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Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling


From: Karen Mardahl
Date: Jun 26, 2012 5:32AM

Hi Jonathan

Ah right. These subtitles are open. Only on the DVD version can I turn them
on and off, but not on the streaming version. They obviously have many
different suppliers of the DVDs. Some have only Nordic subtitles (Danish,
Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish). Some have those plus English. I think one or
two had only 1 language option. To my dismay, a few had no subtitles. A
very, very few had audio descriptions. There is terrible inconsistency.

As a person who can hear, I enjoy using subtitles, even if I only can have
Danish subtitles for an English-language film. It helps me over the messy
parts where the sound engineer let special effects drown the speech or when
a (British, especially) dialect is too hard to interpret. Ah, dialects! I
just found another argument for why hearing people might enjoy captioning.
After all, there are many countries divided by the common language of
English. :)

regards, Karen Mardahl

On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM, Jonathan Hassell <
<EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> That's really interesting, Karen.
> Are the subtitles on LoveFilm Denmark that you use 'open' or 'closed'?
> They are 'open' if you can't turn them off, and 'closed' if there's a
> button on the LoveFilm player that allows you to turn them off, or swap
> between subtitles in different languages.
> If the LoveFilm subtitles you are using are 'closed', then that means that
> you're right the technology is already there in the player.
> The issue then is about the encoding. Subtitles are usually encoded in
> broadcasting STL format so, where subtitles already exist on the DVD of the
> movie, all that's needed is a tool to convert those files into digital
> caption formats (we already have these), the permission/license to
> distribute the subtitles with the online streams (which, I'd hope they
> already have), and workflows to make this happen as part of their streaming
> encoding.
> I've done all of this already at the BBC. And, while it wasn't simple, it
> was certainly possible.
> Jonathan
> www.hassellinclusion.com
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Karen Mardahl < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> *To:* Jonathan Hassell < <EMAIL REMOVED> >; WebAIM Discussion
> List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> *Sent:* Tuesday, 26 June 2012, 10:22
> *Subject:* Re: [WebAIM] NAD vs. Netflix ruling
> But I'm thinking LoveFilm ought to be able to implement this instantly. I
> use LoveFilm in Denmark and I have used their streaming service, which they
> say is in beta. Perhaps because it is for a country where the primary
> language is Danish, they know they need subtitles. All the streaming films
> I have watched have subtitles. I have not yet watched a Danish film so I
> wonder what that will have. I was considering one in particular, so now I
> will watch it just to be able to tell you what they do here.
> In other words, the process can handle subtitles, although I know nothing
> about their encoding. I'm thinking that somewhere in the world, there must
> be a caption/subtitle file on hand so that a film with English-language
> audio can include an English-language subtitle file, too. What's the
> problem? They should get on with it so we can tackle the next issue:
> audio-descriptions for all films!
> regards, Karen Mardahl
> http://flavors.me/kmdk
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 11:03 AM, Jonathan Hassell <
> <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Yes, the NAD Netflix ruling is good news, especially as it gives a clear
> ruling on the application of the ADA to the web.
> What is particularly interesting in this case is that, possibly as a
> result of this lawsuit, Netflix is already doing more than almost any other
> video-on-demand supplier to enrich its content with captions / subtitles.
> In comparison, Netflix’s main rival in the UK – LoveFilm – doesn’t yet
> include any closed captions (or subtitles, as they are usually called in
> the UK) on its LoveFilm Instant service.
> So is it at risk of a similar lawsuit in the UK?
> Read my blog at
> http://www.hassellinclusion.com/2012/06/netflix-caption-lawsuit-uk-implications/ to
> find out.
> Prof Jonathan Hassell
> Director, Hassell Inclusion
> www.hassellinclusion.com
> > > >