eBay and the rickenfaker witch hunt...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PeteSix, Feb 21, 2013.


  1. PeteSix

    PeteSix

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Location:
    Derby UK
    So I tried to sell a Kay short scale Rick-a-like on eBay this week and 3 days in, they pull the auction. :-/
    Now, I know they're pretty heavy handed when it comes to these items, but I was careful not use the 'r' word and IMO the Kay type really isn't that close to the real thing (unlike the hondos grecos etc).
    But they still pull the auction. The bit that gets my goat is the mail they send to tell me *I'm* breaching copyright. I didn't manufacture the thing but also - particularly with this variation, I really don't think they have a leg to stand on legally - it's body shape is a little bit similar that's all really. I know it's not worth pursuing it but I think this is a little over the top and I was wondering if anyone else has had Ricky shut down their auction because their instrument looked 'a little bit like' a rickenbacker as opposed to a full on copy?
  2. blueflamerick

    blueflamerick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    I understand you being upset about it, but keep in mind that for any company to keep their valuable trademarks, they must strictly enforce them. While the Kay may not look exactly like a Rickenbacker, it does copy certain registered trademarks, such as the cresting wave of the body.
  3. PeteSix

    PeteSix

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Location:
    Derby UK
    I don't question their copyright at all but i think that's a step too far.
    If I was manufacturing instruments like that then sure, but these things haven't been made prob since the early 70s and I'd be hard pressed to come up with a convincing argument myself as to how it damages the rickenbacker brand, especially when you've got brands like italia offering hollow bodied 4005 style instruments.
    Also, Its often hit and miss - I've seen very accurate copies (ibanez) complete auction without a hitch. I'm not sour grapes about it, I was genuinely surprised they thought it close enough to the real deal to get heavy about it!
  4. bumperbass

    bumperbass

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    I don't understand. Stumbling block in my head. So, I have a P-bass copy and I can't sell it on ebay? So it wasn't 'R' that was twisted about this? It was ebay? Sorry, but I don't see the problem.
    You said it was a Kay, right?
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  6. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    deeper underground
    Let's see your ebay description. If you made any reference at all to a Ric, or even a hint, ebay will dump the listing.
  7. ZombieSpacebat

    ZombieSpacebat

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    But according to your profile you're in the UK, I thought Ric had no authority outside of the USA?
  8. bumperbass

    bumperbass

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    OK. I understand. The OP said he was careful not to use the 'r' word. So if he didn't say 'Rickenbacker copy' he can still have the listing pulled?
  9. blueflamerick

    blueflamerick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    It makes no difference how old the instrument is. Rickenbacker must report every trademark infringement they see. Some slip through the cracks.

    Unlike Rickenbacker, Fender does not hold a trademark on the P bass body shape, which is why you see so many P bass clones.
  10. elgecko

    elgecko

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    There's a good chance you were reported by an overzealous TBer type.
  11. blueflamerick

    blueflamerick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    He probably was. Rickenbacker does have trademarks registered in the EU, so his being in the UK doesn't save him.
  12. bill reed

    bill reed

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    scotland
    Rickenbacker do have a tradmerk on the headstock and also on the truss rod cover in the Uk. but not on the body or anything else. the trademark was taken out in 2002!
    so if the Kay had a ric style headstock then e-bay Uk would pull it!
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Better to report everything in the hopes you catch all the fakes. :smug:
  14. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    He can't sell a vintage Kay wow but I understand Rics position they don't sell anything close to Fender numbers so they can't afford to have anything slip through the cracks.
  15. christopherogut

    christopherogut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Vernon, NJ
    it might be worth it to post pictures with the headstock covered or cropped out and explain carefully in the ad to contact you for additional pictures.

    i've seen some Ric copy basses sell successfully on eBay after running for a full week while others are pulled in a matter of hours... weird stuff.
  16. geddeeee

    geddeeee

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    It depends whether the 'Ricken-Waffen' police see it. (Talking about the Rick based forums).
    They fall over themselves if they see a 'faker'...
    I own a Ricky, but this sort of behaviour really pisses me off!!!

    Some of the copies are pretty good. They're clearly NOT a real RIC, I don't see why the 'Waffen' can't live and let live...

    This snobbery does not help. Most of them are more interested in how shiny and 'stock' there basses are.

    Annoying??? Yep....
  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I pretty much agree with this. I would probably not buy a faker, but I have no issues with someone else buying one. I could understand going after someone who was building them and selling them, after all, there is a reason why Rickenbacker can protect it's intellectual property and Gibson and Fender can't, but a guy selling a used one on Ebay? Seems a little overboard to me, but then, that doesn't really surprise anyone does it? lol
  18. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    What a stupid thing to pull the listing out. If you made clear what brand the bass is and all, why would they care what you're selling? They should sue the Kay factory, not stoping you from selling it.
    People surprise me everyday with their stupidity.
  19. msb

    msb

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I believe Rickenbacker has every right to protect their copyrights . I wish Gibson and Fender ( and Mosrite and Music Man ) had done so too .

    I remember wondering if I had bought a real Ric , or a fake . As it turned out I bought the real thing , but I've seen a lot of people that didn't realize their Rickenbacker was not quite what it was made out to be .

    Some are sold as fakes , some are passed off as the real thing . Some are bought as fakes and then re-sold as the real thing .
  20. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Sure they do, but try this. Make YOURSELF a T-shirt ( Or heaven forbid a plexi TRC) with a Ric logo on it, then go on the corporate sight and see what happens. lol
  21. msb

    msb

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Repeat ... I believe Rickenbacker has every right to protect their copyrights .


    .... especially if you are copying truss rod covers

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