Civics 101 / S.3304 update

An amended version of S.3304, the “Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010” was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. The House passed H.R. 3101 on July 26, 2010. Now the House and the Senate have to reconcile their versions of the bill and come up with something everyone agrees on.

Here’s a section by section summary of what S.3304 does, from the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology. It doesn’t seem like the amended bill will require the provision of captions for live programming and Internet-only programming (which, you know, is kind of a huge deal at this point). It took me so long to figure this out because I am rusty on using Thomas and I got mired in reading the Congressional Record. Honestly sometimes the only thing I feel like I can remember about how government works is what I learned from Schoolhouse Rock (did they really make us watch that in high school?! I hope I’m remembering that wrong).

It appears that the definition of `video programming’ in the bill went from

“programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station, even if such programming is distributed over the Internet or by some other means.”


“programming by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by a television broadcast station, but not including consumer-generated media (as defined in section 3).”.

So. It seems that Internet-only and live programming is left out. (the Caption Action 2 blog says this as well). But there’s still lots of other good stuff in the bill. Three cheers for [some] progress.



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