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Thread: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

  1. #276

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    In my opinion the original video did not come across as bad as most people make it out to be,,IMO I see a lot of over dramatic detractors,
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    If you gotta C&D letter you might think differently.
    I have to agree with you Bill. "You've been warned" is a phrase taken verbatim from the video. I know what I was taught about that phrase when I was growing up and all variations of the verb "warn".

  2. #277
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    If you gotta C&D letter you might think differently.
    Yeah,probably...if I got a C&D letter I'd be "Bill Monroeing" my headstock right about now....

  3. #278
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I wonder if any builders that are here are affected by this? Or are they not allowed to say?

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    No sense in making yourself a target.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  6. #280

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    No sense in making yourself a target.

    I should probably close my fakegibsonmandolins.com website.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  7. #281
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    when Flatiron started arch-top f-hole mandolins they had the A5-1 and the A5-2. Those were the trim levels. That was '83 for sure. Not sure if it was also '82. Sometime around '84 they changed that to the three trim levels, Festival, Performer, and Artist.

    That's all I got on that matter.

    (Studied geology in Colorado so Flatirons were the obvious choice!)

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I have a 70's Ibanez Les Paul copy guitar. I guess I should be expecting Gibson hooligans to be kicking down my front door?

  9. #283
    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 T.D.Nydn View Post
    In my opinion the original video did not come across as bad as most people make it out to be,,IMO I see a lot of over dramatic detractors,
    Iím inclined to disagree. There are so many things wrong with that video (and Gibsonís lawsuit against Dean) that itís hard to know where to start, but even as an individual musician with no dog in this particular fight, I found the video condescending, insulting, threatening, and loaded with inaccuracies and exaggerations. To mention a few main points:

    1. A minor point, but a revealing one: anyone who holds an expensive guitar that he doesnít own while wearing a leather jacket laden with metal zippers, snaps, rivets and so forth immediately negates any respectability he might have had as a pontificator about musical instruments, from the sheer disrespect he shows that instrument and its owner.

    2. 1:48 "All of those innovations and design elements are trademarks of Gibson." Weíll see what the judge and jury say about the Flying V body shape Ė although as I understand it Gibson didnít trademark that until Dean had been making similar guitars for about twenty years Ė but Gibson surely doesnít have a leg to stand on if they think any "trademark" of a standard guitar body shape (e.g. the Les Paul, the SG, the ES-335) will hold up as exclusively their own; thatís the generic shape of the instrument and has been for centuries. Likewise, the open-book headstock shape can easily be found on instruments from the 19th century, and probably well before.

    3. 2:09 "Any copy of any one of those designsÖis in fact, by definition, a counterfeit."

    From dictionary.com: Counterfeit: adjective: 1. made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged. 2. pretended; unreal. Noun: an imitation intended to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; forgery.

    Therefore: a Dean (for example) Flying V-style guitar, with the name ďDEANĒ emblazoned prominently on the headstock, is by definition NOT a counterfeit Gibson: itís maker is not only not pretending itís a Gibson, but is clearly stating that it is, in fact, a Dean. And of course the headstock on the Dean V is significantly different from the Gibson V headstock, allowing any reasonably informed guitarist to tell at a glance that the Dean isnít a Gibson and isnít pretending to be. So down goes that argument - a Dean V isn't a counterfeit Gibson, period. Mark Agnesi and Gibson are just blustering here.

    4. 2:29 "To all the people in the film and television and commercial industriesÖstop taping over the logos on the headstock. By the way, thatís not enough to get out of a trademark infringement anyway." Woo boy. Just WHAT in the HELL are you talking about here, Mark? Are you actually threatening anyone who plays a Gibson instrument in a filmed situation, or the producers of such a film/video, with some kind of legal action if they donít display it exactly to YOUR liking? (Or pay you something for it? Surely you couldnít be stupid enough to think it works that way, could you?) Really, itís hard to believe ANYONE at Gibson, including Mr. Agnesi himself, let this one go through, given how utterly wrongheaded the whole thing is. Mark, old boy, let me explain something to you: if I buy an instrument, I own it. Itís my property now. I own EVERY PART of it, including whatever logo the manufacturer chose to grace it with. And I will do whatever I god-damned well please with MY PROPERTY, in any setting including a film/video shoot. That includes concealing the logo if I want to, for any reason at all. (cf. Bill Monroe circa 1951: https://www.mandolincafe.com/news/pu...s_001107.shtml) You and Gibson have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THAT. NO CONTROL OVER IT WHATSOEVER. It's my instrument and I'll do whatever I want with it. And you would do well not to throw idle threats around that only serve to alienate your potential consumer base.

    5. 3:34 "Remember, only a Gibson is good enough." I know thatís been a corporate tagline for quite some time, but come on. Speaking as a musician whose primary instrument is acoustic guitar, I just find it laughableÖnot to mention downright insulting to the many great acoustic guitar builders out there and to my own judgement as a guitarist. Having worked in two acoustic music shops who were Gibson dealers, Iíve had the opportunity to play quite a few GibsonsÖsuffice it to say that my own guitars are MacCubbins, Taylors and Martins, and any one of them would blow away any Gibson Iíve EVER played, new or old. It isnít even close. And there are any number of other first-rate high-end acoustic guitar builders on the scene now, from individual shops to large companies, and based on what Iíve seen Gibson canít even begin to compete in that market in terms of quality. So letís cool it with the corporate bullsh*t until you make a decent instrument whose price reflects its quality level, shall we, Mark? Try earning respect instead of demanding it through bullying Ė it usually works better in the long run that way.

    As for mandolins, I do own and play Gibson mandolins, but the most recent one I own is a 1921, and I donít consider there to be any connection whatsoever between the Gibson company of that era and Gibson now; theyíve changed hands too many times to boast of any "iconic legacy" going back that far. (One word: Norlin.) That said, Iím kind of glad right now that my main mandolins are all style Aís, and consequently donít have the Gibson name on their headstocks Ė I donít want to be associated at present with the name of a company that resorts to this kind of bullying, and the blank headstocks save me the trouble of gouging out the name the way Monroe did.

    Itís been quite the interesting weekend reading online forums and comment threads about this video and lawsuit Ė many hundreds of comments, and Iíd say at a rough guess that public sentiment against Gibson as a result of this is running at about 90% among those communities at the moment. In this internet age, I wouldnít think thatís a comfortable place for a company to be. From what Iíve read, I gather that Gibsonís somewhere around 500 million dollars in debt, have already declared bankruptcy, and are leveraged up past their eyeballs by outside investors, which makes the Dean lawsuit (and others to come that the video hints at) look like a desperation play to a) generate some quick easy cash and/or b) stall for time to keep their creditors off their backs while the case goes to appeal even if Gibson does win, which I rather doubt they will. On top of all that, now with this video theyíve created a PR nightmare for themselves and appear to have destroyed what goodwill they might have had with a major chunk of their prospective customer base. If they keep this up I donít see it ending well for Gibson, lawsuits or no lawsuits.

    (Especially if they keep making Les Pauls whose headstocks snap off.)

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  11. #284
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I never have owned a Dean V but that will be about to change in the next coming days. I thought Gibson would better there products as to this.

  12. #285
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    No, it's not about mandolins or guitars, but this article from 2001 has a pretty telling story:

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...145-story.html



    The company Tuesday said it has dropped applications for federal trademark protection for various design elements on its motorcycles, including its teardrop-shaped gas tanks, the curve of its front and rear fenders and the overall shape of its motorcycles.

    A Harley-Davidson spokesman said the company, which has been battling opposition to its trademark applications from other motorcycle makers for almost six years, is tired of tossing tens of thousands of dollars into a legal case with no end in sight.

    Harley feared that the thump-thump-thump of its engine, a noise that can thrill or chill, depending on the listener's attitude toward bikes and bikers, would become the next nylon--the early DuPont synthetic whose name wasn't protected and fast became a generic term.

    ....

    Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had not ruled on Harley's applications, agency insiders have privately questioned the motorcycle maker's ability to prove that its designs or the sound its engines make are unique to Harley-Davidson products.

    Other motorcycle makers that have produced so-called classic or cruiser motorcycles--including Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co. of Japan--have argued that the sound is a characteristic of all V-twin motorcycle engines and that the design themes predate development of the Harley bikes.

    The maker of Fat Boy, Softail and Road King bikes--made notorious by outlaw motorcycle gangs in the 1950s and legitimized in the '90s by legions of lawyers, accountants and others who enjoy taking to the road on the throbbing cycles--said it is satisfied that its customers know well the look and sound of a Harley and will not be fooled by imitations.
    Last edited by NursingDaBlues; Jun-24-2019 at 4:53pm. Reason: Clean up quote for clarity

  13. #286

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Orval must be turning over in his grave. look what they done to my company. why can't they just let it die.

  14. #287
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    As I am canine deprived, regarding the nuances connected with this particular arena, I shall recuse myself from muddying waters with mindless chatter with nothing constructive to say.
    I don’t build, I don’t buy, I play what I have. Life gets easier when you are as cheap as I am!
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  15. #288
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    Orval must be turning over in his grave. look what they done to my company. why can't they just let it die.
    Well, Orville had his own demons, this is so far removed from his concerns, his spirit I really more likely thinking “WHAT!??, I sold too cheap!”
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  16. #289

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Harley feared that the thump-thump-thump of its engine, a noise that can thrill or chill, depending on the listener's attitude toward bikes and bikers, would become the next nylon--the early DuPont synthetic whose name wasn't protected and fast became a generic term.


    Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had not ruled on Harley's applications, agency insiders have privately questioned the motorcycle maker's ability to prove that its designs or the sound its engines make are unique to Harley-Davidson products.
    This is not a particularly good example because there is significant evidence Japanese motorcycle companies, particularly Honda, did deliberately set out to copy the sound of a Harley. They set out to ape the appearance as well. It was rather blatant infringement and copying. And the company did go to defend it as soon as they became aware. It was not something left fallow for 80 years then pursued. Nor was it chasing small builders. The court case ended up being dropped due to expense.

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Gibson . . . the name is the only thing that has remained stable since the company's founding.

    Well, that, and the company's marketing approach, which has always denigrated its competition. "Taterbug" mandolins were taken on in the early days, and made to appear second-rate at best, in comparison with the brilliant constructs of the Gibson Company. Advertising was ever thus; if you can't make a better product to beat the competition, you can always slander them, and beat them into submission or bankruptcy with lawsuits.

    Other holders of the cherished "Gibson" name are the Gibson cocktail, first documented in 1908; the Gibson Girls, defining feminine pulchritude since the 1890s; Gibson Electric Co-op, with thousands of members in west Tennessee; and such noteworthy individuals Bob Gibson, whose autographed baseballs may soon be hidden from rapacious lawyers, Mel Gibson, who as a Hollywood luminary is immune from any aspersion, and the late Orville, whose name lives on, over a century since his passing, passionately protected by a series of corporate entities who set their attack lawyers on anyone infringing on the trademarks they couldn't be bothered to properly protect in the first place.

    Meanwhile, the real people who have spent their working lives to create the instruments we love and loathe - yes, Virginia, there is a lot of dreck produced by corporate fiat and foisted onto a trusting public - toil anonymously. No one really knows just who made the instruments that made the company's reputation. They live and die in obscurity. The only real monument to their efforts is the work of outsiders who strove to keep the quality alive and available when the much-vaunted Gibson Company was more engaged in making refrigerators.

    The Gibson management teams can go suck a lemon, and I hope they choke on it.

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob A View Post
    The Gibson management teams can go suck a lemon, and I hope they choke on it.
    Bob, don't hold back. Say what you think!!

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  21. #292

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I have been following this thinking mainly about mandolins. I know it's really a guitar issue but this site has kind of side-tracked me. It has now just occurred to me that I own a full-on counterfeit 57 Les Paul Junior made by one of the heads of the Fender Custom Shop. I think I got it around 2000 and something when he built about 5 or so for a group of people. I got in on the deal when one guy backed out. I'm pretty sure it was built in his own shop and not at fender. LOL

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by BillytheB View Post
    I have been following this thinking mainly about mandolins. I know it's really a guitar issue but this site has kind of side-tracked me. It has now just occurred to me that I own a full-on counterfeit 57 Les Paul Junior made by one of the heads of the Fender Custom Shop. I think I got it around 2000 and something when he built about 5 or so for a group of people. I got in on the deal when one guy backed out. I'm pretty sure it was built in his own shop and not at fender. LOL
    Okay, listen carefully. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say.............
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Views on the Gibson action against Dean;

    Bernie
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    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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  25. #295
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    So why hasnt Gibson sued guild over the SG style? Even the ES style guitars.

    Or gone after banjo makers for replicating Gibson necks?

    Or China for the cheap counterfeit Gibsons ?

  26. #296
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by slimt View Post
    So why hasnt Gibson sued guild over the SG style? Even the ES style guitars.
    Speaking of Guild, have you ever seen a Guild Studio 24? I had one of these for a few years. Very cool acoustic guitar, fabulous neck, but the body was too thin for a good acoustic sound. Remind you of anything?


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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy View Post
    4. 2:29 "To all the people in the film and television and commercial industries…stop taping over the logos on the headstock. By the way, that’s not enough to get out of a trademark infringement anyway." Woo boy. Just WHAT in the HELL are you talking about here, Mark? Are you actually threatening anyone who plays a Gibson instrument in a filmed situation, or the producers of such a film/video, with some kind of legal action if they don’t display it exactly to YOUR liking? (Or pay you something for it? Surely you couldn’t be stupid enough to think it works that way, could you?)
    Yes. I noted that too. Truly bizarre. I can only think he is badly confused.... somehow thinking he can levy a fee of some kind every time a Gibson is depicted or can impose conditions upon how it is shown! Of course, manufacturers do sometimes voluntarily pay a 'placement fee' much as one might pay for any other kind of advertising spot as it can help brand awareness and sales.... but that's not the same thing at all. All very weird indeed.
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  29. #298
    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 almeriastrings View Post
    I can only think he is badly confused.... somehow thinking he can levy a fee of some kind every time a Gibson is depicted or can impose conditions upon how it is shown! Of course, manufacturers do sometimes voluntarily pay a 'placement fee' much as one might pay for any other kind of advertising spot as it can help brand awareness and sales.... but that's not the same thing at all.
    Indeed it isn't - the money's going in the opposite direction.

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  31. #299
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    Yes. I noted that too. Truly bizarre. I can only think he is badly confused.... somehow thinking he can levy a fee of some kind every time a Gibson is depicted or can impose conditions upon how it is shown! Of course, manufacturers do sometimes voluntarily pay a 'placement fee' much as one might pay for any other kind of advertising spot as it can help brand awareness and sales.... but that's not the same thing at all. All very weird indeed.
    Maybe thinking they can get royalties from the brand name being shown. Nobody owes Gibson anything.

  32. #300

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    In my opinion the original video did not come across as bad as most people make it out to be,,IMO I see a lot of over dramatic detractors,
    Well, the video is just the face of the legal attack. If it wasn't that big of a deal, it would still be up on the net. Add the clip of Mark touting how great the "fake" flying vee was not that long ago in a Norm's video, it is not a good look. You find out real fast you aren't working for an independent shop anymore, but a corporate entity. It's different.
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