July 12, 2004
I smell another boycott...

Have you ever tried to use the Odeon website? Well, you have better be using IE for a start; Firefox ain't happening...

Via Boing Boing I find that one Matthew Somerville had fixed this; he scraped the Odeon site and re-presented the data in an accessible manner.

I say had fixed this, because the odious Odeon people have forced him to take the site down.

Sadly this attitude towards accessability is very far from uncommon; I raised the issue with some clients of ours recently for whom we are building a web application, and was ridiculed for my trouble. :-(

Posted to Music and Film by Simon Brunning at July 12, 2004 01:21 PM
Comments

Went through the same routine on Saturday. Do they think that nerds don't go to the cinema or somefink?

Posted by: Steve on July 12, 2004 01:40 PM

They won't be going to the Odeon at this rate...

Posted by: Simon Brunning on July 12, 2004 02:15 PM

I'd love to see someone sue them under the
disability discrimination act - surely all
these crappy IE-only sites infringe it.

Posted by: Mark Russell on July 12, 2004 05:46 PM

Odious.

Posted by: Alan Green on July 14, 2004 05:16 AM

It makes you want to watch pirate DVDs.
The thing that makes me mad about sites like that, is the lack of automation. Why doesn 't it give you a choice of seats? If you buy your tickets in the Odeon itself you can. So it'll be no hassle to link in with this info of the database.

Posted by: Kevan Thurstans on July 14, 2004 10:15 AM

I've already boycotted Odeon, I won't be going back again.
If they think they can go around shutting down disabled peoples (who can't fight back) websites then they'll be getting no money from me.
Fucking bastards.
I urge everybody to mail odeon telling that what fucking spastics they and their web-shite (!) are/is

Posted by: Pamela Smith on July 17, 2004 08:22 PM

Odeon cinemas UK are actively shutting down the webpages of
disabled people in the UK. Any pages that mention or link
to the Odeon website are being targetted.
One disabled boy (Matthew Somerville) developed a special film
website for the disabled. It linked to Odeon UK as a courtesy
but they demanded it be shut down and taken from the web due
to illegal copyrights.

BASTARDS! And they are only targetting the disabled, not
normal people who can fight for themselves. That is why
we are sending this message...

It's time to start an internet campaign, we must correct this
injustice! We demand the following...

b) Luke Veteres resignation
b) Odeon to publically apologise to the disabled boy
Mattew Somerville for their insulting behaviour.
c) Odeon to immediately fix their website so it works
with all browsers such as Mozilla (and all Gecko based),
Netscape 3/4, Safari, Lynx, HotJava, WebTV, Wap and Mosaic.

What should you do?
a) Mail Luke Vetere at lvetere@odeonuk.com and tell him he's a
fucking bastard. A template letter might be

Dear Luke Vetere,
You are a fucking bastard. You have no right to shut down
the homepage of the disabled boy Matthew Somerville. I
demand you re upload his site immediately. Until you do
I will not visit Odeon cinemas UK

b) Send this mail to everybody you know (several times so they
get the message) and ask them to do the same

Together we can beat the bastards!

Posted by: OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN EMAIL on July 17, 2004 08:31 PM

Why do something as infantile as swear at them and have a petition on an abusive website. Just email them every time you go to see a film at another cinema. Or write to them, enclosing the tickets from the other cinema in the envelope. If enough people do this, I am sure they can do the maths.

Posted by: Doug on July 24, 2004 03:00 PM

I think picking on disabled people (Matthew Sommerville) is just as "infantile" as sending a choice worded email. Personally, I've mailed them just as Pamela suggested, calling Luke Vetere a fucking spastic.
Matthew, disabled or not. We're behind you. Good luck to you, in your campaign and in beating your illness.
God bless you.

Posted by: Judy Hipkiss on August 20, 2004 12:46 AM

I write here to inform you of the really quite shocking actions being
perpetuated by the UK cinema chain Odeon against a disabled Scottish
boy Matthew Somerville.

9 year old Matthew suffers from the rare, medically unknown condition
of "Shatnerís Palsy" which corrodes un-oxygenated body tissue. Doctors
work hard on a cure, but admit to the possibility of a fatal remission
within 70 years. Despite this, Matthew continues to brighten the lives
of everyone he meets.

Incredibly, despite having weak arms, he is still able to operate a
computer using a deviously constructed input device, consisting of a
covered spherical ball and a pair of single-pole-single-throw latches.
Resting his scrawny hand on the tool, any small movements are converted
to gigabyte digital input signals.

The disabled boy constructed a special film portal for the disabled.
It was very popular, receiving over 20 "hits" a month. Webmaster
experts based at Durham University examined his JavaScript code using
remote debugging techniques and proclaimed it "fully polymorphic,
slightly recursive and 100% XML ready".

Despite this, Odeon cinemas have ordered him to "cease and desist"
using the recently enacted European Millennium Copyright Act (EMCA) to
copyright the notion of "film discussion" by a person and/or persons
"without full limb mobility". They have demanded his website is put in
the Windows XP recycle bin, and insisted "it should then be emptied".

This cannot be allowed to happen. The disabled should have almost as
many rights as normal people, at least with regard to discussing films.
Luckily for us, people power works, and thatís where you come in.

How can you help disabled boy Matthew Somerville?
a) Email Odeon customer support (info@odeonuk.com) and tell them you are
boycotting their chain (Rocky 6 excepted) while they continue
their legal actions against disabled boys.
b) Email Odeon UK chairman Luke Vetere (lvetere@odeonuk.com) and insist
that the website be retrieved from the recycle bin, wiped clean, and
uploaded back onto the UK internet web system using FTP packet protocols.
c) Email and post this message to everybody you know (several times), and
on every "blog" site you can find.

In addition, why not join Matthew in his separate quest to enter the
"Guinness Book of Records" with the record of "largest collection of
used cinema ticket stubs". Matthew is aiming for over a thousand.
Send them, perhaps with a letter of encouragement to

Matthew Somerville
Guinness Record Attempt
109 Eastern Drive
Edinburgh
EH7 1DA

Remember, only by working together can we can beat an evil law, and
brighten the failing heart of a young disabled angel.

Posted by: JUSTICE FOR ALL! DEMAND IT on August 23, 2004 01:44 AM

was about to call luke vetere, just a sales call really, after reading that am gonna call someone else to sell our great software. this is my part to boycott odeon.

Posted by: Diana on March 8, 2007 03:51 PM
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