FCC Expands Online Closed-Captioning Rules

The rules apply to video clips that have aired on TV.

National Journal
Brendan Sasso
July 11, 2014, 8:06 a.m.

Web­sites will soon need to of­fer closed cap­tion­ing for more videos.

In a bid to en­sure ac­cess for people who are deaf and hard-of-hear­ing, the Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion voted un­an­im­ously Fri­day to re­quire web­sites to of­fer closed cap­tion­ing of video clips that have already aired on tele­vi­sion with cap­tions. The rules wouldn’t ap­ply to You­Tube clips or Net­flix videos that have nev­er aired on TV.

“This is just the be­gin­ning of deal­ing with our re­spons­ib­il­ity to make sure that in­di­vidu­als with spe­cial needs are at the front of the tech­no­logy train — not the back,” FCC Chair­man Tom Wheel­er said.

The 21st Cen­tury Com­mu­nic­a­tions and Video Ac­cess­ib­il­ity Act of 2010 gives the FCC au­thor­ity to re­quire closed cap­tion­ing of on­line videos. In 2012, the FCC en­acted rules that re­quired closed cap­tion­ing of full-length shows and movies that had already aired on TV, but the rules didn’t cov­er short clips.

The new re­quire­ments for clips will be­gin phas­ing in on Jan. 1, 2016, with fi­nal im­ple­ment­a­tion on Ju­ly 1, 2017. The fi­nal stage will re­quire cap­tion­ing of live events, such as news and sports.

In fil­ings to the FCC, some tech and me­dia com­pan­ies em­phas­ized that they already vol­un­tar­ily cap­tion many videos and warned that strin­gent rules could dis­cour­age some sites from up­load­ing videos in the first place.

The agency’s two Re­pub­lic­ans, Ajit Pai and Mi­chael O’Ri­elly, ex­pressed some con­cern with how the rules will af­fect small com­pan­ies and cast con­cur­ring votes.

Pai said he hopes the FCC will be “flex­ible” in en­for­cing the new rules.

“If tech­no­logy does not de­vel­op as quickly as we might like, we should ad­just ac­cord­ingly,” he said.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
23 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×