Gibson Guitars raided for alleged illegal wood from India:
Quote :The Justice department bullies Gibson without filing charges
The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department's interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.)
In 2009, more than a dozen agents with automatic weapons invaded the Gibson factory in Nashville. The Government seized guitars and a substantial amount of ebony fingerboard blanks from Madagascar. To date, 1 year and 9 months later, criminal charges have NOT been filed, yet the Government still holds Gibson's property.
Quote :"The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.
It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next.
There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling.