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Re: No decision from the Appeals court


From: Hall, Kevin (K.M.)
Date: Sep 30, 2004 8:52AM

I by no means meant to indicate that U.S. is the only country capable of screwing up copyright or accessibility laws. I am sure that many other countries are fully capable of drafting laws as idiotic or more so than my country's own. While we always strive to be world leaders in a given area sometimes we are simply outdone and I for one am not afraid to face it when that happens.

The UK web accessibility policy seems to tie itself to the W3C Accessibility Guidelines (correct me if I'm wrong on that please)... I wonder if court cases and decisions could be challenged based on differences between versions of the standard? The working draft of the WCAG Version 2 is rather different from Version 1 in its format and language. It seems interesting to me that the W3C could potentially change the outcome of court cases by revising their standard overnight. What do the rest of you think of this possibility? Is it an issue? A good or bad thing? It seems that it alleviates lawmakers of the responsibility of revising the law as time passes, they can just point to the current version of the standard... but does that leave everyone open to trouble on the day the new version of the standard is released before anyone can catch up (there is often a long lag time before new standards are accepted and widely used). It seems odd to tie the law to something so completely out of a country's control.

-Kevin Hall

-----Original Message-----
From: michael.brockington [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 10:39 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] No decision from the Appeals court

-----Original Message-----
From: khall51 [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: 30 September 2004 14:37
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] No decision from the Appeals court

> If we can prevent the nightmare that is copyright law in the U.S. ...

Just in the U.S. ?
Again I feel I must mention a couple of precedents:
One of the first laws enacted in Iraq after 'the end of the war' (lets not
get into that though!) was a new Copyright Act, which I believe is even
tougher than in the US.
A small news item from a few days ago: music copyright over here last for 50
years, not 95 like the US. This means that I can start selling recordings of
Elvis, Beatles etc. quite soon. Legally. Wonder if I can sell MP3's of them
over the web to Americans?

My point is to agree with you that at the very least, we need to ensure that
accessibility legislation is written VERY carefully.

Further info a little closer to topic:
In the UK there has been a Disability Discrimination Act for about as long as
I have been alive. I assume that this is largely the same as the US' ADA, as
it stipulates ramps etc must be available at shops/restaurants etc, and if
required, at places of work. (ie physical access to all semi-public
buildings, "within reason") (Many Public or semi-Public buildings are listed,
and therefore Lifts and Ramps are frequently refused planning permission, or
at least used as an excuse.)
Clearly the UK government doesn't think that they could apply this Act to web
sites, as there is also recent legislation which states that all Governmental
sites must reach WAI AA standard. This does not apply to commercial sites, or
hobby sites of course. Yet.



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