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Showing posts from September, 2013

I Need a Good Lawyer

No, we’re not being sued (and we want to keep it that way). However, the time has come when we need a really smart attorney to join Benetech and help us navigate the intersection of technology and social good.

Benetech has some of the juiciest and most exciting range of legal challenges I can imagine: the great majority of our legal work concerns intellectual property and human rights. We’re operating at the forefront of copyright limitations and exceptions, both in the United States and globally. We serve human rights activists in more than 100 countries. We’re deep believers in the benefits of openness, which means we publish open source software and create open content under Creative Commons licenses. We are consulted by policymakers, legislators, rightsholders, companies and activists for our insights. We’re not an advocacy organization, but our technical insights are in great demand from advocates.

We get a huge amount of pro bono assistance from the legal profession, both b…

Objecting to Accessibility Weaseling

Last week, the National Federation of the Blind and 22 organizations serving people with disabilities filed detailed objections to a petition from a group of makers of e-reader devices led by Amazon to be exempted from accessibility requirements under the relatively new Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Benetech was a proud endorser of these objections (under our legal organizational name of Beneficent Technology, Inc.).

You might ask: why would an organization that in many ways provides a competitive alternative to e-readers object to e-readers being exempted from accessibility requirements? Wouldn't that create more demand for our Bookshare online library?

It sure would create more demand for Bookshare in the future, but our primary goal is not to sustain Bookshare, although we will as long as Bookshare is needed. Our primary goal is to ensure that people with disabilities get equal access to the books and content they need for education, emp…