Steven Hacker of
A newly passed law in California meant to limit
fax transmissions sent without permission has rankled many in the
meetings industry. “California may be ‘terminating’ itself as a
place open to new business development following the signing into
law by Gov. Schwarzenegger of the anti-fax legislation,” declared
Steven Hacker, CAE, president of the Dallas-based International
Association for Exhibition Management.
The measure, which takes effect on Jan. 1, allows recipients of
unwanted faxes to sue senders for $500 for each transmission and
encourages courts to triple damages if the violation was
California State Senator Debra Brown (D-Redondo Beach), sponsor
of the law, declared junk faxing as “one of those things that
annoys the daylights out of people and small businesses” and said
the measure was meant to bolster a recent federal ban that she
deemed too weak.
Nevertheless, in addition to IAEM, groups such as the American
Society of Association Executives and The Center for Association
Leadership have joined a “fax ban coalition” against the
“The California law prohibits fax transmission without prior
consent, regardless of established business relationships,” said a
spokesperson for ASAE & The Center. “While there is limited
exception for faxes sent by professional and trade associations,
many have protested the new law on behalf of members.”
“There are annual, biannual and quadrennial trade shows,” said
Jade West, senior vice president, government relations, for
Washington, D.C.’s National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.
“With personnel changing, if you needed verbal advance permission
to fax, it would be impossible to do under California law.”
At press time, the coalition was considering a lawsuit and
planned to petition the Federal Communications Commission for a
ruling that would preempt state fax statutes.