts containing sexually explicit or indecent material, obscenity, material that would be harmful or inappropriate for viewing by minors, or other adult content will not be eligible. Blogs or Social Media Accounts must not infringe upon any rights of any third party, including but not limited to copyright, trademark, and rights of privacy and publicity and must not defame any third party. The Baltimore Sun may, in its discretion, require documentation to substantiate the originality and ownership of the Blog or Social Media Account. Failure to provide such documentation to Baltimore Sun's satisfaction may result in disqualification.
Any Blog or Social Media Account that is determined by Baltimore Sun in its sole discretion at any time during the Contest to violate the Submission Requirements or the Official Rules, or to otherwise be in poor taste, may be rejected and disqualified.
6. WARRANTIES BY WINNERS
By accepting a prize, Winners warrant that their Blogs or Social Media Accounts are original, were created or written by them, do not violate any copyright or trademark laws, and do not plagiarize, libel, defame, disparage, slander or otherwise infringe on or violate the rights of any person or entity. Finally, by accepting a prize, Winners warrant that the distribution, reproduction, display and any other uses of their Blogs or Social Media Accounts by Baltimore Sun as permitted above will not infringe any third party rights, including those of any person who is depicted or mentioned in the Blog or Social Media Account. Each Winner agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Baltimore Sun, its parent companies and subsidiaries, and their respective officers, directors, employees and affiliated organizations, from and against any and all claims, demands, damages, costs, liabilities and causes of action of whatsoever nature that are based upon or arise out of any breach by the Winner of these Official Rules or the warranties and representations made in this Section.
Category Prizes, Blogs and Social Media Accounts (22): Each winning Blog or Social Media Account receives a banner advertisement featuring the Winning Blog or Social Media Account. The banner advertisement will be created and owned solely by Baltimore Sun and posted on baltimoresun.com and will receive approximately 50,000 impressions. Approximate Retail Value ("ARV"): $500.00.
Best Overall (1): The Best Overall will not receive any additional prize.
9. PRIZE RESTRICTIONS
Prizes are not redeemable for cash and may not be transferred or substituted, except that Baltimore Sun reserves the right to substitute a prize of comparable or greater value if it deems necessary. Banner advertisement prizes are created by Baltimore Sun in its sole discretion and are not subject to Winners' approval. Prizes cannot be sold, bartered or traded on auction websites. Winners are solely responsible for all expenses unspecified as part of the prize description that are associated with the receipt, acceptance and use of the prize, including without limitation federal, state and local taxes, if any.
10. WINNER NOTIFICATION & VERIFICATION
Baltimore Sun will attempt to contact the potential Winners in accordance with the information supplied to Baltimore Sun on the Nomination. Winners may be required to provide Baltimore Sun with valid identification and proof of eligibility. Acceptable identification includes a valid driver's license or other valid government-issued picture ID showing name and address of Winner. Winners may also be required to execute, an affidavit of eligibility and liability release and (where legal) publicity release prior to receiving prize and must agree to inclusion of their Blogs and Social Media Accounts in banner ads. The liability release will be supplied by Baltimore Sun and, among other disclaimers, releases Baltimore Sun and its subsidiaries, directors, agents, agencies, affiliates, franchisees, promoters, officers, directors, employees and related persons from any and all liability related to this Contest and the receipt and use of any prize. Winners may also be required to sign other legal documents, including tax forms.
If any potential Winner: (a) cannot be contacted directly by a representative of Baltimore Sun by 5 p.m. two business days following the day contact is first attempted, (b) fails to satisfy any eligibility or verification requirement herein, (c) declines to accept the prize, or (d) is otherwise determined to be ineligible, Baltimore Sun in its discretion may disqualify that potential Winner, and the Winner whose Blog or Social Media Account receives the next highest number of votes in the relevant Category will be declared the "Alternate Winner" in that Category as soon as reasonably practicable after initial Winner is determined to be ineligible. Alternate Winners are subject to all eligibility requirements and restrictions of these Official Rules, including the limit of one Category prize per Blog or Social Media Account. Baltimore Sun, its affiliates, subsidiaries and agencies will not be responsible the inability to select the Winners because of postal failure, telecommunications or equipment failure, or data storage failure. If there is a dispute as to the identity or eligibility of a Winner based on an email address or phone number, the Winner will be declared by determining the "Authorized Account Holder" of the email address or phone number associated with the Blog or Social Media Account at time of entry. "Authorized Account Holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, education institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address.
12. PUBLICITY RELEASE
By accepting a prize, each Winner hereby grants to Baltimore Sun and its agents permission, without further compensation, to use Winner's name, likeness, photograph, film, voice recording, and image for promotional purposes in Baltimore Sun's marketing materials in any media now known or hereafter created, including on Baltimore Sun's web site, without further compensation, except where prohibited.
13. LIABILITY RELEASE
By nominating, being nominated, voting or accepting a prize, all participants acknowledge that Baltimore Sun, Tribune Company and any affiliates or prize suppliers and all of their employees, officers and directors ("Released Parties") are not responsible for, and participants agree to release Released Parties from, any and all claims, liability, damages, losses or injuries of any kind, arising out of their participation in the Contest, their acceptance/possession and/or use/misuse of the prize.
By nominating, being nominated, voting or accepting a prize, all participants further acknowledge that Released Parties are not responsible for, and participants agree to release Released Parties from: any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure; theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries; any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, hardware, or software; failure of any email or electronic entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website; or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation in, voting in or downloading any materials from this Contest.
Baltimore Sun is entitled to interpret these rules - including but not limited to rules regarding nominations, voting, determination of Winners, deadlines, restrictions on prizes, and eligibility, and all of its decisions are final. By entering, participants agree to these Official Rules.
Baltimore Sun reserves the right to correct typographical or clerical errors in any Contest-related materials. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.
Baltimore Sun reserves the right to prohibit any person from participating in the Contest or any Voter from casting any votes during the Voting Period if, at its sole discretion, Baltimore Sun finds such person or Voter to be tampering with the nomination process, voting process or other operation of the Contest, or if such person or Voter shows a disregard for, or attempts to circumvent, these Official Rules, or acts: (a) in a manner Baltimore Sun determines to be not fair or equitable; (b) with an intent to annoy, threaten or harass any other person, Voter, or Baltimore Sun or prize supplier; or (c) in any other disruptive manner.
Nominees are permitted to encourage others to vote for their Blogs or Social Media Accounts. However, collusion between or among any Nominees and/or Voters or other participants to unfairly affect the outcome of the Voting Period or this Contest (e.g., through fraud or tampering) is strictly prohibited and may result in the immediate disqualification of the relevant Nomination. Any person attempting to defraud or tamper with this Contest in any way will be ineligible for prizes and may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Tampering includes attempting to nominate or vote more than the number of times permitted by these Official Rules including by using an automated device, multiple email addresses or otherwise. Any failure by Baltimore Sun to enforce any of these Official Rules will not constitute a waiver of such Official Rules.
Baltimore Sun reserves the right to cancel, terminate or suspend this Contest or any part of this Contest should any nonauthorized intervention, network failure, information storage failure, telecommunications failure, malfunction, or other causes beyond its control, corrupt or impair the security, administration, fairness and/or operation of this Contest as determined by Baltimore Sun in its sole discretion, at which time Baltimore Sun will select the Winners from among all non-suspect nominations received prior to the event causing the Contest to be impaired, in accordance with the previously announced selection criteria described above in these Official Rules. If Baltimore Sun terminates the Contest, it will post notice of its action on the Contest website. If the Contest is terminated during the Nomination Period, Winners will be selected by a panel of judges selected by the Baltimore Sun.
By nominating, being nominated, voting or accepting a prize, all participants agree that (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Contest, or any prizes awarded, must be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards will be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest, but in no event attorneys' fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any participant be permitted to obtain any award for, and all participants hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses.
16. CHOICE OF LAW/VENUE/SEVERABILITY
All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Nominees, Voters or Baltimore Sun in connection with the Contest, will be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Maryland, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Maryland. Any legal proceedings arising out of this Contest or relating to these Official Rules must be instituted only in the federal or state courts located in the State of Maryland, County of Baltimore, and the parties consent to jurisdiction therein with respect to any legal proceedings or disputes of whatever nature arising under or relating to these Official Rules. The invalidity or enforceability of any provision of these Official Rules will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. If any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules will otherwise remain in effect and be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.
17. WINNER'S LIST/OFFICIAL RULES REQUESTS
For a copy of the Official Rules or the Winners' List, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to "The Mobbies Contest," c/o Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, Maryland 21278, specifying either "Winners' List" or "Official Rules Request." Winners' List will be available after November 15, 2012.
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