W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Re: Flickr and alt

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 17:13:12 -0700
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Message-Id: <57A79321-3CE2-4505-A1A2-85FE7F4BE590@apple.com>
Cc: "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>, 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

On Aug 20, 2008, at 4:48 AM, David Poehlman wrote:

> just as public internet facilities are responsible for porn, they ar  
> also
> responsible for accessibility.

In general, an internet service with "common carrier" status is not  
legally responsible for any porn transmitted over the system.

> 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.

That does not line up with the rules we have in the non-Internet  
world, as I described. Providing a public forum (like a public  
bulletin board, park or concert hall) gives you no responsibility to  
force content providers to make their content accessible, or to  
identify them for the purpose of complaints. That is what society has  
so far decided is the proper balance of rights and responsibilities.


> ----- 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.
> Regards,
> Maciej
Received on Saturday, 23 August 2008 00:13:56 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:25:22 UTC