Here at Metro Captions we strive to keep you posted about the latest and greatest news in the closed captioning industry. This month’s news focuses on a recent lawsuit filed against a multitude of Hollywood studios. The lawsuit accuses the studios of discrimination and false advertising for not including captions for songs that are used in TV shows and films.
Sony, Netflix, Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. are among the defendants in the suit. Plaintiffs include deaf viewers and advocates who have provided a long list of movies and TV shows that exclude song captions. This group argues that songs in movies and TV shows are valuable when it comes to setting the mood and establishing what is going on. The plaintiffs’ attorney, John A. Girardi, says that the different viewing experience that the deaf have because song captions have been omitted constitutes a breach of civil rights for people with disabilities. This group, he argues, are promised equal access and accommodations for an equivalent experience according to accessibility law. The group is demanding unspecified damages. They are also asking for a warning label to be placed on all content that does not include song captions.
According to the current FCC regulations, all films and TV shows must adhere to strict closed captioning rules, including the rule that all content must be properly captioned. The defendants have a major concern, however – and that is copyright infringement. They must secure rights to reproduce song lyrics in captions.
What will happen next? Stay tuned to our blog for more information on this developing story.