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Netflix pledges to caption all content by 2014

BOSTON (AP) -- Netflix will offer closed captions on all TV and movie content by September 2014 as part of a settlement with a deaf Massachusetts viewer who sued the company.

The on-demand Internet streaming service agreed to the settlement Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Closed captions are currently available on 90 percent of Netflix's content, as measured by hours watched.

Bing: Deaf group sues Netflix

"Netflix has always been the leader in this, but it's a tall order to offer high-quality captioning on such a broad range of devices," spokesman Jonathan Friedland said.

In the meantime, the company will display a list of available closed-captioned content.

Captions can be displayed on a majority of the more than 1,000 devices, from computers to video game consoles, on which Netflix is available. But many devices and operating systems, such as Google's Android, did not exist when the company gained traction in the early 2000s.

Massachusetts resident Lee Nettles, along with national and regional associations for the deaf and hearing impaired, sued Netflix in 2010 under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Other online streaming providers, including Hulu and Amazon, also have been trying to increase their captioned programming.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
88Comments
Oct 10, 2012 5:49PM
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so what's next , a blind guy suing them cus he can't see it and it is not in braille.  Thanks for raising our price again Jack ****. Not like they didn't attempt to have content for him. Here's a thought , why not make these people buy a machine like a tty they use on the phone and make it universal just for them. Oh NO we can't do that.  That would be like treating them different, NEWS FLASH you are different! ADA was not meant for this, it was meant to help provide access to vital goods and services. Not luxury services and netflix is a luxury, not a necessity.    
Oct 10, 2012 5:49PM
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Total nonsense. Netflix did 90 percent allready? Life sucks we all have a disability of some sort, some witty **** will say my lack of sensitivity is one. Tough.

Oct 10, 2012 7:10PM
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Should have never been a lawsuit. Netflix is an optional product for a person to purchase whether or not they are blind, whether or not they are disabled. It shouldn't be required or compelled to settle and change its offerings. It's a nice gesture and feature, but it shouldn't have gone to a lawsuit, especially under the Americans with Disabilities Act--an act that should be treated seriously and applied when appropriate, i.e. not squabbles over entertainment accessibility.
Oct 10, 2012 7:18PM
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Ah yes-if you're disabled in some manner, whine awhile and someone with nothing else useful to do will take up your cause.  Since we're going to caption everything for the hard of hearing, lets do the right thing and caption it in a hundred languages so we make everyone happy except those who are "hearing impaired" and can't read either..  lest I give someone the impression I'm heartless and uncaring, I use hearing aides too.  I'm not "hearing impaired". I'm deaf dammit.
Oct 11, 2012 3:13AM
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Holy cow people.  It's 8 dollars a month and you can watch as many movies and television shows as you want.  I'll spend more than that today on breakfast.  It's a great service for pennies a day.  Stop paying for the service if you don't like it.  To sue because they don't offer CC on 10% of their shows is ridiculous.  That guy should be ashamed of himself, but he wont be.  Somehow he'll feel empowered and tell his grandchildren that he changed the world for the betterment of mankind..
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