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Monday, March 11, 2013

A Passport For Your Instrument

US Passport image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture blog
I've posted here a few times in the past about Gibson's problems with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (see The Gibson Tonewood Debacle, The Feds Threaten Gibson, and Gibson Gives In Or Does It?) where the factory had been raided thanks to an outdated provision of a law regarding the import of wood from endangered trees. The repercussions of the raid set off a panic in the touring community, where the possibility of an instrument being confiscated by Customs officials because the wood of a vintage instrument didn't have the proper permits made musicians everywhere want to leave their instruments at home locked up in a vault.

Now it looks like some relief is on the way, although with an unusual twist.

At the recent global biodiversity conference in Bangkok, Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe suggested a somewhat inelegant, but workable solution that could help traveling musicians who live in fear of losing their instruments to a over-vigilant official.

The idea is that your instruments would be issued a "passport" that would be good for 3 years and be honored throughout the world.

There are no details about the complexity of obtaining the passport and what would be covered, but the proposal is only one of 70 at the conference that will be voted upon in the next 2 weeks.

There hasn't been any word on the competing proposals, but whatever one is chosen, it's a lot better than what we have to deal with currently, where uncertainty prevails. In the meantime, all we have is a take on the NRA slogan - "I'll give you my instrument when you pry it from my cold dead hands!"


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CaptainVictory said...

Inelegant indeed. The fact that musicians should have to worry about this ridiculous crap in the first place does not speak well of the Federal government.

Rand Bliss said...

“Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work” Albert Einstein

“Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible” Javier Pascual Salcedo


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