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  1. #1

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    Did this just start recently? Why now?

    It's kind of... not a good look for the brand.

    I'm still on the hunt for a vintage thin carved top Gibby to try out... but I don't know what to say about Gibson at this point.

    Are they gonna go after all the private luthiers, who make better guitars than what's coming out of the Gibson factory at present?

    I think Gibson needs to hire members at JGF to do their commercials. Put on the story about a vintage WesMo changing hands 3x--that's a musical journey that would get people to buy into the HISTORY of a brand. Not some (in a whiny voice) "we did it first, so we're gonna sue everyone" commercial. C'mon, I just posted recently how I liked the people who worked at Norm's (not the store, but the guys walking around and helping people like me)
    Last edited by Irez87; 06-20-2019 at 11:31 PM.


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  3. #2

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    I seem to remember a Premier Guitar article covering trademark infringement and how Fender messed up by letting people copy the Strat and Tele body shapes for so long that now Fender doesn't own the shapes (but they do still own the headstock shapes) but I would SWEAR it said that Gibson went the other way and have always been pretty litigious to show that they don't want anything to become more public domain which was why they asked Warmoth to stop making Gibson shapes and why they sued PRS when they made a much more successful (and better) Les Paul. ;-)

  4. #3

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    I think this boat sailed long ago. And don't copyrights have time limits? I somehow remember in the late 1970's Humbucking pickups patent expiring.

    Gibson needs to just keep building great guitars, and they won't have any issues.
    I just bout a Musikraft guitar neck which is licenced under an arrangement with Fender.. Gibson might do better going that route.

    P.S. I'm a Gibson Fanboy !

  5. #4

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    Oh man, this couldn't be more truthful. Gibson has a tremendous history to build on. They're not only an established brand - they are THE established brand. If they focus on making amazing guitars instead of as many guitars as possible, they can get word of mouth spreading and move the brand into a new era where people want their guitars instead of Gibson-inspired guitars.

  6. #5
    We should get Doug to do a commercial for Gibson. Seriously, his story of that Wesmo changing hands 3x within JGF made me want to try and give a vintage Gibson another chance. Not some guy from Norm's who probably read off a script and now has made a bad name for himself--I watched a lot of his demo videos at Norm's as well--shame.

  7. #6

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    I love Gibson guitars but hate corporate bullying...
    Again money being spent at the wrong place...
    You don't raise yourself by trying to bring down people around...

  8. #7

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    Why don't they instinctively know that this is the wrong way to go - the idea that they're actively looking for people to sue is nuts...

  9. #8

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    Have you ever noticed aftermarket humbucker pickups don't exactly fit in a Gibson? That's because the patent stipulates the width the length and the breadth of the pickup and to copy it exactly would be copyright infringement so people or companies that produce paf type of pickups change the sizing just ever-so-slightly maybe even a little larger so that routing is required or spacers whatever the case may be.

    If you buy aftermarket Gibson type pickups, and it fits exactly into the Gibson route and is exactly the same dimensions as a Gibson pickup, chances are more than likely that the company you purchased the pickup from has made Financial or royalty arrangements with Gibson Corporation.

    I also found that to be true with Fender pickups, however, even amongst Fender franchises that build Fender guitars overseas their parts are not interchangeable with American made Fender products. Which is either a work around, or a conundrum associated with QC.

    Also notice on YouTube that songs that are put out on YouTube channels from records etc... are slightly sped up or slightly slowed down and that helps negotiates the copyright minefield.

    Corporate lawyers are hard at work, I heard recently that they were even trying to copyright chords or maybe chord progressions, however I seriously doubt they will be fruitful in their pursuit of Total Domination in that regard.
    Last edited by geogio; 06-21-2019 at 12:47 PM.

  10. #9

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    Either the lawsuit has merit or it doesn't. A brand's Intellectual Property is critical to its success. We'll just have to see.

  11. #10

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    Gibson is now owned by venture capitalists and lawyers, and they employ lots of lawyers who need to justify their salaries. The lawsuits will continue.

  12. #11

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    At what point do you you suppose they'll go back and sue themselves?What's Going On With Gibson-hendrix-black_zmevei-jpg

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I think this boat sailed long ago. And don't copyrights have time limits? I somehow remember in the late 1970's Humbucking pickups patent expiring.
    This is about trademarks not copyrights. But Gibson’s 40 year delay should make their case very weak.
    Trademark Infringement, Sue Fast or Stand Down | Fish

  14. #13

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    Punch line is, a trademark or a patent is a right yoked to the obligation to enforce that right. Gibson is particularly sensitive on the point because it did not protect The Snakehead from use by Hamer and at one point Hamer was owned by arch-rival Fender.

    Go ahead folks -- tell us why you decided that the world was a better place when people stole your creation instead of giving you credit for it.

  15. #14

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    Good Lord - more lawyers getting rich!

    I wish Gibson would just focus on making great archtops.

  16. #15

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    They seem determined to do anything and everything except make better guitars.

  17. #16
    this isn't about stealing one person's idea anymore--this is about corporate greed. My father is an artist, I have some understanding about "stealing ideas". But I find what Gibson is doing as akin to what the lawyers of a certain Soul Singing Giant did in the recent past (Marvin Gaye would be ashamed).

    I agree with what others have said--focus on making great guitars again.

  18. #17

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    Pitchforks, yeah, guys. Burn the witch. Burn the witch.

    The Mark Agnesi fellow came across as unlikeable in that unfortunate video which has since been removed. But why are we getting into a hissy fit? Those trademarks belong to Gibson, not to us. Gibson has every damn right without seeking our permission or concurrence to pursue those whom it sees as infringing its trademarks. Protect them or lose them.

    I don't see the moral outrage. This is a business decision, nothing to do with us as guitar buyers and players. Why are we even weighing in?

    The Fender Strat and Tele body shapes are an object lesson in what happens when you don't act to protect your trademarks. Fender did not trademark them until it was too late. When you do not make the effort to pursue your alleged infringers it means that you don't care about them. And if you don't act as if you care about them now you have no grounds for redress in the future.

    Entire new companies have been built around ripping off the Fender Strat and Tele. They are almost all that you see. If these body shapes and headstocks have no monetary value try coming out with their own. The guitar buyers want only these shapes in the main: Strat, Tele, Les Paul, ES-335. But these happen to be Fender and Gibson trademarks. Fender and Gibson lost the former shapes in whole or in parts; what is left to them are the headstock trademarks. The replica builders make a living ripping off the Les Paul down to the headstock. It is not complete without that openbook headstock. Their clientele demands the headstock.

    Gibson not being able to make a decent Gibson guitar is another argument. That does not give carte blanche to those who feel that they can make a better Gibson guitar to rip Gibson off. Theft is theft. As consumers we want choice but remember these are not our trademarks. We cannot castigate Gibson for wanting to protect what is theirs and prosecute those who take what is not theirs.

    There are no innocents in this. I don't care if they are a one-man luthier workshop with starving kids to feed. If you make money stealing other people's intellectual property you need to be challenged in court. Let the court decide. Yes, it is expensive to defend oneself; yes, it can be abused to wipe out the not so well endowed but that is the result of the legal system not of Gibson's making.

    I don't see why people are bagging on Gibson for protecting what precious little it owns. Put the Robin Hood myth to rest; he is still a thief giving away other people's money he didn't make himself. That is not a hero but a thief.

    Act as if you don't care and you lose what you own. It is a form of adverse possession applied to intellectual property.

    Go Gibson, Shut down those mofos. Fight to reclaim what is rightfully yours. But make a better Gibson guitar, won't ya? That is a separate issue for another discussion.

    PS There was this guy who tried to crowdfund his legal defence against FMIC recently for headstock infringement. A guy who has made and sold and made a profit on over 75 Teles costing $3500 each is no longer a backyard hobbyist. I find it funny that he should cry scandalous when he has profited off Fender's Telecaster shape. Fender lost its hold over the Tele body shape but what Fender has a hold on is the headstock shape which to the uninitiated man in the street presumed to be of sound mind looks like a Fender headstock. Not to you or me, guitar nutjobs, but the man in the street. That is the test of trademark infringement.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-21-2019 at 03:59 PM.

  19. #18

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    Buy a Gibson guitar because you like it. Don't buy a Gibson guitar because you don't like it. But to boycott Gibson as an act of protest against its taking legal action is daft.

    Collings, PRS, any maker with trademarks will go after anyone who infringes their trademarks. They are not being nasty. It is just good business.

  20. #19

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    That was an unfortunate video if i ever saw one. Maybe proof that you have to be a guitar person to run a guitar company the right way?

    And also, having a bigger company bullying smaller ones, where even if they 're on the right they can't really face the lawsuit expenses, although quite common in the states, it 's still a pitiful practice..

  21. #20
    I hate to say it, but this type of nonsense from a historic brand does effect guitar buyers. Once again, we're not talking about a person fighting for his original ideas. We're talking about a company. We're talking business--I'm not going to accept that a business is a person. My wife worked for companies that you all probably know about--and a lot of the time they engage in this nonsense as well. A business is not a person--you have to make a distinction.

    And this effects the buyer market because it tries to eliminate competition. There's companies doing what Gibson used to do a lot better than what it currently does. And there's private builders making guitars that would make Orville a happy man--because they respect the tradition that he was a part of. So... let's get rid of them all? I won't boycott Gibson, at least not the vintage market. I said before, I still want to try a thin top archtop. But that's nasty. My friend in college used to say "I've got a finger in my heart for you, can you guess which one?"

    Like I said, just let the brand stand on it's history--not threats. Post a commercial of an old Gibson changing hands, capture the living history there. Or, how about a commercial capturing the moment that a guitarist buys his or her first Gibson. Jeez, I could write a better commercial!

    Mark came off as an arse face, but I wasn't crazy about Norm's to begin with.

    I don't believe in "fanboy-ism". I play an Eastman--I took a huge gamble buying that guitar because their track record (at least when I bought my archie) was a mess. I love my guitar, but I had to put a lot of work into it. Am I a staunch Eastman fanboy? No, because I've personally dealt with their duds.

    I think we have to stop thinking brand and start thinking who is making quality. If that still means Gibson, great. But if it doesn't, why do we have to keep pretending?

    I bet that Orville is turning over in his grave right now. This isn't the same Gibson that made the L5 that Wes played, or the Johnny Smith that Johnny Smith commissioned, or the ES-150 that Charlie Christian played. It's not. They maybe copying the same historic designs, but it's not the same company. It's not the same people. It's a bunch of lawyers who most likely know nothing about the history of the brand. How can I say this? My wife deals with these "business lawyers" every day.

  22. #21

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    i think the point is- why now?...dean guitars was started in the 1970's by dean zelinsky...(like joel danzig of hamer and later paul reed smith with prs...they were trying to make a better gibson solidbody...with nicely figured woods & some modern flourishes)....he sold the brand and doesn't even own it anymore!! its been owned by armadillo..who also manufacture luna guitars...for years!!

    i imagine the current political/economic climate and new gibson ownership has lead them to choose litigation over luthiery

    also odd that they are going after an established brand, rather than all the chibson/outright gibson forgeries that currently flood the market

    interested in how it all plays out


    ps- the reason why gibson pickups fit gibsons, is not because they have an odd size..its because they use imperial measure...any replacement asian or even euro pickup will be metric!! (the string spacing will be off)...any usa made duncan, dimarzio, fralin etc etc replacement pup will fit a gibby perfectly!!

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    At what point do you you suppose they'll go back and sue themselves?What's Going On With Gibson-hendrix-black_zmevei-jpg
    In Gibson's case that's called bankruptcy. Been there, done that.

  24. #23

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    You all realize the Gibson's of the "Golden Era" 1940 till early 1960s were really more to do with Ted McCarty then Orville Gibson or Loyd Loar
    I believe Orville as well as Loyd Loar were both ousted from Gibson.

    This is really just a business greed move by a corporate board. And wether it's done by people we want to like or not, it's the same in my book.
    Business is inherently non compassionate, and we always like to have Good Guys be our heroes.

  25. #24

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    ^ yes, orville gibson was ousted from his own company..a scant 8 years after he formed the company in his house in 1894!!...the gibson board owners also did everything they could to short change him of money..and he eventually spent many years in and out of mental hospitals..before dying in the hospital

    leo fender almost suffered a similar fate...he was having severe immune health issues...(probably due to years of toxic lead soldering and finish exposure)..why he sold his namesake company to cbs..they also made him sign a non compete clause...which kept him out of the guitar biz for years...and when his health was restored, he returned with music man and g& was always at a much scaled back level

    they don't call it the music business for nothing!!!


  26. #25

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    Back to the future:

    Shapes of Things: A Brief History of the Peculiar Behind-the-Scenes War Over Guitar Designs

    It sounds like that ship has sailed. Either a company can trademark a distinctive design and defend it aggressively at all opportunities, or they forfeit the right to complain about copies. I realize a decade has passed since the last major lawsuit, but who thinks a current court would decide differently? On what basis?