UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
VOICE MEDIA INCORPORATED, a corporation, and RON LEVI and PAUL LESSER, individually and as officers of the corporation.
File No. 002 3003
AGREEMENT CONTAINING CONSENT ORDER TO CEASE AND DESIST
The Federal Trade Commission ("Commission") has conducted an investigation of certain acts and practices of Voice Media Incorporated, Ron Levi and Paul Lesser ("Proposed Respondents"). Proposed Respondents, having been represented by counsel, are willing to enter into an agreement containing a consent order resolving the allegations contained in the attached draft complaint. Therefore,
IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between Proposed Respondents and their attorney, and counsel for the Commission that:
1. Proposed Respondent Voice Media Incorporated is a Nevada corporation with its principal office or place of business at 2533 North Carson Street, Suite 1091, Carson City, Nevada 89706.
2. Proposed Respondent Ron Levi is an owner and officer of the corporate respondent. Individually or in concert with others, he formulates, directs, or controls the policies, acts, or practices of the corporation, including the acts or practices alleged in this complaint. His principal office or place of business is the same as that of Voice Media Incorporated.
3. Proposed Respondent Paul Lesser is an owner and officer of the corporate respondent. Individually or in concert with others, he formulates, directs, or controls the policies, acts, or practices of the corporation, including the acts or practices alleged in this complaint. His principal office or place of business is the same as that of Voice Media Incorporated.
4. Proposed Respondents admit all the jurisdictional facts set forth in the draft complaint.
5. Proposed Respondents waive:
6. This agreement shall not become part of the public record of the proceeding unless and until it is accepted by the Commission. If this agreement is accepted by the Commission, it, together with the draft complaint, will be placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days and information about it publicly released. The Commission thereafter may either withdraw its acceptance of this agreement and so notify Proposed Respondents, in which event it will take such action as it may consider appropriate, or issue and serve its complaint (in such form as the circumstances may require) and decision in disposition of the proceeding.
7. This agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by Proposed Respondents that the law has been violated as alleged in the draft complaint, or that the facts as alleged in the draft complaint, other than the jurisdictional facts, are true.
8. This agreement contemplates that, if it is accepted by the Commission, and if such acceptance is not subsequently withdrawn by the Commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.34 of the Commission's Rules, the Commission may, without further notice to Proposed Respondents, (1) issue its complaint corresponding in form and substance with the attached draft complaint and its decision containing the following order in disposition of the proceeding, and (2) make information about it public. When so entered, the order shall have the same force and effect and may be altered, modified, or set aside in the same manner and within the same time provided by statute for other orders. The order shall become final upon service. Delivery of the complaint and the decision and order to Proposed Respondents' address as stated in this agreement by any means specified in Section 4.4(a) of the Commission's Rules shall constitute service. Proposed Respondents waive any right they may have to any other manner of service. The complaint may be used in construing the terms of the order. No agreement, understanding, representation, or interpretation not contained in the order or in the agreement may be used to vary or contradict the terms of the order.
9. Proposed Respondents have read the draft complaint and consent order. They understand that they may be liable for civil penalties in the amount provided by law and other appropriate relief for each violation of the order after it becomes final.
For purposes of this order, the following definitions shall apply:
1. "Age verification fee" shall mean any fee charged by Respondents to verify that a consumer is of a legal age to view adult entertainment goods or services. Use of an age verification fee shall not preclude Respondents from advertising, promoting, or offering a "free" or "trial" period so long as the amount of the age verification fee is clearly and conspicuously disclosed immediately prior to any "free" or "trial" offer.
2. "Cancellation" shall mean a consumer has communicated to Respondents, in any manner allowed by the cancellation provisions of the terms and conditions of Respondents' offer, the decision to discontinue his or her contractual relationship with Respondents.
3. "Check-off procedure" shall mean a process by which a consumer is required to click on an item of information, thereby indicating that the consumer has received the information or has agreed to the stated terms.
4. "Clear(ly) and conspicuous(ly)" shall mean of a size and shade appearing on the Web page in a manner so as to be reasonably unavoidable, and is presented prior to the consumer incurring any financial obligation, and uses language and syntax sufficient for an ordinary consumer to read and understand the disclosure. Moreover, nothing contrary to, inconsistent with, or that otherwise interferes with a consumer's understanding of the disclosure shall be used in any advertisement. Further, a subsequent disclosure only limits or qualifies a prior disclosure and cannot cure a false claim.
5. "Hyperlink" shall mean a link on a Web page that leads to another Web page on the same or a different Web site. Such link must be clear and conspicuous, appear in close proximity to the information it modifies and must be labeled in a manner that conveys the importance, nature and relevance of the information to which it leads.
6. "In or affecting commerce" shall mean as defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44.
7. "Internet" shall mean a worldwide system of linked computer networks that use a common protocol (TCP/IP) to deliver and receive information. The "Internet" includes but is not limited to the following forms of electronic communication: electronic mail and e-mail mailing lists, the World Wide Web, Web sites, newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat, and file transfers protocols thereon, and remote computer access from anywhere in the world thereto.
8. "Notice" shall mean any method reasonably calculated to inform a consumer, including, but not limited to: by U.S. mail, e-mail, or through a Web site.
9. "World Wide Web" or "Web" shall mean a system used on the Internet for cross-referencing and retrieving information. A "web site" is a set of electronic documents, usually a home page and subordinate pages, readily viewable on computer by anyone with access to the Web, standard software, and knowledge of the web site's location or address.
IT IS ORDERED that Respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, or sale of any goods or services, shall not make or assist in the making of any false or misleading representation of material fact, or omission of material information, directly or by implication, orally or in writing, including, but not limited to, any false or misleading representation:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, or sale of any goods or services on or through the Internet, shall not request any payment information, except for purposes of age verification, from any consumer prior to ensuring that the consumer has accessed the following material terms and conditions, which shall be stated clearly and conspicuously, separately from all other disclosures, and in a manner that requires a consumer to separately acknowledge, by a check-off procedure, having received notice of each of the following:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, or sale of any goods or services on or through the Internet, shall not:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, or sale of any goods or services, shall not:
without first providing a consumer with fifteen (15) days notice and an opportunity to cancel. Such notice shall be made clearly and conspicuously.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent Voice Media Incorporated, and its successors and assigns, and Respondents Ron Levi and Paul Lesser, shall, for a period of five (5) years after the last date of dissemination of any representation covered by this order, maintain and upon request make available to the Federal Trade Commission for inspection and copying upon receipt of reasonable notice of not less than seven (7) calendar days:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent Voice Media Incorporated, and its successors and assigns, and Respondents Ron Levi and Paul Lesser, shall deliver a copy of this order to all current and future principals, officers, directors, and managers, and to all current and future employees, agents, and representatives having responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of this order, and shall secure from each such person a signed and dated statement acknowledging receipt of the order. Respondent shall deliver this order to current personnel within thirty (30) days after the date of service of this order, and to future personnel within thirty (30) days after the person assumes such position or responsibilities.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent Voice Media Incorporated, and its successors and assigns, shall notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in the corporation that may affect compliance obligations arising under this order, including, but not limited to, dissolution, assignment, sale, merger, or other action that would result in the emergence of a successor corporation; the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary, parent, or affiliate that engages in any acts or practices subject to this order; the proposed filing of a bankruptcy petition; or a change in the corporate name or address. Provided, however, that, with respect to any proposed change in the corporation about which Respondent learns less than thirty (30) days prior to the date such action is to take place, Respondent shall notify the Commission as soon as is practicable after obtaining such knowledge. All notices required by this Part shall be sent by certified mail or other means of return receipt delivery to the Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondents Ron Levi and Paul Lesser, for a period of four (4) years after the date of issuance of this order, shall each notify the Commission of the discontinuance of his current business or employment, or of his affiliation with any new business or employment where the duties and responsibilities of such employment are subject to the provisions of this order. The notice shall include Respondent's new business address and telephone number and a description of the nature of the business or employment and his duties and responsibilities. All notices required by this Part shall be sent by certified mail to the Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent Voice Media Incorporated, and its successors and assigns, and Respondents Ron Levi and Paul Lesser, shall within sixty (60) days after the date of service of this order, and at such other times as the Federal Trade Commission may require, file with the Commission a report, in writing, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which it has complied with this order.
This order will terminate twenty (20) years from the date of its issuance, or twenty (20) years from the most recent date that the United States or the Federal Trade Commission files a complaint (with or without an accompanying consent decree) in federal court alleging any violation of the order, whichever comes later; provided, however, that the filing of such a complaint will not affect the duration of:
Provided, further, that if such complaint is dismissed or a federal court rules that the Respondent did not violate any provision of the order, and the dismissal or ruling is either not appealed or upheld on appeal, then the order will terminate according to this Part as though the complaint had never been filed, except that the order will not terminate between the date such complaint is filed and the later of the deadline for appealing such dismissal or ruling and the date such dismissal or ruling is upheld on appeal.
Signed this ___ day of __________________, .
VOICE MEDIA INCORPORATED
RON LEVI, individually and as an officer of Voice Media
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
JAMES A. STEELE
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
NICHOLAS J. FRANCZYK
C. STEVEN BAKER
JOAN Z. BERNSTEIN