[games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony

Mark Barlet ioo at ablegamers.com
Sat Feb 27 18:46:42 EST 2010

For the record I would not punch you in the face. That said I an going
to sue you for spelling my name wrong. I will sue for patent
infringment or something. :)

Mark Barlet.

Sent from a mobile device.

On Feb 27, 2010, at 6:30 PM, Matt Troup <foreversublime at hotmail.com>

> Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal anything.


> Just to clarify the below statement and the discussion in general:


> There was no trial. The judge absolutely COULD NOT have required

> Sony to do anything, because the grounds the suit were brought on

> did not apply.


> Videogames are not a public accommodation.


> Here's an analogy for what happened, to help put this in perspective:


> Scenario: Mark Bartlett punches me in the face. I sue him for

> infringing on my patent. The judge looks at me and says, "You dope,

> I have to toss this out. Something may or may not have happened

> between you and Mark - but patent infringement was not it. Try

> again".


> If the trial finished with an affirmative ruling it would affect

> many different things. Here are some other scenarios:


> Scenario 1: I go to Best Buy and steal over $500 of video games.

> Best Buy takes me to court. My lawyer sites this case, showing that

> video games are a public accommodation. I counter sue for millions

> of dollars saying Best Buy actively withheld me from a public

> accommodation. I may or may not win the case, but I have grounds to

> make the claim.


> Scenario 2: A new company is created and creates a service, like

> Itunes, that makes all music free. The record industry, and Apple,

> goes nuts. The new company cites this case saying that recorded

> music is a lot like videogames, and those have been deemed a public

> accommodation, so they should be able to distribute music for free.


> Scenario 3: No games would ever be published. Not because of

> reasons for ADA compliance, but because the company that created the

> game would not own the IP to have the right to work with a

> publisher. The same would happen to Movies, Music, and Books.


> I don't know a ton about the law, but I know enough to give a

> disclaimer at the top.


> --------------------------------------------------

> From: "John Bannick" <jbannick at 7128.com>

> Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2010 1:30 PM

> To: <games_access at igda.org>

> Subject: [games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony


>> Folks,


>> There is a middle way.

>> ADA requires "reasonable accommodation"

>> Some games cannot be made accessible to a particular need.

>> Just as some jobs cannot be made accessible to a particular need.


>> The judge could have required that Sony put into place a program

>> that at least attempted ADA compliance.

>> For example, applying VPAT (http://www.itic.org/resources/voluntary-product-accessibility-template-vpat/

>> ) and explaining why items were not VPAT compliant.


>> Thus, a spelling bee game could not reasonably be made blind-

>> accessible.

>> One of Jim Kitchen's audio games could not reasonably be made deaf-

>> accessible.

>> Nor could a musical game requiring chords reasonably be made one-

>> switch accessible.

>> (Forgive me Barrie, Mark, etc. if it's been done.)


>> Reasonable meaning without major changes, possibly changing the

>> nature of the game.

>> Reasonable could also include economic viability.


>> Furthermore, and significantly, If adding ADA compliance, or a

>> specific remediation, would add cost such as to make a game

>> unprofitable, then by definition it is not reasonable, in that it

>> denies the game to those not requiring that accommodation. Mark's

>> point exactly, I think.


>> What that requirement would do is inject the accessibility issue

>> into the developers' business process. Not a bad thing.


>> Robert's anger is understandable.

>> And I'm leery of government intervention, especially in anything

>> that could be close to censorship, or is economically unviable, as

>> were price controls.

>> But VPAT's being applied to general software; ESRB is being applied

>> to games.


>> Perhaps the judge could have applied a middle way.


>> In any event, what this SIG is doing, and the individual efforts of

>> Mark, Barrie, Brian, Dark, Robert, and others is making a

>> difference in the developer community.

>> Developers, some at least, are more aware of accessibility needs.

>> Some are actually making specific changes (Niels Bauer games and

>> some of the folks Mark and Barrie work with come to mind.)

>> It ain't perfect; it ain't enough. But it is progress.


>> John

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