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What do you all think about the Gibson raids?

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Posts: 152
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Posted : 09/09/2011 2:48 am
Posts: 2736
Famed Member

Maybe I should start building guitars...with authentic Indian Rosewood...

Posted : 09/09/2011 5:41 am
Posts: 5381
Illustrious Member

Line up to your right. One armband each.
Do the armbands come with a pouch to store picks?

Posted : 09/09/2011 10:45 am
Posts: 4921
Illustrious Member

A little more info...

I'm reading through my latest copy of MMR (Musical Merchandise Review, a trade magazine), and it has a brief article on the Justice Department's filing to strike Gibson's claims (on the previous seizure of wood).

What I get from the article:

1. Gibson's supplier of the Madagascar ebony was a company called Theodore Nagel, based in Germany
2. Theodore Nagel purchased the wood from a supplier in Madagascar named Roger Thunam
3. An unnamed Gibson employee spent 2-1/2 weeks in Madagascar iin 2008 representing Gibson and two other guitar manufacturers
4. On his return, the employee wrote an internal document that stated all legal timber and wood exports were prohibited
5. In early 2009, the employee described a potential long term solution, writing that a company named Madeeras Barber had been in the business a long time, and may be able to help begin legitimate timber harvests
6. The document states that Thunam should be able to begin supplying Nagel with "all the rosewood and ebony for the grey market".

The government's claim is that Gibson's internal documents may indicate they were working toward a legal solution (Maderas Barber), but were in fact importing from an ultimate source (Thunam) that their own documents admit was prohibited.

Claims are just that - claims, not proof. But it looks like there may be a few details that Gibson might have overlooked in their statements to the public.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Posted : 09/09/2011 1:24 pm
Posts: 2736
Famed Member

This more just in from BBC -

Posted : 13/10/2011 12:30 pm
Posts: 54
Trusted Member

Good write-up on this in the Journal yesterday:
On a sweltering day in August, federal agents raided the Tennessee factories of the storied Gibson Guitar Corp. The suggestion was that Gibson had violated the Lacey Act—a federal law designed to protect wildlife—by importing certain India ebony. The company has vehemently denied that suggestion and has yet to be charged. It is instead living in a state of harassed legal limbo.

Which, let's be clear, is exactly what its persecutors had planned all along. The untold story of Gibson is this: It was set up.

Most of the press coverage has implied that the company is the unfortunate victim of a well-meaning, if complicated, law. Stories note, in passing, that the Lacey Act was "expanded" in 2008, and that this has had "unintended consequences." Given Washington's reputation for ill-considered bills, this might make sense.

Only not in this case. The story here is about how a toxic alliance of ideological activists and trade protectionists deliberately set about creating a vague law, one designed to make an example out of companies (like Gibson) and thus chill imports—even legal ones.

Posted : 26/11/2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 54
Trusted Member

The book "Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything" includes the prime example of horrific abuses by the Feds using the Lacey Act. Honest businessman and lobster importer David McNab was sentenced to and is currently serving 8 years in Federal prison for importing lobsters in plastic bags rather than paper bags. That is of course not illegal in the US, but unintentionally violates some minor Honduran misdemeanor regulation (one that was actually no longer in effect in Honduras), which then is a violation of the Lacey act, which in turn allows prosecutors to snowball on all sorts of other federal laws, etc., etc.

An eye-opening summary of the McNab case is here.

Posted : 26/11/2011 3:54 pm
Posts: 1882
Noble Member

Update:... Well, sort of.

The Great Gibson Guitar Raid: Months Later, Still No Charges Filed

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Posted : 24/02/2012 2:59 am
Posts: 2736
Famed Member

Update:... Well, sort of.

The Great Gibson Guitar Raid: Months Later, Still No Charges Filed

I wonder how Frank Zappa would have responded to this whole mess in a song!!

Posted : 25/02/2012 2:41 pm
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