- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 21 November 2013 12:19, Updated 03 December 2013 11:28
December’s Hack the House event is offering a $4000 cash prize to the coder who comes up with an app that will drive on-site engagement at the Opera House.
The Sydney Opera House has amended and clarified the conditions of the ‘hackathon’ to create an app for the iconic arts venue.
“After listening to the community’s concerns, we have decided that all participants will retain their intellectual property in what they create for the hackathon,” an Opera House spokesperson told BRW.
“In order to allow the Opera House to further develop and use the winning apps for the benefit of the Opera House and its visitors, the winning coders will grant the Opera House a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free licence. The Opera House will, of course, recognise the winners’ IP rights, and credit them. The winners will also be free to use their IP in whatever way they like.”
“Apart from the chance to win the $4000 cash first prize and other prizes from Opera House sponsors, participants in the hackathon will have access to a range of mentors during the event. The winning app will also be available to the millions of people that visit the Sydney Opera House each year.”
The Sydney Opera House had dubbed its crowd-sourced app development “the best hackathon” where coders “can bask in the glory of developing an app ... which will be seen by millions of visitors a year.”
However, entrepreneurs had called the December Hack the House event a raw deal.
The event promises a $4000 cash prize to the coder who can come up with an app that will drive on-site engagement with arguably Australia’s most iconic global brand. It will involve all night coding with pillows and beanbags at the Quay Grand with food and drink provided, along with industry mentors and post-event parties.
But the terms and conditions had led some in Sydney’s start-up community to question whether it would be worth it.
The conditions had stated “Each entrant assigns and transfers all right, title and interest in the copyright and other intellectual property rights in the Entry to Promoter”. This went for all entries whether or not they won.
Fishburners director Peter Bradd says entrepreneurs should be wary of handing over all of their intellectual property, so they can ensure they share in the success of their endeavours.
“They’re simply not going to attract the best talent,” Bradd says. “We don’t want to taint the practice of hackathons, but they need to be done in the right way. Entrepreneurs need to be wary of the terms of these competitions.”
Fusion Labs, based in Fishburners entrepreneurial community, is putting together a best practice guide for how corporations can work with entrepreneurs on fair and equitable terms.
“I think what happens is you have one department that wants to do something to support the start-up ecosystem, and you have a legal department doing a broadbrush approach to ensure the company is protected.”
Rohan Pearce at TechWorld Australia was more blunt about the Opera House hackathon. “The winning team gets a grand total of $4000 for their app, from an organisation that in the financial year ending 2013 reported an income of more than $222 million,” he writes.
With Michael Bailey