Sources for: Deaf people settle for crumbs!
Human-rights complaints in Canada
Henry Vlug, a deaf lawyer in Vancouver, filed all the human-rights complaints we mentioned. He alleged discrimination on the basis of disability because television programming was not captioned.
Movie theatres in Ontario
Nancy Barker, Gary Malkowski, and Scott Simser filed a human-rights complaint against Famous Players (a cinema chain) and numerous studios. A human-rights tribunal heard the case in 2005. In 2007, a settlement was reached that called for “the installation of new closed-captioning systems in multiple Ontario theatres.” By “new,” they meant “untested, unproven, and not commercially available.” The settlement did not require the use of open captioning or of any of the closed-captioning systems already in commercial production and in real-world use. The settlement did not even require increased usage of the MoPix systems that Famous Players already had installed; such systems must merely be “maintain.”
For some reason, the settlement, which did not guarantee captioning on most movies, let alone all of them, was deemed “win–win” by deaf advocates and by the movie industry.
Class-action lawsuit in the U.S.
A lawsuit filed by Russ Boltz against movie studios was settled in 2006. It required certain studios to caption some DVDs. Among its many exemptions:
- The settlement applied only to the U.S.
- Only standard-definition DVDs qualified. High-definition DVDs never had to be captioned under the settlement.
- Online distribution of movies and bonus materials is not covered.
- “Advertising elements, such as trailers,” do not have to be captioned.
- No DVD with an initial production run under 100,000 ever has to be captioned.
- The settlement lasts only five years (i.e., through 2010).
- A DVD doesn’t have to be captioned in case of “significant technical difficulties,” lack of rights to caption song lyrics, “factors that would make [captioning] unreasonably expensive,” or “significantly-delayed finalization or late receipt of bonus material.”