“Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.”

A couple weeks ago, the FCC issued a declaratory ruling "that sending a one-time text message confirming a consumer’s request that no further text messages be sent does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act."

In an attached statement, Commissioner Ajit Pai explained the context of the ruling and summed up its significance:

"Today’s common-sense order ends the legal lacuna and the courtroom arbitrage it has inspired. Hopefully, by making clear that the Act does not prohibit confirmation texts, we will end the litigation that has punished some companies for doing the right thing, as well as the threat of litigation that has deterred others from adopting a sound marketing practice. And consumers want confirmation texts: They want the assurance that there will be no further intrusions on their privacy. In short, today’s order is a win for consumers and for innovative companies alike."

Commissioner Pai also cited the following authority to support the proposition that it is good for players in the industry to have clear rules:

"Cf. Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski (Polygram Filmed Entertainment 1998) ('Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.')."


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