mudcat.org: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory

Related threads:
2018: Gibson guitars bankrupt? (40)
Gibson J300 any info please (101)
Guitar: Gibson Songbird (13)
Guitar: New? Gibson LGO (66) (closed)
Banner Gibsons: women-built in WWII (5)
Auction - Les Paul Guitar (5)
dating a Gibson SJ ???? (4)
Gibson J 185? (4)
Gibsons for sale (8)
Do you buy Fender and Gibson products ? (65)
Info/Opinions RE: Gibson/Epiphone Guitars (31)
Gibson Guitar among US most hated co's (13)
Gibson ES-325 info (8)
Gibson J40 how to string (16)
Duelling 'Les Paul' Guitars (14)
Gibson LG1, Opinions please (29)
Paul McCartney on Les Paul guitars (vid) (17)
Valuing a Gibson (26)
40 wild birds play a Gibson Les Paul gui (7)
Gibson Les Paul (11)
Gibson question (31)
Tech: Gibson Les Paul junior guitar (3)
1935 gibson TG 75.Tenor guitar (15)
Gibson's digital guitar (2)
Ever played a Les Paul guitar? (39)


GUEST,999 26 Aug 11 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 11 - 11:13 AM
MarkS 26 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 26 Aug 11 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 11 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 11 - 11:38 AM
Lox 26 Aug 11 - 11:51 AM
MarkS 26 Aug 11 - 11:55 AM
beardedbruce 26 Aug 11 - 12:58 PM
John P 26 Aug 11 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 11 - 02:23 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Aug 11 - 03:58 PM
Leadfingers 26 Aug 11 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,999 26 Aug 11 - 06:27 PM
Leadfingers 26 Aug 11 - 07:36 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Aug 11 - 08:08 PM
John P 26 Aug 11 - 09:05 PM
katlaughing 26 Aug 11 - 10:02 PM
Bobert 26 Aug 11 - 10:21 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Aug 11 - 03:48 AM
Desert Dancer 27 Aug 11 - 10:22 AM
Charley Noble 27 Aug 11 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,999 27 Aug 11 - 11:18 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 27 Aug 11 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,999 27 Aug 11 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,999 27 Aug 11 - 01:51 PM
beardedbruce 29 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM
dick greenhaus 29 Aug 11 - 11:41 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 29 Aug 11 - 11:54 AM
JedMarum 29 Aug 11 - 11:57 AM
beardedbruce 29 Aug 11 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,999 -- to DG 29 Aug 11 - 12:54 PM
Desert Dancer 29 Aug 11 - 01:04 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Aug 11 - 02:35 PM
beardedbruce 29 Aug 11 - 02:59 PM
Richard Mellish 29 Aug 11 - 05:15 PM
pdq 29 Aug 11 - 05:46 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Aug 11 - 12:26 AM
beardedbruce 30 Aug 11 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,999 30 Aug 11 - 09:42 AM
dick greenhaus 30 Aug 11 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,josepp 30 Aug 11 - 09:19 PM
JohnInKansas 30 Aug 11 - 10:37 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Aug 11 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Aug 11 - 06:27 AM
EBarnacle 31 Aug 11 - 11:04 AM
Cool Beans 31 Aug 11 - 02:29 PM
dick greenhaus 31 Aug 11 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,josepp 31 Aug 11 - 06:06 PM
Desert Dancer 31 Aug 11 - 06:20 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: Review: Time to ask who will stand up.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:10 AM

"Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear"

Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.

It isn't the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian's ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."

They are the opening two paragraphs in an article which is in the August 26, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal (on line) at

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html

Thank the lord for Fish and Wildlife. I await the day they raid the corporate offices of various oil companies. Then I'll than the Lord for Fish and Wildlife.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Review: Time to ask who will stand up.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:13 AM

Didn't know what subject line it should go under. If it bugs any of the moderators, put it where you think it best. Thank you.
    That's general music, the blank one on top. I'm going to merge this thread with the other one, and use parts of each thread's title. Hope you don't mind.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: BS: Feds raid Gibson factory
From: MarkS
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM

On Wednesday the Fed DOJ raided the Gibson factories in Memphis and Nashville, taking with them pallets of wood.
They say they were checking to see if the ebony and rosewood used in the higher end instruments was legal. These species are apparantly now protected and prohibited from importation.
Another concern is that if you have a vintage guitar you may be in illegal possession of these wood species. And really look out if your try to cross an international boundry with you instrument.

Sorry I cannot post the link, but a search on google ought to get you to the right articles.

Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Feds raid Gibson factory
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:26 AM

Another concern is that if you have a vintage guitar you may be in illegal possession of these wood species. And really look out if your try to cross an international boundry with you instrument.

Is this actually fact?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Feds raid Gibson factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:30 AM

I started a thread in the music section a few minutes back. The link is there. "Who will stand up" is the thread title.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Feds raid Gibson factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:38 AM

Sorry. The title of the thread is "Time to ask who will stand up" and I started it under the subject heading Review.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Feds raid Gibson factory
From: Lox
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:51 AM

I seem to remember that there is a cut off date ... so if your guitar was made from protected types of wood before they were made illegal you should be ok - i.e. most vintage guitars - and if your guitar was made from protected wood after the cut off date then you should take care.

It isn't just about the type of wood, but it also matters where it was sourced - so some varieties of mahogany are illegal, others perfectly within the law.

Beyond that you'll need to do your own research.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Feds raid Gibson factory
From: MarkS
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 11:55 AM

True Lox, but you better have documentation that your instrument is indeed old enough to be grandfathered.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Review: Time to ask who will stand up.
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 12:58 PM

"It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next.

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.

John Thomas, a law professor at Quinnipiac University and a blues and ragtime guitarist, says "there's a lot of anxiety, and it's well justified." Once upon a time, he would have taken one of his vintage guitars on his travels. Now, "I don't go out of the country with a wooden guitar."

The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.

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."

Consider the recent experience of Pascal Vieillard, whose Atlanta-area company, A-440 Pianos, imported several antique Bösendorfers. Mr. Vieillard asked officials at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species how to fill out the correct paperwork—which simply encouraged them to alert U.S. Customs to give his shipment added scrutiny.

There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling.

Facing criminal charges that might have put him in prison for years, Mr. Vieillard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating the Lacey Act, and was handed a $17,500 fine and three years probation."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: John P
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:15 PM

So I find myself wondering -- if they confiscate a guitar, what do they do with it? Rip out the ebony and rosewood and return them to the wild?

Applying this kind of rule to instruments that were bought used is really dumb.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:23 PM

"Applying this kind of rule to instruments that were bought used is really dumb."

You expected something otherwise from Washington?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 03:58 PM

I always thought that the folks who invented the F-style mandolin were up to no good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 05:43 PM

So IF I visit USA and take my 1970 D35 with me (Purchased new in Oct 1970 in Hong Kong) , what documentation etc will I need to avoid any problms on arrival ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 06:27 PM

Do you have the bill of sale?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 07:36 PM

Yes ! AND my letter from Christian Martin lll thanking me for adding to his profit margin !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 08:08 PM

Lost my rushed post this morning, although my message to Joe apparently got through... :-)

I'm a musician and a biologist. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, one of the seriously underfunded branches of the government, has the protection of endangered in its charge, and that includes enforcement of laws concerning the international trade in protected species. The Wall Street journal article is an opinion piece by someone with an attitude on the topic that looks to be summed up by his final sentence:

"...maybe it isn't hypocrisy to recognize that art makes claims significant enough to compete with environmentalists' agendas."

What?!? There's a lot more than avoiding hassles over vintage instruments in that statement.

For those looking for information, rather that random WSJ anti-regulationism, check more reliable sources. And don't take the whole story from John Thomas, the griping lawyer (who I see got a lengthy tirade published in Fretboard Journal). If you want fine woods to be available for fine instruments, the resources have to be protected.

~ Becky in Tucson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: John P
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 09:05 PM

Does anyone know how old an instrument has to be to be grandfathered in?

Becky, I completely agree with protecting our resources. I'm pretty sure most people here do. I think the problem is the concept of taking away a musician's used instrument as a way of doing that protection (as in, does it really help any?) and the fact that sufficient documentation is simply not available for tens of thousands of instruments. The system doesn't match how the real world works. I would much rather see a system whereby they would have to prove guilt on a case-by-case basis rather than assuming guilt if there aren't impossible-to-get papers. New instruments are a different story.

It would be best if they would take on the burden of supplying us all with the necessary papers before we travel. Not feasible, of course, but maybe that means we need a different plan altogether. Maybe something as simple as a document that says strict documentation isn't available but it's still OK to carry the guitar around.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 10:02 PM

Like a permit to carry a concealed weapon!?:-)

This does seem ludicrous when it comes to obviously older instruments. I, too, would like to know how old an instrument must be to be grandfathered in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 10:21 PM

Gald I gave my old Martin D-18 to my grand niece... Let 'um bust her...

(But, Boberdz... You have a 60s Yaria and it has Brazilian Redwood...)

Sorry... Be back later... Gotta go burn my geetar...

B~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 03:48 AM

A Google search for "Gibson Guitars Raid" finds a whole lot of blogs, by people (mostly musicians?) up in arms about the raid - or maybe the other raid - on Gibson, but only TWO hits in the first 200 that are what can be called "news reports" with any credibility.

Of the roughly two dozen "blog rants" I looked at, there was not a single one showing an identifiable date, making it impossible to tell whether that "comment" was about the 24 August 2011 raid or the earlier November 2009 raid. There were numerous, but conflicting, assertions about why Gibson was raided, with the only reasonable conclusion being that NOBODY KNOWS and they're all blowing nether winds out their ... .

I found two separate "news summary" sites that listed apparently legitimate news reports that might have said something, but none of a dozen links to the "full articles" was a functional link.

An undated blog included a statement by a vaguely identified "attorney," apparently the site operator, that explained (tersely?) that one or the other of the complaints was due to importing of wood from India that was illegal under Indian law. This is a legitimate enforcement of the Lacey Act that requires traceability of wood and wood products to "legally harvested" materials.

Quoting one possibly credible report:

Details from the Gibson Guitar search warrant

Nashville Business Journal
Date: Friday, August 26, 2011
Annie Johnson
Staff Reporter

Wednesday's raid of Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corp. was in connection to a June 27 international shipment of 1,250 pieces of ebony wood to Texas, according to court documents.

In an affidavit filed in federal court, agent John Rayfield of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said U.S. Customs agents detained that shipment, alleging it not only violated portions of the Lacey Act but that Gibson officials falsely identified the contents.

Namely, the paperwork outlines allegations that Gibson knowingly changed the description of various imported wood shipments to circumnavigate laws that prevent certain raw materials from India entering the United States. Officials believe Gibson had a hand in identifying those shipments as finished parts for musical instruments, according to documents.

The search warrant also details trips by federal agents to Red Arrow Delivery Service on Visco Drive, where Gibson kept the wood until it was ready to be manufactured into one of the company's iconic guitars.

Federal agents raided Gibson facilities in Nashville and Memphis on Wednesday, seizing dozens of Gibson guitars, planks of wood, certain hard drives and at least one bluetooth flash drive from the company's Nashville headquarters, according to the search warrant.

At a press conference Thursday, Gibson CEO Henry E. Juszkiewicz defended his company and said the Justice Department was "bullying" the famous guitar manufacturer based on false allegations.

Juszkiewicz also said the wood used by Gibson is from a Forest Stewardship Council-certified supplier. FSC standards require, among other things, that the wood not be harvested in violation of civil rights. Among the items listed on the search warrant was an FSC standard for chain of custody and a Rainforest Alliance packet.

It's the second time in two years Gibson offices have been raided related to the types of wood used to make the body, neck, fret board and bridge of guitars.

Annie Johnson covers economic development, music/entertainment/sports, legal affairs and tourism/hospitality.

[end quote]

India permits export of some protected woods provided that they are "finished" into commercial products by Indian craftsmen, but prohibits the export of unfinished wood/lumber of the same kinds. If the export violated local or national laws, it's hard to defend that it came from "certiably legal sources."

The one other possibly legitimate news report, Google return #196, gave no information other than that a raid had occured, but was dated to indicate it was about the November 2009 raid.

A report probably related to the 2009 raid indicated that the government agency (unidentified) that made the raid had filed a new lawsuit asking for forfeiture of "articles seized." That report included the implication that material exported from "Africa" to Germany was imported by Gibson as "finished wood products" when it was in fact raw lumber shipped from Germany, with the false certification being made by Gibson. There is no indication in anything that I found of any consequences to Gibson other than the suit for forfeiture of the questionable(?) wood and guitars containg it.

Gibson has a commendable record of complying with efforts to protect endangerd woods from illegal harvesting, and has been an active participant in organizations seeking to provide reasonable and legal sources for the wood that can be harvested without endangering future supplies of the scarce ones.

If they "made a mistake" it is appropriate that they should not benefit from the "mistake" and it's likely that some of what was seized in the latest raid could be forfeited. Unless a specific "culpable person" is found, it's unlikely that there will be other consequences, unless a "pattern of conduct" is established.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 10:22 AM

Thanks, John.

~ Becky in Tucson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 10:35 AM

It's clear to me that the "alarmists" on this thread are overstating the case. I seriously doubt that there is a single case of a "vintage instrument" being confiscated at a border crossing.

At the same time, aggressive international efforts are needed to preserve existing rain forests and prevent rare hardwoods from being pirated from forest preserves.

Who will stand up to the alarmists?

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 11:18 AM

Good discussion on

www.acousticguitarforum.com



CN, you can back and forth all you want about alarmists with regard to the issue, but there were two articles about it on the www. If the government organizations that do the raiding, rightfully, had taken the time to explain the law to luthiers and musicians I would view the issue differently. YES endangered species of wood, turtles, plants have to be protected. So too do the rights of people who bought the instruments before the law was enforced. IMO, it's a clumsy effort on the part of enforcement when it has to be as heavy-handed as it seems to be. Perhaps I'm wrong, and those who thionk so might explain the law to both those of us who don't understand it and also to the people at border crossing who can't tell the difference between abalone or other types of materials used in place of abalone on guitars; the difference between walrus tusk and elephant tusk; the difference between protected maple and ordinary maple.

Also, I have yet to find anything in CITES that grandfathers instruments.

I am willing to be educated, but not by people who are rude or snotty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 12:49 PM

I'm planning an overseas trip, so I sent the serial number of my instrument to the manufacturer and asked for a listing of all woods and other materials used. The manufacturer, to my knowledge, has never used Brazilian rosewood, tortoiseshell, elephant or mammoth ivory, or white abalone in making instruments, but I want to have documentation. The manufacturer has used mahogany in some of its work, which recently was re-classified. I doubt there's true mahogany in my instrument, and it shouldn't be a problem even if there is since the CITES listing (so I am told) only applies to raw materials, but if I encounter over-zealous border guards I want to know the facts in advance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 01:33 PM

http://www.fretboardjournal.com/

There's info there for fretted instrument folks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Aug 11 - 01:51 PM

Helpful Links:

www.cites.org (Home page for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.)

www.fws.gov (Direct link to the section on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's website about importing or exporting guitars into or from the U.S.)

www.aphis.usda.gov (Info about the Lacey Act including downloadable forms.)

From fretboardjournal


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM

So, how do **I** document the hand-carved tailpiece ( from a 2nd quality rosewood guitar fingerboard bought from Metropolitan Music) that I made for my chincello?

And why do **I** have to prove my innocence under these laws?



"If enforcing a foreign law to the determent of an American manufacturing business isn't enough, we now learn that Gibson's CEO is a Republican donor and that Feds seem to have given a pass to a rival operation following the same practice that is owned by a Democrat donor


One of Gibson's leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin's catalog, several of their guitars contain "East Indian Rosewood." In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson's guitars.
"

thread.cfm?threadid=139966&messages=11#3214460


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 11:41 AM

Are there any instances of individuals being hassled about privately-owned instruments?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 11:54 AM

The author of the article BB quotes above seems to be ignorant of the difference between East Indian rosewood and rosewood from East India. It's illegal under Indian law to export unfinished rosewood that was actually harvested in India. But India is by no means the only place from which East Indian Rosewood is harvested. It's very widely distributed throughout the tropics. The fact that it's now rare enough in India for them to restrict its exportation does not mean it's similarly rare in any of the other southeast Asian countries where its harvested. The author cannot equate Gibson's IER stockpile with that of Martin, Taylor, Fender or any other company without knowing where the wood was harvested. Implying that the Feds are picking on Republican leaning Gibson while giving Democrat leaning Martin a pass is disingenuous.

And, anyway, I thought the Gibson bust was about ebony, not rosewood.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 11:57 AM

Thank God for the feds. How did trees and musicians ever get along without them?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 12:42 PM

Bee-dubya-ell,

So, Gibson has to PROVE it is innocent, and Martin is presumed to be?

"Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle."


Seems like there would at least be a question of improper appearance here, which was enough to have the majority here declare that Bush should be impeached ( re Cheney's former company getting the government contracts ( Issued under Clinton!!!) to supply the Iraq invasion forces).

But I guess it is forbidden to even talk about THIS administration's actions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999 -- to DG
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 12:54 PM

"There are reports of instruments that have been seized and confiscated, so we know this is happening. Likewise, it has been reported that some U.S. dealers have stopped shipping instruments out of the country. Others report they have travelled with their instruments without problems. If you do plan to travel out of the country, we recommend you leave that vintage guitar or other vintage instrument at home and travel with a less expensive and clearly permitted instrument. If you simply must take that vintage instrument, then be prepared. Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before you leave, obtain the necessary import and export permits, and if you believe you qualify for an exemption, be sure to have as much documentation and support for your exemption claim as possible."

from a Google of


You Can't Take My Guitar! What Every Traveling Musician Should ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 01:04 PM

Gibson has publicly responded to the raid with a video statement (YouTube).

(I don't have time to watch it at the moment...)

~ Becky in Tucson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 02:35 PM

The YouTube video shows as 29 minutes long, and loads slowly - possibly due to lots of people trying to get to it. With my DSL it runs in "6 second bursts" with about 4 sec to catch up with the loading. I've run through the first 2 minutes or so and nothing's really been said so far. He's probably saving the good stuff for the punch line.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 02:59 PM

OK.


http://www.fws.gov/le/ImpExp/Info_Importers_Exporters.htm



Check the section "CITES Document Requirements"

Now- fill it out CORRECTLY, or lose your instrument, pay a fine, and go to jail.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 05:15 PM

Once upon a time the USA prided itself as the land of the free, where people went to escape repressive regimes elsewhere. Are the authorities there really now applying "guilty until proved innocent"?

And what about the case of Pascal Vieillard as reported? Is that account true? If the instruments concerned were known to be old, and the man's only offence was incomplete paperwork, might an American court really have sentenced him to jail if he hadn't plea-bargained?

If these stories are true, those of us who live outside the US will have good reason never to go there any more.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: pdq
Date: 29 Aug 11 - 05:46 PM

As far as I can tell, this flap is not about the fact that Ebony some Rosewood species are rare in nature.

The story seems to be about the thickness of some pieces of Ebony.

The Indian government has numerous laws that keep raw logs from being exported.

They want all the jobs of felling, curing and milling wood to stay in India and keep as many people employed as possible.

Seems some of the Ebony pieces are 10 mm thick instead of the maximum allowed 6 mm.

Oh, the humanity!

This is an excuse to make the public think our bloated government is essential.

It ain't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 12:26 AM

"There are reports of instruments that have been seized and confiscated, so we know this is happening. "
Source? Details?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 08:57 AM

Sorry, Mr. Greenhuas.

IF the Federal Government is allowed to make us prove OUR innocence, I see no reason not to demand that all who agree with the reported EPA activity to prove IT DID NOT HAPPEN!

Only fair, you know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 09:42 AM

Dick,

I sent an e-mail to that publication asking for specifics regarding any instrument seizures under CITES laws. Specifically individual musicians instruments. I'll post any response I get on this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 09:04 PM

BB-I have no dog in this fight. Just want to know what this foofaraw is actually about.I don't happen to be much of a fan of either Gibson nor Martin instruments, and I don't go abroad with a guitar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 09:19 PM

Isn't the serial number documentation enough? Usually, it indicates the date the instrument was made or it can be checked online.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 10:37 PM

The date of original manufacture might be sufficient, although it's the prerogative of customs inspectors to seize "suspect" items and it's not really realistic for them to have records to match the serial numbers on all possible instruments to a date of manufacture, or to attempt to find correlations on the internet. There also are immense numbers of instruments with defaced or missing serial numbers (Stradivari used a pasted in piece of paper, and lots of "out of business" makers never published serial number to date correlations.)

A certification from the manufacturer stating both the serial number and the date might be helpful if you can get it.

The legality of all of the materials in the instrument goes out the window if you've replaced a bridge or nut (with ivory, tortoise shell, etc?), done inlay work (probably sea turtle?), on some instruments if you've replaced tuning pegs (ebony?), etc. The instrument may have been made with xxxx and you put xyxz on it.

Or your drunken friend stomped in the middle of it and you had the entire back (and maybe more) rebuilt with new wood (or somebody did before you acquired it). The serial number can only verify the original date of manufacture and you could have done a whole bunch of "rebuilding" solely for the purposes of smuggling little bits of prohibited "things."

(Honest people are horribly inconvenienced by the existence of dishonest persons who resemble them.)

So far as "legitimate news sources" have reported, in the prior (2 years ago) case, it was charged that Gibson falsified papers for the import of wood. It must be presumed that the raiders had evidence that an improper import did occur. In order to file charges, however, a specific culpable person must be identified. A suit against the company or its executives would require proving a "pattern of activity" that would reasonably be known to those in charge, which is generally a lot more difficult than finding one or two "guilty individuals."

In that case, the "Fed" filed suit to retain a number of seized guitars. Gibson did not file a counter suit, at least thus far. Had Gibson filed, or should they still be able to, and the Fed saw that they had no grounds to argue and win, a counter suit would most likely never go to court, and the guitars would be returned. The costs to Gibson should have been fairly nominal (esp. given the price of Gibson guitars?) in the case of a "no contest" resolution. Gibson, in that case, appears to have decided that a counter suit was a "no win" proposition, and did not, thus far, pursue the matter.

In the latest seizure, the raiders took "suspect instruments and wood stocks" and also seized a number of computers and data storage devices. If there is probably cause to believe that some materials were unlawful, and additionally if there is reason to believe that someone at Gibson was an active participant in an unlawful import, the raid and seizures appear perfectly appropriate.

Some of the contents of the warrant for the second raid have been published online, and what has been revealed does appear to indicate that the raid was a reasonable exercise of judicially sanctioned enforcement (if the information quoted is accurate). So far as I could find, almost nothing is factually known about the first raid, other than that enforcement agencies have sued for permanent relinquishing by Gibson of some seized articles. I've seen nothing thus far indicating whether that suit has proceeded, or whether Gibson still has the option of contesting the ceding of the items in question.

As in most places where "due process" means "slow process" there is NO INFORMATION FROM THE RAIDS available to the public that is adequate for deciding whether Gibson has been treated fairly or unfairly. An accurate report of exactly what happened is unlikely unless charges are filed and "something" goes to trial, or unless Gibson decides to release some factual report.

Gibson has a copy of the warrants, and I haven't heard that they've read them to us(?).

About the only thing really known is that "Mr Gibson" (the CEO - lspeaking for the company) feels "persecuted." Our sympathies for his feelings are appropriate, but at this point condemnation of "all authorities" for doing their jobs is grossly inappropriate since we have NO KNOWLEDGE of what jobs they were doing.

The ambiguity about what "wooden things" (including instruments) can be transported in international travel is an apparently significant problem. I'll confess that I haven't yet read the entire CITES code, but I'll promise to look into it if some of the rest here will 'fess up to their share of our mutual ignorance about the reality of what it actually says.

What we've already said stays said, and retractions are not required - although thoughtful explanations might be acceptable (or might best be omitted in some cases.)

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Aug 11 - 11:37 PM

Governnments have been demanding that we prove innocence for years. Ever get a parking ticket?Or have a tax payment audited?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 06:27 AM

A piano - played by Chopin was seized several years ago when it came through US customs.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The crime - importing ivory (on the keyboard)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 11:04 AM

With regard to the "it's all political attacks against Republicans" issue above, if the Bush administration had been enforcing much of anything except political vendettas this raid would probably have come much earlier.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Cool Beans
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 02:29 PM

Gibson leans Republican? Martin leans Democratic? Based on what? FEC contribution reports? This is interesting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 03:09 PM

Still haven't found ant google references to individual guitar owners being hassled. Garg-wasn't that incident about the piano back under that anti-business GW Bush's regime?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 06:06 PM

////The date of original manufacture might be sufficient, although it's the prerogative of customs inspectors to seize "suspect" items and it's not really realistic for them to have records to match the serial numbers on all possible instruments to a date of manufacture, or to attempt to find correlations on the internet.////

Not them--YOU! Go on the internet and print out the info along with the link where the info was obtained and present that. If that's not good enough, it's not likely they will accept anything else.


////There also are immense numbers of instruments with defaced or missing serial numbers (Stradivari used a pasted in piece of paper, and lots of "out of business" makers never published serial number to date correlations.)////

Yeah, well, I think a Strad is going to pass the age test. And virtually all manufacturers of any merit have a serial number that can be dated. I have two guitars from the sixties and one I pinpointed to 1965 by looking online and the other actually used the year as part of the serial number so it's obviously 1961. And these are on labels that are pasted in and they are easy to read and show no signs of being ready to fall off.

////A certification from the manufacturer stating both the serial number and the date might be helpful if you can get it.////

You could do the same if the label fell off--have them examine it and submit documentation of the year of manufacture. If customs won't accept that then they won't accept anything else.

////The legality of all of the materials in the instrument goes out the window if you've replaced a bridge or nut (with ivory, tortoise shell, etc?), done inlay work (probably sea turtle?), on some instruments if you've replaced tuning pegs (ebony?), etc. The instrument may have been made with xxxx and you put xyxz on it./////

Well if that was done after the ban was put in place then you deserve to lose it. I'm on the side of the govt in this one. You don't have to have real ivory and tortoise shell or any of that. Science has gracisouly provided us with far cheaper, more plentiful artificial substitutes and anybody with a conscience and a budget should be demanding it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who will stand up: Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Factory
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 31 Aug 11 - 06:20 PM

< previous post
Why Gibson Guitar Was Raided By The Justice Department


by Craig Havighurst
National Public Radio
August 31, 2011

Federal investigators look through the workshop at the Gibson Guitar factory during a raid on the Memphis facility last week.

Last week federal marshals raided the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Tennessee. It wasn't the first time. The government appears to be preparing to charge the famous builder of instruments with trafficking in illegally obtained wood. It's a rare collision of music and environmental regulation.

In the hottest part of an August Tennessee day last Thursday, Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz stood out in the full sun for 30 minutes and vented to the press about the events of the day before.

"We had a raid," he said, "with federal marshals that were armed, that came in, evacuated our factory, shut down production, sent our employees home and confiscated wood."

The raids at two Nashville facilities and one in Memphis recalled a similar raid in Nashville in November 2009, when agents seized a shipment of ebony from Madagascar. They were enforcing the Lacey Act, a century-old endangered species law that was amended in 2008 to include plants as well as animals. But Juszkiewicz says the government won't tell him exactly how — or if — his company has violated that law.

"We're in this really incredible situation. We have been implicated in wrongdoing and we haven't been charged with anything," he says. "Our business has been injured to millions of dollars. And we don't even have a court we can go to and say, 'Look, here's our position.'"

The U.S. Justice Department won't comment about the case it's preparing, but a court motion filed in June asserts Gibson's Madagascar ebony was contraband. It quotes emails that seem to show Gibson taking steps to maintain a supply chain that's been connected to illegal timber harvests.

Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington, says the Lacey Act requires end users of endangered wood to certify the legality of their supply chain all the way to the trees. EIA's independent investigations have concluded that Gibson knowingly imported tainted wood.

"Gibson clearly understood the risks involved," says Johnson. "Was on the ground in Madagascar getting a tour to understand whether they could possibly source illegally from that country. And made a decision in the end that they were going to source despite knowing that there was a ban on exports of ebony and rosewood."

Gibson vigorously denies these allegations, maintaining that all of its purchases from Madagascar have complied with U.S. and Malagasy law. A company attorney says Gibson has presented documents to support that claim and that the recent raid seized legally obtained wood from India. He adds that the company stopped importing wood from Madagascar in 2009.

Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO of the C.F. Martin Guitar Co. in Nazareth, Pa., says that when he first heard guitars built from Madagascar rosewood, he dreamed it might be the long-sought substitute for Brazilian rosewood, whose trade was banned in the 1990s due to over-harvest. Then the situation in Madagascar changed.

"There was a coup," Martin says. "What we heard was the international community has come to the conclusion that the coup created an illegitimate government. That's when we said, 'Okay, we can not buy any more of this wood.'"

And while some say the Lacey Act is burdensome, Martin supports it: "I think it's a wonderful thing. I think illegal logging is appalling. It should stop. And if this is what it takes unfortunately to stop unscrupulous operators, I'm all for it. It's tedious, but we're getting through it."

Others in the guitar world aren't so upbeat. Attorney Ronald Bienstock says the Gibson raids have aroused the guitar builders he represents because the Lacey Act is retroactive. He says they're worried they might be forced to prove the provenance of wood they acquired decades ago.

"There hasn't been that moment where people have quote tested the case. 'What is compliance? What is actual compliance? How have I complied?' We're lacking that."

He's even warned clients to be wary of traveling abroad with old guitars, because the law says owners can be asked to account for every wooden part of their guitars when re-entering the U.S. The law also covers the trade in vintage instruments.

Nashville's George Gruhn is one of the world's top dealers of old guitars, banjos and other rare stringed instruments. "It's a nightmare," he says. "I can't help it if they used Brazilian rosewood on almost every guitar made prior to 1970. I'm not contributing to cutting down Brazilian rosewood today."

Gruhn acknowledges that the government has tried to create exemptions to cover vintage instruments. But he says they are rife with delays and to play it safe he's nearly eliminated the 40% of his business that used to deal with overseas buyers. "This is a new normal," says the EIA's Andrea Johnson. "And it takes getting used to."

Johnson defends the Lacey Act and the government's efforts to enforce it. "Nobody here wants this law to founder on unintended consequences," she says. "Because ultimately everybody understands that the intent here is to reduce illegal logging and send a signal to the markets that you've got to be asking questions and sourcing wood in a responsible way."

What constitutes that responsible way may only become clear when the government finally charges Gibson and the company gets the day in court it says it wants so badly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 15 November 1:16 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.