Senator Flanagan Sponsors Legislation To Protect Concert Attendees From Fraud

John J. Flanagan

June 18, 2007

Senator Flanagan is joined in his office by Sha Na Na’s Jon "Bowzer" Bauman to discuss legislation to protect bands and concert goers.

To protect both consumers who attend concerts and the bands they love, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced today that he has introduced the "Truth in Musical Advertising Act". The legislation would 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.

Under the terms of the legislation that Senator Flanagan has proposed, 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.

"Fans of groups such as Sha Na Na or the Drifters buy tickets because they want to see the real bands they love and they deserve to know who they are seeing. 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. "The old time bands are the ones who set the stage for today’s bands to reap tremendous profits and we owe it to them and their fans to protect the right to their names."