Why is it OK to rip off Languedoc?

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sosomething

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I won't name any specific builders - because I don't know their names offhand and I'm not trying to vilify anybody - but it's an honest question.

When someone like Ed Roman markets an obvious Warrior or McNaught knock-off, we heap derision on them, and rightly so. While I don't have a problem with builders doing their versions of your typical Fender and Gib designs, it seems to me that "borrowing" another small builder's proprietary designs should be considered off-limits, bad form, etc.

If someone turned around on the boards marketing a guitar that looked just like a Soloway Swan or Motor Ave Le Mans, it would be viewed as the tackiest thing in the world and probably condemned outright by many here.

Yet

I see no shortage of builders perfectly willing to use Languedoc's body shape, aesthetic style, and even his headstock! With nary a hint of self-consciousness about it.

Can somebody explain this? Is Languedoc somehow not eligible for the same consideration that, say, McInturff or Koll is?
 

winstabull

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Why is fender and gibson not off limits? Success? Length of time they have been around?

There is a huge market of phish fans that would love to have Trey's guitar but cannot afford it. People are filling in the void. With all due respect to the other small builders, I doubt there is the same market. People who want a Koll want a Koll, not a imitation. People who want Trey's guitar, don't necessarily want a 'Doc.
 

AJ Love

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the Trey phenemenon

All it takes is one guitarist becoming a rock star to vault their preferred guitar into "iconic territory"

I agree that it isn't too cool to rip off Languedoc, but I can see why it is happening
 

74vibrolux

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There have been endless discussions on the effects forum about this exact thing. Why it's okay to clone a Rat and not a Klon? The answer is ... people can't supply you one. There are just some things around these parts that are off limits when it comes to cloning and there doesn't seem to be any rational thinking involved in deciding what achieves that status.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
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That's a good point - certain guitars are more like symbols for an icon, rather than a model line. Another would be Garcia's stuff:



Some deadhead with cash to burn but no patience to get Irwin to make an exact copy will instead just get someone else to make one "JUST like Jerry's guitar!" If there's demand, someone out there's going to supply, especially if the original supplier just ain't makin' them anymore - especially when it comes to unique one-offs of famous icons.

Not saying it isn't a ripoff and that some cash should go to the original builder in some way, and it's not an excuse or justification, but rather an explanation on why it happens and why the response isn't as large as, say, a whole company ripping off another company's entire lineup of gear.
 

ford

Modz
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A lot of pedals were cloned because no one was making them anymore.. then when the clones become popular, someone usually re-introduces the original! :beer

If Klon ever hangs it up and stops building them.... you will see true Klon clones come out...
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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The Dead are a unique case. They not only allowed us to tape their live shows when no other band would tolerate it, they set us up for it with a special "tapers section" by the sound board to support and encourage it. Building "Jerrycasters" is a time-honored tradition at this point (something I know a little about personally ;) ). Plus Cripe is dead (literally - pyrotechnics work accident), Irwin isn't building guitars any more, and Lieber is focused on super high end exact knockoffs, not the type of "inspired by" Jerrycasters most fans can afford. Finally, you may already know that Warmoth offers WGD (Warmoth Grateful Dead) bodies based on (not exact clones of) the Tiger guitar in Jahn's post.

P.S. Here's my recent thread on Irwin and Lieber. https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/653400
 

Butterfly

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I don't suppose it is. Maybe they/he? don't have the resources or the inclination and energy to pursue their legal rights the way Gibson and Fender for example do. The Gibson-PRS lawsuit over the singlecut was legendary, lengthy and expensive. (And a loser from Gibson's perspective).
 

JPERRYROCKS

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We are quite the hippocrits here on the gear page and as musicians. It's ok for everybody to gush about their hand-made 59 les paul replicas. Strats and Teles that are copied to a "t" from Leo Fender - even down to the fake decals. It's a celebration.

I just don't get it.

The Lang's are all about Trey's guitar. It's $10,000 for a new one and not attainable for 90% of the folks out there.

I can see how people want something similar but can only come up with 3 or 4 grand. Lets face it, If Trey DID NOT play that guitar, it would probably be a $5,000 guitar at most.

It's 10 grand because of Trey.

It still doesn't make it right to steal the design and copy it 100%, though.

But if a few things are changed and it's different somewhat against the original, I can see how there would be a market for them.
.
 

enigma

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Is the guitar shape copyrighted? design patents? Legal recourse is the only way to go. People do "listen" to lawsuits or threats thereof.
 

kingsleyd

Frikkin genyus
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I won't name any specific builders - because I don't know their names offhand and I'm not trying to vilify anybody - but it's an honest question.
Without naming specific builders, it's hard to evaluate your complaint. For example, Matt Artinger, whose guitars I play, builds thinline semi-hollow guitars that bear a superficial similarity to Languedoc's design. I've been asked more than once, "Is that the guitar that Trey plays?" But when one looks closely, there are a lot of differences. Both are going after the same idea, though, and both have a similar aesthetic sense (which, let's face it, is rooted in the classics introduced by Gibson and Gretsch) and the designs are intended to address a similar market, so why shouldn't the designs be similar?

When someone like Ed Roman markets an obvious Warrior or McNaught knock-off, we heap derision on them, and rightly so.
That's because it's Ed F**king Roman. [sound of KD spitting]

As for copying vintage Les Pauls, Strats, and Teles. Well... the current versions of Fender and Gibson are doing the same thing! It's not like they are the same companies they were prior to CBS and Norlin getting involved. And they obviously aren't doing as good a job as they could, or there would be no market for replicas built by someone not in the employ of the current corporate entities "Fender" and "Gibson." Note: I'm intentionally not addressing the obvious legal and/or ethical issues here, only recognizing the existence of a certain phenomenon.
 

Carltone

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believe it or not: the Languedoc's design is not that original... even it has it's origins elsewhere.
 

Lance

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Maybe Paul is really confident in his build quality to where he's not worried about anyone perfectly nailing it? Thus, doesn't even care. I'm sure it does take significant resources to pursue legal action against IP infringement. It'll be very interesting to see what happens in China where it's still pretty much the old west when it comes to intellectual property. Especially after hearing Steve Ballmer's interview with CNN earlier in the week.
 

Route234

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I dont see any of the Languedoc clones hurting his business in any way. I have yet to see a clone of his work that is exacting. The models I have seen are noticeably different to anyone with an eye for any kind of detail. Languedoc guitars are selling for 10k and it looks like the guy making them cant make them fast enough. He is doing fine and people are making guitars for other fans who would never be able to buy the original. You cannot even find Languedocs on the used market.
 

Lambone

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Languedoc charges twice as much as his guitars are worth, when you compare to other quality builders of the same caliber. Therefore I don't mind buying a copy.

Not to mention there is a waiting list to get on the waiting list!

Even Equator doesn't perfectly nail Languedoc's design, for instance, there is bracing on the back whereas there's non on the G2.

Pauls quote a riend told me about the copies. "They all suck."
 
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Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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believe it or not: the Languedoc's design is not that original... even it has it's origins elsewhere.
"Just before we go, I'd like to mention Junior Wells
We stole his thing from him, and he from someone else
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, he plays the blues like few before
May he play forevermore"

Steppenwolf (Tighten Up Your Wig)
 

imissmj

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Without naming specific builders, it's hard to evaluate your complaint. For example, Matt Artinger, whose guitars I play, builds thinline semi-hollow guitars that bear a superficial similarity to Languedoc's design. I've been asked more than once, "Is that the guitar that Trey plays?" But when one looks closely, there are a lot of differences. Both are going after the same idea, though, and both have a similar aesthetic sense (which, let's face it, is rooted in the classics introduced by Gibson and Gretsch) and the designs are intended to address a similar market, so why shouldn't the designs be similar?



That's because it's Ed F**king Roman. [sound of KD spitting]

As for copying vintage Les Pauls, Strats, and Teles. Well... the current versions of Fender and Gibson are doing the same thing! It's not like they are the same companies they were prior to CBS and Norlin getting involved. And they obviously aren't doing as good a job as they could, or there would be no market for replicas built by someone not in the employ of the current corporate entities "Fender" and "Gibson." Note: I'm intentionally not addressing the obvious legal and/or ethical issues here, only recognizing the existence of a certain phenomenon.
I know that you know Matt and play his guitars. It sounds like you're saying he was not influenced by Languedoc? Is this something that he told you or are you just assuming he wasn't? Not trying to flame, I'm just curious and very surprised if he says he wasn't.
 
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imissmj

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Also, in the spirit of the question asked by the OP, Languedoc Guitars are somewhat of an anomaly in that for many years you could NOT buy one. A lot of the "inspired by" builders started at this time and were meeting a demand that not even Paul was. I doubt there are many cases out there with those circumstances.

Also, there are builders who build a fairly exact clone, but they aren't the ones posted about on TGP.
 
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