Gibson Guitar Forced to Pay $350,000 Ransom to Feds (InformationLiberation)
Tuesday August 7th, 2012
Gibson Guitar has agreed to pay a $300,000 ransom to the Federal government in order to be allowed to continue their business. Additionally, $262,000 worth of wood the government stole from them will not be returned. To add insult to injury, as CNN reports, the company was forced to make a "community service payment" of $50,000 to the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to "promote conservation and development of tree species used in making musical instruments."
The fact demand for said trees is what encourages them to be planted and conserved is ignored, but that's obviously irrelevant as this is about Federal bureaucrats feeling powerful.
The company was unable to challenge the government in court as going to court would have have forced them to further suspend all wood imports during what would have been a long drawn out trial, destroying their business in the process.
Henry E. Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s chief executive, said the company still maintains the ebony from Madagascar was exported legally under that country’s laws. But he agreed to the settlement, he said, because it frees the guitar maker to continue importing wood from India, which, unlike Madagascar, is the major supplier of rosewood used in many fretboards.In total, it appears the company has had to pay around $2 million dollars to the U.S. government for the "privilege" of doing business. But hey, why should they complain? After all, "they didn't build the business themselves," as our Dear Leader said, they should just feel grateful to have the high honor of working as slaves to pay the salaries of bureaucrats actively working to destroy them. That's the new American way!
For the last year, he said, the criminal proceedings in court had effectively cut off Gibson from sources of hardwood in both Madagascar and India, and its luthiers were forced to make guitars with laminated fret-boards or fingerboards made of woods not traditionally used in guitars, which some customers did not like.
“The alternative was pretty onerous,” he said. “We would have had to have gone to trial and we would have been precluded from buying wood from our major source country. For the ability to carry on with the business and remove this onerous Sword of Damocles, if you will, we feel this is about as good a settlement as we can get.”
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