Friday, May 12
More on Web-Braille
Greetings. Since the shutting down of Web-Braille, there have been several different rumors of why it has stopped. Some say that since there is no "digital rights management," like in Windows Media Player when trying to play certain kinds of copyrighted music from some sites, the books should not be viewed by people. Further, there is speculation that some of these Web-Braille books have been sent to other parts of the Internet, which I agree, violates policies of the program. I don't think it should be shut down just because of this though. There have been attempts to control this by other groups, like Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, such as coding digital playback equipment to only work with RFB&D books. While it saddens me that we have to take such measures to protect materials, I'd rather have these measures in place instead of simply pulling the plug on a successful project as Web-Braille.
The other big rumor that I've seen/heard is that the director of the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Frank Kurt Cylke, thinks that only a few people will care about the shutting down of Web-Braille. I've seen this thought on a respectable blog, so please don't accuse me of undue speculation. At any rate, to show him otherwise, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell him how much Web-Braille means, or has meant, to you. If he hears from many different people, then perhaps the program will be reinstated. There is talk of a petition from The Desert Skies Podcast (www.jeffbishop.net) to show how many people care about Web-Braille. Read more on the 5/11/06 entry.
As I said yesterday, if this decision is not reversed by the time of the summer conventions, then I pity the person, or persons, that have to go and give their annual reports to a room full of upset blind people.