RE: Dang it!! i can't believe it!

  • From: "Chris Hofstader" <chris.hofstader@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 07:41:50 -0400

Hi Dusty,
 
Keep in mind, FS threatened to sue me based on my non-compete for trying to 
work on Will Pearson's open source screen reader back in 2005.  Even though 
Will's project would be distributed without cost and with source code to users, 
I got a call from the FS CTO telling me that I had to cease and desist or face 
legal action from FS.
 
My one recommendation for you is to get a copy of the patent itself and see 
what it includes and what falls outside of its protection.  
 
Your other questions about not using FS sounds, code, etc. all fall under 
copyright law and not patent.  Copyrights are easier to understand and regard 
actual copying of information but not copying functionality.
 
Keep in mind that the following is illegal: My other advice would be to 
continue down the path you are already going and let the chips fall where they 
may.  If threatened with a lawsuit and your software is already bouncing around 
the Internet, the proverbial horse would have already left the barn and you can 
take it off of your web site and then let FS chase all other web sites, ftp 
locations, etc. to try to force them to remove it.  increasing the number of 
places where people can get your software also increases the complexity and 
legal costs to the patent holder to try to prosecute the patent.  Finally, an 
end user who uses software that violates a patent can also be sued for 
infringement but I doubt any company would try to go after a bunch of blind web 
developers as the publicity fallout would be really, really bad.
 
 
cdh


  _____  

From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of dusty bray
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 8:42 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Dang it!! i can't believe it!


Chris,
When i read your email, i nearly hit the floor.  But let me itemize some points 
so that i can clearly understand what you are saying:

i made an accessible application that i intend to distribute free of charge to 
the blind community.
i invented a simple method for using sounds to identify object classes and did 
not realize that JAWS already uses a similar method.
i am not using any of Freedom Scientific’s code.
i am not using any of Freedom Scientific’s sounds.
Yet, Freedom Scientific can actually sue me for associating object classes with 
sounds to aid in accessibility?

If i am still in danger of a lawsuit, could you please advise me on the best 
course of action?  (Maybe as penance?  smile)  Is there anything i can do?

Well, thank you very much for letting me know about this issue.  i made that 
comment jokingly, but i didn’t realize FS could actually sue me for providing a 
solution that is so obvious in my mind (and so seemingly miniscule).  It’s 
almost as though Freedom Scientific has patents on freedom itself.

dusty.......



> From: chris.hofstader@xxxxxxxxxxx
> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: RE: Dang it!!
> Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 18:28:26 -0400
> 
> And they are prohibited by international patent law from getting it for 
> another 16 years or so. Serotek and GW both want to do it but they don't want 
> to deal with the FS lawyers. Sadly, I wrote most of the patent application, 
> I'm listed as an inventor and I would call for a "do over" if such things 
> existed in the adult world. And people wonder why I still have guilt ridden 
> nightmares about some of the things I did as part of my job at FS.
> 
> cdh 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kevin Jones
> Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 1:40 PM
> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: Dang it!!
> 
> it only works with jaws though so there are all the other screen reader 
> users out there who use something else.
> 
> 
> dusty bray wrote:
> > i'm so steamed!! It appears JAWS thought of this sound scheme idea 
> > first. i really had to hunt for it, but i found it deep in some menus. 
> > And i don't think it just associates with a list of words; i think it 
> > actually associates with control types like mine does. Dang it!
> > 
> > Oh well, but i will make it popular! smile. And hopefully i won't be 
> > sued by JAWS; it's a great idea and i think it could really advance the 
> > blind community if it were universally accepted someday. i think JAWS' 
> > version is a little different simply because they don't define a set of 
> > default sounds. You have to set each one yourself, don't you? So if 
> > nothing else, i would like to promote a standard set of sounds just as 
> > sighted users have a universally recognized set of icons.
> > 
> > Well, thanks so much, everyone, for letting me know about this feature 
> > in JAWS. i'm going to go sulk now. smile
> > 
> > dusty.......
> > 
> > 
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > From: jimpanes@xxxxxxxxx
> > To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > Subject: Re: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 08:04:20 -0400
> > 
> > Hi Dusty,
> > 
> > JAWS has a speach and sounds manager. It allows any word that JAWS
> > is pronouncing to either be associated with a sound or use a sound
> > to substitute for a word.
> > 
> > While this mechanism can be used to approximate the behavior of your
> > web page editor, it does not truly recognize the types of objects on
> > the screen.
> > 
> > I have made this adjustment in my dictionary manager so that I hear
> > a harp string instead of the word "link" a million times when I read
> > a web page. This one change alone has sped up my web access and made
> > life much less annoying for me.
> > 
> > Using sounds in a way that does not interfere with the user hearing
> > the text may very well speed up access. Any improvement in this area
> > is a welcome change.
> > 
> > Thanks for trying this idea. I'll give it a try.
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Jim
> > jimpanes@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:jimpanes@xxxxxxxxx>
> > jimpanes@xxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:jimpanes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > "Everything is easy when you know how."
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > *From:* John Greer <mailto:jpgreer17@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > *To:* programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > <mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > *Sent:* Thursday, October 11, 2007 7:36 AM
> > *Subject:* Re: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > 
> > Well to tell you the truth, I have known some blind persons to
> > assign sounds to every event that can be assigned in Windows. So
> > you also have to plan for those people too. I would also have to
> > agree, there should also be an option to not use the sounds. The
> > screen reader however would still need to identify the elements that
> > the sounds are identifying though. For example, instead of having a
> > pop sound to identify a Submit button that is red, the screen reader
> > should say red Submit button.
> > 
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > *From:* dusty bray <mailto:dusty_bray@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > *To:* programmingblind@freelistsorg
> > <mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > *Sent:* Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:09 AM
> > *Subject:* RE: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > 
> > i could always use a good "boing" sound. smile. But i would
> > certainly accompny it with some kind of text of course. You
> > know, it's really hard to find good, free sound effects. i'll
> > have to check out clipmate.
> > 
> > Well, i see what you're saying about sounds clashing, and that
> > is another good reason to allow the user to turn sounds off. 
> > However, how often do applications make sounds when objects
> > receive focus? They usually accompany an action, like a button
> > click. So, i wouldn't think these sounds would get in the way
> > very often.
> > 
> > dusty.......
> > 
> > > From: leaves1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > > To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > > Subject: Re: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > > Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 23:34:08 -0400
> > >
> > > Well, all I can say is I have a great "boing" sound for an
> > error condition.
> > > but then again, text describing the error would really be
> > more relevant than
> > > and boing...
> > >
> > > If you want to hear some great sound effects, check out the
> > old clipmate
> > > clibpoard manager for windows. I loved using the various
> > features so I
> > > could hear how it sounded, and indeed the sounds were
> > helpful. But this
> > > brings up the problem of your program having sounds that
> > might clash with
> > > another program. Just a thought.
> > > Good luck and happy hacking.
> > > --le
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Matthew2007" <matthew2007@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 10:50 PM
> > > Subject: Re: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > >
> > >
> > > This method of generating audio icons is interesting. It does
> > appear to hold
> > > the potential of speeding up computing, but it might have a
> > steep learning
> > > curve as the new user will have to take lots of time out to
> > learn the sounds
> > > then create the mental associations with the sound and the
> > intended action.
> > > In other words, there is a possibility of new users giving up
> > on it as they
> > > might deem it much more difficult to use than the more common
> > methods of
> > > computing. That is, it will be easier for them to know what
> > to do with an
> > > audio message telling them "Ok," than an audio message
> > telling them "beep
> > > beep." Now that I think of it, if you attach piano sounds to
> > the audio-icons
> > > you might end up composing quite a musical piece and not even
> > know it.
> > >
> > > Then again there is the noise factor as all these strange
> > sounds might annoy
> > > or at the very least distract others in the vicinity.
> > >
> > > I do believe that your audio-icons do have great potential in
> > that they can
> > > be of great use to power users that only need that tiny hint
> > of reassurance
> > > they're moving along and clicking what they intend to click.
> > >
> > > "Oh wait," I just thought of something, doesn't this type of
> > computing
> > > already exist to some extent within the Jaws speech and
> > sounds manager?
> > >
> > > Regardless, I would continue exploring this interaction
> > channel as it might
> > > ultimately yield lots of efficiency for the proficient blind
> > computer user.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > > Matthew
> > > ---- Original Message -----
> > > From: "dusty bray" <dusty_bray@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 7:19 PM
> > > Subject: RE: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > > Yeah, you're definitely right, inthane-- it should have an
> > option to turn
> > > > off the sounds, but this version is severely lacking in
> > many, many ways
> > > > right now. i just wanted to give everyone an idea of how
> > this system
> > > > works.
> > > >
> > > > And honestly, i think if i gave that option initially, then
> > everyone would
> > > > just turn it off and not actually try to make it work smile. i
> > > > anticipate this being somewhat of a learning curve because
> > the user has to
> > > > build mental connections between a sound and its meaning.
> > In the same
> > > > way, users had difficulty transitioning from command line
> > to Windows based
> > > > operating systems because the graphical symbols were
> > totally unfamiliar at
> > > > first. But today, there exists a universally recognized set
> > of graphics
> > > > for identifying objects, and these graphics allow sighted
> > users to work
> > > > more efficiently now. i see an opportunity to use
> > background noises for
> > > > the same purpose. You could fit a lot of useful information
> > in that empty
> > > > space.
> > > >
> > > > Of course, Windows has already tried to incorporate sounds
> > into the
> > > > interface, but these sounds were used very inappropriately.
> > Instead of
> > > > associating objects with sounds, they associated actions
> > with sounds,
> > > > which gives information after the fact. So even as i use
> > this new system,
> > > > i'm having to consciously reprogram myself not to think of
> > these sounds as
> > > > actions but as markers for object types.
> > > >
> > > > But i do want to know if people find this particular set of
> > sounds
> > > > overbearing. Should i adjust the volumes? Can you hear the
> > voice clearly
> > > > over the sounds?
> > > >
> > > > Also, did you ever recieve my original message?? That's
> > really strange.
> > > > It's still programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, right?
> > > >
> > > > Ok, well definitely give me your oppinion if you get a
> > chance to use the
> > > > software. Thanks,
> > > >
> > > > dusty.......
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >> From: inthaneelf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > > >> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > > >> Subject: Re: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > > >> Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 15:23:42 -0700
> > > >>
> > > >> interesting, I got your reply to Dusty's message, but
> > haven't received
> > > >> the
> > > >> original even yet, hmmmmm!
> > > >>
> > > >> I haven't tried your ap yet Dusty, but it would be nice if
> > you could
> > > >> reverse
> > > >> things, in other words, turn off the added sounds, and
> > return it to full
> > > >> speaking of the items, since I don't do well with sounds,
> > maybe a check
> > > >> box
> > > >> in an options menu/dialog for changing it, giving the user
> > the choice?
> > > >>
> > > >> regards,
> > > >> inthane
> > > >> ? For Blind Programming assistance, Information, Useful
> > Programs, and
> > > >> Links
> > > >> to Jamal Mazrui's Text tutorial packages and Applications,
> > visit me at:
> > > >> http://grabbag.alacorncomputer.com
> > > >> ? to be able to view a simple programming project in
> > several programming
> > > >> languages, visit the Fruit basket demo site at:
> > > >> http://fruitbasketdemo.alacorncomputer.com
> > > >>
> > > >> ----- Original Message -----
> > > >> From: "John covici" <covici@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > >> To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > > >> Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 2:49 PM
> > > >> Subject: Web Page Editor for the Blind
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> >I wonder if it would work with hardware speech at all
> > since the speech
> > > >> > and the sound may get out of sync? Ever test this?
> > > >> >
> > > >> > on Wednesday 10/10/2007 dusty
> > bray(dusty_bray@xxxxxxxxxxx) wrote
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > Hi everybody,
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > i$,1rym looking for people to evaluate the Web page
> > editor that
> > > >> > > i$,1rym starting and give some feedback.
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > i$,1rym incorporating some cool features into this
> > program that i
> > > >> > > hope
> > > >> > > will allow blind users to easily create content-rich
> > Web pages.
> > > >> > > i$,1rym especially excited about the mathematical
> > expression editor.
> > > >> > > And i think you$,1ryll enjoy some of the other
> > surprises i$,1ryve
> > > >> > > added.
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > This application also introduces a new concept for quickly
> > > >> > > differentiating between controls in the editor$,1rys
> > interface. In
> > > >> > > applications designed for sighted users, components
> > are visually
> > > >> > > distinct: buttons appear raised, text boxes appear
> > inset, and each
> > > >> > > item
> > > >> > > differs in some way that suggests its intended
> > function. Page
> > > >> > > Designer
> > > >> > > achieves this effect auditorily. The application plays
> > programmatic
> > > >> > > sounds in parallel with voice output to quickly
> > identify both an
> > > >> > > object$,1rys type and its value. So rather than
> > speaking "OK
> > > >> > > button",
> > > >> > > the editor speaks "OK" and plays a popping sound at
> > the same moment,
> > > >> > > effectively saving half the number of syllables.
> > Textboxes are
> > > >> > > associated with a tapping sound; picture boxes are
> > accompanied by the
> > > >> > > sound of a camera shutter; the volume of a radio
> > button$,1rys sound
> > > >> > > varies depending its selection state.
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > Visit this link to download the application:
> > > >> > >
> > http://here-i-am.sourceforge.net/downloads/Here-I-Am_Page-Designer1.zip
> > > >> > > The executable is named here-i-am_page-designer.
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > Please have patience with it. This is only a beta
> > version of the
> > > >> > > program. Also, the interface is very different and
> > takes some
> > > >> > > getting
> > > >> > > used to.
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > i hate making concessions for JAWS, but i$,1ryve
> > changed the
> > > >> > > navigation keys to ensure my program doesn$,1ryt
> > conflict. As
> > > >> > > before,
> > > >> > > the navigation model arranges content into a hierarchy
> > with parent
> > > >> > > nodes
> > > >> > > corresponding to higher levels of abstraction and
> > child nodes
> > > >> > > corresponding to lower levels of abstraction. To see
> > more details of
> > > >> > > an
> > > >> > > object, press spacebar. If at any point you becomes
> > lost, pressing
> > > >> > > Escape will move the selection up one level of
> > abstraction, revealing
> > > >> > > a
> > > >> > > "bigger picture".
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > Unfortunately, this program is still far from the
> > screen reader i
> > > >> > > envision. This is just a self-voicing application, and
> > the objects
> > > >> > > do
> > > >> > > not correspond to actual objects on the screen, so it
> > probably lacks
> > > >> > > much of the functionality to which you may be
> > accustomed. But i feel
> > > >> > > like i$,1rym slowly getting closer.
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > Hope you enjoy it,
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > > dusty.......
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > >
> > > >> > >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > > >> > > Help yourself to FREE treats served up daily at the
> > Messenger
> > > >> > > Caf,Ai.
> > > >> > > Stop by today.
> > > >> > >
> > http://www.cafemessenger.com/info/info_sweetstuff2.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_OctWLtagline<html>
> > > >> > > <head>
> > > >> > > <style>
> > > >> > > .hmmessage P
> > > >> > > {
> > > >> > > margin:0px;
> > > >> > > padding:0px
> > > >> > > }
> > > >> > > body.hmmessage
> > > >> > > {
> > > >> > > FONT-SIZE: 10pt;
> > > >> > > FONT-FAMILY:Tahoma
> > > >> > > }
> > > >> > > </style>
> > > >> > > </head>
> > > >> > > <body class='hmmessage'>
> > > >> > > Hi everybody,<br><br>i$,1rym looking for people to
> > evaluate the Web
> > > >> > > page editor that i$,1rym starting and give some
> > > >> > > feedback.<br><br>i$,1rym incorporating some cool
> > features into this
> > > >> > > program that i hope will allow blind users to easily
> > create
> > > >> > > content-rich
> > > >> > > Web pages.&nbsp; i$,1rym especially excited about the
> > mathematical
> > > >> > > expression editor.&nbsp; And i think you$,1ryll enjoy
> > some of the
> > > >> > > other surprises i$,1ryve added.<br><br>This
> > application also
> > > >> > > introduces a new concept for quickly differentiating
> > between controls
> > > >> > > in
> > > >> > > the editor$,1rys interface. In applications designed
> > for sighted
> > > >> > > users, components are visually distinct: buttons
> > appear raised, text
> > > >> > > boxes appear inset, and each item differs in some way
> > that suggests
> > > >> > > its
> > > >> > > intended function. Page Designer achieves this effect
> > auditorily. The
> > > >> > > application plays programmatic sounds in parallel with
> > voice output
> > > >> > > to
> > > >> > > quickly identify both an object$,1rys type and its
> > value. So rather
> > > >> > > than speaking "OK button", the editor speaks "OK" and
> > plays a popping
> > > >> > > sound at the same moment, effectively saving half the
> > number of
> > > >> > > syllables. Textboxes are associated with a tapping
> > sound; picture
> > > >> > > boxes
> > > >> > > are accompanied by the sound of a camera shutter; the
> > volume of a
> > > >> > > radio
> > > >> > > button$,1rys sound varies depending its selection
> > > >> > > state.<br><br>Visit
> > > >> > > this link to download the application:&nbsp;
> > > >> > >
> > http://here-i-am.sourceforge.net/downloads/Here-I-Am_Page-Designer1.zip<br>The
> > > >> > > executable is named
> > here-i-am_page-designer.<br><br>Please have
> > > >> > > patience
> > > >> > > with it.&nbsp; This is only a beta version of the
> > program.&nbsp;
> > > >> > > Also,
> > > >> > > the interface is very different and takes some getting
> > used
> > > >> > > to.<br><br>i
> > > >> > > hate making concessions for JAWS, but i$,1ryve
> > changed the
> > > >> > > navigation
> > > >> > > keys to ensure my program doesn$,1ryt conflict.&nbsp;
> > As before, the
> > > >> > > navigation model arranges content into a hierarchy
> > with parent nodes
> > > >> > > corresponding to higher levels of abstraction and
> > child nodes
> > > >> > > corresponding to lower levels of abstraction. To see
> > more details of
> > > >> > > an
> > > >> > > object, press spacebar. If at any point you becomes
> > lost, pressing
> > > >> > > Escape will move the selection up one level of
> > abstraction, revealing
> > > >> > > a
> > > >> > > "bigger picture".<br><br>Unfortunately, this program
> > is still far
> > > >> > > from
> > > >> > > the screen reader i envision.&nbsp; This is just a
> > self-voicing
> > > >> > > application, and the objects do not correspond to
> > actual objects on
> > > >> > > the
> > > >> > > screen, so it probably lacks much of the functionality
> > to which you
> > > >> > > may
> > > >> > > be accustomed.&nbsp; But i feel like i$,1rym slowly
> > getting
> > > >> > > closer.<br><br>Hope you enjoy
> > it,<br><br>dusty.......<br><br><br
> > > >> > > /><hr
> > > >> > > />Help yourself to FREE treats served up daily at the
> > Messenger
> > > >> > > Caf,Ai. <a
> > > >> > >
> > href='http://www.cafemessenger.com/info/info_sweetstuff2.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_OctWLtagline'
> > > >> > > target='_new'>Stop by today!</a></body>
> > > >> > > </html>
> > > >> > --
> > > >> > Your life is like a penny. You're going to lose it. The
> > question is:
> > > >> > How do
> > > >> > you spend it?
> > > >> >
> > > >> > John Covici
> > > >> > covici@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'カ翰学ョf渇旛jxハ恭・xjリカ淌 ュ
> > 迥ヒ「ク・嘯カ・nX
> > > >> __________
> > > >> View the list's information and change your settings at
> > > >> http://www.freelists.org/list/programmingblind
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > > > Peek-a-boo FREE Tricks & Treats for You!
> > > > http://www.reallivemoms.com?ocid=TXT_TAGHM&loc=us
> > >
> > > __________
> > > View the list's information and change your settings at
> > > http://www.freelists.org/list/programmingblind
> > >
> > > __________
> > > View the list's information and change your settings at
> > > http://www.freelists.org/list/programmingblind
> > >
> > 
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Windows Live Hotmail and Microsoft Office Outlook – together at
> > last. Get it now!
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> > 
> > 
> > 
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Help yourself to FREE treats served up daily at the Messenger Café. Stop 
> > by today! 
> > <http://www.cafemessenger.com/info/info_sweetstuff2.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_OctWLtagline>
> __________
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