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Attaching cards to newspapers is illegal

How ironic! A person who wants San Francisco City Hall to pass a law stopping the delivery of unwanted newspapers is breaking the law by attaching complaint cards to those newspapers.

That’s according to the Legal HelpLine of the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), which saw our item Thursday about the cards that have been showing up on Examiners in certain SF neighborhoods.

Photo journalist Steve Rhodes uploaded theis picture to Flickr, and SFist.com posted them.

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi has introduced legislation that would impose fines on newspapers that continue to deliver after a resident has asked that the paper stop.

The cards, which have been anonymously taped to copies of the Examiner, complain about the litter the newspaper is creating. Each card has a blank for the resident to give their name and address. They’re encouraged to mail the card to City Hall.

The CNPA Bulletin quotes Section 538c of the Penal Code: “… any person who attaches or inserts an unauthorized advertisement in a newspaper, and who redistributes it to the public or who has the intent to redistribute it to the public, is guilty of the crime of theft of advertising services which shall be punishable as a misdemeanor. …”

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