Here's a cool one, proving that people don't need phone books anymore, despite Dex's lawsuit against the state.Phone book company loses court fight against Seattle
A federal judge has dismissed a phone book company's lawsuit against Seattle, ruling that the city's opt-out program, one of the country's toughest campaigns against yellow pages, does not violate the Constitution.
Dex One sued Seattle in May, after the city rolled out a registry that lets residents cancel phone-book deliveries. The company, along with SuperMedia and a phone-book trade group, had argued that yellow pages are protected speech under the First Amendment.
Their reasoning: The hefty paper directories provide not just ads and commercial information, but act as guides for community, public safety and political information.
But U.S. District Court Judge James Robart rejected the arguments Tuesday. In his ruling, Robart noted that Dex and SuperMedia run ads in their directories, which he said reference "specific products," such as a front-cover ad for Geico Auto Insurance last year.
The companies had also likened yellow pages to newspapers, an analogy Robart said was a "stretch too far." He called yellow pages commercial speech under the First Amendment, in contrast to the "historic role" newspapers have played in democracy.
The ruling was not surprising, in light of the judge's earlier rejection of an injunction the companies had sought. An appeal filed in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is still pending.
Seattle's law requires phone book companies to get a license to distribute, pay 14 cents per book distributed, print a front-cover message about Seattle's opt-out program, and honor the city's cancellation program.
As of Wednesday, more than 225,500 yellow pages have been cancelled in Seattle.