Thursday, July 17, 2014

Other universities in the media

(Photo from nicolasconnault)
Web Services' staff is tasked with evaluating Tarleton's web pages and vendor-contracted web pages/technology for accessibility, copyright, and security issues. This is a tedious yet necessary responsibility that the university is required by law to perform. As we have learned more about these federal requirements, we have over time made our evaluations more stringent.

We have observed the ramifications of what happens when a university ignores its obligation to abide Section 508/TAC 206, U.S. Copyright Law, and TAC 202. We do not want similar actions taken against Tarleton, which is why we adamantly check our websites, software, and other technology for compliance.

Doing these evaluations does take some time. Sometimes I would rather be working on web graphics or designing web layouts. However, if we do not take the time to evaluate, a reprimand (or worse) is just inevitable.

The following are examples of universities who have been reprimanded/sued/reported for not complying with accessibility requirements. I think you will be surprised!
Here is an example of a situation where the owner of non-popular blog was sued for copyright infringement on one image. And no, universities can not claim "fair use" on images posted on it's public website - they must follow the same rules.
Due diligence is the key here. And even though these are requirements by law, shouldn't we at least feel morally obligated to provide equal rights to services and prevent theft? I think so!