Continuing the Fight Against Seattle’s Unnecessary Phone Book Law

Contributed by: Neg Norton

Earlier this week, we learned that a U.S. District Court judge decided to uphold Seattle’s unnecessary phone book law.

As we’ve discussed here on the blog, Seattle Yellow Pages ordinance is marred by First Amendment and privacy concerns, duplication and inefficiency. We will appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which we hope will recognize these critical issues and take into account the numerous efforts our industry is already taking to address the Seattle government’s concerns.

The Yellow Pages industry worked together to launch an updated version of www.yellowpagesoptout.com, a national consumer choice website that ensures that consumers have an easy way to manage the delivery of phone books to their homes. Through the site, consumers across the country – including Seattle residents – can reduce the number of Yellow Pages and white pages directories they receive, or end delivery of directories altogether. As we’ve said repeatedly, it’s in our best interest to get directories into the hands of people who will use them, and not to those who don’t.

We believe Seattle’s decision to launch its own opt-out website does nothing but cause confusion for consumers and puts the City in the middle of an industry it doesn’t understand; particularly at a time when it has significantly greater problems to solve. While the City is touting the number of directory opt out requests it has received through the site, officials aren’t able to indicate whether requests through the site were new or duplicative requests from residents who have already opted-out through either Yellow Pages publishers’ sites or  www.yellowpagesoptout.com.

We appreciate the support of our members on this important fight and resolve to keep you informed as events progress.

Read our release for more information on our industry’s concerns with Seattle’s ordinance, and our ongoing efforts to improve the sustainability of our directories.

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