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Friday, September 30, 2016

Jerry Brown Signs Stupid "Collectibles: Sale of Autographed Memorabilia" Bill

Above, autographs from actresses Michelle Bauer, Brinke
Stevens and President Ronald Reagan. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Special thanks to actress Brinke Stevens for the head's up and article link!

The "nanny statists" of California have done it again!

The Democrat-controlled state legislature passed and Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown signed into law AB1570, "Collectibles: Sale of Autographed Memorabilia" into law. It goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Here's what Eureka Books has to say about the law:
On September 9, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB1570 Collectibles: Sale of Autographed Memorabilia into law. 
The law requires dealers in any autographed material to provide certificates of authenticity (COA) for signed item sold for $5 or more. 
The idea is to crack down on fraudulent autograph sales. “That sounds pretty reasonable,” you are probably thinking. I, too, can get behind the motive. 
Unfortunately for you, the consumer, the legislators never seem to have considered that buyers of autograph material eventually become sellers of autograph material. 
Let’s say you like to go to author events and get books signed. Eventually, your shelves fill up, and you want to trade books in at a shop like Eureka Books. 
Guess what? Remember that Certificate of Authenticity that sounded so reasonable? 
Well your name and address has to go on the certificate of authenticity because I (as the person issuing the COA) have to say where I got the book. This applies to signed books, artwork, and any other autographed items you own. 
[If you are concerned about this legislation, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, please contact your state legislators]
Maybe you’d like to sell that Morris Graves painting you inherited. You send it to an auction house, where it sells for $40,000. Good for you. But did you supply a Certificate of Authenticity? What? Why do I have to issue a COA? What do I know about authenticating Morris Graves paintings?
Guess what? AB1570 requires YOU, as the owner of the painting, to guarantee its authenticity. And you don’t issue the COA? You can be liable for TEN TIMES damages, plus attorneys fees. Call it a cool half mill, because you didn’t know you were supposed to issue a COA.
Gee, I guess I'll have to provide a COA on the portrait painting Asya did of me! Especially if she become a famous artist!

This law, while it may be well-intentioned, is just plain stupid!

The author of the law was Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) (Why is a Republican writing such a "nanny state" law?). You may want to write to her to protest.

To read more, go here


Paul Scrabo said...

Very well written blog post. The law seems a real "over reaction'!Does one still have to supply a certificate even if one is giving the autograph in person?(!)

Armand Vaquer said...

Good question! My guess is that they do. Would a writer at a book signing or a celebrity at a convention have to provide a COA on the spot? Or does the person who is getting the autograph have to provide one if they decide to sell it later on eBay or elsewhere?

This may shed some light:

The law needs to be either repealed or be modified with clarifications on the intent and who and what is exempt. - A.

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