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Environmental Enforcement Agents Targeting Guitars

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the first-they-came-for-the-mandolins-and-I-said-nothing dept.

Music 379

tetrahedrassface writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, Federal agents again raided guitar maker Gibson this past week, seizing several pallets of wood and computer documents. At the heart of the issue is the wood that is being used in guitars and whether or not it comes from sustainable sources. The company insists it is being harassed and made to 'cry uncle' to the government's enforcement laws. The article notes that exotic fret and tone woods are protected in order to prevent the equivalent of 'blood diamond like trade,' but the ramifications now extend to guitar owners. If you play a vintage guitar, or a hand-built guitar made of old stock woods that were legally obtained years ago, you better not fly with it. John Thomas, a law professor at Quinnipiac University and a blues and ragtime guitarist, says, 'there's a lot of anxiety, and it's well justified.' Once upon a time, he would have taken one of his vintage guitars on his travels. Now, 'I don't go out of the country with a wooden guitar.'"

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It's about time (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 years ago | (#37243120)

You know, now that the government has dealt with all of the environmental problems that are of greater scale and importance.

Re:It's about time (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 years ago | (#37243170)

As a side note - don't come to Sweden wearing shoes of crocodile skin or clothes of other endangered animals - even if it's inherited from your great grandmother.

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243228)

Why? Is it likely to be stolen or something? Is that stuff worth a lot of money there?

Re:It's about time (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 3 years ago | (#37243232)

Crocodiles are endangered?

Re:It's about time (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37243244)

They sure are in Sweden!

Re:It's about time (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37243504)

Hey, look at that. You're right. [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's about time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243290)

It's about time the EPA had its funding cut. There's nine billion [epa.gov] that few would miss.

Re:It's about time (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37243350)

I'd miss it. For every dollar that the EPA spends on stuff like this, or even on less frivolous but still apparently controversial things like protected rivers from over use, they spend dozens on things like keeping factories and power plants in check. Lets not forget what things were like before the EPA. CO2 and global warming would be the least of our problems without someone with the authority to prevent outright abuse of the ecosystem.

Re:It's about time (1)

cryptographrix (572005) | about 3 years ago | (#37243708)

The EPA doesn't do anything about CO2 and global warming - they just regulate smoke stack scrubbers, which scrub out non-greenhouse gas emissions only (soot, etc)... Which means that the otherwise reflective cloud from the smoke stacks don't exist anymore and the greenhouse gases that are emitted are more effective at heating up the atmosphere. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_evaporation#Decreasing_Trend_of_Pan_Evaporation [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's about time (2)

hellkyng (1920978) | about 3 years ago | (#37243540)

The people living next to a little place called Rocky Flats might have a different opinion...

Re:It's about time (5, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 years ago | (#37243678)

It's about time the EPA had its funding cut. There's nine billion [epa.gov] that few would miss.

Why not cut the Department of Defense or the the FAA instead? I suggest this because they have just as much to do with the Fish and Wildlife Service as the EPA.

In case I am being too subtle, the FWS is not part of the EPA. In fact the service predates the EPA by about 100 years.

Re:It's about time (2)

bieber (998013) | about 3 years ago | (#37243580)

Because we all know that everything in life is a checklist you have to complete in descending order of importance.

Give me a break. There are unsolved murders in my city, but you know what? I still expect the cops to respond if I find my house has been broken into, even though they haven't solved all the problems of greater scale and importance. In real life, we can do more than one thing at a time, and "There are more important things to do" is not an excuse to put off every task in life that doesn't make it to the very top of the list.

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243842)

Except find Bin Laden. After BL was captured, they started busting ones next on the list. Even ones they knew about. >_>

Musicians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243142)

Most Musicians tend to vote progressive. Now that your ox got gored, how do you like that hope-n-change now?! Reap what you shall sow.

Re:Musicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243406)

Most Musicians tend to vote progressive. Now that your ox got gored, how do you like that hope-n-change now?! Reap what you shall sow.

So do most tech-types. What's your point?

Re:Musicians (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 years ago | (#37243766)

That they're both misguided. And should be voting libertarian. (small "l" not big "L")

Re:Musicians (1, Insightful)

rjmx (233228) | about 3 years ago | (#37243840)

I love it when wingnuts try to tell us we should have voted for the octogenarian and rent-a-nitwit. The fact is the we didn't vote for the better of the two; most of us voted for the least worse. True, Obama hasn't lived up to what he promised, let alone what we hoped he'd do, but we're still better off.

LAND OF THE FREE? (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243152)

Innocent until proven guilty?
Burden of evidence on the accuser?

Hope you enjoyed the "War on Drugs". Seizure logic is now your new normal.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 3 years ago | (#37243252)

Proof of guilt is why they gather evidence.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (2)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37243368)

Shutting down an American company is helping no one. They will build them in Mexico if this keeps up. Then what? American history and jobs are at stake.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37243440)

Shutting down an American company is helping no one. They will build them in Mexico if this keeps up.

So rather than 'no one' it would definitely seem to be helping Mexicans.

I'm sure that foreign CEOs cry themselves to sleep when they see the US government shutting down US companies to 'save the environment'.

Actually, maybe they do; with tears of laughter.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 3 years ago | (#37243590)

Building guitars in Mexico would be pointless - to sell them in the USA, they would still need to cross the border, and so would be subject to the same import regulations, and so would still need to have the correct paperwork filled out.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 3 years ago | (#37243722)

There are loads of guitars built in Mexico, the imported into the USA. The exotic woods used by guitar makers cause deforestation in sensitive areas.

But the advice of not bringing your old guitar back into the company after a trip is total bullshit and a scare tactic to defend Gibson (maybe Fender, Taylor, and others, too). They should be ashamed.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243776)

That's OK. Keep this going and - of course - there will be no American market to afford such things. Big business has already planned thing along these lines, for some time now.

There are new, Asian middle-classes to exploit, for a couple of decades. It's called "Corporate Crop Rotation". It keeps populations insecure and dependent, rather than empowered and questioning.

Meanwhile, we can play on ANYTHING!
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/photo/pizzicasso-bass-1 [cigarboxnation.com]

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (3, Insightful)

RKThoadan (89437) | about 3 years ago | (#37243480)

I believe the point is that it should be the states responsibility to prove that the guitar is made with illegally harvested wood, not my responsibility to prove that it isn't. For the most part, customs/immigration has never really operated on any kind of presumption of innocence and the current climate isn't likely to make that any better.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243680)

Er... you do realize they aren't going to give any of that "evidence" back.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (4, Insightful)

tonywong (96839) | about 3 years ago | (#37243702)

It is even more screwed up than what the summary implies.

This isn't even a compliance issue. The U.S. government objects to the importation of unfinished wood (raw imports), while Gibson has imported finished wood from India. However, the U.S. contends that the wood is not finished ENOUGH, although the Indian government is quite satisfied with the paperwork on their end (no objection and considers the wood properly finished).

So although all the paperwork is technically in order, the US government is on a massive fishing expedition to force Gibson into 'compliance' even though they haven't broken any laws.
Indian article here:
http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/9756435.cms

This reminds me of the way the government has sent those mortgage liars to jail:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/26nocera.html

Pop the little guys because all the big fish are too hard to catch. Government at work for you.

Re:LAND OF THE FREE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243800)

Protectionism is deadly.

Re:LAND OF THE TREE? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243848)

That is all.

Just wow (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243154)

I'm beginning to wonder if I should be proud to be an American anymore...

Re:Just wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243342)

Beginning? You been living in a cave for the last decade?

Re:Just wow (2)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37243384)

I'm sure not.

Guilty until proven innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243164)

Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument.

Why are the rules different at borders? Why is there no presumption of innocence, and no requirement for due process?

Re:Guilty until proven innocent (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 3 years ago | (#37243270)

Because you're entering another country and their rules are taking effect? Is it really that hard to see?

Re:Guilty until proven innocent (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 3 years ago | (#37243346)

Because the rules inside borders are lagging behind.

Re:Guilty until proven innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243376)

Because it's way to inconvenient to prove guilt, so law enforcement agencies gradually moved that burden unto the accused. Copyright infringement and drug cases were the first to move away from old values; and people remained silent because "it doesn't affect them and if you're accused there surely is something to it". Law enforcement realised that people don't complain about this power-grab, so the erosion of rights continued and solidified.

Re:Guilty until proven innocent (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about 3 years ago | (#37243378)

Cause you might be an illegal, or al-queda, or worse. It's the whole locking down of the country thing after 9/11, our rights got trampled on so badly after that occurred it was crazy. Granted, we were slowly losing them prior to that, but after 9/11 we flew our flags and talked crap about how much they hated us for our rights, and then we turned around a few months later and gave them all away. It's why the border is so screwed up, it used to be they were looking for illegals and drugs, now they are looking for anything JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN. It used to be I could drive to Disneyland on I-10 only stopping for potty breaks. Now I have to stop 3 times between Phoenix and LA for random armed thug visual searches of my vehicle. (FUCK YOU BORDER PATROL!) It used to be you could get on a plane and had to have your baggage checked and walk through a metal detector, now they want to virtually strip search you and/or grope you in addition to the rest.

Not going to blame it on either party because they've both had a hand in implementing crap that have stripped us of our rights, but I will say that I'm extremely disappointed that the current administration hasn't done a single thing to roll back some of the draconian measures implemented under the previous admin. It sucks knowing my only power is that of a vote that really stands for nothing aside for which sell out and corporate shill to stand behind.

Dwight, is that you? (1)

Shoten (260439) | about 3 years ago | (#37243184)

I thought Matthew Broderick already took care of these guys years ago? Did they get out of prison?

An example to all (1, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#37243208)

You know, if I was an enviro-nazi, I would demand all citizens with wooden guitars have their piece audited. If it fails the test, we shred the wood and put them into a giant pile. And the end, we burn the wood in a giant bonfire. And just like the Nazis, they too are oppressive AND stupid. Fuck them, and fuck all of you that vote these fuckers into office.

Re:An example to all (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | about 3 years ago | (#37243470)

Finally I understand what "underground music scene" means.

Re:An example to all (1)

Co0Ps (1539395) | about 3 years ago | (#37243526)

"fuck all of you that vote these fuckers into office"

This argument feels kind of empty in a country with two parties that both suck.

Re:An example to all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243548)

That wouldn't work, no "enviro-nazi" would dump that much carbon and other pollutants into the air. They'd probably bury it or send it to China or something.

Big Deal over nothing. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243220)

Let people allow their governments to be bribed by large multinational logging firms and allow their forests to be mowed to the ground! That's what the Free Markets and Capitalism says should be done! And when their ecology degrades to the point where people are starving to death, landslides and whatnot - like Haiti, the Free Markets will come to the rescue! Somehow. Anyway, this is what should happen

And it's not Gibson's problem where the wood came from! No sir! They paid for that wood! That's how the Free Markets work, after all.

This is how is should work:

No government regulation. India gets to sell all the lumber they want - regardless if it's sustainable or if causes the extinction of any furry or otherwise creature. And when their eco-system is trashed where more are impoverished and starving - Oh, well! Not our problem! The Free Markets will take of it. People will starve to death, the population decreases, the forest will eventually come back - problem solved.

The World would be sooo much better if Governments stayed of things, taxes were low, and the poor get back to work!

Re:Big Deal over nothing. (3, Insightful)

imric (6240) | about 3 years ago | (#37243286)

Yup - because all transactions are reversible.

Everything is a luxury.

All markets are infinite.

Regulations are never ever ever corrections to the market. People are not part of the market.

Re:Big Deal over nothing. (0)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#37243484)

Why do you hate freedom?

That goes for you and the brain dead mod who called that tripe "insightful".

Obama hates guitars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243226)

Obama hates guitars.

Re:Obama hates guitars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243492)

Great, another ignorant republican troll. Obama has nothing to do with this, it was your beloved George W Bush that was in president when these laws took effect!

Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243234)

I'm so glad our law enforcment resources are protecting us from that dangerous wood.

(it sure seems like the world actually is getting stupider on a near daily basis. And we've run out of regular stupid too. Now we're moving into epic monumental stupid. )

Come on 2012. Bring on the end of the world. We're done. Or deserve to be.

Gibson Forums (5, Informative)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 3 years ago | (#37243260)

Here's [gibson.com] the conversation on the Gibson forums if anyone is interested...

This is why environmentalism has a bad name (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37243300)

Seriously, this is absolutely ridiculous. Arresting someone, fining them, and taking their guitar because they can't trace every last component it's made of? Or fining someone $17,000 with clearly grandfather ivory keys (which everyone acknowledges are legitimate to own) simply because his paperwork was a little out of order? FFS, we wonder why our world is so fucked up when artists (some actually talented people) are forced to put up with shit like that. Hell, I bet taking a Stradivarius out of the country would probably get it "seized" and a major fine levied on you, simply because it would be absolutely impossible to trace all its components.

All this in the name of "environmentalism." Why the hell is a guitar or antique musical instrument even considered a piece of "flora or fauna" anyways? Are we gonna have to register cotton shirts next, to make sure slavery wasn't involved in the manufacture? As a bit of a musician myself (I play violin as a hobby), these sorts of things really piss me off. Laws shouldn't be created to force people to prove the legality of what they are carrying. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? In this case, it looks like you need paperwork proving you're innocence or you are automatically guilty. Also, I don't think the wood used in guitars is a major contributor to deforestation. In fact, I think that ranks right down there as the least possible thing they could worry about. What's next, making sure pipes are made of sustainable sources of wood?

Sure, I know poaching of elephants is a major problem. This sort of BS isn't helping the cause any though.

Re:This is why environmentalism has a bad name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243354)

FFS, we wonder why our world is so fucked up when artists (some actually talented people) are forced to put up with shit like that.

Don't drag us into this just because the United States has gone full retard.

Re:This is why environmentalism has a bad name (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#37243516)

The rest of the world has their share of retardedness. Don't blindly hate the US without taking a look at your country's closeted skeletons.

Re:This is why environmentalism has a bad name (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37243392)

FFS, we wonder why our world is so fucked up when artists (some actually talented people) are forced to put up with shit like that.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't many of the most famous musical 'artists' been demanding that we must 'do something' for the environment for decades now?

Well, now we're doing something, and they should be happy.

Re:This is why environmentalism has a bad name (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37243506)

They said "do something to help the environment" not "do something that make it look like your helping the environment without actually producing any measurable benefit". Is there an phrase equivalent to security theater for environmentalism? Greenwashing maybe?

Re:This is why environmentalism has a bad name (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243478)

Pianos are impounded at the border. If you have a vintage piano with Ivory keys, customs steals the keys at the border.
It should be a crime to destroy antiques that way.

Incidentally, customs doesn't know for sure which piano keys are made from Ivory, so they mess up a few extra pianos just to be sure ...

Seriously... (2)

CPNABEND (742114) | about 3 years ago | (#37243304)

With everything that's screwed up in this country, how did this bubble up to the top of the list?

Re:Seriously... (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#37243570)

Low hanging fruit. It's a risk free action that yields results of said policy and justifies their existence to continue their nazi activities. Basically, the same reasons that the SWAT team goes after a pimply faced script kiddie with a gun pointed to the back of his head point-blank. Ya, tough guys! Rawwwrrrrr!!!

Please go after Gibson, not my Gibson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243340)

I think most sensible people would agree that Gibson should have to prove the rare wood used in their factory was legally obtained. And obviously any reasonable person would also agree that it's downright silly to apply the same standards to existing guitars that may be up to 60 years old, before any regulation or maybe even any scarcity of the wood in question. (Nope, I didn't RTFA)

Re:Please go after Gibson, not my Gibson (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 3 years ago | (#37243756)

I think most sensible people would agree that Gibson should have to prove the rare wood used in their factory was legally obtained.

No, people should expect the accuser to prove their accusation, not the defendant.

Dear Music Industry (4, Insightful)

anlprb (130123) | about 3 years ago | (#37243372)

It seems as if for years, you have been using the BanHammer of the Government to force others to comply with your agenda of increased control and profits. Now, that you have gotten what you asked for, why are you unhappy? The environmentalists are getting their agenda pushed by the government, just like yours. Why on Earth would you be surprised. Ohh that's right, you artsy types haven't heard of the law of unintended consequences. Congratulations, welcome to the club of people who realize Government interference in everything isn't a good thing. I hope you enjoy getting what you asked for.

Sincerely,
Everyone else.

Re:Dear Music Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243802)

To make the parent's post more clear: Gibson sues the shit out of everyone, plying intellectual property laws to profit from other's work. This includes suing a guitar maker for the general shape of their guitar, even though Gibson's own lawyer conceded "only an idiot" would confuse the two types of guitar at the point of sale; and suing Guitar Hero for patent infringement on their guitar shaped controller, even though Gibson was also licensing their brand, guitars' names and shapes for the controller and their patent involved using an actual stringed guitar as a controller while GH's was basically a standard video game controller in a guitar shaped molding. Gibson are assholes with the kind of gusto of Larry Ellison.

Re:Dear Music Industry (2)

btalbot (2427646) | about 3 years ago | (#37243824)

Gibson isn't a record label. They make guitars.

I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (0)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243374)

When their guy Dick Nixon is the one that proposed, and signed it in to law.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37243402)

When their guy Dick Nixon is the one that proposed, and signed it in to law.

He also supported price and wage controls. If he was still alive the Democrats would be running him as a hard-left candidate.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (-1, Troll)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243472)

Just shows you how far to the right America has come. Reagan couldn't win a Republican primary these days, even though he's their patron saint. Once upon a time the Republican party wasn't anti-conservation and anti-science. Now you have to deny evolution to get a seat at the table.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

HungWeiLo (250320) | about 3 years ago | (#37243712)

He also supported the Clean Air Act and OSHA.

And he also proposed, in 1974, universal health care in America by providing government funding to private employer-provided insurance plans. Sound familiar?

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243742)

Eisenhower also wanted universal health care. Before Reaganomics took over, Republicans were actually fairly sane on many issues.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about 3 years ago | (#37243454)

When you look at what Nixon passed, he was the most environmentally pro-active president since Theodore Roosevelt.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243562)

This is funny, someone once said Libtards love talking about Nixon, no matter what their age. I never believed but the more I read the more its true. Why is this relevant? Gibson will just move to a more sane country to build guitars and I won't blame them when they do. I have collectors guitars, they can get you on anything from the wood to the materials in the bridge to the nut. Try getting the paperwork for a 100 year old guitar for all of that. Guess the burden of proof is no longer on the state.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243618)

The reason I mentioned Nixon is because the EPA is his legacy, and it's fun to watch rabid right-wingers attack it as if were installed by a group of Birkenstock wearing hippies.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (2)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 3 years ago | (#37243588)

I love hearing left-wingers think that Richard Nixon is a right-winger because he has a "R" after his name.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243610)

Nixon certainly was a right-winger. He may not have been a fascist like most of the current right-wingers, but he was definitely right-wing.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37243640)

Nixon certainly was a right-winger. He may not have been a fascist like most of the current right-wingers, but he was definitely right-wing.

Fascists were left-wing. And in what universe are price and wage controls now 'right wing' policies? If Obama was proposing them people would be calling him a commy.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243716)

In what universe were fascists left-wing?

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37243806)

In what universe were fascists left-wing?

This one?

I note that you ignored my question about price and wage controls.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243808)

The German and Russian one.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243750)

Nobody takes credit for Nixon. And it'd be very difficult to consider him anything but a RINO, honestly. Remember the wage and price controls experiment?

Yeah, that both worked well, and was a traditional Republican response to the economic difficulties of the time.

Re:I love hearing right-wingers complain about EPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243830)

You might also hear right-wingers ask why they are supposed to like the guy.

Guitars on Jets - How About the Jets Themselves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243382)

The interiors of private jets hardly look sustainable, and certainly are not farmed southern yellow pine :-)
http://www.gulfstream.com/products/g650/interiors.htm

Jets, Yachts, Luxery Cars - They all demand this wood too. Everyone at every level needs to shift their thinking, and their demands away from these wood species, or better yet, we need better fake wood if mindsets cannot be changed.

Now That's the Chicago Way (0)

schwit1 (797399) | about 3 years ago | (#37243426)

The Obama Administration is at war with every business they don’t choose to subsidize, or every business that chooses not to subsidize the Obama Administration.

My flute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243428)

This is also why I no longer travel with my elephant ivory flute. Way too much of a hassle.

Wait a minute.... (3, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 3 years ago | (#37243460)

So, are you telling me it's now easier to fly with a firearm than it is with an acoustic guitar?

This wood is legal in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243466)

But Gibson is using wood which is from an approved source. The reason given for the newest raid is a violation of law in a different country, although the other country did not request enforcement. Somehow, I thought that U.S. law was the basis of U.S. court actions. Oh, yeah, that law... that all the work on the wood be done in the other country. Let's hope that China doesn't pass a law that salt shakers may only be used for Chinese food.

Manufacturing jobs not being exported. (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 3 years ago | (#37243468)

This is about India not wanting manufacturing jobs exported not about environmentalism.

But the Mahogany hogs on Wall Street are OK??? (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 3 years ago | (#37243528)

In "The Routes of Man: Travels in the Paved World" by Conover, the author traces the trade in rare Mahogany from the old growth forests in Peru to the homes/offices of the Robber Barons on Wall Street. Why aren't their homes raided???? Stupid question....

"Hype and Cringe" (0)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 3 years ago | (#37243530)

But is a Gibson guitar Dolphin Safe and can you club a baby seal with it??

Hysteria! Panic! (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 3 years ago | (#37243538)

Fact: Suspected illegal materials seized from manufacturer.
Article speculation: guitars will be seized by Nazi enforcers from individuals.

Warning flag that article is inflammatory: use of "artsy do-gooders only too eager to tell others what kind of light bulbs they have to buy"

Re:Hysteria! Panic! (1)

Shotgun (30919) | about 3 years ago | (#37243850)

Fact: Anyone can be suspected of ANYTHING.
Fact: These laws are not created to protect. They are created to control and convict. They are not expected to be followed. Create enough laws and everyone is a criminal.

The Economic Stupidity of (Some) Environmentalists (3, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 3 years ago | (#37243568)

Let's ignore for a second that the government cares about how an Indian government interprets and Indian law for an American domestic manufacturer. Here's the utter stupidity...

If you have something like ivory or some rare wood, if you make the value of it next to nothing, legitimate businesses will have no incentive to have that resource conserved.

Let's say you are in some rainforest and you have this really rare tree that is valuable for its wood. If legitimate businesses can use it and it has value, you can find a way to harvest it and make sure more grows. If it has no value, you plow the thing over and grow some crops.

The same goes for different animal species as well.

Do you think elephants will stop being hunted because of ivory bans? If you allow a certain percentage of elephants to be culled, I'm pretty sure a group of people will make sure there are plenty of elephants.

Maaaattt Daaaaamon (2)

dawning (1532689) | about 3 years ago | (#37243596)

Hearts are in the right place. Brains are fused with anus' though. Douche-bags. So what? Now I have to get a stupid Carbon-Fiber guitar for travelling? Seriously, if some airport security dick took exception with one of my (new) wooden guitars. I'd probably smash it over their stupid face and spend a few decades in prison over it. I'm so tired of stupid people. The stupid, it burns!!

An assumption of guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243602)

It's lazy miss guided law enforcement. They have zero evidence that the ban has been breeched they simply assume that any wood existing is banned wood. The loss of tropical hardwoods has been happening for a while now. More than a decade ago they stopped importing some woods that were used in pattern making due to the fact they were headed towards extinction. There's still some stockpiles around but most went to other materials. The problem is it's easier to strip mine the wood than manage forests and all most are interested in are profits. When they run out they just go to the next big thing. Right now the biggest problem is tropical oil production. Vast tracks of jungle are being cut to produce palm and coconut oil. The jungles don't stand a chance.

This isn't an "environmental issue" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243622)

The news reports I read about this over the weekend indicated it was because Eric Holder's (in)Justice Department thought that Gibson might be in violation of some laws governing the use of certain kinds of wood in their guitars. Not US law, mind you, India law.

Mod the WSJ troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243632)

Nice job, Slashdot: promoting a Murdoch-powered environmental hit piece. Nobody ACTUALLY had any guitars seized, they could only find ONE professor (of an unrelated field - health law - FFS) and the best they could demonstrate for *actual* effects was a customs dispute with a major manufacturer and a paperwork error that resulted in a fine.

What's next? Will we start reprinting Fox Nation-style "OMG KENYAN MOOSLEM GHEY SOSHALISM" articles?

As to the "OMG GOVERNMENT BAD" Randroids that seem to occupy the comment section: fuck off and die. Actually, even better - go home, shoot everyone you know and THEN fuck off and die.

This is fucking ridiculous (2)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#37243634)

This seizure suit that I read was filed highlights one of the ways that they do an end run around the Constitution. The suit isn't "United States v Gibson Guitar Corporation", it's "United States v. Ebony Wood In Various Forms". They don't file suit against the legal entity, but they file suit against the property to be seized itself. Someone please explain to me how that's Constitutional, seeing that inanimate wood cannot defend against itself.

Not exactly... (5, Informative)

joeyblades (785896) | about 3 years ago | (#37243674)

The feds claim against Gibson is not that they are using wood from non sustainable sources, as stated above. Gibson has clear documentation showing that it is.The feds maintain that the issue is that the wood was not "finished" by Indian workers, as (possibly) required by Indian law.

Incidentally, the Indian government is not involved.

Inspires Innovation (1)

dawning (1532689) | about 3 years ago | (#37243690)

Maybe this just means guitars will have to start being made with integrated stabbing-posts - to fend off idiotic haters, by stabbing them in the eyes, while playing Hotel California. Fuck I love that tune. lol.

It simply ain't that simple ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 years ago | (#37243724)

If they were talking about an endangered animal, particularly an easily recognisable and cute species, I'm sure that quite a few people would be changing their tone. The problem is that trees just don't have that huggable demeanour and very few people could tell the difference between a cherry and a peach tree unless it was bearing fruit. I also think that people have no conception of how long it takes a lot of plants to mature to the point where they can be harvested. The trees in your yard may grow from a sapling to maturity in a decade, but part of the reason why they were selected was because of how quickly they mature. (The same can be said for reforesting. We tend to use common trees that mature quickly so that it looks better to armchair environmentalists and can be harvested sooner.)

But sure, express your outrage over the government because you can't take the time to think through the issues. That is, after all, how we make sound policy decisions.

Re:It simply ain't that simple ... (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#37243856)

Nature "endangers" plenty of animals without our assistance at all. Who's fighting for those animals?

Oh Say Does That Star Spangled Banner Yet Wave, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243784)

O'er the land of the Bureaucracy, and the home of the Knave.

The Law is Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37243826)

The Lacey Act has been around for over a century and prevents illegal flora and fauna from crossing the borders of countries. The countries that participate agree that endangered ecosystems and species should not be threatened by the trade of luxury items. Additionally, the law is designed to prevent flora and fauna that could become invasive and destructive on local habitats, from crossing state and country boarders. If Fish and Game were going after Gibson for using illegally poached ivory from elephant tusks, I don't think there would be as much backlash over this news. Protecting the last virgin forests on this earth as well as the endangered species that inhabit them is not an injustice.

The law has precedence, it is just and there is absolutely no reason that first world counties or their citizens need to be involved in the smuggle of goods obtained by illegal harvesters of natural resources. Maybe it's a pain that seekers of quality guitars have to be sure that what they are buying comes from a reputable source and maybe companies like Gibson can't become lazy about the integrity of their wood suppliers. But in the end, this struggle is going to be worth it for future generations, who will get to experience the diversity of life on Earth and won't have to wonder what it would have been like if species X or Y were around had it not been for the impacts of human activities. This is not environmentalism, it's common sense. William McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt would have agreed on the enforcement of the Lacey act and other environmental laws and their polices live on today.

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