Sony Music gets ahead of ADA lawsuits pertaining to Web Content Accessibility as celebrities start the legal battle

Music industry professionals are being named in ADA compliance and discrimination lawsuits, as websites are failing to meet minimum web accessibility standards. From 2017 to 2018, the number of ADA compliance lawsuits filed in federal court increased by 177%. This trend continues through 2019, with some of the music industry’s most famous entertainers being named in lawsuits. 

Parkwood Entertainment, LLC, the agency owned by multi-platinum recording artist, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, was named in a class-action lawsuit in January of 2019. The lawsuit claims “the one and only form of entertainment that truly presents an even playing field between the visually- impaired and the sighted is music.” The class-action suit is calling for changes in policies and procedures which will require Parkwood to make Beyonce.com accessible to blind and visually- impaired consumers. The plaintiff is also suing for compensatory damages for having been subjected to unlawful discrimination.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990 but the almost 30-year-old law is as prevalent as ever. Website accessibility lawsuits account for the majority of ADA lawsuits filed in 2018. As the Internet Economy evolves this will continue to be a leading and growing legal issue for all industries who have a public-facing web site and particularly those sites who have any type of site providing goods or services as a function of the internet economy. ADA compliance lawsuits have been brought against many major retailers including Target, Winn-Dixie, Barney’s, and Amazon to name a few.

Sony Music contracted Devvly, LLC to perform an accessibility audit and to execute corrective measures. Devvly utilized a two-part strategy to begin bringing two of Sony’s subsidiary websites into compliance by meeting WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) standards. The strategy included the use of human and machine analysis to identify and correct non-compliant issues.

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