Bill Mandates Captioning for Podcasts

A new bill has been introduced into congress that would target accessibility of web video. The "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008" (H.R. 6320) covers about a dozen areas. The proposed law has Internet video captioning requirements.

Eighteen months after its enactment, the Federal Communications Commission must set up regulations and deadlines for "an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming distributed to the public over the Internet."

Three kinds of video would be affected:
  • Material that has already been captioned for TV viewing
  • Live programming
  • Video that is "generally considered to be comparable to programming provided by multichannel programming distributors."
It is point three that is sticky. A whole lot of podcasts fall into this category. Closed captioning and transcriptions cost.... many podcasters see little if any profit from their shows. Always nice when congress sticks its nose in the Internet.

How about instead of sending money to worthless causes... they actualy fund this requirement.