Archive: September 1, 2015

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FCC Confirms Fax to Email Subject to TCPA, Releases Additional Fax Rulings

FCC Confirms Fax to Email Subject to TCPA, Releases Additional Fax Rulings

On August 28, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission, through its Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, issued three separate rulings on petitions relating to its fax rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

In a declaratory ruling, CGAB clarified that:

  • faxes sent and received over telephone lines are subject to TCPA regulation even if those faxes are “converted to and delivered to a consumer as an electronic mail attachment.”
  • “the consumer to whom the content of a fax or efax is directed,” and not the company hosting the fax servers that receive the faxes over a telephone line and re-send the faxes to the subscriber of the service, is the recipient of the fax under the TCPA.
  • the act of sending a previously-faxed document by email is not subject to TCPA regulation.

CGAB also declined to provide “safe harbor” fax opt-out language, noting that the TCPA rules and orders already set forth the required content for opt-out notices.  Finally, CGAB declined to issue a blanket rule as to whether “third parties, including fax broadcasters, who are retained to accept opt-out requests” are subject to TCPA liability, and instead noted that the question of whether a third party has sufficient involvement in the sending of faxes to create liability is an individualized inquiry.

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