Thursday, August 20, 2015

As annoying as standing in the rain hailing a cab?

NYC's public nuisance challenges Uber's First Amendment rights;
An attorney who calls himself the “Annoyance Lawyer” sued Uber Technologies Inc. over its robocall campaign attacking New York Mayor Bill de Blasio over his proposal to limit the number of drivers.

Todd C. Bank sued on behalf of recipients of thousands of recorded calls the ride-hailing company made during the campaign telling city residents “we need your help” to defeat the proposal, he said in a lawsuit.
Federal law prohibits robocalls for commercial purposes, but the law exempts calls for political campaigns. As it would have to since the First Amendment denies congress the ability to deny freedom of speech and press. Which the lawsuit seems to concede that Uber was doing;
“Uber ended the days when you couldn’t get a ride home because cabs didn’t want to leave Manhattan,” one script for the calls read, according to the complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. “Now Mayor de Blasio is trying to bring the bad old days back because his millionaire taxi donors are telling him to.”
Which worked. De Blasio dropped his proposal.

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