Comment Sought On 2 Digital Media Ass'n Petitions For Exemption/Waiver
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: May 16, 2012
MEDIA BUREAU ACTION
COMMENT DATES ESTABLISHED FOR TWO PETITIONS FOR TEMPORARY PARTIAL
EXEMPTION OR LIMITED WAIVER OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF 47 C.F.R. § 79.4(c)(2)(i)
MB Docket No. 11-154
Comment Date: June 15, 2012
Reply Comment Date: July 2, 2012The Digital Media Association (“DiMA”), a national trade organization devoted primarily to the
online video and audio industries, has filed two petitions requesting a temporary exemption of certain
provisions of Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) of the Commission’s rules.1 That rule is part of the Internet protocol
(“IP”) closed captioning requirements that the Commission adopted in January 2012.2 DiMA’s requests
would not just pertain to its members, but rather, would apply to all video programming distributors
(“VPDs”). We seek comment on these petitions.
In the first petition, DiMA requests a temporary exemption,3 until January 1, 2014, from the
provisions of Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) that require VPD-provided applications, plug-ins, or devices to comply
with the user configuration and formatting requirements of Section 79.103(c) of the Commission’s rules.4
1 47 C.F.R. § 79.4(c)(2)(i) (requiring each video programming distributor and provider to “[e]nable the rendering or
pass through of all required captions to the end user, maintaining the quality of the captions provided by the video
programming owner and transmitting captions in a format reasonably designed to reach the end user in that quality.
A video programming distributor or provider that provides applications, plug-ins, or devices in order to deliver
video programming must comply with the requirements of § 79.103(c) and (d).”). Section 79.103(c) of the
Commission’s rules sets forth the specific technical capabilities required of all apparatus subject to that section,
including captioning functionality related to presentation, character color, character opacity, character size, fonts,
caption background color and opacity, character edge attributes, caption window color, language, and preview and
setting retention. 47 C.F.R. § 79.103(c).
2 Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (“IP
Closed Captioning Order”).
3 Alternatively, DiMA requests that the Commission uses its authority under Section 1.3 of it rules to waive for good
cause the specified portions of Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) for all VPDs until January 1, 2014.
4 Digital Media Association Petition for Temporary Partial Exemption or Limited Waiver (filed May 8, 2012)
(available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021917009). DiMA member Google does not join the
petition. Id. at 1 n. 3.
DiMA explains that, while its request would delay the availability of user configuration settings such as
the ability to customize caption font and color, it would not affect “the core requirement to ensure that
consumers receive captioned video content.”5 According to DiMA, an exemption is necessary because
several VPDs “simply cannot overcome the significant technical challenges associated with implementing
the full suite of user configurations detailed in Section 79.103(c) in the extremely short time allotted by
the Commission – a mere six months.”6
In the second petition, DiMA requests a temporary exemption,7 until January 1, 2014, from the
provisions of Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) that relate to the rendering, but not the pass-through, of captions.8 The
exemption would pertain to VPDs that do not currently provide closed captioning.9 DiMA explains that
the rendering requirements would “present significant technical difficulties in the time allotted.”10 DiMA
argues that the requested exemption pertaining to the rendering obligations “should be granted because
the technological challenge to develop and deploy applications, plug-ins, or devices to render captioning
for [VPDs] that have not provided closed captioning previously imposes significant difficulty to achieve
by September 30, 2012.”11
This proceeding will be treated as “permit but disclose” for purposes of the Commission’s ex
parte rules. See generally 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200-1.1216. As a result of the permit-but-disclose status of
this proceeding, ex parte presentations will be governed by the procedures set forth in Section 1.1206 of
the Commission’s rules applicable to non-restricted proceedings.12 Persons making ex parte presentations
must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within
two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period
applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the
presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex
parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments
already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or
other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission
staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed
consistent with rule 1.1206(b). Written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte
presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system
available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable
.pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex parte rules.
5 Id. at 2.
7 Alternatively, DiMA requests that the Commission uses its authority under Section 1.3 of it rules to waive for good
cause the specified portions of Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) for all VPDs until January 1, 2014.
8 Digital Media Association Petition for Temporary Partial Exemption or Limited Waiver from the Provisions of
Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) Relating to the Rendering of Captions, Including to the Applications, Plug-Ins, or Devices
Provided by a VPD (filed May 8, 2012) (available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021917008).
DiMA members Apple Inc. and Google do not join the petition. Id. at 1 n. 3.
9 Id. at 1.
10 Id. at 3.
11 Id. at 1-2.
12 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206.
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419,
interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated at the top of
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