The Association of Magazine Media

Issues

Browse the latest news on all the issues MPA actively advocates on for the magazine industry.

Use the drop down below to navigate through specific issues, such as advertising, consumer protection and postal policy.

New York State Considers Tax Changes... Issues Update Guidance on Weight Loss Ads… Committee Holds Privacy Hearing...
Following the high profile announcements of the breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus, a chorus of Congressional voices called for Congress to look into the breaches, and the topic of data security more broadly. Hearings in the Senate and House in early February will give legislators that chance...
“Big Data” is a popular topic in Washington, and the announcement of two high profile data breaches have the light shining even brighter on data use, and the issue of data security, in particular...
Not even a month into 2014, legislators in several states are already holding hearings on bills that would impose burdensome regulations on negative option offers...
Congress’ ongoing, comprehensive review of copyright law continued to move forward in the last half of 2013, and an impressive schedule has been set for 2014...
On December 5th, H.R. 3309, The Innovation Act, passed in the House by an overwhelming majority. The bill is aimed at curbing the abusive tactics of “patent trolls” – companies that acquire the rights to patents for the express purpose of attempting to collect licensing fees from accused...
The hot trend of native advertising – often described as digital advertorial – has caught the eye of more than just magazine publishers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noticed too, and dedicated an entire day in late December to an examination of the issue...
Advertising is big business and Congress wants in on the action. Long a potential source of federal tax revenue, a pair of tax reform proposals in the House and Senate would change the current tax treatment of advertising expenses, which is currently treated as a fully deductible cost of doing...
Also happening on the postal front is “reform” legislation in the Senate. After several unsuccessful tries in the last quarter of 2013, on January 29th Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, convened a “markup” of the postal...
Late on Christmas Eve, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced its partial approval of the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) request for an “exigent” (a rate increase in excess of the law’s CPI price cap) rate increase...
Federal and State Laws on Sweepstakes and Contests
The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing or "CAN-SPAM" Act
Advance Consent Subscription Plans
On July 17, The House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing entitled, “A Path Forward on Postal Reform”. Testifying on behalf of MPA and the rest of the mailing industry was Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President and CEO of Quad Graphics, one of the largest...

April 11, 2013


In response to recent USPS developments regarding five-day delivery and a potential exigent rate increase, MPA has prepared the following statements:
 

MPA Statement Regarding USPS Delay of Five Day Delivery Implementation

The U.S....

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to be active on consumer protection matters in 2013, issuing two reports early in the year focused on providing consumers with privacy and other disclosures in the digital space. Both reports Mobile Privacy Disclosures and .COM Disclosures deal with...
Following a flurry of early session activity, state legislators continue to be interested in regulating automatic renewals and free trials. In addition to bills dealing with automatic renewals, a bill has been introduced in New York specifically targeting magazine subscriptions and requiring that...
Short on revenue in a still-struggling economy, several states are looking to fill budget gaps by expanding their tax base. Given the possibility of Federal action removing “nexus” protection, keeping magazine subscription sales untaxed is more important than ever. While around half of the states...
Following an overwhelming show of support in a non-binding vote during the 2014 budget resolution process in March, in a surprise development, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in April moved to take up the Marketplace Fairness Act. The Act is a bill that aims to refill depleted state coffers by...
After nearly two years of quiet on the copyright front, following the major battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Congress is once again starting to talk about copyright and its evolution in the digital age. On March 20, the Register of Copyrights testified before a House Judiciary...
Two months after the Postal Service’s surprise announcement on February 6 that non-package mail would only be delivered five days a week starting on August 5, the Governors of the Postal Service on April 10 announced an indefinite delay of five-day delivery. Concluding that Congress had prohibited...
The list is intended to serve as a general reference guide to some of the legal and regulatory issues affecting the magazine industry. It should not be used as, and it is not intended to be, a substitute for legal advice. Members are strongly advised to consult with their own counsel regarding...
In October, the Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) relating to the subject of orphan works – an original work of authorship for which a good faith prospective user cannot readily identify and/or locate the copyright owner in a situation where permission for use is necessary...
Not even a month into 2013, legislators in several states, (including Connecticut, New York and Maryland) introduced bills attempting to regulate automatic renewals and negative option offers...
Continuing a process started in August of 2012, the Department of Commerce, under the auspices of the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) continues to hold “stakeholder meetings” in an effort to create a voluntary code of conduct for mobile app transparency...
As part of their ongoing effort on privacy, a trio of privacy-related developments emerged from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as 2012 drew to a close...
Two and a half years after initiating a review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), in late December the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its long-awaited final amendments to the rule...
Using legislative tactics they tried unsuccessfully earlier in the year, the sponsors of S. 3454, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, recently attempted once again to “hotline” a bill containing a section with serious First Amendment implications...
Despite years of declarations that a move to five-day delivery required congressional action, the United States Postal Service (USPS), on February 6th, announced its intent to eliminate Saturday delivery of mail beginning August 5, 2013 – with or without congressional action...
Statement from Mary Berner, President & CEO, MPA on USPS Decision to Halt Saturday Mail Delivery (with the exception of packages)
After nearly two years of speeches, debates, and politicking – and the expenditure of enormous amounts of campaign cash – a closely and hotly contested campaign season concluded with President Barack Obama winning re-election on November 6. Adding to the drama of election night were the outcomes...
In October, after nearly two years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the revised “Green Guides.” The Green Guides help industries avoid potential enforcement actions for deceptive environmental claims by offering clarification and guidance for marketers when making environmental...
On September 28, the Postal Regulatory Commission released their long awaited Advisory Opinion on the Postal Service’s Mail Processing Network Rationalization plan. Initial Postal Service estimates for net savings as a result of this plan were $2.1 billion, and were later revised to $1.6 billion....
After announcing losses of $11.6 billion for the first three quarters of their fiscal year in August, just a month later, the Postal Service hit its $15 billion Treasury borrowing limit. In order to continue funding operations after reaching this limit, the USPS defaulted on yet another retiree...
In August, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested comments on a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) for COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Expanding on modifications proposed in the original (September 2011) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the supplemental...
Yesterday, the Postal Service filed its notice of rate adjustment announcing the postage rates that will go into effect on January 27, 2013.
Despite unfinished work and deadlines fast approaching, Congress has left town for the traditional August recess. When they return on September 10th, the Senate and the House will have only a few short weeks to try and complete the business left unfinished before recessing again and hitting the...
As required by the 2008 PRO-IP Act, legislation supported by MPA, the White House is in the process of updating its two-year old strategic plan to protect intellectual property, an action that must be completed by the end of the year...
With no public hearing, and even less notice, shortly before the August recess, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved S.3454, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, a bill with serious First Amendment implications that appeared to be on the fast track to Senate approval...

The Postal Service recently reported a loss of $5.2 billion in the 3rd quarter, bringing the year-to-date loss to $11.6 billion. In an effort to conserve cash, USPS recently defaulted on a scheduled $5.5 billion retiree health benefit liability payment. The Postal Service has also stated it...

In April, when Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the annual MPA Washington Meeting, he deftly dodged questions about whether he would join Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his running mate. With only three weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa, we now know the...

Find out which states have sales tax on magazines and newspapers.

The start of April brought with it the close of the application window in the first round of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) process for approving new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD). Since the opening of the window for new gTLDs in January, ICANN, which oversees...
Despite already having a law regulating free trials, in mid-February Connecticut Senate President Donald Williams made legislation expanding the current law a Senate Democrat caucus priority.
In a significant international victory for magazine publishers, MPA, working in conjunction with officials at the highest levels of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce, and the Danish Embassy, successfully thwarted an effort in the Danish Parliament to impose a...
The Department of Commerce is not the only entity paying close attention to EU activities with respect to privacy protection. MPA and other affected industries are engaged in a careful review of the proposed European Commission regulation, introduced January 25.
While privacy legislation has been a back burner issue in Congress so far this year, the Obama Administration has significantly ramped up its level of activity in the privacy arena. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the National Telecommunications Information Administration in the Department of...
S. 1789, the bi-partisan postal reform bill crafted and supported by Senators Susan Collins, Tom Carper, Joe Lieberman, and Scott Brown, and approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in November, 2011, almost made it to the Senate floor in late March before Congress...

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a meeting today about the escalating postal crisis. Ellen Levine, Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines, testified on behalf of the magazine industry. MPA has her complete testimony here.

Today’s bipartisan agreement by Senate leaders on postal reform legislation is a critically important step on the road to restoring the nation’s postal system to solvency – and preserving the kind of dependable and affordable mail service upon which commerce and communications in the United...

The Postal Regulatory Commission issued their decision on the remanded exigency case. MPA commends the PRC on their thoughtful consideration of the case, and for finding that the USPS did not show a strong causal link between the exigent circumstance and the proposed rate increase.

The decision, while not a complete win for the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”), did find for the PRC on the central issue of the case: the need for an exigent rate increase to be causally related to an exigent circumstance, here the recession of 2007-2009.

Many of you have read recent press reports about the worsening financial health of the U.S. Postal Service. You also know that MPA is actively engaged with the USPS in trying to bring their costs, particularly for Periodicals, under control. Here is a brief overview of the current situation.

MPA – The Association of Magazine Media – today commended Chairman Darrell Issa for his efforts to craft legislation to tackle the structural problems facing the Postal Service and to put it on the road to long-term stability and viability.  While MPA does not agree with every provision in the...

Late last week, the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Postal Service released their much-delayed joint study of Periodicals costs that was mandated by the 2006 postal reform act.

The report presents two main findings. First, despite questions about the accuracy of Periodicals costs...

The Alliance has issued a statement in rebuttal to the Postal Service’s core argument for raising rates.

MPAs long-standing involvement in environmental matters stems from its members desire to support and implement responsible and economically sound environmental policies and procedures related to the full lifecycles of our magazine products, from raw materials to well-read copies.  In this...

This document presents a review and analysis of information on the degree to which magazines, catalogs, and direct mail are recycled for their paper fiber content, and whether there are technical or economic factors that might limit future efforts to increase the effective recycling and recovery...

This MPA white paper produced by Metafore, a non-profit organization, will assist publishers in evaluating the environment trade-offs between recycled content and virgin fiber paper. The paper reviews the numerous elements in the manufacturing process that impact the environment including the...

MPA's "Please Recycle This Magazine" campaign continues to grow as publishers embrace and promote the logos and ads in their magazines. Three new public service ads(PSAs)have been created for publishers to run in their magazines to reinforce the message that magazines are recyclable.

First published in 1996, the MPA Environment Handbook covers environmental topics applicable to the lifecycle of magazine publishing. This 2008 revision covers a broad range of topics, including certification, global climate change and recycling...

Forest certification programs respond to environmental concerns by: defining, implementing, and certifying sustainable forest management systems that have been created and have evolved into sets of rigorous standards that include formal certification processes and a number of other...

The greatest impact you can have on the environment is the paper you choose. Discover the new tool "EPAT- the Environmental Paper Assessment Tool.

Anthony C. Janetos, Director Joint Global Change Research Institute, presents an overview of The Heinz Center’s Following the Paper Trail at Idealliance’s Primex 2007 Conference.

A guide to current postal reform legislation.

While three data security bills passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, an attempt to move a data security bill in the Commerce Committee faltered this fall, as Sen. Rockefeller was unable to resolve differences between Democrats and Republicans on his Committee. In the House, following...
At the end of December, MPA, in conjunction with other affected industries and organizations, filed comments on the FTC’s “proposed rule” to amend COPPA issued on Sept 15th. The broad industry comments noted the significant cumulative effect of the changes and the potential for negative impacts on...
Following comments by MPA and others in July 2011, highlighting the First Amendment failings of the food marketing “voluntary principles” issued earlier in 2011 by the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, in October the Federal Trade Commission – one of the four agencies in the...
With the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rolling out its new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program this month, a new coalition – Coalition for Responsible Domain Oversight (CRIDO) – continues efforts to try to force ICANN to delay or abandon the gTLD program.
In an apparent effort to help the Danish printing industry, Value Added Tax (VAT) legislation is being considered by the Danish Parliament that would effectively ban magazines printed outside the European Union from being sold in Denmark.
Legislation aimed at fighting online piracy and counterfeiting on “rogue” websites continues to advance, creating a global outpouring of opinion, and pitting two powerful industries against each other.
Established in August as part of the debt ceiling negotiations, the budget “Supercommittee” was tasked with reducing the deficit by $1.2-$1.5 trillion through budget cuts or new revenue sources by November 23rd. To guide the supercommittee’s deliberations, President Obama submitted a $3 trillion...
At the end of a year that saw postal concerns multiply and media coverage of the Postal Service’s financial woes reach a fevered pitch, publishers got much needed relief in two key areas – rates and service – at the year’s close.

The Association of Magazine Media, in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association, the Association for Postal Commerce and the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers sent an open letter to Postmaster General Pat Donahoe, urging the Postmaster General to once and for all withdraw its request for a $...

On October 21, 2011, MPA-The Association of Magazine Media submitted comments in response to the USPS Proposal to Revise Service Standards for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail as published in the September 21, 2011 Federal Register.

On Thursday, October 13, 2011, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a markup to address amendments offered by Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL) - Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy - to Chairman Issa and Ross’s proposed...

A multiyear legislative effort came to a successful conclusion in August when the President signed legislation amending the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).
Following the spring announcements of several high profile data security breaches, renewed political interest in data security legislation has reached a fevered pitch...
Following an April hearing in the House Judiciary Committee’s Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee, on July 7th, legislation supported by MPA and the Business Activity Tax Nexus Coalition passed out of the full Judiciary Committee.
After considering bills regulating free trials and automatic renewals in the last two legislative sessions, this year both Oregon and Hawaii passed legislation related to these advance consent marketing techniques commonly used by magazine publishers.
Created by a 2009 act of Congress, in April, the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, comprised of the FTC, CDC, FDA, and USDA, released their “preliminary proposed nutrition principles to guide self-regulatory efforts.”
While most of the attention-grabbing headlines about the Postal Service’s financial crisis are focused on the Service’s fragile future finances, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) and mailing industry associations, including MPA, have also been looking backward, trying to bring the 2010...
After months of partisan dealings, and just hours before the looming deadline, Congressional leaders were able to reach agreement on a bill raising the federal debt ceiling...
Citing billions of dollars in lost revenue for American businesses, and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, in the final months of 2010, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), along with Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) introduced legislation aimed at fighting online privacy and...
An automatic renewals bill in Hawaii has progressed the furthest this year, passing the House and one committee in the Senate. It is now pending before another Senate committee.
As promised when the Postal Service filed for a 1.7% CPI-capped rate increase on January 13, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) expedited its deliberations, and on February 16 issued an order largely approving the new rates for market dominant products.
Following major reports on privacy by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Commerce – and hundreds of comments submitted to the agencies by interested parties, including MPA – the Senate and House Commerce committees are holding hearings and preparing legislation that could have...
Responding to the recent dissemination of thousands of confidential State Department cables and documents by Wikileaks, legislators in both Houses of Congress quickly introduced legislation aimed at preventing a similar release from happening again.
On July 30th, 2011, New York Assembly Bill A. 2642, which extends subscription expiration date notice requirements currently imposed on magazine publishers to subscription sales by agents and changes the requirements for how expiration dates must be disclosed on subscription renewal materials will...
After more than a year in the making, in December, a divided Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve network neutrality rules by a vote of 3-2.
Following an unusual legislative path to approval, in December President Obama signed S. 3386, the “Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act” into law.
Shortly after the FTC released its report on privacy, the Department of Commerce (DOC) followed suit, releasing a Green Paper entitled: “Privacy and Information Innovation: A Dynamic Privacy Framework for the Internet Age.”
On December 1st, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its much anticipated privacy report, titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change.”
While awaiting the outcome of the Postal Service’s appeal of its loss in the exigency case, on January 13, the Postal Service filed for a 1.7% CPI-capped rate increase, to be implemented on April 17, 2011.

The Affordable Mail Alliance, a coalition of businesses that includes MPA,filed comments urging the Postal Regulatory Commission to help rein in the USPS's excessive costs by denying the proposed rate hike.

The Affordable Mail Alliance – a growing coalition of nearly 1,000 members including MPA – submitted further comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission about the USPS's latest report on its finances.

MPA believes that forcing an out-of-state seller with no physical presence to pay a tax directly negates two monumental judicial decisions.

Just Say No to Sacks. The Postal Service is providing more alternatives to sacks than ever.

On July 15, postage rates for magazine publishers will increase by an average of 11.7 percent. The upcoming postage increase is the result of the recently concluded postal rate case the first fully-litigated case since 2000.

As MPA members continue to move into a broader array of distribution platforms, protection of intellectual property is of ever increasing importance.

Several legislative proposals with regard to privacy have been offered in Congress and in state legislatures. MPA closely monitors these legislative proposals...

With the explosion of the Internet, many marketers are using e-mail as an economical and effective way to contact current and prospective customers with information about products and services that may be of interest to them.  Unfortunately, unscrupulous marketers have discovered that e-mail is...

MPA carefully monitors legislative proposals at the state level that could have a negative impact on publishers’ ability to market to current and potential magazine subscribers In evaluating proposals on marketing practices, including trial offers and automatic renewals, MPA seeks an appropriate...

MPA supports the concept of data security legislation, so long as it is narrowly focused, preempts state law to provide a national standard, and includes provisions for publishers’ business needs...

With implementation of the Postal Accountability and Enforcement Act in December 2006, postal ratesetting for most classes of mail, including periodicals, entered a new era.  Under the new law, rates for each class of mail in the market dominant category, may not go up more than inflation each...

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising for prescription drugs has been providing important information to patients about disease symptoms and treatment options since the early 1980’s. In recent years, expenditures on prescription drugs have been rising faster than the rate of inflation. Along with...