Is it possible that there is some kind of conspiracy going on with
copyright laws that gives companies godlike control over their so-called
No, that's just the way it is. Since we live in a capitalist society,
where everyone maintains the right to hold private property, the
copyright laws are there to protect companies intellectual and material
rights to their products, ideas, and services. That said, there are
limits on how much control companies and individuals has over a certain
copyright, and often this is where the courts get involved to draw those
For example, the case, Intel VS AMD, regarding the 586 processor. In
that case Intel sued AMD for releasing a 586 processor, and Intel
maintained they had full rights to the 586 trade mark. The Supreme Court
made a ruling that a number could not be copyrighted, and a trade mark
has to be a unique product name of a specific design. After that Intel
released their 586 line as the Pentium processor and AMD later released
their Athelon series of processors. Both the Pentium and Athelon names
are true trade marks where a name like 586 is not.
Anyway, even though there are limits on copyrights and trade marks the
law more often as not comes down on the side of the company or
individual who comes up with a product or idea first. Issues like
accessibility were not included in the original copyright laws, and
therefore have had to be fought for in the courts every step of the way.
Laws like Public Law 9-22, which gives us the right in the U.S.A. to get
written materials in an accessible format, was necessary to force
publishers into allowing books, magazines, etc to be produced in
accessible formats. Otherwise without Public Law 9-22 publishers could
sue American Printing House, Bookshare, Recordings for the Blind, etc
for reproducing printed materials in braille, audio, or daisy format
without written permission from the publisher. It is, in fact, areas
like this where the copyright laws have obstructed the needs of the
blind and others with physical disabilities.
When it comes to certain media like games we really got the short end of
the stick. Unlike books most people see games as purely entertainment,
they are a non-essential item, and therefore there aren't currently many
people out there pushing for their rights to accessible games. There
are, unfortunately, more important issues like making our money
accessible by feel rather than having to purchase and use a money
reader. Being able to tell the difference between a $10 bill and a $1
bill is imho much more important in the long run than weather or not the
latest video game is accessible or not.
The only way I can see to solve this problem is if our government would
either pass a law to enforce equal accessibility for movies, books,
games, etc forcing all publishers and companies to include accessibility
from the start, or create a more generalized Public Law 9-22 that allows
third-party organizations to freely create accessible versions of books,
movies, or games in an accessible format. Unfortunately, neither of
these are very likely given our current laws and the publics general
indifference to accessibility rights and issues. Not to mention the
very companies who lines this or that candidates pockets aren't going to
approve of either of those suggestions, and you can bet they will put
the squeeze on anyone who tries to sponsor a bill like that.
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