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Thread: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

  1. #76
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by tim noble View Post
    I recall Martin going in a diametrically opposite direction in supporting Dick Boak and others in forming the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA). At the first symposium held in 1988 in Easton PA, Dick, Chris, Dave Musselwhite and others from Martin were there praising and encouraging a small group of luthiers who, for the most part, were coping Martins designs. Dick encouraged me to demonstrate my 2nd build - my version of a 1930 OM 40S. Martin was even selling parts and kits of their most popular designs and I believe that Chris's attitude was that the health and breadth of the instrument community was good for the industry as a whole. Martin has flourished while Gibson struggles with bankruptcy.
    Tim
    Not just loving the Martin tone, I actually quite like the Gibson Hummingbird sound, but I love the company as well. Martin has been a pleasure to communicate with when I had the need. A side story when my dad died he left me some money, very nice of him. So I adopted a daughter and was commissioning a Martin CS guitar. The dealer sent my specs in Martin emailed them and me. I gave the last a bit more info and my likes and she says, "If you can do without the inlay and don't mind a sunburst we already make the guitar you're looking for. The 000-18 GE which came with a 1937 Sunburst. The CS was big bucks, at the time $5700 for what I spend. The 000 was literally 2500 less. I went with it and until it came almost regretted it because I had sold myself on the inlay. In the end, I am much happier with this instrument. Now, do you think Gibson would have gone to these lengths to keep a customer happy at the cost of their profits by the tune of 2500$? I seriously doubt it. Too many times friends would buy an LP and spend a small fortune on an instrument with issues then write it off as well that's just the way it is with Gibson. That's BS.
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  2. #77

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Hasn’t Gibson always been a bunch of (I can’t say on a family friendly forum) when it comes to their business practices? I was at the Bozeman acoustic facility the day the Tennessee facilities were raided for illegal wood and the then CEO blamed partisan politics instead of poor supply chain procedures (correct me if I’m wrong but no other manufacturer was raided like Gibson was).

    Seems to me that since 1969 the company has always been all about the money first, quality...ehhh, maybe. It wasn’t until 1978 that Roger Siminoff and his crew brought back the F5L as a quality mando.

    We don’t know how the legal issue will play out - they probably have a good case or they wouldn’t be doing this. It’s straight out of the deep pocket investor playbook though, maybe they figure they’ll do this and come to a bunch of settlements with other manufacturers. I don’t think this current crew really cares about the brand or the legacy they just want their investments back.
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  3. #78
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    What's shameful is people who are not creative enough to come up with their own designs so they take someone elses..Gibson has created some very successful designs and other people just jump on the band wagon.Whether they get anywhere or not,I think they should try to protect their creations..

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    So no one should ever make an F5 except Gibson? I reckon we should stop all guitar builders from using the dreadnaught, OM, 000, 00, etc. body shapes too???

    I don't think that is exactly what he was saying Shaun?

    Of course others can make a mandolin and even call it an F-5 if they want to I guess.

    But I don't see why other builders have to slavishly copy Gibson's designs down to the minute details such as "The Gibson" on the head stock, or an exact copy of the flowerpot & truss rod cover? Or even how the scroll is shaped/carved?

    The reason why the early makers of F-5s (60s and 70s) copied the Gibson F-5 Loar design down to the smallest detail is because musicians demanded that they look the same as Monroe's mandolin (and the actual Gibson mandolins of the day were lacking)?

    I agree Gibson was foolish for not stepping in back then and 1) enforcing a copyright or patent on their designs and 2) getting off their butts and actual start building a decent sounding Gibson F-5 again.

    It wasn't until Roger Siminoff came along in 1977 and showed them what a disgrace that their current mandolins were that the company seemed to get religion again?

    I find it interesting that many musician who defend intellectual property rights about music/lyrics/tunes to the death are not sympathetic about designs and intellectual property in other areas of work?
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  5. #79

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Gibson owns Kramer and Kramer makes Stratocaster copies under the Kramer Focus model (except for slightly different headstock). They're guilty of the same thing they're accusing other companies of.

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  7. #80

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    You can defend what you own, not what you think you own. As for doing it because they have a good case, people file lawsuits they know they cannot win all the time. Don’t assume that companies act responsibly.

    I just think there’s a better use of time and money than bashing people into submission.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  9. #81
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
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    "Hey everybody... Mark here. I'd like to demonstrate my profound respect for iconic instruments like this one I'm holding...The Big Daddy of them all.

    To do so I decided to put on a jacket with the most zippers, metal buttons and buckles I could find."


    Rebel Without a Clue.

    Ha ha - that is pretty funny. But he (Mark) has always seemed to me to be a pretty nice guy - I looked forward to his ventures into "the vault" of the Norm's Great Guitars to pick out a great old classic guitar or mandolin to demo and play.
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  11. #82

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    He’s out of his depth at Gibson. It will end badly for him.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  13. #83
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    If Gibson were getting out of the in-house manufacturing model and thinking of franchising out to a selection of high end builders this is probably how they would approach things. Assert your rights, spend some money on duffing over a few copyists, then reach a settlement that enables the select highest bidders to go forward fulfilling the orders.
    Eoin



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  14. #84

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    And not asserting their Trademark rights earlier on in the game was maybe a way to corner the market. They wanted, and encouraged people to copy them so that the word Ďguitarí could be defined as looking or not looking like a Gibson. Dominating the other manufacturers is, I guess part of being successful.
    Whatever.
    Though Iím happy people donít say for example: In our band we have a fiddle, a banjo, a mandolin, a bass and a Gibson.
    It didnít go that far.

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I expect this is what they're going to go after long before they deal with mandolins. A friend of mine played Denver last weekend with the most beautiful sunburst J-45... except it was an Eastman.
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  16. #86
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    This is great news for litigation lawyers

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  18. #87
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I hate to be blunt folks but... that's exactly what you get when the company's majority owner (and COB) is KKR and the CEO running the joint is a guy who formerly worked in the jeans department at Levi Strauss.

  19. #88

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Thinking of Gibson getting a trademark for the fern peghead in 2015, would anyone be surprised if they tried, and maybe succeed, in getting the F5 body trademarked? Watch that space.

    And imagine the shoe on the other foot, ie, small builder gets design copied by BIG Music. We’d be screaming to protect the originator in that case. Or imagine someone building a car with the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament on their econobox. Outrage is easier seen there.

    Such is life.
    Last edited by Bill McCall; Jun-19-2019 at 11:17am.
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  20. #89
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    It's a small thing, but I'm worried about the threat to television and movie folks. I understand licensing and product placement. But are they going to expand this to others? If I use my Gibsons for a video posted to YouTube, am I now in violation?

    Am also worried about the statement that an arched top with f holes is also trademarked. That doesn't seem to be possible.

    Of course I've been wrong before.
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  21. #90
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    If Gibson's reasoning was right that these "counterfeit instruments" destroy their market, then why do they join the fray by posing as bad-tempered Scrooges in front of the musicians they want to sell their product to, instead of being the generous and attractive design role model they've always appeared to be?

    It's a bit like Santa suing parents for giving gifts to their children before he had a chance.

    I guess that's when you find out you lost focus.
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  23. #91
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    It's a small thing, but I'm worried about the threat to television and movie folks. I understand licensing and product placement. But are they going to expand this to others? If I use my Gibsons for a video posted to YouTube, am I now in violation?
    Why on earth would you NOT want somebody to play your guitars on television, movies, videos, etc.? Hello - free advertising! Remember back in the late-60 or early-70's when Fender made the head stocks bigger so that the name could be seen better on television? Now that's a smart move.

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  25. #92

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Americans are paying billions in tariffs and risking a recession partially in an effort to protect intellectual property rights.

    All intellectual property owners should be paid for the use of their work product. In the end, it drives innovation by giving innovation value.

    Reasonable licensing fees will be more profitable to Gibson than putting copiers out of business. The copies add to the cache of the originals, if the originals are well executed. This is no more a threat to small builders than telling them they have to pay for their wood.

    The video is ham fisted PR. But, yeah, enforce your trademarks and copyrights.

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  27. #93

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Having worked for a company owned by KKR, I can assure you their only goal is money. Period. If they could sell Les Pauls for $4000 that were made of balsa wood and sawdust, they would. Their goal is always to flip the company for a profit in three to five years.

    Mark has sold his soul to KKR, wittingly or not, for money. He will have to live with that. When, not if, his usefulness to Gibson ends, the scrap heap awaits. KKR has no conscience or loyalty to anything but money. That highly skilled employee of thirty years who may build fine instruments has value only if deemed to make the company more money than the ten year guy standing next to him.
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  28. #94

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Welcome to America.

  29. #95
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Having worked for a company owned by KKR, I can assure you their only goal is money. Period. If they could sell Les Pauls for $4000 that were made of balsa wood and sawdust, they would. Their goal is always to flip the company for a profit in three to five years.

    Mark has sold his soul to KKR, wittingly or not, for money. He will have to live with that. When, not if, his usefulness to Gibson ends, the scrap heap awaits. KKR has no conscience or loyalty to anything but money. That highly skilled employee of thirty years who may build fine instruments has value only if deemed to make the company more money than the ten year guy standing next to him.
    "Meet the new boss...... same as the old boss......"

  30. #96
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I say we start referring to ALL guitars and mandolins as gibsons. Make it as generic as Hoover is to Vacuum in England.
    Couldn't somebody prove that design became generic?

  31. #97
    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Winn View Post
    "Meet the new boss...... same as the old boss......"
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again

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  32. #98
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    I say we start referring to ALL guitars and mandolins as gibsons. Make it as generic as Hoover is to Vacuum in England.
    Couldn't somebody prove that design became generic?
    You make a good point. Think of Kleenex, Band-Aid, Cellophane, Dumpster, etc.
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  33. #99
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by mtucker View Post
    I hate to be blunt folks but... that's exactly what you get when the company's majority owner (and COB) is KKR and the CEO running the joint is a guy who formerly worked in the jeans department at Levi Strauss.
    What kind of statement is that? Your knocking him because he worked at,Levis? He was not some guy but president of global affairs and I've read he did great things for Levis,and he's doing great things now,for Gibson.They are producing now some of best instruments in their history,don't believe me,first go try a new Les Paul '60''s standard,,rave reviews across the board.I can't wait to see the new acoustic line unveiled next month J.C. has taken the Gibson bull by the horns and part of that I imagine is trying to protect what's theirs..Gibson is driving full steam ahead and taking no prisoners

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  35. #100

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I've got, I mean my friend has a Les Paul mandolin, his he safe?

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    Last edited by Dillon; Jun-19-2019 at 1:54pm.

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