The FCC meant what it wrote last year about affirmative steps by users of apps foreclosing TCPA liability for those apps. In Wright v. Lyft Inc., No 2:14-CV-00421-MJP (W.D. Wash. April 15, 2016), the district court dismissed a TCPA invitational text class claim. Lyft allegedly encouraged its app users to invite their contacts via text message. The FCC explained in its July 2015 Order that when transmission of a message requires affirmative steps by a user, app creators like petitioners YouMail and TextMe are not the initiators of text messages. See Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, et al. , CG Docket No. 02-278, WC Docket No. 07-135, Declaratory Ruling and Order, 30 FCC Rcd 7961 ¶ 37 (2015). Applying the FCC’s analysis and clearance of TextMe’s invitational user interface to Lyft’s, the court rejected the plaintiff’s distinction that Lyft did not specify that a text (versus another method) would be sent. However, the court allowed the Washington state law claims to proceed because that statute banned the assisting and sending of commercial text messages. TCPA plaintiffs cannot demonstrate that an app’s invitational messaging violates the TCPA where the message is sent at the behest of a user, who takes affirmative steps to do so.
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Lyft Did Not Initiate an Invitational Text
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