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Rancho Bernardo: Junk Fax Protection Act

In Rancho Bernardo, in our law office of Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, LLP we receive many faxes which are soliciting services or products. We believe many other companies in Rancho Bernardo and throughout San Diego city and county also receive these. Below is some information for business owners like ourselves regarding this unwanted use of our paper in our fax machine and our toner. Our law firm practices in estate planning and family law. Please feel free to call or our e mail us with any questions or legal inquiries.

There may be some finality to the formerly unsettled picture on federal regulation of junk fax transmissions. Since the first federal legislation on the subject, in 1991, there has been an “established business relationship” exception allowing the sending of commercial advertising by fax under certain conditions. In 2003, the Federal Communications Commission issued a regulation that would have effectively removed the exception, requiring express written permission from the recipient for sending any commercial ads by fax. Opposition from business groups prompted the FCC to put off enforcement of that rule three times.

Before the restrictive FCC regulation ever became effective, new legislation has reinstated the established business relationship exemption. It is still illegal to send unsolicited fax advertisements to anyone who has requested that they not be sent. However, unsolicited faxes can be sent if the sender has an established business relationship with the recipient and the fax itself has a conspicuous notice on its first page informing the recipient that it can request not to be sent more such faxes. To combat the sale of fax lists to mass marketers, the law requires businesses to obtain fax numbers either directly from the recipient or from a published source, such as a directory, an advertisement, or a website.

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