Friday, September 30, 2016

More California legal lunacy

A few days back, I commented about a new California law regarding websites posting the dates of birth of paid subscribers. I talked particularly about how it would affect IMDb (since, after all, an actress had sued them), but I suppose it would affect other resume sites too.

There's another interesting new law coming out of California. This one would require selling things with signatures to have a certificate of authenticity. I suppose you can say this sounds good on the face of it, but there are some problems when it comes to movie fans.

Consider some star, be it a star of today or an old timer, who's just written a book. It's not uncommon for authors to go on book tours, to bookstores where they'll do a sort of lecture/question-and-answer session on the book, and then sign copies of the book for people who bought it at the bookstore. Well, now you'd have to provide a certificate of authenticity with all those books.

I presume an auction house like Bonhams which partners with TCM for those movie memorabilia auctions has the provenance of all the items it's received in consignment, but when it comes to autographed stuff, I'd think getting a provenance for that is rather more difficult. Cary Grant signed a North by Northwest poster back in 1959? (That's just a hypothetical example; I don't know if it actually happened.) Good luck figuring out what happened to the poster after the movie's initial theatrical run. And what about the re-selling of autographed books?

I hope the TCM Film Festival wasn't planning on doing any book signings.

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