The fax machines of this period typically used expensive thermal paper and a common complaint about junk faxes was that they consumed that expensive paper without permission, thus shifting the cost of printing the advertisement to the recipient.
In the U.S., the passage of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 1991 along with action by individual states reduced the use of junk faxes at that time. However, by the late 1990s junk faxing had once again become a widespread problem in the U.S., with the entry of a number of large-scale fax broadcasters such as fax.com who boasted of the capacity to send millions of fax advertisements per day. Because the legal restrictions of fax advertising are more widely known today, junk faxes are now predominately used in connection with disreputable or fly-by-night marketers.
The TCPA also requires a fax transmitter to identify the source phone number and transmitting organization or individual on each page. The process of war dialing to determine what phone numbers reach fax machines was also prohibited by the FCC rules under the TCPA.
The TCPA, in particular the junk fax provision, has been challenged in court on First Amendment grounds, but the law has withstood legal challenges.
and the sender complies with other requirements.
In April 2006, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented changes to the fax advertising rules of the TCPA. The new rules: (1) codify an established business relationship (EBR) exemption to the prohibition on sending unsolicited fax advertisements; (2) define EBR as used in the context of unsolicited fax advertisements; (3) require the sender of fax advertisements to provide specified notice and contact information on the fax that allows recipients to “opt-out” of any future transmissions from the sender; and (4) specify the circumstances under which a request to “opt-out” complies with the Act. The new rules took effect in August 2006.
The federal TCPA permits state junk faxing laws that are equal to or more restrictive than the federal law, and so many states have their own laws regarding junk faxes. Additionally, some courts have ruled that unsolicited fax advertisements are common law conversion, independent of any statutory provisions or exemptions.
Failure to provide any of the above information may result in the complaint being closed without further action.
State authorities can also take actions against violations of the TCPA.
It is also possible for the recipient of a junk fax to bring a private suit against the violator in an appropriate court of their state. Through a private suit, the recipient can either recover the actual monetary loss that resulted from the TCPA violation, or receive $500 in damages for each violation, whichever is greater. The court may triple the damages for each violation if it finds that the defendant acted willingly or knowingly.
GAO slams FCC on junk fax processing; * FCC hasn't followed through on violations of junk fax laws.(Government Accountability Office)(Federal Communications Commission)
Jun 15, 2006; Byline: M. E. Kabay Geeks like acronyms. Various sources (e.g., Computer Desktop Encyclopedia, The Jargon File, and the Geek...