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If she can be charged, why not exotic cable manufacturers?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/nyregion/a-psychics-legal-problems-perhaps-predictably-grow.html?_r=0
post #2 of 6
Small steps! We'll get there.

IMO, the HDMI cable scams are ripe for congressional intervention. Analog audio cable benefits are more difficult to argue.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

IMO, the HDMI cable scams are ripe for congressional intervention. Analog audio cable benefits are more difficult to argue.

I'm pretty sure all such fraudulent claims are criminal. The main problem is audiophile ripoffs affect far fewer people than psychics and "alternative health" product ripoffs. So prosecutors are less likely to spend their time on what they perceive as less important in the big picture.

--Ethan
post #4 of 6
Quote:
I'm pretty sure all such fraudulent claims are criminal.
I'm pretty sure you're not a lawyer!

For the record, neither am I. But I think bringing a case for fraud against the cable guys would be both unlikely and difficult to win. First of all, who's defrauded? The people who buy cables are presumably happy with them. Prosecutors are unlikely to bring a fraud case against a product that has no unsatisfied customers. How do you expect to prove fraud against a customer that could easily produce reams of affidavits from satisfied customers attesting to how they found the cable in question to sound better? In a court of law, I think I'd rather have that than a panel of expert witnesses behind me.

Second, these products do work, in the sense that they perform the basic function of a cable: They deliver a signal from point A to point B. The pseudoscientific claims about why one design is better than another are really just that—claims that our product is better than our competitors. Marketers seem to have a lot of leeway there.

In short, the product functions as it's supposed to, and the customers are all happy. I'm having a hard time understanding why your tax dollars and mine ought to be expended fighting this.
Quote:
The main problem is audiophile ripoffs affect far fewer people than psychics and "alternative health" product ripoffs. So prosecutors are less likely to spend their time on what they perceive as less important in the big picture.
The thing about the Times story is that law enforcement almost never targets psychics. That's what makes it a story worth reporting. And psychics almost certain do more damage to people than over-hyped audio cables do.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I'm pretty sure you're not a lawyer!

For the record, neither am I. But I think bringing a case for fraud against the cable guys would be both unlikely and difficult to win. First of all, who's defrauded? The people who buy cables are presumably happy with them. Prosecutors are unlikely to bring a fraud case against a product that has no unsatisfied customers. How do you expect to prove fraud against a customer that could easily produce reams of affidavits from satisfied customers attesting to how they found the cable in question to sound better? In a court of law, I think I'd rather have that than a panel of expert witnesses behind me.

Second, these products do work, in the sense that they perform the basic function of a cable: They deliver a signal from point A to point B. The pseudoscientific claims about why one design is better than another are really just that—claims that our product is better than our competitors. Marketers seem to have a lot of leeway there.

In short, the product functions as it's supposed to, and the customers are all happy. I'm having a hard time understanding why your tax dollars and mine ought to be expended fighting this.
The thing about the Times story is that law enforcement almost never targets psychics. That's what makes it a story worth reporting. And psychics almost certain do more damage to people than over-hyped audio cables do.

Yep. Most of the claims put forth are very subjective and hard to prove in court. Even technical claims are hard in that no real audibility claims are made because of such technical claims. Some may be better technically indeed but is it audible? They can always say that it was to them and their customers even though it was under sighted conditions, etc.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

First of all, who's defrauded? The people who buy cables are presumably happy with them ... How do you expect to prove fraud against a customer that could easily produce reams of affidavits from satisfied customers attesting to how they found the cable in question to sound better?

Good point and I agree. But...
Quote:
psychics almost certain do more damage to people than over-hyped audio cables do.

Yet psychics can show just as many highly satisfied customers.

Whatever, you are correct that I'm not a lawyer. Sometime I wish I was though! biggrin.gif

--Ethan
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