[bksvol-discuss] Bookshare Policy Change on Volunteer File Sharing

  • From: Scott Rains <scottr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 12:11:34 -0700


Below and attached is Bookshare's new official policy on file sharing between 

Please note that I am in an all-company meeting this afternoon and unable to 
respond to any questions you may have until evening.

Scott Rains
Benetech Fellow, Bookshare Volunteer Department

Bookshare exists because of the privileges available to nonprofits like 
Benetech to serve people with print disabilities as they are outlined in the 
Chafee Amendment to the US Copyright Act.  While Bookshare may produce copies 
of print materials for its members it must do so in a manner that is carefully 
circumscribed in order to protect the intellectual property rights of authors 
and publishers and meet the requirements of the copyright exception. Such 
practices include controlling access to copyrighted materials, requiring 
contractual, agreements for all users and volunteers and fingerprinting content.

During the production process Bookshare also takes great care to prevent the 
unauthorized release of copyrighted material. This includes a strict 
prohibition on volunteers emailing or otherwise exchanging Bookshare content 
directly with each other. In most cases, where an exchange of document content 
is necessary between two volunteers the complete document must first be 
returned to Bookshare and checked out by the second volunteer.

Occasionally, there is a need for portions of books to be exchanged between 
volunteers. This most often occurs between a translator and a proofreader, when 
a sighted and a blind volunteer team up, or when a scan contains numerous 
errors and the proofreader does not have access to the physical book. We are 
changing our policy slightly to permit a limited exchange of material directly 
between two Bookshare volunteers (both in good standing: current, having agreed 
to the volunteer agreement) in order to produce more accurate digital documents 
for Bookshare. This exchange is limited to a single chapter or up to 10% of the 
content at a time, whichever is larger. In the case of graphic elements such as 
genealogical charts or illustrations, up to one chapter’s worth of these 
elements may be sent in one communication if these elements are separated from 
the book. If neither of these exceptions applies, content must continue to only 
be shared by the existing process of returning the content to Bookshare and the 
second volunteer checking it out.

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