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Danger! Danger!

Publication Date: 
April 01, 2011
Justin McLachlan

Lecturer Ryan Calo is quoted by Wired's Justin McLachlan on the purpose of product warning labels and why companies are so willing to attach them to their products.

Caution: That warning label on your cup of coffee isn't necesarily for your benefit. It's probably there to protect the company's bottom line. "Most of the common warnings you see today result either form regulation or from some lawsuit or anticipated lawsuit," says Ryan Calo, a lawyer who studies technology-related legal issues at Stanford. In the eyes of most corporations , lawsuits are things that kill profits--so companies are willing to attach to their products even the most obvious or absurd warnings on the chance that it might help them avoid paying out when someone manages to, say, hurt themselves listening to an IPod. ...