He Signed You, Bill! Now You're a Law!
By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 15, 2006 3:14PM
Identity theft is something that we are reminded to protect ourselves against almost every day. Shred those credit card bills. Don’t give out your Social Security Number. Don’t join the Army and let some jackass steal one of their laptops. Chicagoist makes sure that our identity isn’t stolen is by having bad credit, but that doesn’t work out so well when it comes to being a member of the ownership society.
Yesterday, G-Rod signed an amendment to the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act that makes it illegal for a live musical performer to use the name, songs or persona of another group without stating in the advertisement that they are a salute or tribute act. This is meant to protect performers from someone glomming onto their hard-earned name for profit. The law only applies to acts that do not own the Federal service mark on the group’s name or if no original members of the group are involved.
This act would have stopped the fake Frankie Goes to Hollywood group by forcing them to advertise that they were not the original group when they went out on tour a few years back. However, it would not stop the Flock of Seagulls who are still for some reason gracing us with their tired presence in whatever form they are now in. It also would not affect any band, such as Elevation or Mini Kiss, that clearly states they are a tribute band.
The Vocal Group Hall of Fame tried to get the legislation passed in the US Congress, but is now focusing on state legislatures in order to support their “Truth in Music” initiative. Slowly states are coming on board to help protect artists’ legacies and identities.
Now only if something can be done to stop all those mimes and lip synchers out there passing themselves off as real artists!