Custom guitars and Copyright - Jemsite
All Other Guitars (including Prestige) Discussion about other Ibanez Guitars not covered in the above topics. Includes J-Custom, USA-Custom, Prestige subforum.

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
NNS
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Custom guitars and Copyright

Do I understand correctly that you can copy any guitar design for a custom guitar and call it what you like, as long as you don't market it? Do custom shops have to have a special license of do they just only sell to private buyers, making it okay as far as copyright etc is concerned?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:12 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

Custom shops do need a license if they are to cut an Ibanez headstock, for example.

I wouldn't copy a guitar and call it what I like, that would be a fake.

I would just make a custom guitar.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
NNS
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

But say I got a luthier to make a guitar shaped like an RG or a Les Paul for instance, would that be illegal?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:20 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

If they do the headstock cut with no license and put Ibanez or Gibson on the headstock, then yes, it actually is.

I know of a luthier who refused to do this for someone due to legal implications.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
NNS
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

So is it the name that is the problem? That would be trademark issues wouldn't it?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

Well yes, it would be trademark infringment, not just the name, but the shape.

Read this that came from LGM



Originally Posted by littlegreenman
Hey everyone,
Recently I've been swamped with requests to build JEM guitars. Many of these requests are for replica's of existing JEM's.

To build a JEM is more expensive than to just buy a production guitar. I can't build a guitar and sell it for what Ibanez can, it's just not possible, not if I ever expect to pay any bills.

When considering a custom JEM vs a production, the benefits are:

1. You get a one off JEM to YOUR specs, something that's never been done before

2. You can choose your hardware and pickups, maybe a fixed bridge instead?

3. You get whatever color you want, inlay, woods etc.

4. Fit and finish is better than a production guitar

HOWEVER, if you are emailing in hopes of getting a JEM7VWH for less than you can find one on **** it's not going to happen. Also, I can't legally cut the Ibanez headstock shape, some people get annoyed when I tell them that. Well, I'd rather lose a sale to that than have Ibanez nail me for copying their headstock.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:07 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

Ah so is it all down to the headstock then? Interesting For me personally the most attractive part of an Ibanez is the headstock!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:12 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

Not just the headstock, but putting the name of say, Ibanez on there, if it isn't even made by them.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:33 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

it's different from company to company too. Fender (I think) and Ibanez are just on the headstock, but Gibson has trademarks on body styles as well as headstock shape. Gisbon sued ESP for their EXP design and won because it was just like Gibsons Explorer. Now ESP has to make them look dumb with the sharp edged shaped.

But generally Gibson won't sue the copying company unless the copying company is create a dent in Gibsons sales. Agile and Samick and all those others have nearly the market appeal to outsell gibson. But ESP and PRS gave them a run for their money. I was happy when Gibson lost that PRS lawsuit. I didn't think it even looked the same as the Les Paul
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 08:22 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

Yeah, it depends what they trademark, or copyright, or whatever, and how much they care at any given moment.

Ironically enough there has always been alot of Les Paul copies, but they chose to sue Ibanez. Most of the Ibanez copies were bolt on, which is very different to set neck construction. Nowadays there are loads of set-neck les paul copies, that are frankly better, and at least cheaper than Gibson. I wold never buy a Gibson because I believe that they are too expensive, but some of the copies I played at the weekend were seriously good, I would consider one of those.

I assume that losing the PRS case has weakened their (gibson) legal standpoint, and it is no longer viable to persue them
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
NNS
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

So all the copies there are like Epiphone etc. are licensed then?

Anyway that is what happens if a company SELLS a LINE of guitars like another company's designs. I'm talking about private endeavours, say for example I asked a luthier to make a guitar shaped like a Les Paul, with an Ibanez shaped headstock, Fender type knobs, and ESP type Floyd Rose, with no names etc. Would that be illegal, as I have seen lots of people do make guitars like RG copies etc.

I personally think that trademarking is OTT and that most guitars are logical designs that are all fundamentally similar, and I think it is unfair to make claims like 'that's mine!' on designs of things like that.

But I don't want to get on the wrong side of the law, so that's why I ask.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 09:01 AM
 
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Re: Custom guitars and Copyright

Well Epiphone is owned by Gibson anyway, so they can do that.

You may find a luthier willing to do it, like you will find many garages willing to do a dodgy MOT on your car, but on thier head be it.
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custom guitar , custom jem , custom shop , fixed bridge , floyd rose , headstock shape , les paul

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