Threatens Amplifier Craftsmen Mr. Ruby. Guitar Nuker Steps in.

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 @ 22:00:25 PST in Help Needed
by Raven

twelves writes:  
Ruby 1. A deep red, translucent variety of the mineral corundum, highly valued as a precious stone.
2. Something, such as a watch bearing, that is made from a ruby.
3. A dark or deep red to deep purplish red.
4. A mans last name who produces high grade crafted guitar amps at

Of the color ruby.
Reprinted from Nuke Community Ruby Tubes Try's to take down high-quality amplifier craftsmen Mr. Paul Ruby Ruby Amplification. © Mr. Paul Ruby, who builds extremely nice handmade guitar amps was a recent victim of the David and Goliath syndrome.
According to Mr. Paul Ruby, who operates a small mom and pops web page repairing and building high quality class a guitar amps, he is being threatened with legal action for having his last name and business Similar as line of re-branded tubes
sold from an online box of parts wholesaler You can Click to Discuss this at our Forums. Click to Send a Complaint letter to Click to Download the Complaint Form for your web page. Drag and drop install. PHP. Read on in and then send an email to complain in polite courteous language please.
Tell them you may decide to stop buying products that may contain Guitar tubes. Send an email to expressing your disdain for their action. I got this e-mail today from the moderator of a guitar-related website. I'll give you cliff notes here: A guy with the last name of Ruby has a small business building high-quality amplifiers. Another, much larger business is threatening legal action because of a product the distribute called "Ruby Tubes". Ruby (the amp maker) has made a large effort to distance himself from Ruby Tubes and has tried hard to distinguish his product from theirs. However, they still want him shut down. Send an email to expressing your disdain for their action.

Anyway, read on if you want, or just ignore it. I think it's unfair how Mr. Ruby is being mistreated; if you feel the same, you should email


Some of you may have heard of “Ruby Tubes” which are, as nearly as I can tell,
a line of re-branded tubes and other parts distributed by at
premium prices. Others of you may also know a gentleman by the name of Paul
Ruby, who builds extremely nice handmade guitar amps. I know Mr. Ruby only from
having spent time in the amp builder's forum at and from having drooled
over a few of the amps on his web site. Mr. Ruby has been doing business as
Ruby Amplification for quite some time and had a very nice web site at

Recently, Mr. Ruby was apparently forced to close his web site, and may be
forced to change the name of his business. I believe he is being steamrollered
by attorneys working for Ruby Tubes and probably cannot afford to defend himself
from their corporate machine. Mr. Ruby has been in business for quite some
time, and no amp builder, technician, or musician is likely to confuse his
hand-built custom amplifiers with anything sold by Ruby Tubes or
“” He also had a very clear and prominent disclaimer on his web
site that he was not in any way associated with Ruby Tubes. Frankly, it seems
to be the consensus of the amp builders on the forum that Ruby Tubes
would have more to benefit from being confused with Mr. Ruby than the other way

For a long time Mr. Ruby has been an active and very helpful participant in the forums – to the point that it wouldn't be unreasonable to say that he
has sometimes cheerfully trained his competition! I don't have any personal
stake in this, but it makes me sick to see a nice guy have his livelihood
threatened by what I consider to be naked corporate greed. No, wait, maybe I do
have a personal stake in this, I think that every one of us has a stake in
standing up against corporate greed and the misuse of the legal system.

You may recall that a few weeks ago a kid by the name of Mike Rowe thought it
would be funny to name his web site We all know how
Microsoft's attorneys steamrollered Mike. That was an injustice, in my opinion
(it's SUPPOSED to be okay to PARODY trademarks as long as it's not done
maliciously). But, at least that was a minor injustice in that it was just a
kid out on a lark and he really was capitalizing on the Microsoft trademark,
even if only in jest.

However, I believe Mr. Ruby's case is another story entirely. There are several
important differences:

1) Mr. Ruby was in no way capitalizing on Ruby Tube's name recognition. In fact
he went to some lengths to distance himself from them which I find
understandable because frankly most of the experienced amp builders on the forums don't seem to have a particularly high regard for that product

2) This isn't even close to a parody of a name and it isn't a clever rhyme,
homonym, or anything like that. It's just Mr. Ruby's name and product. If I
were building amps I'd certainly want to be able to use something like Atchley
Amplification. Should I be prevented from doing so because someone else is
manufacturing or marketing transistors or widgets with the Atchley name? It's
one thing to be prevented from opening a restaurant with your name if you name
is McDonald because, right or wrong, it can be REASONABLY argued that a
restaurant with that name might be confused with the fast food chain. But,
let's say your name is Smith. Should you be prevented from opening a restaurant
called “Smith's Diner” because there is a butcher across town called “Smith's
Meats?” Of course not. No one of reasonable intelligence is likely to confuse
a butcher and a diner, even though both are in the food business. Likewise, no
one of reasonable intelligence is likely to confuse a custom
amp builder with a parts retailer – especially when that amp builder
clearly distances himself from said retailer. Unfortunately, it seems that it
doesn't matter what is right, reasonable, or honorable, anymore. Apparently all
that matters in America today is that “Smith's Meats” can afford attorneys and
“Smith's Diner” can't.

3) Mr. Ruby has been doing business as Ruby Amplification for quite some time.
I suppose it's just a coincidence that Ruby Tubes made this move right after
Microsoft successfully squashed a seventeen year old kid and everybody laughed
about it. Yeah, sure it is.

So, what should we do about this? You'll have to decide for yourself whether
Mr. Ruby is being wronged and whether standing up for the rights of one “little
guy” you may never know is worth your time and effort. For myself, I have
already decided that unless Ruby Tubes and/or immediately
withdraws any actions they may be taking against Mr. Ruby I will never purchase,
use, recommend, endorse, or permit others to use in my equipment or purchase on
my behalf; anything from Ruby Tubes or I'm also sending them a
polite email to let them know of this decision. If I could afford it, I'd also
buy one of Mr. Ruby's amps. (Well, I'd do that anyway if I could afford it!)

If you believe as I do that Mr. Ruby is being wronged and that this is a case of
corporate aggression run amok you can take a few minutes to compose a polite,
thoughtful e-mail to the folks at letting them know of your
displeasure with their action against Mr. Ruby and your resolve not to use their
products. Please do not use profanity, denigrating or threatening language, or
send them “hate mail” – that is counterproductive and will not help Mr. Ruby or

If you believe as I do that Mr. Ruby has been wronged you can spread the word to
other musicians through whatever forums or other communities that you may be an
active member of. Please DO NOT “spam” communities that you do not regularly
participate in – that is likely to do more harm to Mr. Ruby than good! If you
choose to do this please protect yourself and avoid complicating things for Mr.
Ruby (and myself). Stick to the facts, as we know them to this point. Those
facts are:

1. Mr. Ruby has been building premium amps, doing business as “Ruby
Amplification” for quite some time. His is a real business, with actual paying
customers, and presumably the income is at least part of Mr. Ruby's livelihood.

2. Mr. Ruby is well known and generally respected by the amp building community.
He helps other builders selflessly, even when doing so could be seen as
“training the competition.” He is not a “marketeer” capitalizing on his name,
but a genuinely devoted amp builder who happens to be named Paul Ruby.

3. Mr. Ruby took appropriate steps to distance and differentiate himself from
Ruby Tubes.

4. Mr. Ruby's site went down, displaying only the message “life sucks and then
you die,” and there was some speculation on the forum that the site had
been hacked.

5. In the forum I guessed that attorneys working for Ruby Tubes were
shutting down Mr. Ruby and that he could not afford to defend himself.

Remember, until we get more information that is ALL we know to be fact at this
point. Don't put yourself at risk of libel or complicate Mr. Ruby's life or
mine by making unfounded accusations.

Thank you for your patience and if you decide to take up pen (or keyboard) in
Mr. Ruby's defense thank you for that as well.
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