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Re: No decision from the Appeals court

for

From: Hall, Kevin (K.M.)
Date: Sep 30, 2004 11:07AM


Actually, I thought I was pointing out the incompetence of U.S. politicians, particularly in the area of modern technology (say, post-rotary telephone). I suppose my attempt at a bit of self deprecating humor fell short there.

Does anyone know how the law would handle a site that was changed drastically after a suit was filed? Particularly if the old pages cited in the suit were deleted or updated as a part of the change? Many places don't archive all old versions of their web sites as a standard practice so this seems like it could happen. Is that destroying evidence? Would the suit then be without merit because the breach is corrected or is the suit still valid based on the fact that at one time the site was inaccessible? This is a bit past my level of legal acumen.

I agree that the 'until user agent' statements in the WCAG would be seriously problematic for anyone trying to hold a site to that standard in court. I imagine a decent lawyer could argue that point to death. They are guidelines, not laws, and are written with that in mind. I don't think it's a very good idea to base legal cases on them.

Regards,
-Kevin Hall

-----Original Message-----
From: michael.brockington [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 12:49 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] No decision from the Appeals court


-----Original Message-----
From: khall51 [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: 30 September 2004 15:55
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] No decision from the Appeals court

> The UK web accessibility policy seems to tie itself to the W3C
Accessibility Guidelines
Yes, but only applies to Government Sites.

> ... I wonder if court cases and decisions could be challenged based on
differences between versions of the standard?

Of much more interest would be if someone is sued for a breach, and then the
breach disappears from the WCAG before the case comes to court. Not very
likely I suppose, but certainly possible.
I would have to partially refute your point regarding changes to the standard
- where actions such as this are concerned, the offense is not deemed to have
occurred until after the defendant has been informed of the alleged breach,
although it is possible that the only further defense would be to turn off
the offending site immediately, with the massive change to accessibility that
that would mean!

I would also like to see someone argue in court over the various 'Until User
Agents...' statements that pepper the WCAG (NB Any remember what the 'G'
stands for?)

My point about US Law was in no way intended to mean that I consider US
politicians to be any less competent than their UK /EU (or Canadian,
Australian... ) couterparts. Rather I wished to point out that even laws such
as Copyright (fairly consistent, and reasonable until a few years ago), vary
sufficiently across borders to lead to some very interesting import/export
businesses. Given that the Internet is barely even aware of those borders,
Laws aimed at Non-National bodies would never be better than a joke - at
least until such time as a Global Government appears.

Mike


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