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If you send items to established customers by fax, you might find this interesting. I added the bold:


By Richard H. Levey
The Federal Communications Commission has delayed implementing new restrictions on outbound fax marketing until Jan. 1, 2005. The new rules would have gone into effect next week, on Aug. 25.

Within the same ruling, the FCC also rejected a request by the American Teleservices Association (ATA) to postpone revisions to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including the implementation of the federal do-not-call list, pending judicial review.

Under the new ruling, the requirement that a fax marketer first obtain the recipient's express permission to send faxes in writing, as opposed to relying on having an established business relationship, was postponed.

Existing rules, which prohibit sending unsolicited faxes to targets, remain in effect despite the extension.

In deciding to issue the postponement, the FCC said that, "many organizations may need additional time to secure this written permission from individuals and businesses to whom they fax advertisements." The FCC also indicated that it would consider additional petitions for reconsideration.

The new rules themselves have not changed. Under them, marketers are required to obtain written permission to send fax messages from the intended recipients, and must provide the number to which they may be sent.

The American Society of Association Executives was one of dozens organizations that filed either requests for clarification or stay of the new fax rules. In a statement, ASAE president John H. Graham IV said that "ASAE is gratified that the FCC has issued a stay of the new fax regulations. Our dialogue with the Commission to date has been positive and we look forward to adding any insight or perspective we can in the ongoing discourse on this issue."

The rejection of the ATA's request regarding the TCPA and the do-not-call list did not come as a surprise to Tim Searcy, the Indianapolis-based organization's executive director. "Very rarely does any regulatory agency come to the conclusion without the aid of the court that it has been wrong," he said.

Searcy added that the ATA will likely file a lawsuit against the FCC, seeking a stay.

The ATA is awaiting a ruling in a suit it filed against the Federal Trade Commission in February. That suit also asked for the new TCPA rules to be blocked. According to Searcy, the federal court judge in that case may issue a ruling by month's end.

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