Netflix May Have to Provide Captions Online
Deaf advocacy groups win one round of legal battle over disability act
By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2012 4:15 PM CDT
Netflix could be legally compelled to offer closed captioning online under the Americans with Disabilities Act.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

(Newser) – Netflix could soon be legally forced to offer closed captions on its streaming videos. The National Association for the Deaf sued the company, saying it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide captions for the bulk of its online content. Netflix asked a federal judge to dismiss the suit, asserting that the ADA doesn't apply to the online world, but the judge this week permitted the suit to continue, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Netflix argued that the federal disability act applies only to physical structures, not the Internet. The judge disagreed, declaring "that Congress intended the ADA to adapt to changes in technology." The lawsuit can now proceed, and one lawyer sounds optimistic. "By recognizing that websites are covered by the ADA, the court has ensured that the ADA stays relevant as much of our society moves from Main Street to the Internet."

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Comments
Showing 3 of 19 comments
ZAXXON
Jun 26, 2012 10:09 AM CDT
If you have Boxee Box, Xbox 360 or an App included Vizio TV you get no Close Captioning Net Flix should have always had this ..How thoughtless....
PaulAllen
Jun 24, 2012 8:43 AM CDT
My wife and I already get CC, with online netflix, we use it to catch words we miss. So what is this lawsuit all about?
Ultraworld
Jun 23, 2012 11:21 PM CDT
My hearing is a mess. CC helps a lot. I also like British films, CC is a necessity. I find that about 60% of their content has CC. It could be better. The films they are showing have CC already. I can't understand why it would be difficult to provide it.