Netflix captioning suit delayed

Monday, 28 November 2011 13:33pm

In June 2011, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) sued online video service Netflix for failing to provide captions on the majority of titles on its ‘Watch Instantly’ video-on-demand service. A court has now ordered a stay in the motion, pending an investigation into captioning of Internet media by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Netflix is a hugely popular service which accounts for up to a quarter of all Internet traffic in the US, but according the NAD’s suit, as of June 2011 only 5% of the ‘Watch Instantly’ titles had closed captions. One of the directives of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 was that the FCC look into making rules for the captioning of videos made available online.

As reported by the Courthouse News Service, US District Judge Michael Posner has stayed the case until 6 February 2012, "on the assumption that the FCC's rule-making process will be complete before the end of January 2012".

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