Feeds

E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

'Is this an electronic book or an IPTV service' asks regulator

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

E-reader manufacturers have petitioned to exempt themselves from accessibility regulations applied to communication services - and the FCC wants to know what you think about that.

The claim comes from Amazon, Kobo, and Sony, who all claim that browsing or e-mail capability is just a distraction as their devices exist purely to read books, and thus can't be classed as Advanced Communication Service (ACS) and thus be saddled with the requirement of being accessible to those with disabilities.

The claim comes from Amazon, Kobo, and Sony, who claim that e-reader devices shouldn't be classed as Advanced Communication Services (ACS) because their ability to browse the internet or read email is not their primary function.

Thus, the companies say, their devices should not need to comply with disability regulations in the same way as other ACSs – such as IPTV services and other video programming technologies.

The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) requires that ACSs be accessible, but a paper book clearly isn't a communication service and remains closed to a blind man.

The companies argue that despite the presence of the occasional web browser, or hacked e-mail client, e-reader devices are electronic books, and that making them accessible would turn them in to tablets in all but name.

In support of the claim the companies' FCC submission (pdf, 12 pages but double-spaced) quotes adverts for the Kindle (not the Fire, obviously) and Kobo's Glo, and points out that:

Not only does the Sony Reader have 'read' in its name, it brands itself as 'Your Personal Library' and is featured in the 'ebookstore' section of the Sony website.

The submission also quotes various reviews saying how marvellous it is to have a dedicated device, and points out that anyone wanting an accessible version of the same content can use e-reading software on a tablet (perhaps a Kindle Fire) or desktop computer.

The FCC seems minded to agree, and suggests exempting devices on the condition that they have no LCD screen, no camera, are not shipped with any communications software (though they may feature a Wikipedia-friendly browser and social network integration) and are solely marketed as reading devices.

The proposal is open for public comment until September 3. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.