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What are Bennet Media and Marketing’s content guidelines?

NOTE: These content guidelines set forth our aspirations for your work. Not all of these guidelines are strict requirements for publication. Please note that while Bennet Media and Marketing may review your work and may suggest or require that you comply with one or more of these guidelines, any review that Bennet Media and Marketing conducts is being done solely and exclusively for its internal purposes. You may not rely on any review of your work, any results we may share with you or your acceptance of any changes suggested or required by Bennet Media and Marketing for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, as confirmation that your work:

(a) complies with these Content Guidelines;

(b) does not violate any applicable laws or regulations; or

(c) does not infringe upon the rights of any third parties.

If you have queries regarding your work’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations, such as copyright laws, rights of privacy and publicity, and libel/defamation, you should consult with an attorney of your own choosing for such legal advice

Fair Use Guidelines

Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index, Fair Use if a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. When your work qualifies as a fair use, it would not be considered an infringement.

There are four factors in evaluating a question of fair use:

The purpose and character of your use

In evaluating the purpose and character of your use, a court will look to whether the new work you’ve created is “transformative” and adds a new meaning or message. To be transformative, a use must add to the original “with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message.” If you merely reprint or repost a copyrighted work without anything more, however, it is less likely to qualify for protection under this prong. If you include additional text, audio, or video that comments or expands on the original material, this will enhance your claim of fair use. In addition, if you use the original work to create a parody this may qualify as fair use so long as the thrust of the parody is directed toward the original work or its creator. Moreover, if the original work or your use of it has news value, this can also increase the likelihood that your use is a fair use.

The nature of the copyrighted work

In examining this factor, a court will look to whether the material you have used is factual or creative, and whether it is published or unpublished. Although non-fiction works such as biographies and news articles are protected by copyright law, their factual nature means that one may rely more heavily on these items and still enjoy the protections of fair use. Unlike factual works, fictional works are typically given greater protection in a fair use analysis. So, for example, taking newsworthy quotes from a research report is more likely to be protected by fair use than quoting from a novel. The nature of the copyrighted work is often a small part of the fair use analysis, which is more often determined by looking at the remaining three factors.

The amount and substantiality of the portion taken

Courts look to how such excerpts were used and what their relation was to the whole work. If the excerpt in question diminishes the value of the original or embodies a substantial part of the efforts of the author, even an excerpt may constitute an infringing use. If you limit your use of copyrighted text, video, or other materials to only the portion that is necessary to accomplish your purpose or convey your message, it will increase the likelihood that a court will find your use is a fair use. Of course, if you are reviewing a book or movie, you may need to reprint portions of the copyrighted work while reviewing it to make your point. Even substantial quotations may qualify as fair use in “a review of a published work or a news account of a speech that had been delivered to the public or disseminated to the press.

The effect of the use upon the potential market

In examining the fourth factor, which courts tend to view as the most important factor, a court will look to see how much the market value of the copyrighted work is affected by the use in question. This factor will weigh in favor of the copyright holder if “unrestricted and widespread” use similar to the one in question would have a “substantially adverse impact” on the potential market for the work. The analysis under this factor will also depend on the nature of the original work; the author of a popular blog or website may argue that there was an established market since some such authors have been given contracts to turn their works into books. Therefore, a finding of fair use may hinge on the nature of the circulated work.

PERMISSIONS

If a quotation does not qualify as Fair Use, it is necessary to obtain permission from the person or entity controlling the right to license the use —the rights proprietor or the copyright owner. The rights proprietor and the copyright owner may be – but are not necessarily – the same.

  • Tips for Avoiding Copyright Liability
  • Use only as much of the copyrighted work as is necessary to accomplish your purpose or message.
  • Use the work in a way that your purpose is commentary, news reporting, or criticism
  • Avoid something new or beneficial (don’t just copy it, improve it).
  • If your source is nonfiction, limit your copying to the facts and data.
  • Seek out Creative Commons or other freely licensed works when substations can be made. Proper citation and attribution should also be considered.

Libelous/Defamatory Content

A defamatory statement is a false statement of fact that exposes a person to hatred, ridicule, or contempt, causes him to be shunned, or injures him in his business or trade. Statements that are merely offensive are not defamatory. Courts generally examine the full context of a statement’s publication when making this determination.

Defamatory statements that disparage a company’s goods or services are called trade libel. Trade libel protects property rights, not reputations. While you can’t damage a company’s “reputation,” you can damage the company by disparaging its goods or services.

Some statements of fact are so egregious that they will always be considered defamatory. Such statements are typically referred to as defamation “per se.” These types of statements are assumed to harm the plaintiff’s reputation, without further need to prove that harm. Statements are defamatory per se where they falsely impute to the plaintiff one or more of the following things:

  • a criminal offense;
  • a loathsome disease;
  • matter incompatible with his business, trade, profession, or office; or
  • serious sexual misconduct.

While there may be certain exceptions or defenses that apply to your work, it is always your sole responsibility to ensure that your work does not contain any libelous material. If you have questions about whether your work may contain material that is potentially libelous, you should consult with an attorney of your own choosing for legal advice.

General Content Guidelines

We reserve the right to reject a work that contains any of the following:

  • Hate speech or any speech that incites violence or attacks, threatens, intimidates, or disparages individuals or groups based on attributes such as race, sex, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits
  • Explicit and salacious or graphic descriptions of sexual situations
  • Explicit descriptions of sexual situations involving individuals under the age of 18
  • References to or descriptions of bestiality
  • Any other content that Bennet Media and Marketing determines, in its sole discretion, that the publication or distribution of which may injure its reputation or subject it to public disapproval.
  • We reserve the right to reject a proposed book cover that contains images reflecting any of the following:
  • Nudity of any sort
  • Logos or registered trademarks
  • Celebrities or famous individuals
  • Posters from movies, plays, concerts or other events
  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Actual currency
  • We reserve the right to reject a work that contains representations or images of male or female genitalia if they reasonably can be included in one of the following categories:
  • Overly or gratuitously sexual in nature
  • Salacious depiction of any nature
  • Depiction of what could reasonably appear to be an individual under the age of 18
  • Representations or images of male or female genitalia on the interior pages of your work are acceptable if they reasonably can be included in one of the following categories:
  • Valid, medically-related content
  • Commonly recognized works of art
  • Non-salacious photographs
  • Non-salacious artwork
  • Non-salacious instruction manuals
  • Genre-Specific Content & Permission Guidelines
  • Autobiography/Memoir: Without written and notarized permission from the person, entity or legal guardians of the person mentioned, we reserve the right to reject a work that contains any of the following:
  • False statements of fact that could harm the reputation of any identifiable living persons, companies or other entities
  • False statement either of a fact or implication that an identifiable, living person (aside from the author him or herself):
  • Committed a crime or was convicted of committing a crime
  • Engaged in unethical conduct
  • Engaged in immoral sexual conduct
  • Associated with unsavory people
  • Demonstrated professional incompetence
  • Demonstrated financial irresponsibility or unreliability
  • Acted disgracefully
  • Suffered from a mental disease or disorder
  • Embarrassing private facts about any identifiable, living persons
  • Statements about an identifiable, living person that would lead that person to have hurt feelings because certain thoughts and feelings are attributed to that person or the person is put in a false light

References to an identifiable, living child that state as fact or by implication that the child was:

  • Sexually abused
  • Otherwise physically abused
  • The victim of a crime
  • Adopted

Biography: Where the subject of a biography is a living person, we reserve the right to require written and notarized permission from the subject of the biography and/or from any living persons (or their guardians) and any legal entities mentioned therein. If the subject of the biography is clearly a famous person or a public figure, written permission may not be required, though permission from non-famous people mentioned therein may still be required.

Self-help / Textbook / Politics and History: You must provide proper citations where applicable

Translated Books: You must provide written and notarized permission from the owner of the copyright of the book in its original language to publish a translation of a book originally published in another language.

Endorsements: If you wish to include an endorsement or other statement about your book written by a person other than yourself, you must provide written permission to use the statement from that individual.

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