Two key acts pertaining to closed captions were passed in the US in 1990. The first was The Television Decoder Circuitry Act which required all analog television receivers of a certain size to have the ability to display closed captioning, and the second was the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which required that public facilities provide access to subtitles on televisions, films or slide shows.
Similarly, in the UK the first piece of subtitling legislation is in The Broadcasting Act of 1990 which required public broadcasting stations to provide minimum amounts of subtitling for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. This Act was updated in the Communications Act of 2003 which made provision for sign language, subtitles and audio descriptions and introduced the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as the new industry regulator.
More recently, Take 1’s services have been further expanded to help online content distributors comply with updated laws.
In 2010 the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was passed in America to bring previous accessibility laws up to date with new technologies. Under the CVAA, content owners have to ensure that video programming that is closed captioned on TV is closed captioned when distributed via the Internet. In the UK, a campaign by Action on Hearing Loss prompted the amendment of the Digital Economy bill in 2017 and gave Ofcom the power to compel broadcasters to provide subtitles on video-on-demand content.
GLOBAL CONTENT IN THE INTERNET AGE
The recent explosion of video platforms has changed the production and delivery of video content forever. Increased bandwidth, the prevalence of video on social platforms and the introduction of OTT delivery have created a marketplace centred around global moments, and content distributors are under pressure to deliver original broadcasts and local versions simultaneously.
The Take 1 team was given an early glimpse into this global content distribution future in 2014 when the company was contracted as the sole transcription supplier to Discovery Communications LLC. Discovery’s reversioning team used Take 1’s transcriptions and systems to repurpose their content for distribution in multiple languages across the world in 2014 in the same way that Netflix does today. Take 1 has applied this experience to establish themselves as reliable localisation partners, providing everything from post-production and “as broadcast” scripts, to translations, subtitles, spotting lists and the myriad of reports needed for syndicated delivery.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
There’s a lot of debate about the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the industry of the future, and there’s little doubt that the way transcriptions are created will be affected by this technology over time, but Take 1 believes it’s the data within these transcriptions that holds the key to making future workflows more efficient. This belief has prompted the company to develop Liberty a system which converts transcriptions into XML metadata so that it can be repurposed into the various documents and reports needed throughout the global content production workflow - promoting the post-production script from a single purpose document into the blueprint for the entire localisation process.
Take 1 believes that Liberty can change the future of localisation by deriving data once and applying it throughout the value chain which may sound like a lofty ideal until you consider the company’s track record.
Here’s to the next twenty years of transcription.