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Connecticut's Top Blogs Contest 2012


1. INTRODUCTION

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. "The Websters: Connecticut's Top Blogs" Contest ("Contest") is sponsored by The Hartford Courant Company, 285 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06115, and is designed to highlight Connecticut's best blogs. A blog, or weblog, 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. Contest begins on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 9:00 a.m., and ends on March 30, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. All times stated in these Official Rules are Eastern Time. The Hartford Courant's computer is the official time-keeping device for this Contest. The geographic scope of this Contest is the state of Connecticut. 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 The Hartford Courant, which are final and binding in all respects. Blogs are limited to one Category Prize per Blog. This Contest generally will consist of the following two stages, which are more fully detailed below.

Stage 1 --- Nominations: Nominations will be accepted starting on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. and ending on March 21, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. ("the Nomination Period"). During the Nomination Period, the www.courant.com users may nominate their favorite Blogs at www.courant.com/news/connecticut/websters.

Stage 2 --- Online Voting: Nominations that are timely and properly submitted during the Nomination Period will be published on courant.com (the "Contest Web Site") for public voting beginning March 26, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. and ending on March 30, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. ("Voting Period").

2. ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for a prize, each Blog must satisfy the following eligibility requirements: All Blogs must be written by legal U.S. residents of Connecticut (each a "Nominee"). Nominees must be at least eighteen years old at the time of entry. You are not eligible to be nominated or win a prize for any category of " The Websters: Connecticut's Top Blogs" Blog awards (although you remain eligible to nominate or vote for other Blogs) if you are a current employee of The Hartford Courant or Tribune Company or any of their respective parent companies, advertising companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, promotion and delivery 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 may be nominated during the Nomination Period at the Contest Web Site, located at themorningcall.com. You may nominate your own Blog. All Blogs must satisfy the "Submission Requirements" below. To nominate a Blog, visit the Contest Web Site during the Nomination Period and follow the instructions to nominate one or more Blogs in any of the following categories (each a "Category"):

  • Best Overall Blog
  • Best Social Media Account (Twitter, Facebook)
  • Best Food Blog
  • Best Sports Blog
  • Best Health Blog
  • Best News Blog
  • Best Parenting/Family Blog
  • Best Business Blog
  • Best Photography Blog
  • Best Music Blog
  • Best Education Blog
  • Best Political Blog
  • Best UConn Blog
  • Best Travel Blog
  • Best CT Town Blog - Any blog that covers a town or city in CT


You may nominate as many Blogs as you like, but you may only nominate a Blog for up to three Categories. Once the Voting Period begins, a Blog will be listed in no more than three Categories. The Hartford Courant reserves the right to select and edit Categories and Blogs' categorization. All Nominations will be preliminarily reviewed by The Hartford Courant 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.

Nominations will not be accepted via regular mail or any other method. The Hartford Courant is not responsible for Nominations or votes 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 and votes are void. All Nominations become the property of The Hartford Courant 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 The Hartford Courant at any time in its discretion, may be disqualified without further notification by The Hartford Courant.

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 The Hartford Courant that the Nomination satisfies these Official Rules, including the Submission Requirements, or that the corresponding Nominee is otherwise eligible. The Hartford Courant 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 The Hartford Courant 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 courant.com (including Nominees) may visit the Contest Web Site to view all properly submitted Nominations and to vote for their favorite Nomination in each Category, as well as the "Best Overall Blog." (Voters will collectively be referred to as "Voters.") Registration on courant.com is free. You may vote ten (10) times per day, per valid email address for a total of fifty (50) 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. Subject to verification of eligibility, the Nominee whose Blog receives the highest number of votes in each Category will be declared the winner of that Category. All Voters must be located in the United States at the time they cast their vote. Proxy voting is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to creating multiple or dummy emails. No one may purchase votes. The use of automated or third party software or web site to vote is prohibited. The Hartford Courant reserves the right to disqualify any votes cast in violation of the above restrictions.

In the event that 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 "Runner-Up Winner." In the event that the Runner-up 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 prize.

In the event of 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. The Hartford Courant 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 (as defined in Section 1) must satisfy all of these Submission Requirements. The Blog must have been updated at least once in the month prior to the Contest start date. Each Blog must be the original work of the Nominee. Blogs must be written in English, must be factually accurate and must not include misused copyright notices or watermarks. Blogs 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 must not knowingly infringe upon any rights of any third party, including but not limited to copyright, trademark, and rights of privacy and publicity. The Hartford Courant may, in its discretion, require documentation to substantiate the originality and ownership of the Blog. Failure to provide such documentation to The Hartford Courant's satisfaction may result in disqualification.

Any Blog that is determined by The Hartford Courant 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 are original, were created or written by them, are accurate and do not knowingly 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 by The Hartford Courant as permitted above will not infringe any third party rights, including those of any person who is depicted or mentioned in the Blog. Each winner agrees to indemnify and hold harmless The Hartford Courant, 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.

7. PRIVACY POLICY

The information that you provide in connection with the Contest will be used by The Hartford Courant in accordance with its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, which are found at www.courant.com, and which may be updated from time to time.

8. PRIZES

Category Prizes, Blog (14): Each Category Prize for Blogs consists of a certificate of recognition by The Hartford Courant. This Blog prize has no retail value.

Best Overall Blog (1): The Nominee whose Blog is selected as the Best Overall Blog will receive a certificate of recognition by The Hartford Courant. This Best Overall Blog prize has no retail value.

Blog Category winners and nominees may be included on The Hartford Courant's website and on the Hartford Courant's facebook page. Best Overall Blog may also be announced on the FOX Connecticut Morning News at a time and date to be determined by the Contest Sponsor.

9. PRIZE RESTRICTIONS

Prizes are not redeemable for cash and may not be transferred or substituted, except that The Hartford Courant reserves the right to substitute a prize of comparable or greater value if it deems necessary. Prizes cannot be sold, bartered or traded on auction websites.

10. WINNER NOTIFICATION & VERIFICATION

The Hartford Courant will attempt to contact the potential winners in accordance with the information supplied to The Hartford Courant on the Nomination. Winners may be required to provide The Hartford Courant 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 without making any changes, an affidavit of eligibility and liability release and publicity release prior to receiving prize. The liability release will be supplied by The Hartford Courant and, among other disclaimers, releases The Hartford Courant 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.

11. DISQUALIFICATION

In the event that any potential winner: (a) cannot be contacted directly by a representative of The Hartford Courant 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, The Hartford Courant in its discretion may disqualify that potential winner, and the winner whose Blog 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 the 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. The Hartford Courant, its affiliates, subsidiaries and agencies will not be responsible for the inability to select the winners because of postal failure, telecommunications or equipment failure, or data storage. In the event of 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 the "Authorized Account Holder" of the email address or phone number associated with the Blog 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 The Hartford Courant and WTIC-TV and their agents permission, without further compensation, to use winner's name, likeness, photograph, film, voice recording, and image for promotional purposes in The Hartford Courant 's or WTIC-TV's marketing materials in any media now known or hereafter created, including on The Hartford Courant's or WTIC-TV'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 The Hartford Courant, Tribune Company and any affiliates or prize suppliers ("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.

By accepting a prize, all winners hereby agree to release Released Parties and their 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 the prize, including without limitation, claims for invasion of privacy, misappropriation of likeness, infringement of intellectual property rights, personal injury, death or property damage.

14. MISCELLANEOUS

The Hartford Courant shall be 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.

The Hartford Courant 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.

The Hartford Courant 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, The Hartford Courant 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 The Hartford Courant determines to be not fair or equitable; (b) with an intent to annoy, threaten or harass any other person, Voter, or Sponsor; or (c) in any other disruptive manner.

Nominees are permitted to encourage others to vote for their Blogs. 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 that person's votes will be disqualified. 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 The Hartford Courant to enforce any of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such Official Rules.

The Hartford Courant reserves the right to cancel, terminate or suspend this Contest or any part of this Contest should any non-authorized 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 The Hartford Courant in its sole discretion, at which time The Hartford Courant will select the winners from among all non-suspect entries 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. In the event The Hartford Courant terminates the Contest, it will post notice of its action on the Contest website. In the event the Contest is terminated during the Nomination Period, winners will be selected by a panel of judges selected by The Hartford Courant.

15. DISPUTES

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, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall 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 The Hartford Courant in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Connecticut, 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 Connecticut. Any legal proceedings arising out of this Contest or relating to these Official Rules shall be instituted only in the federal or state courts located in the State of Connecticut, County of Hartford, 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 shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.

18. 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 Websters Contest," c/o The Hartford Courant, 285 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06115 (Attention: Marketing), specifying either "Winners' List" or "Official Rules Request." Winners' List will be available after April 2, 2012.



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