The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) rules provide procedures for petitioning the FCC for an exemption from the closed captioning rules for IP-delivered video programming when compliance with the rules would be economically burdensome, which means a significant difficulty or expense. A video programming provider or owner may petition the FCC for a full or partial exemption from the closed captioning requirements for IP-delivered video programming. A petition for an exemption must be supported by sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the closed captioning requirements would be economically burdensome for the petitioner.
The FCC must consider the following factors in making an economically burdensome determination:
- the nature and cost of the closed captions for the programming;
- the impact on the operation of the distributor, provider, or program owner;
- the financial resources of the distributor, provider, or program owner; and
- the type of operations of the distributor, provider, or program owner.
The petitioner also may present for the FCC's consideration any other factors the petitioner deems relevant to the FCC's final determination, including alternatives that might constitute a reasonable substitute for closed captioning. All petitions and supporting materials must contain a detailed, full showing, supported by an affidavit or a declaration signed under penalty of perjury attesting to the truthfulness and accuracy of any facts or considerations relied on in the submission.
There is no form to fill out to request an exemption. However, all petitions must be filed electronically, in accordance with the filing instructions provided below, and must include certain information to enable the FCC to make a determination. See the list of "Required Information and Documentation to Provide when Filing a New Petition to be Exempt from the IP Closed Captioning Requirements" for specific information and documentation that must be provided to the FCC.
Upon receipt of a petition, the FCC will send an acknowledgement to the petitioner by e-mail. The FCC will also assign a case identifier number (for example, “CGB-CC-2345”) to the petition. This case identifier number and reference to proceeding number “CG Docket No. 13-318” must be included on all correspondence with the FCC regarding the petition, including any supplemental information to support the petition and subsequent pleadings in response to comments on or oppositions to the petition.
The FCC will make the petition, as well as any supporting information and documentation provided, available for public inspection in the FCC’s Reference Information Center and through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). Petitioners must redact (remove or conceal with black ink) sensitive information before filing their petitions and supporting information and documentation with the FCC. Sensitive information is information that petitioners do not wish to make publicly available, such as social security numbers bank account and routing numbers, and other similarly sensitive information. Petitioners may also request confidential treatment of any information contained in a petition. Instructions for requesting confidential treatment are provided below.
Once the petitioner provides all the required information and documentation to the FCC, the petition will be placed on public notice, pursuant to the FCC's rules, to permit interested persons and entities to file comments on or oppositions to the petition, and replies. Instructions for filing comments, oppositions, and replies are provided below.
All comments, oppositions, and replies must contain a detailed, full showing, supported by an affidavit or declaration signed under penalty of perjury attesting to the truthfulness and accuracy of any facts or considerations relied on in the submission.
The FCC will conduct an individual review of each petition to determine the extent to which providing captioning would be economically burdensome for the petitioner, based on information provided in the petition and any comments, oppositions, or replies received.Instructions for Electronically Filing a Closed Captioning Exemption Petition
- Petitions for exemption from the IP closed captioning rules (together with information and documentation supporting such petitions) must be filed electronically as an attachment to an e-mail sent to email@example.com. [Petitions may not be filed via ECFS.]
- Because the FCC will upload petitions and any supporting information and documentation provided to ECFS, petitioners must follow the ECFS document format guidelines when submitting petitions and supporting information and documentation via e-mail.
- As noted, the e-mail attachments to the petitioner’s email (i.e., the petition) will be posted on ECFS. Information provided in the body of the email will not be considered as part of the petition unless the petitioner specifically requests, in the body of the email, that such information also be included as part of the petition. In such case, content contained in the body of the email will be posted on ECFS along with the rest of the petition.
- At this time, the FCC’s e-mail system does not accept attachments in the form of .ZIP files or file sizes larger than 13.3 megabytes. If a petitioner has concerns that its file size will exceed this limitation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A petitioner seeking confidential treatment for any information in a petition must submit, via e-mail to email@example.com, a written request for confidential treatment and two versions of the petition: (1) a confidential version that contains the full information regarding the petition; and (2) a public version that redacts any confidential information. The public version of the petition and its supporting documentation, however, must contain sufficient information to support the petitioner’s claim that closed captioning would be economically burdensome. A request for confidential treatment may not be filed via ECFS. The request for confidentiality must comply with the requirements of Section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules, including: (a) identification of the specific information submitted for which confidential treatment is sought; (b) a statement of the reasons for withholding those materials from public inspection; and (c) an explanation of how public disclosure of the information could result in substantial competitive harm. The request must show by a preponderance of the evidence that nondisclosure is consistent with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Mere conclusory or generalized allegations cannot support a request for nondisclosure. In light of the Commission’s desire for openness in its exemption petition review processes, if the Bureau determines that members of the public should have access to portions of a filing that the petitioner asserts are confidential, it may allow such access pursuant to a protective order. To help achieve such openness where a petitioner has sought confidentiality of certain information submitted in support of its petition, the petitioner should, to the extent possible, include in its petition the non-sensitive supporting information contained in the confidential materials so that members of the public may review, consider, and comment on the petition.Instructions for Electronically Filing Comments on and Oppositions to a Closed Captioning Exemption Petition
Comments on and oppositions to a petition are due within 30 days from the date of the public notice. Comments on or oppositions to the petition must include a certification that the petitioner was served by delivering or mailing a copy to the last known address of the petitioner, its attorney, or its agent, or by sending a copy to the e-mail address last provided by the petitioner, its attorney, or its agent.
All comments and oppositions must be electronically filed via ECFS, and must include “13-318” as the “Proceeding Number” and the four-digit case identifier number (e.g., “CC-2345”) as the “File Number” in this proceeding. The "ECFS Express" form cannot be used for the filing of brief comments or oppositions because filers cannot designate a “File Number”.
If a filer wishes to file an identical set of comments or oppositions via ECFS on multiple petitions that have been assigned more than one case identifier number, the comments or oppositions must b efiled separately for each petition/case identifier number. In such a case, a different case identifier number will have to be entered as the “File Number” for each separate filing (e.g., “CC-2345” entered as the File Number for the first filing and “CC-2346” entered as the File Number for the second filing and so on, even if the comments or oppositions being filed are identical to the first filing). Multiple case identifier numbers may not be entered as one “File Number.”Instructions for Electronically Filing a Reply to Comments or Oppositions
Any reply filed by a petitioner to the comments or oppositions in the record is due 20 days after the comment deadline. Replies to comments or oppositions must include a certification that the commenting or opposing party was served by delivering or mailing a copy to the last known address of the party, its attorney, or its agent, or by sending a copy to the e-mail address last provided by the party, its attorney, or its agent.
Replies to comments on or oppositions to a petition must be filed electronically via ECFS. Replies filed via ECFS must include “13-318” as the “Proceeding Number” and the four-digit case identifier number (e.g., “CC-2345”) as the “File Number” in this proceeding. The "ECFS Express" form cannot be used for this purpose because filers cannot designate a “File Number.”
When an identical set of replies is filed via ECFS on multiple petitions that have been assigned more than one case identifier number, the replies must be filed separately for each petition/case identifier number. In this case, a different case identifier number will have to be entered as the “File Number” for each separate filing (e.g., “CC-2345” entered as the File Number for the first filing and “CC-2346” entered as the File Number for the second filing and so on, even if the replies being filed are identical to the first filing). Multiple case identifier numbers may not be entered as one “File Number.”Accessible Formats
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice) or 202-418-0432 (TTY).More Information
If you have questions regarding this process, please e-mail email@example.com.
10-14-14 Notice of Electronic Filing Procedures for Closed Captioning Exemption Requests for Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol (IP). CG Docket No. 13-318. DA 14-1487.
Public Notice: Word || PDF