Legal Issues

by Joseph Weisenthal

FCC Issues Rules Against Junk Faxes, Problem Probably Not Gone

from the legislative-attempts dept

The FCC finally came out with guidelines in implementing the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005. Depending on whom you talk to, it either opens the floodgates for more junk faxes or radically limits it. At issue is the requirement that a sender of commercial faxes has an existing business relationship with the receiver. Some worry that this could be defined liberally, so that anyone who looked at a company's website could claim a "relationship", but the definition found in the FCC directive (warning .pdf) appears to clearly define this as some sort of transaction, or two-way communication based on sales of products or services. It specifies that an inquiry pertaining to, say, the location of a store doesn't qualify. It also specifies that the receiver can request a stop to the faxes at any time, though "opt out" solutions haven't been too popular in the past. The issue of junk faxes, which hasn't gotten as much attention as spam, has been a legal issue for some time, with The Congress having taken up the issue a couple of years ago. While the latest FCC ruling looks like a positive step, it's clear that legislative solutions can be pretty complicated. Also, with the ability to send faxes over the internet, this probably won't do much to prevent fax spam from overseas.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    eb, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 12:21pm

    Junk Faxes

    Opt-out is useless--it does stop them for about 3 months, and then it starts again, you opt-out again, etc., etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Andrew Strasser, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 12:53pm

    Seemed to work well.

    I did that at the Vatican and the Congress once on different issues. It worked well both times. Of course i had asked for help from others as well. It is a good way of making a statement to your Politicians and Church/Mosque/Synagogue representatives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Bob, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 1:13pm


    Destroy your fax machine. No more faxes! Try email instead. Need a physical document right away? FedEx works pretty well. Or a courier service will do a local delivery in a couple hours.

    I've noticed recently that I don't get very many junk FedEx overnight mailers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    In this day fax systems should never be set up to just print a fax anyway. It's so simple to have it read into a computer- any Windows XP computer with a modem will do it with very little set up- and from there distributed electronically. Users only need print the faxes they are interested in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Glen, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    "No Call List"

    I'm curious, how do the courts interrupt a "call?" If ones number is registered with the Federal No Call List, then wouldn't a fax sent to a register number be considered a "call" violation?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), Apr 7th, 2006 @ 1:22pm

    You know, it's ironic that when the government attempts to deal with one of these modern day annoyances that might not be life threatening, but annoying, stressful and costly, that the best anyone can hope for is that the problem doesn't get worse?

    Our expectations are so low, and not without reason.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    VonSkippy, Apr 8th, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    Fax Machines - How Quaint

    The 70's called, they want their technology back.

    I haven't had a fax machine for over a decade - and enjoy a hearty scornful laugh at anyone dumb enough to suggest I need one.

    Anything a fax machine can do, PDF and email can do better. You don't have a way to scan in signatures or hand sketched drawings - that's your problem you Luddite, not mine.

    Besides saving on the cost of a fax machine, and all the consumables, I haven't had a fax line charge for 12 years (which in my area mean's a saving of over $6000)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Investor, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 9:49am

    I haved received numerous junk faxes and there doesn't seem to be any slow down especially working in real estate. At least I use a computer to pick up all the faxes digitally (nice feature of Mac OS X). It's real easy to sort through the junk faxes and only focus on the ones you are looking for without wasting any paper.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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