Hi, I'm quite surprised what is going on here.
Rules are ok.
GetUp2 was not accepted - get over it.
It would not even crossed my mind to try to participate in the contest with Xirius Defect XXL (different music, different design, additional controls, 15x more levels) year after Xirius Defect participated. Same applies to Dynakillers Unchained, which was originally product of different developer team (similar to Amaurote 128)...however I reverse engineered the the code, added 4th player, changed colors, changed pictures, enhanced digitized sound engine and added multijoy support. (note: links in my signature).
It will sound hard, but someone needs to say it... whole mumbo jumbo about GetUp2 looks to me like failed attempt to cheat through the contest.
Would it be ok if original Laura and final Laura both participated let's say in 2010 and 2016? I think NO, because it is essentially the same game even though the final one is beautifully designed compared to the original which reminds me Robbo a lot....and when I saw it first time (sometime in 2010 i guess), i thought it is a Robbo hack with different charset and levels.
And other point, regarding the prizes. I believe they are ok and well balanced, prizes do not reflect efforts. Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcome. One can work on game for a year, other for a week... it does not mean that the result of year work will be better. Also there is no way to make the living of 8-bit Atari coding, so the prizes never cover the man-days spent ...even for a week-long project which would eventually hypothetically end up 1st.... but it definitely cheers you up when you 1st and you get the prize