2007 -- S 0191 SUBSTITUTE A
A N A C T
RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW -- GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS -- INTERNET ACCESS AND ADVERTISING BY FACSIMILE
Introduced By: Senators Raptakis, Walaska, Blais, DaPonte, and Maselli
Date Introduced: January 31, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 6-47-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 6-47 entitled "Internet
Access and Advertising by Facsimile" is hereby amended to read as follows:
6-47-1. Advertising by fax. -- (a) No person or entity conducting business in the state of
Rhode Island shall transmit by facsimile (fax) or cause to be faxed documents consisting of
unsolicited advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any
realty, goods, services, or extension of credit unless:
(1) In the case of a fax, that person or entity must establish a toll-free telephone number
that a recipient of the unsolicited faxed documents may call to notify the sender not to fax the
recipient any further unsolicited documents.
(2) In the case of faxed material, the statement shall be in at least nine (9) point type. The
statement shall be the first text in the body of the message and shall be of the same size as the
majority of the text of the message.
(b) Upon notification by a recipient of his or her request not to receive any further
unsolicited fax, no person or entity conducting business in the state of Rhode Island shall fax or
cause to be faxed any unsolicited documents to that recipient.
(c) As used in this chapter, "unsolicited fax" means any document or documents
consisting of advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any
realty, goods, services, or extension of credit that meet both of the following requirements:
(1) The documents are addressed to a recipient with whom the initiator does not have an
existing business or personal relationship.
(2) The documents are not sent at the request of, or with the express consent of, the
(d) As used in this chapter, "fax" or "caused to be faxed" does not include or refer to the
transmission of any documents by a telecommunications utility or Internet service provider to the
extent that the telecommunications utility or Internet service provider merely carries that
transmission over its network.
(e) The recipient of an unsolicited fax, transmitted in violation of subsection (b) of this
section, may bring a civil action in superior court against the person or entity that transmitted the
unsolicited fax or caused it to be transmitted in violation of subsection (b). Any transmission of
an unsolicited fax in violation of subsection (b) shall be considered a violation of chapter 6-13.1,
known as the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and may subject the person or entity that
transmitted, or caused to be transmitted, the unsolicited fax to prosecution by the attorney general
pursuant to chapter 6-13.1. In any such action by either the recipient of such unsolicited fax or the
attorney general on behalf of the recipient or recipients, damages may be awarded in the amount
of five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation, not to exceed a total of fifty thousand dollars
($50,000). The attorney general may, in such circumstances as he or she may deem appropriate,
aggregate multiple claims against a person or entity alleged to have committed multiple violations
of this section, and maintain a class action on behalf of all recipients of the unsolicited faxes. In
any action brought under this section, the court may award, in addition to the relief provided in
this section, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.