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Re: Flickr and alt

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 07:48:19 -0400
Message-ID: <6A4F8F9FF20240B4ABED6C9F6E03B023@HANDS>
To: "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com>, "Philip TAYLOR \(Ret'd\)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: "Anne van Kesteren" <annevk@opera.com>, "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, "Steven Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>, "W3C WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <public-html@w3.org>

just as public internet facilities are responsible for porn, they ar also 
responsible for accessibility.  At the least, this means tht the means to 
provide for accessibility should be provided and stamps put in if not 
followed with the author's name and email address.  If I could get the 
author's email address, I'd be sending questions about images I could not 
get info on.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Maciej Stachowiak" <mjs@apple.com>
To: "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: "David Poehlman" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>; "Anne van 
Kesteren" <annevk@opera.com>; "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>; "Steven 
Faulkner" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>; "Ian Hickson" <ian@hixie.ch>; "W3C 
WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>; <public-html@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: Flickr and alt

On Aug 19, 2008, at 2:06 AM, Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> Flickr is one of many public sites featuring user-generated content
>> that is mostly shared with friends and family, but which is mostly
>> visible to the general public. In terms of our moral sensibilities
>> about accessibility, it is more like a public bulletin board where
>> anyone can put up a poster, than like the professional signage in a
>> store or school.
> I do not use Flickr, but I do use Picasaweb, which I believe
> is analogous.  On Picasaweb, albums can be public or private.
> Would those who seek to differentiate between public and
> private facilities in terms of accessibility therefore
> accept that a /public/ album is /public/, and must therefore
> meet all legal accessibility requirements ?

It's not individuals who seek to differentiate, but also the law. My
best understanding is that US law on this includes two factors:

1) The facility in question is a public accommodation. This is a legal
term of art, and doesn't just mean "open / visible to the public". For
instance, posting a sign in my yard does not constitute a public
accommodation, even if it is visible to the general public. But an
apartment building could be, even if you have to live there to be in
the building at all.

2) The responsible party is an institution such as a government or a
large business - small businesses and individuals are excepted.

The way I see it, an individual posting a public photo on Flickr is
neither creating a public accommodation, nor acting as an institution,
in most cases. Nor is Flickr responsible, because they are just
providing a public forum, in the same way that a grocery store might
provide a public bulletin board.

I believe in this case, the law is properly aligned with the correct
ethical result, which is that it ought not be mandatory for many
private individuals to incur extra cost in money or time for the sake
of accessibility, but it is mandatory for big businesses or governments.

Received on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 11:49:04 UTC

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