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Isn't this against the law?????


onewilyfool
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he can own a counterfeit, but it is against Federal law to sell one. He probably purchased it online from a chinese source, had it shipped here, he is skirting the boundaries there, but still hasn't broken a Federal law, it's when he sells it that he is looking at possible prison time, not a few days in jail.

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AS maybe you are a bit hard on this bloke...he clearly states these guitars are "in Gibson style"...even says "This is not a Gibson guitar"...there is no Gibson branding...I guess the ethics of such a slavish copy can be questioned...but it's not really counterfeit is it?Recording King has a slope shoulder that is a dead ringer for a J-45.

Disclaimer I bought a Martin parlor copy off him...Martin don't make the model anymore, very early model...no Martin branding on it...and for $450 I sure knew it wasn't a Martin and he wasn't saying it was.

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I'm not sure, but I think as long as he discloses that it's a fake, and isn't trying to pass it off as the real thing, he's not doing anything illegal.

 

I'm no attorney, but according to www.naw.org, It is illegal for any person to intentionally traffic, or attempt to traffic, in goods or services and knowingly use a counterfeit trademark on or in connection (such as product labeling and packaging) with those goods or services. The term “traffic” is broadly defined to include the sale of a product that bears a counterfeit trademark. Traffic also means transporting, transferring or otherwise disposing of a product for money or anything of value.

 

A counterfeit trademark means a spurious mark or designation (e.g., packaging, labeling) that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a trademark which is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is used on goods without the consent of the trademark owner. A counterfeit certification mark is considered a counterfeit trademark. Criminal liability requires that the seller had actual knowledge, or constructive knowledge (reasonably should have known under the circumstances), that the product or its labeling or packaging contained a counterfeit trademark.

 

The penalty under the federal law:

 

Imprisonment – Up to 10 years for the first offense and up to 20 years for a repeat offender.

Fines – Up to $15.0 million for corporations and $5.0 million for individuals who are repeat offenders.

Seizure and destruction of the counterfeit products in the wholesaler-distributor’s possession.

Civil lawsuits by the trademark owner under the federal trademark law for the recovery of damages, lost profits, attorneys’ fees and injunctive relief.

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I actually emailed the guy about this. He stated that he found out it was a fake from calling Gibson to verify the serial number. They told him it was a counterfeit. He said Gibson was unconcerned about it and told him to get rid of it if he wished. My guess is the guy bought it and got scammed. This is the real problem with these things. At least he is honest enough to say its fake, a lot of novice guys probably would never know

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I'm not sure, but I think as long as he discloses that it's a fake, and isn't trying to pass it off as the real thing, he's not doing anything illegal.

 

I actually emailed the guy about this. He stated that he found out it was a fake from calling Gibson to verify the serial number. They told him it was a counterfeit. He said Gibson was unconcerned about it and told him to get rid of it if he wished. ....

 

It doesn't matter what the guy says, or what he advertises, or what he says Gibson told him - the item in question is obviously infringing on Gibson's rights by displaying counterfeit/fake trademarked Gibson logos/names. Unless this guy has a documented licensing agreement with Gibson, that's against the law. To be a legal sale, the seller would have to remove the trademarked Gibson names/logos from the guitar.

 

 

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I'm not sure how this is a "fake" Gibson. No where does it say on the guitar "Gibson". The listing even says it's NOT a Gibson. Styling a guitar after a Gibson model is fair game (so long as the guitar doesn't say "Gibson" on it) in my understanding.

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Illegal or not, do you really think Gibson is going to spend time and money on legal fees and lawyers to pursue some guy for selling a fake he acquired for 400 bucks??? If he were selling hundreds of these and making thousands of dollars, yes. But the burden is on Gibson here to pursue this. If you call the local pd and say somebody is selling a fake Gibson there not going to break this guys door in and arrest him. It is up to the violated party to press charges.I think the fish is way to small for Gibson to be concerned about it and spend time and money to prosecute this guy. Trademark violations are about money, and there's none to be made here

 

I'm not a lawyer, but I do have a college degree in criminal justice and some legal system studies. I also have a law enforcement background, but it just wasn't for me. I learned real quick that the system wasn't about taking criminals off the street, it's about making money

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Illegal or not, do you really think Gibson is going to spend time and money on legal fees and lawyers to pursue some guy for selling a fake he acquired for 400 bucks??? .....

 

 

Pretty one dimensional thinking. Spending money/time on the problem may or may not include expensive legal action. There's other more economical strategies to pursue like letters from corporate attorneys to media companies advertising counterfeits. Let me refer you to Vincent's comment quoted below. I don't believe Gibson wants links so they can add them to Santa's naughty list - do you?

 

Trademarks are wisely protected by their owners to protect their brand - that can easily translate into money. This comes up often here on these Gibson forums, and Gibson always wants the info.

 

 

and don't hesitate to email Gibson Customer Service these links to service@gibson.com

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Gibson I believe would take action if it were hurting their sales to a great measure. One guy here or there, selling a fake guitar or two, I suspect Gibson wouldn't do anything. Neither would the enforcing arm of the law. I don't think ebay really cares either, makes them money and as far as I know, seeing sellers of fake products doesn't seem to scare people off from using their auction site to buy legit items. Of course it's good that these people get reported. Any deterrent that helps inhibit this sleezy way of making money is good.

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Pretty one dimensional thinking. Spending money/time on the problem may or may not include expensive legal action. There's other more economical strategies to pursue like letters from corporate attorneys to media companies advertising counterfeits. Let me refer you to Vincent's comment quoted below. I don't believe Gibson wants links so they can add them to Santa's naughty list - do you?

 

Trademarks are wisely protected by their owners to protect their brand - that can easily translate into money. This comes up often here on these Gibson forums, and Gibson always wants the info.

 

 

I don't call it one dimensional thinking, it's reality. This guy is a small fish in a mud hole. And this " counterfeit" guitar is being referred to like its a hot 100 dollar bill. Not the same thing. We're talking about copyright infringement here. This guy isn't responsible for any copyright infringement. Did he make the guitar and use Gibsons trademark for a logo? I think not. If I were producing them in my garage and labeling them with a trademarked logo without permission, there would be a problem. The producers of the instrument who use the logo are the responsible party. And since there in china what do you do?

 

Media companies advertising them, I agree. But here is where the money comes into play. A company making profits of advertising and selling trademark violations. This would also be a responcible party and I would expect Gibson to legally pursue them. A trademark lawsuit=money....and preventing monies made off their name. Going after a small fish in a mud hole, joe blow in the local trailer park with a Gibson copy doesn't fix the problem or gain anything. Plus it wouldn't be very good customer relations to try to intimidate individuals.

 

I'm not trying to beat the drum in defense of the guy. I just give him benefit of a doubt that he got suckered into it by somebody, and now he's trying to sell it and at least being honest about it. The fact that he has possession of it doesn't make him a criminal, it's not a crack rock rolled in a counterfeit Ben Franklin. The producers of the instrument, and the party responcible for distributing them to a unknowing public is the guilty party. Forming a lynch mob after a individual person just trying to sell a guitar isn't solving the problem as far as Gibson is concerned.

 

However, to be UN ONE demonsional I think the guy does have a responsibility to contact Gibson and provide information about where it come from originally. This helps track down the real problem here. If he knowing bought a fake, and sold it as the real deal, well I'd say he was a peice of you know what. And some of you may be correct in saying him selling it is illegal. May be. I'm just trying to make the point that it won't help to pursue a individual nobody and throw him behind bars. A good investigator knows the small fish lead to the big pond.

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This is why we have too many lawyers in the US. It isn't branded "Gibson" but the ad refers to it as a J100, which is of course as much 'Gibson' as 'Corvette' is Chevy. He wouldn't have had any problem if he'd just given all the details and left out any reference to Gibson. Even saying "Gibson Strings" on this one would have been sufficient to justify suing him. Right now, I'm guessing Gibson is spending enough on lawyers fighting the Fish and Fowl Fools and will let this one-off go under the radar.

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  • 7 years later...

purchased a Les Paul Traditional not knowing it was not real. This came with a Gibson LP case. No flaws. Everything is completely as a real LP would be. I sent pictures to Gibson to find out it was not real. They did say i could own it but not sell it. I asked how are the Ebayers being able to sell these? He said they are not permitted to sell them! 

I guess my question would be. This guitar cant be sold but can be given away. Can it be traded evenly. No money is transferred. I haven't found that question anywhere. 

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