Senator Flanagan’s Legislation To Protect Concert Attendees Passes Legislature

John J. Flanagan

March 26, 2009


To protect both consumers who attend concerts and the bands they love, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) and Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera (76th Assembly District) announced the passage of the "Truth in Musical Advertising Act". The legislation, which the two legislators sponsored in their respective houses, will ensure that live performances are advertised fairly and that concert attendees are protected from paying money to see impostors.

With the growing popularity of nostalgia concerts, there has been a surge in the number of live performers claiming to be a particular band who have no true connection. Performing under the guise of a band such as The Coasters, The Platters or another band, many of these groups have no true right to the name of the original band and are therefore misleading concert attendees. Also, by unfairly profiting from using a band’s name and reputation, they are basically taking money that is intended for the real artist or band.

"Fans want to see the groups they love and they deserve to get what they pay for. This legislation will also increase the trust people have when they pay to see a show and that may help increase ticket sales for legitimate bands," stated Senator Flanagan. "These bands set the stage for all the bands that are reaping the benefits today and they deserve to have their legacy protected."

Under the terms of the legislation, no performing act will be allowed to use the name of the original act or a substantially similar name if they have no true right to use that name. This will allow those who purchase tickets to have faith that the band they are paying to see is the band they remember.

This ban would not apply when at least one member of an act was a member of the recording group and the group has a legal right to use the name; if the act clearly states that they are a tribute band; or if they have a federal service mark for that recording group.

The legislation would allow the attorney general to bring an action to restrain deceptive advertising. The courts would also be able to order that any money received through deceptive advertising be given to the true recording group or its representatives.

Additionally, those who violate this law would be liable to a fine of up to five thousand dollars for a first violation but not more than fifteen thousand for subsequent violations.

The legislation will be sent to Governor Eliot Spitzer for his consideration.