Now you may be asking yourself, “Why would the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife services be raiding a major guitar manufacturer?”
The answer is because Gibson is accused of using woods that were illegally harvested in Madagascar, sending it to Germany and then importing it to the United States in an effort to get around The Lacey Act.
This was a law was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Iowa Representative John Lacey on May 25th, 1900.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, commercial hunting of game was threatening to wipe out many species. The law made it illegal to hunt, capture, or fish for animals, birds and fish that were in danger of becoming extinct.
The law also prohibited the transportation of non-native species of animals, fish, and birds into the United States. This was the first federal conservation law.
The law was amended in 2008 to include a broader range of plants with the intent of limiting logging and prohibiting import of endangered species of wood.
I'm really rather befuddled by this whole situation, Gibson has an extremely good track record on environmental and conservation issues."
In a lawsuit filed this December, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Middle Tennessee is seeking official forfeiture of six guitars partially made of ebony, as well as other pieces of the rare wood.
Perhaps Gibson was innocent of knowledge of the woods origin, if they purchased it from a non-associated wood seller. Gibson's reputation has been spotless. I'm certain they would not do anything to diminish their status. Whether or not any wrongdoing occurred will only come out in a trial.
But the top of each guitar was made of a different type of sustainable, “smartly harvested” wood.
This toy is a representation of a popular guitar, that is embossed on a flat guitar-shaped board.
The toy includes sensors that make “heavy-metal” guitar-like sounds from a built-in processor. The company also manufactures a “amplifier” that is also embossed on a flat board. It won the distinction of Toy of the Year.
The guitar sells for around $20 U.S. dollars. Gibson was awarded an injunction recently for a trademark dispute stating images of the Les Paul, Flying V and Explorer guitars were used without permission of Gibson Guitars.
Can you spot the fake Gibsons?