AFTRA backs state limit on contracts

Letter released in conjunction with 'Artists Lobby Day' event

AFTRA has announced support for California Senate Bill 1246, which would repeal the music industry’s exemption to the seven-year limit on personal services contracts.

“This is not a simple matter of contract, not a matter of a few ‘stars’ operating in what is perceived by some to be a glamorous industry,” wrote AFTRA national exec director Greg Hessinger and prexy John Connolly. “This is a matter of fairness for individual artists. The recording industry can continue to grow and flourish without this unfair advantage.”

The AFTRA letter was released Wednesday in conjunction with “Artists Lobby Day” in Sacramento, an event at the State Capitol with appearances by Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Carole King, Stevie Nicks and reps of the American Federation of Musicians.

Record execs have objected to the proposed repeal of subsection 2855 (b) of the state’s labor code, which allows labels to sue artists for damages if the performers don’t make enough albums to finish their deals. The toppers contend the change would let acts walk away from contracts after seven years without sharing any of the production, marketing and distribution costs shouldered by industry backers.

State Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City), a former WMA talent agent, recently introduced the legislation.

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