Utah case could lead to more limits on electronic messaging to children

https://donotcontact.utah.gov/Now that Utah has become the second state after Michigan to put into effect a registry that blocks adult-themed messages from some e-mails and cell phones, other states may follow. The Deseret News reports:

“The Utah Child Protection Registry debuted in July 2005 with the main goal of protecting children by offering a service that would list their e-mail addresses, cell-phone numbers and instant-message IDs on a sort of ‘do not call’ list. Any businesses that advertised with adult-themed conduct were required to compare the registered contact information with the information they had and remove any matching numbers.”

The Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry, challenged the registry in federal court.  However, the coalition filed a motion to dismiss the case after coming to an agreement with Utah’s attorneys. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups then dismissed the case.  The industry realized it was a battle it just could not win.

Utah’s success in federal court could embolden other states to adopt similar measures, using the Utah law as a template and the state’s court strategy as a plan for fending off legal challenges. The longer-term effects are unknown, but if states succeed in limiting adult-themed messaging,  legislators may deem other messaging inappropriate for children. States might also create other opt-out choices for all consumers, limiting marketers’ efforts.

About 

Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

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