[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 248 (Thursday, December 26, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 78319-78321]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30835]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 79

[MB Docket No. 11-154; DA 13-2392]


Media Bureau Seeks Comment on Application of the IP Closed 
Captioning Rules to Video Clips

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This document seeks updated information on the closed 
captioning of video clips delivered by Internet protocol (``IP''), 
including the extent to which industry has voluntarily captioned IP-
delivered video clips. The Commission directed the Media Bureau to 
issue this document to seek comment on the industry's progress in 
captioning IP-delivered video clips. The Commission stated that, if the 
resulting record demonstrates that lack of captioning of IP-delivered 
video clips denies consumers access to critical areas of video 
programming, then the Commission may reconsider the need for a 
requirement to provide closed captioning on IP-delivered video clips.

DATES: Comments may be filed on or before January 27, 2014; reply 
comments may be filed on or before February 26, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diana Sokolow, Diana.Sokolow@fcc.gov, 
of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120. Press contact: 
Janice Wise, Janice.Wise@fcc.gov, (202) 418-8165.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Media Bureau's 
Public Notice, MB Docket No. 11-154, DA 13-2392, released December 13, 
2013. The full text of this document is available for public inspection 
and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 
Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, 
Washington, DC 20554. This document will also be available via ECFS at 
http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Documents will be available 
electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. The 
complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 
445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Alternative 
formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large 
print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to 
fcc504@fcc.gov or calling the Commission's Consumer and Governmental 
Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Summary

    1. Through this document, the Media Bureau seeks updated 
information on the closed captioning of video clips delivered by 
Internet protocol (``IP''), including the extent to which industry has 
voluntarily captioned IP-delivered video clips.\1\
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    \1\ See Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video 
Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century 
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Order on 
Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 28 FCC 
Rcd 8785, 8803-04, ] 30 (2013) (``IP Closed Captioning Order on 
Recon and FNPRM'').
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    2. In the IP Closed Captioning Order, pursuant to the Twenty-First 
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 
(``CVAA''),\2\ the Commission imposed closed captioning requirements on 
the owners, providers, and distributors of IP-delivered video 
programming. The Commission determined that the IP closed captioning 
rules initially should apply to full-length programming and not to 
video clips, but it also stated its belief that Congress intended ``to 
leave open the extent to which [video clips] should be covered under 
this section at some point in the future.'' \3\ Specifically, the 
Commission noted that statements in the legislative history of the CVAA 
that Congress ``intends, at this time, for the regulations to apply to 
full-length programming and not to video clips or outtakes,'' \4\ 
suggested that Congress only intended to exclude video clips 
initially.\5\ Given Congress's intent to ``update the communications 
laws to help ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to . . 
. better access video programming,'' \6\ the Commission stated that it 
may later determine that this intent is best served by requiring 
captioning of IP-delivered video clips.\7\ Although not required by the 
IP Closed Captioning Order, the Commission also encouraged video 
programming owners, providers, and distributors to provide closed 
captions for IP-delivered video clips, especially news clips.\8\ The 
Commission stated that if it finds that consumers who are deaf or hard 
of hearing are denied access to critical areas of programming, such as 
news, it may reconsider the need for a requirement to provide closed 
captioning on video clips to achieve Congressional intent.\9\
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    \2\ Pub. L. No. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010). See also 
Amendment of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video 
Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 
(2010) (making technical corrections to the CVAA); Closed Captioning 
of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of 
the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act 
of 2010, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (``IP Closed 
Captioning Order'').
    \3\ IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 816, 818, ]] 44, 
48. ``Full-length programming'' is defined as video programming that 
appears on television and is distributed to end users, substantially 
in its entirety, via IP. Id. at 816, ] 44. ``Video clips'' are 
defined as excerpts of full-length programming. Id. at 816, ] 45.
    \4\ S. Rep. No. 111-386, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 13-14 (2010) 
(``Senate Committee Report'') (emphasis added); H.R. Rep. No. 111-
563, 111th Cong., 2d Sess. at 30 (2010) (``House Committee Report'') 
(emphasis added).
    \5\ IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 817-18, ] 48. The 
authors of the CVAA have expressed their support for the Commission 
``reconsidering its decision to exempt video clips from the IP 
closed captioning rules.'' See Letter from Sen. Mark Pryor and Sen. 
Edward J. Markey to the Honorable Tom Wheeler, Chairman, FCC (Dec. 
6, 2013).
    \6\ Senate Committee Report at 1; House Committee Report at 19.
    \7\ IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 818, ] 48.
    \8\ Id. at 817-818, ]] 46, 48.
    \9\ Id. at 818, ] 48.
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    3. A coalition of consumer groups filed a petition for 
reconsideration of this issue.\10\ Shortly thereafter, in support of 
their request, the consumer groups submitted a report on the state of 
closed captioning of IP-delivered video programming, in which they 
asserted a lack of captioning of video clips.\11\ Consumers expressed 
particular concern about the unavailability of captioned news 
clips.\12\ In an order addressing other petitions for reconsideration 
of the IP closed captioning rules, the Commission deferred a final 
decision on whether to reconsider the issue of requiring closed 
captioning of video clips, noting that since such live and near-live 
programming only became subject to the IP closed captioning 
requirements less than three months before the IP Closed

[[Page 78320]]

Captioning Order on Recon and FNPRM was adopted, the Commission 
expected the volume of captioned IP-delivered news clips to 
increase.\13\ Accordingly, the Commission stated that it would 
``monitor industry actions with respect to captioning of video clips'' 
and directed the Media Bureau to issue a Public Notice within six 
months of the release date of the IP Closed Captioning Order on Recon 
and FNPRM, seeking comment on the industry's progress in captioning IP-
delivered video clips.\14\ The Commission stated that, ``[i]f the 
record developed in response to the Public Notice demonstrates that 
consumers are denied access to critical areas of video programming due 
to lack of captioning of IP-delivered video clips, [the Commission] may 
reconsider [its] decision on this issue.'' \15\
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    \10\ Consumer Groups, Petition for Reconsideration of the 
Commission's Report and Order, at 1-17 (filed Apr. 27, 2012).
    \11\ Consumer Groups and California Coalition of Agencies 
Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Report on the State of Closed 
Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming, MB 
Docket No. 11-154, at ii-iii, 5-13, 18-20 (May 16, 2013).
    \12\ See id. at ii-iii, 20.
    \13\ IP Closed Captioning Order on Recon and FNPRM, 28 FCC Rcd 
at 8803-04, ] 30.
    \14\ Id. at 8804, ] 30.
    \15\ Id.
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    4. We now invite comment on the current state of captioning of IP-
delivered video clips. What portion of IP-delivered video clips 
generally, and IP-delivered news clips specifically, are captioned? Has 
the availability of captioned versions of such clips been increasing? 
What is the quality of the captioning on IP-delivered video clips?
    5. We ask whether, as a legal and/or policy matter, the Commission 
should require captioning of IP-delivered video clips. Commenters 
should explain how their positions are consistent with the CVAA, its 
legislative history, and the intent of Congress to provide video 
programming access to people with disabilities. What are the potential 
costs and benefits of requiring captioning of IP-delivered video clips? 
How have consumers been affected by the absence of closed captioning on 
IP-delivered video clips, particularly news clips? Commenters should 
explain what exact steps must be taken in order to caption IP-delivered 
video clips. To the extent that some entities have already captioned 
these clips, what technical challenges, if any, had to be addressed? 
How does the captioning of IP-delivered video clips differ from the 
captioning of full-length IP-delivered video programming? Similarly, 
what are the differences between captioning live or near-live IP-
delivered video clips, such as news clips, and prerecorded IP-delivered 
video clips? If the Commission imposes closed captioning obligations 
for IP-delivered video clips, should the requirements apply to all 
video clips, or only to a subset of such clips? If only to a subset, 
what subsets would be most appropriate and what would be the rationale 
for excluding others?
    6. We invite comment on any additional issues relevant to the 
Commission's determination of whether it should require closed 
captioning of IP-delivered video clips.
    7. Interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or 
before the dates indicated on the first page of this document.\16\ 
Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing 
System (``ECFS''). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking 
Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
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    \16\ The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding 
included an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) pursuant 
to 5 U.S.C. 603, exploring the potential impact of the Commission's 
proposals on small entities. Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-
Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First 
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 13734, 13774-87 (2011).
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     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket 
or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service 
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, 
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
    [cir] All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for 
the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 
12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with 
rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of 
before entering the building.
    [cir] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
    [cir] U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail 
must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.
    8. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be 
available for public inspection during regular business hours in the 
FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th 
Street SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC, 20554. These documents will also 
be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in 
ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.
    9. To request materials in accessible formats for people with 
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 
send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the FCC's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 
(TTY).
    10. This proceeding shall be treated as a ``permit-but-disclose'' 
proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules.\17\ 
Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written 
presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within 
two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline 
applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex 
parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the 
presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise 
participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was 
made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during 
the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of 
the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the 
presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the 
proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or 
arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings 
(specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data 
or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the 
memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex 
parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must 
be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by 
rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of 
electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda 
summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, 
must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available 
for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., 
.doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding 
should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.
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    \17\ 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq.


[[Page 78321]]


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Federal Communications Commission.
William T. Lake,
Chief, Media Bureau.
[FR Doc. 2013-30835 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P