Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby vwjodyme » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:32 am

Tennessee Jedi wrote:But not for long !
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Looks fancy...must be made from turtles!

:lol:
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby strumminsix » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:05 pm

Tennessee Jedi wrote:
strumminsix wrote:
gr8fullfred wrote:Regarding major acts, they have the resources to check things out ahead of time, get permits if necessary, and buy or rent what they need where they are going.

I do not think that the players of the major acts even bring their prized instruments with them. They bring a Strat or something. Clapton-->Strat, Ron Wood-->Strat
Even JK is playing a readily available PRS Strat copy (modded).

Okay, it's plausible that the woods used in Jerry's guitars may not comply. Then what?
I'd argue that major acts do in fact bring their #1s with them on the road.

Well just like everything else similar - ivory and other endangered animal products - a grandfather clause would ( hopefully ) be in place ....
How other countries apply the law and what paper work they will need I guess is to be determined.
It might come down to registering your guitar with the FEDs - like a firearm ...
Many people have antique outlawed fire arms but with the proper paperwork you are ' fine '.
Prob cost you some $ though
pure speculation on my part
:-)

Tom, I think you need to read up in CITES on how it could effect the average person. This is tied in with the treaty and laws of other nations. IT could get ugly easily. Look at how Gibson is being treated like criminals while there is no proof and they get raided almost annually. It's scary.
http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/certificate_commend.php
http://www.cites.org/eng/res/all/11/E11-03R15.pdf

Combine that with the Feds raiding down and them clearly looking for individuals as they have stated and one can logically deduce that RICO could be introduced and get ugly quickly. Hence my earlier posts related the the 4th amendment and Innocent Til Proven Guilty.

A snippet on the WHY to antique gun laws and it has nothing to do with paperwork: "Under the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, antique firearms and replicas are largely exempted from the aforementioned restrictions. Antique firearms are defined as: any firearm with a frame or receiver manufactured in or before 1898 regardless of ignition system, or any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system, and any replica of an antique firearm if the replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition, or uses fixed ammunition, which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels or commercial trade, any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. "
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby Cmnaround » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:55 pm

A few quotes from a recent article in Wall St Journal on this topic:

"If you are the lucky owner of a 1920s Martin guitar, it may well be made, in part, of Brazilian rosewood. Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument. Otherwise, you could lose it to a zealous customs agent—not to mention face fines and prosecution."

"It's not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What's the bridge made of? If it's ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar's headstock bone, or could it be ivory? "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," Prof. Thomas has written. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration.""

source:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby rkubik » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:24 pm

It is really bugging me that these people don't have anything better to do. The economy is crap and we have these agencies going around and harassing our own businesses. I am a Gibson LP owner and I would be so pissed to have it taken away. It was my first guitar that I worked my butt off for and to have someone take it would just devastate me. I hope Gibson has some form of recourse for this.
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby gr8fullfred » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:16 pm

Again the problem arises when importing or exporting. The majority of us never do this.
Major Acts = major money = major resources to deal with it. Its a total bureaucratic nightmare to even try to comply with the plethora of regulations. Imagine not having to only comply with US law (bad enough) but the laws of "other countries". Complying with the "laws of other countries" is flat out impossible. Its practically impossible to comply with the US law alone. Never mind comply with constantly changing laws of 170 or so other countries. Simply impossible. And add to the fact that the Feds merely have to "suspect" a violation, and the owner has to prove the origin of any and every individual piece of the instrument. Its just a scenario that the odds of you prevailing in are almost zero.
And the chance of your getting screwed are high. And the cost of defending yourself will probably exceed the price of your instrument. Therefore the best course of action is to not leave your home country with your prized axe. This is pretty easy here in the US, but might not be so easy in Europe or some other place.

If I had to I would rather rent a stock strat rather than risk my prized axe.
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby ugly rumor » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:39 am

Very important thread here. I think that major acts would not be harassed because the public knowledge of the general public would interfere with the agenda. And nothing said about furniture? The fear generated is much more valuable to these government "servants" than the actual law enforcement. I have read perhaps too much holocaust and Russian literature, and can see too clearly where we are going, how we are getting there, and the end result.paranoid? No, but aware, that I can't stop it, and that the natural evolutionary progression will result in a Germany or Soviet union here that has the superior advantage of better technology and of having learned from the initial mistakes of the previous totalitarian countries. Dark, hurts me to see, but that is my perspective. This post may eventually put a bullet in the back of my head.
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby Emoto » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:19 am

Let's not automatically assume that the government got it right. I think it important to point out that no charges were ever filed against Gibson based on the 2009 raid, and no charges have been filed so far this time either. The Gibson CEO maintains that all of the wood is completely legal and that he has proof. Armed federal agents stormed three Gibson locations and seized all kinds of stuff (wood and computers) basically putting Gibson temporarily out of business. I have not seen mention of a warrant yet in any of the articles. Did I miss it? According to the Gibson CEO, federal agents told him that if he moved production overseas, his problems would go away. Further, he alleges that he has been using this wood for 17 years and that Martin uses the exact same wood, so why were they left alone?

Couldn't the feds simply have paid a visit and ask to inspect the paper trail? Wouldn't that have been reasonable? This whole thing stinks.
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby Griz » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:09 pm

Well,

The Folks at Fretboard Journal (a delicious publication, by the way...) posted this to Facebook today

http://www.fretboardjournal.com/blog/af ... ibson-raid

Just another data point in a confusing saga.....


Enjoy,

Griz
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby strumminsix » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:10 pm

Griz wrote:Well,

The Folks at Fretboard Journal (a delicious publication, by the way...) posted this to Facebook today

http://www.fretboardjournal.com/blog/af ... ibson-raid

Just another data point in a confusing saga.....


Enjoy,

Griz

Gotta love folks in the US getting searched with "Relevant law of India" as part of the reasoning. Much speculation out there that this same wood would be okay to have if it was finished in India. I'll bet anyone $5 that's what this is gonna end up being about.
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby tcsned » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:33 pm

They can pry my 78 Les Paul out of my cold dead hands.

Seriously, i see the point of these laws protecting endangered a species even trees. But signing a treaty like that was just stupid. There seems to be a presumption of guilt if you have to prove that your instrument contains illegaly obtained wood instead of having to prove that you have an illegal instrument. Then they punish some unsuspecting consumer by taking their instrument. I don't see how anything is gained by that. It's not like that mahogany on my Les Paul is ever going to be a tree again and is going to do nothing to protect living trees. Good intentions + poorly thought out legislation = stupidity.

These countries should tighten up their poacher enforcement. Once that tree has been cut down it might as well be made into something useful like a guitar. John Hartford's violin had a great inscription on it, "In life I was silent, in death I sing."
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby paulkogut » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:13 am

Here's a new podcast from Fretboard Journal that clears a few things up.

http://www.fretboardjournal.com/podcast ... itars-raid

If I'm hearing them right, there's a 'personal property exemption' that lets you carry (not ship) your guitar across borders. The only exceptions are brazilian rosewood, ivory, and hawksbill sea turtle, so if your axe doesn't have those you should be good to go. I've got some gigs in Japan in November, I'll be taking my Maple/Ebony neckthru . I'm trying to find the exact regulation that exempts personal property to print up for my gigbag, right next to my copy of the TSA policy on instruments as carry on baggage.....

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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby Emoto » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:06 am

This is all idiotic. Who the hell knows exactly what kind of wood is in their 30 year old guitar???
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby mikelawson » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:05 am

I've traveled multiple times to Europe since this bit was added to the Lacey Act in 2008 and never once has US Customs ever asked a single question about personal instruments brought with me. I think a lot of this is a bit overblown for PR effect to gin up the great unwashed masses and anti-government sentiment. I've come through several ports of entry and not once have I had anything questioned, not on the USA end or the Canadian and European end. I honestly wouldn't be the least bit worried about traveling with any of my guitars for this specific Lacey thing. Now, getting them safely there without them being destroyed by the airlines, that's a whole other story, but as for Customs, I think its a big knee-jerk reaction people are getting from the "yeah but they COULD" scenario, but the reality is, nobody I know of has had it happen, and I've never had it happen, and I just don't see it ever happening. And our Nashville congressman Jim Cooper is sponsoring a bill as we speak to make 100% sure its clear that it cannot happen in case in some rare instance some customs official ever does question an instrument. I'd kind of love to see them try to take one, oh what that publicity would be worth. :)
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby paulkogut » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:37 pm

Good to know about Congressman Cooper. Do you know the name/number of the bill, maybe we can all give our Congresspeople a heads up. Here's a good link about the politics around the situation.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201109130020

Sadly, from the facts presented here, and the scuttlebutt I heard when performing at a recent luthier's convention, Gibson's business practices seem pretty shady. I haven't had any issues in getting a guitar in and out of the country, and I hope the people ginning up panic to score political points don't cause that to change.
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Re: Gibson Factory Raided for Illegally Sourced Wood

Postby JonnyBoy » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:33 pm

I have to echo the same rumors surrounding the management of Gibson Paul mentioned. I know a couple former Gibson employees that tell stories that would change your minds about their innocence, but I do not have any hard proof of their guilt. I don't know for sure about this recent instance either, but I have heard stories of them jumping through loop holes to obtain raw materials, while they speak out against such practices. They are mixed up closely in a multimillion dollar nonprofit environmental outfit they sit as board members on, where they pride themselves as environmentalists vocally. Then rumors arise about how these same men obtain their materials at Gibson. IMO that is what gets them all the negative attention. This board of environmentalists are the ones creating the PC acceptance of what is right and wrong in this particular business sector of tree farming. They have their hands in both pots for sure. Remember, most often in life, where there is smoke there is usually fire. Usually when something like this happens, someone is screwing someone else out of money, and it looks like it is the US GOVT in this instance. They are supposed to pass on these costs and taxes in their prices for guitars. But, cutting corners boosts profits. It also pisses someone off, and this time it was Uncle Sam, it seems.

Moving production overseas and see the problem disappear? How many more cheap guitars does Gibson Inc. have to make overseas to be considered one of the largest overseas brokers of cheap Asian made instruments? The guitars made here are custom shop guitars and top of the line Gibson models. That may not be be the largest chunk of their company's sales, but it is their proudest. I doubt this is the government trying to get them to build factories overseas.
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