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Anjin-san

Gibson guitars raided!

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Gibson

(Reuters) - Gibson Guitar Corp's chief executive said on Thursday he would fight a federal investigation of the legendary guitar maker's wood imports after agents raided the company for the second time in two years.

Federal agents raided Gibson facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, seizing wood imported from India, and workers were sent home.

In an affidavit, authorities indicated they are weighing charges against the company or its executives for illegally importing wood under a U.S. law barring importation of endangered plants and woods. The company has sued to recover its property.

"Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of any wrong doing," Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz said in a statement. "We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence."

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A rather long interview explaining what they are guessing about the whole affair.

Our Federal government at work protecting the American way :blink:

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Hi all,

six,I think it is Indian rosewood and mahogany,I tink,... ;)

KB

Possibly, although I have never heard that there was a ban or limit on Indian Rosewood. Brazillian rosewood has been banned for quite a while and Gibson got in trouble for using it last time.

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A rather long interview explaining what they are guessing about the whole affair.

Our Federal government at work protecting the American way :blink:

Thanks for the video.

Obviously, we are hearing only one side of the case, but given the fact that the issues relating to the last time the Justice Department raided Gibson is still up in the air (assuming what the leader of Gibson is saying is true) and trying to delay the resolution of the case you would think the Judge would throw out the case.

You also would think that the Justice Department would be more worried about their botched release of weapons to Mexico instead of rosewood necks.

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India can have all our jobs, but we can't have some of their wood for 'our' guitars? And, American workers "were sent home" as a result?

Who makes up these fucked up laws? It's just about time for a fucking revolution in this country.

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Hi all,

India can have all our jobs, but we can't have some of their wood for 'our' guitars? And, American workers "were sent home" as a result?

Who makes up these fucked up laws? It's just about time for a fucking revolution in this country.

I agree.Somethings are messed out and the Feds do have better things to do,.....

That said, rosewood is endangered tree and unfortunately poor forest management has made it so.

Consider this, it takes 200 years before a rosewood tree can(or should be) harvested.

KB

Edited by Anjin-san

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Those god damn bastards, really, violating Gibson for using Indian wood? It's fucking bark from the trees, not human bones.

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Hi all,

Those god damn bastards, really, violating Gibson for using Indian wood? It's fucking bark from the trees, not human bones.

Read my post above. :rolleyes:

KB

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India can have all our jobs, but we can't have some of their wood for 'our' guitars? And, American workers "were sent home" as a result?

Who makes up these fucked up laws? It's just about time for a fucking revolution in this country.

The legislative branch of the government make up these 'fucked up laws'.

And, the registered voters of the United States put them there. If you haven't, watch "Mr Smith goes to Washington". (Jimmy Stewart).

BTW, we haven't finished the first Revolution, according to a book I read, entitled, "Complete the American Revolution."

Check it out.

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Hi all,

Read my post above. :rolleyes:

KB

Ok, I get it's an endangered tree, but legal action? Really?

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Hi all,

Ok, I get it's an endangered tree, but legal action? Really?

I agree,as I stated before,the Feds have better things to do. :yesnod: I was just pointing out a few facts.

KB

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August 28, 2011 4:55 pm

US agents raid Gibson Guitar over ebony

By David Gelles in New York

Federal agents last week stormed the Gibson Guitar factories in the Tennessee cities of Nashville and Memphis, confiscating pallets of exotic woods, computer equipment and several guitars.

The raids were part of an ongoing investigation into Gibson’s procurement of the materials it uses to construct its iconic instruments, which includes the Les Paul, the best-selling guitar of all time.

Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson chief executive, said the justice department was misguided and that his company was fully compliant with all US and international laws.

“Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of any wrongdoing,” he said. “We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.”

The US Department of Justice, which conducted the raids, declined to comment.

But in an affidavit used to obtain the search warrants, US Fish and Wildlife Service agent John Rayfield said the investigation began after a shipment of Indian ebony was detained by customs officers in Dallas, Texas, in June.

According to the affidavit, the ebony included in the shipment was illegal under a US law that bars the transport or sale of endangered woods and plants.

The shipment also misidentified the final destination for the woods, failing to name Gibson as the buyer.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Mr Juszkiewicz said Gibson, a private company with less than $500m in annual sales, was struggling to continue operating.

“We’re trying to get back up in those areas where we can,” he said. “We had the seizure of raw materials and it will take us some time to replace them. They hit all our factories.”

He also said that the 107-year-old company works closely with suppliers and advocacy groups to procure sustainable materials.

In recent years, Gibson has hired 600 new workers as the US economy struggled to add jobs.

This is the second time that Gibson factories have been raided. In 2009, the company was investigated for allegedly using illegally imported woods from Madagascar but no criminal charges were pursued.

Mr Juszkiewicz said he believed the justice department might be interpreting an Indian law to suggest that Indian wood must be finished in India.

But he added that the confiscated wood was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which works to protect threatened woodlands.

Some in the industry said it appeared that Gibson was being singled out.

Gulab Gidwani, president of Exotic Woods Company, which supplies woods to Gibson and other guitar makers, said: “There’s nothing unusual about what Gibson imports.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c993759c-d01f-11e0-81e2-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1WM9vrhUw

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Some more news:

NPR: Why Gibson Guitar Was Raided By The Justice Department

The raids at two Nashville facilities and one in Memphis recalled a similar raid in Nashville in November 2009, when agents seized a shipment of ebony from Madagascar. They were enforcing the Lacey Act, a century-old endangered species law that was amended in 2008 to include plants as well as animals. But Juszkiewicz says the government won't tell him exactly how — or if — his company has violated that law.

And while some say the Lacey Act is burdensome, Martin supports it: "I think it's a wonderful thing. I think illegal logging is appalling. It should stop. And if this is what it takes unfortunately to stop unscrupulous operators, I'm all for it. It's tedious, but we're getting through it."

Others in the guitar world aren't so upbeat. Attorney Ronald Bienstock says the Gibson raids have aroused the guitar builders he represents because the Lacey Act is retroactive. He says they're worried they might be forced to prove the provenance of wood they acquired decades ago.

He's even warned clients to be wary of traveling abroad with old guitars, because the law says owners can be asked to account for every wooden part of their guitars when re-entering the U.S. The law also covers the trade in vintage instruments.
Edited by Patrycja

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I'm not saying I agree with the law, but I don't mind seeing the arrogant, greedy guys at Gibson getting some headwind. Of course, in the end, their expenses for this matter will be passed on to the consumer, much like that oil spill.

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Did I miss the Obama speech on this matter or is that forthcoming?

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http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAlexJonesChannel#p/u/35/2E-tXQ6kQoU

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576530520471223268.html

FEDS SAY TO GIBSON LEAVE AMERICA!!!!! NO GUITARS ACROSS BORDERS WITHOUT KNOWING WHERE THE WOOD COMES FROM!!!!

This is terrible news, as a musician this is an absolute outrage and now i call upon all musicians to band together and not let yet ANOTHER freedom of expression be obliterated

Edited by henrybonzo

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The Justice Department announced Monday that it has resolved a long-running dispute with Gibson Guitar over questionable fingerboard shipments -- in a case that became a political flashpoint last year as defenders of the storied guitar-maker claimed the government crackdown went too far.

According to the department, Gibson entered a "criminal enforcement agreement" resolving the investigation. The federal government will not charge Gibson, but the company has apparently agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty, pay $50,000 to a federal conservation fund and withdraw claims to the valuable fingerboards that were seized in a series of federal raids.

"This criminal enforcement agreement goes a long way in demonstrating the government's commitment to protecting the world's natural resources," U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin said in a statement.

Gibson has not yet issued a statement on the agreement.

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If I didn't believe this was political tyranny I would call it environmentalism run a muck. If there was an issue don't punish America citizens and businesses when the importer was at fault.

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