Poet Website Terms of Service

Beneficent Technology, Inc. (“Benetech”), the developer of the Poet software and operator of this Poet website (the “Website”), has created this website and the materials available on the Website to be used to add accessibility features to otherwise inaccessible image content, for educational purposes and especially for the benefit of people with disabilities.

More and more published content contains images, charts and graphics. Such images are often more difficult to understand than plain text, especially for people who have difficulty using images because of disability, such as blind people. The Poet tool was created by the DIAGRAM Center, a research and development effort of experts and organizations in the field of accessibility, in order to make it easier and less costly to add image descriptions and digital tactile graphics files to inaccessible images. The Poet tool accepts the upload of electronic books (eBooks) that include images, and provides the ability to add or modify image descriptions and related metadata (i.e., the target age or grade of the material), as well as add or link to a version of the image suitable for producing a tactile graphic. An improved eBook can then be downloaded by the user who uploaded the initial eBook, as well as being made available via Bookshare for use by print disabled individuals who would benefit from accessibility enhancements, or to produce accessible versions of such books in other forms, such as the creation of braille versions of materials. The Poet tool also provides users with access to previously created image descriptions, to allow new image descriptions to be created more quickly by finding and editing an existing image description on a similar topic (say, a diagram of a heart or a graph of a mathematical function). The Poet tool is intended to improve accessibility for all people around the world, but it is not intended to facilitate copyright infringement. Benetech will, in appropriate cases, assist publishers and copyright owners in investigations of apparent instances of infringing uses. By selecting “I agree” below, you and the organization for which you work, agree to the following terms and conditions governing use of the Poet online Website:

  1. Legal uses only. You represent that you are using this Website primarily to improve accessibility and educational materials for people with disabilities or other disadvantages that affect their ability to access information in image form. You represent that you will not knowingly use the Poet Website or any content obtained from the Website for illegal copying of copyrighted materials.

  2. Benetech Volunteers: status and protection. If you are volunteering to help Benetech make images accessible for people with disabilities, abide by the restrictions in these Terms of Service, and do not make use of any copyrighted content on the Website other than pursuant to such volunteer accessibility work, you have additional protections as a volunteer for Benetech. As such a volunteer, you are hereby appointed as an agent of Benetech for the purposes of carrying out its educational and charitable activities of making content accessible to people with disabilities under Section 121 of the federal copyright law. You agree to follow direction from Benetech staff on best practices for image accessibility work, as well as not doing any of the following:

    • Editorializing or expressing an opinion about image content (or textual content of the book), rather than just making the image accessible through factual descriptions

    • Wholesale copying of text from the underlying work into the description, unless it is purely functional (as in describing a formula or geometric figure)

    • Copying the caption into the description unmodified

  3. General Accessibility Uses. If you are not acting solely as a Benetech volunteer as described in Section 2 above, you may also use the Poet Website to create, find and adapt accessible content. You hereby represent that content that you download from the site will only be used in ways that are legally permissible. For example:

    • For use by publishers, authors and illustrators for making their own content more accessible.

    • For use by a specific person with a disability

    • For use by people with disabilities served by your educational institution or agency, as permitted by existing agreements with the publisher and/or author, or as permitted by state or national law

    • For use by anyone, if the original eBook and accompanying images were in the public domain or licensed under an open content license such as a Creative Commons license, but only if such license permits the creation of derivatives, and subject to the terms of such licenses in terms of redistribution.

  4. Uploaded content. You hereby represent that any digital content that you upload to the Poet Website has been legally obtained by you or your organization. Examples of legal uses:

    • Making a purchased or licensed textbook accessible for a student with a disability.

    • Modifying content licensed under a Creative Commons license, or content available in the public domain.

    • Improving content that is created, owned or licensed by the person or organization uploading the content.

  1. Permitted activities. You will use the Poet Website only for the following activities:

    • Adding image descriptions or metadata to make displayed images more accessible.

    • Modifying image descriptions or metadata to correct errors, or to make the description more usable or understandable for a disadvantaged person.

    • Adding, linking or improving tactile graphic adaptations in the Scaled Vector Graphic format, which are suitable for being converted later into physical tactile graphics.

    • Adapting an existing image description or tactile graphics file originally created to make one image accessible to making another image accessible.

    • Finding accessible versions of images of interest, where such accessible images are available under a Creative Commons license or are in the public domain.

  2. Prohibited activities. You agree that you will not:

    • Distribute downloaded content from the Website to people or organizations that would not have been otherwise entitled to utilize or access the content. For example, you cannot take proprietary copyrighted content and make it available for free or commercial copying or use on the Internet.

    • Use downloaded image descriptions of copyrighted images to attempt to recreate the original copyrighted images. For example, if a copyrighted image contains seven pink elephants and twelve blue pigs, you will not try to recreate an image that has seven pink elephants and a dozen blue pigs. However, this is not intended to exclude images that are purely functional or factual in nature, such as depictions of mathematical expressions (y = x squared plus three) or common objects (a tree has roots, a trunk, branches and leaves).

  3. Not legal advice. You understand and agree that Benetech is not providing you with legal advice on your use of the Poet Website or its content, and acknowledge that Benetech is hereby advising you to consult with your own legal counsel if your use of the Poet Website falls outside of the uses described above in Sections 2 and 3.

  4. Copyright assignment. While Benetech believes that adding image descriptions and/or creating tactile graphics files generally does not create copyrightable new content, you hereby agree and do assign any interests, under copyright or any other intellectual property laws or regimes, in image descriptions or tactile graphics files that you create or modify to Benetech, with no fee or royalty due from Benetech or other Poet users for such an assignment and right to use such image descriptions and/or tactile graphics. Note that this assignment does not apply to the original copyrighted images, the copyright for which, of course, remains with the original rights-holders.

  5. International law. Benetech represents only that we believe that this Website, operated in compliance with these terms of service, is being operated in compliance with U.S. law. You are responsible for respecting and complying with laws outside the U.S. if you are using this Website from elsewhere, or are permitting persons outside the U.S. to access content from this Website.

  6. Privacy Policy. Please visit our Bookshare Privacy Policy, located at https://www.bookshare.org/about/privacy/search, which also governs your use of the Website, to understand how we collect and use information about you. If you are outside the United States, you understand and agree that by providing the Website any information about yourself, you are consenting to the transfer of that information to the United States.

  7. Copyright Infringement. If you become aware of any content obtained through the Poet Website being illegally copied by third parties, you agree to promptly inform Benetech of such illegal copying. In addition, you agree to cooperate with Benetech in cases where Benetech is investigating possible copyright infringements.

  8. Changes to these Terms. If we change these Terms of Use, we will post those changes on our Website so our users are always aware of our current Terms of Use. Your continued use of this Website indicates your consent to the most current terms, as they may exist from time to time. Since copyright law is a dynamic field of law, there will undoubtedly be changes over time.