That's right, your government at work....

Mildly interesting to some, the Federal Trade Commission has published a request for public comment regarding its proposed change to the "Amplifier Rules" in order to account for measuring the power output of multichannel amplifiers (as apposed to "stereophonic" or "monophonic" amps). That's right, they do that stuff (news to me) and, what more, there's a federal rule for it. Apparently, there's a minor uproar over what constitutes an "associated channel." Mayhaps I'm just a hopeless dork (no comment necessary), but I thought this was all pretty funny. Any interest, the request for comment is here: Guess it goes to show, though, that the very need for a "Rule" means that you never know what your getting when you buy a multichannel amp these days.... Amazing what one comes across on the internet -- and I was genuinely working at the time. Honest.
It is not just us. Have you ever wondered why current amplifiers made in Europe cannot take banana plugs straight in (only in sideways through the wire hole)?? Some bureaucrats in the EU did not think the binding posts were safe, so they ordered them changed.
Ask any manufacturer about CE guidelines (required) for export sales. Thank God we have our governments looking out for us!
Protecting us while we sleep, you bet! I was told that CE regulations regarding protection vs. rfi & heat dissipation are mind-boggling. Maybe that explains in part the vertiginous prices of upmarket pre's & class A amps sold in Europe?
I read through page 4. I may not get the tone here, sarcasm or serious or... I guess its not a bad idea I'm not too opinionated on it; I was even a little curious how $200 receivers these days were claiming 2 * 100 watts or 5 * 100 watts, when the ones 5-10 years ago where usually less than 100 * 2 for stereo only. I guess this situation is similar to way back when: 40 watt receivers were being rated much much higher than their "real" power, since some 40 watt amps can deliver something like 800 watts peak into a very specific load at X freq. for X duration at X distortion. So FTC stepped in (so this isn't new, I don't think) and standardized some of the amplifier measurments. I do wonder if the Dennis Murphy on page one is the same Dennis Murphy who designs speakers as a hobby and does well in the amateur divisions. He did say on his own site he was an economist by formal training and that would maybe partly explain why he's involved in this (the Dennis Murphy on page 1 is also an economist), cross interests-an economist with no interest in audio would probably never bat an eye at the audio sector.
The "old" ratings were not very well controlled. and so they could claim anything they wanted... ususally the max power at 200% distortion.... Ditto automobile horsepower: the horses today ARE bigger under your hood.
The government is out to protect us from the evils of "let the buyer beware" If it screws up some, well, we all do. Personally I prefer the rules we have rather than some chaotic mess.