Is Your Business Website ADA Accessible? (New Law?)

accessibilityIt’s is difficult to be aware of all the government regulations that might impact your business.

Here is a fine example. The Department of Justice proposed to adopt new rules outlining what businesses would need to do to bring websites in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Governmental websites already follow these rules, and businesses that are considered public will have to make accommodations too, although it is not clear how soon the rules will take effect.

It is not always obvious to people who do not have disabilities all the obstacles the disabled face, the DOJ explains.

“Millions of individuals in the United States have disabilities that affect their use of the Web. Many of these individuals use assistive technology to enable them to navigate websites or access information contained on those sites. For example, individuals who do not have use of their hands may use speech recognition software to navigate a website, while individuals who are blind may rely on a screen reader to convert the visual information on a website into speech. Many websites fail to incorporate or activate features that enable users with disabilities to access all the site´s information or elements.”

It seems likely that businesses with websites will soon need to conduct a review to ensure that they comply with the coming rules.

Starting now means getting ahead of the game, and could lead to attracting and keeping more customers.

Frivolous Lawsuit of the Month- Monkey Loses Copyright Battle

monkeyIt goes something like this…A monkey, an animal-rights organization and a primatologist walk into federal court… What seems like the setup for a punchline really happened. In this case a Plaintiff is a monkey suing for copyright infringement. See Naruto, a Crested Macaque, et al. v. David Johnson Slater, et al., No. 15-cv-4324-WHO (N.D. Cal. filed Sept. 21, 2015).

To be fair to the monkey, he didn’t know anything about the lawsuit, let alone copyright law.

You may recall, the picture above was taken in Indonesia by Naruto, a crested macaque, using a camera that a nature photographer left unattended. Since it is obviously a remarkable picture, it got lots of attention.

So the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed for copyright infringement on the monkey’s behalf.

The Court announced the tentative opinion, stating that while Congress can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act.

It is very likely that tentative opinion will also be the final one.

Happily, the AP reports that PETA’s general counsel said, “the organization will continue fighting for the monkey’s rights.”

Quote of the Month

“He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.” -Seneca the Younger (Stoic Philosopher)