Transcript for presentation:

The web as a site of intractable governance


G. Anthony Giannoumis


D3. Legislation, user involvement and an inclusive society

Date and Time

2014-06-17, 14:45 - 15:25


MA 1

Presentation PDF

Long oral presentation

Transcript of the talk

>>: Don’t close the hatch.
Hello. Sorry.
>> G. ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: My name is Anthony. Is that good enough?
(Comment off mic).
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: No. I will burn through it. Everybody is ready to coffee anyways .
(Comment off mic).
(Comment off mic).
I timed it at like 11. I think we will be all right.
All right. I see we only have the hard core technology people here, which is fine by me. You are my audience. My name is Anthony. I worked at Nova, the Norwegian research Institute in Oslo. I work on a view different DREAM grants. One is the acronym DREAM, disability rights expanding accessible markets.
Another one is called DISCIT and it is active citizenship for people with disabilities and the last one is CLOUD4ALL. And it is using cloud technologies for enhancing solutions for people with disability is.
Really good fun and I hope if you Google any of those acronyms, hours will be the first link to come up and I hope you follow us on Facebook and Twitter and all of our blogs and websites.
But my article is about the universal design of the web, which is fun.
The first question I asked myself when I approach this topic in writing an article on the universal design conference, is this goal really worthwhile? And we can agree that the lack of a universally designed web really contribute to social exclusion, but for people with disabilities as well as older persons.
But that really gets into the idea of accessibility, and we have a lot of legislation around that, attempt to ensure accessibility over the web with people with visual or cognitive or sensory disabilities.
So my article is really more of a story.
Part about universal design, but also about copyright and privacy.
And what universal design means to me is that fundamentally the web must be usable or should be usable at least.
And one of the barriers to usability and even accessibility is an operability.
And what an operability refers to is flex ability of use.
Flexibility along with ease of use are really principles inherent in a universal design approach.
For example, I can have a book, but if I cannot search a book in the same way as if it was digitized or I had an e book and I cannot use it across different devices, then this really impacts how and when I can use the book.
And ease of use is similar. Some websites are profoundly difficult to use and it is usually because they are poorly laid out or hard to navigate or for a variety of other reasons.
And one of the drawbacks to an accessible the approach is I is that you can have a website for someone who is blind or partially sighted and still not have a website that is easy to use. And that is a very important differentiation of the idea of accessibility and the idea of universal design.
Am going to try to build a model slowly die proposed in the article so let’s just first assume that content publishers and when I say content publisher, what I’m referring to is any person or organization that creates something for the web.
Let’s assume content publishers actually make a choice whether or not to have universal design content. I recognize this is an artificial choice. It is not meant to be a choice in reality. It is meant to be a choice in the hypothetical level.
Publishers really base multiple and conflicting incentives regarding universal design in any approach to developing content.
But let’s just say that of content publishers both aware of principles and the resources to producing universal design content, there only faced with the choice to prioritize universal design or some other feature of the content.
As we know a very small amount of web content can be considered with universal design. So it seems that content publishers have chosen whether deliberately or not to promote other features of the content and, of course, we can see this.
Content publishers really emphasized the value of the innovation or the appeal of content that is not universally designed.
So now consumers or faced with a choice. To consume the content as a was published or to somehow minute delay the content to meet our needs and the 10 logical solution stimulating content and changing it are becoming easier to use a more readily available.
And, of course, what we find is that consumers have rejected consuming content as it is published.
They had done this in a variety of ways, but one of the most important ways is through copyright infringement.
Copyright infringement.
I lost my train of thought.
A lost world was in the lineup.
So the illegal use and distributional of copyright. That is the copyright infringement idea.
Most web content falls under content regime and basically this means you cannot reproduce orders to be content without the owner’s consent.
A copyright law really intends to promote new works, writing new code or creating music or creating art and this, of course, is a very simple find way of putting it and doesn’t it in to a lot of the technology is not being my friend today it is not get into a lot of the caveat of copyright law, but brings across an important point consumers infringe copyright whether knowingly or not as a response to a lack of universal design.
The irony is that some content publishers condone infringement by using it as a measure of success.
So a television program will say we have broadcast this program on television. It has been viewed by X number of people on TV and online and this many people downloaded it illegally.
So in many ways it is condoning infringement.
We have ways of dealing with copyright infringement. Most typically, it is through coercion. If a company makes an accusation of copyright infringement, I can file or threatened to file a lawsuit or through other means seek arbitration and penalties for cases found to be infringing.
However, that really only gets a so far. If the consumer wants to infringe copyright material, they have the ability to avoid course of enforcement of copyright laws.
And one of the ways consumers can avoid enforcement is through the use of anonymity technology and the technological skill for docking and effectively using anonymity technologies is diminishing. It is making anonymity technologies available to a broader audience. The paper goes into a lot more detail about the development has the potential to reduce the risk of copyright infringement to almost zero.
It appears to be a growing trend due to a variety of factors, most notably privacy concerns, but in this article it is at least in part due to lack of universal design content.
So that is the basic idea of the model. That a lack of universally designed content relates to copyright infringement and relates to anonymity.
This is not in the paper.
That is the interaction between, that is the interaction between universal design and innovation.
Innovation really has its focus from a commercial sense. The development of an lecture property and then the commercialization of those copyrights and patents.
So I think we have a limited view of what innovators do. I believe that many people would say that innovators innovate for the satisfaction of bringing a product to market or helping to improve society, to move us forward, but innovators are also embedded in a structure that is also about claiming rights, monopolizing those rights force long as possible and then commercializing that property. And the commercialization of that property typically involves target marketing and developing the use case of a product for as profitable of a market as possible.
And these processes are in many ways incompatible with the universal design approach.
Not going back to the model and the paper and the choices that are related to universal design, of course, relating to copyright infringement and adoption of online anonymity technologies, wise is a problem? Basically, the article poses a few questions. First again I think we can agree that a universal design approach to the web is a worthwhile goal; however, it doesn’t seem that the market has responded to the need for universal design so that leaves us with government intervention.
How can we regulate this process and more specifically how can we realign commercial incentives to produce a better outcome? Currently incentives favor the commercialization for product niches and one of the problems with the current incentive structure is that it is very difficult to change behavior patterns. It seems the behavior of publishers and consumers appears to be self-reinforcing.
So the question is to what extent have the two behaviors provide further incentives for copyright infringement and the adoption of anonymity technologies? If we really find that behaviors are self-reinforcing, that it seems like we need an immediate solution.
So I’m going to and with the beginning, the title of the paper is The web as a site of intractable governance and I think this article poses a useful example of how the web can be an intractable governance problem.
The problem these articles proposer, not going to diminish to diminish or go way.
As I said we really have to find new ways of organizing democracy and handling trust. I believe that only then we can find novel ways of using commercial incentives to really support a universal design to the web.
And that is all.
>> HOST: Was it 11 minutes?
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: I don’t know. I did not check. I talk faster. It may have been less.
I am sorry if it was really complex. I tried it I tried my best to make it as simple as possible.
>> HOST: Anyone picking up on this?
>> GUEST: Hi! I’m still adjusting to what you said because it is complex, but I am not sure I follow the argument about why innovation hinges universal design, if that is a very crude summary of your little aside that was not in the paper. If you think of things like the good groups, maybe that is a special example but surely that is highly (Indiscernible) and yet universally designed.
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: I’m happy to respond to that. The fact that it is a special example is more the point that I was trying to make. It is the commercial incentives that are structuring innovation that I view as the problem, not innovative approaches in general because certainly we can point to Good Grips and even the work that Apple has done in the society area. At the same time, the fact that they are an anomaly is to be evidence of commercial incentives that really push us away from universal design.
>> GUEST: I missed that it was the commercial incentives rather than the innovation.
>> GUEST: But it additional problem is that the commercial incentives might be counterproductive because they are more eager to say that the more projects are universally designed than making them actually universal design I have a good many of examples that I see the profile and you sell it and then you are unable to sell it because the law demands that you should have a universally designed website or at least that there must be a regulation saying that there should be universal design. So I think you are back to most producers and developers of websites, and then the ICT solutions. And then there is a big a big challenge of (Indiscernible) systems, both from governance level, but also from a company. So another little problem varies after you have national legislation in Norway saying that both private and public websites should be following the WCAG that you discuss rigorously. But this is limited to public websites. But just a few commence early comments.
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: I appreciate the comments. I think there is a problem with symbolic compliance especially in terms of accessibility. In the US we have problems with it because the law is so broad and so it is easy for some companies to say we are compliant without actually being compliant and getting the public relations benefit of saying that they are compliant. Thank you for that comment.
>> HOST: Anything else?
(No response).
>> HOST: Interesting. We will digest this and speak to you tomorrow about this at lunch.
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: That would be brilliant.
>> HOST: Okay.
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: Please connect with me online. I am on social media. I’m happy to connect with you in your format.
>> HOST: Did you have a page with your contact details?
>> ANTHONY GIANNOUMIS: I can give you my email, but it is not on the page. It should be in the conference materials. But it is
I will say it again. and it is on Facebook and Twitter and everywhere. Coolness?
>> HOST: Thank you.
(Thank you very much for joining us. The presentations are now over.)


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