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I wonder if Ken Smith has seen this auction?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Mar 6, 2006.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  2. Groundloop

    Groundloop

    Jun 21, 2005
    Toronto
    I don't think Hans Peter Wilfer would be too happy about the "Custom Warwick Thumb Bass" the same guy is selling. Even though what he's caling a Thumb looks more like a Fortress to me. And the woods are all wrong. Oh, and it's not Warwick!!

    Anyway, I know imitation is the sincerest from of flattery, but misrepresention is illegal, isn't it?
     
  3. Uh, yeah I'd say so. A "cease & desist" letter signed by Joe Lawyer (Esq.) might do the trick.
     
  4. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    The guy is in the jungle in Brazil. He's just trying to make a living, and his command of English is not too great. But he should mark them "Ken Smith style" or "Warwick-esque" instead of how he's referring to them. I don't think suing will help, as he's not in the US, but a letter to him might be in order.
     
  5. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    If he was selling to people outside the US he might be safe from legal action, but he's selling inside the US so I'm pretty sure he can be sued.

    Since when do they have power tools and the internet in the jungle?!
     
  6. exactly, even though the guy is definetely doing the wrong thing, you shouldn't assume that he's in the 'jungle' just because he's in Brazil. Brazil is one of the most advanced countries in IT, Industrialization and technology in general. Although, we don't know if he actually lives in a rural area :meh:
     
  7. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Actually, I do. He is in the jungle. He used to go into town every 3-4 days or so to ship stuff and respond to emails. His name is Marco, IIRC, and the seller on ebay is his "agent" in the US. He used to sell on ebay under his own ID, but quit after getting a couple complaints about the 20-ish day shipping times. He's not a bad guy, I just think he's unaware of the laws of our land, as we doubtless are about the laws of his land. I seriously doubt he means to do any harm. It's wrong, sure, but nothing a letter to him couldn't fix.
     
  8. Yeah, he could say -style after the name. They actually look like they are skillfully made, and he could probably sell them without a problem if he just marketed them as his take on a certain bass.
     
  9. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    On the "Smith-type" bass, nothing about it looks like a Smith to me, except the little point on the butt-end of the body, and I've seen those on many other basses. Not unique. The headstock certainly isn't a Smith, nor is the end of the fretboard. That said, I imagine Ken will sue him over the use of his name.

    The Warwick-esque bass is a little closer, though I can't see Hans Peter Wilfer suing the guy- after all, if you look a Spector, that's what the Warwicks started out looking like. Also, the headstock on that one isn't the same. And I don't think I've ever seen a Warwick with that double-P configuration...except maybe the Ox's Vulture.

    The general shapes might be reminiscent of their namesakes, but they aren't exact copies, with the exact dimensions and wood specs. Enough things aren't the same on either one to make it a clear case of patent infringement, or copyright violation. Improper use of a name, perhaps. Though I would suspect he'd get out of that by not knowing English very well.
     
  10. I think you are right with the shapes. I think the Smith copy looks like the body of a Smith with some minor differences, and I have seen a Warwick with dual P's.

    Maybe he could get creative with the name. I remember somebody making a FauxDera model in their bass line. I don't remember who though. Maybe he could call it a Kens Myth.
     
  11. I think you are right with the shapes. I think the Smith copy looks like the body of a Smith with some minor differences, and I have seen a Warwick with dual P's.

    Maybe he could get creative with the name. I remember somebody making a FauxDera model in their bass line. I don't remember who though. Maybe he could call it a Kens Myth. :D :D
     
  12. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Nice :)

    I once made a decal for a Fender copy but spelled it Phender.

    Doesn't eBay simply take auctions down if they imply being made by someone else? An email from Ken should be able to stop this.
     
  13. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    We saw it...It is gone.

    EDIT: Actually it was taken down but is now back up.
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I emailed Ebay, the seller and the bidder. It went down but is back up and ends tonight. The seller agreed not to use my name again but can't change the ad with bids or the last day. The bidder was suprised to hear from me and that it was a fake.

    I got several calls and emails about this and responded to them all. Actually, I have better things to do with my time like deliver orders for basses that ARE actualluy Smith Basses than to chase some kid in the jungle.. Thx all anyway for your support..
     
  15. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Good to hear. I think that was the best way to handle it.