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House Votes to Launch Do-Not-Call List 1007

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-tickle-my-digits dept.
Zendar writes "Yahoo! has a story on how it took less than an hour with a final vote of 412-8 to approve the 'do not call list'. "Votes to overturn the judge's order are expected mid-afternoon in both chambers, according to Republican leadership aides." The President is expected to sign today. Some choice quotes: "Fifty million Americans can't be wrong." and "This bill will pass faster than a consumer hanging up on a telemarker at dinner time." CNN also has the story."
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House Votes to Launch Do-Not-Call List

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  • by wellvis (544990) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:25PM (#7057257) Homepage
    Why can't they pass an anti-spam bill as quickly?
    • by igabe (594295) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:30PM (#7057310) Homepage
      It's one thing to block a phone number. It's another to block an email.

      Email is complicated. While most telemarketers seem to call from inside the US, email comes from all over the world.

      Spam is too profitable and too complex to just stop with a finger. Making a quick initiative to block spam is often fatal as seen when the first spam filters came out. All of a sudden you didn't receive that one email saying you won the lottery. =)
    • Quickly? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BoomerSooner (308737) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:34PM (#7057379) Homepage Journal
      How long have telephones been around?

      Doesn't sound quick to me at all. They aren't passing a bill saying No Telemarketing, they are passing a bill saying the FCC can have a Do Not Call List. BIG DIFFERENCE.

      Call the FCC for a Do Not SPAM list.
    • Because half of them will misunderstand and think it's a bill aimed at banning canned meat products.

    • The phone system is all regulated and controlled. While anyone can get a line and use it, only certian people can provide the service. It requires right of way to lay copper, millions of dollars of equipment and so on. So, all the companies that do it, have to coperate and obey regulations. One side effect is that they always can tell where a call came from. If someone blocks calling line ID for you, that just means that your box doesn't show you. The phone switch that serves your line knows where it came f
  • by Ghazgkull (83434) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:25PM (#7057259)
    The eight who voted against the bill were: Ron Paul, R-Texas; Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Kendrick Meek, D-Fla.; Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; Ted Strickland, D-Ohio; Lee Terry, R-Neb.; Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Chris Cannon, R-Utah.


    Hopefully voters will remember how well the dissenting congressmen "represented" them the next time they go to the polls.
    • Perhaps we should call them up at dinner time and ask them how they like being disturbed?
    • Anyone want to bet these Congressman have telemarketers in their districts?
      • by sartin (238198)
        Ron Paul is a former Libertarian who joined the Republican party (in my opinion) so he could get elected.
        He's probably just voting it down on libertarian principles.
        • Well then, I think we can add this to the Non-Libertarian FAQ [std.com]. Which incidentally is the first thing on google that shows up when you search for "libertarian faq". I guess that probably means there are less Libertarians than there are people out there who are extremely annoyed by them.
          • Hrm. For some reason I think I knew this was out there, but oddly enough I'd never read it.

            I did now. And I have to say, while I'm sure the author means well, his FAQ is pretty much worthless. I'm sure he believes everything in there, and to some extent it probably reflects his experience, but that hardly makes it "right".

            The problem libertarinism has is the people who make it up. Like most parties, they have a core, and then they have a fringe. Only in the libertarian party, there are actually more
      • 6 of the 8 who voted against this were from states centrally located in the U.S.

        It makes sense because long distance rates are cheaper there. A few cents a minute savings really adds up when you've got a phone room filled with hundreds of people working the phones.

        I own a business programming online surveys and a lot of my work comes from research studies that used to be conducted by huge phone centers out in the midwest. I like to think that I'm helping put them out of business. Too bad that telephone
    • by ptbarnett (159784) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:31PM (#7057336)
      Ron Paul is the House gadfly. He's a former Libertarian candidate for President, and reflexively votes against anything that expands government regulation.

      • I was about to say - Sounds Like Ron - I like the man
      • by pmz (462998) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:00PM (#7057730) Homepage
        He's a former Libertarian candidate for President, and reflexively votes against anything that expands government regulation.

        This context is important, because this means he very well could be a keeper (the value of having a Constitional defender in Congress shouldn't be underestimated, even if he is annoying).

        • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:33PM (#7058118)
          When did bending-over for big business become "defending the constitution?"

          Read the document sometime, you'll see the ideals of the Enlightement in print which include but are not limited to protection from government, protection from others, personal autonomy, democratic voice, freedom from religion, etc.

          If an industry is considered a nuisance by a vast majority of Americans and is limited through grassroots effort this can easily be seen as a democratic action at work. Dissenters might say its the tyranny of the majority, but they can have my telemarking calls if they truly believe that. Something tells me they won't volunteer. Would Ron Paul "defender of the Constitution" let coal burning plants pollute your neighborhood because an overisght comission via the EPA is more "big bad government?"

          Just because an industry exists doesn't mean that limiting it is 'big government.' Does Ron Paul want to live in country where we're citizens of corporations because of an irrational fear of "big bad government?" Probably. Would he let Microsoft go with a light slap on the wrist like Bush did. Definiately. Sorry about how your upstart was illegally crushed by the big business, but better that then more "big government" eh?

          All the neolib economists, starting with old man Milton, would just love to tear down the state and the protections it provides and let us become modern day serfs.

          Funny thing about free markets, they have a problem remaining free. Don't let that fact get in the way of a some irrational ideology though.
          • When did bending-over for big business become "defending the constitution?"

            Why do you assume that's his motivation? Have you considered that he really believes the do not call list is not constitutional, and it's therefore proper to oppose it even if that results a benefit to evil corporations?

            I happen to disagree with Ron Paul on this issue, but from everything I've seen he's an exceptionally principled Congressman, and I wouldn't mind having a few dozen more of him.

            All the neolib economists, star

    • They may very well have been representing their constituencies. Most of the reps on this list are Libertarians. In principle they object to the government intruding into business practices. This is just another form of said intrusion (albeit a popular one).
    • "Ted Strickland, D-Ohio;"

      "Hopefully voters will remember how well the dissenting congressmen "represented" them the next time they go to the polls."

      I don't know any of the rest of them but I do know Ted Strickland. Ted Strickland wants to protect peopele's jobs in his area, and yes, there is at least one Telemartking firm located in his district in southeastern Ohio that employs at least 500 people.

      Now I have no clue how many of those jobs may or may not be lost by this bill, but the fact is, he is votin
      • What is your address? I'll hire some local teenagers to blare their stereo outside your house in off hours. Since you are worried about employment, you'll have nothing to complain about.

        ostiguy
      • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <{su.narima} {ta} {niwrehs}> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:45PM (#7057515) Homepage Journal
        Telemarketers can go to hell.

        In my experience, having been called by telemarketers an average of 5-10 times a day, and having lived in a town with a great deal of telemarketing corporations, with a great deal of friends who worked at these corporations, I can honestly say I would be absolutely SHOCKED if a single telemarketing firm out there was selling a good product at a reasonable price.

        These firms exist solely to fleece unsuspecting invidiuals out of their money by being rude and aggressive on the phone.

        May they burn in hell forever, and no, I have litte to no sympathy for the people working these jobs.

        It puts food on your table? Great, you just took that money from some old lady on social security who would have otherwise used it to pay for prescription medication, and sold her a crummy product that won't work for more than a few days.
        • > Telemarketers can go to hell.

          "Hey, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, the 19 hijackers, Osama bin Laden, Uday and Qusay Hussein are all swimming in brimstone for eternity. Ain't that enough? What do you guys want from me?"
          - Satan.

      • Lost jobs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Synn (6288) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:50PM (#7057581)
        Well then, just post your email address and I'll sign you up to make sure a lot of spammers can put food on the table.

        Frankly, another person's right to earn a living ends when it invades on my right to privacy.
      • by southpolesammy (150094) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:50PM (#7057583) Journal
        So what you're saying is that the other 630,500 people in Ohio's 6th district are wrong? Last I recall, the job of the representative is to 'represent' the views of his/her constituency. This seems to fly contrary to that charter.
      • So yes, I think Mr. Strickland represented his area well. He wanted to protect some jobs that some people have, regardless of the slight inconvenience of a few.

        Then anything, any "industry" that generates jobs is a GoodThing? Even if ~1/2 the population of the country does not agree?

        Looking at our favorite whipping boy, the RIAA, legislators should protect them at all costs, because to let them break up due to changing technologies and attitudes would be to "lose jobs".

        If telemarketing is not working
      • by Ian Bicking (980) <ianb&colorstudy,com> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:06PM (#7057804) Homepage
        I personally fail to see how it is some great inconvenience to have telemarketers calling you every so often. Its putting food on someone's table, and is better than them being on welfare.
        It's small inconveniences multiplied a million times over. Telemarketers steal our time in small chunks. They are parasites. They decrease the quality of life in this country. We'd be better off with them on welfare, because at least then they would be doing nothing instead of actively making the world a worse place to live in.

        Sure, it's small inconvenience. It's also a small return. Is it okay to steal, if you only steal five cents at a time? Eh, whatever, I don't care about five cents. What if you stole five cents at a time from every person in the country? That's the kind of equation telemarketers are making -- small returns from small inconveniences, multiplied by every person in the country.

        We should stop worshipping jobs. We should start being concerned about productivity. Telemarketers have jobs, but they are completely unproductive. That's not the kind of economy I want to support.

      • by tetrad (131849) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:22PM (#7057994)
        Now I have no clue how many of those jobs may or may not be lost by this bill, but the fact is, he is voting to protect those jobs. I personally fail to see how it is some great inconvenience to have telemarketers calling you every so often. Its putting food on someone's table, and is better than them being on welfare. My brother in law worked for the firm for a time. In that impovershed area of the country good paying jobs are hard to come by.


        Perhaps Dave Barry [miami.com] said it best:

        Leading the charge for the telemarketing industry is the American Teleservices Association (suggested motto: 'Some Day, We Will Get a Dictionary and Look Up 'Services''). This group argues that, if its members are prohibited from calling people who do not want to be called, then two million telemarketers will lose their jobs. Of course, you could use pretty much the same reasoning to argue that laws against mugging cause unemployment among muggers. But that would be unfair. Muggers rarely intrude into your home.

      • by Corgha (60478) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:43PM (#7058235)
        Its putting food on someone's table, and is better than them being on welfare.

        "In other news, a recent crackdown on inner-city crime has caused a loss of jobs in the window-repair and alarm-system industries."

        So should we all go around breaking windows to generate repair jobs? No. This is known as the broken-windows fallacy [google.com]. What the naive "destruction == job-creation" analysis misses is that in the absence of all this destruction, people can put their time and capital to more productive uses. IOW, when people stop breaking in and stealing stuff, more businesses move in, existing businesses have to spend less on security, and more jobs are created.

        The short-term, localized job-creation benefit of crime is more than offset by the long-term, distributed opportunity cost.

        I personally fail to see how it is some great inconvenience to have telemarketers calling you every so often.

        In the case of telemarketers, what is being destroyed is time and productivity. That "inconvenience", even though it is seems negligible, can really add up when integrated over the number of people it affects.

        Let us suppose that there are 500 telemarketers whose full-time job it is to talk to people who do not want to hear from them (some of the 50 million people who explicitly said so by signing up for the list). They call these people, and take some time reading scripts to them and getting yelled at.

        Clearly, they are wasting at least 500 full-time jobs worth of other people's time. But telemarketers use machines to do the dialing and ringing and so on, so they actually waste *more* of the victims' time. And it takes time to recover from an interruption, so you can add that time on there too.

        This is time that people would otherwise be spending productively participating in the economy or resting to recharge for productively participating in the economy when they go back to work. People whose evenings are constantly disturbed by telemarketers go back to work less happy, less rested, and less productive, and so their employers, who were giving the employees this time off for a good reason, suffer because the returns on their investment in employee time off are lowered.

        And, of course, we have the fact that the telemarketers are talking to people who don't want their crap anyway, so the whole thing is fruitless.

        Telemarketers calling people who don't want their crap represent a net drain on the economy. The fact that the drain is spread out over lots of other businesses and workers and produces a tiny, localized benefit doesn't mean that it's good for the national economy as a whole, anymore than thieves are.

        Finally, when you consider the fact that many of these jobs are going over to India, anyway, we lose even the job-creation benefit, and the drain is even greater.
      • I don't know any of the rest of them but I do know Ted Strickland. Ted Strickland wants to protect peopele's jobs in his area, and yes, there is at least one Telemartking firm located in his district in southeastern Ohio that employs at least 500 people.

        Fuck you.

        Now I have no clue how many of those jobs may or may not be lost by this bill, but the fact is, he is voting to protect those jobs. I personally fail to see how it is some great inconvenience to have telemarketers calling you every so often. I
      • I personally fail to see how it is some great inconvenience to have telemarketers calling you every so often.

        There's a bit more to it than that. I work at home, and when I first started, there was no Do Not Call list in New York. I would get about 20 calls a day from telemarketers. A majority of those would be hangups... when their automated dialers call 10 numbers at once and whoever answers first talks to an operator and the other 9 get hung up on (an oversimplification of the process, but still accu
    • Representative government does not mean the will of the majority is neccesarily what is right for everyone. This is more so a case of wanted to make people happy so they will get re-elected, than having any sort of respect for something higher than that.

      Rest assured that those who claim to be representing the will of the people are only doing so on their own self-interests, and couldn't give two pence about whether or not you are called during dinner.

      Anyway; I would have to say that I am in support of a
    • The congressmen listed represent the following areas:

      Ron Paul -- Southeast Texas.
      Jeff Flake -- parts of Mesa, Chandler, and all of Gilbert, Queen Creek, and Apache Junction, Arizona.
      Kendrick Meek -- Miami, Florida
      Tim Ryan -- Youngstown, Ohio
      Ted Strickland -- suburbs of Youngstown, Ohio and Ohio River valley area
      Lee Terry -- Omaha, Nebraska
      Rob Bishop -- Northwestern Utah, including northern suburbs of Salt Lake City
      Chris Cannon -- Western Utah, including southern suburbs of Salt Lake City

      So how much you wa
    • When a bill loses 412 to 8, those remaining votes can almost be considered protest votes. That is to say, they're going on record with a "no" vote to oppose either a piece of pork that got snuck into otherwise popular legislation, or that they think that this is going to be a bad thing for their district... like those who have 1000 people working as telemarketers in their district. I'm not as concerned about the 8 "no" votes because they got washed by 412 votes going the other way. I'm more concerned about
    • The ones who voted against it did so because they realize that the federal gov't shouldn't be telling companies who they can and can't call. There also is an equal protection problem with the law because it exempts certain telemarketers from the list. Surprise, suprise, the exemptions include telemarketers raising money for political candidates. So have no fear, all those reps who voted in favor of this bill will be using their own telemarketers to remind you of that fact next November.

      This law isn't a
  • by Harald Paulsen (621759) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:26PM (#7057262) Homepage
    ..hell just froze over.
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:45PM (#7057508)
      > ..hell just froze over.

      Yeah, what the hell's going on here? Judge screws over 50,000,000 people because Congress screwed up. OK, so far, story makes sense.

      But what's with Congress fixing the problem, especially fixing it within a few days. I mean, come on, this is September 2003, not 2004! Nobody's gonna remember Congress fixing its mistakes when the elections are over a year away.

      WTF d00d? Did they also legalize drugs and a stoned-out-of-its-gourd Congress just forget to put it in the Record? Did terrorists put LSD in the Congressional water supply? KGB Agents under deep cover flipping all the calendars a year ahead in every office? A sudden attack of civic conscience? Just what the hell is going on on Capitol Hill, and is there any way of continuing it?

  • Shocked (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa (657393) * <skennedy.tpno-co@org> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:26PM (#7057267) Homepage
    Wait, my government went against a bussiness interest for the sake of the people?

    They did a good thing?

    I take back some of the bad things I have said about them. Now if only they could continue this trend...think about it...RIAA ruled unconstitutional, it's members shot. MS seperated into many different companies, forced to develop OSS.
    • Wait, my government went against a bussiness interest for the sake of the people?

      Yes, the telemarketers obviously tried to call congressmen during dinner to present their case and for some strange reason it backfired.

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:26PM (#7057270) Homepage Journal

    "Fifty million Americans can't be wrong."

    Unless those same 50 million people are using P2P software.
    • by realdpk (116490)
      Or those 50 million people voted for The Other Guy.
    • by Arcturax (454188) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:39PM (#7057439)
      Funny, but a very good point too. But this does show that when the people are upset enough about something, the government will have to react. The trick is to get enough people to care about the cause that it will make the reps sweat around election time.

      Now that the RIAA is going after Joe Sixpack and his family, you are going to see the same kind of backlash against them only in a much faster and more brutal way. Some reps have already come forth looking rather nervous about what the RIAA is doing and some have even given at least lip service to legistlation to stop the RIAA.

      With telemarketing, you just got bothered to buy crap and you could hang up. With the RIAA, you get a letter and you have to pay them thousands of dollars or you have to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to try to get you out of it. Common people will react to that far more vehemantly than they did to telemarketing, just wait, in about six months expect to see a lot of reps and senetors start abandoning the RIAA ship as public antagonism aginst the RIAA and its tactics builds up.
  • Shouldn't you have predicted that the telemarketers would have just passed on some cash to the campaign funds and won? Ooops.
  • Do the math (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Atario (673917)
    Small industry to offend

    plus

    Lots of voters to please

    equals

    Lopsided vote

    plus

    Passage in record time
    • I dunno about that. Congress seems to have recently turned its back on the tobacco industry, too. I wonder if the campaign subsidies are drying up, or if the members of Congress are on to some hip new industry to get funding from?
    • I am unsure how an industry with millions of employees (somewhere around 4 million IIRC) is considered "small" by you.
  • by jamie (78724) * <jamie@slashdot.org> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:28PM (#7057290) Journal
    And sixty million Americans are using peer-to-peer file sharing.

    I posted my incisive and witty commentary [mccarthy.vg] on this matter of vital national importance earlier this afternoon.

  • Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:28PM (#7057292) Journal
    While I am on the list and would very much like to see it go through, it irratates me when I hear statements like "Fifty million Americans can't be wrong.".
    Popular votes are routinely wrong and a number of them have had horrible consequences.
  • Nice logic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by siskbc (598067) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:30PM (#7057315) Homepage
    "Fifty million Americans can't be wrong."

    No, of course not. Not like 50 million Americans still believe in frikkin' astrology or anything.

    Hell, 25 million Americans still probably believe in Santa Claus. Sure, they're children, but that's really no excuse. ;)

  • by indros13 (531405) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:31PM (#7057338) Homepage Journal
    Inigo: "Do you hear that Fezzik? That is the sound of ultimate suffering. My heart made that sound when the six-fingered man killed my father. The Man in Black makes it now."

    Fezzik: "Actually, it seems to be coming from the direction of the Direct Marketing Association Washington offices..."

  • well that was fast. the only thing that i can recall having been passed in faster fashion were the House & Sentate approvals required to purchase the land for and the construction of the Pentagon. Took something like less than a month for the War Dept to go from concept to groundbreaking ceremony. Then another couple months for actual work to start in the first wedge.
  • QUESTION (Score:2, Funny)

    by larry bagina (561269)
    Who were the 8 dickheads that didn't vote for it? And what are their home phone numbers?


    And more importantly, what does this have to do with my right online?

  • by airrage (514164) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:33PM (#7057361) Homepage Journal
    I cannot stand bad thinking. And bad thinking is just what the Telemarketers are engaged in when they argue that the DNC list will cost jobs.

    They could make an arguemnt for free-speech. I say the could make it (without me laughing), but I will disagree in the end with that one too.

    But as for jobs -- it will actually make the telemarketer MORE money -- if there are less telemarketers! The current game plan is simply to call everyone on the planet from the time they are born until the time they die like every second of every day. I would suggest that TARGETED, AGREED, and WARRANTED solicition will result in a lower-cost of SALES OVERHEAD than currently spamming everyone on the plantet, with the same rate of success!

    Of course, the telephone companies sit quietly in a corner and pout as it was their corner upon which the pimp was solicting his wares.

    I would love to wake up in an opt-in world, but until that day I have to have some way to say, "No, I don't want a year's subscription to volvo-hotrod magazine.".

    Peace Out.
    • I would suggest that TARGETED, AGREED, and WARRANTED solicition will result in a lower-cost of SALES OVERHEAD than currently spamming everyone on the plantet, with the same rate of success!

      And you would be wrong. Most of the people who buy from telemarketers are people who aren't assertive enough to just hang up on them, and are easily suckered. They're the same people that fall for high-pressure sales tactics. But they don't like being called either, so the DNC list offers them a way to avoid this sit
  • if this was an opt-in to being called instead of an out-out of being called list, NO ONE WOULD SIGN UP.

    so all this list does is force every american to sign up for it. we ALL want to be on it.

    why don't they just make telemarketing illegal?
  • Elections are coming up fast... an issue that annoy's EVERY voter out there and you can say "I voted for that for YOU!"

    the Judge was doomed by making a really dumb decision, and he just got bitch-slapped by the Government on one issue that is guarenteed to make your elected official look good in one way.

    yeah, it's the DUH vote....
  • by PhoenixRising (36999) <ngroot+slashdot.lo-cal@org> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:34PM (#7057371) Homepage
    It's certainly pleasing to see that on at least one issue of national import, our elected reprentatives can all pull together for an effective resolution.

    I'm rather disappointed by the negativity that has been heaped on Judge West for his ruling suspending enforcement of the law, though. It's the job of the judiciary to keep the executive branch (in this case, the FTC) from overstepping the bounds of their authority granted to them by the legislative branch. If there was a question as to whether or not Congress granted the FTC sufficient authority to create such a list, enforcement of it certainly should be suspended until the matter is resolved. In this case, Congress (well, the House, anyway) has made itself clear on the matter -- they have explicitly placed the creation and enforcement of the list in the mandate. Unless West does something foolish at this juncture, like continuing to try to fight the enforcement of the list, he should be commended for doing his job of keeping the government consistent.
    • No. Congress authorized the creation of the list, mandated funding for it (which is largely coming from the telemarketers themselves), and set forth the terms for implementing it and what not.

      There may have been an oversight in that they didn't explicitly word it so that the FTC was authorized to implement the list, but if so then it was pretty clearly that -- an oversight. The judge, upon hearing the various arguments for and against, as well as seeing the 51 MILLION signups for the list in a mere four mo
      • It's called following the spirit of the law instead of the letter.

        More accurately, this is called "judicial activism". Also known as, "when the judge substitutes his or her idea of what the law ought to do for what the text of the law really does."

        I don't want to be at trial and have the judge decide, "you know, Mr. Hansen, the law as written in the books doesn't work the way I think it should work. So instead of applying the law, I'm going to apply what I think ought to be instead. Deal with it."

        Tha
  • Actual Bill's Text (Score:3, Informative)

    by schnarff (557058) <alex@sch[ ]ff.com ['nar' in gap]> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:46PM (#7057530) Homepage Journal
    In case anyone's interested, the actual text of the bill that was just passed is here [loc.gov].
  • The Real Outcome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by billtom (126004) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:48PM (#7057557)

    The real outcome of this is that the direct marketing industry will realize that they don't spend nearly enough money on Washington lobbyists and campaign contributions (like the tech industry realized after they started getting beaten up by the hill).

    Expect a significant increase in spending by the direct marketing industry on lobbyists and campaign contributions. Then, a few years from now, expect several new bills expanding the list of exemptions to the do-not-call list.
  • by kaltkalt (620110) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:51PM (#7057598)
    The DMA, our worst domestic terror organization, has finally been stifled thanks to the bipartisan efforts of congress. Hopefully its 5,000 members can now be captured, tarred and feather, and executed. We truly are winning the war on terror.
  • Ron Paul, R-Texas - 202-225-2831
    Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. - 202-225-2635
    Kendrick Meek, D-Fla. - 202-225-4506
    Tim Ryan, D-Ohio - 202-225-5261
    Ted Strickland, D-Ohio - 202-225-5705
    Lee Terry, R-Neb. - 202-225-4155
    Rob Bishop, R-Utah - 202-225-0453
    Chris Cannon, R-Utah. - 202-225-7751
  • Quote of the Year (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) <fuzzybad@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:02PM (#7057751)

    "This legislation got to the House floor faster than a consumer can hang up on a telemarketer at dinnertime"

    Even as I post this comment, my phone is ringing yet again.
    Caller ID says: Unavailable

    Fifth telemarketing call today, and it's not even 3PM. In the last few months, the calls have gotten much more frequent. They call from 9:30 AM until 9:30 PM, making at least 10 calls daily. I guess it's a last ditch effort before the DNC list goes into effect.

  • by DoorFrame (22108) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:02PM (#7057755) Homepage
    I haven't said anything until today, but I've gotten annoyed with this whole 50 millions people being on the list thing. There's a lot of bad assumptions around this estimate which could amek the actual number higher or lower.

    First of all, you're assuming that each person registered one phone number. Let's assume that each person registered their cell phone, their home phone, their beeper, their fax machine, their dsl line and their office line. That's six lines for a single person. Let's say corporate IBM registered every one of it's office lines, even though the individual's using the lines didn't have any particular problem with telemarketer phone calls. The actual number of people who support this could be much lower than 50 million.

    On the other hand, let's say one person registered their house's phone on behalf of an entire family. Now that one phone number should really count for all ten people who live under the roof and use the same line, the actual number of people who support this legislation by that logic could be much higher than 50 million.

    And what about people who went stir crazy the day the list was unveiled and started registering every phone number they could get their hands on. Their friends, their coworkers, their family members... they probably thought they were doing everyone a public service. OR, how about if someone set up a script to register a LOT of phone numbers, just to try to put the telemarketers out of business. How hard would it be to automatically register EVERY US phone number? Not very, is the answer.

    So, everyone should be saying that 50 million phone numbers were registered, not that 50 million people support the registry. There's really no way to know how popular the registry is without doing (wait for it)... phone surveys.

    Sigh.

  • It won't work. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sllim (95682) <achance&earthlink,net> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:04PM (#7057774)
    It won't. It doesn't stand a chance.
    I was an evil one. I used to call you during dinner.
    3 days later you had a dude at your house selling you windows, and it costed you $850 a window.

    Our business was on the up and up. We didn't break any laws. We confirmed all of our appoitments and kicked old single people off our schedules.

    But what always impressed me about the company was there resiliancy.

    I see at least two tools they can use to get out from under this.

    The first is the polling hole. If politicians are serious about this thing they need to close that hole. They won't do it, cause politicians can't make up there mind without a poll, but the only way to make it work is to close that hole.

    'Hello Mr. Smith I am calling on behalf of Windows company.
    We are conducting a poll. Does your house have windows?
    How many?'

    ---end of polling portion of call----

    See how easy that hole is to exploit?

    There is another hole. I can't really think of a way to close this one. But if the consumer is careful they don't have to worry about it.

    That one has to do with the customer contacting the business first. If the business can show that the customer contacted them then it really isn't the kind of telemarketing call that this 'do not call' registry covers.

    I know what you are thinking.
    And you are wrong.
    There is nothing new about this hole, or the exploit.
    All you have to do is offer a 'free' drawing.
    When will people learn that only 'nothing' is free?
    We used to set up kiosk stands in malls, fairs, home shows and just about anywhere else we could find to put them. We would put up a couple samples of windows and offer a free drawing for windows.
    It was on the up and up we did give away free windows just like we said.
    But once you fill out that card, guess what you have done?
    You got it. You have now made a contact with our business. You have given us permission to call you.
    Even if I am wrong on this, I am not very wrong. All these cards have small print (think EULA) on the back. All that really needs to be done is add a sentence that says 'by filling out this card homeowner gives permission to window company to make farther contact and phone calls to the homeowner.'.

    I will be quite honest with you. I don't do that anymore. Now I am a computer operator. I make good money, I enjoy my job, I could do without the night work though. I don't really regret the 5 years I spent in that industry. On the contrary, I learned some very valuable lessons. Hell I don't think I would be doing what I am doing today without them.

    But I am probably more annoyed with telemarketing calls then the average person. I work nights, 6pm-6am.
    Know what 11am phone calls do to me?

    That being said I have pity for the honest people in the industry. There are a lot of people that are honest, hard working and intelligent. There are retired people that need extra income. I would hate to see the industry shut down and these people all be out of work.
    With that attitude I kind of look at telemarketing calls as my problem. When I get one I tell them to take me off the list. That is a legal thing by the way, there is more byte to that phrase then you would think. If they get too annoying I unplug the phone until I wake up.

    I agree with you that I shouldn't have to do that. I understand everyones point as well. That is why I am not saying that the 'do not call registry' is evil.

    It is not.

    It just won't work.
  • by 4/3PI*R^3 (102276) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:18PM (#7057937)
    Unless those 50 Million Americans want P2P trading of music.
    Does this mean that the RIAA [riaa.com] gives more money to political campaings than the ATA [ataconnect.org]?
    I'm not saying that using other peoples creative works without compensating them is right. But if 50 Million Americans can't be wrong shouldn't compulsary liscensing been more of a slam dunk?
  • by An. (Coward) (258552) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:21PM (#7057982)
    If the do-not-call list goes into effect because "fifty million Americans can't be wrong," then... How can sixty-five million Americans be wrong about file sharing?

    Just wondering...
  • by MisterFancypants (615129) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:47PM (#7058273)
    This is even worse than what the RIAA did to themselves with lawsuits.

    A mere couple weeks ago I was somewhat surprised how few people I know in real life have heard of the Do Not Call list until I told them about it. Now that the telemarketing companies won a court decision and forced Congress' hand, the news (TV, newspaper, Internet) has been abuzz with this story.

    So now instead of losing out on 50 million people, most of which one would assume are very ANTI-telemarketing and extremely unlikely to buy anything from them anyway, the industry will probably lose many millions more who didn't even know about the list until it hit front pages everywhere in the nation, thanks to the court ruling.

    So now when the list DOES go into effect, and it will since the ruling was just a temporary setback, the industry will probably have doubled the names on the list simply by bringing the existence of it to the national forefront with their stupid lawsuits.

    Way to go telemarketers! Keep up the good work!

  • A haiku (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackmonday (607916) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @04:17PM (#7058564) Homepage


    ring ring ring who's there?
    opted out, why a call this evening?
    Mexico, you have phone too

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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