Okay, the JP "tribute" bass got me thinking a little bit about body designs, schools of building etc. It seems to me that everyone widely accepts that certain body shapes are "up for grabs" as far as building basses goes. This has led to a lot of "j-bass" inspired basses (ie Elrick NJS, Sadowsky "dinky" bodies, GB basses etc) and noone really seems to have a beef with this. Less clear, however, is when basses seem to be inspired by smaller lutheirs. I think we are all fairly familier with a number of luthiers who have Fodera "inspired" (some may say copied) body designs and they seem to cop flack over the inspiration for their designs. Others seem to think that its okay if, for example, a luthier offers similar looking product to a Fodera Emporer II for less money. Carl Thompson seems to have plenty of "imitators" who build basses that are easily recognisable as CT "inspired" if not "copied" and yet people don't seem to be too offended by these basses. However, some body designs don't appear to be copied at all - ie MTD's, Smiths, Zons. Warwicks. So what gives? Why are we so upset when someone copies a Fodera but not a Jbass? Why do we accept CT copies as being okay? I'm probably just rambling, but I am interested. Personally, I agree with JP that you should at least ask a luthier if you are going to borrow their design for a one off, and I agree that people mass producing obvious "copies" of well know body shapes should be made to pay a licensing fee.