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Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-23-2013, 07:56 AM
As a follow up to a recent thread, I received this email this morning. It's good to know that UU has sufficient clout to make companies stand up and listen. Mahalo again to everyone who made their voices heard. You make us all proud to be a part of the ukulele community.



Dear Mr. Moore,

This is Dean from Ayers Music and this is an official apology from us.

We made two custom ukulele according to players request and design but we did not check and research the origin of these two designs. We checked your website and find that these are your designs and we feel deeply sorry about using your design in this improper way.

We will take down the pictures from our website soon and write a official apology on our website. We will be more careful about the custom design in the future.

We are sorry about this and we hope you could accept our sincere apology.


Best regards,

Ayers Guitar

costaricadave
06-23-2013, 08:06 AM
I guess that is better than nothing. I still don't think they didn't know it was your design. I wonder how many nasty emails they got. (besides mine!)haha

Rodney.
06-23-2013, 08:58 AM
It's something, but their definition of 'soon' is the part that makes me curious. The pics are still there.

dkcrown
06-23-2013, 09:01 AM
Next to the NRA, who has more clout than the UU!

davidrboy
06-23-2013, 09:20 AM
A bunch of us that wrote in got this reply:

Dear Sirs,‎

Thanks for your messages.‎

These two ukuleles are actually custom models requested by players. We make the ‎ukulele according to their design but we made a mistake that we did not check and ‎research the origin of these designs. I checked Mr. Moore’s website and feel deeply ‎sorry about this. ‎

We will take down these two designs out from our website soon and send Mr. Moore an ‎official apology. ‎

Thanks for all your opinion and we will be more careful in the future.‎

Thanks,‎
Ayers guitar


For whatever it is worth...

OldePhart
06-23-2013, 09:26 AM
Next to the NRA, who has more clout than the UU!

PETA, ASPCA, Sierra Club, MADD, DAMM... Oh...that was a rhetorical question... LOL

John

HBolte
06-23-2013, 09:39 AM
Nice to see a good outcome!

Tigeralum2001
06-23-2013, 09:48 AM
Honestly, that was more than I expected... I hope they live up to their promise to investigate in the future. I still don't think it explains the story of how the frog design came to be...

hawaii 50
06-23-2013, 09:53 AM
Honestly, that was more than I expected... I hope they live up to their promise to investigate in the future. I still don't think it explains the story of how the frog design came to be...



I agree with you CJ,that frog story sounds fishy..haha

still wondering how they can make the frog inlay look exactly like Chuck's work..do they trace it somehow or what?
but I say their apology is better than nothing..i think...

P.S.
Hey CJ..i just went back and read the tree frog post..did the person who posted it say it was an original design by them? and with their lasers,CNC,,etc it took them 2 to 3 weeks to do the inlay? more confused now...what else is new..? haha

Paul December
06-23-2013, 10:28 AM
:confused: Ever consider licensing them the designs and start a lower-priced line?
.... "Moore-or-Less Bettah Ukuleles"

ScooterD35
06-23-2013, 10:38 AM
:confused: Ever consider licensing them the designs and start a lower-priced line?
.... "Moore-or-Less Bettah Ukuleles"

Now that's funny!

I'm pleasantly surprised by this apology from Ayers. Good for you Chuck!



Scooter

Dan Uke
06-23-2013, 10:51 AM
:confused: Ever consider licensing them the designs and start a lower-priced line?
.... "Moore-or-Less Bettah Ukuleles"

He gets approached all the time plus offers to apprentice for free but that's not Chuck's style. Maybe he'll consider those options down the road but even his "spec" ukes are very unique.

bobO G
06-23-2013, 11:53 AM
It's something, but their definition of 'soon' is the part that makes me curious. The pics are still there.

Well lets hope it doesn't drag on and they jump to it .

mm stan
06-23-2013, 12:50 PM
Aloha Chuckie,
Woo hoo that is great news...I guess UU has some clout....I still think the ukes made in question should be returned and destroyed and a company policy made the any copies made without permission will be destroyed too....

wayfarer75
06-23-2013, 01:10 PM
I know people want a Moore Bettah very badly. Really, why spend money on something that looks like someone else's Moore Bettah? There are elements of others' custom ukes that I would love if I ever had a custom made for me. But in the end, it would still be my unique ukulele and it wouldn't look like anyone else's.

Texangal
06-23-2013, 02:28 PM
Aloha Chuckie,
Woo hoo that is great news...I guess UU has some clout....I still think the ukes made in question should be returned and destroyed and a company policy made the any copies made without permission will be destroyed too....

It's terrible that this happened, and I really hope the company changes its ways and doesn't become a repeat offender. But even if the company were willing to refund the price to the buyers of those copied ukuleles, you'd still have to convince the owners to relinquish their ukes for destruction. That might not be so easy.

Stevelele
06-23-2013, 02:46 PM
I think it's nice that Ayers apologized. But I feel like I've got to say this about the content of the apology. The only way for the company to be able to make an EXACT copy of the ukes was to have a picture of the ukes. Everything is the same, down to the color, the shapes, etc. If the company had photos of the ukes, they already knew, by definition, that it was the work of art by someone or some people other than those who commissioned the ukes. So even if they didn't know that it was Chuck's design, they had to have known it was SOMEONE's design. There is no argument whatsoever that these designs were somehow in the public domain. Bottom line--they knew they were doing something wrong.

Nickie
06-23-2013, 03:37 PM
:confused: Ever consider licensing them the designs and start a lower-priced line?
.... "Moore-or-Less Bettah Ukuleles"

LOL Paul....sorry Rick, he made me laugh...

experimentjon
06-23-2013, 03:43 PM
:confused: Ever consider licensing them the designs and start a lower-priced line?
.... "Moore-or-Less Bettah Ukuleles"

I'd leap for some Chuck Moore inlay stickers. Haha.

1badchef
06-23-2013, 03:44 PM
That clarifies the first thread a bit better - your previous thread gave the impression they are making them on a large scale.
It states on their website they where custom made by request. (funny is the comment about the red eyes for the frog I think).
Their reply seems professional enough to be caring for a positive outcome.
Did you approach them directly yourself first or use the forum only to get their attention?

itsme
06-23-2013, 03:53 PM
But even if the company were willing to refund the price to the buyers of those copied ukuleles...
I'm not defending Ayers, but they did say the ukes were made to the buyer's request/design.

Who's to say the buyer didn't send them images from MB's site or just trace them out and request it be done that way?

If I were the builder and a customer requested a specific inlay design and sent me diagrams for it, I would not consider it my responsibility to research said design.

If you were a builder, would you turn down a request for a design involving the Nike "swoosh" or even Mickey Mouse, when you know these are trademarked images?

On a semi-related note, how many people get tattoos of known images? Do the tattoo artists have to clear it and/or pay a royalty to use such an image? I tend to doubt it

If Ayers innocently made it to spec for the buyer, no harm, no foul. If they offered the design as a regular option on their instruments, then that would be a big NO!

1badchef
06-23-2013, 04:01 PM
I'm not defending Ayers, but they did say the ukes were made to the buyer's request/design.

Who's to say the buyer didn't send them images from MB's site or just trace them out and request it be done that way?

If I were the builder and a customer requested a specific inlay design and sent me diagrams for it, I would not consider it my responsibility to research said design.

If you were a builder, would you turn down a request for a design involving the Nike "swoosh" or even Mickey Mouse, when you know these are trademarked images?

On a semi-related note, how many people get tattoos of known images? Do the tattoo artists have to clear it and/or pay a royalty to use such an image? I tend to doubt it

If Ayers innocently made it to spec for the buyer, no harm, no foul. If they offered the design as a regular option on their instruments, then that would be a big NO!

Your statement makes sense to me. I am sure we all end up using someone else's idea or work eventually - accidentally or intentionally - how did we learn to make ukuleles in the first place and who came up with the four string idea? Isn't that what makes live so human?

hawaii 50
06-23-2013, 04:16 PM
I'm not defending Ayers, but they did say the ukes were made to the buyer's request/design.

Who's to say the buyer didn't send them images from MB's site or just trace them out and request it be done that way?

If I were the builder and a customer requested a specific inlay design and sent me diagrams for it, I would not consider it my responsibility to research said design.

If you were a builder, would you turn down a request for a design involving the Nike "swoosh" or even Mickey Mouse, when you know these are trademarked images?

On a semi-related note, how many people get tattoos of known images? Do the tattoo artists have to clear it and/or pay a royalty to use such an image? I tend to doubt it

If Ayers innocently made it to spec for the buyer, no harm, no foul. If they offered the design as a regular option on their instruments, then that would be a big NO!




Why should I believe everything that Ayers says..because they say they are sorry..
the frog story makes me wonder about them....

Skinny Money McGee
06-23-2013, 04:28 PM
Even IFthey didn't know they were Chuck's designs, there was no doubt they were pictures of a ukulele they copied, and they were someone's designs on a uke that was already produced. They knowingly ripped the designs, I don't buy their apology. Sorry

Bill1
06-23-2013, 04:50 PM
This is a nice outcome to this instance. However, the problems of supply and demand remain. Chuck has created an amazing demand for high quality inlays, there are a lot of very wealthy people on our planet who are used to getting what they want somehow. It must be very hard, particularly for East Asian companies, to resist the pressure from politically well placed rich customers.
I would be surprised if Chuck has not already considered many options to deal with meeting the demand, maybe from friends and business advisers as well as well meaning UU members. At this time it seems he is not interested in options like stickers and licensing arrangements, so maybe there is not much point in suggesting these things again.
I also suspect that once you get past the managers and administrators in the Vietnam factory owned by Ayers, you may find craftsmen on exactly the same wavelength as people like Chuck Moore, some the workers who have been there since 1995 when it is claimed to have started would probably be known in their own right as great makers if they could escape the poverty of Vietnam. So maybe this is an opportunity to contemplate accidents of history that result in living in a place where there is easy access to clean drinking water, good food, education etc. And also maybe there is a way identify talented instrument makers, wherever they are, and help them escape from poverty, managers and administrators.

Nickie
06-23-2013, 05:15 PM
This has been a very intersting thread. I never would have thought anything like this could happen. I know I wont ever have the money for one of Chuck's ukes, but someday when I can afford a better uke than I have, I want something pretty, as well as great sounding. But I would never ask a builder to imitate his work.

AndrewKuker
06-23-2013, 06:31 PM
Elements from Ayers echo much too close and it's nice that they apologized. . .
Scenes from nature and art float in variations across many mediums. Nobody created them. The execution is a portrayal in the first place.
Larry did this maybe 12 or more years ago-

http://theukulelereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/koki-inlay.jpg

Everything is to some extent a copy as art evolves. The influence and inspiration are essential. The problem with Ayers was not the idea but a simulation of the image and I totally understand the violation. The line was crossed. Power to the UU community for making a difference here. It could have snowballed for many years within this company.

mm stan
06-23-2013, 07:20 PM
I still think Chuckie is upset that some have stolen his one of a kind images and copied them ...it takes alot of time to create and think of each of his individual work....
Many have tried to sue for images of similiar copies, One is Photographer Kim Taylor Reece Calling a certain Hula position his own..when it is actually a hula position that has been
established way longer than he was alive....small elememts were changed, but the frog one was not....only the red eye....http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/10/bz/bz03a.html wish they could have done more than a simple apology, like get back the ukes and destroy them.....

bborzell
06-23-2013, 07:58 PM
This outcome is everything I had hoped for when I suggested in the other thread that we put our emails where our mouths were. I cannot imagine any benefit coming from further speculation as to how the inlays came to be. Ayers has apologized and that is more than many companies would do. The Ayers operation comes out on the plus side of this issue in my book.

rubber necker
06-23-2013, 08:24 PM
This outcome is everything I had hoped for when I suggested in the other thread that we put our emails where our mouths were. I cannot imagine any benefit coming from further speculation as to how the inlays came to be. Ayers has apologized and that is more than many companies would do. The Ayers operation comes out on the plus side of this issue in my book.



I just read both threads and I am wondering since you say Ayers Guitar Company comes out ahead on this issue of stealing other peoples work
who are the other companies that have also stole from Chuck Moore and did not benefit ?

your logic makes no sense

1badchef
06-23-2013, 10:55 PM
destroying the ukes - seems a bit extreme to me. I mean ultimately the copies are no match to the real thing and no threat to the original or the afficionados of the original ever - ayers got stirred up enough to apologize and most likely will be more careful in the future.

I got a cafe/bakery in a small town of 60'000 and constantly create new dishes and pastries - on a regular basis I find surrounding businesses copying my creations, at first I got agitated/threatened but now all I feel is proud/flattered and it gets me even more motivated/creative to keep a step ahead.

consitter
06-24-2013, 12:15 AM
destroying the ukes - seems a bit extreme to me. I mean ultimately the copies are no match to the real thing and no threat to the original or the afficionados of the original ever - ayers got stirred up enough to apologize and most likely will be more careful in the future.

I got a cafe/bakery in a small town of 60'000 and constantly create new dishes and pastries - on a regular basis I find surrounding businesses copying my creations, at first I got agitated/threatened but now all I feel is proud/flattered and it gets me even more motivated/creative to keep a step ahead.

Even though they "copy" your dishes, I'm pretty sure they don't have your recipes, and they aren't using all of the exact ingredients you use. It's not possible, unless one of your former employees, who made them on a daily basis goes these other businesses and makes them.

On the other hand, Mr. Moore's work was replicated to the detail, almost as if they were traced. Which I'm sure they were. It's easy to take a pic, blow it up to scale size and do just that. Now then, what was produced was an almost 'cartoonish' copy of Mr. Moore's original, but still the outlines were exactly the same.

Honestly, how long does it take you to make your creations? I'm sure you do it on a daily basis. Mr. Moore, on the other hand, I'm sure takes weeks to create his artwork. Maybe longer. Not to mention the collaberation between him and the person that commissions the work. It's a personal thing to both, with blood, sweat, and tears poured into it.

Not to belittle your artistry at all, but something that can be made in a few hours, every day, doesn't compare with something that is intended to be one of a kind, specifically for one person, taking an enormous amout of time to do.

hoosierhiver
06-24-2013, 03:49 AM
So who's going to contact Ayer's and see if they will agree to make/sell them a Chuck rip-off despite the apology?

OldePhart
06-24-2013, 03:56 AM
So who's going to contact Ayer's and see if they will agree to make/sell them a Chuck rip-off despite the apology?

Ahh...you sneaky devious, suspicious-minded fellow you...a man after my own heart... :biglaugh:

John

Freeda
06-24-2013, 04:12 AM
So who's going to contact Ayer's and see if they will agree to make/sell them a Chuck rip-off despite the apology?
Wait for the hubbub to die down. A few months.

Sporin
06-24-2013, 05:10 AM
I think it's nice that Ayers apologized. But I feel like I've got to say this about the content of the apology. The only way for the company to be able to make an EXACT copy of the ukes was to have a picture of the ukes. Everything is the same, down to the color, the shapes, etc. If the company had photos of the ukes, they already knew, by definition, that it was the work of art by someone or some people other than those who commissioned the ukes. So even if they didn't know that it was Chuck's design, they had to have known it was SOMEONE's design. There is no argument whatsoever that these designs were somehow in the public domain. Bottom line--they knew they were doing something wrong.

Feels like a "it's easier to ask forgiveness instead of permission" standard was applied by Ayers. I'm glad they apologized, but I don't buy that they never looked at/saw/copied Chuck's photos, the details are just too exact. The proof will be in the pudding so to speak. If they never do this again, or if they pull the same thing again. We'll see.

As for the website "soon" thing, I am a web designer and I know that many of my clients would have no ability (or clue) how to update their site and would have to have their site person do it and it might take a few days, thus the un-specific time frame. (overly optimistic perhaps but there are realities to that situation.)

bborzell
06-24-2013, 05:47 AM
I just read both threads and I am wondering since you say Ayers Guitar Company comes out ahead on this issue of stealing other peoples work
who are the other companies that have also stole from Chuck Moore and did not benefit ?

your logic makes no sense

Might not make sense to you, and that's fine. A simple reading leads to a simple interpretation. Most companies who get caught with their hands in the cookie jar admit nothing. Ayers did what we asked them to do and more. They were asked to stop copying Chuck's designs and they agreed to do so. I don't know how many emails asked for an apology, but they did that, too. Yes, Ayers comes out in a positive light in my view. They started out in a negative light and they took affirmative steps to correct a wrong and offered an apology to the only person following this thread who deserved an apology; Chuck Moore. That was a positive move and it leaves Ayers in a positive light to me.

All this speculation about what happened and how it happened is totally unsupported by any facts because, at this time, nobody knows how these events came to happen. If people want to entertain themselves by conspiracy theories, there is little anyone can do to stop that, but theories of malevolence disguised as facts serve no good interest.

mm stan
06-24-2013, 06:03 AM
Do you think that it is fair for the persons who ordered their Moore Bettahs and thought they had one of a kind ukes and now know that there is a copy out...what they paid for is a one of a kind
How can You can say a simple apology is sufficent?? how about saying that to the owners of the MB ukes that got copied..... as a outside person looking in, it's easy to say, you probally wouldn't have the same feeling if it was you....they paid 3000+ for what they thought was a one of a kind... it's about doing the moral right thing.... here is a analogy....if someone robbed you and wrote you a apology, would that be sufficent for you without restitution...come on....

didgeridoo2
06-24-2013, 06:29 AM
I'm still wondering if the person who ordered the dragon uke was a right handed player. Chucks design was clearly intended for a lefty with the cut away.

As for the company giving an apology, I guess it's better than a stick in the eye. My assumption is that they are back pedaling because they got caught, and if given an opportunity to rip off other designs, they probably would. I think the "we didn't know" excuse is BS. And I think there's a uke player out there playing "I'm yours" with a uke that looks like the dragon is lying down on its back.

Sparkle
06-24-2013, 06:48 AM
Ayers comes out in a positive light in my view. They started out in a negative light and they took affirmative steps to correct a wrong and offered an apology to the only person following this thread who deserved an apology; Chuck Moore. That was a positive move and it leaves Ayers in a positive light to me.

I agree with this to an extent. That extent is that they are not caught doing so in the future. For now, I agree with what you are saying, but I do feel bad for the owners of the ukuleles that were copied.

didgeridoo2
06-24-2013, 07:06 AM
In regards to destroying the ukes in question, that's just so wasteful. They should be sent to one of those communities that receives championship gear made for the teams that lose and can't be sold in stores. It would be pretty cool if the next YouTube uke sensation was playing a MBU knockoff and wearing a 2005 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Champs t-shirt.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-24-2013, 07:42 AM
My intention of this thread was to let the people who have been following it know that Ayers has resolved the situation to my satisfaction. I see no reason to carrying the discussion any further if the moderators want to close it.

seeso
06-24-2013, 07:56 AM
My intention of this thread was to let the people who have been following it know that Ayers has resolved the situation to my satisfaction. I see no reason to carrying the discussion any further if the moderators want to close it.

Closed at the request of OP.