Cowsert Bill Would Protect Musicians From Imposters

Cowsert Bill Would Protect Musicians From Imposters

Georgia is understood for having plenty of artists who’re making waves inside the music business immediately, however a invoice backed by a neighborhood group hopes to carry safety to legacy artists residing within the state.

Senate Bill 157 seeks to outlaw the “misleading follow of musical efficiency teams promoting and showing because the recording group with out the recording group’s permission or denoting that it’s a salute or tribute efficiency.” The measure is nearing a last vote within the Home with simply three days left on this 12 months’s session. 

Legislators and music advocates say the invoice is geared toward defending artists corresponding to Georgia resident Sam Moore of the group Sam & Dave. The 85-year-old artist, referred to as one half of the duo behind songs corresponding to “Soul Man” and “Maintain on I’m Coming,” mentioned he and his spouse, Joyce, suffered monetary hardships within the mid-Nineteen Eighties, when his former collaborator started performing with one other man named Sam Daniels underneath the duo’s well-liked moniker.

“I don’t need these guys to not make a residing, however honest is honest,” Moore mentioned. 

“Though it was Dave, he didn’t have the correct to invade Sam’s identify and likeness, and his persona and his historical past,” Joyce Moore provides. “The concept it’s not who you suppose you’re paying to see, that’s fraud. That’s shopper fraud. It’s fraudulent promoting.”

Republican state Sen. Invoice Cowsert of Athens, who chairs the chamber’s Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, launched the invoice final month, noting that it handed unanimously within the Senate in 2020 earlier than it stalled when the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the legislature to abruptly adjourn for 3 months.

The invoice proposes civil legal responsibility for imposters who pose as bona fide musical acts. It takes purpose at musicians who’re “stealing and appropriating the likeness of different artists,” Cowsert mentioned.

“Numerous these older teams are having issue. Their music is being copied and hijacked, principally,” Cowsert instructed lawmakers just lately.

The senator, an Athens native, mentioned rising up in a city famend for incubating musical acts like R.E.M impressed his curiosity within the laws. Nonetheless, he stresses that cowl bands who’re correctly advertising themselves received’t be harmed by the invoice. 

“Should you come to the Georgia Theatre in Athens and also you say, ‘We’re Joe Blow Band taking part in music from The Beatles,’ that’s OK,” he mentioned.

Cowsert remembers seeing fraudulent acts passing themselves off as legacy bands corresponding to The Drifters or The Tams performing all through the area. Beneath this invoice, unique members of a bunch must have permission or personal the trademark to proceed utilizing the group’s identify.

The Recording Business Affiliation of America is urging Georgia lawmakers to go the laws this 12 months. The affiliation can be pushing comparable payments in different states all through the nation.

“The music labels, our members, got here to us a couple of years again and mentioned that there was a motion again within the early 2000s with artists who’ve had some issues with copycat-style teams and people that have been falsely promoting themselves because the artist or teams,” mentioned Rafael Fernandez, senior vp of state public coverage and business relations.

Related laws had already handed in additional than 30 states earlier than the affiliation persuaded Hawaii to hitch the refrain in 2020. There isn’t a federal regulation to crack down on musical act imposters.

As famous in her current obituary by Rolling Stone, the late Mary Wilson of The Supremes had additionally been a vocal advocate for payments that concentrate on these performances. The music publication stories Wilson was “concerned within the struggle towards the deceptive use of band names (after later members of the Supremes toured utilizing that identify).”

The Moores mentioned these misleading practices proceed immediately with promoters placing on small concert events, but in addition with tv stations promoting the looks of outdated teams with out specifying a lineup change. 

The Home model of the invoice additionally features a provision that will require third-party streaming corporations to incorporate contact data on their web sites.

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