CGS Forums Community News – Open Public Forum Counterfeits and Legalities

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      Since I heard this mentioned by our illustrious leader in this video:

      and also read other references to the legalities involved with counterfeit guitars, I decided to share this info with you all. Keep in mind that it pertains to US law, but other nations have a similar stance. If in doubt, just do your research. Before I post the links and info, keep one thing in mind. It is illegal to manufacture, sell and even OWN counterfeit merchandise…regardless of intent. What I mean is, some will say that they bought that sweet LP Custom “just for themselves with no intent of ever selling it as a real Gibson.” Well folks, the laws have been written to keep that from even becoming an issue. We deal with this in the Ibanez world daily. Rich Harris of is even the Ibanez VERO authority for eBay. When we see a listing for a Chibanez, a quick message to Rich gets that sucker removed within hours! Not trying to scare anyone, but since this seems to be a bit of a gray area, I wanted to let you all know exactly what the laws are.

      LAW: 18 U.S. Code ยง 2320 – Trafficking in counterfeit goods or services
      Counterfeit Merchandise Law US

      Ibanez Counterfeit Warning:
      Ibanez Counterfeit Warning

      Forum post from a US Customs Agent:
      Customs Stance

      Reporting Counterfeits Directly To Gibson:

      Great Article on Counterfeits with some Nice Resources:

      Serial Number Verification Database for Several Manufacturers:

      Have fun with the above–it’s pretty cool. We all know those axes from Aliexpress, Alibaba, Trade Tang and the others are all knock-offs, but what about those times when you find a sweetheart deal on eBay, CL or Reverb? Plug the serial number into that database to see what you get ๐Ÿ˜‰

      PLEASE–do not take this post the wrong way! I’m only sharing the info so you all have a better understanding of it all, and because I heard it questioned/mentioned. I’m all for snagging a decent guitar for a good deal–regardless of origin. I just won’t be slinging a “marked” knock-off myself…it will have my own logo.

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