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Guitar Counterfeiters Sentenced

Following more than a year of coordination and investigation by Chinese legal authorities, the efforts of the Electric Guitar Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (EGACC) have resulted in a criminal sentence for a major distributor of counterfeit guitars.

Fender, Gretsch, Ibanez and Paul Reed Smith originally joined forces in March 2008 to form the EGACC. The organization lodged complaints with Xuanwu District Public Security Bureau (PSB) in Beijing regarding the activities of two Chinese companies. After several months of investigations, simultaneous raids were launched on Nov. 26, 2008, against the warehouse and retail operations of Musoland and Paylessguitar in Beijing. The PSB seized more than 1,200 counterfeit guitars and other musical instruments bearing all four EGACC group member brands and those of several other electric guitar makers.

On May 6, Li Dan, the individual responsible for the counterfeit distribution ring, was sentenced to three years in prison by the Xuanwa District Court in Beijing. The two factories that were found to have supplied the Payless/Musoland ring were the subjects of raids by local authorities. The raids, which took place near Weifang, China, were conducted simultaneously and yielded additional counterfeit electric guitars. Legal actions by local authorities are pending at this time.

“These follow-up actions by the Chinese authorities should make it abundantly clear to those who traffic counterfeit guitar products that they will pay a heavy price for their actions,” said Darrell Prescott, a representative of the EGACC and spokesperson for Baker & McKenzie, an international intellectual-property and antitrust law firm. “While this case has now been successfully closed, continued vigilance is required, and the EGACC will continue to take swift, decisive action against this type of illegal activity in the future. EGACC group members are grateful for the cooperation of the PSB and other People’s Republic of China enforcement authorities, including the Xuanwu Administration for Industry and Commerce, for their successful law enforcement actions.”;;;