DRM discriminates against the visually impaired

DRM – Digital Rights Management, is the digital copyright protection placed on electronic media by the major manufacturers/distributors of content (movies, CDs, etc.).  And while some people argue that some copyright protection is reasonable, the rules regarding DRM are so one-sided and shortsighted that all impartial observers criticize them – for many reasons.

We can now add one more reason for valid and legitimate criticism:  DRM directly discriminates against the visually impaired:

‘Any digital text can be read aloud through text-to-speech, granting people with visual impairments the basic human right to read — unless there’s DRM in the way.

Tricking the technology used by Amazon, Apple, Adobe and Google to stop blind people from adding text-to-speech to their devices isn’t hard — but it is a felony, thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A UN treaty intended to help people with visual, cognitive and sensory disabilities access copyrighted works has been all but killed by the big publishers.’

If you are new to this debate, I encourage you to get informed because there needs to be a balance of rights:  protecting the rights of the content creators/owners must not rob purchasers of said material from being able to access it in a format that they would like.

At the current time, the rules governing content purchased on electronic media are created by politicians on the advice of industry lobbyists – very powerful and rich industry lobbyists – without any weight being given to the needs, much less the rights, of the consumer.

More balance is needed or electronic vigilantes WILL gain widespread public support.

The Robin Hood myth has survived many centuries for a reason.  Unless the society wishes for hactivists to become the next incarnation of the Robin Hood character, fixing the deeply flawed and corrupt copyright governance is a necessary first step!

Thomas Sowell – Political Vs Market

Let’s take a moment to remember Aqsa Parvez

Aqsa Parvez

April 22, 1991 – December 10, 2007

A Canadian victim of Saria

Bill Warner – Where is the moral outrage? Toronto November 17 2014

Went to it – but almost forgot to post it:

What It’s Like to Be an Atheist in Palestine: Waleed Al Husseini spent 10 months in prison for being an atheist

We must do all we can to protect religious minorities – and areligious minoritites – living under the yoke of totalitarianism everywhere.  Liberal and free thinkers in the Muslim world are a case in point.

‘I was beaten by prison guards who demanded to know who had made me write against Islam. In their minds, I could only say these things as the result of some plot, some conspiracy. The idea that I might simply want to express my independent thoughts was alien to them.

The 10 months I spent in Palestinian prison were the worse of my life. I faced constant pressure to retract my statements. I was told they had removed my blog and that I must apologize for publishing it. Even once I was freed, I was told I should never again use the Internet, nor meet with the media.
For months after my release, I was harassed by the security services, who further interrogated me and detained me without cause. I received letters from people saying they wanted to kill me.’

Read the rest here.

It takes no courage to speak up and repeat the popular points of view:  we must give absolute protection to freedom of speech even to those voices we disagree with.  And we must support people willing to speak up, even at personal risk, whether we agree with them or not!

As for regimes that limit and oppress freedom of speech:  we must fight them every step of the way!

Steve Silverman – What To Do When Stopped By A Cop

We Are the Children of the Magna Carta!

And as a bonus, here is Professor John Robson on the Magna Carta – starting with the story of Alfred the Great:

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