Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Seattle, you will take a Yellow Pages...and like it

The makers of the Yellow Pages in Seattle have let their fingers to the walking, straight to the Land of Frivolous Lawsuits.

As promised, Yellow Page publishers have sued to overturn a law in Seattle that lets people opt out of receiving paper phone books. The publishers say the law, the first of its kind in the U.S., is unconstitutional.

Dex One Corp., SuperMedia and the Yellow Pages Association argue in a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington that the Seattle ordinance "restricts publishers' fundamental right to free speech."

The First Amendment prohibits government "from licensing or exercising advance approval of the press, from directing publishers what to publish and to whom they may communicate, and from assessing fees for the privilege of publishing," attorneys say.

The suit also claims that the Seattle ordinance unlawfully interferes with interstate commerce and violates the privacy rights of Seattle residents.

All of which might make you wonder: Since when is unwanted litter a right? If people don't want one or more phonebooks dropped off at their house, isn't it their right to opt out of the deliveries? Especially when there's something called the Internet, where phone numbers are easy to come by?

Read more here.

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