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October 12, 2007

California Governer signs bill protecting vocal groups

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today the Governor signed legislation aimed at curbing the deceptive and misleading practices of phony live musical performers. Beginning January 1, 2008, it will be unlawful for any person in California to advertise or conduct a live musical performance through the use of “false, deceptive, or misleading affiliation, connection, or association” between a live performance group and the actual recording group.

“I’m extremely pleased with the Governor’s decision to sign this bill,” said Portantino. “Not only will the new law go a long way to protect musical legends, but consumers of live music can rest assured they are getting what they paid for. The only people who loose are the imposter musical performers who use the likeness of these musical greats to deceive the public and line their pockets.”

Shady promoters have used the music and originality of mostly 1950s African-American musical legends without proper authorization for several decades. These musical legends such as the Platters, the Drifters, and the Coasters, some of whom are available for performances, don’t work because imposter groups undercut their salaries and assumed their fame. Meanwhile, consumers are being ripped off by paying for imposter group concerns when they believe they are seeing the real thing.

“We thank Assembly Member Portantino, the California legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger for acting to stop this form of consumer fraud,” said Jon “Bowzer” Bauman formally of the 70’s group “Sha Na Na” and Chair of the Truth in Music Committee at the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. “Now California audiences will know that they're getting what they paid for when they go to see a show, and the musical pioneers of the Doo-Wop era, as well as all musical groups from now on, can rest assured that their legacy is safe from this insidious kind of identity theft.

“I am delighted that the California Legislature together with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the all important Truth in Music Bill into Law today,” said Herb Reed, founding member of the legendary group the Platters. “It is especially important for me that this bill has been passed in the state where it all began for the Platters and a place that I called home for a large portion of my professional life.”

Under the legislation proposed under AB 702, individuals would be prohibited from performing live musical performances under the name of a recorded group unless the performers hold a trademark, at least one member of performing members was a member of the original group, the event is advertised as a “tribute” performance or the performing group has prior authorization.

California joins Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Michigan among the growing number of states that have enacted similar protections.

Posted by acapnews at October 12, 2007 12:38 AM

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