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Thread: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

  1. #576
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Wow, complete with bell shaped truss rod cover. For two grand you could get a used CEO series Martin that's not only a better knockoff but a better guitar.

    https://reverb.com/p/martin-ceo-7
    I had a CEO 7. I sold all my Martins except for my D28s and D45s. And started buying more Franklins .

    It would sure be interesting to know who is being targeted for collaboration

  2. #577
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    Several new news articles appearing today. Several quotes certainly attention getting.

    Gibson shifts from confrontation to collaboration with Gibson Authorized Partnership Program

    “Tone and timing of that video, clearly, lessons to be learned, but guess what: we’re taking down hundreds of websites, thousands of guitars we’re intercepting that are knockoffs, so it served a purpose,” James ‘JC’ Curleigh, president and CEO of Gibson, said.

    In short, Gibson is planning to initially collaborate with 3-4 boutique guitar builders by entering into agreements where the builders acknowledge that they’re using Gibson’s shapes, then Gibson will give them permission to create guitars using those shapes after coming to specific terms.

    There's more of interest in that article but for everyone to digest on their own.

    Of course I could be wrong about this, but after reading the article, the "Partnership Program" idea just sounds like Gibson is saying:

    "I don't think that suing small companies will be beneficial financially, or that we could be even guaranteed to win such cases, so we'll try to see if any builders are frightened or dumb enough to get our official endorsement by "partnering" with us, and sharing a bit of their profits."

    How thoughtful of Gibson..
    Chris Cravens

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  3. #578
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by ccravens View Post
    Of course I could be wrong about this, but after reading the article, the "Partnership Program" idea just sounds like Gibson is saying:

    "I don't think that suing small companies will be beneficial financially, or that we could be even guaranteed to win such cases, so we'll try to see if any builders are frightened or dumb enough to get our official endorsement by "partnering" with us, and sharing a bit of their profits."

    How thoughtful of Gibson..
    Yup. Not good . Maybe all of the builders should stick together as independence and continue doing there own thing. Nobody owes Gibson anything. There trying to bail there way out of a deep hole there in. Buying up all those trivial companies and throwing them into a grave never to see the light of day again made no sense either.

    Next thing on there agenda will be to try to close the borders on all foreign manufactures of guitars and musical instruments.

  4. #579

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Brand authenticity means that a company's products and actions match their marketing lingo.

    Currently, Gibson's lingo is: "We're one of the most innovative instrument companies of all time!"

    But unless they are actually innovating, the legacy of innovation falls flat, and the messaging feels smarmy.

    Working as a marketing consultant, I told this to many clients. Sometimes you don't need better marketing. Sometimes you need to focus on getting your product to match the level promised by your marketing team.

    Gibson, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill in the blanks below....

    F-5

    L series

    Les Paul

    P-90 pickup

    PAF pickup

    ES series

    SG

    Explorer

    Flying V

    Hummingbird

    _______________?


    _______________?


    _______________?

    (No, robotuners do NOT get a place on this list.)
    Last edited by Marty Jacobson; Jul-17-2019 at 12:26pm.

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  6. #580
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Agree. "We used to innovate" is not a winning sales campaign

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  8. #581
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Brand authenticity means that a company's products and actions match their marketing lingo.

    Currently, Gibson's lingo is: "We're one of the most innovative instrument companies of all time!"

    But unless they are actually innovating, the legacy of innovation falls flat, and the messaging feels smarmy.

    Working as a marketing consultant, I told this to many clients. Sometimes you don't need better marketing. Sometimes you need to focus on getting your product to match level promised by your marketing team.

    Gibson, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill in the blanks below....

    F-5

    L series

    Les Paul

    P-90 pickup

    PAF pickup

    ES series

    SG

    Explorer

    Flying V

    Hummingbird

    _______________?


    _______________?


    _______________?

    (No, robotuners do NOT get a place on this list.)
    Ya. The Robotuners kind of leaned the ship to one side a bit. A huge failure.

    I think they got stuck with the contract on that one.

  9. #582

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Brand authenticity means that a company's products and actions match their marketing lingo.

    Currently, Gibson's lingo is: "We're one of the most innovative instrument companies of all time!"

    But unless they are actually innovating, the legacy of innovation falls flat, and the messaging feels smarmy.

    Working as a marketing consultant, I told this to many clients. Sometimes you don't need better marketing. Sometimes you need to focus on getting your product to match the level promised by your marketing team.
    I was recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and almost the entire collection is unchanged from when I was there in the 90s. At some point contemporary art isn't actually contemporary anymore. It doesn't make the art less worthy of being appreciated but the context of the art in the present day doesn't hold relevance the same way. Today their are actual contemporary artists that should be replacing those pieces. No one gets to be a star forever (except Mickey Mouse). Not very mandolin oriented, I know.

  10. #583
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    The mixture of innovation and tradition is hard to understand, and must be a tough balancing act for companies: e.g. Fender and Gibson basically make the same electric guitars over and over, claiming they are innovating but it’s really just repackaging the old design. I get it. These are great products, and people want a real Les Paul, Strat, etc., and the new designs never seem to replace the old standards.

    Side note: I love Gibson guitars, but the robot tuners were beyond goofy to me and would actually be a deal-breaker, but I’m not a gadget guy.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

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  12. #584
    Howling at the moon Wolfboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Sometimes you don't need better marketing. Sometimes you need to focus on getting your product to match the level promised by your marketing team.
    Well said. And pretty much sums up the Gibson situation. (Well, other than the lawsuits.)

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  14. #585

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I've designed, branded, launched and marketed successful MI products and think I understand the market to some extent. For the most part the market is really really really conservative and still holding up the old products as the best of the best. Most peeps around here would be happy with a 1924 built F5 or a 1959 built Les Paul [or something built along those designs].

    Gibson understands this and, if you pay attention, have focused on introducing their innovations in their Epiphone line while holding out their Gibson line as traditional master-pieces [which is what the market wants]. Guitars such as the Epiphone Wildkat are fabulous instruments that have innovative build features that advance the art of instrument building. Fender, OTOH, simply changes colors on their old stuff and introduces them as "new and improved."

    MI buyers have almost always eschew the "new" - Gibson's Explorers, Modern and others were not well received when first introduced and even now only account for a small fraction of the market. Gibson executing a marketing strategy that accounts for this [by not building a certain model for a period of time] is simply a company that understands its market and not a license for another builder to cop their IP by introducing a knock-off.

    I've dealt with Fender and Gibson at various NAMMs. I've always found Gibson kind, professional and courteous whereas I can't say the same for Fender.

    I have to admit to being at a loss understanding all the Gibson hate. They've invested in the R&D, design and have been marketing these products [taking into account market fluctuations] for years. Somebody else coming along and ripping their designs is IP theft which Gibson has every right to protect themselves against.

    Saying it's okay to steal intellectual property because some lawyer argues the creator "abandoned" it is nonsense.
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  16. #586

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    I have to admit to being at a loss understanding all the Gibson hate. They've invested in the R&D, design and have been marketing these products [taking into account market fluctuations] for years. Somebody else coming along and ripping their designs is IP theft which Gibson has every right to protect themselves against.

    Saying it's okay to steal intellectual property because some lawyer argues the creator "abandoned" it is nonsense.
    Are you OK with things being an homage? Here's my version of an ES-335:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I consider that an homage, not a rip-off. But where do you draw the line?

    How about a violin? Is every violinmaker guilty of acting in bad faith regarding their wholesale (or might say faithful) copying of ol' Tony Stradivarius' work?

    How about the fact that during much of Gibson's history, their products have actually been poor imitations of vintage Gibsons, and other crafts-folk were out there making better "Gibsons" than Gibson cared to make?
    Last edited by Marty Jacobson; Jul-18-2019 at 11:16am.

  17. #587

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Are you OK with things being an homage? Here's my version of an ES-335:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I consider that an homage, not a rip-off. But where do you draw the line?
    The line is drawn under US trademark law when there is a "likelihood of confusion" between the products. In your case it would be difficult to argue confusion and I doubt Gibson would consider this a breach of their IP rights.

    Lots of US manufacturers produce very high quality mandolins including Weber, Breedlove, and etc. Gibson doesn't go after them because they are making their own designs that are distinguishable from Gibson's. That's the way it's supposed to work.

    As I recall Dean hit the market touting they were rip-offs of Gibson's as a selling feature. That's a red line for any company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post

    How about a violin? Is every violinmaker guilty of acting in bad faith regarding their wholesale (or might say faithful) work copying ol' Tony Stradivarius' work?
    Yes. The IP belongs to the creator unless it is sold, expires and etc.

    Look - the reality is these companies are not stupid when it comes to "imitation is the best form of flattery." People are stealing the underlying designs because they were well done (it's not often you'll see someone ripping off an unsuccessful product) making them successful products.

    When I was in the software business there was a generally accepted [tho unspoken] rule-of-thumb that 10 to 15% piracy was considered a "good thing." Why? Because that got your product into users hands and, if the tool worked for them, they would eventually turn into paying customers. Tech only started pushing back after piracy rates sky-rocketed (with the introduction of the internet) and was adversely affecting their bottom lines.

    I've seen this same thing go for the MI business. Peeps start out on an Epiphone Les Paul (or knock-off) and, when their chance to gig comes along, quickly "move up" to a Gibson because that shows some sort of cred (which is part of Gibson's IP goodwill).

    Gibson, Fender et. all don't go after the craft luthiers that I'm aware of. It's only when the competitor is making a serious business out of the stolen IP that these situations flare up.

    IP theft is still theft regardless what the smarmy lawyers try to argue.
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  18. #588

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    I have to admit to being at a loss understanding all the Gibson hate. They've invested in the R&D, design and have been marketing these products [taking into account market fluctuations] for years. Somebody else coming along and ripping their designs is IP theft which Gibson has every right to protect themselves against.

    Saying it's okay to steal intellectual property because some lawyer argues the creator "abandoned" it is nonsense.
    Verne, for some reason or another, you've skipped over a significant indicative set of circumstances from which the courts can infer that a trademark is abandoned.

    Marks that are registered with the USPTO can be deemed abandoned if the owner fails to police third-party use of the mark, fails to file a declaration of use or other necessary renewal document with the USPTO, ceases using the mark for a period of three consecutive years or more, files an notice of intention to abandon the mark or allows the mark to become generic.

    It's not that "some lawyer" argues it. It's that the court determines, using those criteria, that the mark was abandoned. Oftentimes, the period of non-policing and/or of allowing the mark to become generic is three years.

    And in this case, the gap is several decades.

    I can understand your outrage if you were genuinely unaware of the law regarding trademarks and abandonment. Assuming that you can now find more information to get you up to speed on the gaps in your knowledge, and with those facts now clarified, you'll stop arguing from passion and instead from the facts.

    Again, it's not that the IP in question was allowed to lay fallow, but instead that Gibson did not police third-party use, and allowed the designs to become generic.

    Fortunately in the court filings, if evidence is entered that Gibson did vigorously police the marks from the start, and prevented them from becoming generic, then Gibson will prevail.

  19. #589

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Fortunately in the court filings, if evidence is entered that Gibson did vigorously police the marks from the start, and prevented them from becoming generic, then Gibson will prevail.
    And this is what I'm saying. There seems to be a predetermination that Gibson is guilty prior to examining Gibson's evidence as to their business practices.

    All I know is that Gibson appears to have priority rights to the IP in the guitars Dean has been actively selling as knock-offs (I understand Gibson is only going after a few products in Dean's line) and by arguing abandonment Dean acknowledges same.

    Three years is "prima face," must be accompanied with a demonstrated "intent" to abandon and the registered owner is given due regard. Gibson's legal department may have stacks of cease and desist letters they've sent out over the years that nobody has ever heard of. They may have multiple license agreements with companies like Epiphone who have continued building their products under license. We'll have to wait and see what gets filed if the matter proceeds that far.

    Gibson has been a corporate IP game pretty much from the beginning. Corporate interests took over from Orville shortly after he created the original mandolin based on violin building techniques. That was back in the late 1800's. I can't imagine they've not taken care of their legal business along the way as that's how today's Gibson started.

    Gibson is in an enviable position of owning some of the most iconic MI IP in history. Everyone is trying to get a piece of it by hook or by crook. Imagine the costs if Gibson was to engage in cease and desist proceedings against everyone who has ever made a Les Paul knock off. It would keep an army of lawyers busy for decades and kill the company.

    There needs to be a sense of reasonableness taken into consideration.
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  20. #590
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    And this is what I'm saying. There seems to be a predetermination that Gibson is guilty prior to examining Gibson's evidence as to their business practices.

    All I know is that Gibson appears to have priority rights to the IP in the guitars Dean has been actively selling as knock-offs (I understand Gibson is only going after a few products in Dean's line) and by arguing abandonment Dean acknowledges same.

    Three years is "prima face," must be accompanied with a demonstrated "intent" to abandon and the registered owner is given due regard. Gibson's legal department may have stacks of cease and desist letters they've sent out over the years that nobody has ever heard of. They may have multiple license agreements with companies like Epiphone who have continued building their products under license. We'll have to wait and see what gets filed if the matter proceeds that far.

    Gibson has been a corporate IP game pretty much from the beginning. Corporate interests took over from Orville shortly after he created the original mandolin based on violin building techniques. That was back in the late 1800's. I can't imagine they've not taken care of their legal business along the way as that's how today's Gibson started.

    Gibson is in an enviable position of owning some of the most iconic MI IP in history. Everyone is trying to get a piece of it by hook or by crook. Imagine the costs if Gibson was to engage in cease and desist proceedings against everyone who has ever made a Les Paul knock off. It would keep an army of lawyers busy for decades and kill the company.

    There needs to be a sense of reasonableness taken into consideration.
    But. In the 70s. Norlin had Gibson. And just about everything on the Gibson line up was junk including the Norlin name. I dont think the V or the explorer was being made till into the later 80s into the 90s So could that of been the time frame for not keeping up with trade marks? Norlin put Gibson into a huge failure.

  21. #591
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    I have to admit to being at a loss understanding all the Gibson hate. They've invested in the R&D, design and have been marketing these products [taking into account market fluctuations] for years. Somebody else coming along and ripping their designs is IP theft which Gibson has every right to protect themselves against.
    I'll assume you've not seen legal documentation on the mandolin or guitar side of things. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Many complaining are just shooting from the hip and just like to blow off steam. To quote the most quoted phrase within this thread, "I'm not a lawyer," but when as a business you ask for 4 figures in "damages" for a design for a single instrument that was completed and has been used two decades *prior* to said trademark even being applied for, well, certainly it's within their rights to try that. Do courts uphold that kind of tactic?

    It's also within the rights of the individual or business being threatened with retroactive claims to challenge that kind of claim. Asking for retroactive compensation is one of the issues on the mandolin side. "You did this prior to the trademark so now write us a large check and mail to us." So far what is being reported was Gibson's legal simply stops communicating once an attorney on the other side says "you can't claim that and it won't stick in court so have at it if you wish." I'm all for businesses defending intellectual property rights, but that's a pretty bizarre business strategy to say, well, we forgot for 95 years but now we're going to ask everyone for compensation for steps we should have taken 30, 50, 75 years ago. Good luck with that. The issue with most sensible parties is they respect IP rights if they're in place. What they don't respect is Gibson making up new rules the courts won't uphold and using their legal muscle to intimidate. Certainly within their rights. Does everyone have to love and respect them for doing so?

    And just so we're clear, the Cafe respects Gibson's IP rights as well, within reason. I just removed a Gibson counterfeit mandolin posted earlier this morning. Why? Because it's against the posting guidelines, it's the right thing to do (my opinion), and Gibson will contact me and ask me to take it down if they see it (and they have before). I'm OK with the latter. But them asking me to take down every mandolin on the Classifieds that has a Fern completed prior to the trademark even being applied for? Well, certainly within their right to try. My lawyer works for me for free (sort of) and he's quite good. I only pay him in microbrewed beer when we have, uh, strategic planning meetings. I think I feel strategic planning coming on today in this 100 degree midwest heat.

    In business you eat or you get eaten. Gibson failed to hire a cook or set their own table for an awful long time. Builders have been born, grew up, built hundreds of instruments and passed on since all of this started. What they do to rectify this is certainly within their rights. That they receive everyone's respect for their actions now will be each individual's decision.
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jul-18-2019 at 12:56pm.

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  23. #592
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I wonder what happens to Heritage Guitars? You have to assume they knew what was happening with that company and they did nothing. If anyone was building Gibson copies I'm pretty sure it would have been Heritage.

    https://heritageguitars.com/collecti...ard-collection
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  24. #593
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I wonder what happens to Heritage Guitars? You have to assume they knew what was happening with that company and they did nothing. If anyone was building Gibson copies I'm pretty sure it would have been Heritage.
    I have a couple of the Golden Eagle archtops. There outstanding guitars.

  25. #594

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    And this is what I'm saying. There seems to be a predetermination that Gibson is guilty prior to examining Gibson's evidence as to their business practices.

    There needs to be a sense of reasonableness taken into consideration.
    You yourself referred to "IP theft," a predetermination of guilt prior to examining the evidence or lack thereof.

    What's interesting is that the evidence of lack of enforcement (assuming a common-law trademark) against Dean for several decades, meaning no actual lawsuits filed, no court actions requested, etc., is evident in Gibson's filings so far, as well as in the public record. We only have the trademark registration (closing the barn door) decades after others used the designs (after the horse is gone). So far, the actual evidence is against Gibson, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who is happy to read any such pro-Gibson evidence you can now provide.

    You also keep falling back on an invented need to declare abandonment. Courts conclude abandonment by consideration of policing of the trademark(s) in question, not by a written letter of intent as you keep arguing. I don't know where you picked up that odd little idea, but it is inaccurate.

    ----

    As to why people appear to view Gibson's current actions negatively, here's a few reasons:

    The Gibson entity appears to have been bought by venture capitalists. Those investors appear, with no evidence to the contrary, to be fabricating claims that the Gibson entity did its due diligence in maintaining at least common-law trademarks on its designs. The evidence so far instead shows that the Gibson entity did not police its trademarks, and allowed them to become generic, for decades beyond three years. Those investors are pursuing these unsupported claims not to extend Gibson as an innovative brand, but as a way of squeezing cash out of their investment.

    As you have repeatedly referenced "IP theft" as your conclusion, in the absence of evidence of enforcement, I hope you will extend the same consideration towards those who consider this action by the investors as a "cash grab."

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  27. #595

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    As you have repeatedly referenced "IP theft" as your conclusion, in the absence of evidence of enforcement, I hope you will extend the same consideration towards those who consider this action by the investors as a "cash grab."
    Additionally, I would add that while making a faithful '59 Les Paul copy is almost certainly legally permissible, and MAY be morally permissible, it is not very creative. Let's all do cool stuff that's in the spirit of, and inspired by, the great artisans of the past. And stop wearing out our legal pads.

    But I guess everybody has to make a living somehow.

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  29. #596

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Additionally, I would add that while making a faithful '59 Les Paul copy is almost certainly legally permissible, and MAY be morally permissible, it is not very creative.
    A few years ago, there was a tempest in a teapot when a particular "holy grail" guitar distortion pedal was successfully copied. This was after the originator had *not* applied for a patent, and after any theoretical patent period would have expired had the patent been applied for and granted.

    There were numerous people who wanted to argue that it was unethical and immoral to make clones of what the originator had placed into the public domain by foregoing protection. The irony was that they were arguing for the unethical and immoral annexation of something in the public domain.

    I find it interesting to see the same arguments surfacing in this topic, that designs allowed to become public domain should now be annexed and protected after the law disallows such.

    I'm still waiting for Verne and others to post actual evidence which counters the current facts regarding Gibson's decades of non-policing. Until that happens, it is, in fact, moral and ethical to use these designs which are in the public domain. That's why it's the public domain.

  30. #597

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Additionally, I would add that while making a faithful '59 Les Paul copy is almost certainly legally permissible, and MAY be morally permissible, it is not very creative. .
    Actually, if it says "Gibson" on the peghead, probably not......

    Two thoughts....

    Slash played his "boutique" handmade 59 Les Paul for most of his early career.....could be thought of as a tribute or counterfeit depending on which side of the legal aisle you are sitting........I guess it is legal to build and own and play in public, but not legal to sell. I guess he isn't selling......

    I noticed just this past week not one but two fake counterfeit Chinese Les Pauls in my area, one in a music store -- the owner called me to confirm his suspicion before deciding not to put it out for sale -- in this case a beautiful Les Paul Custom -- and yes, the fakes are getting much, much better, I'm thinking they would fool most people except for five or six small details..... The other in a pawn shop was a used, but like new counterfeit of Gibson Slash model (list price $6000) proudly displayed for sale at $899......again, would fool most people, IMHO.

    It seemed the Chinese fakes were all over the place 10-12 years ago, then kind of disappeared for a while. It seems they are back.

    Not sure where my "morals" lie.......is it OK for a boutique builder to make a fake, but not alright for a Chinese factory??? Not sure....

    Like I said before. Most of my stuff is vintage, so I really don't care....

  31. #598

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    At the end of the day everybody acknowledges that Gibson created the "violin-style" mandolin and adorned it with their unique headstock and scrolls that has made the F5 (and variants) so visually appealing and commercially successful. Gibson also created a similar line of guitars in the L5 and etc. Gibson created the Les Paul body shape, humbucker pickup, block inlays, and etc. Gibson also created the Explorer and other body shapes that are at issue with Dean. I don't believe there is any dispute anywhere as to who created the products at issue.
    Gibson did not create the "Les Paul" body shape. O. W. Appleton did...poor guy even presented it to Gibson who told him they couldn't imagine someone playing a solid body electric and then proceeded to steal it for the Les Paul and keep their company afloat!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  33. #599

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    I'll assume you've not seen legal documentation on the mandolin or guitar side of things. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    You are correct. I'm here as an "outsider" as I am not as familiar with this legacy as most here and am trying to understand the thinking.

    In some ways I'm in the same spot a judge would be who has to hear the case - I don't know the parties from Adam so what are the facts and what is the law that needs to be applied. In Gibson's case we're talking about a public company that's been around for over 100 years so there is quite a bit of history for the uninitiated to try and understand.

    I'm finding it educational and I hope others aren't offended for me taking a contrarian position.
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  34. #600

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    I'm still waiting for Verne and others to post actual evidence which counters the current facts regarding Gibson's decades of non-policing. Until that happens, it is, in fact, moral and ethical to use these designs which are in the public domain. That's why it's the public domain.
    That is going to have to wait to see what Gibson files. For all we know Gibson and Dean lawyers may have been exchanging threats for years. That's certainly something Dean wouldn't disclose.

    Copyrights enter the public domain. Trademarks become generic.

    I think an argument can be made that the Les Paul is "generic" but that would be a stretch for shapes such as the Explorer and etc. Those designs never really caught on so I fail to see how they can be considered generic.
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