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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Bill Tracker: HB 54 – The Beatles Bass Player’s Reunion Solo Tour

Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma is billing Creedence Clearwater Revival. Axl Rose performs Guns 'N' Roses songs without Slash. Mark Wahlberg’s tribute band to Steel Dragon sold out at the processing plant. Apparently, this is a runaway problem — musicians are duping the masses into going to "fake" concerts thinking they are going to get the real thing.

HB 54 hopes to eliminate deceptive promotions of live music performances that are sold as something that they are not. This bill outlaws false, deceptive, or misleading connections to big musical groups. In essence, backyard bands are not allowed to promote themselves as Pearl Jam.

Yet the exceptions swallow the prohibition. According to the bill, an artist is not making deceptive connections if:

  1. the performing group is the authorized registrant and owner of a federal service mark for the recording group that is registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office;
  2. at least one member of the performing musical group is or was a member of the recording group and members have a legal right to use or operate under the name of the recording group without abandoning the name or affiliation with the recording group;
  3. the live musical performance is identified in all advertisements or other promotions for the event as being conducted as a “salute” or “tribute” to the recording group;
  4. the advertisement or promotion relates to a live musical performance that is to take place outside of this state; or
  5. the live musical performance is expressly authorized by each member of the recording group.

These combined exceptions make it almost impossible to violate the law. The remedies for a violation are civil — injunction and fine.

I’m trying to get my mind around this reasoning. We don’t want people to go to musical acts that are misleading, so we prevent those people from seeing the show that they bought tickets for on a Friday night. Now those people are free to not go to a show that they bought tickets for, and the State of Texas is safer as a bastion of consumer protection. Don’t we already have consumer laws that address this overwhelming runaway problem of deceptive rockers?

Deception Rock

Deception Rock is the worst kind.

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