DMA Pleased with Ruling on California Fax-Ban Law
February 28, 2006 – The Direct Marketing Association is pleased with yesterday’s US District Court decision that California’s fax-ban law as it applies to interstate faxes is preempted by federal laws that govern the sending of commercial faxes.
The US District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled in a declaratory judgment that the California Fax Ban Law (SB 833), as it applies to interstate faxes, is preempted by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
As it applies to intrastate faxes, the court ruled that the law is valid and not preempted.
"For small businesses especially, and those involved in business-to-business marketing, faxes remain a vital channel for communication with customers," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA's senior vice president, government affairs. "We have been following the California lawsuit closely and think the court's decision represents a significant victory in our fight to keep this important line of communication open for legitimate commerce."
DMA firmly believes that the authority to regulate interstate commercial fax messages lies with the federal government. The Communications Act of 1934, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, and the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 all confer upon the Federal Communications Commission the exclusive jurisdiction over interstate telemarketing.
DMA supports federal preemption for the National Do Not Call Registry and other regulations governing telephone and fax marketing. Two years ago, DMA formally petitioned the FCC to use its preemptive power to regulate interstate telephone and fax marketing.
And just last month, DMA joined with the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, and Magazine Publishers of America in joint formal comments to the FCC in support of a petition filed by the Fax Ban Coalition requesting that the FCC have exclusive authority to regulate interstate commercial fax messages.
“A unified national standard is almost always preferable to a patchwork of state laws that prove impractical and unworkable for legitimate marketers and nonprofits that routinely work across state lines,” added Cerasale. “We hope this decision bodes well for our efforts to have interstate telemarketing governed by a single national standard.”
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