Heard this on the news this morning on my way to work and found this article in the local paper:
Panel's in tune with ban on 'phony' bands
Bill would protect the rights of original recording artists
BY GREG EDWARDS
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Jan 12, 2007
Count the tears, up on a roof or under the boardwalk, if you play a music gig in Virginia and call yourself The Drifters but you're not.
If you're doing that kind of thing, Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, a self-described'70s metal head, wants you to feel the pain.
Albo's Truth in Music Advertising Act was endorsed by the House of Delegates Commerce and Labor Committee yesterday afternoon by a 20-1 vote.
The legislation carries a penalty of between $5,000 and $15,000 for anyone advertising or holding a live musical performance in Virginia making false or misleading connections between a performing and a recording group.
"Say you want to see The Drifters," said Albo. "[And] there's not a single guy in that band who was ever in The Drifters. It's consumer fraud. It happens all the time."
Albo's bill, which heads to the House floor, would not apply to performing groups that:
* own a registered trademark;
* have at least one member who was in the original recording group that has a legal right to the group name;
* give a performance identified in all promotional materials as a tribute to the original group or that could not be confused with the recording group.
Albo said he is also trying to protect the original recording artists who would find it too costly to go to court to defend their rights. "A lot of these guys I know didn't make the kind of money you'd think they would," he said.
The legislation came to Albo by way of former Sha Na Na singer Jon Bauman, a.k.a. Bowzer, chairman of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame's Truth in Music Committee.
Bills similar to Albo's have been enacted in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and five other states and are making progress in three more states, Bauman said in a phone interview from Connecticut yesterday.
Albo's bill -- appropriately numbered 1969 -- did not spin its way through the committee like a 3-minute, made-for-radio song. Some lawmakers questioned the need for the bill, and others made minor changes to it.
For example, at the urging of Del. Terry G. Kilgore, R-Scott, the bill was amended to make it clear that people booking a performing group could not be fined unless they knew the group was misrepresenting itself.
Bauman said the law in Pennsylvania has been applied in a couple of cases, and promoters were forced to change their advertising and offer refunds. Concert venues will be more careful whom they book and will become the first line of defense against the phony groups, he predicted.
The legislation has drawn bipartisan support across the country with small opposition coming from the promoters of phony groups, Bauman said. "What we're fighting here is a sophisticated form of identity theft," he said.
So, whadya think...????? I have my own opinion. I'm not against the basic premise of this proposal, but I question wasting time on something like this when there are much more pressing issues in this Commonwealth(ummm...let's see...transportation, taxes, gang violence, education, yada yada yada). Enuff said...