[bksvol-discuss] Re: bookshare and web braille

  • From: "Shelley L. Rhodes" <juddysbuddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 09:51:31 -0500

Ah, just thinking Realistic.

Good job Dave.

Shelley L. Rhodes and Judson, guiding golden
Guide Dogs For the Blind Inc.
Graduate Advisory Council

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to
stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs.

      -- Vance Havner
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <talmage@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2004 9:10 AM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: bookshare and web braille

Hi Mike,

I have to join in here with Allison.
Regarding the legal side of the issue, NLS is part of the LOC, and if
Congress wanted it to happen, it would.  They play by a totally different
set of rules from us mortals.  The problem there is, it isn't an important
enough issue for them to want to  spend much time considering it.  I would
suspect the popular response would be that access is provided, and what we
are talking about here is primarily just a matter of convenience for
Bookshare members, so suck it up, and deal with it.  Of course they
wouldn't say it in just quite that manner, but I imagine that would be the
bottom line.  The other factor here would also be the NLS itself.  Any
recommendation of this sort would undoubtedly have to come via the NLS, and
I just don't see that as happening.  We are talking about governmental
bureaucracy here, and bureaucrats tend to protect their bailiwick with an
intense passion.  I don't actually see that as a bad thing, because one of
the first ideas that would probably occur to some Congressman running for
re-election would be, "than why are we spending so much money for the NLS
if these kinds of services are already out there?"
The only true ethical de lemma I can see that would result, is the NLS
books would also have to be made available to any other organization
similar to Bookshare that might come along so as to not favor any one
private organization.  I can see how this might cause a great deal of
consternation, because it would be a lack of control, and who is to say
that any subsequent providers that came along later would be as scrupulous
as Bookshare, in adhering to copyright laws and secure practices.
As for the user base, it would seem irrelevant to me, because as it now
stands, anyone who is a member of Bookshare could be a member of the NLS if
they wished.  The policy of the government has always been when dealing
with a member entity, i.e. Federal dealing with State, State dealing with
County, etc., is that you may be more restrictive but not less.
When, and if Bookshare ever opens up its offerings outside the U.S., I
suspect that the NLS will be right there with them doing likewise.  As it
is, the NLS already has an exchange program established with Canada and
After saying all this, I guess I should mention, that I don't believe it
will ever occur.  That is with a proviso however, I don't see Bookshare
being allowed to incorporate the NLS collection into Bookshare as single
volume compilations.  If Bookshare desired however, to include the Web
Braille holdings in some future search scheme, I could see it as being
feasible for Bookshare members to download Web Braille books from a
Bookshare search engine.  As it is, anyone can search the NLS collection on
the Internet, you just have to be a member to download the Web Braille
files.  It would be possible to set up a Bookshare account  to pass along a
user's Web Braille log-in info so you could download the Web Braille files
and never see the NLS site.  This would however, require a major revamp of
the Bookshare search software, rebuilding it along the lines of the one
used by the NLS.  Again, I can certainly see this as a good thing, but I
also can't see it as happening.


At 07:10 AM 12/8/2004, you wrote:
>Your points are well thought out; but I still have to agree totally with
>Shelley for legal and ethical reasons.  The one point I want to adress is
>your number 3.
>The user base of BookShare and NLS are not necessarily one and the same.
>Yes, BookShare, for the convenience of its customers, accepts
>participation in the NLS program as a proof of disability.
>However, you needn't be a NLS patron to take part in BookShare.
>Also, if the NLS collection suddenly became a part of BookShare, this
>might preclude BookShare, at some point down the line, to offer its
>service internationally.
>Also, some NLS patrons, now that I think of it, cannot use BookShare
>BookShare technically requires residency in the U.S. or its territories;
>NLS provides service also to those living abroad who happen to be U.S.
>So the patron base isn't identical.

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