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off topic RE: Policy use

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 12:36:34 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
cc: 3WC WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "'love26@gorge.net'" <love26@gorge.net>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0105111224040.6694-100000@tux.w3.org>
On Fri, 11 May 2001, Bailey, Bruce wrote:

  It sounds like the Australian Court system may be significantly more evolved
  than what we have in the U.S.

CMN As I understand it the US court system also makes extensive use of the
term "reasonable". At least that's what W3C's lawyers told me. The rest of
that discussion goes into a lot of detail that I claim is entirely irrelevant
- the point is just that there are different approaches, and a commmon one is
to use terms like "reasonable".

  I've heard Doug Wakefield (Access Board) say that they dropped WCAG 1.0
  P1 Checkpoint 14.1 (Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate
  for a site's content) because it was too ambiguous.  I would guess that
  "reasonable judgement" does not enter frequently into our court system!
  I understand we have a world wide reputation for litigation.

  Speaking of which, I can't believe your guy only got $20,000 out of IBM.
  <http://www.contenu.nu/socog.html#update>  That's less than the correction
  would have cost, so I guess IBM made the financially sound decision!
  Except, I would guess that others could press for the same amount.  Do you
  have class action lawsuits in Australia?  Have you heard if Maguire got any
  of that money yet?  Last I checked, www.olympics.com still flagged errors in

CMN - this gets way off topic for the list...

Well, he didn't get anything out of IBM because they were not defending the
case. They did a contract job for someone, and as I understand it, they did
what the contract required. Although it might be argued in future that they
should have provided accessibility as a matter of course, in this case
(remember this is the first case anyone has found, so there is no precedent
for it) the contractor was held responsible for the service they provided.

I don't know whether money has changed hands yet or not. There are class
action lawsuits in Australia. The amount of $20 000 was assessed as a
monetary figure appropriate to compensate the actual damage of not being able
to follow the olympics - as far as I recall it does not comprise any punitive
damages. But careful fact checking may show I am wrong.

One of the expert witnesses produced a version of the site which he said took
him a couple of hours to build, and which had the required corrections. The
amount claimed by SOCOG as the cost of correcting the site was rejected in
the decision as having no credibility. The real cost is however a matter of
conjecture, since it wasn't done.

I don't know what errors Bobby finds, but I think it is worth noting that IBM
also produced the site for the Australian Open Tennis Championship last year,
and that site provided live up to date scores and so on, but as far as I
could tell without any of the access problems that the olympics site had.
(You would have to ask them what it cost to do it).

Received on Friday, 11 May 2001 12:36:38 UTC

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