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San Francisco first to ban unsolicited delivery of Yellow Pages phone book

Phone books displayed in the back of a pickup truck during a press conference in San Francisco, Calif., Feb. 1, 2011
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - With more of us letting our fingers do the walking online, San Francisco has banned the unsolicited distribution of the Yellow Pages phone book.

The law is scheduled to take effect next year and will bar companies from leaving unsolicited Yellow Pages books on porches without the permission of the residence or business.

It's the first such ordinance in the nation.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Mayor Ed Lee quietly signed the ban into law on May 19 to cut the number of unwanted phone books being dropped into city neighborhoods.

David Chiu, president of the city's Board of Supervisors, said the ban was needed because the unsolicited books degraded the environment and blighted neighborhoods.

The Local Search Association, a commercial phone book industry trade group, has threatened to sue, saying the ban violates its members' rights.

Seattle passed an ordinance last year that created a registry that allows residents to opt-out of receiving the books. A federal judge this month upheld the ordinance after a challenge from publishers.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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