Participating in Hackathons
You want to participate in a hackathon. Great! Please complete this three-step process.
This is also the process if you want to participate in a coding competition.
If you only want to judge or help organize a hackathon, see below.
Step 1 - Some subjects are off-limits
Off-limits subjects removed.
Step 2 - Get the hackathon terms approved
If you want to attend a hackathon organized by an approved coding site, you may skip this step. Otherwise, you must get the hackathon’s terms of participation approved by the Open Source Compliance team before you can attend. Fill out the bug described below.
Your request will be rejected if the hackathon’s terms of participation:
Require any assignment of intellectual property rights as a condition of participation.
Prohibit Google employees from participating.
The terms of participation must address intellectual property rights to entries and/or work created at the hackathon. If the hackathon does not have publicly available terms that address intellectual property, please reach out to the hackathon organizers to request that they provide you with such terms. We will not reach out to hackathon organizers on your behalf, but we do have publicly available sample terms at the bottom of this document that you can share with the organizers. We permit these template terms to be used by any hackathon, and Googlers would be enabled to participate if the hackathon organizer adopted these terms.
Once you get terms of participation for the hackathon, please create a issuetracker ticket to have them reviewed.
Hackathon checklist removed.
I just want to judge or help organize a hackathon
If you’re not going to be creating any IP, please clear your participation directly with Code of Conduct at go/conflictsreview.
Approved coding sites
The terms and conditions of the following sites satisfy the requirements listed here. You may participate in these sites without consulting anyone. Please do not leak Google confidential information.
If you see that an approved site’s terms have changed from the approved versions linked below, you must get the hackathon’s new terms of participation approved by the Open Source Compliance team before you can attend.
Only code competitions using the default approved terms are pre-approved. Any code competition that supplements or replaces the hosting site’s general terms with different terms must be individually reviewed and approved by emailremoved@
List of approved sites removed.
NOT Approved coding sites
The terms and conditions of the following sites DO NOT satisfy the requirements listed here. You may NOT participate in these sites until the sites’ terms for hackathons and/or coding competitions are in compliance with Google’s policy. The following are only a selection of the hackathons and/or coding competitions which are not currently approved.
List of not approved sites removed.
Things which aren’t hackathons
You may participate in external bug bounty programs and accept monetary awards for assisting other companies with locating security vulnerabilities. Of course, Google’s proprietary code may never be shared as part of this participation. If your participation may result in the creation of significant IP, please clear your participation with emailremoved@.
As mentioned in the introduction, coding competitions are addressed by the same policy as hackathons and do require terms review.
Unless you have obtained go/iarc authorization to perform your coursework independently from Google, if your course entails publishing your work, that should only be done as permitted by the go/patching (or go/releasing) process.
If you are interested in participating in a hackathon or coding competition that you have previously obtained authorization to participate in, please still complete the hackathon review process. If the hackathon or coding site’s terms have been pre-approved, only Step 3 is required. Generally, sites that have not been included on the pre-approved list are known to have fluctuating terms that require review on an event-by-event basis.
Model Hackathon Terms
Below are two sets of model hackathon terms that address Google’s concerns. The first is a short-form model, the second is a long-form model.
Anyone in the world is welcome to use these terms to organize their hackathons.
You are free, when working with hackathon organizers, to establish acceptable hackathon terms in connection with Step 2 of the hackathon participation review process, to point to these terms as terms that would permit Googlers to participate.
Short-form hackathon terms
The following terms apply to participation in this hackathon (“Hackathon”). Entrants may create original solutions, prototypes, datasets, scripts, or other content, materials, discoveries or inventions (a “Submission”). The Hackathon is organized by the Hackathon Organizer.
Entrants retain ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to Submissions.
As a condition of submission, Entrant grants the Hackathon Organizer, its subsidiaries, agents and partner companies, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, distribute, publicly perform, create a derivative work from, and publicly display the Submission.
Entrants provide Submissions on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Long-form hackathon terms
The Hackathon (“Hackathon”) is a software programming competition. Entrants may create original solutions, prototypes, datasets, scripts, or other content, materials, discoveries or inventions (a “Submission”). The Submissions’ entrants develop will be evaluated by judges, who will award rewards to entrants who submit qualifying Submissions as determined in the sole discretion of the Judges.
1) BINDING AGREEMENT: In order to enter the Hackathon, you must agree to these Official Rules (“Rules”). Therefore, please read these Rules prior to participation to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that creation or use of a Submission in the Hackathon constitutes agreement to these Rules. You may not submit a Submission to the Hackathon and are not eligible to receive the rewards described in these Rules unless you agree to these Rules. These Rules form a binding legal agreement between you and the Hackathon Organizer with respect to the Hackathon.
2) ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to enter the Hackathon, you must be: (1) above the age of majority in the country, state, province or jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry; and (2) not a person or entity under U.S. export controls or sanctions. Contest is void where prohibited by law.
If you are entering as part of a company or on behalf of your employer, these rules are binding on you, individually, and/or your employer. If you are acting within the scope of your employment, as an employee, contractor, or agent of another party, you warrant that such party has full knowledge of your actions and has consented thereto, including your potential receipt of a reward. You further warrant that your actions do not violate your employer’s or company’s policies and procedures.
3) SPONSOR: The Hackathon is sponsored by the Hackathon Organizer (“Hackathon Organizer” or “Sponsor”), a Delaware corporation with principal place of business at [Hackathon Organizer’s address].
4) HACKATHON PERIOD: The Hackathon begins at [Some time] Pacific Time (PT) Zone at [Some place] on [Some date] and ends at [Some time] PT on [Some date] (“Hackathon Period”). The Hackathon Organizer may extend the Hackathon Period in its sole discretion. ENTRANTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING THE CORRESPONDING TIME ZONE IN THEIR RESPECTIVE JURISDICTIONS.
5) HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. To enter the Hackathon, register before [Some time] PST (Pacific Standard Time) on [Some date] by sending an email with your name to emailremoved@, and then visit the Hackathon Organizer desk at [Some place] during the Hackathon Period. Entrants will be assigned a specific timeslot on [Some date] during which they may demonstrate Submissions to the Judges. Submissions must be demonstrated during entrant’s assigned time to be eligible for a reward, and must meet the “Submission Requirements,” described below.
Entrants are entirely responsible for all costs and fees associated with entrant’s participation in the Hackathon, including (but not limited to) admission fees, transportation, accommodation and living costs. All entries must be received before the end of the Hackathon Period. Entries are void if they are in whole or part illegible, incomplete, damaged, altered, counterfeit, obtained through fraud, or late. All entries will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of submission, and potential reward recipients may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder for that email address. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned to an email address by an Internet service provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email address for the domain.
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: The Submission must meet the following criteria: • Be an unreported and original Submission, which has not been shared or partially shared with anyone else or submitted in any other contests. • Be authored or created by You. • Be submitted with corresponding documentation that details [such criteria as appropriate].
During the Hackathon Period, the Hackathon Organizer, its agents, and/or the Judges (defined below) will be evaluating each Submission to ensure that it meets the Submission Requirements. The Hackathon Organizer reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant who submits an Submission that does not meet the Submission Requirements.
6) JUDGING: Each Submission submission will be judged by a panel of experts who are employees of the Hackathon Organizer (“Judges”). Judges will evaluate each Submission based upon the above criteria to determine whether it qualifies for a reward.
If a potential reward recipient is disqualified for any reason, the reward allocated to that recipient will be returned to the total reward pool. On or about [Some date], the potential reward recipients will be selected and notified by telephone and/or email, at Sponsor’s discretion. If a potential reward recipient does not respond to the notification attempt within five days from the first notification attempt, then such potential reward recipient may be disqualified and the allocated reward will be returned to the total reward pool. With respect to notification by telephone, such notification will be deemed given when the potential reward recipient engages in a live conversation with Sponsor or when a message is left on the potential reward recipient’s voicemail service or answering machine by the Sponsor, whichever occurs first. Except where prohibited by law, each potential reward recipient may be required to sign and return a Declaration of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release and provide any additional information that may be required by Sponsor. If required, potential reward recipients must return all such required documents within seven days following attempted notification or such potential reward recipient may be deemed to have forfeited the reward and the reward may be returned to the total reward pool. All notification requirements, as well as other requirements within these Rules, will be strictly enforced. In the event no Submissions are received, no rewards will be awarded. Determinations of judges are final and binding.
7) REWARDS: Rewards for eligible Submissions will be allocated to eligible entrants on a first-come-first-served basis, based on time of submission during the Hackathon Period specified above, until such time as the total reward pool of [Some sum] is exhausted.
An entrant submitting a Submission demonstrating [Some criteria], as determined in the sole discretion of the Judges, will receive a reward of [Some sum].
The Hackathon Organizer reserves the right to issue partial rewards, in its sole discretion, for partial, incomplete or unreliable Submissions. The Hackathon Organizer may also consider issuing significant bonuses for any Entrant who demonstrates a particularly impressive or surprising Submission.
Odds of winning any reward depends on the number of eligible entries received during the Hackathon Period and the skill of the entrants. The rewards will be awarded within approximately two weeks of receipt by Sponsor of final reward acceptance documents. No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent for rewards is allowed, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a reward, in whole or in part, of equal or greater monetary value if a reward cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, as described for any reason. Value is subject to market conditions, which can fluctuate and any difference between actual market value and ARV will not be awarded. The reward(s) may be subject to restrictions and/or licenses and may require additional hardware, software, service, or maintenance to use. The reward recipient shall bear all responsibility for use of the rewards(s) in compliance with any conditions imposed by such manufacturer(s), and any additional costs associated with its use, service, or maintenance. Hackathon Entities have not made and Hackathon Entities are not responsible in any manner for any warranties, representations, or guarantees, express or implied, in fact or law, relating to the reward(s), regarding the use, value or enjoyment of the reward(s), including, without limitation, its quality, mechanical condition, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose, with the exception of any standard manufacturer’s warranty that may apply to the reward or any components thereto.
8) TAXES: PAYMENTS TO POTENTIAL REWARD RECIPIENTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS REQUIREMENT THAT THEY SUBMIT TO THE HACKATHON ORGANIZER ALL DOCUMENTATION REQUESTED BY THE HACKATHON ORGANIZER TO PERMIT IT TO COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE STATE, FEDERAL, LOCAL, AND FOREIGN (INCLUDING PROVINCIAL) TAX REPORTING AND WITHHOLDING REQUIREMENTS. ALL REWARDS WILL BE NET OF ANY TAXES THE HACKATHON ORGANIZER IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO WITHHOLD. ALL TAXES IMPOSED ON REWARDS ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE REWARD RECIPIENTS. In order to receive a reward, potential reward recipients must submit the tax documentation requested by the Hackathon Organizer or otherwise required by applicable law, to the Hackathon Organizer or the relevant tax authority, all as determined by applicable law, including, where relevant, the law of the potential recipient’s country of residence. The potential reward recipients are responsible for ensuring that (s)he complies with all the applicable tax laws and filing requirements. If a potential reward recipient fails to provide such documentation or comply with such laws, the reward may be forfeited and the Hackathon Organizer may, in its sole discretion, return the reward to the total reward pool.
9) GENERAL CONDITIONS: All federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations apply. The Hackathon Organizer reserves the right to disqualify any entrant from the Hackathon if, in the Hackathon Organizer’s sole discretion, it reasonably believes that the entrant has attempted to undermine the legitimate operation of the Hackathon by cheating, deception, or other unfair playing practices or annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrants, the Hackathon Organizer, or the Judges.
10) INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: As between the Hackathon Organizer and the entrant, the entrant retains ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to the Submission. By submitting a Submission to the Hackathon, the entrant warrants and represents that he or she owns all of the intellectual and industrial property rights in and to the Submission. As a condition of submission, entrant grants the Hackathon Organizer, its subsidiaries, agents and partner companies, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, distribute, publicly perform, create a derivative work from, and publicly display the Submission (1) for the purposes of allowing the Hackathon Organizer and the Judges to evaluate the Submission for purposes of the Hackathon, (2) for the purposes of evaluating the Submission and improving the Hackathon Organizer and third party products, services, systems and networks and (3) in connection with advertising and promotion via communication to the public or other groups, including, but not limited to, the right to make screenshots, animations and Submission clips available for promotional purposes.
If a participant does not provide the mandatory data required at registration, the Hackathon Organizer reserves the right to disqualify the entry.
Participant has the right to request access, review, rectification or deletion of any personal data held by the Hackathon Organizer in connection with the Contest by writing to the Hackathon Organizer at this email address: emailremoved@.
12) PUBLICITY: By accepting a reward, entrant agrees to Sponsor and its agencies use of his or her name and/or likeness and Submission for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.
13) WARRANTY: Entrants warrant that their Submissions are their own original work and, as such, they are either the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted Submission, or that they have obtained all necessary permissions to incorporate work that is not their own into their Submission, and that they have the right to submit the Submission in the Hackathon and grant all required licenses. Each entrant agrees not to submit any Submission that (1) infringes any third party proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, industrial property rights, personal or moral rights or any other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, privacy, publicity or confidentiality obligations; or (2) otherwise violates the applicable state, federal, provincial or local law.
14) ELIMINATION: Any false information provided within the context of the Hackathon by any entrant concerning identity, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of right or non-compliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the entrant from the Hackathon.
15) INTERNET: Sponsor is not responsible for any malfunction of the entire Hackathon site or any late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, undeliverable, or destroyed Submissions or entry materials due to system errors, failed, incomplete or garbled computer or other telecommunication transmission malfunctions, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, typographical or system/human errors and failures, technical malfunction(s) of any telephone network or lines, cable connections, satellite transmissions, servers or providers, or computer equipment, traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Hackathon site, or any combination thereof, including other telecommunication, cable, digital or satellite malfunctions which may limit a participant’s ability to participate.
16) RIGHT TO CANCEL, MODIFY OR DISQUALIFY: If for any reason the Hackathon is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Hackathon, the Hackathon Organizer reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Hackathon. The Hackathon Organizer further reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who tampers with the submission process or any other part of the Hackathon or Hackathon site. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site, including the Hackathon site, or undermine the legitimate operation of the Hackathon is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, the Hackathon Organizer reserves the right to seek damages from any such entrant to the fullest extent of the applicable law.
17) NOT AN OFFER OR CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT: Under no circumstances shall the submission of a Submission into the Hackathon, the awarding of a reward, or anything in these Rules be construed as an offer or contract of employment with either the Hackathon Organizer, or any other Hackathon entities. You acknowledge that you have submitted your Submission voluntarily and not in confidence or in trust. You acknowledge that no confidential, fiduciary, agency or other relationship or implied-in-fact contract now exists between you and the Hackathon Organizer or any other Hackathon entities and that no such relationship is established by your submission of an Submission under these Rules.
18) FORUM AND RECOURSE TO JUDICIAL PROCEDURES: These Rules shall be governed by, subject to, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, excluding all conflict of law rules. If any provision(s) of these Rules are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all remaining provisions hereof will remain in full force and effect. To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, seek injunctive relief or make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Hackathon are hereby excluded, and all participants expressly waive any and all such rights.
19) ARBITRATION: By entering the Hackathon, you agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute, claim, or demand related in any way to the Hackathon will be decided by binding arbitration. All disputes between you and the Hackathon Organizer of whatsoever kind or nature arising out of these Rules, shall be submitted to [a Designated arbitration organization] for binding arbitration under its rules then in effect in [Some place], before one arbitrator to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. The parties agree to share equally in the arbitration costs incurred.
20) REWARD RECIPIENT’S LIST: Reward recipients will be posted on the Hackathon site for six months following the conclusion of the Hackathon.
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