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Supreme Court Backs Do-Not-Call List 446

The Ghetto Imp writes "According to CNN Money, the Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of telemarketing companies, which were claiming that the do-not-call list violated their free speech rights. "
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Supreme Court Backs Do-Not-Call List

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  • by Lord Grey ( 463613 ) * on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:13PM (#10430504)
    Now wait just a minute. From the article:
    "We hold that the do-not-call registry is a valid commercial speech regulation because it directly advances the government's important interests in safeguarding personal privacy and reducing the danger of telemarketing abuse without burdening an excessive amount of speech," the [Denver-based] appeals court said.
    Emphasis mine.

    Is this the same government that instituted the Patriot Act? (I know, some of it was recently declared unconstitutional [slashdot.org], but the Act was put in place first.)

    It's very nice that privacy is becoming a little more important these days, at least with the state governments, but please don't try to rewrite history.

    That said, I'm very happy the do-not-call list will remain. It's cut down my dinner interruptions to almost zero.

    • by anonymous cowherd (m ( 783253 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:16PM (#10430557) Homepage
      Note that it was the executive and legislative branches that cooperated to pass the USA PATRIOT Act, while the quote is a statement of the judicial branch.
    • by Skater ( 41976 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:18PM (#10430580) Homepage Journal
      I'm pretty sure that comment was meant to be "government's role in general, as defined by the constitution" as opposed to "the current administration". Also, remember the Supreme Court didn't pass the Patriot Act...

    • by TrollBridge ( 550878 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:21PM (#10430626) Homepage Journal
      Of course, it was the same Supreme Court that declared parts of the Patriot Act unconstitutional. The SC is being VERY consistent here.

      The system works. Sometimes it just takes a little more time.
      • by David Price ( 1200 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:49PM (#10431763)
        I don't think you can claim the Patriot Act decision last week says anything about the Supreme Court's jurisprudence, since the Supreme Court isn't the court that handed that decision down.

        The ruling you're probably alluding to, Doe v. Ashcroft [aclu.org], has not yet reached the Supreme Court. The decision reported in the news last week was handed down by Judge Marrero of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York [uscourts.gov].

        If the government chooses to appeal, it must first bring its case to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [uscourts.gov] (the 2nd Circuit is a geographical division that includes New York.) The loser there can appeal to the Supreme Court, which may or may not decide to hear the case - it has thousands of petitions and can only hear a few dozen each term.

        If, as in the do-not-call case, the Supreme Court chooses not to hear the case (denies cert), the decision of the lower court stands. This shouldn't be read as an affirmative decision of the Court to favor one side of the issue or not, just a deference to the judgment of the circuit courts coupled with an inability to hear every case that goes up.
    • by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:22PM (#10430641) Homepage Journal
      It's tempting to believe that we are governed by a monolithic well of power called "The Government" but in fact, "The Government" is an organization of many individuals and departments, with varying levels of competency, conflicting goals, and uneven beneviolence.

      Congress, the Attorney General, and the President were the groups responsible for the Patriot Act. The Supreme Court is a different department of government.
    • but please don't try to rewrite history.

      What does a judge saying the government has an interest in protecting privacy have to do with rewriting history? He's not commenting on what they've done--and certainly not on any particular piece of legislation with the possible exception of the one (Do-Not-Call) before him--he's merely stating that the government has an interest in protecting privacy and this bill does so. He's making a legal argument. That's what judges do.

      Actually, if you'd put emphasis on

    • Whereas in Canada... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nos. ( 179609 )
      We have PIPEDA [privcom.gc.ca] that says that my home phone number, name, etc. is protected information. Thus calling me at home in this type of situation can be considered a violation of this act. I'm currently in discussions with a car dealership and a bank over violations of both my privacy and my wife's. (We applied for a car loan and got a call from a mortgage specialist - who had our credit history - offering to help transfer our mortgage).
    • The government is interested in having the private sector safeguard privacy - see HIPAA and GLB for banking.

      Don't think for a moment that any of that pertains to the government, though.

    • There is some question [volokh.com] as to whether or not it was actually the PATRIOT act that was partially declared unconstitutional. The ACLU says it was, many (the Justice department and several other independent attorneys) say it was another law that was struck down.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:14PM (#10430512)
    The telemarketers argued that the list violated their commercial free-speech rights, that it unfairly did not apply to political and charitable solicitations, and that less restrictive regulations already allow consumers to block unwanted calls.

    Well, before the list I was getting several calls a week and now I get none except "personalized messages from the President of the United States"... What regulations existed before that let me get off their list? Telling them I wanted on or off their list (whichever they interpreted as the correct way) or allowing me to have caller ID so that I could see "Unknown" show up and choose not to answer only to have them fill up my answering machine with a partial message?

    I do agree that political messages should be disallowed. It would be different if the political messages were from non-profit groups representing a candidate that wasn't using tax dollars to campaign and wasn't bringing in MILLIONS of dollars of donated money to spread his name... I do NOT appreciate a 6pm phone call from "President Bush" where he tells me more of what I don't care to hear. I especially don't appreciate when it runs onto my answering machine messages too. I want to declare all the area outside of my phone line a Free Speech Zone. He's free to spread his message there where I don't have to listen to it.

    How about next we ban companies from asking for your phone number every single chance they get? Buffalo Wild Wings asks when you order, Best Buy now asks when you buy something, we all know and love Shit Shack for what they used to do and probably still do, etc. They are asking for one reason and one reason only... To get your number so that they (and their subsidiaries) can call you even though you're on a DNC list. It's a fucking scam plain and simple. There's no reason to even bother with DNC legislation if we are going to allow gaping holes to exist to trick the population into handing over the information the scam artists need. If our government is really concerned with "protecting us from evil" they can start right fucking there.

    Keep the god damn phone lines for opt-in calls only after all that's REALLY protecting my privacy right?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "How about next we ban companies from asking for your phone number every single chance they get?"

      People can ask whatever they want. You have the right not to answer. I have never had anyone refuse to do business with me because I wouldn't give them my phone number.

    • It appears that Radio Shack has learned their lesson. Last time I was in there the 'manager' (or that's what it said on his name tag) didn't ask me for anything other than method of payment. It was the best experience I've ever had in one of their stores.
    • by The Snowman ( 116231 ) * on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:25PM (#10430694)

      How about next we ban companies from asking for your phone number every single chance they get?

      The DNC list definitely makes it possible to opt-in by giving your phone number out and signing a contract (read the fine print). So what I do is give out real numbers that do not belong to me. For example, the police department in Lakewood, Ohio, 44107, is 216-521-1234. Stores all over the east coast have that number in their databases. I list it publically in my Yahoo profile and I think on my web site. I had an old high school friend IM me asking why a policeman picked up the phone when he called me. I am evil :-)

      Anyway, as long as companies try to take away my freedom not to be interrupted with spam email, spam paper mail, and spam phone calls, I will exercise my freedom to fuck with their databases.

      • Eh... I'd be careful on the listing the police department number as your own. Too many phone calls to their number asking for John Gaughan and you may up for charges ranging from "false representation as an officer" to "obstruction of justice" to "being a public nuisance." Sure, the charges may not be too terribly applicable, but how many courts are going to argue for you forwarding all business calls to a target, thereby tying up phone lines that are needed for the work of justice?
    • How about next we ban companies from asking for your phone number every single chance they get? Buffalo Wild Wings asks when you order, Best Buy now asks when you buy something, we all know and love Shit Shack for what they used to do and probably still do, etc.

      My father works at prison so I would amuse myself by always giving out the phone number of the prison to anyone who asked me for my number without purpose. As long as I am in their database under a number I know it all works out. They can retrie
    • As a person who has spent time behind bars for removing illegal spam (Street Spam), I'm pretty involved in the right to "privacy" in public spaces.

      I'm actually surprised the SC has taken this popular, but problematic approach.

      I predict that telemarketers will all go into "legitimate" businesses, such as raising money for cancer, communists, boy scouts, lesbian child care co-ops, and in short any tenable proposition.

      In failing to insist on full content neutrality, the SC has opened the door on a dual stan
    • Slightly off-topic, but in Canada, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") (link here [privcom.gc.ca]) came into effect on Jan 1, 2004. No organization is allowed to solicit your personal information without clearly showing you their privacy policy which must outline what is done with the data (how it's stored, managed, if it leaves the company's hands, the country, etc.). You have the right to say "No thanks" when the clerk at SportMart asks for your phone number, ditto when the clerk a
  • by Kumorigoe ( 816912 ) <rromig&hotmail,com> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:15PM (#10430527)
    Violation of free speech? Excuse me? They think that they have a RIGHT to interrupt my dinner, sex life, or gaming? Or, even more importantly, Slashdotting? I THINK NOT
    • A slashdot poster that has a sex life or eats dinner? Amazing!
    • Funny thing is, people PUBLICALLY list their phone numbers and then wonder why random people call. People spew out their email on the internet and wonder why they get spam.

      The truth is, AS INDEVIDUALS we could do a lot more for ourselves to reduce telemarketing and spam. But most of us don't.

    • by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:27PM (#10431508)
      ...but if the phone rings when my sweetheart and I are enjoying out private time we ignore it and continue enjoying each other. I'd work on your skills in the sack if I were you and the phone ringing was of more importance to you than nookie.

      Anyways, I'm surprised the judge even considered the telemarketer's case--It really isn't a free speech issue at all IMHO. The DNC list doesn't restrict what you may say, it merely restricts how you may deliver your message in order to protect the privacy of individuals.. They can still rent billboards, advertise on TV, run newspaper and radio ads, etc etc. Unless they can make a case that their message is more important than privacy (say, public safety, criminal investigation or election information) then they have no case.

      They have no more right to solicit via telephone than they have to walk up and down a residential street at 2 AM with a bullhorn yelling "GET YER CITIFINANCIAL MASTERCARD HERE FOLKS!!! ONLY TWO PERCENT INTRODUCTORY AAAYYEEE PEEEE AHRRRRRR!". They are both equally disruptive to personal lives, and the free speech argument is flimsy at best. You can take you message public and that's your right, but you cannot use such agressive tactics to FORCE you message on others and argue it is your fundamental right without a damn good reason.
    • To sum up, then:

      Right to Free Speech != Right to be Heard.

      Say what you like. The intended audience is in no way obliged to care, or even to attend you.
  • Victory, for now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by H_Fisher ( 808597 ) <hvfisher@@@hotmail...com> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:15PM (#10430537)
    Excellent move on the part of the Supreme Court - this decision, moreso than a lot of recent ones, seems to reflect the wishes of the majority of the American people.

    Now I wonder how long it will take before the majority of Americans have as well-formed an opinion, or as loud a collective voice, on issues like copyright and fair use of music, movies, software, etc. I fear it'll take as much in-your-face annoyance as telemarketers produced before anything really gets done (and maybe not even then, if corporate greed has anything to say about it...)

    • by servognome ( 738846 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:21PM (#10430633)
      Excellent move on the part of the Supreme Court - this decision, moreso than a lot of recent ones, seems to reflect the wishes of the majority of the American people
      The Supreme court isn't supposed to reflect the wishes of the majority of the American people. That is what the legislative and executive branches are for. The Supreme court is charged with ensuring the other branches remain within the boundaries of the law. Historically, it has also served to resist "mobocracy" by protecting the minority from the wishes of the majority.
      • Re:Victory, for now (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        More specifically the Supreme Court is charged with ensuring the other branches remain within the boundaries of the Constitution.
  • by ProudClod ( 752352 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:15PM (#10430538)
    Cold calling is, in my mind, the equivalent of trespassing onto my property in order to say what I may or may not find useful (mostly the latter). It's an invasion of privacy rather than a free speech issue.

    Frankly, I welcome this addition to the US law - we've had a similar system to it over here in the UK for some time, and it really does work.
    • Actually, having a front door is considered an invitation to tresspass, long enough to state your business (unless there is a sign saying no tresspassing).

      This is just the equivilant of a No Tresspassing sign, only actually enforced. If only No Tresspassing signs carried as harsh a penalty.
    • The problem comes form people confusing the right to free speech with the right to be heard. One is not the other. The constution gaurentees that you are allowed to speak free of government restrictions (for the most part). You can make art how you like, scream your views out in the park, etc. What it does NOT gaurentee is that you'll have an audience for your expression. You are free to express yourself, and people are free to ignore you.

      Advertisers aren't the only ones who have this problem, many people
  • Free speech? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neuro.slug ( 628600 ) <neuro__NO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:16PM (#10430549)
    The telemarketers argued that the list violated their commercial free-speech rights, that it unfairly did not apply to political and charitable solicitations, and that less restrictive regulations already allow consumers to block unwanted calls.

    Right to make money through badgering salespeople desparate for commission. Honestly, it's sad how abusive corporate America will be to earn that extra dollar. No consideration whatsoever.

    -- n
  • Exactly where... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:16PM (#10430554) Homepage
    ... does the US Constitution give corporations the right to force people to listen to sales pitches against their will?!

    We have a right to speak, but NO one has any obligation to listen!

    • No, but I do consider it an intrude into and interrupto my personal life. While I can chose when to retrieve my email and my packages, I can't chose when people will call me. When I get calls I didn't ask for from companies that I did not give my phone number to, it is generally for something I don't want and it takes away from my time and energy to respond to it. I say this especially because many people might be expecting a particular call they wanted and dash to the phone from the shower, possibly wet
  • by TrollBridge ( 550878 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:17PM (#10430569) Homepage Journal
    Score 1 for the good guys! I don't know where the First Amendment guaranteed advertising and intrusive solicitation to corporations, and I'm glad the Supreme Court didn't find it buried in fine print either.

    Perhaps this will start a trend of defining (and more importantly, further limiting) this "Corporate Free Speech" assumed and abused by those who believe it is their right to harass us for the sake of profits.
  • by lawngnome ( 573912 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:17PM (#10430575)
    I think the do not call list is a great start - it dosent hurt telemarketers because guess what? If I want to get on the list I clearly dont want to hear from them, thus Im not a good prospect. Telemarketers should be thanking the government for putting all the people that dont give a crap about their calls together.
    • The dirty secret of telemarketing is that it depends on exploiting people who are highly vulnerable to high-pressure sales tactics (e.g. isolated elderly folks). Sales offers that can stand up on their actual merits can be effectively advertised through less obnoxious means; telemarketing is needed to sell crap that nobody would buy if they had a moment to think it over.

      Thus, if people are given the option of taking a one-time action that will block telemarketing (rather than having to resist unwanted sal

  • Reuters article (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:18PM (#10430589) Journal
    Here is the Reuters link for the entire article: link [reuters.com].

    At least this time there is a valid reason for my story being rejected.

  • from TFA: (Score:5, Funny)

    by antimatt ( 782015 ) <xdivide0.gmail@ORG.NET.EDU.com> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:18PM (#10430592) Homepage
    The telemarketers argued that ... less restrictive regulations already allow consumers to block unwanted calls.

    In related headlines, robbers worldwide have begun arguing that they don't like it when their victims carry guns.


    This really seems like an argument from desparation.
  • This is nothing more than the federal government creating telecom equivalent to the state and local laws that let you tell advertisers and sales people to get off your property and to stop bothering you. It's a no brainer that the SCotUS would uphold it.

    I'll take my victories where I can, but personally I'd rather be harassed by solicitors than have to live under the USA PATRIOT Act.
  • Thank God. . . (Score:4, Interesting)

    by twbecker ( 315312 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:20PM (#10430620)
    I've really become spoiled by the lack of telephone solicitations. I have to say that this is one law the government really did right.
    • I've really become spoiled by the lack of telephone solicitations.

      Spoiled implies a luxury. This is a right. In these parts it's called "the right to quiet enjoyment".

      Remember: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NoMoreNicksLeft ( 516230 ) <john.oylerNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:21PM (#10430630) Journal
    How does this help me, with the 5 phone calls a day while I'm waiting to hear back from places I've sent resumes in to?

    They start with a recording, often asking me to call a 800 number based offshore. Sometimes a "press 1" to speak to a CSR... which connects me to some sleazy outfit that contracts out the telemarketing, or so they claim. "Sir, we did not call you!". I have an idea. Make telemarketing, for anything (charities too) a crime punishable by prison time. Make it illegal for phone companies to not provide true caller id... not this shit they pass off as the same.
    • It's impossible to send a corporation to prison, if it were made a criminal action to call someone without their permission. Would you arrest the CEO? The person that made the phone call? The marketing department? The lobbyists that went against the DNC list in the first place? It would be nice for them to spend time in prison along side a spammer and a serial killer, but let's face it, it's impossible to implement.
  • Keep in Mind... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Biotech Nerd ( 812071 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:22PM (#10430642)
    The CNN article is a little misleading. All the Supreme Court did is choose not to review the ruling of the Tenth Circuit. It chooses not to review literally hundreds of circuit court cases each year. The scope of the actual ruling (the Tenth Circuit) is limited to the Tenth Circuit's jurisdiction. The Tenth Circuit covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. There are 12 other Circuit Courts in the Country (rest of the country), and they can come up with different rulings than the Tenth Circuit, although they will likely consider the Tenth Circuit's holdings in reaching their decisions. If they come up with different results (referred to as a split circuit), then (and only then) would the Supreme Court would likely review the cases (and even that is not certain). So, don't read too much into this.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:23PM (#10430674) Homepage
    I know I can't be the only one who is simply amazed at the success people have gained through activities that simply annoy most people.

    After giving this some careful thought I have been developing a marketting plan that will exploit other things that annoy people as a means of marketting.

    Given that many of the most popular foods served in the U.S. often result in halitosis and/or flatulation (which are both annoyances) I have decided to develop this as a marketting scheme that not only benefits the hungry and homeless out there (an important public service) but also spreads the word about any given human consumable food or drink on the market, present and future.

    My scheme, known as "Fartketting," consists of hiring low-cost employees and volunteers to consume only the food or drink of any given campaign and then either talk to people about it in close-in, poorly ventilated areas or simply emitting the natural effects of said products either in the form of flatulation or other gastric anomoly. This can be thought of as serving samples to the unsoliciting public.

    I believe that if current marketting trends are effective, then this too should be an effective way of spreading the word about products and services to the public.

    This method of marketting is currently patent pending, so don't get any wise ideas! This baby is ALL MINE!
  • Next list! (Score:2, Informative)

    by kkovach ( 267551 )
    This is good to hear. Now, all we need is a do-not-use-IE list.

    DO-NOT-USE-IE [donotcall.gov]

    The damn form doesn't work unless you use IE. Fools!

    - Kevin
  • by spiritraveller ( 641174 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:25PM (#10430704)
    FYI, the Supremes did not "back the do-not-call list". They denied cert in the case, which means that they simply refused to hear the appeal.

    The Supreme Court has held in the past that a denial of cert is not in any way an endorsement of the appeals court's ruling. Only a small fraction of applications for cert are actually granted by the Court.

    It is still possible that another lower court (outside of the 10th Circuit) could hold the Do-Not-Call List unconstitutional. Hopefully, any other court would find the 10th Circuit's opinion persuasive... but unless such a court is actually in the 10th Circuit, they are not required to follow the ruling.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:28PM (#10430738) Homepage
    I wonder how many, if any, telemarketting executives out there appear on the Do-Not-Call lists themselves? I think *THAT* would be an interesting fact to look into. Does anyone have access to the data pertaining to this?
  • by deinol ( 210478 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:31PM (#10430787) Homepage
    At least for now, they can't call cell phones. So I don't even have a land line anymore. I didn't use it when I had it, and it's not like I can not have a cell phone for my line of work. My old land line only got calls from telemarketers, nobody who knew me used it.
  • How far does it extend? I know non-profits are supposeedly exempt, but can you tell them you are on the DNCL anyway?

    What about companies you deal with? Case in point, my bank calls me *constantly* with BS deals for house loans, car loans, crap like that, can I tell them to FOAD?

    Esp. now that the DNCL has been delared valid!
    • You still have the right to tell them to take you off their call list, and they must oblidge and do so. Think of the DNCL as a 1st layer filter stating, "If this person doesn't do business with you or you're not a non-profit go away" which will take out probably 80-90% of your telemarketing calls. You still have the right to tell the remaining 10-20% to take you off their list and they must comply and technically their first call hasn't violated any laws; however, subsequent calls after you've given them
  • by Captain Sarcastic ( 109765 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:33PM (#10430808)
    There are those who might argue that the telemarketers are doing nothing more than the equivalent of "phone junk mail" - that these phone calls are no different from the unsolicited ads you get in the mail, and that it's not a long walk between the mailbox and the trash can.

    That being said, I'm delighted that the Supreme Court didn't accept that interpretation. Telemarketers demand your time in a more immediate fashion, and with some of them able to stay on the line until you've held the switch hook down for 10 seconds, they are far more capable of interfering with other communications than junk mail does with other correspondence.

    I'm glad that the Supreme Court took that view - you see, the purpose of the Supreme Court is not necessarily to bow to the will of the people; its purpose is to see whether the balance of rights is maintained.

    So, let's not get too carried away with what this decision means. The telemarketing companies may end up trying other ways to get around the "do-not-call" list.

    We know what eternal vigilance pays for, after all.
    • Your right, they will get around the DNC list very easily. A "Charity" organization will simply be the outsourced telemarketers. If they get a small percentage of the profits, the call is technically from a "charity". So, Citibank can have a hundred calls a day going to your DNC'ed phone number, and because Christian Childrens Fund is doing the sales, it is all legit.
  • Perhaps the biggest mistake was that The American Teleservices Association, Mainstream Marketing Services Inc. and TMG Marketing Inc. all decided to run telemarketing campaigns directed at the Supreme Court judges, their family, and staff to hear the case. Not the smartest move to interrupt Rehnquist while he was having his bologna rye sandwich and thinking about the decision.
  • you misunderstand (Score:5, Informative)

    by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <kepler1@@@hotmail...com> on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:37PM (#10430878)
    Many people (and corporations) are confusing the meaning of free speech with their belief that they have a so-called "right" to do (something) they want, which they then claim is some form of speech.

    I would submit to you that by the term free speech, the constitutional framers (and smart judges) interpreted to mean the free exchange and discourse of intellectual ideas between people and institutions, unrestrained by prior interference by the state.

    People calling me to sell products is not exactly the free exchange of intellectual ideas -- they just want to hawk their wares. That's why the no-call list doesn't include political organizations, etc. which *are* in the business of discussing ideas with people.

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:42PM (#10430933) Homepage
    The press almost always gets this wrong. The Supreme Court, except in very limited circumatances, gets to choose what cases they accept. What it sounds like happened in this case is that they decided not to hear the appeal. That means the result of the lower court stands--in that circuit.

    That is different from the Supreme Court rejecting the appeal--very different. It does NOT mean that the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court. They may, for instance, think that the issue needs more consideration in other lower courts before they take it.

  • And the rest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GreatDrok ( 684119 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @01:42PM (#10430937) Journal
    I have subscribed to every possible method of stopping the buggers calling me. I'm on the UK equivalent DNC list, I have also registered my postal address in the same way. I bought a TiVO so I wouldn't have to watch the adverts on telly and I use firefox with adblock to clean up my web browsing. Finally, I run spamassassin and thunderbird which clears out SPAM. I wonder how long it will be before the advertisers realise that I don't actually want anything to do with them. More to the point, those that get through my defenses go onto my "do not ever buy anything from these jerks" list so they really should learn to leave me alone. I suspect many others are of the same opinion.

    In the UK there is an interesting get-out for the telemarketers - while they cannot call to sell me something there is a provision that allows them to do market research. Now, every single call I get is from some company asking me if I were to replace my kitchen or bathroom etc, which would it be? This is not market research, it is just a slimey way around the legislation. Thankfully, it is rare that I get these calls compared with before I joined the telephone preference service but it is still annoying. Advertisers need to understand that I am making a definite decision to have nothing to do with them and they should just stay away. I would love to say "or else" but have no idea what the "else" would be.
    • Absolutely. Back when spam was first taking off, there was a place to pledge never to do business with spammers. I have stuck with that for lo, these many years.''

      But telemarketers... you need to tell them you won't buy from them or join them or whatever. I've done this on a number of occasions. ``Look, I currently do xyzzy business with your company. If I ever get another unsolicited phone call from your company or a rep, I will never do business with you again. Is that clear? Please make sure this
  • The Bill of Rights is for the individual, not a potentially immortal, money-making entity. It's meant to protect the individual, not the interest of a commercial organization.
  • by prozac79 ( 651102 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:07PM (#10431270)
    I can only imagine how this got to the Supreme Court to begin with. I think it went something like this:

    [Ring, ring]
    Clerk: "Hello, Supreme Court clerk's office, Daron speaking"
    Operator: "Hello sir, please don't hang up, but I would like to offer you a court case with a lot of free speach implications"
    Clerk: "Uh, no than"
    Operator: [Cutting him off] "This is a once-in-a-lifetime case that will only be valid for a limited time only. We will even though in an RIAA copyright case, absolutely free! That's two Supreme Court cases for the price of one."
    Clerk: "No thank you, we already have enough court cases here. We don't need another."

  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:08PM (#10431281) Homepage Journal
    I get to fuck with them to no end, and waste their time.

    Last one I got was from Earthlink, trying to sell me high speed internet service. Some Indian guy who only spoke b+ level English tried to sell me something I already have:

    Indian: Do you have a computer?

    Me: (yelling) Dear, do we have a computer? (pause)
    yes, we have a TRS-80. Will your Internet work with that?

    Indian: What operating system do you use?

    Me: Apple Basic.

    Indian: Oh yes, no problem. Would you like out anti-virus, spam blocker, and popup blocker for $10 extra?

    Me: No, I like SPAM(tm), it's great cooked. And I've already had my flu shot this year.

    (After 10 minuets of this sort of sillyness)

    Me:By the way, what is this 'Internet' thing you keep mentioning?

    You can try to pick up telemarketers who call (guy or girl, doesn't really matter), act like an idiot, act interested and accidentally drop the phoe a lot, accuse the caller of racial slander, etc. This accomplishes two ends. You get to have a great time messing with people's heads and you waste their time, lowering the profitability of telemarketing overall. I *highly* reccomend it...
  • DNC DOS? (Score:4, Informative)

    by DataMine ( 601955 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:13PM (#10431348)
    So who is going to be the first person to write a distributed client to submit 000-000-0000 to 999-999-9999 to the DNC list.. Could this be considered a DOS attack?? :) Just a though
  • Pre-DNC list (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spoing ( 152917 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @02:46PM (#10431732) Homepage
    Before the DNC list, I'd ask them not to call even using the magic phrase...and they still called.

    With the DNC list, no problems!

    If the telemarketing industry wanted anyone to take the self-regulation claims seriously, they would have honored in spirit not just the letter of the old laws. Instead, they weaseled around it; "OK, you're on the do not call list for company X!" [2 minutes] "Hi! I'm calling from company Y!". I have no sympathy.

  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @03:32PM (#10432281) Homepage Journal
    ...the Right of Free Speech does not mean the right to force yourself to be heard.

    By their logic, I should be able to go cap a few telemarketers, and it would be legal because of my right to Bear Arms.

    By their logic...

  • Eliza @ Phone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cavac ( 640390 ) on Monday October 04, 2004 @04:25PM (#10433006) Homepage
    Given the current advances in Voice-Recognition and Text2Voice, why not program an Eliza-Bot to talk to sales scum on the phone? Maybe give it a heavy foreign accent to somewhat hide obvious problems with the voice recognition and A.I.?

    An Eliza-like bot should do the trick - just responds to a bunch of key-phrases whenever the sales-guy stops talking and for the rest: the good old "Tell me more" should work just fine.

    Just make sure the bot never responds with a definit "yes" or "no" but stays vague enough so "Mr. Sales" doesn't get his contract...

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