Guitarist Ronnie Montrose had his 1959 Gibson Les Paul stolen, right off the stage, in Dudley (no - not that Dudley!) in 1972. He thinks he has found it - here in the uk - in the possession of Gary Moore who bought it in all innocence after it changed hands several times. The subject is a hot topic in us based forums where many seem to think that us law will prevail! What do you think, from a uk legal perspective. Do you think there is any chance that Gary could be forced to hand back this guitar? click here
was based on my love of these guitars, rather than on the strictly legal situation.
I believe that if this came into a UK court, and the original owner could prove the guitar had been his, and had evidence of a police report of the theft, the judge would order that it be returned to him.
Someone who sells a stolen item - even though he/she had no reason to know - has nothing to pass to the purchaser by way of title, so the contract is void. This has nothing to do with whether anyone can play the instrument or not - it's just an item as far as the law is concerned.
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