Netflix Agrees to Caption All Videos by 2014

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Netflix agrees to provide captioning for all video content on their website. This ends class-action lawsuit that National Association for the Deaf (NAD) filed in 2010, claiming that Netflix's website was a "place of public accommodation" that was out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Netflix spent a fair amount of time trying to get the lawsuit kicked out saying that the ADA didn't apply in this case, because it was superseded by a new law directing the FCC to set rules for online captioning. In June, Netflix definitively lost that argument, when a Massachusetts federal judge ruled (PDF) that the new law was meant to "complement, not supplant" the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Netflix Agreement

Netflix has agreed to:

  • Speedily caption new content - Netflix will put captions on new content within 30 days by 2014; within 14 days by 2015 and within 7 days by 2016
  • Netflix currently provides service on more than 1,000 devices and its captioning service works on most, but not all, of those.  In this agreement, they promise to make "good faith, diligent efforts" to get it working on all devices but is not obligated to get it 100% device compatible.
  • Netflix will pay $755,000 to plaintiffs' lawyers who prosecuted the lawsuit, as well as $40,000 for the decree to be implemented over the next four years.

Netflix Settlement Documents & Articles

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