YouTube wants you to tell on publishers without closed captions

Found a broadcast program on YouTube that doesn’t come with closed captions? Then you can now use a special complaints form to tell on the publisher, who should have supplied subtitles according to new regulations that came into effect earlier this month.

Web TV needs to have captions starting next month, the FCC rules

Deaf and hard-of-hearing web video viewers have long pressed for a faster adoption of closed captioning, and it looks like the FCC got their back: Content also shown on TV will have to have closed captions when streamed online starting next month, the commission recently ruled.

YouTube takes automatic captioning international

YouTube users fluent in Japanese can now watch videos in that language with automatically generated captions, thanks to the same speech-recognition technology that also powers voice input on Android mobile devices. This is the first step towards an international expansion for auto-captioning YouTube videos.

Next up for Google Plus Hangouts: Sign language support

Deaf and hard of hearing users may soon get more use out of Google’s much-hyped new group video chat service Hangouts, thanks to a field test that looks at ways to add support for American Sign Language. Initial feedback from hearing-impaired users is enthusiastic.

Khan Academy goes global with crowdsourced subtitles

Salman Khan’s popular educational videos can now be watched with subtitles in up to two dozen different languages, thanks to a cooperation between the Khan Academy and Universal Subtitles. Adding captions not only widens Khan’s audience, it could also help to avoid future legal challenges.

Lawsuit against CNN brings captions into the spotlight

Disabilities rights advocates sued CNN this week in an attempt to force the network to caption all of its online videos. The lawsuit brings closed captions back into the spotlight and could, if successful, have implications on pretty much any site offering online video in California.

Congress Passes Closed Captioning Bill for Online TV

Big broadcasters will soon have to provide closed captions for any of their TV shows online. A bill mandating such captioning was passed by the House yestrday after receiving unanimous support by the Senate. It’s now on President Obama’s desk, awaiting his almost certain signature.

Universal Subtitles Wants Closed Captions for the Entire Video Web

A new project dubbed Universal Subtitles aims to launch a Wikipedia for subtitles and tools that make it easy for volunteers to add closed captions to any video they find online. Universal Subtitles is a new project by the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), better known as the makers of the Miro video player.
PCF co-founder Nicholas Reville told me that the group plans to release a first public demo of its tools in four to six weeks. He said that the group received an initial grant from the Mozilla Foundation to build Universal Subtitles, and that it is actively looking for volunteers through Mozilla’s new Drumbeat community.
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