Mobile Customers Are Forced

By Gene Koprowski  |  Posted 2005-09-21 Print this article Print

to Pay for Unwanted Advertising"> "When Acacias e-mails reached Joffes cellular carriers domain, his carrier automatically converted the text, that is, the content of the solicitations, into a format that could be transmitted to Joffes cellular telephone number," Norris wrote. Legal analysts said the reason that the case was upheld on appeal is the same reason that the law was written—to protect consumers from unwittingly spending money on cell phone minutes for unwanted text messages.
"Congress recognized that unlike incoming calls at a home phone number, cell phone users incur a cost for minutes used or amount of text contained in a text message, regardless of whether they are sending or receiving calls or messages," Johnson said.
"Without the TCPA, the consumer is unwillingly made to pay for receipt of advertising that he or she in many cases never desired to begin with and cannot effectively block otherwise." Many enterprise customers of mobile phones install proprietary software on handsets to avoid being spammed with unwanted text messages, said Tim Bradley, chief executive officer of AirClic Inc., a Newton, Pa., mobile phone applications developer. "Nobody wants that garbage interrupting their work," Bradley said. A February study by consulting firm Wireless Services Corp. said 43 percent of all text messages sent in the United States are spam, indicating that many electronic inboxes continue to be full of wanted, and unwanted, messages. Meanwhile, as intellectual property lawyer Daniel Venglarik of Dallas-based law firm Davis Munck PC told Ziff Davis Internet, the federal CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act of 2004 applies to text messages for the period after the Arizona case was filed, and that law provides similar protections to those given by the Arizona appeals courts decision. "CAN-SPAM applies to anything of this sort on a going-forward basis," Venglarik said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.


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