Amazon, Kobo and Sony petition FCC to exempt e-readers from accessibility laws

Don’t exempt them FCC


Amazon (s AMZN), Kobo and Sony (s SNE) are petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to permanently exempt e-readers from certain federal accessibility laws for the disabled, arguing that e-readers are barebones devices designed for a single purpose: reading text.

The petition is interesting because it argues that e-readers’ value lies in the fact that they are inherently limited devices and that any non-reading functions they include, like experimental web browsers, are “rudimentary” and not very useful. Amazon, Kobo and Sony say that if they were forced to comply with FCC regulations and make e-readers fully accessible to people with disabilities, the essential nature of the devices would change, making them more like tablets, more expensive and, overall, less useful for their express purpose.

The FCC is accepting comments on the petition through September 3.

Amazon, Kobo and Sony, under the umbrella “Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers” and represented by Covington &…

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