Ben Laurie blathering

Amazon and Trade Descriptions, Round 4

I spoke to Trading Standards again this morning, and they say they can’t do anything. Their reasoning is that a description is only false if the thing in question cannot be described like that. Since EMI’s shiny silver things (what do you call them? Not CDs, coz they ain’t) play in some players, then they could be audio CDs, in some sense of the word, so it is not an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Anyone out there want to say they’re wrong?


  1. They are wrong 😉

    Comment by Erik Abele — 27 Mar 2006 @ 12:40

  2. I have a problem with the logic, but I don’t know if it significant enough here, as your average punter would agree that it is a CD unless they were enducated otherwise.

    A description is false if something can’t be described as a CD.

    Can a shiny silver thing be described as a CD? It depends whose definition you take. Average person vs. educated more enligtened person.

    It seems that a DVD also could be described as a CD. In fact, many people would never know the difference. In this case, would the description be false if it claimed that a DVD was actually a CD? A DVD wouldn’t play in a simple basic bog-standard CD-player.

    This is the problem with this sort of descriptions regulation – when it comes down to it you’re arguing against a frequently uninformed perception of something that is simply wrong but because the average person would problably get it wrong, knowing the truth is now wrong.

    So being right is wrong, and the lesson seems to be you need to be wrong to be right.

    But then Amazon would take great pleasure in quoting the Philips technical bumpf, and saying you are sadly deluded …

    Comment by robin — 29 Mar 2006 @ 3:35

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