New FCC regulations on closed captioning of IP-delivered video programming have caught many by surprise even though they have been in the works for the past two years. Many of those who will be directly impacted by the new rules may still be unaware of the rapidly approaching compliance deadline of September 30, 2012. Most pre-recorded video programming must be captioned for IP-delivery if it is shown on television with captions on or after September 30, 2012. The producer or supplier of the content bears the initial responsibility for inserting the captioning but the distributors also have the duty to confirm compliance. There are many variations and different applicable dates for different kinds of programming (e.g., live vs. pre-recorded but edited vs. archived). As in all aspects of the law, the application of the law and the associated regulations depends on the specific circumstances surrounding each video program in a library. However, since the dates for implementation vary widely depending on the content and whether it has been broadcast on television in the US, producers, suppliers and distributors must carefully consider each video program in relationship to the relevant regulations. Video programming distributers will also be subject to new consumer complaint procedures that require distributors to have prescribed procedures in place by September 30, 2012. And while the deadline for device manufacturers to comply with their new closed captioning requirements is not until 2014, the reality of equipment development cycles requires device manufacturers to pay close attention to the new requirements immediately.
Continue Reading FCC’s New Closed Captioning Rules Kick Into Gear

The FCC’s recent DTV enforcement actions made one thing clear – the Commission is being vigilant in the enforcement of its digital television (or “DTV”) regulations.  On April 9, 2008, the FCC adopted notices of apparent liability (“NALs”) against eleven companies for mislabeling analog-only television sets with no digital tuners, leaving full V-chip functionality out of DTV sets, and shipping analog-only sets with no digital tuners.  The proposed fines total $6.6 million.  The FCC also issued consent decrees against seven companies that collectively agreed to pay $3,445,000 for V-chip violations.


Continue Reading FCC Steps Up DTV Enforcement