Marketplace - American Public Media

The budget as a starting point for tax reform

Mon, 2015-02-02 11:30

Republican lawmakers called President Obama’s budget “top down” and “backward looking.” They said it “contains no solutions to address the drivers of our debt.” So where is the room for compromise?

"The one point Democrats, Republicans and the president can agree on is the tax system is a mess,” says Richard Kaplan, the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Professor of Law at the University of Illinois. “That you wouldn’t design it this way from scratch, that many of its key features are unjustifiable and that you ought to fix it.”

Kaplan points out you don’t see that kind of agreement on financial reform or healthcare reform. The president’s plan goes after money that companies have made and stashed overseas. He has proposed a one-time tax of 14 percent on that money.

“He’s hitting a popular theme,” says Thomas Cooke, a distinguished teaching professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “I think there is general consensus that we need to do what we can to get money back from offshore.” Cooke also sees says room for compromise on how the government taxes interest on investments.

But it is easy to say you are in favor of tax reform, says  Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “It’s like saying we are all in favor of mother and an apple pie, but what does that really mean?  And it means very different things to the president and congressional Republicans.”

The president wants to raise more revenue through reform, to spend on things like improving infrastructure. Republicans insist tax reform not raise any new revenue. “And that is a point of major disagreement between the president and congressional Republicans,” Gleckman says.

The president’s budget is a starting point. It will be months before we get detailed plans for tax reform from Democrats and Republicans.

 

A nation in agreement: Nationwide's ad was a buzzkill

Mon, 2015-02-02 10:44

Imagine you are at the biggest party in the world. Katy Perry is there, on a giant, golden robotic puppet lion. She's going to sing and everyone is having a great time, because it's the Super Bowl.

Then an adorable little boy shows up in an ad and tells you he’s dead.

"You’ve been watching the game. Suddenly, someone comes in and puts a downer on it all," says Britt Bulla, a strategy director with international branding agency Siegel+Gale. He echoed a sentiment that's been buzzing all over Twitter. Nationwide's ad was a buzzkill.

Shedding light on childhood deaths is important, Bulla says, but the the ad wasn't handled well.

"Look at the context we’re in. We’re watching a ball game," he says. "And we’re going to go back to watching a ball game."

Say what you want, but that #nationwide commercial is a good reminder to cherish everything you have because you could get fired tomorrow.

— John Ramsey (@jtramsey) February 2, 2015

David Rogers, a professor of digital marketing at Columbia Business School, offers an opinion about as subtle as those popping on Twitter.

"I think their ad agency should be fired. They did a horrible job," he says. "You don’t start a conversation by freaking people out."

The communication strategy made no sense, Rogers says.

”It didn’t even have a direct enough link to their makesafehappen website.”

"We're Nationwide Insurance! EVERYONE DIES. Enjoy the game! Nationwide."

— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) February 2, 2015

An ad for a not-so-peppy topic can be successful during the Super Bowl, just look at the spot that Procter& Gamble's Always brand ran, says Tim Calkins, a clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

“The interesting contrast is what Nationwide did and what Procter & Gamble did," he says. “The two companies were trying to do pretty much the same thing. Which was say 'we’re working on important issues that matter.'”

Amid the post-game day chatter about Nationwide, there's the notion that no publicity is bad publicity. But it’s hard to find too many tweets or marketers who see it as a success.

One big problem says Rogers, is practical.

"They flash at the very end – this hashtag and url," he says. "Your child could die at any minute, and what should you do about it? Tweet our hashtag," he says. "Where are you supposed to go from there?"

Truly proud of our #client @Nationwide and my team @Ogilvy for #makesafehappen. The most brave and the most important film of #SuperBowlAds

— Adam Tucker (@Adman_Tucker) February 2, 2015

Five highlights of the Sundance Film Festival

Mon, 2015-02-02 10:10

Netflix and Amazon attended the Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah, this year – looking to make digital distribution an option for independent filmmakers. So were the digital companies a big hit at the festival?

"Not really," says Wesley Morris, film critic at Grantland. "I think what you’re going to see is people feeling Amazon out. I think filmmakers really do want to feel like their movie is at a movie studio, and they have a deal to reflect that. And for now, Sundance is their number one distribution deal."

One festival highlight was "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl."

"It is a very charming, really well-made movie about a guy who befriends a dying girl," says Morris. "And when you’re watching that movie and you get to the last 10 to 15 minutes, as someone said to me – when I was like 'I’m not going to be moved by this at all' – 'you won’t be human if you aren’t.'"

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" swept the festival awards and was picked up by Fox Searchlight after a bidding war.

Four more highlights from Sundance 2015:

"The End of the Tour" 

"Tangerine"

"The Wolfpack"

"Results"

Recapping this year's Sundance Film Festival

Mon, 2015-02-02 10:10

Netflix and Amazon attended the Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah this year – looking to make digital distribution an option for independent filmmakers. So, were the digital companies a big hit at the festival?

 

"Not really," says Wesley Morris, film critic at Grantland. "I think what you’re going to see is people feeling Amazon out. I think filmmakers really do want to feel like their movie is at a movie studio and they have a deal to reflect that. And for now, Sundance is their number-one distribution deal."

 

One of the festival’s highlights was "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl."

 

"It is a very charming, really well-made movie about a guy who befriends a dying girl," says Morris. "And when you’re watching that movie and you get to the last 10 to 15 minutes, as someone said to me – when I was like 'I’m not going to be moved by this at all' - 'You won’t be human if you aren’t.'"

 

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" swept the festival awards and got picked up by Fox Searchlight after a bidding war.

 

Four more highlights from Sundance 2015:

 

"The End of the Tour"

 

"Tangerine"

"The Wolfpack"

 

"Results"

 

 

 

In Greece, designer retail therapy on a shoestring

Mon, 2015-02-02 08:59

Greece remains mired in crisis and profoundly depressed, yet at least one small corner of the country's economy is flourishing: luxury goods. The business of helping Greece keep up appearances in economically troubled times is, apparently, booming.

For instance, Starbags rents out expensive designer handbags, and offers an affordable solution to any woman who wants to flaunt her wealth even if she doesn't have it anymore.

“Most women who would rent from a company like ours would want instant recognition,” says Oliana Spiridopoulos, Starbags' owner. “They want to be recognized for their good taste and economic status. They want to be seen looking their best but also looking socially mobile.”

That’s upwardly socially mobile … even though the country may not be headed that way economically. Starbags charges the equivalent of about $60 to rent a handbag by such designers as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and other top fashion houses. More importantly, it's a cheaper option than paying $1,800 to buy a new bag.

“People rent the handbags for very special occasions, like weddings and christenings, where they’d be expected to carry something relatively more expensive than usual,” says John Spiliotakis, Starbag’s executive director.

So, do people who rent the handbags pretend they own it? “Some tell their friends they’ve hired the bag, some don’t. But, look, nobody is going to come up and ask whether the bag you’re carrying belongs to you,” says Spiridopoulos says.

Down-on-their-luck fashionistas who prefer to own their clothes and accessories have another option in Athens, they can buy second-hand designer clothing like shirts, jackets, coats, dresses, pants and even wedding dresses at a store called Kilo Shop. “We buy large quantities of secondhand or surplus designer clothes abroad by kilo,” says George Danakas, a co-owner of the shop. “So it is only fair to sell by the kilo to our cash-strapped customers here in Greece.”

The clothes are in excellent condition but since they have been bought in bulk and could be 10, 20 or even 30 years old, the prices are low: a pair of Levi 501s for under $20, a Tommy Hilfiger shirt for just over $10. 

Sabine Danakas, another Kilo Shop co-owner, claims that the business is prospering in spite of — or perhaps because of — the crisis. “Greek people live mostly outside. They may live in plain houses and apartments but when they go out in the sun, they have this feeling of showing off,” she says with a laugh. “And this is particularly true during an economic downturn. They want to look good and if it does not cost very much to look good, they’re really happy!”

Neli Sfigopoulou, a 28-year-old tourist trade worker, looks happy as she weighs which designer top to buy in the Kilo Shop. In these difficult economic times, she says, this kind of shopping is retail therapy on a shoestring.

Quiz: Big year for university endowments

Mon, 2015-02-02 07:18

Harvard University raised more money in 2014 than any U.S. school ever.

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FCC regulator: Don't dish out discounts to Dish

Mon, 2015-02-02 07:00

A regulator with the Federal Communications Commission is crying foul over Dish Network Corp.’s pursuit of small business discounts in a wireless spectrum auction last week.

Dish pulled in more than $13 billion worth of wireless licenses in the auction. But it might not end up paying that much. Dish is seeking to tap discounts the FCC sets aside for small businesses. It secured bids through a couple small companies it's invested in. Those partner firms qualify for the discounts. 

“It is an outrage that a Fortune 500 corporation, using some shell corporations that are very creatively structured, can try to claim over $3 billion worth bidding credits that are meant for small businesses,” says FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

Pai is calling for an FCC investigation into the matter. Dish couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. It has generally stayed mum about the auction. 

The company is not a wireless service provider—it’s in the business of satellite TV and internet. And yet, over the past few years, Dish has amassed a surprising amount of wireless spectrum. 

Blair Levin, a former FCC chief of staff, says it’s unclear if Dish will partner with another wireless company or start an independent wireless service—or something else altogether.

But Levin says the final result might be worth the $3 billion in discounts Dish is seeking.

“If they provide ways so that Americans can have faster, better, cheaper mobile services, I think we’ll look back and say it was a bargain,” Levin says.

Still, the FCC’s Commissioner Pai says the rules of the bidding process must be followed, and he want to make sure Dish hasn't flouted the rules.

"The mandate we got was to give small businesses a chance to break into the wireless marketplace," he says. "It wasn't to give large corporations with sophisticated lawyers an opportunity to game the system in order to get the taxpayer-funded discount on bidding at spectrum auctions."

How do sports teams get their championship T-shirts so fast?

Mon, 2015-02-02 05:20

Listener Danielle Addleman from Novato, California, has always wondered about how major league sports teams get T-shirts that declare them the champions immediately after they win.

To figure out how the winning team gets their hands on those T-shirts so quickly, I wanted to understand just what it takes to make one of these commemorative tees. So I visited a screen-printing company called AKT Enterprises in Pomona, California. The warehouse, where T-shirts are printed and packaged, was warm and smelled like ink.

Daisy Palacios/Marketplace

AKT’s head of West Coast operations, Robert Pfeffer, gave me a tour. He told me about the different variables that go into the T-shirt making business, "type of garment, color of garment, locations, size of artwork, the different colors that are going into the print and the type of inks that are used."

The longest part of the process is figuring out what the client wants. For example, if you needed shirts for your kid’s entire little league team, "standard screen printing is probably anywhere between a 7- to 10-day process," Pfeffer says. "To get garments ordered, get everything here, get your artwork approved, and then to actually have it printed and shipped out to you."

But when the client is an entire football league? The planning starts before the season does.

Jim Pisani, president of Majestic Athletic, has an entire team dedicated to championship events for the major league sports and the NCAA.

"They plan about six months out for each event, from the product, the T-shirts and the fleece that are going to be used, to working on designs with each one of the leagues," Pisani says. "During what we call the ‘hot market’ – whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series or the Stanley Cup championship – we do what’s called ‘locker room T-shirts.’"

Those locker room T-shirts are the ones you saw the Patriots wearing after the Super Bowl, and that you can buy right away at the stadium. Every year, shirts are printed for both teams before the final game and are kept in closely guarded boxes behind the scenes. The second the clock expires, workers take the winner’s shirts onto the field and give them to the new champions. And just like that – instant marketing for the same T-shirts that will be in stores the next morning.

However, Pisani says, most championship T-shirts that you can buy in stores the next day are printed right after the game.

"That’s when we’ll really kick into gear. We’ll have product ready within less than 24 hours, sometimes within two to three hours depending on where the location is," Pisani says.

Manufactures and retailers pre-position thousands of blank shirts, jackets and hats at printing facilities all over the country. As teams are eliminated in the playoffs, so are the screen-printers that were hired in their region. So, when the Super Bowl’s game clock was running out, the T-shirt print workers in Seattle and in New England run in and wait for the count – to start up the T-shirt press.

Daisy Palacios/Marketplace

“The actual printing, once the order is taken, the stencil is made, and everything is set up – it probably takes anywhere between 10 to 15 seconds,” Pfeffer says.

Depending on the complexity of the design, T-shirt printers move pretty fast. "I’ve seen numbers upward over 600 an hour and as few as 200 an hour," Pfeffer says.

Big orders like these might require the winner’s T-shirt print shop to run for at least 18 hours and bring in a second shift. The shops hired to print the losing team’s gear just go home.

What’s going to happen to the pre-printed shirts that say the Seahawks won the Super Bowl? Twenty years ago they would have been destroyed, but the leagues and retailers now partner with nonprofit organizations and donate the clothing to Third World countries.

The only condition the league sets with these organizations is that the licensed apparel never makes it way to the U.S. market, says Beau Stephens, senior vice president of university business at Navigate, an investment analysis firm that specializes in sports and entertainment.

"I think they take it very seriously because it’s additional revenue. They fiercely protect it in that they don’t want misprinted merchandise on the streets either," Stephens says.

The majority of the donated gear comes from retailers. "On average, the typical amount is probably somewhere in the $2 million range that goes overseas," he says.

Which means there’s a strange bright side to blowing the big game. Sure – the Patriots made its hometown fans happy, but the Seahawks will get new fans all over the world.

President's plan to tax foreign earnings

Mon, 2015-02-02 03:00

President Barack Obama hopes to raise $238 billion for infrastructure projects by taxing the foreign earnings of U.S. companies.  

Currently, firms pay no taxes on their earnings from abroad until they move those earnings to the United States, at which point they face a 35 percent corporate tax rate. The result is that many firms have kept that money abroad. 

“They have a strong incentive to not repatriate the profits,” says Joseph Cordes professor of public policy at George Washington University. Firms are now sitting on $2 trillion of foreign earnings stashed abroad. In the past, the government has tried to suck that money into the U.S. by offering a tax holiday – temporarily slashing the rate from 35 percent to 5 percent, according to Roberton Williams at the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center. He says that has made the problem worse: “The history of repatriation gives firms an incentive to leave money overseas and wait for another tax holiday.”

The president’s plan offers a one time tax on earnings of 14 percent, which is higher than a tax holiday but lower than the tax on the books. Moving forward, firms would have to pay taxes on foreign earnings at a rate of 19 percent, whether or not they bring the money home.  

PODCAST: Cider has its moment

Mon, 2015-02-02 03:00

First up, we take a moment to better understand a piece of President Obama's budget proposal set for release today that might find some support from some members of both parties in Congress. Plus, although sales of alcoholic cider currently amount to just 1 percent of the beer market, sales are way up. In Vermont, where craft beer is already big, some say Vermont is poised to become the Napa Valley of hard cider.

The President hopes to tax foreign earnings

Mon, 2015-02-02 03:00

President Barack Obama hopes to raise $238 billion for infrastructure projects by taxing the foreign earnings of U.S. companies.  

Currently, firms pay no taxes on their earnings from abroad until they move those earnings to the United States, at which point they face a 35 percent corporate tax rate. The result is that many firms have kept that money abroad. 

“They have a strong incentive to not repatriate the profits,” says Joseph Cordes professor of public policy at George Washington University. Firms are now sitting on $2 trillion of foreign earnings stashed abroad. In the past, the government has tried to suck that money into the U.S. by offering a tax holiday – temporarily slashing the rate from 35 percent to 5 percent, according to Roberton Williams at the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center. He says that has made the problem worse: “The history of repatriation gives firms an incentive to leave money overseas and wait for another tax holiday.”

The President’s plan offers a one time tax on earnings of 14 percent, which is higher than a tax holiday but lower than the tax on the books. Moving forward, firms would have to pay taxes on foreign earnings at a rate of 19 percent, whether or not they bring the money home.  

Cider makers think Vermont could be their Napa Valley

Mon, 2015-02-02 02:00

Consumption of hard cider in the United States has been growing, thanks in large part to women and millennials. Part of the appeal has been dietary. People on paleo and gluten-free diets can imbibe. But hard cider appeals to locavores and consumers committed to craft brewing. In Vermont, where eating local is practically the state motto, craft cider makers are thriving.

At Citizen Cider in Burlington there are 10 different ciders on tap. Co-founder Kris Nelson poured your thirsty correspondent a Brose, which is cider fermented with whole blueberries.

“It doesn’t drink like a blueberry wine or a cider,” Nelson explains. “It drinks more like a bubbly Rosé from southern France.”

Citizen Cider is eager for local farmers to grow apples just for cider-making. But here's the problem: farmers get far less for the smaller, blemished apples used to make cider than they get for so-called dessert fruit, which commands a price around $25 a bushel. According to University of Vermont researcher Terry Bradshaw, apple growers in Vermont are being cautious about the emerging cider market. 

“There are some orchards in the state that are planted for this market,” said Bradshaw, who makes hard cider at his home in Calais, VT. “But nobody is putting in a sizable orchard just because the economics aren't really figured out yet.”

Production and infrastructure costs are lower for cider apple orchards, but it take several years for new orchards to become productive. Citizen Cider president Justin Heilenbach is confident that the market will adapt.

“Nobody ever wanted a whole crop grown for hard cider making, and now there’s a bunch of people that do,” Heilenbach said of Vermont’s craft cider makers. “What's going to happen with this is, like any other industry, as there's more money on the table, there will be more people that want to plant those orchards and there'll be more people that want to buy” the apples grown there.

The hard cider industry expects that in the next decade, cider will rise from 1 percent of the beer market to 5 percent. 

 

 

 

Budget day feels a lot like Groundhog Day

Mon, 2015-02-02 02:00

President Barack Obama is releasing his budget on Groundhog Day. You remember Bill Murray in the "Groundhog Day" movie, reliving the same day over and over?

President Obama was stuck in a routine, too. Year after year, his budget bowed to sequestration cuts. “There was the same script over and over again, where he was trying to put out a budget to meet the Republicans halfway,” says Mike Konczal, a fellow at the progressive Roosevelt Institute. 

He says this year, President Obama is departing from the script. In fact, in an op-ed in the Huffington Post, the President says his budget “will fully reverse the sequestration cuts.”

Konczal is delighted. “Yeah, I think it’s a great move,” he says. But even some Democrats say President Obama may be going a bit too off-script, and could risk alienating voters worried about the deficit.

“There are limits as to how far down the President can go down this road without incurring some political risks,” says Bill Galston, a former Clinton White House official and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. And the budget, of course, is mainly a political road map. No one expects Congress to approve it.

You bought a counterfeit sports jersey. So what?

Mon, 2015-02-02 02:00

As soon as the clock ran down on Super Bowl Sunday, out came the preprinted commemorative t-shirts and hats. Sports memorabilia is a huge industry, but so is counterfeiting. Federal investigators seized nearly 20 million dollars’ worth of counterfeit hats, t-shirts, and other souvenirs ahead of the Super Bowl, in a year-long effort they dubbed “Operation Team Player.”

Alan Zimmerman, a professor of international business at the City University of New York Staten Island, says many consumers view knock-offs as a victim-less crime, believing they’re taking money from rich firms and rewarding a local manufacturer instead.

But counterfeiters can often be a part of larger criminal organizations.

“Counterfeit products are just a black market revenue stream for criminal organizations, to fund their large scale activities, everything from guns, drugs, violence, you name it,” says Bryan Cox, a spokesman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one of the government agencies involved in Operation Team Player.

How do you solve a problem like censoring YouTube?

Mon, 2015-02-02 02:00

Silicon Valley was once again on the spot in Europe last week. French president Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that Google and Facebook should be treated as “accomplices” of hate speech if they fail to block “extremist” content. A day later, the European Union’s counter terrorism chief said it was up to governments to flag “terrorist-related” videos on YouTube.

All this talk, as well as the disturbing proliferation of terrorist propaganda online, has raised questions about how sites like YouTube can screen what users upload. 

At the moment, a lot of this process is user-based. “This is a very human moment, where people look at something and say, 'That is completely inappropriate for our community,'” says Karen North, Director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at USC Annenberg. It’s our responsibility as a community to alert YouTube, she says.

Among the challenges of policing YouTube's content: the sheer volume of daily uploads — YouTube says 48 hours worth of video is uploaded every minute. There's also the fact that YouTube is all about user-generated content. Given this, North says it’s impractical to expect Google to monitor each upload, and then decide whether it's appropriate or not.

This is not a new debate. YouTube was in a similar soup back in 2012, when it was alleged that a video on the site sparked violence in the Middle East. There were calls back then for Google to curate its content far more.

There have also been suggestions of governments being more involved in this process. But North says such a development, especially in the U.S., would only result from “a long, complex negotiation.”

 

A post Super Bowl huddle up

Mon, 2015-02-02 01:30
28-24

The final score of Sunday night's Super Bowl, which saw the New England Patriots win their fourth title with a last-second interception at the one yard line, following a miraculous play had nearly propelled the Seattle Seahawks to victory. It was a nail-biter, and that's on trend. The New York Times' Upshot points out that Super Bowls are getting more exciting over time, with most games in the past decade decided on a touchdown or less.

$20 million

That's how much in counterfeit sports memorabilia was confiscated in a sweep by Federal investigators a week before the Super Bowl. The fake hats, t-shirts, and other souvenirs were all printed in anticipation of the game's outcome. And while some believe they may be supporting local manufacturers by purchasing the goods,  a spokesman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says revenue from the counterfeit industry often supports black market activities.

28.4 million

That's how many tweets were sent about the Super Bowl from kickoff to the end of the telecast, Twitter reported late Sunday night. The conversation peaked at 395,000 tweets per minute, when a goal-line interception clinched the game for the Pats at 20 seconds left. Twitter made a gorgeous map showing activity all around the world during the game.

$785,216.96

That's what it would cost to buy every item advertised during a Thursday Night Football game from last fall, according to an analysis from the Verge. This total comes from 115 that added up to a little less than an hour of ads. 

MARKETPLACE #WATERLOG PICTURE CONTEST

Fri, 2015-01-30 16:12

MARKETPLACE #WATERLOG PICTURE CONTEST  

NO CONTRIBUTION OR PURCHASE IS NECESSARY -- MAKING A CONTRIBUTION WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING THIS CONTEST  

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST: No contribution or purchase is necessary. To enter: a) become a follower of marketplaceapm on Instagram.com if you haven't already, then b) post your water photo tagging marketplaceapm and include the hashtag: #Waterlog. 

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Within two (2) hours after the close of each Entry Period, Sponsor will identify the top three (3) entries with the most “likes” on Instagram for that Entry Period.   One (1) Winner and two (2) runners-up will be selected based on “like” counts. Winner will be contacted by Sponsor via direct message and must reply by email within the response time period specified.  

If Sponsor is unable to reach winner or if winner is unable to accept the prize within the response time period specified on the online entry form, then the unawarded prize will go to the first available runner up thereof until the prize is awarded. The rules detailing contest eligibility and method of selecting winners are on file at Sponsor's offices. The chances of winning are dependent upon the number of eligible entries.  

INTERNET AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY: If for any reason this Contest is not capable of running as planned due to an infection by a computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the Entry process. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for 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. The Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or telephone lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or Entry to be received by the Sponsor due to technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant's or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading any materials in this Contest. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INCOMPATIBILITY OF ENTRANT'S HARDWARE, SOFTWARE OR BROWSER TECHNOLOGY WITH SPONSOR'S HARDWARE, SOFTWARE OR BROWSER TECHNOLOGY. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHERREMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTEMPT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. In the event of a dispute as to the identity or eligibility of a Winner based on an email address or Twitter account, the winning Entry will be declared made by the "Authorized Account Holder" of the email address or Twitter account at time of Entry. "Authorized Account Holder" is defined as the natural person 18 years of age or older 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. Sponsor may ask any Entrant or potential Winner to provide Sponsor with proof that such party is the authorized account holder of the email account associated with the Entry.  

Sponsor is not responsible for computer system, phone line, technical, hardware, software or program failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or network connections that are human or technical in nature. Use of automated devices is not valid for Entry. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate Entry information, whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the Entries in this Contest. Incomplete, unreadable, inaccurate, unintelligible or late Entries or Entries which otherwise do not comply with these Official Rules will be disqualified. All Entries, upon submission, become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned and the Sponsor has the right to dispose of the Entries at Sponsor's discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, cancel, modify or suspend the online portion of this Contest (or the entire Contest) should any computer virus, bugs or other technical difficulty or other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Contest, at which time, the selection of the Winners will be determined in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received at the time of Contest termination.  

GENERAL: By participating in this Contest, participants agree to be bound by the Official Rules and that Sponsor and related organizations, their agents and employees have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind which result from use of the prize, or by participation in the contest. Sponsor or its related organizations may use winner's name and likeness for advertising, fundraising, promotional or publicity purposes without further compensation. Expenses as a result of winning this prize, including taxes, are the sole responsibility of the winner.  

RESTRICTIONS: By participating in this Contest, a participant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules, and by all decisions of the Sponsor.  

SPONSOR: Minnesota Public Radio, 480 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101, (651) 290-1500

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