RIAA Sees No Future For N.Y. Artists' Bill

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) expressed doubt yesterday (Oct. 31) that artists' rights legislation introduced Monday in the New York State Assembly will garner the support it ne

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) expressed doubt yesterday (Oct. 31) that artists' rights legislation introduced Monday in the New York State Assembly will garner the support it needs to pass into law, Billboard Bulletin reports. An RIAA spokesperson says the trade group doesn't believe New York lawmakers "will do anything to further harm an industry that is experiencing difficult business times, particularly if it means creating a new law to regulate contracts between private parties."

The proposed Artistic Freedom Act, which is being supported by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Artist Empowerment Coalition (AEC), would limit to three years the length of recording contracts for artists without qualified legal counsel and seven years for those with representation.

Calif. Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) calls the Artistic Freedom Act "a watershed in the artists' rights movement." His own legislation in California, aimed at repealing the music industry's exemption to the state's "seven-year statute," is on hold and may be reintroduced next year as an expanded bill.

"I'm glad to see legislators taking the lead in other states," Murray says in a statement. "Inherently unfair contracts and loss of royalties are not just problems isolated to California-based artists."