From The Pacific Legal Foundation:
Today we filed this First Amendment lawsuit on behalf of beloved Bay Area bookstore Book Passage, and its co-owner, Bill Petrocelli.
Book Passage is a hub of literary activity and free expression. In addition to selling books, it hosts over 700 author events a year—in which authors give talks, read passages, interact with readers, and autograph their books. Bill keeps copies of these signed books to sell later—which you can see scattered down the aisles of his store. Book Passage also curates a monthly book club, wherein readers are sent a first edition book signed by an up-and-coming author.
Book Passage doesn’t charge a premium for the autograph; all of its books are sold for their cover price. But a newly enacted California law makes it extremely risky, if not impossible, for Book Passage to continue selling autographed books or hosting author events.
Acting on purported consumer protection concerns, the legislature recently expanded its autograph law (which formerly only applied to sports memorabilia) to include any signed item worth over $5—including books. Under that law, sellers must produce a certificate of authenticity and maintain detailed records of every sale for seven years. Sellers must, among other things:
- Note the purchase price and date of sale,
- specify whether the item is part of a limited edition,
- note the size of the edition, anticipate any future editions,
- disclose whether the seller is bonded,
- divulge any previous owner’s name and address,
- if the book was signed in the presence of the seller, specify the date and location of the signing, and identify a witness to the autograph.
Link to the rest at Pacific Legal Foundation and thanks to Meryl and others for the tip.
PG suggests an amendment to the state constitution that limits the California legislature to a single two-week legislative session each year so it focuses on matters that really require laws.