Bookshare provides accessible electronic books and materials (“Accessible Media”) to individuals with legally-qualifying disabilities. This Membership Agreement sets out the necessary terms governing your use of Bookshare.
As a person with a qualifying disability, I hereby agree to the following terms:
- The Accessible Media is only for my individual use as a person with a bona fide print disability.
I understand that the only reason I’m able to download these copyrighted works is for my personal access to books, newspapers and other materials. I can adapt the content to my personal needs, but I cannot distribute it to other people or organizations, with the exception of hardcopy Braille versions of the books.
- Bona fide disabilities are significant disabilities that affect reading, and meet the legal definitions.
I represent that I have a significant vision, physical or learning disability that prevents me from reading standard print. I meet the requirements of the copyright exception in my country of residence (for example, in the United States 17 U.S.C. §121) as a person with a print disability and will, before this Agreement becomes effective, provide proof of my disability to Bookshare, either directly or through an organization which assists, such as my school.
I acknowledge I can’t share the Accessible Media with other people.
Access to Bookshare books is a privilege, and it is based on a social bargain between the publishers and authors and the disability community. It’s important to not redistribute these Accessible Media to other individuals, regardless of whether or not they would qualify for Bookshare. I agree to use the Accessible Media I obtain from Bookshare solely for my personal use. I won’t share my password with anyone, unless it’s a caregiver, teacher, parent or guardian who agrees to use it solely to help me download my books.
There are consequences for copyright violations, including termination of this account.
I acknowledge that Bookshare inserts digital fingerprints (both obvious and hidden) in the Accessible Media I download, to track copyright violations. I agree that I won’t remove these fingerprints. If a copyright violation occurs, Bookshare will discontinue serving me. I acknowledge that violations of copyright law and the terms of this Agreement may subject me and other people committing such violations to civil and criminal liability, and that Bookshare will cooperate with investigations by copyright owners of such violations. If I violate the terms of this Agreement, Bookshare may unilaterally and immediately terminate this Agreement by written or email notice to me. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Bookshare, Benetech (the nonprofit organization which creates and operates the library technology platform used by Bookshare), their staff, subcontractors, technology suppliers and volunteers, as well as authors and publishers, for any damages, legal fees and costs, as a result of my violations of this Agreement or copyright laws of applicable jurisdictions.
- The cost of Bookshare.
Bookshare is a subscription library. Unless my subscription costs are being paid for by a third party, I am responsible for payment of my subscription fees to Bookshare.
- I will have access to software as part of my Membership.
Bookshare may make assistive software available to me for using the Accessible Media, such as talking readers that will display and speak the text aloud to me. I will only use the software for my own use on personal computers I personally use, and I will abide by the terms of the license that comes with such software.
- I acknowledge that the books on Bookshare include adult content and scanned books with errors.
Bookshare’s volunteers and staff try to accurately label all of the books in the collection, by title, author, adult content status and quality. If I discover an error in such labeling, I can let Bookshare know and they’ll look into it and correct it if they believe it was wrong. When my membership is first set up, lower quality Accessible Media will not be returned in my search results. I can opt in to see these kinds of titles if I wish by changing my account settings. If I am over 18, I can opt out of seeing adult content in my search results. If I am under 18, I may not view adult content unless my parent or guardian agrees in writing.
- I acknowledge that there is no warranty by Bookshare, publishers or authors.
Bookshare is a socially-oriented activity, not a for-profit activity. Bookshare’s staff, volunteers, authors and publisher partners are all cooperating to help overcome the barriers to access faced by people with disabilities, and most do so without compensation. Therefore, Bookshare doesn’t warrant that the content is error-free or that the Bookshare service will not be interrupted. My only remedy if I’m unhappy is to request a refund for the unused portion of my current annual subscription. If I haven’t paid for a subscription, I won’t get any monetary compensation. I also acknowledge that the vast majority of content on Bookshare is there without the active participation of publishers or authors, so publishers and authors are not responsible for errors or problems with the Accessible Media. In addition, publishers and authors have not waived any of their other legal rights under copyright or other laws by permitting the distribution of Accessible Media owned by them, to people with disabilities.
- I agree to a few other important details.
- This Agreement will automatically renew every 12 months, unless I submit a request in writing or by email to end my subscription and to terminate this agreement. Requests should be submitted to the current contact email or mailing address as noted on the Bookshare website
- I understand, however, that all Accessible Media retained by me after termination of this Agreement is still subject to the restrictions on use imposed by copyright laws of my country of residence as long as I retain such Accessible Media.
- If my subscription is being paid for by a third party, my subscription may end when the funding ends.
- Bookshare can change the terms of this Agreement on five (5) days written or electronic notice to me. If I do not agree with the new terms, I will have the option to decline and hence terminate my account.
- This Agreement is governed by the applicable copyright exception, other laws, regulations, and treaties of [country]. This Agreement cannot be changed by oral agreements or assurances of anyone party to it. If I violate its terms, I will be subject to suit to enforce the terms of this Agreement and applicable copyright and other laws.
Benetech is dedicated to helping the public by providing a number of diverse Services. Some of these Services require us to collect, use, and disclose more information than others, and are discussed in more detail below.
Information We Collect
Information You Provide Directly
You may provide information directly to us in a number of ways. For example:
When you register for our Services, we may ask you for information such as your name, e-mail address, postal address, zip code, telephone number, and social media accounts.
When you make a donation or a purchase from our Services, we may ask you for payment information, such as your credit card number and expiration date.
When you use our interactive online features (such as forums, blogs, or other Services that allow you to post content), we receive whatever you post.
When you contact us for assistance with our Services, we receive the information you provide in that correspondence and any other information that you send to us.
Information We Receive Automatically When You Use Our Services
We may also automatically receive certain information about your device when you use our Services. For example, we may receive:
Information about your interactions with our Services, such as the content you view, information collected by Google Analytics, and information in other cookies and similar technologies .
Information about how you access our Services, including information about the type of device you’re using, your browser or operating system, the language in which you asked to view our Service, the referring website through which you accessed our Services, links that you click while using our Services, your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, location information, and certain device identifiers that may be unique to your device.
Information From Third-Parties
We may receive information about you from third parties, and may combine this information with our own information about you. For example, we may receive:
Information from fundraising websites or applications, including crowdrise.com, regarding donations that you have made to us through these third-party websites or applications, including your birth date and other crowdrise.com profile information.
Finally, certain Services collect additional data specific to those Services. For a more complete description of the data collected by individual Services, please select a Service from the list below:
Use Of Information
We may use information that we collect through our Services for a variety of purposes supporting our mission, including to:
Provide you with the products, promotions, Services, newsletters, and information you request and respond to correspondence that we receive from you. We may also provide you with information about how to use our third-party partner products or services.
Contact you with surveys, legal notices, and other information that may be relevant to your use of the Services, such as account status, renewal, or any problems with your account.
Contact you to solicit donations on behalf of Benetech or other partner nonprofit organizations.
Inform you about important public policy issues that relate to our mission or that might affect our Services.
Coordinate volunteering efforts.
Notify the winners of surveys and contests and award prizes, if you participate in surveys or contests. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and user satisfaction of the Services.
Process payment information for donations or payment for Services.
Maintain or administer our Services, perform business analyses, or for other internal purposes to improve the quality of our business, the Services, and other products and services we offer.
We may use information provided by you in other manners, as otherwise described to you at the point of collection or pursuant to your consent.
Finally, certain Services use data collected from you in a manner specific to those Services. For a more complete description of the way data collected from you is used by individual Services, please select a Service from the list below:
Sharing Of Information
We are committed to maintaining your trust, and we want you to understand when and with whom we may share the information we collect.
Other Services. We may share your information with our other Services for a variety of purposes, including business, operational, and marketing purposes.
Payment Processors. We may share your payment information with payment processing partners such as Click&Pledge or PayPal. These payment processors may continue to store your payment information to process automatic renewals or future payments (as permitted by applicable law). Benetech itself does not collect or store your credit card number.
Service Providers. We may share your information with service providers that perform certain functions or services on our behalf, such as Google Analytics , MailChimp, and Vertical Response.
Other Parties When Required By Law or as Necessary to Protect the Services. We may disclose your information to third parties in order to:
Protect the legal rights, safety, and security of Benetech and the users of our Services;
Prevent fraud (or for risk management purposes);
Prevent copyright infringement; and
Comply with or respond to law enforcement or legal process or a request for cooperation by a government or other entity, whether or not legally required. If Benetech intends to disclose a member’s information to law enforcement or in response to a legal process, we will make reasonable efforts to promptly notify the member—and, if the member is under 18, the member’s parent or legal guardian—unless directed not to by a court of law. In Connection With a Transfer of Assets. If we sell all or part of our business, or make a sale or transfer of assets, or are otherwise involved in a merger or business transfer, or in the unlikely event of bankruptcy, we may transfer your information to one or more third parties as part of that transaction.
De-identified and Aggregate Information. We may share de-identified or aggregate data with any entity, including for research and analysis purposes. De-identified data is data that is not linked or reasonably linkable to a particular person or device. Aggregate data is data we collect that has been combined with information from others so that the recipient of the data is not able to identify any particular person or device from the data. However, we will never share personally identifiable information with third party commercial entities for direct marketing purposes, unless you give us permission.
Other Parties With Your Consent. We may share information about you with third parties when you consent to such sharing.
Finally, certain Services share data collected from you in a manner specific to those Services. For a more complete description of the way data collected from you is shared by individual Services, please select a Service from the list below:
Protection of our users’ information is important to us, so we maintain security safeguards to help protect against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction of the information you provide to us. However, please note that no data transmission or storage can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your information and privacy, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you disclose or transmit to us online and cannot be responsible for the theft, destruction, or inadvertent disclosure of your information.
The privacy and protection of children is of great importance to us. We will not knowingly collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under the age of 18 without obtaining consent from a parent or legal guardian, except as otherwise permitted by law. For minor members who are signed up for Bookshare or other Services by their school, the school may provide Benetech with information and, to the extent that parental or guardian consent is required under any applicable law, the school will be responsible for obtaining such consent.
Benetech does not knowingly allow Bookshare members under the age of 18 to make personal information publicly available through our Services. If a member under the age of 18 (or their parent or legal guardian) wishes to review, modify, or delete, the minor member’s personal information and refuse to permit further collection or use, please contact us using the contact information below.
Social Networking And Third Party Sites
Social Networking Services
We have worked with certain third-party social media providers to offer you their social networking services through our Services. For example, you can use third-party social networking services, including but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, to share information about your experience on our Services with your friends and followers on those social networking services. The third-party social networking services may be able to collect information about you, including your activity on our Services. The third-party social networking services also may notify your friends, both on our Services and on the social networking services themselves, that you are a user of our Services or about your use of our Services, in accordance with applicable law and their own privacy policies.
If you choose to access or make use of third-party social networking services, we may receive information about you that you have made available to those social networking services, including information about your contacts on those social networking services.
Links To Third Party Sites And Services
Updates And Communications
Whether or not we gather personal information about you;
Whether or not we use information about you; and
Whether or not we disclose your information to anyone else.
You may choose to receive promotional e-mails, newsletters, and similar communications from us. You may opt out of receiving these e-mails from us by clicking on the opt-out or “unsubscribe” link included in the e-mails you receive. Please note that opt-out requests may take up to 10 business days to be effective. Your opt-out request will not apply to messages that you request or that are not promotional in nature. For example, we may contact you concerning your account or any purchases or donations you have made with us, even if you opt out of receiving unsolicited promotional e-mail messages.
480 S. California Avenue, Suite 201
Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609
Your California Privacy Rights
Some web browsers may transmit “do-not-track” signals to the websites with which the user communicates. Benetech does not take any specific action in response to these signals. However, Benetech does not track its users over time or across third party websites to provide targeted advertising. Certain Benetech services, such as Bookshare, allow you to access the same service through multiple channels over time. In order to provide a positive user experience, Benetech may maintain information about your usage history across multiple channels, for example, in order to provide you reports of your complete reading history on the Bookshare website or in an electronic reader app. Benetech respects your privacy and will use this information only as described in this policy.
Bookshare, Read2Go, And Go Read
Bookshare® is a nonprofit website dedicated to providing accessible books and other materials ("Content") to people with print disabilities. We have also partnered with outside organizations and developers to provide our members with mobile e-reader applications, such as Read2Go and Go Read. These e-reader applications allow members to access e-books from Bookshare on their mobile devices. In order to provide these services, Bookshare collects, uses, and shares certain information relating to its members’ disability status, education, veteran status, and book-related information, as more fully described below. This information may be input by you directly, or may be input on your behalf by an Organizational Member such as a school, veterans’ organization, or other organization that provides services to people with print disabilities.
Information Bookshare Collects
In order to comply with the laws that allow Bookshare to provide copyrighted material to people with print disabilities, Bookshare must receive proof of a print-related disability, which may include medical information, for each member who wishes to receive copyrighted Content. Further, because Bookshare was built to serve members with print disabilities, Bookshare may collect other information that reflects the nature of its member’s disabilities. For example, Bookshare may collect information that a certain member prefers to read books in Braille and was referred to Bookshare by a school for the blind.
If a member joins Bookshare through an organization, then the Organizational Member typically collects the member’s proof of disability, not Bookshare. However, the Organizational Member may share the nature of the member’s disability with Bookshare, and will be obligated to provide the proof of disability to Bookshare on request.
To streamline the process of verifying eligibility, Bookshare has agreements in place with other nonprofit organizations serving people with disabilities (“Verification Partners”), including National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (“NLS”), Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D), Hadley School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and various US and international organizations. If a potential member has already provided proof of disability to one of our Verification Partners, the potential member may use this proof to sign up for Bookshare by filling out our online form. Upon receipt of this form, Bookshare will send the user’s name, address, email, birth date, and/or other information on the submitted form to the Verification Partner, and the Verification Partner will provide confirmation that the member has a qualifying disability.
Educational Information And Veteran Status
Bookshare partners with the Department of Education to provide free access to students in the United States. Bookshare also partners with other nonprofit and for-profit organizations to provide greater access to children with qualifying print disabilities. To further this goal, Bookshare collects information on members’ education, including but not limited to members’ grade, birth date, school name, school address, school district, and whether the student is enrolled in a qualifying Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”) or a 504 Plan.
Bookshare also collects information on whether or not a member is a minor. For each member with an Individual Membership who is a minor, Bookshare will collect the contact information of the member’s guardian, such as the guardian’s name, e-mail address, postal address, zip code, and telephone number.
Finally, Bookshare collects information on whether the user is a US Veteran. This information is only used to provide free or discounted services and special programs to qualifying Veterans, and in aggregated, de-identified reporting.
Bookshare is dedicated to expanding access to books for members with qualifying print disabilities. To further this goal, Bookshare maintains transaction logs of the materials downloaded by its users. These transaction logs contain information such as the title and author, the member who downloaded the book, the date and time of the download, the format of the download, and the status of the download. Further, for each download of a copyrighted work, Bookshare embeds a digital fingerprint in the book download. Bookshare stores this digital fingerprint in its transaction logs so that it can trace downloaded material back to the original downloader to determine the source of any unauthorized copies of Bookshare material.
If a member uses the Read Now option to launch a book using Bookshare Web Reader, Bookshare also records whether the book was opened by the member and remembers the last read location to keep the member’s place in the book.
Bookshare also stores each reader’s preferred download format and preferred language.
As part of its efforts to build and improve the Bookshare collection, Bookshare accepts uploads of Content, accessibility improvements (such as image descriptions), and reviews of books and of particular versions of books from its qualified users, organizations, and volunteers. Bookshare will maintain transaction logs of these activities.
Information From Our International Partners
If a member lives outside of the United States, Bookshare may also receive information from an international Membership Partner. For our international members, the International Partner in the member’s country of residence will collect the member’s proof of disability, not Bookshare. However, the International Partner may share the nature of your disability with Bookshare, and will be obligated to provide the proof of disability to Bookshare on request. The International Partner may also process international members’ subscriptions payments in the local currency and transfer a portion of the payments to Bookshare.
Use Of Information
To verify that a potential member has a qualifying disability.
In cases of suspected abuse where copyrighted Content has been made available to unqualified individuals, to trace copyrighted Content back to the user using the user-identifiable information embedded in downloaded Content.
To remember your last place in a given piece of Content.
To provide suggested content based on the user’s past reading patterns.
In the case of minors, to limit access to Content coded as adult Content.
To track the quality of uploads and reviews by users, organizations, and volunteers. In particular, we may identify the uploading person with the Content on the website, and may also publicize particularly high quality uploaders of Content or reviewers.
To provide information in the course of communications between our Services and compatible e-reading applications, including Read2Go and Go Read. If you choose to use an e-reading application to use Bookshare, that product will have access to certain information from your account. Similarly, if you have an Organizational Membership, the persons responsible for your Organizational Member account may use an e-reading application to access your information. For example, e-reading applications can access your name, account settings, and history of downloading books.
Sharing Of Information
Upon your request, to streamline the process of verifying eligibility for services run by our Verification Partner Learning Ally. If Learning Ally requests that we verify your disability, we may confirm or deny that you have provided us with a proof of disability.
To confirm the accuracy of a member’s information with our International Partners. We will only share information with our International Partners that the International Partner originally collected—the International Partner will not have direct access to individual members’ personal information maintained by Bookshare.
To provide aggregate reports on Bookshare usage to government, nonprofit, and for-profit partners such as publishers and developers of e-readers and other assistive technology tools. These reports may include aggregated information on the number of books downloaded by Bookshare users in a given time frame, and this information may be broken down by demographic information such as location or school district. Further, these aggregate reports may be used by Bookshare or its partners to advertise their products, to compete for grants, or for any other purpose. However, these reports will not include any personally identifiable information that can be associated with any individual Bookshare member.
To provide usage information about individuals’ accounts to the person(s) responsible for associated Organizational Member accounts. For example, we will provide detailed information on the contact information, reading history, and reading preferences of the organization’s staff or members to that organization.
Cookies & Related Technologies
A “cookie” is a text-only piece of information that a website transfers to your computer's hard disk so that the website can remember who you are. A cookie will normally contain the name of the internet domain from which the cookie has come, the "lifetime" of the cookie, and a value, usually a randomly generated unique number.
You may block cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. However please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of Benetech’s Services. To prevent the download of cookies, or otherwise control how cookies are used on your computer, please read the “Help” information supplied with your internet browser software or go to: www.allaboutcookies.org . By using Benetech’s Services, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google and Benetech in the manner and for the purposes set out below.
Last Updated: March 1, 2016