[whatwg] HTML 5, OGG, competition, civil rights, and persons with disabilities

Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) rudd-o at rudd-o.com
Tue Dec 11 15:24:17 PST 2007

I would just like to say:

Me too.

The quoted letter is a sensible address to the bigger problem underlying 
our "difference of opinion".

El Mar 11 Dic 2007, Fernando escribió:
> Please reconsider the decision to exclude the recommendation of the
> Theora/OGG Vorbis codec in HTML 5 guidelines.
> I expect that in a sophisticated group such as this one:
> * skepticism with how well the interests of powerful corporations match
> those of individuals that are not their employees or shareholders;
> * an understanding of the economic and civil rights damage being done to
> the rights of individuals by proprietary formats; and
> * an understanding of the wisdom behind the original wording of this
> portion of the document;
> Will enable you to see the need to readmit common sense and wisdom into
> HTML 5 by including OGG.
> Having said that, I want to illustrate how open standards or the lack
> thereof can affect someone with a disability such as myself.
> While there have been large corporations that have adopted relatively
> inclusive designs in their technology, i.e. designs that enable rather than
> block persons who are blind or have other disabilities; this has often
> taken place only after legal threats or actual litigation from government
> agencies and other groups.
> The problem is however, that legislative tools are not always available to
> citizens, are often outdated, too slow, or inadequate to do the work that
> is truly the responsibility of groups such as this one.
> When a large corporation ignores the needs of persons with disabilities in
> realms where open standards prevail, we have options.
> It bothered me but it didn't stop me when in the 1990s, there were a number
> of inaccessible e-mail clients for users of screen reading software such as
> myself.  Blind users could always use alternative products such as Pine or
> Emacs to handle e-mail because the e-mail protocol is open.
> This is not the case with proprietary formats.  In formats such as those
> promoted by Microsoft, Apple, and, to my surprise, Nokia, any and all
> groups, be those persons with disabilities, or those who in any other way
> do not fit the user profile being targeted by those corporations are
> vulnerable to being left out.
> Well, I should clarify that, they are not just vulnerable to being left out
> but in fact, they are often left out.
> Unfortunately this is not about the right to play video games, although
> there is an entire other conversation there, but the right to access
> information that is increasingly central to the educational options,
> professional opportunities, and social avenues available to everyone. Allow
> every human brain its rights to develop, contribute, and participate fully
> regardless of its race, economic profile, the characteristics of its body,
> or the computing platform it has access to.
> This is not to say that an open standard guarantees access, but it
> facilitates it greatly; because from what I have observed and experienced,
> there have always been and there will always be those who value inclusion
> over control, competition over rent-seeking behavior, and courage over
> moral laziness.
> Thank you for taking the above into account.
> Fernando H. F. Botelho


	Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) <rudd-o at rudd-o.com>
	Rudd-O.com - http://rudd-o.com/
	GPG key ID 0xC8D28B92 at http://wwwkeys.pgp.net/

You're currently going through a difficult transition period called "Life."
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