Gibson Guitar & Others On SOPA Supporters List Say They Never Supported The Bill

from the well,-look-at-that dept

I mentioned that we’d been hearing reports that some of the companies named on “the list” companies that are in favor of SOPA were surprised about this and wanted off the list. Gibson Guitar — which has been dealing with its own ridiculous situation concerning the feds seizing property without a clear legal basis — is now saying that it does not support SOPA, and has been asked to be removed from the list of supporters. It sounds as if the company doesn’t know how it got on the list:

Hey guys – Gibson does NOT support this legislation. Gibson’s CEO has demanded that Gibson be removed from the list of company’s supporting SOPA. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!

For what it’s worth, it looks like Gibson’s “support” came from a letter sent by the US Chamber of Commerce in support of the general concept of PROTECT IP and SOPA, not directly about SOPA itself. It seems like this is a risk of just agreeing to sign on to something that the US Chamber of Commerce passes around without fully understanding the details or how it is to be used.

Gibson is not alone. Jim D’Addario from D?Addario & Company responded to a tweet by also saying that the company has not supported SOPA (though, he claims it might support a similar bill if it didn’t have free speech implications).

So how did this happen? Well, Petzl provides some of the details. It’s another company found on the US CoC’s letter in support of SOPA/PIPA, but it has put out a detailed blog post of how the US Chamber of Commerce is being misleading here. The company says that it did agree to sign a US CoC letter in support of “government action against intellectual property theft via rogue websites,” but that the letter they saw did not bring up any specific legislation. Thus, it says it’s supportive of legislation to deal with counterfeiting, but not the approach taken in SOPA/PIPA:

To reiterate, Petzl America has not and does not support SOPA or the Protect IP Act. Nor do we support any legislation that would harm the freedom of the Internet. We are strongly against counterfeiting, especially, as in the case of counterfeited Petzl products, where the safety of the end user is concerned. By extension, we are for legislation that would help reduce the theft of intellectual property, production of counterfeit goods, and knowing sale of counterfeit goods. However, we believe that SOPA and Protect IP do not address these concerns in a constructive manner.

The issue here, yet again, appears to be one where the US Chamber of Commerce plays fast and loose with the truth, in order to exaggerate the real situation. These companies expressed interest in the general concept of dealing with counterfeit goods sold online. The US CoC then used that support to pretend that all of these companies supported a sweepingly broad set of bills that went way, way, way beyond just dealing with the narrow issue of counterfeit physical goods.

We’ve talked repeatedly about how ridiculous it is that supporters of SOPA/PIPA conflate physical counterfeiting with digital copyright infringement. The two are quite different in many, many ways. And here’s a case where it’s coming back to bite the supporters, as plenty of companies who would support a narrow action against a specific problem, are being used by the US CoC, who pretends they support broad, overreaching laws that touch on issues totally unrelated to the specific issue these companies wanted to discuss.

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Companies: d'addario, gibson, petzl, us chamber of commerce

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Comments on “Gibson Guitar & Others On SOPA Supporters List Say They Never Supported The Bill”

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43 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, are you? Seriously! I think they are being weenies, too weak to stand up for what they signed up for. They wanted this type of legislation… they said it. But when called on it, they wuss out and say “no, we don’t support it”. But you notice they don’t say they are specifically against it either.

Weenies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“But you notice they don’t say they are specifically against it either.”

Really?

“Hey guys – Gibson does NOT support this legislation. Gibson’s CEO has demanded that Gibson be removed from the list of company’s supporting SOPA.”

“Petzl America has not and does not support SOPA or the Protect IP Act. Nor do we support any legislation that would harm the freedom of the Internet. “

To me, that would appear like they are against these bills.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“They wanted this type of legislation…”

Here is the crucial difference that you fail to grasp (because you don’t really want to, it seems).

They want the type of legislation that can provide them with the additional protections that they feel that they need. But they realized that SOPA goes way too far in destroying other’s rights in an attempt to protect theirs.

You can’t give one subset of the population special privileges if that will cause another subset to lose part of their rights.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, are you? Seriously! I think they are being weenies, too weak to stand up for what they signed up for. They wanted this type of legislation…

You really do spout some rubbish don’t you!
If you dead the linked article you’d realise that Gibson have been on the receiving end of exactly this type of law. It is inconceivable that they could support something like SOPA.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Read yourself, your fearless leader’s own words:

“it looks like Gibson’s “support” came from a letter sent by the US Chamber of Commerce in support of the general concept of PROTECT IP and SOPA, not directly about SOPA itself.”

Basically, they support the ideas, the concepts, and the goals of this sort of legislation, but are not wanting to be on the record as supporting SOPA specifically.

Reading skill, learn it!

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You are missing the point. They support the general idea of legislation that will help protect their IP, is narrowly focused on that specific issue, and will actually be effective. Since SOPA is the polar opposite of all of those ideals it is easy to see why they would be against it. It’s simple bad legislation plain and simple, and anyone who supports it is effectively supporting censorship to prop up a dying business model. When people see the legislation for what it actually is they want to be as far away from it as possible.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Basically, they support the ideas, the concepts, and the goals of this sort of legislation, but are not wanting to be on the record as supporting SOPA specifically.

You really really do spout rubbish. The point about SOPA is that allows action without due process. Seeing as Gibson themselves have been subject to that kind of action in the recent past it is inconceivable that they would support such a thing.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think they are being weenies, too weak to stand up for what they signed up for. They wanted this type of legislation… they said it.

Unfortunately for your “side” some of these companies have actually realized the inherent danger of this draconian legislation. What remains to be seen is whether they are only responding to the public backlash, or have actually figured out that more imaginary property enforcement is a losing and wasteful proposition.

If they are only responding to the public pressure, then yes, they are weenies. Hopefully they have figured out what reality is and are willing to stand up for it in the future.

Either way, this is a watershed moment for SOPA – it is done, its goose is cooked, finished, etc. I can even hope it is a watershed moment for all of the imaginary property industry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, I’ll give you that you are partially correct, all of these companies will support the concept and ideals at least of SOPA, to reduce counterfeit goods and to reduce piracy on the internet. However they do not support the actions, as the way that SOPA does this would suppress protected speech, promote censoring of anyone that a company with lawyers doesn’t like, encourage the disappearance of websites based on a process that has already been abused with the more limited DMCA, and be a significant threat to security.

Juggernaut69 (profile) says:

Re: Reply to Anonymous Coward on Gibson and SOPA

Anon Coward,
There is a solid reason some companies are against counterfeit Products sold on line. Gibson is against this and has been for a long time. For example China makes a number od fake Gibson Les Pauls that to a person not in the know would appear legitimate, Right down to the Gibson name on the head stock.
I don’t care if a company wants to make a guitar (or any other product) that looks like a (in this example a Les Paul Guitar from Gibson) However when that company puts the Gibson name on the guitar this is a violation of the law and an attempt to scam the consumer out of their hard earned money.
I too am for any regulation that would put a stop to this.

gorehound (profile) says:

Still going to boycott every company I can on the list right from the Government’s website.I complained to my Time Warner Internet ISP this morning and I have sent over a 100 emails out since I got that list.
There is a reason why these Companies are on that list so suck it up and admit it and do not try to hide it.We know it and know you wanted it and you are on a government list so boo hoo.To bad you are now going to receive emails and you will be boycotted.
Keep up the pressure guys and do not stop !

Eponymous Coward says:

Wow, you’re alleging that the Chamber is being misleading here? It wasn’t the Chamber who conflated general support for “government action against intellectual property theft via rogue websites” with specific support for PIPA or SOPA. Rather that was sites like this one who happily publish things without bothering to double check them and promote them on the Internet until they become an Internet meme that’s impossible to correct.

Funny that despite all the rage and protestations over PIPA & SOPA, these sites don’t seem to have a problem developing their own Internet “blacklist” of companies to target for boycotts & bans without checking…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There is a large difference from saying “I don’t like these people, so I won’t shop here” (a boycott) and “your site, which was in compliance with the law and not promoting piracy, was killed without due process so that no one can choose to visit it because the MPAA or RIAA decided they didn’t like it and didn’t have the lawyers to stand up against them”.

a (user link) says:

Re: Re:

The difference between “their own Internet “blacklist”” is that that blacklist comes down to boycotts. Anyone can boycott anyone, you can send your money where you will.

The government blacklists, however, amount to knocking those sites off the internet.

Can’t you see there is a huge difference between an individual choosing to not use services, and the government taking action which forces a website to shut down permanently?

tl;dr: grassroots boycotts are NOT comparable to government blacklists. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

Anonymous Coward says:

IIRC, one of the reasons why Gibson was visited is because there was a substantial question about whether or not a species of rare wood imported from India was not greater in thickness than 6mm. The shipping manifest from India to the US reflected that the wood was 8mm thick. Now, this thickness thing may seem silly at first glance, but it is my understanding that one of the reasons for the limitation is so that this species of tree can be sustained well into the future.

DoN0tReply (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Raided by armed goons no.

Killing our future no, however it would hinder it by the loss of another variety of tree (FWIW; I’m not a ‘tree hugger’/environmentalist/Climate Change believer or whatever term applies to such thinking).

2mm might not seem like much at face value, but multiply that by the amount of wood ordered for the production of guitars and that 2mm can add up to quite a huge difference in the long term.

Also; 24mm (since I don’t know how thick a plank is before cutting into thinner pieces pre guitar manufacture) would go into 4 guitars at 6mm (6 x 4 = 24) instead of 3 at 8mm (3 x 8 = 24), which makes little economic sense since a thinner guitar would wear down quicker (manufactured obsolescence, the reason things don’t last so long these days) and less units available for sale meaning lower stock turnover (I’d rather more units from less material, simplistically [presuming all other manufacturing costs being equal] this would means a higher profit out that same amount of material).

Anonymous Coward says:

“We are strongly against counterfeiting, especially, as in the case of counterfeited Petzl products, where the safety of the end user is concerned. By extension, we are for legislation that would help reduce the theft of intellectual property, production of counterfeit goods, and knowing sale of counterfeit goods. However, we believe that SOPA and Protect IP do not address these concerns in a constructive manner.”

Whatever you say you scum sucking pirate leechers! We all know you are either with us or a FUCKING CRIMINAL

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Counterfeit Support????

Now, if I was the politically aware and cynical type I just MIGHT say, not would but only MIGHT say that the USCofC was coutnerfieting support for SOPA/PIPA from companies who were doing no such thing or only restricting their interest to physical counterfeits such as guitars and, oh, say dangerous pharmaceuticals.

I still wonder why the Better Business Bureau is doing supporting these bills but I suspect it’s not to break the internet or restrict free speech or anything like that. Could it be the same sort of reason? Maybe we should ask.

Hmmm, companies mostly worried about counterfeit copies of their products are suddenly copyright extremists and willing to cripple the Internet and the US Bill of Rights to do that?

Sounds a lot like counterfeiting to me. Counterfeit support. Faked. False. Untrue, Counterfeit and Lies.

I MIGHT say that.

But only because what I would say isn’t repeatable in polite company like in a barroom full of longshoremen.

xxcONScIENcExx says:

Obvious

Seems that the CoC needed some support and used the oldest scam in the book to get it. This kinda stuff probably happens more than we’d like to know. Q: hey, do you want me to protect your home from burglars for free? A: Sure! —– OK sign here…. Translation at the CoC the next day… Hey boss, I scored all of these signatures of people who agree that arbitrary murder of anyone stepping one foot on their property is the best way to protect their home from burglary…. GREAT work Joe, let’s take this to Congress.

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