California Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) yesterday (Aug. 15) pulled back the state bill he introduced in January that would have repealed the music industry's exemption to the state's "seven-year

California Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) yesterday (Aug. 15) pulled back the state bill he introduced in January that would have repealed the music industry's exemption to the state's "seven-year statute," Billboard Bulletin reports. Instead, he says he will introduce a legislative package on artists' rights next year that will encompass the seven-year repeal bill and measures pertaining to label accounting practices and artists' health care and pension benefits.

Murray says he rescinded the bill at the request of artists' representatives after it was held up in the California Assembly's policy committees and was folded into another bill that had a hearing date set for today. "The artists came to the conclusion, given the momentum [they were gaining] on accounting [practices] and artists rights, they were better off not rushing into some deal they didn't like," Murray tells Bulletin. He admits, "I don't know if we would have had the votes [to pass the bill], but we were gaining momentum."

The exemption to the statute allows record companies to sue artists for undelivered albums if they exit their contracts after seven years.

The RIAA declined to comment, deferring to a statement from California Assemblywoman Rebecca Cohn (D-Saratoga), chair of the Assembly arts, entertainment, sports, tourism, and Internet media committee, to which the bill was referred. She says, "It is unfortunate that [Murray] chose to pull his bill instead of allowing the members of the Assembly the opportunity to hear the issue." Cohn says she will focus her resources on issues of copyright piracy and intends to hold informational hearings on the topic after the Legislature recesses later this month.

Recording Artists Coalition co-counsel Jay Cooper says he agrees with the decision to withdraw the bill, adding that the introduction of a broader package next year is "a good idea."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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