Attorneys: iPod maximum volume update not good enough | iLounge News

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Attorneys: iPod maximum volume update not good enough

Following Apple’s announcement today of an iPod update to limit volume levels, attorneys involved in a class-action lawsuit over iPod hearing loss have released a statement, saying that they “lauded Apple’s decision to provide a way to limit the volume of the popular iPod devices, but said the company’s actions fall far short.”

“It is good to know that Apple finally acknowledges that there is a serious flaw with its iPod product, and is giving U.S. purchasers the same protection it has been giving French purchasers since 2002,” said Steve Berman, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “Unfortunately, this patch doesn’t help the millions of people who own older models—it is a jack-legged workaround that falls well short of what consumers demand and deserve.”

“While the software allows users to set levels, the company does next to nothing to educate consumers about what is safe,” J.R. Whaley, another attorney representing the plaintiffs. “Many consumers would conclude that 100 DB is twice as loud as 50 DB but that’s not the case; for every 10 decibels, the loudness actually increases twofold. Fifty decibels is twice as loud as 40, 60 is four times as loud as 40, and so on.”

“We contend that Apple has done next to nothing to inform consumers regarding these issues,” Berman concluded.

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Comments

41

This litigious society we live in makes me absolutely sick. Where are the lawsuits for loud concerts in small clubs? don’t forget the Sony Sports earphones you could put in your ear as well. Let’s go back to 89 and sue them too.

All these bottom of the barrel sucking attorneys trying to get a bit of scratch for their BMW habit. Makes me effing sick. Let’s sue everyone!!!!11

Posted by Regalbegal on March 30, 2006 at 5:38 AM (PDT)

42

Freakin Lawyers…............

Posted by jazzbass12 on March 30, 2006 at 6:01 AM (PDT)

43

It’s funny how we’re all sort of saying the same thing over and over. We all know that the people attacking Apple don’t really care. That’s obvious. It seems like we’re disagreeing on whether or not the update was necessary. To me, that’s a really stupid thing to argue about. Again, nobody said you have to use it. Nobody said it was necessary. It’s a nice and useful feature to parents and geeks like me so those of you who are saying it’s dumb, take a hike.

Posted by Werewolf on March 30, 2006 at 6:11 AM (PDT)

44

A federally mandated speed limit doesn’t equate to a volume limiter on an iPod.

As for competent adults who claim they “didn’t know any better?

Obviously, someone is reading way too much into something that wasn’t there to begin with, and is certainly not seeing things with a broader viewpoint. I’ll refrain from any comments referring to reading skills…though it’s indeed tempting fodder…

treydawg: Limits—whether car speed or iPod volume—do equate to some extent towards controlling criminal and/or negligent liability on the part of the manufacturer. If you crash your car doing 130 MPH on the road, then you can’t go back to the car maker and sue them for providing a vehicle that could go that fast. Why? Because you were breaking the law to begin with, and when in obvious violation of such law no court will find in favor of any plaintiff that seeks to off-load their own guilt, stupidity and illegal activity on someone else. In this case a legal limit has been mandated; that in and of itself restricts fault and liability on the part of the auto manufacturer. That’s why deadesq’s comment about suing his car maker for his 125 mph car doesn’t ‘wash’ as sarcasm.

The volume limiter firmware—from a liability standpoint—does pretty much the same thing as the speed limit in that the consumer has been given fair warning about the consequences of exceeding the limits imposed.  That’s were the comparison equate to one another…do you see it now? If Apple had done due diligence (from the plaintiff’s view) and provided the limiter controls from the outset, then the current litigation would be a slam dunk defense for Apple. There would be no lawsuit, there would be no common sense loophole.

Now, please point out again where I said an actual law is needed to regulate iPod volume?  And if you don’t mind, point out exactly where I said any of this ‘volume controlling’ applied to adults. Thought so…didn’t think you could but out of courtesy I thought I’d ask anyways…

Posted by flatline response on March 30, 2006 at 6:38 AM (PDT)

45

Perhaps those pushing for this have no opposable thumbs to operate the scroll wheel.

Isn’t it nice to know that there are lawyers with all our best interests at heart.  Nice caring lawyers!

Posted by Cker in Northern Ireland on March 30, 2006 at 6:50 AM (PDT)

46

The whole issue is sad. It all starts because someone gets injured and wants to benefit from it at any cost (admitting stupidity).

It’s like: “Yes, I’m so stupid that I need the company to tell me that I can hurt myself if I misuse its product. I’m not responsible for protecting myself and demand detailed instructions on any iPod/car/hammer/anything I buy. I give them my money, after all!”

I’d feel ashamed to even think about asking for a volume limit or something like that.

Posted by KenGR on March 30, 2006 at 7:11 AM (PDT)

47

Flatline: You may think this is a great idea for children, and many agree. I being one of those people who agree. However this VL didn’t come about because of the saftey children. Which is why people are complaining.

In the original post you replied to, the guy was making a comment about the lawsuit. He was usuing this news about the VL to express his disgust over the lawsuit. As we all know this lawsuit has nothing to do with the saftey of the children. It’s a grown man who admits to being to dumb to cut down the volume. No where in that lawsuit is there a parent who’s suing apple over the well being of their children.

That would have been a whole different story. If this lawsuit had been brought up by parents trying to safe guard a childs hearing. This case is about money and money only. I doubt anyone cares for anyones safety in this matter. Not even Apple cares, they are obviously doing this to cover their ###’ in this lawsuit.

People disgust obviously isn’t over the VL. I think most of us believe it’s a good idea. The people who don’t want it aren’t affected by it because they don’t have to use it. It’s obvious that people are speaking about the original lawsuit and only using this news as an outlet.

Unless you’re one of the people who support that idiotic lawsuit I don’t see why you are being opposing…

Posted by Glorybox3737 on March 30, 2006 at 7:21 AM (PDT)

48

So what about owners of older models? Like the 4g and maybe the 3G owners?

Why does Apple seem to comepletely forget that we exist? Our iPod models are just about a year old, did they forget us already?

Posted by ahMEmon on March 30, 2006 at 7:38 AM (PDT)

49

Flatline: You’re right - you never did say anything specifically about adults in your response. I’m sorry that I implied you did. I was simply responding to your initial claim and then expounding upon it. The adult comment, though included my response to you, was merely an extension of my thought process and not intended to be directed at you. But, as Glorybox said, this lawsuit isn’t about some parent suing Apple because their child’s hearing was damaged - it’s about careless adults who want to blame someone else for their own stupidity.

As for the speed limit issue, you’re right - you never said anything about needing law to mandate volume control. And I, in turn, never claimed you did. I was simply following your faulty logic to its inevitable conclusion. Now, I’m obviously just a simple man. You’re rhetoric and fluidity of thought are impressive and I am humbled by your verbal prowess. You must have been quite the asset to your high school debate team. While I may not share in your debating skills, I still don’t buy you’re argument with the speed limit analogy. Are you trying to say that if there were no speed limit then car makers would be liable for their vehicles being used in an irresponsible manner? Furthermore, in regards to your statement:
If Apple had done due diligence (from the plaintiff’s view) and provided the limiter controls from the outset, then the current litigation would be a slam dunk defense for Apple.

They did have something from the outset on the iPod that limits the volume level. It’s called the volume control. Putting the “volume capping” function on the iPod still doesn’t help all of the irresponsible people out there. They either won’t use it or their idea of a safe maximum will still be too loud. Again I’d like to reiterate my point from before. If this is really a valid defense, then perhaps every device that has some sort of sound output should be changed so that it has the option to set a maximum level which cannot be exceeded. My guess is doing so would require some sort of federal mandate (but I’m obviously no lawyer). If that were to happen, then it would be closer to being the same thing as the speed limit.  But actually it would be more like my initial point of requiring car manufactures to install a user controlled governor on all cars. Furthermore in regards to your “due diligence,? how far does this need to go? Are manufactures supposed to anticipate every possible way their product could be misused?

And with that, I bid you adieu.

Posted by treydawg on March 30, 2006 at 8:30 AM (PDT)

50

Stupid people do stupid things.

News at 11.

Posted by Bren on March 30, 2006 at 8:57 AM (PDT)

51

I think apple sould make the volume bar turn red when it go’s above a safe volume. Or maby go red when youve been listning for to long.

Also they sould add this feture to older iPods, my brother is gonna deffen himself and I want to force the sutpid prat to turn it down.

Posted by Peachey on March 30, 2006 at 9:31 AM (PDT)

52

There will always be an idiot trying to find ways to hurt himself with the most silly things. So lets sue the companies making kitchen knifes, alcoholic drinks, cars… hell, lets sue God!

Posted by Ricardo Jorge Governa on March 30, 2006 at 10:05 AM (PDT)

53

Basic lawyer crap.

We currently live in the world of lawsuits, so for lawyers to come out and say that the volume limiter isn’t enough justifies their existance, that’s all.

The base of this problem is who is responsible for their actions. If a lawsuit like this wins - volume limiter necessary, this could stretch to so many products. All cars should be limited to the maximum speed limit allowed by law. Alcohol content in beer/liquor should be 0% based upon all the alcohol related deaths.

Give me a break. It sickens me to see how people refuse to be responsible for themselves, and find it easier to blame somebody else, and then go out and try to make money from it.

This is why I generally hate people.

Posted by MetalManCPA on March 30, 2006 at 11:57 AM (PDT)

54

So this volume limiter is adjustable? If so, that’s really cool of Apple. One of the biggest complaints about the Rio Carbon was that all of the firmware updates included a fixed volume limit that would make the player jive with France’s volume cap law. If you wanted the Napster-To-Go compatibility for example, you had to accept the volume limiter. Obviously this becomes a problem for people trying to drive inefficient headphones like the E5C, ER-4S, HD-650, etc.

Posted by fondy44 on March 30, 2006 at 12:22 PM (PDT)

55

this is such a ridiculous arguement like all others before me have said. oh we should sue apple because we dont know how to turn down the volume.. oh poor me my ears hurtt… you babies.

Posted by yodawg on March 30, 2006 at 1:46 PM (PDT)

56

Maybe we should send all prospective purchasers of ipods to the DMV so they can take an operator’s exam to see if they are competent enough to manage their own equipment. If one cannot pass the simple exam of what is too loud then they should be sent to a class which is paid for by the stupid ####### attorney who thought a class action lawsuit for someone else’s inability to turn their volume down. A frivilous waste of our court system and our tax dollars!!!

Posted by Dane on March 30, 2006 at 2:32 PM (PDT)

57

Oh you mean those tax dollars that are taken from Americans each year unconstitutionally? Wanna argue? Look at Paragraph 3, Section 2, of Article I and Paragraph 4, Section 9, of Article I int he U.S. Constitution and look up the definition of “direct tax” in the dictionary. Then read the 16th amendment.

Then tell me something isn’t a little screwy if you’ve made it that far.

(Dane, I’m not attacking you in any way - just wanted to clarify that.)

I’m simply bringing attention to the fact that yes, these cases are frivolous and are a waste of our money but technically it’s not their money to waste. Our system and our society is rotting as we speak. Something’s gotta give.

Posted by Taxman on March 30, 2006 at 7:53 PM (PDT)

58

Alas, nothing’s going to give.  The government is paid for by large corporations and serves large corporations.  As long as the rich keep getting richer, the people in power won’t complain and the masses are too apathetic.

Anyway.

#44: ...you can’t go back to the car maker and sue them for providing a vehicle that could go that fast. Why? Because you were breaking the law to begin with…

Alas, in this ridiculously litigious society, a burglar can sue you if he breaks into your property and he injures himself in the process and the law won’t protect you.

Victims of gun crime will sue the makers of video games instead of suing the neglectful parents who let television and video games raise their children. Old ladies can sue microwave manufacturers after they kill their poodles whilst trying to dry them out. People who somehow didn’t know that loud music can damage their hearing (my parents drummed it into me at an early age) can pass the buck and make someone else pay for their mistakes. Regardless of who’s at fault, the bottom line is greed.

Posted by Kalessin on March 31, 2006 at 12:10 PM (PDT)

59

MOAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!


Sorry


You’re absolutely right Kalessin.

Posted by Taxman on March 31, 2006 at 3:43 PM (PDT)

60

This is sad.  If people aren’t smart enough to turn down their iPods to protect their hearing all by themselves, they deserve to lose their hearing!

Posted by ejones22 on March 31, 2006 at 7:26 PM (PDT)

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