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#918101 - 08/26/11 07:32 PM Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory  
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ben willis Offline
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I guess we have to be careful when bragging about the wood and ivory on our guitars. Big brother is listening.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html

#918103 - 08/26/11 07:52 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: ben willis]  
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Well at least we now know where the first budget cuts in the Federal gummint should be directed......


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#918115 - 08/26/11 09:39 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: ben willis]  
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this is really amazing news to me.........when I heard federal agents had raided the Gibson Guitar plant in Nashville-I just assumed they were rounding up illegal alien workers.....I had no idea the wood in the guitars was possibly illegal.......yikes-ya just never know.........


Tom

#918139 - 08/26/11 11:34 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
I wonder what the night time talk shows will make out of this. Several years ago Martin began importing wood from India because they were running out of wood and Brazil required Martin to cut their wood in Brazil. Martin refused because the wood has to age for some time before it is cut. I guess this is the Enviromental regulations at work. Now where did I put my shotgun? You aren't obese, are you?


Ray E. Strode
#918147 - 08/26/11 11:50 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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ben willis Offline
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I guess we're all criminals now for having Brazilian Rosewood and Ebony in our homes. They have to track the history of it now. Like Colin insinuated, Tax dollars at work.

I feel sorry for anyone who owns a classic piano.

#918344 - 08/28/11 02:10 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: ben willis]  
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R&M Offline
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I don't like the poaching of elephants.

But everything is done to fill coffers more then if there is any real harm in it most of the time.

Just like hemp was originally banned for production in favor of petroleum.


#918618 - 08/29/11 09:54 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: R&M]  
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Lee Arten Offline
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Evidently Martin uses the same type of wood but was not raided.
Gibson has now been raided twice.
Who do you figure the CEO of Martin donated money to last political season?


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Johnson.
#918639 - 08/29/11 11:29 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Lee Arten]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
To raid Martin they would have to take some back roads. Probably beyond their pay grade. Gee, I wonder if they found any Contraband. There are only a few woods that they use. Namely Mahogany, Rosewood, Maple and Ebony, and another new wood my Fender DG-7 back and sides are made of. NATO or something like that. My 50 year old Martin, made in 1961 probably the wood was cut in the 50's. Yee Haw!


Ray E. Strode
#918687 - 08/30/11 04:36 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Sheer lunacy. It boggles the mind..Hey B.O, I'VE GOT SOME WOOD FOR YA!


bc
#918845 - 08/30/11 10:17 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Good answers. I guess that if the Gubment want's my "wood", they can come and get my "wood".

Just wondering what Tom Tracy (our resident Luthier) thinks about this. You out there Tom?

#919519 - 09/03/11 01:08 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: ben willis]  
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IronKnee Offline
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Hey All.....
-The CEO of Gibson Guitar stated that he was informed, by our Federal Government, that Gibson Guitar could avoid these and future problems if they would close down their three factories and re-open in Madagascar, and utilize the Madagascan labor (where the wood came from)!!!

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AMERICA????? It's finally sinking into my thick skull that there is an enemy within. It is troubleing!

-The CEO of Gibson Guitar also posed the question as to why is it only Gibson Guitar that is targeted. NONE of Gibson's competitors are undergoing this kind of scrutiny of attack.

It is being SPECULATED that MAYBE this raid was brought on due to pressure from COMPETITIVE entities....entities that have contributed to the current administation's campaign fund!!

Paranoid??? or just becoming aware that something(s) are just not right!!

#919524 - 09/03/11 01:34 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: IronKnee]  
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Hope you can keep us posted Cognac. In the mean time, I'll keep my Martin.

#919605 - 09/03/11 01:33 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: ben willis]  
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IronKnee Offline
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Originally Posted by ben willis
Hope you can keep us posted Cognac. In the mean time, I'll keep my Martin.


Naw.....the story is out there for all of us to follow, or not. Already, on other forums, I'm getting into fights with other fellow writers and musicians who want to make this a Republican vs. Democrate thing. I'm sick of it!
If we boil EVERYTHING along party lines, instead of making America first, we're all sunk!

#919781 - 09/04/11 01:21 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: IronKnee]  
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Any company who breaks the law deserves all they get. If other companies use the same wood from the same source and that is illegal then they too should be raided and prosecuted....if there is corruption as was hinted at by one or two of my right wing JPF friends then that should also be exposed and offenders brought to justice.
Every company should source materials legally and ethically...and provide a proper paper trail to prove it....those who do not...well like Gibson let them suffer the consequences.

Regarding the donations companies and individuals make to political party funds...well that should also be made illegal....no company whose only concern is to make as much money as possible...gives away money without expecting something back in return.....that by my book is corruption at its worst.

JFI The various International conservation laws regarding import and export of animals, animal products and plant material were set out to conserve our environment and the plants and animals who live there. They should not and cannot be flouted.

#919790 - 09/04/11 02:15 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
I don't know what the final "Song" in this Big Government action will sound like but I would like to be on the Jury if this thing goes to court, of which I doubt. I suspect the Enviroment whackos are behind this.

We buy auto parts from abroad and assemble them here. Maybe all those Auto Manufacturers shouls move to, whereever the parts are made. Can't you hear the auto workers howling about that!


Ray E. Strode
#919855 - 09/04/11 08:02 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Yes let us pray that we never see the day when environment whakos stand in the way of PROFIT.

#919856 - 09/04/11 08:17 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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ben willis Offline
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I agree that if it's proven that Gibson did something illegal they should pay the penalty. My concern is the innocent people who pay top dollar for these instruments. Like the article says, they could be in trouble too.

#919862 - 09/04/11 08:48 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: ben willis]  
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Ben I agree.... but I doubt very much if anyone who has such an illegal guitar will ever be prosecuted...or have their guitar confiscated.....in the unlikely event of that happening then they would have a great case for suing the ass off Gibson...and getting a proper replacement.


#919984 - 09/05/11 12:56 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Gosh,
I hope this bunch ain't the same bunch that "gave" guns to the Mexican Drug Cartels. By the way, the wood that they confiscated was probably cut 40 years ago. Wood is cured at an inch a year before it is sawed for the final assembly.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 09/05/11 12:56 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#920045 - 09/05/11 06:57 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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AJ Love Offline
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There's already so few American companies that manufacture anything these days that my instincts are to side with Gibson on this...regardless of the details (!)


A.J. Love - Telecaster player & Songwriter
#920060 - 09/05/11 08:16 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: AJ Love]  
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So it is OK to break the law....providing you are an American company......and you side with such a company whether they have broken the law or not....... brings a whole new meaning to GOD BLESS AMERICA..........

I would hope that most Americans do not hold similar opinions on corruption and lawbreakers.

I do not know the full facts so will not pass judgement on Gibson till I do........that said it would not surprise me if such a company did break laws......it has been done before by many large corporations where profit comes before laws, ethics and morals.....and let us face it police do not raid premises, confiscate materials and collect evidence unless they have a pretty good reason.

#920080 - 09/05/11 10:21 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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The CEO of Gibson believes as do some other parties involved including The Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace that the problem comes down to something afoul with the paperwork, not necessarily with illegal wood, or possibly with the US Government trying to interpret Indian law. The Lacey Act requires that anyone importing must abide by all countries' laws. Gibson has made a very concerted effort to follow all the requirements including paperwork. India does require that wood for export must be worked worked by Indian labor prior to export. Gibson is getting fret-boards, pre-cut and shaped by Indian labor, then sent to the US for final assembly into a guitar. The Indian government has already approved the wood exports in this fashion, so what is the law that is in violation?

They raided Gibson once before in 2009 and still haven't brought charges from that raid. They just confiscated wood and guitars as they did in this new raid.

If you think Gibson is the only company caught up in this mess, check out this story concerning an antique piano dealer who was nailed only for fouling up his paperwork and he even asked the agency for assistance to get it right. By doing so it only made him a target for heavy-handed abuse.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/275840/take-it-away-mark-steyn

Last edited by Jack Swain; 09/05/11 10:30 PM.
#920088 - 09/05/11 11:39 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Sorry to persist but this makes my blood boil...it is pretty bad that people try to smuggle illegal materials in to the counbtry and flaunt the CITES agreement....but it is much worse when people condone this or encourage it saying nothing is wrong.

I read the story of the antique piano dealer's so called sloppy paperwork getting him into trouble despite him asking for advice on how to complete it.....I also read that according to US attorney Yates this was not sloppy paperwork but a crude attempt without any paperwork to illegally import (smuggle) ivory contrary to the CITES agreement..it was seemingly hidden from view concealed within other cargo personal effects and furniture. He declared (lied) that most of the pinaos did not have any ivory
So someone for some reason is twisting the truth or not stating full facts.
There are always two sides to any argument.....as stated already I do not think that premises would be raided, articles confiscated and charges brought without a pretty good reason......now if as is suggested government agencies are singling out innocent people and hounding them without good cause because the only thing wrong is "sloppy paperwork" despite every attempt by the company to stay legal and get it right...then surely there is a complaints procedure in place where action can be taken against those government agencies who are in the wrong.

Sadly on other forums this has become a heated political argument.....IMO there is nothing political about it.....it is simply law enforcement.....

Anyone importing materials that need licences or have special restrictions should know the law and abide by it....if they do not and get caught then they deserve all they get.
The CITES agreement and other laws are specific and not in the least confusing...... to imply that Gibson and others do not know the law or get bad advcie on how to complete paperwork or obtain proper licneces IMO is a big red herring.
It is not difficult or illegal to import or export materials like wood and ivory....you just need to prove its origin and provide the proper permits and paperwork.

#920121 - 09/06/11 04:12 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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I would like to know where you read that about the antique piano dealer. Your assertions about Gibson are finding them guilty based on your personal opinion, and with no facts whatever.

Why would an antique piano dealer with antique Bosendorfer pianos claim there is no ivory keys? Your argument is specious.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 09/06/11 04:15 AM.
#920138 - 09/06/11 07:45 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Jack Swain]  
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Jack it was in the very link you provided....I read the whole thing including the comments at the bottom.....some of them proved "Interesting"....and give an insight into some folks mentality.
So I Googled to check it out and came across a whole host of info re this subject.

http://www.awionline.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/40261/pid/40234

http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com...m=&l=&p=48&pre=&ver=flex

Why would he claim there was no ivory?....well I will leave you to work that out.

I have absolutely nothing against Gibson...they make great guitars BUT do not let that influence the fact that companies do break laws.....and some will continue to break the law if not prosecuted....nobody is above the law.

Sometimes the law is an ass...but in a democracy we, by proper process, change these laws or amend them to be fairer to all....we do not just break them with impunity. I will be the first to side with Gibson if they are innocent or are being targeted for ulterior motives...but until that is proved......I remain skeptical.

#920142 - 09/06/11 09:03 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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The problem with this is not so much the enforcement, as Jim points out, but the fact that agencies full of bureaucrats sit around and formulate laws and regulations that do nothing for the environment but create paperwork and barriers for manufacturing companies that make products and provide jobs (or did). The paperwork generated by these bureaucrats uses up more trees than Gibson will ever use to make guitars. Notice that Gibson's crime is not using the wood but rather not filling out the forms properly.

And how many of you think that the average Madagascan who earns $250 per year gives a crap about conservation of their trees? All they want is to make enough money to eat dinner.

Gibson presently manufactures all of their instruments in the USA and Canada. I wonder where they will be manufactured a year from now? Maybe at the Epiphone factory in China that they already own?


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

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http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#920143 - 09/06/11 09:25 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Colin Ward]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Colin you make great points......
The very reason we are facing global warming is as you describe.
People ripped out rainforests and slaughtered animals without thought or care of our environment with PROFIT being the only concern .....the measures we are taking now are too little too late.
We have daft laws...in some circumstances.....but a lot of these laws are there to protect us all not to punish or persecute innocents.
So we now suffer the consequences of our forefathers mistakes.


#920154 - 09/06/11 11:14 AM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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John Voorpostel  Offline
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The problem is that there's lots to think about on both sides.

It is true that we need to look at dwindling resources and find ways to ensure they become sustainable.

But solutions, and how they are implemented and enforced, are not always right either, and if they are clumsily drafted and stupidly enforced, like it seems to have been done in this case (the part that irks me is that it appears the law and paperwork is simply too complex...so that no reasonable person acting in good faith can easily comply), then it is even worse.

WRT to Gibson, they will presumably have their day in court, at which point hopefully, all the facts on both sides will be presented, and hopefully, there will be a just outcome, one way or the other.

In the meantime, you can rant and rave all you want, but it is simply a clash of opinion.

Me, my take away is that I will not be crossing the US border with any wooden instrument for fear of running up against an over zealous border guard.

And for those who feel this is so unfair and want to effect change, catalogue and rally against these kinds of "Not Made In America" laws. Feel free to import the idea and soundbyte without fear of reprisal, at least from me smile




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#920169 - 09/06/11 12:51 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
A friend of mine is a master luthier at Gibson's custom shop. According to him, it was a matter of paperwork and confusion on the part of both the wood agent and the U.S. Fish and Wildife. The law says protected wood items must be bought in accordance with the laws of the countries from which they are purchased. Indian law says such wood items must be finished. The Indian distrubutor sells the wood blanks as "finished" since they are made to Gibson's specification. Gibson then must fit the finished items to the individual guitars, which requires shaping and cutting for frets, pins and etc. But Fish and Wildlife interpret the Indian law different from the Indian distributor. I'm not sure if the Indian government has even weighed in on this.

It is not against the U.S. law to sell products made with these woods, only for a U.S. manufacturer to buy the parts unfinished. China and other countries may buy such wood completely unfished, make guitars with it and then, perfectly legally, sell them here in the U.S.

If folks want those woods to be illegal, then it should be like tortoise shell picks. You can be arrested for them, and people are. It should simply be that possession is illegal. Then they could have confiscation stations where the government could collect your old Martins and Gibsons, or your granny's china cabinet and burn them. Otherwise the law just becomes a bureaucratic mess.

My friend says "F.B.I. should stand for 'Fret Board Instpectors.'"


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Mike Dunbar Music

#920188 - 09/06/11 01:35 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
I heard one guy say the unemployment figures may go to 15 percent so maybe they will fire all those bureaucrats and then they will be in the soup lines with the rest of us. I hope they know how to fish but somehow I doubt it. Who can afford a Gibson anyway.


Ray E. Strode
#920211 - 09/06/11 03:08 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Minneapolis
This is a very ugly mess. So far, nothing I've read indicates that Gibson actually broke any specific law, nor that they have been charged with the violation of one. However, they have been raided twice and a large amount of product has been confiscated indefinitely, and they have been effectively shut down. Their date in court has been continuously delayed.

What's going on seems to have little to do with environmental protection, and everything to do with selective enforcement...without actually citing any wrongdoing. Gibson USA is basically shut down under threat of operating illegally, whereas Fender, Rickenbacker, Washburn, Taylor, Danelectro and all the others continue to purchase the same woods in the same way.

Show me any different with factual data...please. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Bad news all around with no good side


#920215 - 09/06/11 03:52 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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Berwyn, IL, US
Jim, I apologize for comments concerning the antique piano dealer. I had read two previous articles, none of which outlined the deception he chose to use, and while I read some of the comments in the article I posted, I did not see the one you found. I simply searched for an article concerning the incident and pasted the link, but it was not either of the other articles I had read previously. I agree that if he did something deceptive, then he deserved his punishment. As far as the Gibson story goes, it is still a mess without a real charge. Can the US government act on a foreign government's behalf and bring charges against Americans based on the laws of another country, WITHOUT THE OTHER GOVERNMENT having even brought any allegations? This is the crux of the current situation.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 09/06/11 03:53 PM.
#920216 - 09/06/11 03:54 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline


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Saint Petersburg. FL
The Chinese, the Indonesians, the Indians and the Taiwanese are busy cranking out guitars while the USA is busily shooting itself in the foot.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#920229 - 09/06/11 04:54 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Andy Kemp Offline
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Andy Kemp  Offline
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UK Wales
This is crazy. I've enjoyed reading all these great posts and you all know more about this I do, but as I see it, Gibson found a loop-hole in the law and have been enjoying it for a long while.

Will be very interested to see how this develops and even more interested to see if it effects Gibson prices. As we all know they are very over priced.


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#920267 - 09/06/11 06:00 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Andy Kemp]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Minneapolis
Apparently there is no loophole...nothing different than all the other American companies--they can only buy certain woods under certain conditions. According to Gibson, all those conditions have been met and documented transparently, no differently than any of the other companies. Even so, they have been raided twice and effectively shut down, without having been accused of anything.

Again, I WANT to be proven wrong about this. But that's all I can find on this thing.

#921062 - 09/09/11 08:49 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Bryan Baker Offline
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Bryan Baker  Offline
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Iowa
OK, whether Gibson was wrong or not, a whole lot of hand wringing and gnashing of teeth has been about people fearful that they are comin' fer yer grand pappy's heirloom guitar with ivory saddle/nut and Brazilian rosewood back, etc.

The amendment to this 100 year old act that made woods subject to it, has specific exemptions for both objects made before 2008 and for musical instruments:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/lacey_act/downloads/LaceyActPrimer.pdf

Goods Manufactured Prior to Amendment • Enter“ManufacturedPriortoMay22,2008”
– For material that cannot be identified mark the Genus as “Special” and mark the species as “PreAmendment”
Musical Instruments for performances Enter“MusicalInstrumentsforuseinperformance”or, Enter“MusicalInstrumentsreturningfromperformance”

Also, for those keeping score of the politics, remember: if the amendment took effect in 2008 it was GWB who signed the bill.

#921095 - 09/09/11 11:48 PM Re: Dept. Of Justice Raids Gibson Factory [Re: Bryan Baker]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
Those folks bagged a really big law breaker. I don't know how many people work for Gibson but I imagine it is less that 100. The wood they confiscased probably was cut on less than 100 acres if that. Really big fish, no? And so far they haven't filed any charges from 2009 or now.

Presidents sign many things into law so whoever signed this ammendent couldn't know or even be aware of future conquenses of the law. But for you who are keeping track of such things, It is all Bush's Fault!


Ray E. Strode

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