lets talk about using logos

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by mistermikev, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    first off, apologies if this is the wrong place for this discussion.

    I'm interested in a discussion about something that tends to be fairly polarizing. The idea of putting a logo on a guitar... for instance, many people feel it's totally ok to put a hamer logo on a hamer guitar even if technically one could argue that that is miss-use of someone's copyrighted logo.

    ok, one step further... putting a fender logo on a licensed fender neck.

    Ok, one step further... putting a fender logo on a non-fender guitar.

    as I understand, and obviously, selling such a guitar as a fender or gibson is likely to land you in jail - legally and in my mind wouldn't be right morally, but I'm more interested in the grey areas.

    just putting it on there for your own kicks is, as I understand it, legal... but then posting a pick of it is not. (thoughts?)

    even if you stay on the legal side of things... boy, people can get really upset about the idea.

    what if you built an ac cobra from a kit, and wanted it to be identical to the real deal? I guess in this case it sits better because the company no longer makes them. but does that make it any more right/wrong?

    that question probably gives away the way I lean, but then I'm kind of conflicted about whether I think it's really wrong or right.

    I'm interested in how and why anyone who cares to respond feels about these different 'levels'.

    Is it better if it's expensive? for instance, if you spend more than an actual fender would cost you?
     
  2. B. Howard

    B. Howard New Member

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    To apply a company logo to a product not made by them is counterfeiting plain and simple. It doesn't matter if it is for fun or profit, the reason behind it makes little difference. Theft is theft. And while a kit car would likely never be mistaken for the real deal regardless of logos the same cannot be said of a parts-caster.

    As I do a lot of finish work for people I get requests all the time to put logo's on things. My policies here at the shop are very clear, I will only apply logos to the real deal. I will not repair or service counterfeit instruments.

    How would it hit you if the tables were turned and folks were putting the logo of a brand that you worked hard to establish on things not made by your company and most likely no where near your standards of production?

    It comes down to honesty and integrity, either you have it or you don't......
     
  3. Fret Hopper

    Fret Hopper Member

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    Having owned a cobra replica (Factory 5, one of the first 100 produced. Had it for 10 years.), this is not a good analogy to me. Any cobra educated person would see in a heart beat a replica. Hard to pass off a modern motor as a 427/428. And you really don't want the suspension they used in the originals (my opinion). And the csx serial numbers are easily found online.

    As far as guitars, my personal feeling is if it is a licensed neck, no problem. Unlicensed, problem. Same applies to passing off replicas as the real deal. Licensed body and neck, as good as real, but don't try to pass it as vintage. But it is getting harder and harder to tell a fake from real and that is due to the fact you can age parts to look old, used so easily these days.

    You just have to be honest and up front. Of course, the fraudsters don't care about anything but the $$$$.

    From the ozone...

    Mark
     
  4. Fret Hopper

    Fret Hopper Member

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    Brian, I was writing my response at the same as yours. You are absolutely right in your policies.

    I guess I wouldn't expect anything less from a respected builder and luthier.

    From the ozone...

    Mark
     
  5. mistermikev

    mistermikev Member

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    hello gentlemen,
    thank you for your responses.

    B.Howard, let me first answer your question as you were kind enough to respond to mine... "How would it hit you if the tables were turned and folks were putting the logo of a brand that you worked hard to establish on things not made by your company and most likely no where near your standards of production?" Lets try not to make this about anyone in particular but since you asked...
    If someone used my logo and sold it as authentic - yes I would not like that, even if it were better than mine.
    If someone used my logo for kicks... that's harder to answer. How would I actually feel, probably flattered, but then I haven't invested like a fender or gibson so it's hard to say how I would feel if I were them. On the one hand sure, no one wants their brand diluted. On the other hand, it might do more damage to my reputation to pursue them then it'd be worth, and after all I don't think there would be much potential for damage there (depending on the situation). If I'm being 100% honest, it might bug me a little: like someone stealing a guitar riff I wrote.

    so, lets say there is a builder who would potentially restore a logo. how can one be 100% sure the object to be restored is genuine? If the builder makes a mistake... is he/her a theif/wrong? Does one contact fender and have them verify somehow? what if it fools fender... is that builder a theif/wrong?

    does fender supply logos in cases like this? if not, and said builder were to acquire the logo from anyone other than fender... would you agree that at that point that builder has actually come closer to morally wrong? If the logo is not actual fender, then at that point the builder will have taken something that is not made by fender (the logo) and passed it off as real fender (if only the logo). what if the customer supplies the logo and it's counterfeit?
    If I'm not mistaken, the builder, having potentially made profit by applying the logo, is closer to wrong legally.

    fret hopper: probably not the best analogy. just trying to think of a scenario where it is acceptable to use a co logo. not sure I have an example. what about painting some lockers in your garage and adding a harley logo? can you think of an example?

    anywho, appreciate the food for thought.
     

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