In a complaint filed in mid-July, consumer groups are accusing users of wireless microphones--including educators and others speaking in large lecture halls--of unwittingly violating Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that require government licenses for such devices.

In the complaint, the groups accused manufacturers, such as Shure Inc. of Niles, Ill., of deceptive advertising in the way they market and sell high-end, wireless microphones to people who are not legally permitted to use them.

The complaint recommends that the government agree to a general amnesty for unauthorized users of wireless microphones.

The legal filing on such a quirky subject raises serious questions for the


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