CARLSBAD, CA – New legislation
has been introduced in Congress to
clarify the Lacey Act and its 2008
amendments that have left many
musicians and guitar makers uneasy.
The Retailers and Entertainers Lacey
Implementation and Enforcement
Fairness (RELIEF) Act would grandfather pre-2008 purchases, protect
individual property, and provide the
public with access to a database of forbidden wood sources.
The act was introduced by
Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper
following months of controversy surrounding the Lacey Act after August’s
federal raids on Gibson’s Nashville
and Memphis facilities. Many retailers, luthiers, and guitarists believe that
the current state of the Lacey Act is
open to interpretation that could cause
instruments to be confiscated regardless of the owners’ knowledge (or lack
thereof) of wrongdoing.
“In theory, anybody who travels
outside the country or even across the
state line with an old guitar right now
would be in legal jeopardy,” Cooper
said. “The RELIEF Act protects them.
It makes sure all the magnificent
instruments played, traded, and cre-
ated in Nashville and elsewhere can
make their way around the world.”
The intention of the Lacey Act’s
2008 amendment was to curb illegal
logging, something supporters of the
RELIEF act—including the National
Association of Music Merchants
(NAMM)—admit it has been effective
at doing. Supporters of the new act
hope to maintain the intent while protecting individual instrument owners from federal penalties.
The RELIEF Act is comprised of three parts officially described as:
Under current regulations, many people fear that they would
face repercussions from traveling with or selling a guitar like
this 1890s Martin 0-28, built with Brazilian rosewood prior to
regulation. The RELIEF Act aims to clarify the scope of the
law. Photo by Jeff Sadler, guitarphotographer.com
Film Funded on
BY REBECCA DIRKS
LOS ANGELES, CA – Chicago
guitarist Terry Kath’s daughter
will record her quest to discover
her father and pay tribute to
his musical contributions in
a new documentary entitled,
Searching for Terry: Discovering
a Guitar Legend.
The film will explore Terry
Kath’s life through a series of
interviews, live footage, and never-before-seen home video footage.
Michelle Kath Sinclair, who was 3
when Kath died of a self-inflicted
gunshot wound, raised funds for
the project on Kickstarter.com.
Backers of the project received
rewards ranging from custom
stickers to original artwork by
Terry Kath and Associate Producer
credits, depending upon level of
donation. The project’s $40,000
goal had been surpassed by $5000
by the time the project closed on
November 1. Additional funds
will be used to secure musical
rights and promotion.
Sells for Nearly
BY REBECCA DIRKS
•;Grandfathering: Any foreign wood products that a person owned before May 22, 2008
(the date the Lacey Act amendments were signed into law) will be exempt from the law.
•;Protection: If a person has any wood that violates Lacey but didn’t know it, he or she will
not be penalized, and the government cannot confiscate that individual property.
•;Access: The government should compile a database of forbidden wood sources on the
Internet so that everyone is fairly warned.
At press time, the act was still in Congress. Section-by-section breakdowns of the RELIEF
act, as well as press releases and informational sheets are available at namm.org.
NEW YORK, NY – The Richard
Gere Guitar Collection sold on
October 10, 2011, achieving
$936,438. The top lot was a
1950 Gibson Les Paul ‘Burst that
drew $98,500. Other top sellers
included a 1958 Gibson Flying
V once owned by Albert King
($74,500) and a 1931 Martin
D- 28 ($62,500). The C.F. Martin
& Co. Museum purchased the
latter, and two other historic
Martins, for their collection. The
auction raised money for Gere’s