Tuesday, October 07, 2003

WASHINGTON/DENVER (Reuters) - Telemarketers may not dial the 51 million phone numbers on the national "do not call" list while a U.S. appeals court decides whether their free-speech rights are being violated, the court said on Tuesday.

The decision clears the way for the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the popular anti-telemarketing program, which had been thrown into legal limbo by a lower court decision days before it was to take effect.

The legal status of the list is still not resolved as the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver must determine whether it unconstitutionally discriminates between commercial and charitable calls, which are not subject to the no-call rule.

But until then, the FTC will be able to fine telemarketers up to $11,000 for each time they call numbers on the list. Consumers will be able to sign up if they have not yet done so, and thousands of telemarketing companies that still do not have the list will be able to purchase a copy.

Oh fer fuck's sake. My head hurts now. Look, instead of all this legal manuvering, how about we just give the telemarketers a three-day head start, absolved in perpetuity anyone who makes it to either Canada or Mexico (or anywhere out of the States, for that matter) and then just have a freefire session on the rest.

Really, that should take care of everything nicely.

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