FCC Wades into Online Video Closed Captioning Rules

More regulations, more problems


The FCC released its "Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" in June, which modified and clarified its original Report and Order. The rules, which took effect in September 2012, primarily covered full-length TV programming, but starting the end of next month (Sept. 30), all pre-recorded video programming that is "substantially edited" for the Internet must be captioned if it was shown on television with captions, according to the FCC. (Changing the number or duration of commercial spots is not considered "substantially editing.")

At the same time, the manufacturing deadline for video devices to be able to process closed captioning is not until Jan. 1, 2014 (and will be extended for Blu-ray and DVD players). But such devices will not be required to actually be available to consumers by the deadline. DSLRs are exempt, and most TV video "clips" and outtakes streamed online also will not require captioning.

(Hat tip to Jeff Patterson)