INTA Bulletin
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November 15, 2007 Vol. 62 No. 21 Back to Bulletin Main Page

UNITED STATES: California: Truth in Music Advertising Act

Beginning January 1, 2008, individuals performing live music under the name of a group that previously recorded music will be prohibited from advertising and performing under that name in California, except under limited circumstances.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Truth in Music Advertising Act, AB 702, on October 10, 2007. The Act seeks to protect consumers and musical recording groups from “imposter” performing groups that use names such as the Platters, the Drifters and the Coasters but that have no affiliation with the original groups that performed and recorded music under those names. California joins Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Michigan as states that have enacted similar legislation.

Under the Act, groups can advertise and perform under the original recording group’s name if one of the following conditions is met:
• The performing group holds a federal trademark registration for the name of the group;
• One member of the performing group was previously a member of the recording group and has a legal right to use the name;
• The live musical performance or production is identified in all advertising as a tribute or salute, and the name of the performing group is not so similar to the name of the recording group that it would confuse or mislead the public; or
• The advertising does not relate to a performance or production taking place in California.

John “Bowzer”’ Bauman, a member of the 1970s group Sha Na Na, remarked, “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.”

Source: Assembly Bill No. 702 (Oct. 10, 2007); “Governor Signs Truth in Music Advertising Legislation,” California Chronicle, Oct. 16, 2007


Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items carried in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.