Captions

Canada makes captioning of commercials and promos mandatory

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made it a licence condition for all television commercials, sponsorship messages and promos to be closed captioned from 1 September.

Canada is the first country to make the captioning of commercials and promos compulsory, and is thus the first country to achieve what is in effect 100% captioning on TV broadcasts. While the voluntary captioning of commercials is common in Australia and many other countries, captioning of promos is very rare.


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Challenges of captioning and copyrights

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Media Access Australia spoke to Blake E. Reid, Assistant Clinical Professor at Colorado Law, following his chairing of a session at the M-Enabling Summit on copyright and third party captioning.

The session at M-Enabling covered issues such as the proliferation of inaccessible video content, the need for third party captioning, and the dangers of captioning infringing on the copyrights of audio-visual content owners.


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Hoyts Kiosk improve accessibility

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Entertainment giant Hoyts has increased its number of DVD rental kiosks nationally, as well as improve the access information about the titles each kiosk holds.

Launched in 2009, Hoyts Kiosk offers new release movies to the general public via a vending machine (kiosk). Kiosks take payment via credit card and rentals can be kept for up to ten days. There is also the flexibility of reserving online through the Hoyts Kiosk website to ensure your title is available, and returning rentals to any kiosk location.


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ACMA finds Prime and GTV9 breached caption regulations

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that Prime Television failed to meet its captioning obligations by broadcasting a section of the 2013 My Kitchen Rules Grand Final without captions, while GTV9 was also in breach for not captioning segments of its Evening News.

Under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA), television license holders must provide captioning for all programs broadcast on primary channels between 6 pm and 10.30 pm, and these captions must meet standards determined by the ACMA relating to readability, comprehensibility and accuracy.


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US regulator dismisses captioning exemption petitions

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dismissed petitions from 16 television programs requesting exemptions from closed captioning requirements because they would be “economically burdensome”.

According to the notice issued by the FCC on 2 June 2014, after representatives of the programs lodged initial petitions for exemptions, they were asked to provide further information. As they had failed to do this to the FCC’s satisfaction, it dismissed the petitions, which means that the programs have 90 days to meet captioning requirements. The programs include Zomboo’s House of Horror Movies, The Norm Prouty Real Estate Show and several religious programs.


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ACMA releases subscription TV captioning compliance reports

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today released captioning compliance reports for subscription television services for the 2012-2013 financial year. These show about 99 per cent of services met their annual captioning targets, while a quarter of them (amounting to 37 channels) exceeded their targets by over 20 per cent.

The channels which most exceeded their captioning requirements include the Cartoon Network, the Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News and Foxtel movie channels


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Winners of US Awards for Advancement in Accessibility announced

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America’s communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the winners of the 2014 FCC Chairman Awards for Advancement in Accessibility.

The awards, presented at the M-Enabling Summit, seek to recognise innovators who develop communications technology for people with disabilities.

This year, seven award categories were available, including Advanced Communication Services (ACS), Employment Opportunities, Closed Captions, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Mobile Web Browsers, Social Media and Video Description.

The winners were:


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Captioned World Cup

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Local coverage of the world’s largest sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup starting in Brazil on 12 June (13 June Australian time), features many hundreds of hours of captioned content over the month-long competition.

Broadcaster SBS has the rights to the World Cup and will be showing matches on both SBS1 and SBS2 with live coverage, repeats and highlights packages. Most coverage is captioned, with the exception of some of the games that are entirely within the Midnight to 6am exclusion zone. However, when those matches are repeated later in the day, they will appear with captions. The captioned coverage also includes two feature programs, The Full Brazilian and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Show.


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Nominations are open for annual captioning awards

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Innovations and great access through captioning are celebrated and rewarded at the annual Deafness Forum Captioning Awards. There are six categories covering the full range of captioning in Australia, from helping children to new innovations in digital captioning and recognising individuals who have made significant contributions to captioning in Australia.

Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley convenes the panel of judges and confirms that to win an award it has to be something out of the ordinary.

“We are looking for something that takes captioning to the next level, beyond a legal quota or just doing what has been happening for the last few years. Size doesn’t matter. The judges take into account the capacity to innovate and last year’s organisational award went to a small independent school in Victoria, Forest Hill College, that has completely embraced captioning in all school activities.”


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YouTube’s new DIY captioning tool

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YouTube has introduced a new feature which makes it easier to create closed captions and add them to your videos.

To create captions:

  1. Log in to your YouTube account, go to ‘Video Manager’ and click the ‘Edit’ button next to the video you want to caption.
  2. Select ‘Subtitles and CC’ at the top right of the screen. In the drop-down menu, select the language. You can select English, or choose from 160 other languages.
Digital media and technology: 

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