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Comments

Joseph Finn

Good.

Brian Kohn

It's called "justice". Netflix should check into it.

Art Artistry

This just seems ridiculous. I'm off to go sue Youtube, Hulu, and every single other site that contains a single video that isn't subtitled. Next ignorant people who can't use the internet will be suing netflix for not providing them a personal assistant to set the service up for them and manage it every time something goes wrong.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, bringing more and more sanctions onto the internet and treating it like its always every bodies business is only going to mess up the internet the same way television is messed up. All these frivolous lawsuits are just taking netflix away from what it actually tries to do which is provide whatever content it can.

What will we see cut thanks to these people?

sara

Good! I hope that other online video sites will be forced to follow suit soon, as well. The ADA is there for a reason - it may be inconvenient for businesses to accommodate minorities who have difficulty accessing their services, but it's the right thing to do and it only works if all companies are held to the same standard (otherwise, it's really unfair competition!). Plus - you never know when a health problem may befall you or someone close to you, in which case you will be very glad these protections are in place!

sara

Art Artistry - try a little compassion. People who are deaf are NOT ignorant, they simply cannot hear! If resources do go toward closed captioning and something has to get cut, I am okay with that because otherwise those who are deaf would not be able to access anything! It is okay with me if everyone has to lose a LITTLE than for a few people who simply happened to be unlucky to have NO access through no fault of their own!

LookingBackLost

As a loyal, paying customer of Netflix, I'm frankly annoyed that they would argue that the ADA only applies to brick-and-mortar businesses--especially since, as the judge noted, the law was made before the internet was what it is today. Perhaps Netflix should take a page from Apple, that uses access for the disabled as a positive for the company. Maybe Apple loses money on it; maybe they're just doing it to get PR or legal brownie points. But they do it. And so should Netflix.

Jonathan

Heck, there are very very Netflix titles anymore that I find without captions or subtitles and those that do not have them almost always also have them missing on the DVD as well.

It would make a whole lot more sense to me for the content providers and DVD makers to be sued rather than Netflix. Seriously, does anyone actually believe that there's someone at Netflix that actually sits down and types in the captions for each title? No, of course not, it's the content providers that fail to provide the captions.

mike

I feel bad for people that are hearing impaired and understand that they would like all the streaming sub or CC. I'm vision impaired and can't see 90% of the subtitles. Netflixs put up movies and shows that are only sub but do come dub. So should sue them because they don't have both version up ?

ChampChamp

First of all, you'd have to look at how Netflix came up with the 80%. Given that these kinds of biased statistics are often highly misleading, you have to assume 80% is the highest it could possible be, and that the percentage is likely to be much lower.

Secondly, captioning technology has advanced in leaps and bounds to the point that Google is automatically captioning YouTube videos with reasonable accuracy. Imagine what a company the size of Netflix could accomplish with that kind of technology. It isn't unreasonable to ask that Netflix ensure its services are equally accessible to customers who are paying the same fee.

CordCutter

The ADA is good legislation. Walk a mile folks, walk a mile.

Rob

So, just to get it out of the way, this is a serious inquiry, not a troll or attempt to rile folks up.

What do hearing impaired folks do if they want to go to a movie theatre? Is there some kind of hand-held technology that captions the movie for them?

If there is, and if that is available for 100% of all movies presented in theaters, then it would be reasonable for Netflix to caption all of those titles.

If there isn't a solution in that space, I'd be concerned about holding Netflix to a higher standard, since the caption data may not even exist.

Btoy

I think it's unreasonable to expect every company to be 100% accommodating. Does this mean now that every book ever printed must be available in an audio version for the blin, what about websites? I don't tank my local paper offers a Braille version, should I sue them? What about movie theaters? Never seen a movie with subtitles at theater, and that would piss me off if I did after paying all that money.

moviegeek

I feel for the deaf but I think this is a money grab and they are unfairly singling out Netflix, why don't they go after Amazon and Vudu? They don't have subtitles on any of their content.
BTW: the movie theater is a good analogy.

Howard

Rob, I know for some screenings at cinemas they advertise Open Captioning, which is just like Closed Captioning only it's on from the start and on for the duration of the movie. I don't know how often they do this so the hearing impared probably need to plan around this.

I just checked a movie trailer at Apple's site and there's no captioning option I see either although there may be a separate plug in for Quicktime.

Art Artistry

Again I have to agree with the people above, for the reasons I stated before. You shouldn't be able to sue a specific company for this. Other companies provide the same service and aren't being attacked the same way. It's only because Netflix is more popular. Btoy brings up a great point when compared to the blind. I don't see accommodation for them in my everyday life. How are they supposed to use netflix? Should they be suing Al Gore because they can't use the internet like everyone else?

But this comes back to a point I made in an earlier post. Stop trying to have an exception made. Change the law or live with it. Suing someone is just a way to get money, that in this case you don't deserve. Don't companies still have the right to refuse service? Does a private business have to have a handicap entryway?

Show Netflix how much more business they'd get if they provide that for you, stop taking their money over it.

As to the person who had to bring up how unclear netflix is about how much of streaming content is subtitled. I don't think it makes sense to measure it any other way then they did. 80% of all time spent streaming is streaming content that has subtitles. That is THE MOST ACCURATE, AND APPLICABLE representation. Saying 80% of all content is subbed doesn't really help you at all if the content you're watching isn't, and giving a number of subbed versus unsubbed is just the same thing.

Xombie

@Rob - There are several technologies available. Open captioning is one, but also there are also other technologies. There are "mirrored" subtitle technology called Rear Window that displays the captions in reverse on an LED setup in the back of the theater reflected in a small one-way mirror on flexible arm with the other end placed in the person's cupholder. This prevents the captions from interfering with anyone who doesn't wish to see them.

The most recent technology, however, is CaptiView, which is an OLED screen attached to a flexible arm similar to the Rear Window apparatus, but displayed on the apparatus itself. The device is connected to the specific theater over WiFi, so it can be used in any theater in a venue at any time. More and more theaters are setting this up. I know most Cinemark, Regal, and Marcus theaters are set up for it.

So the answer is yes, cinemas are attempting to outfit 100% of their theaters with captions.

Netflix, however, doesn't need to outfit itself with any special apparatus to caption all of their movies and shows. They just have to put in the effort.

Art Artistry

Xombie, this has been discussed already. It's been established that Netflix doesn't provide the subtitles, the content provider does. So it's not a matter of man hours or time put in. It's a matter of making sure the people providing them with the file hold up their end of the bargain, or even that they know they're supposed to, I'm sure Netflix has some content that isn't subbed because they purchased it prior to them even having the capability to display subtitles.

Nic Peterson 9

Advocacy groups are mostly worthless and this lawsuit gets thrown out of court and Netflix can roll out its subtitles at its own pace.

Will

Art,

It doesn't make all that much sense to measure captioning by hours watched, at least from the point of view of a deaf person. If the movies aren't subtitled they can't watch them. So they don't. Thereby NOT adding them to the hours of watched subtitled material. So this really only measures what percent of their material is watched by people who don't need subtitles. It doesn't measure anything for the affected party.

That being said I'm on the boat that views this as a little ridiculous. Netflix seems to be trying to get subtitles on all of it's material. But some people think the most effective way to ensure progress is to sue.

Welcome to America.

FearNo1

I feel sorry for the deaf and ppl with disabilities but this lawsuit is ridiculous. These suits are bad for biz. Netflix can easily add or drop hundreds of movies per month. To expect 100% of them to be CCed is irrational IMHO.

Rocketboy_X

Ahh, the ADA... what a great meal ticket to lawyers, and hindrance to business.

To Sara, "it only works if all companies are held to the same standard (otherwise, it's really unfair competition!)". Not sure how one company making sure that their products and services are usable by a larger customer base is "unfair".

Adam S

Netflix does provide captions for every movie--in disc form. If you need subtitles just get the disc.

Shiva Norera

I just hope this doesn't cause the rest of us to have to pay more per month because people are unwilling to wait.

Considering how lawsuit happy this country is, its amazing there are any economic problems in this country.

ClydesMP

I read some of these comments, and I have absolutely no hope for the human race. It's a very telling story. And I don't even have to tell you which ones, do I? It's always about me, me, me, me,...........

Wbad

It appears that NF is trying to CC all of it's titles but can't do it fast enough. But I have to comment on some of these self-centered people who have posted here.

@Art. It's not about suing every web-site that has a "single video" but Netflix, a well known company, that YOU love and many HEARING IMPAIRED also love (that's why they may be suing). A company that has confessed that they want NF to have an applicaction on every new television sold in the future. The Internet can't be sanctioned but a specific business can. Your post at 7:28pm makes no sence just like most of your comments. You agree with most of the above comments? Those that agree and disagree with the decision?

In 1996 Congress required all broadcasters (over the air), cable and satelite companies to provide CC. Why not NF? They want to be King right?

@Btoy. You think it would be unreasonable to expect EVERY company to be accommodating? Well your commnt is right. But there's is only one problem with it. The above article is not about every company being 100% Accommodating. It's about NF. A company that wants to be KING of what you watch. Your entertainment provider. "You would be pissed if you paid all that money and they showed CC". It's annoying isn't it? Imagine what the hearing impaired go thru knucklewhead.

If NF is the great comapany that many believe it be than they will solve this problem.

moviegeek

And to Wbad I say "why don't they go after the other VOD providers?"

"If NF is the great comapany that many believe it be than they will solve this problem."

The studios are suppose to provide the subtitles/CC, the hardware manufacturers need to support subtitles/CC. Netflix will never be able to provide subtitles/CC on all their content but they will have more than the competition, the competition is at 0% right now and they should also be sued to be fair.

Art Artistry

@Wbad Why does only one website deserve to be sued for it? Why is a lawsuit even necessary? Lobby to change the law. I'm 100% fine if you think its fair and just to change the law to require that every broadcast program, be it movie or otherwise, internet or otherwise be required to be captioned. If you wanna make that the law I will support your endeavor to do so. The people who are selfish and using the system incorrectly are the ones who are singling out Netflix and suing them. Quit trying to get an exception made and make a law.

This is a money grab. Lawsuits are a money grab. Netflix is a luxury and things that are a luxury, in my opinion, should not have government legislating who can and can't use them. To me that is to much government involvement. I am a fan of less involvement from the government. If the deaf really wanted my to understand their plight they would stop suing people and start asking. Is Netflix not obliging? Are other companies doing a better job then Netflix? But we'll sue Netflix because they have the most money to give us from this suit. Explain to me where the justice is in that.

CordCutter

"Netflix is a luxury and things that are a luxury, in my opinion, should not have government legislating who can and can't use them." The internet is a luxury, you feds need to give up on combating kiddie porn. Supermarkets are a luxury, you can grow your own food, BAM! USDA/FDA need to go away. Flying is a luxury, you can always drive, go away TSA... wait, driving is a luxury you can always walk, POOF! goes the Highway Patrol officers. You with me Art!?!

I only support equality for the handicapped if it doesn't cost anything... ME ME ME ME ME. If only we could abort the handicapped before they're born, oh wait, abortion is murder so they have to be born, I just don't want to pay for them after they are!

shthar

Now maybe they can get em on the DVDs.

Art Artistry

@CordCutter- I'll try to make this as simple as possible. Kiddie porn is illegal whether the internet is involved or not. So keeping it off the internet is only continuing with the law. If you think that the majority of society could get by growing their own food and with vehicular transit, even mass transit you're on crack. I think we all know the TSA is a load of shit. Even in the TSA's situation though they are there to provide safety for people. Subtitling Netflix isn't going to save someones life.

Would you not agree that all those administrations are overblown and overserved? Should a company really have to have a warning label telling us that their product is bad for us? NO, it should be our personal responsibility to understand what we're putting into our body.

I'm pro choice so I don't really know what your second paragraph is about. The government shouldn't be involved in that, or marriage, or religion. Yet those 3 categories, while somewhat tied to eachother, have been 3 of the biggest topics around our national leaders over the last 15-20 years.

CordCutter

I'm with ya Art, I also only support gay marriage if both chicks are hot.

Tim Brownhouse

@Art Artistry, the fact that you unwaveringly align yourself with the empowered and institutional (which needs no defense), and use a sneering tone to ridicule the disenfranchised, illustrates what an absolutely hollow and amoral piece of shit you are. Please don't make a family.

Gee Emm

"Overblown and overserved" are pretty much standard when the government gets involved. It would be better for all concerned if the government was left out of the equation as often as possible - but that would require those individuals and corporations in positions of power and/or influence to lead the way by voluntary example. Not unheard of, but also not bloody likely. Unfortunately, history is rife with inequalities and abuses that could only be satisfactorily addressed by a steady hammering away at not only those entities that were most egregiously guilty, but also those which weren't doing enough. And even then, after a sea change in public opinion or support, it took legislation to ensure continued compliance and forward progress. So, ultimately, government becomes inextricably involved.

Personally, I feel that lawsuits should be a very last resort. But I also don't begrudge those who are disadvantaged their rights to become fully enfranchised and accommodated members of society - both in life and online. Without knowing all the efforts that have been made leading up to this particular lawsuit, to get the POB at NF to address the concerns of deaf subscribers with regard to the ADA, I think it's hasty to make blanket judgements.

Art Artistry

Who are the empowered and institutional(that is gibberish by the way) that I am aligning myself with? I think corporations should have the right to refuse a service to someone, or provide the service in a way they see fit for their business model. That doesn't even really come into play here though because Netflix is the king of internet video, and they are also the king of subtitled internet video. I don't really understand where you're coming from Tim other then a place of hate.

Am I still all of the posters on here by the way?

Why even allow companies to be separate and run the way their management and ownership chooses if you're just going to say they should all be run the same. It sounds to me like you support communism. You want everything controlled by the government so that it's absolutely fair to everyone. I can see why that would be an attractive option. Unfortunately it's just plain unrealistic. But then on the other hand you support a lawsuit that is wholly unjust as it targets the leader in the industry that the heart of the suit makes its claim against. You can't have it both ways Tim. Either you have capitalism, and companies are allowed to function of their own accord(mostly) or you have communism and the government decides everything.

@Will this is a little late but considering that the deaf audience is probably graciously less then 5% then it does make perfect sense to describe it that way. Or are you saying that deaf people have wholly different interests then the rest of us just because they are deaf.

Tim Brownhouse

@Art Artistry, you're the one saying that there's only two ways for it to be had (capitalism or communism, and nothing in between). Free market capitalism in the US has been perverted over the past couple of decades to a point where greed has achieved almost free reign (with increasingly venal government doing less and less to interfere with harmful corporate corner-cutting and general depredation), and thus, quality of life has suffered in all sorts of ways, for pretty much everyone but the principal benefactors of said greed.

I never did say that I felt one way or the other about this lawsuit. It has its problems. And from a practical standpoint, I think 80% of all streaming content being captioned is not particularly shabby. But, what's the use of speaking up in defense of Netflix? Netflix is a large corporation with deep pockets. The deaf community is not a business, but a broad group of individuals who have a disability that they did not choose. The primary thing that the lawsuit communicates is: "Accommodate us." To use the tone of ridicule that you've used, and to do so to attack a community of people who lack something essential that you likely take for granted (hearing) while defending what's practically a Fortune 500 company, suggests that you're an evil person. Like many greedy modern capitalists, you cloak your evil behind what you think is "logic."

In an instance such as this lawsuit, the suit itself would have to be so totally illegitimate and ridiculous as for the foundation to appear fraudulent for me to consider aligning with, let alone vocally defending, an empowered, publicly traded institution like Netflix (whose business ethic has pissed me off in the past) over a particular disenfranchised or disabled stratum of society. The impulse to offer your support to the strong and ridicule to the weak, as you've done, is -- at very best -- the hallmark of a bully. But you're not a child.

Art Artistry

Is it not that fraudulent to you? It is to me. Let me outline the reasons, again.

1. Netflix is currently the leader in what they are looking for, and they provide 2 different ways to view the content, a majority of which is subtitled.

2. None of this content belongs to Netflix, basically the outcome of this lawsuit is that they would be forced to remove all non subtitled content to avoid being sued. How does that make any sense?

3. No American has the right to Netflix. People who live in areas without internet cannot stream. Many deaf people can get a cochlear implant that improves their hearing greatly. This is as expensive as someone moving to another area.

4. Where is the precedence for this? These lawsuits have been filed over and over again, with little to no success other then small settlements. Who do you think is really getting this money? I'll tell you this they aren't sending a 30 cent check to every deaf person in America.

5. All people have an institution. "The National Association of the Deaf" It's right at the top of the article...

If everyone thought as you would we wouldn't have a any corporations left to provide things like this because you're on the opposite spectrum of me. The difference between us is, I only support companies worth supporting, while you are denouncing your hate for all of them.

I think maybe you mistake my attempts at humor in this post for distaste towards a group of people, which in fact could not be more incorrect. I've taken multiple years of sign language classes and have a basic understanding of the language, I even have some extended family that are part of the big D community. That is just the way I write, its not meant to be offensive its meant to be biting.

Your first paragraph is gibberish. I don't support Enron...I don't support BP...I do support the governments right to ensure the companies aren't illegally stealing money or damaging the environment or quality of life of the nation. But you look at this 'problem' to seriously if you think no subtitles on a few Netflix shows is causing pain and suffering to the deaf community.

Netflix should not be sued into providing a service that no one else has to provide. I don't see how difficult that is to understand. That is unconstitutional. A lawsuit on that grounds is fraudulent and petty.

Jason Stallings

Auto play for Netflix.
http://pr.ojectblue.com/app/autoflix

Moonover

@Tim Brownhouse - you have no business judging what other people "think is logic" given your superficial and completely emotional driven analysis.

Power and weakness has no bearing on whether an action is good or bad. Both the powerful and weak have equal capacity to do both good and bad. As hard as it may be for you to believe, it is possible for a powerful party to be in the right while the weak party is in the wrong.

You say that it suggests that Art Artistry is evil for his "impulse" to support those in power over the weak. However, your impulse is to support the weak without any real analysis of who is right and who is wrong in the situation. I would suggest *that* is what is truly evil.

In this particular situation with Netflix, the details of the law do not appear to be clear to anyone who has commented so far. However, on the face of it, it does appear that Art Artistry's analysis is correct that this lawsuit is motivated by money. Not necessarily by the disabled bringing the suit, but most likely by the class action lawyers who stand the most to gain in the situation.

If it is true that 80% of Netflix's titles are subtitled, it shows that there is an effort to accomodate those with disabilities and with other media/corporations providing less support than Netflix does, the lawsuit smacks of selective outrage and lawyer greed.

bellybutton

just read books

CordCutter

"If it's true"

Yeah, exactly. The mere fact that NF sought to have the case dismissed on the grounds that it only applies to physical stores shows how much they care about accommodating the deaf into what they clearly feel is the future of the company.

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