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Gibson settles....


dhanners623

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While the decision and settlement may only stoke the fires on both sides of the argument, at least Gibson can move forward, albeit presumably with a bit more caution about wood sourcing.

 

Maybe Gibson is going to end up buying ebony from Bob Taylor. Martin must use as much or more ebony. Does anyone have any idea about where and how they source their ebony and rosewood?

 

The other question I have is how Lacey applies to guitars manufactured in other countries, such as China. Can guitars or other instruments made with wood of unknown provenance be imported into the US? Clearly, CITES covers this with regard to products such as ivory.

 

Are ebony and rosewood restricted in trade internationally by CITES or other treaties, or is this simply a US Lacey act thing?

 

Please, no political rants. I am raising these as legitimate questions. I wish JT were still here to provide clarity on these issues, but I believe he got tired of our internal squabbling over politics, and went away (I hope) to finish his Banner book and recordings.

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I don't know or really care much about the results. This article only gives the government perspective of the proceedings. I'd be interested in hearing how Gibson's lawyers view the outcome. I never believed it was anything of huge consequence. Seems 350,000 is quite small in the realm of government fines. At least it's over until someone else does something questionable that takes 3-4 or more years to determine....Meanwhile, there is music to be played...Thanks for the info. [thumbup]

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While the decision and settlement may only stoke the fires on both sides of the argument, at least Gibson can move forward, albeit presumably with a bit more caution about wood sourcing.

 

Maybe Gibson is going to end up buying ebony from Bob Taylor. Martin must use as much or more ebony. Does anyone have any idea about where and how they source their ebony and rosewood?

 

The other question I have is how Lacey applies to guitars manufactured in other countries, such as China. Can guitars or other instruments made with wood of unknown provenance be imported into the US? Clearly, CITES covers this with regard to products such as ivory.

 

Are ebony and rosewood restricted in trade internationally by CITES or other treaties, or is this simply a US Lacey act thing?

 

Please, no political rants. I am raising these as legitimate questions. I wish JT were still here to provide clarity on these issues, but I believe he got tired of our internal squabbling over politics, and went away (I hope) to finish his Banner book and recordings.

 

IT SEEMS THAT TAYLOR HAS TAKEN THE PROACTIVE APPROACH AND GIBSON AND OTHERS WILL HAVE TO WORK WIT[/i]H HIM. WHAT ARE THE OTHER OPTIONS? GTNJ

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I don't know or really care much about the results. This article only gives the government perspective of the proceedings. I'd be interested in hearing how Gibson's lawyers view the outcome. I never believed it was anything of huge consequence. Seems 350,000 is quite small in the realm of government fines. At least it's over until someone else does something questionable that takes 3-4 or more years to determine....Meanwhile, there is music to be played...Thanks for the info. [thumbup]

 

YES THE QUESTION IS 'WHY' HASN'T GIBSON COME FORWARD WITH A STATEMENT? THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE THE NEWS BECAME PUBLIC. IT JUST LOOKS BAD FOR THEM UNTIL THEY DO. GTNJ

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Having worked in Court Administration for 30 years and taught Justice Ethics (yeah,yeah I know, another oxymoron) this is what I read between the lines of this release:

 

Gibson knows that it is more cost effective to eat a total of $611,844 in fines and lost wood than to fight the case. They have already probably spent that much in lawyer fees and management time. They are in business to make money and, although the Justice Department does not have unlimited resources, they could outlast Gibson. The fact that Gibson must publicly acknowledge wrongdoing, tells me that the government probably had a strong case. It suggests that Gibson was guilty of something, even if it was only mid to upper level mismanagement in failing to act on information sent "up the line"by this unnamed employee. Gibson was probably a good company of which to make an example to others. Seems to me that justice was served and Gibson came out OK.

 

Two more points, one serious and one in jest:

As Nick says, no politics please!

 

Now maybe I can get me another one of those snazzy two piece bridges ... they are rare and probably gonna be worth some money someday .... like the lawsuit Yamahas (it is Yamahas, isn't it?).

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It looks like Gibson got socked in the eye for failing to perform due diligence about where their middleman was sourcing wood and the bona fides of the wood they were buying. It's hard to say what really happened but this would not appear to be Gibson's finest moment! However, it's a sock in the eye, not a crippling blow, so they'll recover ok. Gibson will probably keep very quiet or issue a brief acknowledgement of the terms.

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I wonder what, if anything, happened to Luthier's Mercantile? Aren't they the company who imports for most of the builders in the States?

Looking at the LM website gives no suggestion of that. I suspect that different manufacturers use different approaches, depending on the type of wood they are sourcing. As I recall, Gibson got in trouble by using a broker with a questionable history when it came to sourcing endangered woods.

 

One of the employment positions offered by Gibson had to do with Gibson India. Maybe this is an effort to cut out one more middleman and establish a more reliable chain of custody for these woods that might have Lacey issues.

 

Just guessing here......

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This doesn't really address the more interesting case. The Madagascar ebony seized in the first raid is exactly the sort material that the Lacey Act is meant to apply to. Damage to Madagascar is the poster boy for the Lacey Act. The only real issue in that one was whether Gibson had done due diligence, and it looks like they pretty much admitted they didn't. Everyone else in the industry managed to figure out the paperwork being supplied with that stuff was worthless -- certainly everyone represented on the now-infamous trip to Madagascar -- and so admitting that they should have too is pretty reasonable. (Especially after the second raid reportedly provided the Gov't with evidence of internal discussions questioning the legitimacy of the documentation.) If the Gov't let Gibson get away with claiming that the paperwork looked okay to them and so they shouldn't be held guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, it would pretty much amount to giving up enforcement of the Lacey Act: the worst thing that could happen, at least for a first offense, would be forfeiting the contraband. Prices would go up, and smugglers would keep smuggling. So, no big surprise so far.

 

But what about the Indian rosewood seized in the second raid? The only finding seems to have to do the the Madi ebony. None of that "protecting endangered forests" stuff that the Assistant AG, et al., were crowing about applies to Indian rosewood. If the Gov't is giving up on the claim that importing the Indian fretboard blanks was a Lacey Act violation and Gibson gets those back, it would be a HUGE victory for Gibson -- the best outcome they could reasonably have expected from the whole affair -- and there will be an enormous collective sigh of relief from the industry. It will be interesting to hear more.

 

-- Bob R

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.... like the lawsuit Yamahas (it is Yamahas, isn't it?).

Actually, Gibson sued Ibanez.

 

The agreement to end this current case is, I'm sure, best for everyone involved. Imho, Gibson spending time in a courtroom (such as their lawsuit against PRS) is generally not a good thing.

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Having worked in Court Administration for 30 years and taught Justice Ethics (yeah,yeah I know, another oxymoron) this is what I read between the lines of this release:

 

Gibson knows that it is more cost effective to eat a total of $611,844 in fines and lost wood than to fight the case. They have already probably spent that much in lawyer fees and management time. They are in business to make money and, although the Justice Department does not have unlimited resources, they could outlast Gibson. The fact that Gibson must publicly acknowledge wrongdoing, tells me that the government probably had a strong case. It suggests that Gibson was guilty of something, even if it was only mid to upper level mismanagement in failing to act on information sent "up the line"by this unnamed employee. Gibson was probably a good company of which to make an example to others. Seems to me that justice was served and Gibson came out OK.

 

Two more points, one serious and one in jest:

As Nick says, no politics please!

 

Now maybe I can get me another one of those snazzy two piece bridges ... they are rare and probably gonna be worth some money someday .... like the lawsuit Yamahas (it is Yamahas, isn't it?).

 

Alvarez??

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I don't know or really care much about the results. This article only gives the government perspective of the proceedings. I'd be interested in hearing how Gibson's lawyers view the outcome. I never believed it was anything of huge consequence. Seems 350,000 is quite small in the realm of government fines. At least it's over until someone else does something questionable that takes 3-4 or more years to determine....Meanwhile, there is music to be played...Thanks for the info. [thumbup]

 

$300k fine..$50K community Service I think seperately..and the loss old seasoned timber worth about $250K

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Actually, Gibson sued Ibanez.

 

The agreement to end this current case is, I'm sure, best for everyone involved. Imho, Gibson spending time in a courtroom (such as their lawsuit against PRS) is generally not a good thing.

 

 

Googled the lawsuit thing and it turns out everyone sued someone along the way .......... so nevermind

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So the government has $250K worth of Madagasscar ebony stored somewhere.

Who gets it? And will the next owner be any less tainted than Gibson?

 

If the illegal wood trade enforcement mechanism here works the same way the illegal ivory trade enforcement works in other countries, the seized goods will be destroyed after all legal remedies of the putative owner to retrieve it are exhausted.

 

In the meantime, it's being stored in a shed in my backyard...... [biggrin]

 

You might argue that the government should sell it to the highest bidder to reduce the deficit, but I suspect an arrangement like that could be subject to serious abuse.

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Whatever? No one on this forum really wishes to deal with the political BS nature of the whole debaucle so my reply is "whatever".?. Someone or something will be the 'beneficiary' of the almost 300K of 'illegal' wood! They can have a big "woodie" over that too.....Jeesh!

Yeah, Pile-on Jannusguy et al......Like...."He be dissin' the regime!"

Oh there I go with my immature self again.....

I just can't contain it B)

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