FAX BILL SIGNED BY PRESIDENT
Junk Fax Prevention Act becomes law
NEW YORK, July 11, 2005--On Saturday, July 9, 2005, the President signed the following bill into law: S. 714, the “Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005,” relating to unsolicited advertisements via telephone facsimile machines.
The practical significance is that, as of two days ago, people can send unsolicited advertising faxes where there's an EBR, as long as they comply with the new law's opt-out and other requirements, without the fear of getting sued. Companies must be vigilant to watch out for future state laws permitting suits, however, since--unlike the CAN-SPAM Act--this one does not preempt state laws.
You need not provide an opt-out opportunity for any faxes other than “unsolicited advertising” faxes, so, unless you have a business reason for offering to stop sending more faxes, you should word your opt-out notice accordingly. We are still waiting for an FCC response to our( now rather old) request that it clarify that renewal notices for no-charge subscriptions are not ads, and other content--such as order confirmations, surveys, etc.--are certainly not ads. If you decide that you want to be able to send such faxes, it's not a good idea to word your opt-out notice too broadly.
Steve Ennen, Director of Communications
American Business Media
T 212.661.6360 x3331