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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 23, 2013 7:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tax on cancer machines is working. The next post in this blog is Portland rental bikes to cost $6,267 apiece. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

They've got time for everything else...

... but the bobbleheads in Salem and your local city hall won't lift a finger to stop this (from an alert reader):

Lake Grove got papered with the yellow book today -- how do they get away with doing this? I thought it might be in the fine print of your telephone contract -- but I haven't had a land line in years. Why can't the green Nazis put their efforts into stopping something that actually matters?

Because somebody in government, somewhere, is being paid off. There is no other plausible explanation.

The answer, of course, is a mandatory opt-in system for all printed phone books. Maybe the kids at OSPIRG could get a statewide initiative started. Or maybe our BFF Chip Shields can get off his wallet and straighten this out. Don't hold your breath.

Comments (12)

I don't believe it has to do with payola. I think our elected State Comedians are too busy working on making Brewers Yeast the official State Microbe to worry about doing something important.

http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hcr1.dir/hcr0012.intro.pdf

The only phone book I want is the DEX Yellow Pages, in case my internet goes down and I need to look up a phone number. All of the other books are a waste.

If a lot if people made it clear they send the phone books immediately to the landfill maybe it would stop?

Read it and weep. Fictional people have more Constituonal rights here in post-constitutional America than flesh-and-blood ones, by a mile:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/10/phonebook-victory-seattle-might-threaten-san-francisco-s-ban

 Pages victory in Seattle might threaten San Francisco’s ban

A ban on distributing Yellow Pages throughout Seattle was struck down Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in The City, under First Amendment protections. The ruling could affect San Francisco’s own ordinance.

A similar ban was approved here in 2011, but the legislation has not been enforced pending the outcome of the Seattle ban, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

“We are reviewing the ruling and conferring with our clients,” said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the office.

According to the ruling issued Monday, Seattle’s ban — which taxed the publishing industry in order to help create and promote a program to opt out of receiving the books — infringes on the publishing industry’s First Amendment protection rights.

“Although portions of the directories are obviously commercial in nature, the books contain more than that, and we conclude that the directories are entitled to the full protection of the First Amendment,” the ruling said. “As a result, when we evaluate the Ordinance under strict scrutiny, it does not survive.”

Neg Norton, president of Local Search Associates, said the decision is great news.

“We’re being singled out by government for unfair treatment versus all other media competing in the market,” he said. “We very much support consumer choice, giving consumers an opt-out option, but the patchwork of different regulations in different markets would be problematic.”

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who authored the San Francisco ban, had a different take, calling the ruling a “misreading of First Amendment rights.”

The ruling “protects corporate polluters that litter our San Francisco doorsteps with 1.6 million unwanted Yellow Pages books every year,” Chiu said. “This distinction is akin to the Citizens United ruling that treats free speech rights and corporate super PACs to be the same as real people.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

It's littering.
Can I toss my trash on the 9th circuit judges' porch every week and call it "free speech"?

It's a marketing thing. For at least the last 60 years or so yellow pages advertising has been a main, if not THE main, way for many small businesses (including lawyers) to market. These advertising dollars have been a HUGE revenue source for phone book publishers, and they're not ready to give it up, even though the handwriting is clearly written on copious walls that the era is over.

These door-step deliveries go straight into the blue recycling bin. No problem.

Send them to the land fill ?
How about file charges of littering.
You know that if you took them and dumped it on the doorstep of the phone company they would try and charge you.

I'm serious.
Send them to the land fill.
Put them in your garbage so the haulers and landfill watchers get the clue and send a memo up the pay grade food chain.

I've been contemplating this all morning -- why isn't "the market" fixing this? I can't believe that small businesses, lawyers etc still pay for their ads to be placed in the yellow pages. Does the government pay to have their "services" advertised in the blue page section? Something just isn't right -- and my guess is that the government is involved -- I smell a taxpayer subsidy somewhere in the mix.

Unlike all the junk propaganda the City of Portland mails out on the public dime, this product is free to consumers and doesn't require public any public funding. To put it bluntly, an opt-in program would eliminate private sector jobs and the taxes they bring in.

A ban on distributing Yellow Pages throughout Seattle was struck down Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in The City, under First Amendment protections.

Why cannot a law be passed that simply prohibits persons from entering private property for the sole purpose of distributing items that were not requested or wanted by the property owner or its tenants?

It doesn't ban the Yellow Pages - it just bans people from coming onto my property and putting stuff there I don't want. They may have rights, but so do I (from persons unlawfully entering my property).

OR...require that people who do that be responsible for the costs of disposing said items.

You know that if you took them and dumped it on the doorstep of the phone company they would try and charge you.

Maybe that's what it will take. After all, those books were once the property of the phone company; it's not littering if I refuse to accept the book and return it to where it came from.

Ok, they can distribute them, but let's mandate that they must be mailed through the USPS. That would make more business for the PO and the extra expense might make the yellow page litterers think twice about their back-asswards "must opt out" consumer plan.


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