Because,unless they are willing to run a business that is unlicensed, uninsured, and does not accept public help, (i.e police protection, fire fighter's protection, use of the public's streets and sidewalks, etc.) and in all other ways refuses, eschews, and relinquishes all public assistance, then they are beholden to the public - ALL the public, not just the parts of the public they like.
If they refuse all public help, then they could claim with a straight face that they can do whatever they want. They'd still be morally wrong, but they'd be able to make an ethical argument. BUT once they benefit from the public's money in any way, they are running a business, not solely to make money for themselves (although that may be THEIR only reason) but also (because they are licensed at public expense, inspected using public funds, insured by companies that are insured, underwritten, and monitored at public expense, etc. by the public, use public roads, have the right to call the public's police department, etc.) to provide a public good.
I just had a revelation from the angel GloopGloop. My new religion, based on the Bible, but with revelations from GloopGloop, which includes some massive revisions to the old version of the Bible while still (paradoxically) fulfilling the Bible, includes instructions that God commands me to...well, it's a long list.
Suffice it to say: I can get paid by "working" for a person or government, but I can't be made to do any work. By the way, my new religion of called Gloopianism.
1) The lawyers are just misusing the (reasonable) ignorance of small business owners. If it wasn't the ADA it would be some other law. 2) You can put a $25 riser on a toilet - send a certified letter and that's it. They won't want to chase someone who's responding. They're looking for the guys who are either belligerent (translation - stupid) or silent (translation - dumb). 3) This suit over a toilet seat sounds like an urban legend to me (I could of course be wrong - it wouldn't be the first or last time.)
You're right. I wasn't clear. Given that it really isn't expensive - around $20 per page OR LESS to make a website that accommodates the blind (I'm not counting content like videos etc.)
And MORE importantly, given that this cost, meager as it is, would only be imposed on sites that could easily afford it - according to the language of the ADA.
And given that it would be the decent thing to do.
I am explicitly suggesting that the ADA should apply to the web.
You're next question may very well be, "where are you getting these costs from?" I'll tell you. I sat down and translated a few pages, and it took me less than 1/2 hour to copy and paste (and occasionally add text) to make a page that met that VERY LOW bar.
BUT- for those of you who can't stand the idea of making life a LITTLE BIT better for the blind - you know who you are. AND for those of you who want to fight over my cost projection, I repeat - This cost would only be imposed on sites that could easily afford it - according to the language of the ADA.
Movie theaters have the technology - it's called open captioning, but it is expensive - it's way overpriced because it's a specialty item and IT REALLY DOES COST THOUSANDS to install, unlike the fake thousands that some other poster said it cost to caption a movie.
And would not fine them anyway. This is a question of ignorance and ABUSE of the law. The poor small business owners can't know about everything, and so they don't know the ADA laws. Team Prenda knows the law but chooses to lie about how it works. The law itself is fine except in the case of the internet were most complex laws come to fail.
I love your articles and usually agree with them. I even agree with MOST of this article. I was on my phone and I was trying to respond to this post:
email@example.com, Apr 6th, 2015 @ 5:13am What?????
This is rubbish the whole damn case. If subtitles are a legal necessity for movies then the movie industry as the manufacturer should be investing in them.
No website should have any responsibility to the blind or the deaf, under any circumstances.
Maybe netflix should put up a sign on their website, content only available for those that can consume it.
So, I have to apologize twice, one for the F word and once for being so incensed that I targetted to the wrong person. My apologies again. I would like to add that my comment regarding the value of the ADA WAS appropriate to the article. If the ADA provided no benefits to society while it cost individuals money, then it would be a very bad thing all around , as well as being a bad law. I would be a very poor excuse for a person to champion such a law. I feel that, absent Team Prenda and their ilk, the law is a good law that not only helps the handicapped, but also society at large. You cannot understand, just as I did not understand before losing most of my hearing, how difficult it is to get a job when you are handicapped. No one wants to hire you. I have only been able to get small, low-paying jobs since I lost most of my hearing, and I have the advantage of being otherwise healthy and well-educated.
Sorry to disappoint you. I'm not lying about being hard-of-hearing. If I could get $200 to do a movie, I would spend $150 on the transcriptionist and make the rest on doing the actual closed captioning. I wouldn't get rich, but I'd make $20 an hour which is more than I've made per hour since I lost my hearing.
A small warning to you while you're still strong and healthy: As AC said above, "you're not getting any younger. One day, you might be blind, or deaf, or trying to navigate a page using your eye movements. And by the time that happens, imagine how dependent your everyday life is going to be on the web. You'll be trying to pay your bills or order groceries or schedule a checkup -- and if you're lucky, the people who designed the sites you're using will make that possible. But if they're callous and ignorant and insensitive, it's not going to go well for you."
It would cost less than $100 to CC a movie. I have done it. I buy a DVD, rip it (as a backup only). Turn it into a mpg file, find a script, OCR it. and add it to the mpg. I takes me about 5 hours. If I didn't have to rip the DVD or OCR the script it would be even faster.
It is not that hard. When the technology first came out it required specialized technology and experience to do. It can now be done on a home computer using FREE software. If my hearing were better, I'd be glad to do it for you. In fact, if you gave me the text of your website speech, and a release to use it, I would be glad to do this for you for a nominal sum.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that I would love to transcribe it myself, I am too hard-of-hearing to do so, although I have tried several times.Thank you for your kind, sympathetic and thoughtful response.
A transcriptionist costs less than $50 an hour. To turn that into a captioned script for a movie cost about $50/hr. Once transcribed it can be added to an existing movie for less than $50. In fact, if you had the script, which can often be purchased for $25 or so, it wouldn't even cost $150.
So: Three hour movie = $150 Compositing to script= $100 Syncing to movie = $50 Total _______ $300
If I could get $200 per movie, I would be doing movies 24/7.
No, the F word wasn't an appropriate response. I apologize. I was very angry at your tone. You dismissed my daughter, and all the other deaf, blind, and otherwise disabled people in the United States when you said, "Maybe netflix should put up a sign on their website, content only available for those that can consume it." That's not a reasonable or polite response to the issue either. Small, cheap changes to the website and to the laws would be a much better response.
I don't think you realize the value that the ADA has brought to the US. Whenever we make something handicap accessible, we make more jobs available to the disabled, which reduces the public burden of supporting them, while making life easier for all or us. When you carry your shopping bags out the automatic door at the supermarket, you are looking at an innovation that would not be in place if the ADA had not mandated it. I could go on, but this is not the forum.
This article conflates two issues. The burden of complying with the requirements of the ADA, and the possibly criminal, definitely immoral behavior of Team Prenda. What is needed to deal with Team Prenda is an "anti shakedown" law. This law has been needed for a long time and would solve problems not just in copyright, not just in ADA compliance, but in a large number of legal venues.
The ADA, is not an onerous burden. As Anonymous Coward, points out, good web site design makes a lot of this moot. And, equally importantly, it is good manner, good ethically, and good business to make your website as open to as many people as possible. AND IT IS EASY TO DO. As for the ADA's supposed burdens, as Gumnos above points out, the burden to should be passed upstream to the creators of movies etc., where the "burden" would be lightest.