Online Video Clip Closed Captioning

Posted on August 1st, 2014 by

On July 11, 2014, the FCC adopted new rules requiring closed captioning of video clips posted online. The rules extend the Commission’s 2012 Internet Protocol (IP) closed captioning rules, which covered full length videos online, to video “clips” if the original programming was shown on television in the US with captions. The rules apply to video programming distributors that air programming on television (including broadcasters) and then post clips on their own website or via their own mobile app.

Compliance deadlines will vary based on the type of video clip. For “straight lift” clips, which contain a single excerpt of a captioned TV program with the same video and audio that was presented on television, the compliance deadline is January 1, 2016. For “montages”, which occur when a single file contains multiple straight lift clips, the deadline is January 1, 2017. Finally, for video clips of live and near-live TV programming, such as news or sporting events, the deadline for captioning those clips online is July 1, 2017.

If a video clip is already in a distributor’s online library before an applicable compliance deadline, those clips are exempt.

The new rules do not extend to third party websites or apps, but the FCC has issued a further rulemaking considering whether to require them to caption online clips also.