Bookshare makes active efforts to ensure that its collection and its users abide by the law to maximize the benefits realized by the disability community and minimize abuse. Bookshare controls the format of the materials that it provides and ensures the appropriate copyright notices are in its digital publications. Access is restricted to disabled individuals. Digital rights management helps to ensure that access remains limited to those covered by the copyright law exemption.

1. Qualified Users

Only blind or other persons with disabilities that affect their ability to access print are permitted to download copyrighted books. A Bookshare member must register and supply a signed application form completed by an appropriate professional in the field of disability services in education, medicine, psychology or a related area. The certifier must be a recognized expert who can attest to the physical basis that limits the applicant's use of standard print. Appropriate certifying experts may differ from disability to disability. For example, in the case of blindness and visual impairments, an appropriate certifier may be a physician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist. In the case of a perceptual disability, a neurologist, learning disability specialist such as a Disability Officer in a College, or a psychologist with a background in learning disabilities may be the most qualified certifying professional.

In addition, since any Irish resident who is registered with NCBI would qualify to become a member of Bookshare, registered individuals with NCBI, do not need additional signatures or certification when applying for membership to Bookshare.

 

2. Contractual Agreement

All Bookshare users have to agree to terms of use that forbid violation of the copyright law restrictions on redistribution and use of copyrighted material. Users who violate these terms will lose their access to Bookshare and may suffer other legal consequences as a result of their actions.

 

3. Copyright Notice

In order to comply with the copyright law regulating the provision of accessible books to people with disabilities, Bookshare ensures that all copyrighted materials bear a notice that any further reproduction or distribution in a format other than a specialized format is an infringement. Such content includes a copyright notice identifying the copyright owner and the date of the original publication.

In addition, other language reminds users of their obligations to use this material only as permitted by their agreements with Bookshare and the law. It also informs people who are not Bookshare users that their possession of a Bookshare digital book is a violation of the copyright law and that they should erase such a book without using or copying it. 

 

4. Encryption

Bookshare encrypts a requested book for a given user, and the files are delivered through secure/encrypted channels.

 

5. Fingerprint

All copyrighted material downloaded is fingerprinted as part of the encryption process so that the identity of the authorized user is contained within the decrypted material in a difficult-to-find fashion. This way, if a user illegally redistributes material downloaded from Bookshare, it is possible to confirm both that the materials came from Bookshare and which user was responsible.

 

6. Security Database

All transactions, encryption codes and fingerprints are stored in a database enabling Bookshare to track any abuse to the source. For more information on how we use this information, please see our Bookshare privacy policy.

 

7. Security Watch Program

A security program monitors all transactions and automatically limits any user whose account downloads more than a fixed number of titles in a given month (typically 100 titles). Bookshare regularly searches the web for illegal copies of content originating from Bookshare user downloads, and suspends the accounts of users found to have been the source of such content. Bookshare also issues take-down notices to the websites hosting such content.