The law, known as the Industrial Restrictions on Performers Act (FAIR), has long divided the California music industry, and powerful forces on both sides are taking positions. If adopted, FAIR would repeal the 35-year-old amendment to the state’s historic “seven-year statute” and effectively deprive recorders of the right to sue performers for damages if they withdraw from contracts seven years later without providing a number. albums specified in their contracts. After being left dead in the California Assembly, the FAIR law (now known as AB 983) has now been recently introduced to the Senate behind closed doors, known as the “Excerpt and Amendment”.
Mike Montgomery is the CEO CALinnovates, a non-partisan coalition to promote technology. It weighs in Variety about what he sees as the looming danger of revived legislation:
For the past two years, a small group of wealthy music managers and lawyers have tried to push for a bill in Sacramento that would change the rules of recording agreements in favor of elite stars and their representatives, while reducing down payments and fees for everyone else and making it difficult for new voices to sign. .
The first version of this proposal received neither a hearing nor a vote, and it died in late 2021. A second version was scheduled for a hearing at the Arts and Entertainment Assembly in April, but at the last minute sponsor Ash Calra, withdrew the bill from the agenda because he had no votes to push it forward.
Here no wonder – Why would any member of the Assembly support a bill that will help the rich get richer while holding back the next generation of artists? Especially if it destroys the musical economy of our state and the long tradition of leadership in music and art.
Indeed, back in the early 2000s, the legislature rejected an almost identical bill after extensive public hearings and testimonies, acknowledging the damage it would do to working musicians and new voices trying to sign, including if the main supporter of the bill is already said quiet part aloud: “When [major labels] would sign fewer artists, I think everyone would be better. ” And a new study reaffirms the Assembly’s wisdom in refusing to promote the bill, predicting that it could cost the state up to $ 600 million in music-related GDP annually.
But new efforts are now being made to revive this zombie legislation – using highly controversial “sustain and correct” maneuvers to thwart the Assembly’s will and consider and consider the short-circuit committee this high-risk bill. It is the embodiment of a shady backstage deal that violates the basic rules of the legislative movement.
Here’s how it works. To become law, the bill must be passed by both the Assembly and the Senate. But this bill has not been passed in the Assembly – right, given the damage it will do to our state – and that should be the end of it.
But instead of regrouping to develop a more sophisticated proposal that could meet the concerns of critics, the authors instead moved to the Senate, passed a completely unrelated bill, removed all its contents and replaced it with the same proposal that the Assembly refused to accept. . . And that’s how the bill, which was passed by the Assembly back in May 2021 on the promotion of lithium batteries and geothermal resources of Soltan Sea, is now under consideration in the Senate as a bill on music contracts!
The common cause is mine long complained that the “amending bills are tantamount to‘ bait and switching schemes ’” and Sacramento Bee warned: “Amendments to the law are a disastrous practice that must end.” NBC4 in Los Angeles is there explained fundamental problem in detail: “[B]Diseases are supposed to be tested through numerous commission hearings involving individuals, experts and organizations. . . Speak up. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but the process is transparent. “
And then The company’s press even lowering the problem by putting his finger on how gut-and-amendment is used to block the erroneous and dangerous idea that benefits the few privileged individuals at the expense of everyone else: laws if you don’t think laws should benefit only Sacramento players with good connections through rational economic outcomes ”.
And that’s exactly what’s going on here. Several music brokers and lawyers are trying to play in the legislative process to give themselves new leverage and create an outflow in recording contracts that supports their own outcome while stealing opportunities from new talent and different voices trying to break into business.
The Assembly was wise to stop these efforts to get rid of the music business of our state. The Senate should not allow procedural manipulations to give a bad idea a new life.