[access-uk] Re: Ethics of book sharing services

Ooh, didn't realise that SBP had been over-run with orders.  Do we know
how many orders they took?  



-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of James O'Dell
Sent: 19 April 2005 18:01
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Ethics of book sharing services



> James,
>
>    The Harry Potter books are the only books, to my knowledge, to have
> been made available in audio format, unabridged, at the behest of the 
> author.

Not for reasons of accessibility though, probably down to a very worthy 
preference for unabridged audio and the story being told as the author 
intended, which I share.


 The
> delay in the publication of the audio version last time wasn't an
> accessibility issue. It was due to problems finding time in Stephen
Fry's 
> schedule. The American audio version was available almost immediately.

It becomes an accessibility issue if
 it prevents people from accessing the book at all, particularly given
the 
buildup to its publication and the fact that blind children wouldn't
ahve 
been able to share the book with sited piers when it was originally 
published.

>    Problems with the Scottish Braille telephone answering service are 
> not
> the responsibility of the author or publishers, even if the initial 
> responsibility to create accessible format versions is.

Exactly.  The Scottish Braille Press did an admirable job.  the reason I

mentioned them having to deal with all of those invoices etc was to
point 
out that, as a charity, they were overwhelmed with orders for this book,
and 
that just shows the difference in scale between people like Scottish
Braille 
Press and the big publishers, and that they can't be expected to manage
the 
whole book industry for blind people on their own, as so many publishers

seem to expect them to.

>    The fact that these books are made available to the mainstream 
> market
> is.
> a step forward. The fact that they are unabridged is one step more. 
> They're still expensive and the timing last time around wasn't ideal,
but 
> let's not waste time bashing one of the few authors/publishers where
some 
> progress is being made.

Yes, progress is being made, but I doubt much of this is really aimed at

improving access, we are just riding on the back of mainstream
provision. 
If we can't get the same access, at the same time, at the same price,
with 
mmaterial as commercially popular as Harry potter, that is guaranteed to

sell well, what hope have we got with lesser-known works?  The people
who 
deserve the real credit are people like Michael Palin, who has worked
with 
the specialist libraries to make his books accessible.  He may be
nearing 
the end of his travelling career, but I could imagine him recording his 
books and making the electronic versions available to NLB even if  BBC
Audio 
Books were to lose interest.

Cheers

James 

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