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Shaffer Comments on FCC’s TCPA Order in Law360

FCC clarifies a confusing TCPA provision, leaving businesses hoping for clarity on other points.

Law360 quoted Partner Scott Shaffer in a story about the Federal Communications Commission’s latest ruling concerning the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The FCC ordered that all faxed advertisements, even those sent to companies’ customers, must contain directions on how recipients may opt out of receiving future faxes. Because the prior rule was unclear, the FCC granted advertisers retroactive immunity for any previous faxes that lacked opt-out notices. After a six-month sunrise provision, advertisers must include information on all faxed advertisements that clearly and conspicuously tell recipients how to opt out of future communications. When asked for a comment on the ruling by Law360, Shaffer responded that “The retroactive waiver that was granted is a good exercise of common sense, something that is not always present in TCPA jurisprudence. Thanks to the waiver, businesses guilty of technical but largely harmless violations of law will not be subject to potentially crushing $500-per-fax liability.” Businesses that communicate through mass text messages or autodialed telephone calls are hoping this ruling signals that the FCC will take a similarly lenient approach for other confusing TCPA provisions, such as the key legal definitions of the terms “autodialer” or “called party.”

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