For years companies from all areas of commerce were allowed to call anyone they thought might be a candidate for their product without repercussions. A court order on Feb, 17th 2004 upheld an order to allow the general public to be listed on a do not call list. Businesses will now be held responsible if they contact someone on this list without their permission. The question is did the court make the right decision.
We may not agree on much in this country, but one thing most of us can agree on is that telemarketing is a big nuisance. In fact one survey done by Walker Research in 1990 showed that 70 percent of Americans considered telemarketing an invasion of their privacy. In February of 2003 the Federal Trade Commission passed a national law that would restrict the consumers telemarketers could legally call and enforce an $11,000 fine when ignored. By September of that same year more than 50 million Americans had added their names to this list. Telemarketers fought back though claiming that they had the right to be making these calls under their constitutional right to free speech and the case went to court. Finally, after a series of court battles between these companies and the FTC, in February of 2004 the appeals court upheld the so called Do-Not-Call list and the right of Americans to sign up. This brings about the question of how effective this law will be. Also should the average consumer be able to restrict the calls that come into their phone line or do these large businesses have a right to market their products over the phone?
The American Teleservices Association claims that the registry violates the First Amendment rights of telemarketers in regards to free speech. But what is a "right"? A right can be defined as something to which a person is entitled by law, tradition, or nature, which does not detract from someone else. My freedom to practice my religion takes nothing away from you. However, a house is not a right, since providing... [continues]
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