Participating in Hackathons



You want to participate in a hackathon. Great! We need to review the terms of the hackathon to make sure they do not conflict with your employment agreement.

This is the process to get the terms reviewed and approved.

If you additionally want Google to release copyright to you for what you hack on, see below.

If you only want to judge or help organize a hackathon, see below.

Email us the terms of the hackathon

The hackathon must have clear terms and conditions, which are publicly available, and which state the organizers acknowledge that the participants maintain ownership rights over their work.

Sometimes the terms also say you grant the hackathon a non-exclusive license to use your work and/or likeness. That’s ok. What’s not ok is no terms and conditions which talk about intellectual property, or an assertion that the organizers own copyright or patent rights to the thing you hack on, or prohibit commercial exploitation. Exclusive licenses are also not ok.

Email these terms to emailremoved@ for review. Please write “Hackathon Review” in the subject line. Please also include a few sentences describing what you plan to work on during the hackathon.

Please do not email us to review hackathons without clear terms and conditions. You can’t participate in these. If you want to try to fix the situation, see below.

Give us at least one week notice.

Please follow this process at least a week before the hackathon occurs.

My hackathon doesn’t have clear intellectual property terms

Email the organizers and explain your company won’t let you participate without clear terms which state that no one is asserting ownership over your work. Ask them to make these terms publicly available. In special cases, we’ll also accept an email forwarded from the hackathon organizer.

I want a copyright release for what I hack on

This process is soley to clear your participation in a hackathon. If you also want a copyright release for what you hack on, first go through this process and wait for an all-clear from opensource-licensing. Then apply for IARC at go/iarc.

My friends want to go too

If you want to go to the hackathon with your friends, you can use this process to clear the terms and condition for everyone in your group.

However, each member of the group that wants Google to release copyright to what they hack on must apply individually at go/iarc.

I just want to judge or help organize a hackathon

If you’re not going to be creating IP, please clear your participation directly with emailremoved@.

Only hack on personal time

Hackathons are only approved during personal time unless participating is part of your job.

Approved coding sites

The terms and conditions of the following sites satisfy the requirements listed here. You may participate in these sites without consulting anyone. Please do not leak Google confidential information.

List of approved sites removed.

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