Terms and Conditions

Last Updated: July 13, 2017

Please note that our Site is under constant development. New services are added frequently and this agreement may therefore be modified and updated on an ongoing basis. It is important to check back to this page regularly.

General Rules

Ballast Research (“Ballast”), a division of National Journal Group LLC, owns and operates public-facing websites, including www.ballastresearch.com, and makes the same or similar content available to mobile users (collectively, the “Site”).

Your use of the Site and associated products and services, regardless of media, is subject to the terms, conditions, and disclaimers set forth below; to our Online Privacy Policy www.ballastresearch.com; and to all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, Ballast reserves the right to terminate access to the Site for any reason, and to take any other actions that Ballast, in its sole discretion, believes to be in the interest of the company and some or all of its users and customers. Ballast reserves the right to modify these disclaimers, terms, and conditions of access, without advance notice.

This is a binding contract between Ballast and you. By accessing our Site, you hereby accept this agreement.  As a material condition of such use, you warrant that you are over the age of thirteen and that you have provided accurate and complete information in any communication with Ballast.

Access

Access to the Site is provided free of charge and does not create a professional services relationship or any other relationship with Ballast.

These Site is provided solely for your personal, non-commercial use. You may not develop or derive for commercial sale any data in machine-readable or other form that incorporates or uses any substantial part of the Site nor transfer to or store any data residing or exchanged over the Site in any electronic network for use by more than one user unless you obtain prior written permission from Ballast.  Specifically, unless explicitly authorized in these Terms and Conditions or by the owner of the materials, you may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, translate, sell, create derivative works, exploit, or distribute in any manner or medium any material from the Site.

For any images, text, data or other information (referred to here as “Content”) you submit to Ballast (including profile information, blog posts, comment areas, and any e-mail) you affirm, represent and warrant that you own the right to utilize, to license and to sublicense the Content and you grant to Ballast, and anyone authorized by Ballast, a non-exclusive, worldwide, paid-up, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual license, including right of sublicense, to use, copy, assign, display, distribute, perform, reproduce in whole or in part, and modify the Content in any medium or any manner, in whole or part (whether now known or hereafter developed), without any restrictions to you, for the sole intended purpose of the Site and/or services provided. You also grant to each user of the Site a non-exclusive license to access the Content through the Site and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Site and under this Agreement.  You acknowledge and agree that unless otherwise stated, all Content you submit will be deemed to be provided to us on a non-confidential and non-proprietary basis.

For any Content you post that you do not own, you guarantee to us that you have the legal right to post such Content and that it will not violate any law or the rights of any person or entity. IN OTHER WORDS, AND AMONG OTHER THINGS, YOU WILL NOT POST CONTENT ON THE SITE YOU DO NOT OWN WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE OWNER OF THE CONTENT, INCLUDING WRITTEN, PHOTOGRAPHIC, MUSIC AND VIDEO CONTENT.

Intellectual Property

Ballast and the Site, and all other text and images contained on the Site and in Ballast’s products are protected by United States trademark and copyright law and other applicable law and are the property of Ballast, except as otherwise identified. All copyrights and trademarks not the property of Ballast that are used or referred to in the Site and Ballast’s products are the property of their respective owners. Nothing contained in the site or other products shall be construed as granting any license or other rights to any copyright, trademark, patent or other property of Ballast or any third party, whether by implication, laches, estoppel or explicit grant. Because the content is proprietary, any unauthorized use of materials on the site or other products may violate the law.  If you are a copyright owner and believe infringing material is present on any Site, please refer to the procedures outlined below in the section titled “Ballast Site DMCA Copyright Infringement Claim Policy.”

Ballast’s products, including third party and licensed materials on the site, may not be modified, reproduced, republished, retransmitted, or displayed except for personal use. Any use for a commercial or public purpose requires specific written permission from Ballast.

Acceptable Use Policy

You are solely responsible for any and all acts and omissions that occur during or relating to your use of the Site, and you agree not to engage in unacceptable use of the Site, which includes, without limitation, use of the Site to:

  • Harm or threaten to harm users or members of the general public in any way, or “stalk” or otherwise harass any other person or entity;
  • Post or transmit any Content that is unlawful, false or misleading, grossly offensive, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, pornographic, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable;
  • Disseminate or transmit “spam,” unsolicited messages, chain letters, any advertisements, solicitations, pyramid schemes, investment opportunities or other unsolicited commercial communication;
    Purchase, sell, or offer to purchase or sell any equity or security or market instrument; provide information designed to manipulate any equity or security or market; or disseminate or transmit any material, non-public information about companies without authorization to do so;
  • Collect, use, or store any personally identifiable information about other users, or otherwise violate the personal privacy rights of others;
  • Impersonate any person or entity (including a Site agent, user, or moderator), or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
  • Post any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, or any other form of solicitation except in areas that are expressly designated by the Site for such purpose;
  • Disseminate or transmit any Content that infringes or violates any party’s copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent or other proprietary right; or use or distribute third-party information (whether or not protected as a trade secret) in violation of a duty of confidentiality, fiduciary duty, or similar duty;
  • Violate any law (whether local, state, national, or international), whether or not intentionally;
  • Forge headers or otherwise intentionally disguise the origin of any content or communication; interfere with or disrupt the Site, or servers or networks connected to the Site; or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to the Site;
  • Post any Content related to partisan political campaigning or fundraising.
  • Express or imply that any statements you make are endorsed by us;
  • Modify, adapt, sub-license, translate, sell, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any portion of the Site;
  • Obtain, copy, monitor, index or data mine through the use of a robot, spider, any automated device, or any manual process, the Site or the contents (except as expressly permitted by Ballast);
  • Remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices contained in the Site;
  • “Frame” or “mirror” any part of the Site; or
  • Engage in any other activity deemed by Ballast to be in conflict with the spirit or intent of this agreement or that might violate the rights of others or give rise to liability.

You understand that by using the Site, you may be exposed to Content that may offend you or challenge your beliefs. Your remedy is to avoid such Content by discontinuing your access.

Content and Non-Endorsement

Opinions and other statements expressed by users and third parties are theirs alone, not opinions of Ballast. Content created by third parties is the sole responsibility of the third parties and its accuracy and completeness are not endorsed or guaranteed. The Site and third parties may provide links to web pages, web sites, and various resources or locations on the web. Ballast has no control over the information you access via such links, does not endorse that information, and shall not be responsible for it or for the consequences of your use of that information.

Employment Opportunities

Ballast may post employment opportunities on the Site and/or invite users to submit resumes to it. If you choose to submit your name, contact information, resume and/or other personal information to Ballast in response to employment listings, you are authorizing Ballast and its service providers to utilize this information for all lawful and legitimate hiring and employment purposes. Ballast also reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to forward the information you submit to its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, vendors and service providers for legitimate business purposes. Nothing in this Agreement or contained in the Site shall constitute a promise by Ballast to interview, hire or employ any individual who submits information to it, nor shall anything in this Agreement or contained in the Site constitute a promise that Ballast will review any or all of the information submitted to it by users.

Ballast Site DMCA Copyright Infringement Claim Policy

Ballast respects the intellectual property of others, and requires that our users do the same. You may not upload, embed, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that infringes any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights of any person or entity.  Ballast has the right to prohibit infringers from using our Site.

If you believe your work has been copied and posted on or through the Site in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please send Ballast’s Copyright Agent a notification of claimed infringement with all of the following information:

  1. identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works;
  2. identification of the claimed infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material on the Site (providing the URL(s) of the claimed infringing material satisfies this requirement);
  3. information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an email address;
  4. a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  5. a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notification is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf; and
  6. your physical or electronic signature.

Ballast’s Copyright Agent for notification of claimed infringement can be reached as follows: Copyright Agent, Aretae Wyler, The Atlantic Monthly Group LLC, 600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037, (202) 266-7000, fax: (202) 266-7157, awyler(at) atlanticmedia(dot)com.

Upon receipt of a Notification of Copyright Infringement from a copyright owner that contains the required information described in (a) through (f) above, Ballast will notify the user, if known, of the alleged infringement and remove or disable access to the material that is alleged to be infringing if hosted on Ballast’s Site.  No personal user information is shared with the copyright owner unless required by law.

If Ballast receives more than one Notice of Copyright Infringement concerning a user, the user may be deemed a “repeat copyright infringer.” Ballast reserves the right to terminate the accounts of “repeat copyright infringers.”

Procedure to File a DMCA Counter-Claim

If you have received a notice of copyright infringement and you believe that a copyright holder has accused you in error, you may file a DMCA Counter-Claim with Ballast’s designated agent. To be effective, a Counter-Claim must be a written communication provided to Ballast’s designated agent and must include the following information:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of the user;
  2. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;
  3. A statement under penalty of perjury that the user has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled;
  4. The user’s name, address and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the user’s address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the user will accept service of process from the person who provided notification or an agent of such person;

Upon receipt of a DMCA Counter-Claim, Ballast will provide the complaining party with a copy of the DMCA Counter-Claim. When Ballast receives a Counter-Claim that meets the requirements of the DMCA, Ballast will process the Counter-Claim in accordance with the requirements of the DMCA.

Limitation of Liability and Use

Ballast has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides through its products and services, including through the Site. This information frequently relies on data obtained from many sources, however, and Ballast cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided or any analysis based thereon.

YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT THE USE OF BALLAST’S PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, INCLUDING THE SITE, IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. SUCH PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” BASIS AND BALLAST MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AND DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. BALLAST DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTY THAT THE SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, SECURE OR ERROR FREE. NO ADVICE, OPINION OR OTHER INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH THE SITE OR FROM BALLAST, ORALLY OR IN ANY MEDIA, SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY FROM BALLAST NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THIS AGREEMENT.

EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE STATED, BALLAST MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION REGARDING OF CONFIDENTIALITY OF ANY COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION TRANSMITTED ON THIS SITE OR ANY WEB SITE LINKED TO THE SITE. YOU AGREE THAT NEITHER BALLAST, NOR ANY OTHER PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES RELATED TO THE SITE, ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF ANY INFORMATION, (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION CREDIT CARD INFORMATION, PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION, INCLUDING EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, ETC.), AND NEITHER BALLAST NOR ANY OTHER PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES RELATED TO THE SITE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES THAT MAY ARISE FROM DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION.

BALLAST AND ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, CONSULTANTS, AGENTS AND OTHER REPRESENTATIVES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE OR OTHER DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS OR COSTS OR ATTORNEY’S FEES, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BREACH OF CONTRACT, BREACH OF WARRANTY, NEGLIGENCE, OR STRICT LIABILITY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER BALLAST MONTHLY WAS INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

IN STATES THAT DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF DAMAGES, BALLAST’S LIABILITY, AND THAT OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES OR PARENTS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES, BUSINESS PARTNERS, INFORMATION PROVIDERS AND LICENSORS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE HEIRS AND ASSIGNS IS LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY SUCH STATES’ LAWS.

Ballast assumes no responsibility or liability arising from the content of the Site nor for any error, defamation, libel, slander, omission, falsehood, obscenity, pornography, profanity, danger or inaccuracy contained in any information within the Site or accessed through the Site. Ballast also does not warrant that the functions or informational materials contained in or accessed or downloaded through our Site are free of computer viruses or other harmful components. In addition, although we make a good faith effort to update the content of our Site periodically, we do not have a duty to update information contained in our Site, and we will not be liable for any failure to update such information.

The Site make no representation that information content provided on Site is applicable or appropriate for use in locations outside the United States. You agree to comply with all applicable laws and local rules regarding the transmission of technical data, acceptable contents and online conduct.

Indemnification

You agree to indemnify, defend and hold Ballast, its affiliates, licensors, suppliers, advertisers and sponsors, and its and their directors, officers, employees, consultants, agents and other representatives, harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, losses, costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other expenses that arise directly or indirectly out of or from (a) your breach of this agreement, including any violation of the Terms of Service; (b) any allegation that any Content or other materials you submit to us or transmit to the Site infringe or otherwise violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property or other rights of any third party; and/or (c) your activities in connection with the Site.

Special Agreement on Fee-Shifting and Choice of Law

If you attempt to bring any legal action against Ballast based in any way on its products or services, including the Site, you agree that, in the event you do not prevail or Ballast does prevail, you will reimburse Ballast for any costs and attorneys fees associated with their defense of the action.

The use of the Site and any claim or dispute relating to the Site shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, without regard to its conflicts of law principles. Exclusive venue for any claim shall be in the state and federal courts located in the District of Columbia. Use of the Site is unauthorized in any jurisdiction that does not affect all provisions of these Terms of Service, including without limitation this paragraph.

Severability

If any provision or portion of these Terms of Service is held in whole or in part to be unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of that provision and of the entire agreement will be severable and will remain in effect, to the fullest degree consistent with the intent of this document.