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"People ask me how I do research for my science fiction. The answer is, I never do any research. I just enjoy reading the stuff, and some of it sticks in my mind and fits into the stories."
- Frederik Pohl

Earplug Decision (Restraint of Advertising)  
  A Supreme Court judgement that declared that earplugs used to block advertising were unconstitutional.  

Again and again he and Mavis had warned Grandmother that her advanced years would not keep her from being clapped into jail, and they hadn’t. She’d gone absolutely wild on the day the Supreme Court had handed down the Earplug Decision. It was the climax of a long and terribly costly fight by the MV Corporation. The sale of earplugs had grown rapidly during the years MV was expanding, and just at a peak period, when MV had over 3,000 accounts. National Earplug Associates, Inc. had boldly staged a country-wide campaign advertising earplugs as the last defense against MV. The success of the campaign was such that the Master Ventriloquism Corporation found itself losing hundreds of accounts. MV sued immediately and the case dragged through the courts for years. Judges had a hard time making up their minds. Some sections of the press twaddled about “captive audiences.” The MV Corporation felt reasonably certain that the Supreme Court justices were sensible men, but with its very existence at stake there was nerve-wracking suspense until the decision was made. National Earplug Associates, Inc. was found guilty of Restraint of Advertising, and earplugs were declared unconstitutional...

MV’s representatives in Washington soon were able to get Congress to put teeth into the Supreme Court’s decision, and eventually, just as Fred and Mavis predicted. Grandmother joined the ridiculous band who went to jail for violating the law prohibiting the use or possession of earplugs.

From Captive Audience, by Anne Warren Griffith.
Published by Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1953
Additional resources -

Hard to believe, but there was a time before the MV put commercials into every product package:

That evening the children were allowed to sit up late so they could talk to their great-grandmother after the MV went off at 11. They had been told she’d just returned from a “trip,” and when they asked her about it now she made up stories of far away places where she’d been, where there wasn’t any MV. Then she went on, while they grew bored, to tell them stories of her girlhood, before MV was invented, long before, as she said, “that fatal day when the Supreme Court opened the door to MV by deciding that defenseless passengers on busses had to listen to commercials whether they wanted to or not.”

“But didn’t they like to hear the commercials?” Billy asked.

Fred smiled to himself. Sound kid. Sound as a dollar. Grandmother could talk herself cross-eyed but Billy wouldn’t fall for that stuff.

“No,” Grandmother said, and she seemed very sad, “they didn’t like them.”

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Captive Audience
  More Ideas and Technology by Anne Warren Griffith
  Tech news articles related to Captive Audience
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