You will all be familiar with the Odeon chain of cinemas. You probably know that they have a web site. If you happen to be running the right version of the right browser on the right operating system you may even be able to visit their web site and get useful information out of it.
This fact came to the notice of Matthew Somerville who is a web designer specialising in accessible web sites. He wrote a version of the Odeon site which grabbed information from the real Odeon site and presented it in an easy to read manner that was equally accessible to all browsers.
For some time, all was well with the world. I was getting information about my local Odeon from Matthew’s site. Matthew’s site drew quite a lot of favourable press attention. Even the Odeon people said nice things about it in an article in the Independent.
But now all that has changed. The Odeon’s lawyers have decided that they aren’t happy with Matthew’s site. They have forced him to remove it. They claim that too many people were getting confused between his site and theirs. This is despite Matthew’s site having “this site is not the official Odeon web site” clearly displayed on every page. The full story is at the old Accessible Odeon address.
So I’m now boycotting Odeon. Until they allow Matthew to put his site back online. Or, even better, they change their site to be accessible by more than one browser.
On Friday I found that Fahrenheit 9/11 wasn’t on at my local Odeon. So I went to the Clapham Picture House instead. It’s just as close, but it is smaller, friendlier and just generally nicer. They’ll be getting a lot more of my custom in the future.