Tag: ideas campaign

Your Country, Your Call

Your Country, Your Call seems a positive idea, although many are at a loss as to what, exactly, it involves. We might not know the answer until the competition concludes but, in the meantime, some controversy has erupted online about its terms and conditions (tucked away in a PDF on the YCYC website).

Simon McGarr covers the background to the competition and the problems with its terms in this excellent post. In summary: entrants are required to cede extensive intellectual property rights to the competition organisers and the winners can be forced to hand over ownership of their ideas, albeit in return for a ‘prize’.

Antoin O Lachtnain suggests that this IP-grab is “down to failure to think the issues out rather than any real malice.” He is probably right: website operators very often do not give adequate attention to their terms and conditions and see them as boilerplate, rather than something that should be comprehensively thought-out and bespoke. Recent Ryanair judgmentsdemonstrate the crucial role website terms can play in some disputes.

It has been suggested in the comments on Simon’s post that some other principles apply to YCYC than those set out in the terms, but it is the terms that actually govern the relationship between applicants and YCYC.

The terms and conditions of the Ideas Campaign (which, as has been noted, bears a strong resemblance to YCYC) feature a similarly strong (though confusingly drafted) licence in favour of the operators. However, it does not include the ability to obtain ownership.

Endnote: It also appears an open question whether the European Communities (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts) Regulations 1995 and 2000 might apply to YCYC and what impact they might have on the IP clauses if a dispute were to arise.

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