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FCC Delays 'Do Not Fax' Rule

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WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - Aug. 20, 2003) - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has delayed implementation of the new 'Do Not Fax' rule in response to requests from numerous organizations asking for clarification and/or postponement of the rule.

The rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on Monday, Aug. 25, has been put on hold until Jan. 1, 2005, to give organizations time to comply. Beginning in 2005, the rule will prohibit any organization from sending any advertising-related fax without an individual's express written permission.

The rule states that having an established business relationship with the recipient does not constitute permission, which has led numerous organizations in recent weeks to work quickly and send 'permission to fax' forms to anybody they routinely fax to.

So far, the FCC has yet to confirm whether or not charitable transactions are covered under the new rule. Since the rule was announced, AFP has worked with a broad coalition of organizations, including the American Society of Association Executives, to ask the government to clarify and/or postpone the new requirement.

'It's simply impractical to try to implement a rule in the space of one month that is so unclear and that will have such a dramatic impact upon many organizations,' said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, AFP president and CEO. 'We're pleased the FCC realized that, although members should understand that nothing in the rule has been changed, and it still goes into effect in a year and a half.

'AFP will now begin working with the FCC and other organizations to try and reach clarification about how the rule will impact charitable transactions,' Maehara said.

The Do Not Fax rule was established as part of the recent modification of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which included the much-publicized federal Do Not Call List. The final rule was published in the July 25 Federal Register.

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