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FCC: Online Video Caption Requirements Go Forward

29 Aug, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

The Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission has denied a request to have the deadline for closed captioning rules for online video services pushed back, giving those services a deadline of Sept. 30 to be in line with the law.

The Digital Media Association, with members including Amazon, Apple and YouTube, had hoped the deadline date would be pushed back.

The closed captioning regulations are part of the 2010 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act: “Enable the rendering or pass through of all required captions to the end user, maintaining the quality of the captions provided by the video programming owner and transmitting the captions in a format reasonably designed to reach the end user in that quality.”

The FCC did extend to Jan. 1, 2014, the deadline for service providers offering customized captions, which will allow viewers to change type sizes and colors.

Lee Knife, executive director of the Digital Media Association, said in a statement that the group is pleased in part with the FCC decision, which “will ensure that those individuals who want to tailor closed captioning text to meet their particular needs will have a vastly improved experience.”

"With that said, we must also admit that we’re disappointed with the FCC’s decision against relaxing the extremely tight deadline of its newly proposed 'rendering' requirements,” he added. “Individuals with hearing impairments, as well as all consumers of online media, deserve the best online viewing experience possible, and today’s decision will likely make that less of a reality, for everyone.”

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