E-mail List Archives

Thread: NAD vs. Netflix ruling

for

Number of posts in this thread: 10 (In chronological order)

From: J. B-Vincent
Date: Wed, Jun 20 2012 7:18AM
Subject: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
No previous message | Next message →

Good news for a Weds. AM:

http://www.nad.org/news/2012/6/landmark-precedent-nad-vs-netflix

From: Karen Mardahl
Date: Tue, Jun 26 2012 3:22AM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS 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
> > > >

From: Karen Mardahl
Date: Tue, Jun 26 2012 5:32AM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> *To:* Jonathan Hassell < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >; WebAIM Discussion
> List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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
> > > >
>
>
>
>

From: Lucy Greco
Date: Tue, Jun 26 2012 11:29AM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

We did this vary thing last night while watching a bbc show. The seen was
in a night club and the music with the strong accent meant the only way to
understand the seen was with captions. Now for description next. We were
watching on hulu at the time

Lucia Greco
Web Access Analyst
IST-Campus Technology Services
University of California, Berkeley
http://webaccess.berkeley.edu


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Karen Mardahl
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:33 AM
To: Jonathan Hassell; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] NAD vs. Netflix ruling

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 ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> *To:* Jonathan Hassell < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >; WebAIM Discussion
> List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS 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-implicati
ons/ to
> find out.
>
> Prof Jonathan Hassell
> Director, Hassell Inclusion
> www.hassellinclusion.com
> > > >
>
>
>
>

From: Bevi Chagnon
Date: Wed, Jun 27 2012 12:38PM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

Ignorance is probably a large factor for the negative kickback and racism
(or is it accessibility-ism?).
Here in Washington, many federal agency workers have been scared by horror
stories about how difficult and time-consuming it is to make a simple Word
document accessible, let alone a PDF or website.

What they really need is a course in how to use MS Word correctly and much
of the accessibility will be done.
Same thing with building a website: learn CSS and how to use your authoring
tools, and many accessibility features will be built in.
It doesn't take much more additional time to polish the accessibility
features for the majority of content.

AV content, yes, that's a bit more costly and time-consuming to make
accessible but modest tools are now available to do it faster and for a
reasonable cost. (Let's not get into Flash content!)

It might help if our part of the industry could do a bit of PR about the
benefits of accessibility - that is, benefits to the website owner or
content creator, non only the "it's smart business" message, but also "it's
not that difficult to do" message.

RE: Netflix and its video content, I don't think it was wise to target
Netflix in this lawsuit. Wouldn't it be more appropriate for the movie
studio to build the captioning into the files from the start? Why make
Netflix, which is not the content creator but rather the delivery vehicle,
responsible for accessibility of the content it purchases and sells?
Netflix has a valid argument: they do not own the copyright to the material
they sell.

A parallel example: is the website owner responsible for accessibility or
the web-hosting company? In this example, Netflix is like a web-hosting
company, just the delivery system, not the owner or creator of the content.

There's a good chance the ruling will be struck down in higher courts over
this issue of ownership of content and who's responsible for accessibility.

In terms of Netflix's content, the movie/TV studios are already creating the
foreign language captioning for international distribution, so why don't
they add English captioning at the same time and meet accessibility
guidelines?

Question: Is there anything in conventional web streaming or Netflix's
streaming technology that makes it more difficult or costly to provide
captioning than with non-streamed content (such as CD/DVD)?

- Bevi

-----------------------------------------------------
Bevi Chagnon | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
PubCom - Trainers, consultants, designers, and developers
Print | Web | Acrobat | XML | eBooks | Section 508
-----------------------------------------------------
Classes: www.PubCom.com/classes
Publishing Blog: www.pubcom.com/blog
-----------------------------------------------------
*** It's our 31st Year! ***

From: Ryan Hemphill
Date: Wed, Jun 27 2012 12:49PM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

I think there is an interesting irony here. In the movie industry, there
is something that every movie has to include before they get started.
It's called a screenplay and surprise, surprise - the writing is all
documented there. I think it would be interesting if someone started
tackling accessibility at the source of the problem by grabbing the
subtitles from the screenplays themselves - unless I'm missing something
important here.

Ryan

From: Tony Olivero
Date: Wed, Jun 27 2012 12:52PM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

What I don't get about the copyright issue is if the DVD already contains
the captioning, then Netflix only has to encode and display the captions.

Is the ruling requiring them to caption non captioned material? If not, I
don't get the copyright argument.

Tony

-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Hemphill [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 13:50
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] NAD vs. Netflix ruling

I think there is an interesting irony here. In the movie industry, there
is something that every movie has to include before they get started.
It's called a screenplay and surprise, surprise - the writing is all
documented there. I think it would be interesting if someone started
tackling accessibility at the source of the problem by grabbing the
subtitles from the screenplays themselves - unless I'm missing something
important here.

Ryan

From: Donna Lettow
Date: Thu, Jun 28 2012 7:29AM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

Bev wrote:
>RE: Netflix and its video content, I don't think it was wise to target Netflix in this lawsuit.
>Wouldn't it be more appropriate for the movie studio to build the captioning into the files from the start?

I doubt "the studio" is creating the specific streaming files that Netflix uses in its proprietary business. I'm pretty certain that's all Netflix. Netflix licenses the rights to the film from the studio -- they're not purchasing a physical product (one specific electronic file) they then turn around and put on the Internet untouched. The studio has already created the captions -- they're on the DVDs. The onus is on Netflix to pass those captions along in their product.

Besides, wouldn't that be like saying the onus is on the photographer, not the web manager, to make sure there is alternate text on the photo?

Ryan wrote:
>I think there is an interesting irony here. In the movie industry, there is something that every movie has to include before they get started.
>It's called a screenplay and surprise, surprise - the writing is all documented there.

Actually, a screenplay is usually very different from a finished film. I worked in film and TV production for a decade before moving back east, and you'd be surprised how much of a movie is created whole cloth in the editing and dubbing rooms. As a matter of fact, one of my temp jobs between real jobs was going back after a show aired and making accurate "as broadcast" transcripts out of the original shooting scripts for copyright purposes. So it's not like Netflix can take the writer's screenplay, throw it into the Google caption machine, and voila! (However, as noted, the captions are already available on the DVDs -- so they still have no excuse.)

Donna Lettow
Staff Specialist, Electronic Accessibility & Internal Communication
MD Division of Rehabilitation Services
2301 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
www.dors.state.md.us
410-554-9402
888-554-0334
410-554-9411 (TTY)

-----Original Message-----
From: Bevi Chagnon [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:39 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] NAD vs. Netflix ruling

Ignorance is probably a large factor for the negative kickback and racism (or is it accessibility-ism?).
Here in Washington, many federal agency workers have been scared by horror stories about how difficult and time-consuming it is to make a simple Word document accessible, let alone a PDF or website.

What they really need is a course in how to use MS Word correctly and much of the accessibility will be done.
Same thing with building a website: learn CSS and how to use your authoring tools, and many accessibility features will be built in.
It doesn't take much more additional time to polish the accessibility features for the majority of content.

AV content, yes, that's a bit more costly and time-consuming to make accessible but modest tools are now available to do it faster and for a reasonable cost. (Let's not get into Flash content!)

It might help if our part of the industry could do a bit of PR about the benefits of accessibility - that is, benefits to the website owner or content creator, non only the "it's smart business" message, but also "it's not that difficult to do" message.

RE: Netflix and its video content, I don't think it was wise to target Netflix in this lawsuit. Wouldn't it be more appropriate for the movie studio to build the captioning into the files from the start? Why make Netflix, which is not the content creator but rather the delivery vehicle, responsible for accessibility of the content it purchases and sells?
Netflix has a valid argument: they do not own the copyright to the material they sell.

A parallel example: is the website owner responsible for accessibility or the web-hosting company? In this example, Netflix is like a web-hosting company, just the delivery system, not the owner or creator of the content.

There's a good chance the ruling will be struck down in higher courts over this issue of ownership of content and who's responsible for accessibility.

In terms of Netflix's content, the movie/TV studios are already creating the foreign language captioning for international distribution, so why don't they add English captioning at the same time and meet accessibility guidelines?

Question: Is there anything in conventional web streaming or Netflix's streaming technology that makes it more difficult or costly to provide captioning than with non-streamed content (such as CD/DVD)?

- Bevi

-----------------------------------------------------
Bevi Chagnon | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
PubCom - Trainers, consultants, designers, and developers Print | Web | Acrobat | XML | eBooks | Section 508
-----------------------------------------------------
Classes: www.PubCom.com/classes
Publishing Blog: www.pubcom.com/blog
-----------------------------------------------------
*** It's our 31st Year! ***




IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately and destroy this e-mail. Any unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this e-mail is strictly forbidden.

From: Morin, Gary (NIH/OD) [E]
Date: Thu, Jun 28 2012 8:47AM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | Next message →

Thank you! I thought it was me being daft - from what I understand from Deaf friends and colleagues, the 'demand' was for the streaming videos to show captions that already existed on the DVD themselves, that the complaint was why should they have to order the same video by mail that hearing persons could watch streaming online. This would be a matter of equality between streaming services and mail services.

If it's about captioning videos that weren't already captioned, that's a separate issue. This would be a Deaf/hearing equality issue.

Gary M

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Olivero [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:52 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] NAD vs. Netflix ruling

What I don't get about the copyright issue is if the DVD already contains the captioning, then Netflix only has to encode and display the captions.

Is the ruling requiring them to caption non captioned material? If not, I don't get the copyright argument.

Tony

-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Hemphill [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 13:50
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] NAD vs. Netflix ruling

I think there is an interesting irony here. In the movie industry, there is something that every movie has to include before they get started.
It's called a screenplay and surprise, surprise - the writing is all documented there. I think it would be interesting if someone started tackling accessibility at the source of the problem by grabbing the subtitles from the screenplays themselves - unless I'm missing something important here.

Ryan

From: Bevi Chagnon
Date: Thu, Jun 28 2012 10:26AM
Subject: Re: NAD vs. Netflix ruling
← Previous message | No next message

I think what we're discussing is who is responsible for ensuring that the
public version of content is accessible.

It seems that the answer is "it depends." We have 2 parties involved in the
production and distribution of movies in this case, 1) Netflix who
distributes the content, and 2) the movie studios who create and own the
content.

In this Netflix case, if the movie that Netflix received was already
captioned but Netflix failed to include (or pass along) the captioning in
their streamed version, then Netflix is remiss. It had the captioning but
didn't include it in the streamed version to its customers.

But if the original movie didn't contain captioning, then Netflix isn't
fully to blame. The owners and creators of the movie, the studios, should
provide the captioning of their content. Ideally, Netflix should refuse to
sell any content that isn't captioned, but that would be economic suicide
for a commercial entity like them: 1) studios will be po'd and Netflix will
lose its position when negotiating future contracts with studios, and 2)
Netflix customers will be po'd because they can't get the content they want.

Donna wrote: " Besides, wouldn't that be like saying the onus is on the
photographer, not the web manager, to make sure there is alternate text on
the photo?"

To clarify, yes and no.
Yes, the photographer is responsible for creating the alt-text on the photo.
And no, it's the web manager responsibility to make sure the alt-text is
there on the website. I don't think web managers (and their cousins, graphic
designers in the print/PDF world) should be writing Alt-text, only ensuring
that it's there.

These are 2 different parts of the workflow, and therefore 2 different
points of responsibility.

We have to move part of the responsibility to whoever is creating the
content: writers, editors, authors of scientific material, subject matter
experts, photographers, illustrators. If you're an expert who writes the
report on "the effects of gamma rays on marigolds," then you better write
the Alt-text for your complex bar charts of scientific data that support
your research. The web manager is only the gatekeeper, making sure that the
Alt-text is passed along to the website.

Summary:
Our laws need to clarify who's responsible for what. My suggestion:
1) Content creators must provide Alt-text/captioning for their material
(movies, graphics, illustrations, etc.). and,
2) Content distributors (web managers, print graphic designers, editors)
must ensure the Alt-text/captioning is provided on the website, in the PDF,
in the Word file, in the streamed file, etc.

- Bevi
-----------------------------------------------------
Bevi Chagnon | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
PubCom - Trainers, consultants, designers, and developers
Print | Web | Acrobat | XML | eBooks | Section 508
-----------------------------------------------------
Classes: www.PubCom.com/classes
Publishing Blog: www.pubcom.com/blog
-----------------------------------------------------
*** It's our 31st Year! ***