When agents raided Gibson Guitar’s manufacturing facility earlier this week, some articles pointed out that the company’s CEO Henry Juszkiewicz was on the board of the Rainforest Alliance, a group that certifies businesses to sell their goods under an environmentally sustainable label. Now the group has postponed its annual certification of Gibson Guitars, and Juszkiewicz is temporarily stepping down from the board.
Yesterday, US Fish & Wildlife Services agents issued a search warrant on Gibson Guitars’ manufacturing plant in Nashville, TN. The Nashville Post writes that they “seized wood, guitars, computers and boxes of files from Gibson Guitar’s Massman Road manufacturing facility.”
Gibson is suing Activision, Harmonix, Electronic Arts, and MTV over alleged patent infringement over the companies’ involvement in Rock Band and the Guitar Hero series. The lawsuit is not over Guitar Hero’s use of the iconic Les Paul, SG, and Explorer guitars as controllers, but for violation of a decade-old patent for….drumroll please… “a method for simulating a live performance using a musical instrument, a 3D headset with stereo speakers, and a pre-recorded concert.” (US Patent 5,990,405) Gibson does not rock, at all…
Yay Internets! Tonedeff—the artist who won Lollapalooza’s Last Band Standing over a year ago but never received the 10k prize package from Gibson—has received his prize. He emailed us today and wrote, “Thanks for covering the story and your support.