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Senate Passes Video Accessibility Act
Captioning will be required for all video content that has been shown on television.

The Senate was working late last night and the results will have a lasting impact on the online video industry. That's because the Senate passed the Twenty-First Century Video Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.

The House has already passed a version of this bill on July 26. Since the two versions have differences, they now need to be reconciled in conference. Or, one house could adopt the others' version of the bill. After that, the president will need to sign the bill for it to become law.

The purpose of the bill is to make sure that people with disabilities have full access to online media. The FCC had previously created video description rules, but those were struck down by the courts.

Measures in the bill will require captioning of all online video that has been shown on television. It won't touch on user-generated videos or work produced exclusively for the Web, as online-only content isn't covered by the bill. The bill will also improve accessibility on smartphones and other mobile devices.

The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) and co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark). The House version was authored by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass).

The bill doesn't set a schedule for online captioning, but calls for the creation of a commission which will set a timetable.

Posted By PETER OLEJNIK on 8/10/2010 1:57:35 PM:

Dick, that's a great question!


I suppose it'll force these stations to rethink their new media strategy and force commitment to streaming media. I guess the bigger question is how this act will affect Google TV come fall 2010. With the promise of providing Internet Television through Sony and Dish Network, I'm sure they'll need to amend the act to incorporate Internet broadcasting at some point -- which should be fun to see how this all pans out.


Posted By DICK GAGNON on 8/9/2010 11:28:13 AM

Wow! How is this going to affect PEG Access stations who broadcast their government meetings, as well as Public access shows on television, and then upload them to the web.  Nobodies budget is going to handle adding closed caption to their online videos.

Posted By PETER OLEJNIK on 8/9/2010 11:05:39 AM:

That's awesome!

It's great to know this also came out of Massachusetts.  Some of you may remember this article from a June/July 09 edition.

Now, I hope they designate the commission soon so they can see this act through to ensure its expansion.



Posted By Steve Anderson on 8/9/2010 9:40:46 AM

I would hope that most on-line video platforms already provide its clients with the ability to add close captioning /subtitling just as as our own platform dose.The video is then made automatically searchable through wording used in the close captioning/sub titling. There are 5million +  people in the UK alone who suffer with hearing disability and i am glad to see America taking a positive stance on this .  Steve Anderson CEO Doovle Ltd.  

Posted By Team Buto on 8/7/2010 7:48:22 AM:

Good news! Finally online video will get to every audience.

You might like to know that the Buto online video platform supports closed captioning and text transcripts out of the box:



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