Thursday, January 31, 2013

Illegal to read to blind people?

Did you know that blind people have to lobby the government on a regular basis to keep it legal for them to have books read to them?

Yup.  Digital copyright management laws make it illegal to circumvent DRM (Digital Rights Management) software.  Some DRM software prevents access to the work by screen readers and "read aloud" software.  The net result, if you are blind and you bought an ebook that doesn't allow access, it is illegal for you to use software that gets around that and have it read to you electronically.

And to make it even better, did you know that the Librarian of Congress is responsible for writing these laws?  The who, you say?  Exactly.  I thought the Constitution said that Congress shall write laws, but turns out that they've subcontracted the job out to their Librarian.  So what the heck are they doing for all that money we pay them?

1 comment:

The Conservative Sociologist said...

One of my friends from childhood is legally blind and regularly has this problem.

Congress is such a joke.