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Re: [Accessibility] resident evil
Re: [Accessibility] resident evil
Sun, 1 Aug 2010 13:33:35 -0400
Argh... I hating adding any more to this fire as saying anything is like
putting out fire with gasoline.
1. It is not inhibitting anyone's free speech if we keep the list restricted
to topics compatible with free software. We own this list and, as it's our
ball, we can make the rules up as we choose. On your court, you can say that no
on can discuss kittens and kick cat lovers off just because you do not want to
offend people like me who get sick at things that are altogether too cute
2. With the ADA restoration Act of 2008 and the proposed new standards, the FSF
and GNU web sites will fall under the accessibility requirements as "virtual
places of public accomodation" and we will work to remidiate any issues we find
or are reported to us as quickly as we can.
3. The ADA does not, however, have any requirements regarding volunteers. If we
hire an employee or contractor we do need to make reasonable accomodations in
the workplace. which could be any number of actions that do not require using
People who know my history will understand that I do not put free software
ahead of building tools that people with disability can use in lots of
different ways to accomplish lots of different goals. They also know that I
don't put tools for PWD after software freedom. In my mind the two are
In the nearly six years since Tyranny Scientific and I parted ways they have
threatened to sue me no fewer than nine separate times. First was for sharing
some ideas with the guys at Code Factory when I was still employed at the shark
- apparently our non-compete (according to them) covered sharing a few ideas
with a company who made products that did not compete with anything the shark
sold and not even on any of the OS for which we developed (tossed out by
federal judge, cost to me $13,500). The second lawsuit came when I signed to
work on Will Pearson's libre screen reader for Windows XP project - apparently,
volunteering on a project that hoped to demonstrate an entirely new UI paradigm
for screen readers far from anything the great white did was also covered by
our non-compete (federal court dismisses after discovery, cost to me: $9500).
Then, I did an interview with AFB Access World in which I revealed insider
information regarding the big fin after my non-disclosure had expired; this
time they went after me on non-disparagement as, telling the truth that a 40
cell PAC Mate braille display costs less than $300 to manufacture, ship from
china to the US, put in the ship kit and deliver to a customer was
"disparagement" and such notions were also kept proprietary (cost to me:
$17,500, Florida judge dismissed during discovery when the tyrants refused to
state, with documentation, exactly how much a PM40 ship kit cost saying it was
a "trade secret" but as they were accusing me of being a liar, they had to fold
their hands if they didn't want to reveal the numbers they said were "true").
Other lawsuits regarded things I wrote in my blog that they considered
disparaging but were all dismissed as free speech or by asking them to reveal
the truth which they would refuse (cost to me: about $10K each).
On a lot of these issues, I've bled both financially and emotionally for this
community. I'm being treated for PTSD as my cognitive system still, after all
of this, cannot reconcile how a company for which I worked 60-80 hours per
week, canceled numerous vacations and poured in everything I had (which also
caused incredible physical injuries from which I still suffer) could turn on me
and attack at every opportunity they could find. Hell, they'll probably sue me
if they get a hold of this email, better grab the checkbook and head to the
Tyranny Scientific may behave even less ethically than other proprietary
software companies but not by much. They actively fight the truth, any sort of
disclosure that they cannot control and will work to destroy former and, in
some cases, current employees. I'd be happy to tell you all of these stories
about so many people other than me who have felt the boot of Lee Hamilton but
it would hurt far too much to type it all.
I've paid my dues and agree with me or not, I believe, after studying the
issues at hand for years, that accessibility depends on liberty and that, in
some cases, we will need to wait so we can build a tremendous future for the
next generation to come along.
Please do not think that I should be treated like a martyr. I don't want praise
or pity, I want free software hackers who will work with me to break the
current status quo in access technology.
Until people with disabilities have total control of our computing rights, we
are merely serfs on an uncaring corporate landscape. If Tyranny Scientific
wants to fix a bug, it does; if, however, the bugs that make my job impossible
are not fixed, I have no way short of paying the shark $250 per hour to fix
them. Throughout my career, people have said I'm a good bug squasher but
without the source or other tools my hands are bound and I cannot fix anything.
Free software gives us the freedom to control our own computing destinies.
Doing anything to separate accessibility from liberty returns us to the
No one on this list says that you are not entitled to your views, we just ask
you to keep those ideas and opinions elsewhere. Your technical contributions
are very worthwhile and any input you have about the entirely libre code of
the speech recognition or any other program we're working on is encouraged and
we welcome your participation.
Recruiting people to leave our project, though, is also unwelcome as it not
only encourages people to work on proprietary software, it does so in a manner
that also discourages them from working on free software which is our entire
reason for existing.
I hope we can come to an understanding as I don't want to lose your intellect,
energy and talent.
Aug 1, 2010, at 1:28 AM, Eric S. Johansson wrote:
> On 7/31/2010 9:07 PM, Richard Stallman wrote:
>> Eric, stop using our list to organize projects that go against our
>> principles. Don't annouce them, don't post URLs for them. Don't!
> against free speech.
> against supporting disabled users as #1 priority in accessibility project.
> has policy that puts accessibility director in harm's way by precluding the
> use non-free accessibility software even if there is no alternative (may put
> fsf in legal jeopardy re: ADA reasonable accommodation)
> if you read the message, I wanted a place to discuss alternative approaches
> with out your heavy boot coming down on that. I was doing you a favor by
> trying to remove the topic from the list. the other list was a bunch of
> people with decades of experience with speech. not FSF limited but good
> people overall. again, was doing you a favor of getting rid of the
> Please listen to what I say. I am not against your principals of software
> must be free. From a mindful choice and a desire to live right work and
> right life I place resolving human suffering at a higher level than freeing
> software. All the software I create will be free software, I promise you
> that because that is the only way to keep accessibility in our control.
> I have been invited to work with another group and if people want my help,
> they will be able to find me. I will not reject them if they really want to
> help or learn. I know others on the list support my stand. I hope their
> silent support will become visible as a simple yea/nea and then they can help
> me with simple tasks you do not want talked about. I fear you have created a
> "chilling effect" by how you deal with dissent they fear ostracism.
> I am not your enemy but you are making it hard to be your supporter.
> Accessibility mailing list