Closed captioning lawsuit against Netflix to go forward

Jun 26, 2012
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Closed captioning lawsuit against Netflix to go forward

The National Association for the Deaf's lawsuit against Netflix is heading to court. A federal judge has just denied the video streaming company's motion to have the case dismissed. At issue is whether or not Netflix needs to abide by the Americans With Disabilities Act and provide closed captioning throughout its library of movies and TV shows.

Netflix's argument was that it is not a public accommodation like a physical video rental store. Because its service is offered to people inside their homes, it feels like it is under no obligation to provide special services to people with disabilities. However, US District Court Judge Michael Ponsor said in his ruling, "This argument is unpersuasive." The National Association for the Deaf says that what it's asking for isn't much.

The association's chief executive said, "There's no excuse for this, in our view, because movies already have captioning files. What excuse does Netflix have for not including it in their Internet streaming videos?" And it certainly isn't a question of technological capabilities, because there are captions available on some of its titles. Netflix has not commented publicly on the case.

[via LA Times]


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