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Harry

Damn Deaf people will be raising the rates on all of us. The ADA is a scam which has declared half the population disabled so they can sue every single business in America. And we wonder why there are no jobs .. these asshole sue everyone that even thinks about hiring someone.

Art Artistry

@Cordcutter - You're looking at that as the only presented argument. In law you have to argue any angle, its not about seeming politically correct. It's actually about not being sued for millions of dollars. Whatever gets you off the hook gets you off the hook. It's all relative. The system is broken.

W. A. Robison

The 80% figure is an interesting one. Netflix states that 80% of the content that is actually streamed has subtitles. Haven't they figured out yet that one of the main reasons the other content is not streamed as much is that IT LACKS SUBTITLES? I can list at least fifty movies or tv episodes that I would begin streaming tomorrow if they had subtitles. I have not streamed any content without subtitles since they became available. And, yes, I do have the DVD service, too, just so I can order some of the content for which there are no subtitles on streaming.

GeeEmm

Netflix never actually claimed that 80% of its streaming content is available with captioning - it stated that "more than 80% of the hours streamed in the US were of content with captions or subtitles available." Enormous difference. It even goes on to invite subscribers to search for subtitled content:

"A full list of captioned and English subtitled content is available here [http://movies1.netflix.com/Subtitles?st=rt&so=1&sub=l207.n&ftr=false&vt=tl], which can also be found in the link at the bottom of each page on the website, or by entering subtitles in the search box."

If that list has been kept up to date, it consists of just over 5500 titles - far, far below its claimed 60,000+ title streaming library. And for those stating that NF is not responsible for, or even capable of, captioning the content it offers, please read their blog post which clearly states that "we continue to author captions or subtitles for significant new content where it is missing."

http://blog.netflix.com/2012/02/update-on-captioning-for-our-members.html

So it is absolutely within NF power to provide captioning independent of content providers. And, as CordCutter pointed out, NF cavalier attitude toward the deaf is evident in its argument that the law does not apply to it by virtue of it being an online, rather than a B&M, company.

GeeEmm

Simulpost, W. A. Robison. My comment was not in response to yours, but I was typing as you posted. Glad to see that some folks are making the proper distinction with regard to that oft-quoted 80% figure.

Kayla Sonergoran

I hate it when people mess up a good thing with stupid lawsuits. This is going to jack up prices and kill Netflix.

I find it hypocritical that they'll sue Netflix but not Hulu or the companies that send Netflix the stuff without subtitles.

People just blame the most successful company and then try and con their way to get as much money through the court system. Its amazing how some people will manipulate the ADA laws for their own pleasure even when there is no legal basis to do so.

And the only people who will pay the price is the rest of us.

Netflix is only guilty of not going as fast as some people would like. If you are upset that they aren't going fast, go elsewhere but stop with the stupid lawsuits when you don't get your way.

McBruceBruce

Wow, this is ridiculous! Netflix should not have to waste consumer dollars on adding features they don't think will :increase their profits! There are plenty of other sources of entertainment that are equipped for handicapped people. Why doesn't the ADA invest their resources into creating a streaming service for the deaf? Or round up some volunteers willing to caption free of charge for Netflix.

David

Rob, as someone who is hearing impaired, I can answer this.

Yes, my local movie theater captions its movies via a device given to those who are hearing impaired.

The device fits in the cup holder and a small screen on a branch is held in front of you just beneath the movie screen. It has blinders so it doesn't bother other patrons.

When the movie starts, the action, and words are subtitled on that screen.

It is amazing technology.

Before this technology came out they had reversed captioning,

and before that technology came out they had special headphones.

I live in a small town so the next nearest movie theater is about 40 minutes away... so I can't attest to what they have. But I have never been to a movie theater that was not willing and able to help me in some way.

And for this I am very, very grateful.

Mek

Your rates are not going to increase over this. If this was something that would result in Netflix taking a financial hit and having to pass it along to it's subscribers, Netflix would be able to argue it's an unreasonable burden on the company and be successful with the lawsuit.

Remember the great increase in the cost of TVs and cable rates and VHS tapes in the early 90s? No ? That's because it never happened - In the early to mid 90s was when the ADA was passed and TVs were required to have captioning capability, program providers were required to provide an increased captioning etc - none of this resulted in increased costs.

As for those who wonder, why Deaf and HOH don't just simply rent the DVDs instead - a few years ago that is exactly what I did but it has increasingly become clear that the DVD is on the way out - the only question is how soon it will be obsolete and streaming content will be the preferred method of watching content.


McBruceBruce - The ADA is a law not a group or entity that can devote resources to a particular thing. If you study the law you will find that there are plenty of ways Netflix can be found not obligated to provide captions if they demonstrate that doing so will result in lost profits However given the fact that there are tax credits and write offs available to businesses that provide accommodations as required by the ADA they are not likely to be successful with that argument.

Moonover

In theory, this lawsuit could result in Netflix just removing titles that aren't subtitled. And while I am sympathetic to those with disabilities, that result would be to screw all of those that don't have a disability.

Mek

Moonover

I can't blame you from reaching that conclusion. A lot of little details are missing from the linked articles and this post. All Netflix has to do is demonstrate why certain movies can not be be subtitled (or don't have subtitles) and those titles would be waived and shown without subtitles. What most people don't realize is that subtitle and captioning "files" already exist for most of the movies being streamed they are just not being streamed along with the movie. Its a file that was created for the DVD and can be encoded just like the video file for streaming. Its not like someone has to sit down and type everything a second time. So for the non subtitled streaming movies - if there is no subtitled file available and Netflix demonstrates it's too much of a hard ship to create a caption file for that movie then any reasonable court would allow that file to be shown without subtitles. I am of the opinion that due to the prevalence of caption files that already exist and the fact that anything Netlfix spends to create new caption files for streaming is subjected to tax credits and write offs that they would not even bother with that argument - so bottom line I find it very unlikely that the courts are going to order the removal of uncaptioned movies.

Mek

From Mike Chapman- FB post - he does a good job explaining why people are not satisfied with the so called "80 percent" myth that Netflix claims

I just got clarification. Netflix is counting VIEWED minutes, not minutes of content. So if a 3 hour movie is never watched during the time period they do not count it. If a 2 hour movie is watched 10,000 times and it is captioned, they count it as 20,000 hours of VIEWED captioned content.

I just re-crunched my Netflix Captioning Stats page and as of 3/1/12, if you count Number of Movies + Number of TV Episodes, the count is only 51.73% of titles with added captions. If you count MINUTES of programming, that number DROPS to 46.37%. BOTH stats are no where near the 80% number. (Their 30% Figure from last February 2011 was not actually reached
until JUNE 2011)

Stats are based on numbers from Phlixie.com who gets their data from Netflix's own API data. (see my link below or go there here: http://bit.ly/nf-cc-xls )

Comparing their method and my method....
Example: if a 2 hour movie is watched 10,000 times and it is captioned, they count it as 20,000 hours of VIEWED captioned content. Likewise, if a 2 hour movie is watched 2 times and it is NOT captioned, they count it as 4 hours of VIEWED NON-captioned content. My method would say 50% of the 2 movies are captioned, their method would say 99.98% of the VIEWED MINUTES of the 2 movies are captioned.

This means they are simply playing with the numbers to make them look like they are captioning more than they are (and more than they previously promised).

Mek

Sorry should have included this link in my previous post. Also just for the record I am not trying shout down people who do not agree that subtitles should be mandated etc- I just want them to have all the facts and to know that the numbers netflix keeps touting are not that impressive

http://drumbeatconsulting.com/blog/2012/03/03/netflix-is-tone-deaf-as-it-announces-80-captioning-achievement/

GeeEmm

Thank you, Mek, for your informative posts. Helps put everything in proper perspective. No reason why this can't be resolved to everyone's satisfaction (NF, hearing impaired subscribers, every other subscriber), and I expect that it will be in due course.

Edward R Murrow

Netflix is in bigger trouble than CC for ADA.

Netflix Shutout in UK

CordCutter

Now if Amazon would pay attention to Prime subs Edward. We recently got Prime to take advantage of all the perks and I am a little underwhelmed by their offerings. 2 day shipping great (we buy a lot), my wife will take advantage of the lending library now that she's reading again and being cord cutters we will of course use the TV/Movies. That being said, anybody who thinks they can ditch NF streaming and easily replace it with Prime is going to be in for a shock. They added the watchlist feature which was much needed, now they just need content for me to fill my list with.

Curry

Art Artistry loves the black-cock!

robbie

It's not just deaf people who want captions or subtitles on their films. Those of us who are sick of shoddy sound quality or mumbling actors need captions or subtitles in order to understand what the hell is being said. Even with the volume as high as it'll go half the time I can't make out what's being said and I have perfect hearing. God help those who don't.

whocares

total farce designed to make attorneys lots of money. They couldnt care less about the deaf.

Marc

Amen Robbie! But God forbid when the scene with music starts 30 decibels louder.

Marc

Scott Baker

The judge is only now telling them that the ADA applies to them, but he is then going to punish Netflix retroactively. So much for "no ex post facto." He should give them a reasonable amount of time from when he made his ruling for them to comply before any punishment would kick in. The world of lawsuits has nothing to do with common sense or logic or the real world. We need a new way of resolving disputes that doesn't involve lawsuits.

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