Friday, April 18, 2008

Support Tekzilla and Blue Jeans Cables - BOYCOTT Monster Cables

I'm ready! Let's do it!

Monster can be kinda Apple-like in their use of cease and desist lawsuits, but it looks like they might've bitten off more than they can chew this time.

Several tech/gadget blogs and news sites are reporting on the back and forth legal letters between Monster and Blue Jeans Cable. BJC is a very small company that makes A/V cables, and as far as I can tell they manufacture in the USA (woot). Apparently Monster thinks that only they should be allowed to produce shielded RCA cables. They've sent a C&D letter to BJC over what they claim is patent infringement on their design.

Let's take a look:

[sarcasm] Gee, I had a REALLY hard time figuring out which one was the Monster cable (what with the one cable having the BIG MONSTER LABEL on it)[/sarcasm]. Picture courtesy of Gizmodo.

Well the owner of Blue Jeans just happens to be a retired copyright lawyer, and his 3200 WORD response to Monster's letter is both brutal and pants-wettingly hysterical. I wont quote the whole letter here, but this was my favorite bit:

I will also point out to you that if you do choose to undertake litigation, your "upside" is tremendously limited. If you somehow managed, despite the formidable obstacles in your way, to obtain a finding of infringement, and if you were successful at recovering a large licensing fee--say, ten cents per connector--as the measure of damages, your recovery to date would not reach four figures. On the downside, I will advance defenses which, if successful, will substantially undermine your future efforts to use these patents and marks to threaten others with these types of actions; as you are of course aware, it is easier today for your competitors to use collateral estoppel offensively than it ever has been before. Also, there is little doubt that making baseless claims of trade dress infringement and design patent infringement is an improper business tactic, which can give rise to unfair competition claims, and for a company of Monster's size, potential antitrust violations with treble damages and attorneys' fees.

So to wrap up this already WAY too long post. I just started watching today's Tekzilla, and Patrick Norton had quite a bit to say about how he felt about the situation. He says boycott, and who am I to disagree. I've been tired of their price gouging for years, and every time I see gold plated, $60, six foot USB cables, it makes me want to hurt kittens.
As soon as I'm done with this post I will be removing all Monster products from Some Audio Store.

Check out what Patrick had to say (very beginning of the show):

I would highly encourage anyone looking for A/V equipment to seriously consider ANY alternative to Monster. Blue Jeans is fighting the good fight, I've always had very positive experiences with Monoprice, and for you recording folk I think Mogami Microphone cables are some of the best XLR cables you can get your hands on, and George L makes fantastic instrument cables at very reasonable prices.

And if you're really in a tight spot, Monster cables sound about as good as a wire coat hanger (wire coat hangers soon to be really expensive at Best Buy), so there you go...

***UPDATE 4/19/08***

My blogging pal Brandon Drury is joining in on the boycott as well.
He runs the Recording Review, which is an excellent source for recording information, especially those wanting to get into engineering.
You can check out his boycott blog post here:
I Will Never Buy Another Monster Cable
someaudioguy some audio guy voice over voiceover vo demo production animation recording acting producing equipment microphones cables engineering


  1. There are disreputable companies in despotic countries that don't carry on like Munster Cabal does. Thanks for spreading the word about these guys.

  2. My pleasure Lance.
    I'm tired of watching them screw consumers, and looking into their over seas business practices, I can't say I like what I see.

    Thanks for the comment!