U.S. Issues Closed Captioning Rules for Internet Programs - GovernmentVideo.com

U.S. Issues Closed Captioning Rules for Internet Programs

The FCC says, “closed captioning is the visual display of the audio portion of video programming, which provides access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
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The U.S. government has issued regulations governing closed captioning requirements for video delivered using Internet protocol (IP), including to smartphones, tablets, personal computers and television set-top boxes.

On Jan. 13, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the “Report and Order”—Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010—that “adopts rules governing the closed captioning requirements for the owners, providers, and distributors of video programming delivered using” IP.

The document “also adopts rules governing the closed captioning capabilities of certain apparatus on which consumers view video programming.”

In the document the FCC says, “closed captioning is the visual display of the audio portion of video programming, which provides access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

In addition, prior to the adoption of the Communications Act of 1934 (CVAA; Public Law 416), closed captioning was required for television, but not on IP-delivered video programming that was not part of a broadcaster or multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) service, the document says.

However, that changed with the enactment of the CVAA, which directed the FCC “to revise its regulations to require closed captioning of IP-delivered video programming that is published or exhibited on television with captions after the effective date [Jan. 1, 2014] of the new regulations.”

Further, the CVAA directs that closed captioning requirements be imposed on certain apparatus that receive or play back video programming, and on certain recording devices, the document says. The Report and Order rules “will better enable individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to view IP-delivered video programming, as Congress intended,” the document says. The “benefits of our rules to deaf or hard of hearing consumers will outweigh the affected entities’ costs of compliance,” the document says.

Highlights of the document are:

That video programming owners send required caption files for IP-delivered video programming to video programming distributors and providers along with program files.

That video programming distributors and providers enable the rendering or pass through of all required captions to the end user, including through the hardware or software that a distributor or provider makes available for this purpose.

That video programming owners, distributors and providers agree upon a mechanism to make available to video programming distributors and providers information on video programming that is subject to the IP closed captioning requirements on an ongoing basis.

That video programming owners provide programming distributors and providers with captions of at least the same quality as the television captions for the same programming, and require distributors and providers to maintain the quality of the captions provided by the video programming owner.

That all prerecorded programming not edited for Internet distribution be captioned if it is shown on television, with captions on or after the date six months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register.

That all live and near-live programming subject to the new requirements be captioned if shown on television with captions on or after the date 12 months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register.

That all prerecorded programming that is edited for Internet distribution and is subject to the new requirements be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date 18 months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register.

That archival content be captioned within two years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, that all programming that is subject to the new requirements and is already in the VPD’s library before it is shown on television with captions, must be captioned within 45 days after it is shown on television with captions. Beginning three years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, such programming must be captioned within 30 days after it is shown on television with captions. Beginning four years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, such programming must be captioned within 15 days after it is shown on television with captions video programming owners to send required caption files for IP-delivered video programming to video programming distributors and providers along with program files.

That video programming distributors and providers enable the rendering or pass through of all required captions to the end user, including through the hardware or software that a distributor or provider makes available for this purpose.

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