Dear Blind People: You And Your Precious iPhone Accessibility Can Suck It. Love, Samsung

There’s a fine line between protecting your intellectual property and being the worst kind of evil, heartless corporate dickbag on the earth. The fine folks at Samsung have, it would appear, rolled on up to that line and decided fuck it, let’s keep truckin’!

Samsung has suffered a setback in its effort to win an iPhone ban based on a function making its software accessible to blind people.
The South Korean firm had sought an injunction in a German court arguing Apple’s VoiceOver screen-access facility infringed one of its patents.
However, the judge has ordered the case to be suspended pending another ruling that could invalidate Samsung’s claim.
Disability campaigners had expressed concern about the case.
Apple’s VoiceOver function is used by blind and partially-sighted people to hear a description of what the iPhone is showing by touching its screen.
The software covers text and icons including audio descriptions of the battery level and network signal. It also allows the phones to be operated via Braille-based add-ons.
Samsung had argued that Apple had failed to licence a patent it owned which describes pressing a button to make a handset describe its display. The basis for this was that VoiceOver could be switched on by triple-clicking the iPhone’s home button.

Yes, Samsung did seriously just try to take access to smartphones and the world they open up out of the hands of hundreds of millions of blind people. You really did just see that. they’re still trying, in fact. And why? Well…

A statement from Samsung said: “For decades, we have heavily invested in pioneering the development of technological innovations in the mobile industry, which have been constantly reflected in our products.
“We continue to believe that Apple has infringed our patented mobile technologies, and we will continue to take the measures necessary to protect our intellectual property rights.”

Ok then, so where’s your easy to independently set up and use out of the box screenreader accessibility, Samsung? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

If you so strongly believe that Apple did you wrong, sue them for money and then make a licensing deal. Don’t set the blind back 10 years just because you think you can. We didn’t rip you off and it’s doubtful Apple did either. We’re just taking what we’re given and using it to enrich and in many cases better our lives.

Rarely do I feel sorry for public relations people, but I do today. There’s no way to spin this to make Samsung look good. then again, it doesn’t seem like Samsung cares much about looking good or doing the right thing. It’s all about money, equal access be damned.

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