[nfb-talk] Good Press for NFB

T. Joseph Carter carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 22:12:12 UTC 2009

The response to the member of the IAVIT who commented on Bookshare is 
that we tried to have access to purchased books and the industry 
blocked it.  See the Kindle.

The industry cannot have it both ways.


On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 09:09:06AM -0500, John G. Heim wrote:
> We've been thrashing out this issue on the email list for the 
> International Association of Visually Impaired Technologists. One thing 
> that becomes apparent to me is how valuable a service bookshare.org is at 
> least to a person who makes their living dealing with computers. And I 
> don't think the equivalent service exists anywhere in the world. There 
> are similar services but they don't have nearly the inventory bookshare 
> has.
> One member of IAVIT pointed out that bookshare actually goes beyond 
> leveling the playing field in that we can download books for free and 
> keep them forever. This is something of a side issue however.
> The real issue is of access. The Chafee Ammendment was in response to a  
> specific problem. Publishers weren't providing permission to make books  
> available in accessible format in a timely manner. Something had to be 
> done about that because access to reading material, especially for people 
> in technical fields, is essential.
> In fact, the need for the Chafee Amendment is a strong argument against  
> market solutions. If the publishing industry had set up the equivalent of 
> bookshare.org, the Chafee Amendment wouldn't exist. But the publishing  
> industry tends to go in the opposite direction as the Kindle issue shows. 
> Knowledge Ecology International recently pointed out that even books free 
> for download on Amazon have had the text to speech feature disabled. In  
> fact, a book free for download and written by members of Knowledge 
> Ecology itself on the Kindle issue has TTS  disabled.
> Stuff like that makes the publishing industry's market solution proposals 
> look like a joke.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "T. Joseph Carter" 
> <carter.tjoseph at gmail.com>
> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:05 PM
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Good Press for NFB
>> Unfortunately, the CEO of Benetech speaking on how much the NFB and the 
>> Reading Rights Coalition have impacted this issue is not nearly as  
>> impressive as having someone from outside the coalition talking about 
>> the impact.
>> Even so, Mr. Frutcherman's post goes far to explain the challenges 
>> facing us as advocates.  I think perhaps one key to the problem lies in 
>> that while a country may have the necessary Copyright exemption to 
>> produce an accessible book, the accessible book may already exist or be 
>> of higher quality in another country.
>> For example, one UK-based publisher that has many Autism-related titles 
>> makes their books available to UK-based equivalents of the National  
>> Library Service and Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic.  These books 
>> are trivially available and accessible to those in the UK who are 
>> blind.  I could not get an accessible copy of the book in the United 
>> States when I needed it, however.
>> Expanding Chaffee-style Copyright exemptions to cover much of the world 
>> would ensure that such a situation does not happen in the future.  A 
>> blind person should never be denied access to a book because they live 
>> in the wrong country.
>> Joseph
>> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 09:45:53AM -0500, John G. Heim wrote:
>>> In a recent blog entry, the CEO of the Benedict Foundation mentions 
>>> the impact the NFB has had on the Kindle issue, "This one has gotten 
>>> a lot of press, especially since the National Federation of the Blind 
>>> and the Reading Rights Coalition has formed to fight the 
>>> soundproofing of books on the Kindle2. "
>>> http://benetech.blogspot.com/2009/06/fascinating-meeting-at-copyright-office.html
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