i got in touch with you a while ago about becoming a affiliate with the PLA site because im in the first steps of starting my own show/site. im new to phone pranking really and im still trying to find my bearings with everything. but one of the things that has become an issue for me and my cohort for the site is the legality of prank calling. ive read a lot on the site and in your book and i know you have had some troubles from calling people. so im wondering what pointers you can share that generally keeps the law off your ass. i know in california it becomes harassment if the calls exceeds 4 calls in a 2 week span, but really i need helpful advice from someone who has been at it for long enough to know whats what. also, how do you record calls without problems? oh and i remember you referencing a kind of code of ethics that the PLA stands behind, i would like to follow that so a rundown would be very helpful in these first times with getting content for the site.
also, i have a fiend who runs an embroidery company out of her home and i was wondering if you would be interested in making some sew on PLA patches. you have buttons, shirts, hats and books so something else that can have the PLA logo would be awesome! it would also bring some well needed incoming orders for my friend. im thinking about having her make one and send you a picture of it if it would help.
Hi Chris! I'm far from being a lawyer or a cop, so keep that in mind when listening to my legal advice. A few months ago, I wrote an article on how to keep prank calls legal, which should answer most of your legal questions about prank calling. Basically, it says that you should never prank locally, you shouldn't make threats, you shouldn't impersonate government employees and you shouldn't prank someone more than a couple of times. I really need to add that article to the sidebar of this site so that people can easily find it.
I've also written an article on how to record phone calls, which mostly deals with cellular phones and land lines. I need to update that page to include Skype recording, because Skype is about the only thing I ever use anymore for prank calling. I don't even know how to begin to explain how I have things set up in the Cacti Radio studio, but it involves broadcasting software, a mixer and 2 sound cards hooked together in a loop that should explode the universe, but doesn't. When I'm not on the air, though, I use mp3 Skype Recorder, which is a free program that automatically records all of your Skype calls. It sucks and it has issues and I will replace it one of these days when I feel like testing out other options, but for now it does the job. Sort of.
Finally, about your friend who makes embroidered stuff - tell her I would love for her to make a ton of PLA shit! Here's the thing about PLA merchandise - I make barely any money at all from it. In fact, between all the time I spend packaging things up and driving to the post office and all the free stuff I include with orders and all the PLA stuff that I give away because I'm such a nice guy, I'm sure I lose money in the end. Luckily, phonelosers.org supports itself with the advertisements on this page, so I don't really lose money at PLA.
Here's what I'm getting at, though - I would like your friend to make any cool things she can think of that would be related to the PLA. She can use the PLA logo or PLA quotes or cacti or anything she wants. She can send me links to things she makes and I will help her sell them, using phonelosers.org and the PLA Facebook page. And here's the best part - she can charge whatever she wants and keep all the profits for herself!
Samantha had this great idea a month or two ago - she wanted to knit things with PLA symbols on them, such as gloves or hats or whatever. I loved the idea and told her to go for it, but knowing how lazy Samantha is, I immediately set about creating a competitive market for her knitting by contacting random ETSY shop owners and suggesting to them that they make PLA things and sell them.
The image you see here is the first result of that. This is a cell phone cozy, made by MarikaHandKnits in Toronto. She makes custom party wristbands, fingerless gloves, iphone cases and more. Ideally, the etsy owner would put the item up for sale so that I could link people to it and they could easily buy it, but for whatever reason, this shop owner didn't do that and didn't tell me how much this cell phone cozy costs, so all I can do is tell readers to visit her shop and ask to buy the PLA cell phone cozy.
I would like for everyone to do this! If you know someone who makes things and sells it on sites like etsy.com, tell them to make PLA things! I want to see PLA hats, gloves, sweaters and underwear! I can't guarantee that anyone will buy these things, but I will do my best to link to their PLA merchandise from this site. I'd like to even set up a section on the PLA Store page for things that other people make. Do this, people!
Thanks for the email, Chris!