Wednesday, February 5, 2014

CNN wins appeals court victory in captioning lawsuit

An appeals court is siding with CNN in a case involving online captions. A panel from the 9th Circuit issued a ruling today over a lawsuit filed by The Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, or GLAAD. The advocacy group claims that CNN violates a California state law by not providing captioning on all its videos. While the news network puts captions on video from its regular programs (federal law requires it) the network does not put them on the short video clips it posts on its website. In today's ruling, the appeals court said CNN was not guilty of discrimination, based on the First Amendment. That was the opposite conclusion from a lower court that said the request for captions was not about infringing on CNN's First Amendment rights but an issue of access.

The case isn't over yet. The three judge panel asked the state's highest court to look into whether California's Disabled Persons Act applies to websites. Read today's ruling here. The request that the California Supreme Court weigh in on whether the Act covers websites is here.