Small Biz

US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal

Fax of life

"We do more than just fax marketing," claims on its web site. "We have assisted several missing children organizations, law enforcement agencies and individuals with fax poster alerts."

Why is playing the good guy card? That's obvious: the FTC recently fined the Aliso Viejo (California) company $5.4 million for sending unsolicited advertisements via fax machines, the biggest penalty ever imposed for such a violation. The FTC says that on more than 400 occasions the company, which faxes messages for clients for a fee, violated regulations which forbid companies from sending junk faxes.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will not hear a case challenging restrictions on unsolicited faxes. had filed a case against attorney general Jeremiah W. Nixon, who in 2000 accused of violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which outlaws junk-fax advertising. argued that the law was unconstitutional, representing a government ban on First Amendment free speech, and that "commercial speakers are relying upon technological advances to advertise".

The rejection by the Supreme Court may well be the end of Several states and individuals have already sued, including California, Idaho, law firm Covington & Burling and Propel Software, which is seeking <$2.2 trillion from

Others believe that will survive. According to, has created several smaller companies to make it harder for people to find and sue them. In 2002, did $20 million in revenue. ®

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