#EnglishWithUS: Official Video Contest Rules

Contest Sponsors

The #EnglishWithUS Brand Ambassador Contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Astana (the “Contest Sponsors”).

Description of Contest Objectives

The contest seeks to promote the study of English in Kazakhstan by highlighting the many ways speaking English can benefit people.  Participants in this contest must submit a video explaining their motivation to speak English better.  (See the “Eligibility” section below to find out who is eligible to be a contestant.)

Platform(s)

The contest will be conducted on Youtube, Instagram, VK and Facebook. However YouTube, Facebook, VK and Instagram are not partners or sponsors of the contest.  Contestants are reminded that by participating in the contest and uploading content to a social media platform, they are bound by the Terms of Service of those platforms and any agreements contained therein.

How to Enter

Record an original video in English, Kazakh, or Russian answering the question, “Why do I want to improve my English?”.  Upload the video under your own username, captioning the video with the hashtag #EnglishWithUS and tagging the U.S. Embassy in Astana (@usinkz on Instagram, U.S. Embassy Astana on Facebook and Youtube).  The video submission can be uploaded in any format accepted by your platform of choice, but should not be longer than three minutes.  Once a video is uploaded, it is considered a final submission and may not be modified, edited, or replaced.  Individual contestants may submit no more than one video.  Participation in this contest is automatically deemed as acceptance of these Official Contest Rules.  A submission must be an original video, taken by the contestant.

After uploading the hashtagged video, please fill out THIS FORM.

The contest commences at 6:00 a.m., December 1, 2017, Astana time.  Entries may be submitted between 6:00 a.m. December 1, and 5:00 p.m. (ASTANA Time)  December 17. Judging begins on December 18, 2017 and ends on January 5, 2018.

Content Requirements

  1. Submissions must not contain obscenity, explicit sexual material, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, calls or incitement to violence, commercial solicitation or commercial promotion. Submissions must conform to local law and must not contain content or images that could be considered abusive, inflammatory, denigrating, or disrespectful to any of the Contest Sponsors, or to any groups, individuals or institutions.  Submissions must adhere both in appearance and in fact to the norms of civil discourse.  In other words, the content of all submission must be suitable for a global, public audience.
  2. Submissions must be original content created by contestant and must not contain any elements that are protected by someone else’s copyright or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property or proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights (except as expressly permitted below in (d)). Contest Sponsors recognize no allowance for “fair use” of copyrighted material, nor do Contest Sponsors recognize allowance for use of licensed materials created or owned by a third party.
  3. Contest Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify, at their sole and absolute discretion, any submission that does not adhere to these criteria and to the intent and substance of these Official Contest Rules.
  4. In the event of any question or difference of views regarding compliance with, interpretation, or application of these content requirements or other provisions of these Official Contest Rules, Contest Sponsors reserve the exclusive right to resolve such questions or differences of views in their sole discretion.
  5. By submitting a video to the contest, the contestant affirms that he or she has obtained written consent from all individuals whose image or likeness appears in the video (or from the individuals’ parent/legal guardian if any such individuals are considered a minor in their country of residence), and that he or she has obtained the necessary rights, licenses, consents, and permissions to use all material such as music, images, text and other content in the submission. The contestant further affirms that he or she is prepared to provide reliable documentation of any and all such consents, licenses, etc., upon request.  Failure to obtain such rights, license consents, and permissions may result in the disqualification of the video submission at the Contest Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion.
  6. Editing of Video: All conventional video-editing techniques are allowable.  Videos may be edited through any program and in any format, but must be compressed and submitted in a format accepted by the YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram platforms.

Eligibility

  1. Contestants must be at least 18 years old on the date of entry into the contest. Contestants must be residents of Kazakhstan and may not be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
  2. The individual submitting the entry will be considered the contestant and will be the only individual eligible to compete for the prize. Organizations are not eligible to compete for the prize, either as an entity or through representation by an individual.  In order to be eligible for the prize, the contestant must provide complete and accurate information.
  3. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the contest: Employees, interns, directors, and officers of the Contest Sponsors, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, VK, or the U.S. Government, or any employees, interns, directors, or officers of any agencies, companies or entities involved in the administration, advertising, judging, creation,  development, execution, and/or fulfillment of this contest, and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, recognized partner, parent, child, sibling, and spouse or “step” of each) and those living in the same household of each such individual.
  4. Once a submission has been accepted for entry into the contest, the contestant’s name (or User ID, if the contestant wishes to remain anonymous) and country may be publicly identified

Selection of Winners

  1. a) All videos are subject to pre- screening by Contest Sponsors to ensure compliance with these Official Contest Rules. Any videos out of compliance will not be posted.  Contest Sponsors reserve the right in their sole and absolute discretion to verify in the final analysis whether a potential finalist or potential winning video submission has fully complied with these Official Contest Rules before posting to the contest site, awarding prize, recognizing as winner, etc.
  2. b) Judges: Contest administrator staff will compile all entries and recommend a short list to the contest jury. The contest jury will make the final selections of winners and runners-up.  The contest jury comprises five Staff Members of the U.S. Embassy in Astana and U.S. Consulate General in Almaty:  the Regional English Language Officer, Information Officer, TBD, TBD, and TBD.
  3. c) Judging Criteria:  Winners and runners-up will be selected based on criteria including:  a clearly-articulated motivation to improve their English skills; quality and originality of their video submission and accompanying text; unique audience on social media; and diversity in profession, geography, and age.
  4. d) Winners: Each winner and runner-up will be required to sign and return to Contest Sponsors a statement of eligibility and liability/publicity release, and provide a short bio (where applicable) and a brief statement about the submission; otherwise the winner or finalist will be ineligible for any prize. Each winner must also agree to perform the responsibilities of an English Brand Ambassador, as described in ‘Prizes’ below.  The inability of Contest Sponsors to contact a potential winner may result in disqualification and/or selection of an alternate winner from among all remaining eligible submissions.
  5. e) Winners and runners-up will be notified by email and telephone. Winners and finalists may be announced on the Embassy website and/or social media pages.  Winners and finalists may choose to use an alias instead of their real name and may request other identifying information be kept private.

Prizes

  1. Eight grand prize winners will be designated brand ambassadors of the English language in Kazakhstan and will receive a grant in the amount of $3,000 to finance their study of the English language for one year and to support their efforts to share their progress through traditional and social media. Each winner must commit to take a test of English language ability at the beginning and end of the year and to share the results publicly.  Each winner must also commit to post at least once per week on their personal social media platform of choice on a topic related to English language study.  If a winner is not able or willing to accept the terms of this grant, an alternate winner will be selected.
  2. 10 runners-up will receive certificates valid for 60,000 Tenge in English instruction at any InterPress language school in Kazakhstan.
  3. Winners have to confirm the acceptance of the prize in an email reply within three calendar days. If the acceptance is not confirmed by the required date, the Contest Sponsors reserve the right to select an alternative winner.  Each winner must provide necessary information including mailing address and bank account information in order to transfer grant funds or mail English certificates.  Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any problems related to the shipping of any prize, including, but not limited to, theft, delay, damage, or destruction/accidental loss by the shipping carrier.
  4. Any unused portion of the prize is not transferable, convertible, or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash. All taxes on or in connection with any prize, and the reporting consequences thereof, are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the winner.

Liability and Rights

  1. Contest Sponsors do not endorse any submissions or messages expressed therein, and Contest Sponsors expressly disclaim any and all liability in connection with the submitted video including disputes between collaborators related to a submission.
  2. The contest and its sponsors do not permit copyright infringing activities or infringement of any other intellectual property rights, and Contest Sponsors reserve the right to remove and disqualify any submission they deem to be in violation of another party’s copyright or other intellectual property rights.
  3. Contestants retain sole ownership of their original work. The submission remains the intellectual property of the contestant, and the Contest Sponsors and U.S. Government make no claim of copyright as to the work of any individual who enters the contest.  Contestant specifically agrees to give the Contest Sponsors permission to use all content submitted for purposes of judging the contest.  Finalists and/or winners will be required to grant Contest Sponsors, with proper attribution through whatever means they deem appropriate, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and/or display the submission, in any media formats and through any media channels in perpetuity in connection with the activities and operations of the contest.
  4. The contestant assumes sole responsibility for the contest submission and the material contained in it, and for any consequences of submitting or posting it.
  5. Contest Sponsors reserve the right at any time, to verify the validity of entries and of contestants and to disqualify any contestant or entry deemed not in compliance with these Official Contest Rules.  Contest Sponsors also reserve the right to request further documentation, at their sole and absolute discretion, to verify eligibility and compliance with these Official Contest Rules.
  6. If a prize or any portion thereof is unavailable, Contest Sponsors, in their sole discretion, reserve the right to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value and/or specification.
  7. Contest Sponsors reserve the right, at any time and in their sole discretion, to disqualify and/or deem ineligible any individual who they reasonably believe (i) has violated the Official Contest Rules; (ii) has violated the terms of use of the platform, or (iii) is acting in a bad faith, or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.
  8. Contest Sponsors reserve the right to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the contest at their discretion for any reason.
  9. Contestant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Contest Sponsors, their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees, interns, and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debts, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees) arising from (i) violation of these Official Contest Rules;  (ii) violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, trademark, intellectual property, privacy, publicity, or other proprietary right in connection with the contest; or (iii) any claim that a contest submission caused any harm, including financial, to any third party.  These indemnification and hold harmless obligations will survive indefinitely beyond the conclusion of the contest.
  10. The conduct, judging, and awarding of prizes will be carried out in full compliance with applicable U.S. law and host country law. In the event of a conflict between U.S. law and host country law, U.S. law shall apply.
  11. Contest Sponsors and the U.S. Government will take reasonable measures to protect privacy data, personally identifiable information, and other sensitive data of contestants. Contact information provided by contestants may be stored by U.S. Embassy Astana and may be used to contact contestants for other purposes in the future.  This information may be shared with the co-sponsors of the contest and/or be made available to third parties to the extent permitted by law.
  12. Contest Sponsors assume no liability or responsibility for any loss or harm resulting from any user’s participation in or attempt to participate in the contest or ability or inability to upload, download, or otherwise access any information in connection with participating in the contest. Contest Sponsors assume no responsibility or liability for technical problems, or technical malfunctions arising in connection with the operation of the contest, including: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity, or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the contest site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the contest site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention in the operation of the contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the contest.
  13. Use of contest site is at user’s own risk. Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any personal injury, property damage, or losses of any kind which may be sustained to computer equipment resulting from participation in the contest, use of the contest site or the downloading of information from the contest site.  By participating in the contest, the contestant releases Contest Sponsors from any and all claims arising from or relating to such contestant’s participation in the contest, whether directly or indirectly.
  14. Contest Sponsors are not liable in the event that any portion of the contest is cancelled or delayed due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other reason.