A Simple Solution to a New Threat

Remember when everyone was talking about how you could get sued for using images that you don’t own on your website? I’m here to tell you about the new threat – “non-accessibility”. (there are no affiliate links in this email by the way)

accessibility widget

But first let me remind you what’s happened already – a lot of people would just scrape images from other people’s sites and put them on their own – and even some plugins were coded to use images straight from RSS Feeds… they look great and compliment your content, but as you probably already knew a long time ago… it was all a really bad idea. Here’s why:

Some lawyers figured out that they could capitalize on the practice by just reading who loaded those images and then they would send letters demanding large payments in exchange for cancelling a lawsuit. In fact I’ve been through one of those very uncomfortable situations with one of my clients… at the end of the day we were able to get by without paying but during that time I was able to see how these companies actually hook up some back end scripting technology so they know exactly who was using images and it even includes an automated system that sends threatening letters to the identified sites who are using Getty images and the like, demanding payment. It’s a real racket and this is still going on.

But the word “on the street” is that there is another, new racket that’s just starting up – people are getting sued for “non-accessibility” on their websites. This is just getting ramped up but I’m sure they’ll soon be using website spiders to identify offenders and at this point it’s probably about 95% of the internet who DON’T have accessible-friendly website code.

It would be great if could sidestep this problem completely and stay out of the way of these lawyers and their goals of taking your money. And clearly, of course it’s a wonderful idea to provide easy access to those who want it and may have a handicap or more of a challenge in obtaining access than those who don’t. So it’s a win-win for everyone.

So if you want to sidestep this problem, provide accessibility to those who need or want it, and completely and stay out of the way of these lawyers — there is a plugin you can install that provides a widget for “accessibility” that completely precludes any grounds for any lawsuit. You can pick it up here on the UserWay website. This is completely free and it is not an affiliate link so please make use of this if this concerns you at all. I already have it on this website in case you want to see how it looks – it’s the icon in the upper right hand corner.