Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Can somebody sue you for making something wonderful that might hurt somebody else who uses your product carelessly?

Of course. This is America, land of the Bill of Rights, mom, apple pie, Chevrolet . . . and outrageous litigation.

Some suits are sound, sure. But, on top of those you’ve got your money-grubbing frivolous actions, pushed by freeloaders and fronted by freebooters, er, lawyers. But at least these folks don’t always win. That’s where I’ve got some good news to pass along: A federal court has slapped down ludicrous litigation against Apple Computer.

Apple makes the popular iPod media player. Litigants Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner alleged that Apple is culpable for “possible hearing loss” resulting from iPod use, thanks to allegedly improper earbud design.

Birdsong and Waggoner don’t assert that their own eardrums had burst, or even that the ears of others had suffered. In fact, the ruling against them notes: “At most, the plaintiffs plead a potential risk of hearing loss. . . .”

Obviously, when your own careless conduct causes you harm, you alone are responsible. Turn  your stereo volume to the max and press your ear against stereo speakers. It isn’t the stereo maker’s fault when your eardrums pop.

By the way, iPods also have volume control.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

1 Comment

  1. voxoreason says:

    Mark Twain wrote/said something to the effect of: When I was 16, I thought my father was the most ignorant man on the face of the earth, but by the time I was 25, I was amazed at how much he had learned.

    Your parents told you (like mine did, if you were lucky) that loud music would damage your ears.

    It took me several years and a Fender Twin Reverb amp with JBL speakers (it didn’t “go to 11,” but it went to 10 consistently), but I proved my parents right! Lucky me.

    It’s called tinnitus, and it’s like a constant ringing in your ears. While you don’t really think about it until you are so afflicted, after that you will have adjustments to make.

    A silent room/house is your worst enemy: the ringing increases in volume, or seems that way. You require noise, especially if you’re trying to go to sleep. The TV stays on all night. If you stay busy, you’ll suddenly realize after several hours that you haven’t heard the ringing… until you reach this realization. Reset the timer and get back to busy!

    Eventually, I will have to carry a Walkman cassette player with a certain tone (that helps cancel out the tune my ringing is tuned to) extended for the length of the tape, while I listen to it through headphones. To donate to my charity…

    Jeff Beck has this problem, as does Pete Townshend of the Who. Beck did a concert with Slash (of Guns ‘n Roses), and later called him in the middle of the night.

    Slash was like, Whoa, JEFF BECK is calling ME?” (Beck is a guitar legend; see HBO’s 25th Anniversary of the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame, near the end. Beck was one of a select few, eg, CS&N, who provided back-up bands for fellow superstars. His rendition of Lennon’s “A Day in the Life” is exquisite.)

    To Slash’s dismay (back to the late night phone call), it turned out that Beck wanted to cuss him out over the volume of his amplifier during the concert. Beck listens to a tape, too.

    As for the “it’s theoretically possible” litigants fighting Apple, I can do the same thing for them. Ya just have to slap somebody in both ears at the same time. (I read this in an email noting this as a way for a woman to defend herself. I was told to pass it along to women in my life, so I told my wife and daughter. Hold your keys such that when you make a fist, the keys stick out; rake your fist against an assailant’s eyes. Throwing tens of thousand of volts through a creep will probably solve your problem, too. Just the flash of electricity will probably discourage a male miscreant.)

    And all those teens with LOUD amplifiers in their cars, the ones that you can hear the bass line from a quarter mile away? That squashed bomp-bomp-bomp sound?

    As with those who pray on street corners, they will have their reward.

    “Huh? What say? Huh? Wha…” There should be hundreds of thousands of post-teen types with this problem over the next few years. Maybe they can use an iPod to listen to a particular tone? Shouldn’t need to turn it up THAT loud.

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