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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict
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    Wanting to run a contest (legality)

    I would like to run a contest to promote a new e-book that I've written. We've got some forums set up and what I would like to do is start a thread and say "Whoever buys the book and posts in this thread that they have bought it is automatically registered to win such and such". What I would like to do is hopefully create a bandwagon effect so that people see other people buying the book and then decide to buy it too.

    The problem is that I have been told that such contests are illegal because they require the purchase of a product to enter. Indeed, most, if not all, contests that I have seen have some type of "No Purchase Necessary" clause. What I am wondering is

    a) Is there a way around this? For instance, would just putting some small text in the rules of the contest that would say something like "No Purchase Necessary. To register for the contest, send an e-mail to..."

    b) Is there some other way I could structure this so it is legal? Perhaps not a contest but maybe something like "Tell us your favorite part of the book and you'll have a chance to win..." This wouldn't necessarily require a purchase although someone would have had to read the book to answer the question.

    Anyways, any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard Crowe's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
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    The only way to be sure is to consult a lawyer. My advice is just what I've heard and not to be considered legal advice Laws also vary from state to state.

    That being said, you first solution is probably the best. Making a little link for people to "freely" register to win would work. I would suggest making them jump through 1 more hoop though, and make the free register a Tell A Friend link and make them tell a friend about your site.
    Chrispian H. Burks
    Nothing To Say

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Apr 2002
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    In australia contests, competitions and gambling is all controlled by the individual states. Here in Queensland there are lawyers and companies that organise all the permits and terms + conditions that are required to be lodged with the state government before you start a contest.

    Therefore I suggest you check your local and national laws regarding contests before you start it.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict
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    Thanks for the responses. I think we'll plan to run the contest and then to offer a "No Purchase Necessary" clause. That will probably work.


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