SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of February 1, 2008
Title: An act relating to truth in music advertising.
Brief Description: Providing for truth in music advertising.
Sponsors: Senators Weinstein, Hatfield, Rockefeller and Kohl-Welles.
Committee Activity: Consumer Protection & Housing:
SENATE COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & HOUSING
Staff: Vanessa Firnhaber-Baker (786-7471)
Background: A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, or combination of words, phrases, or
symbols that identify and distinguish the source of a service. The name of a musical recording
or performing group could be a service mark.
Service marks are protected intellectual property. Service marks may, but are not required to be, registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and/or with the Washington Secretary of State. Registration provides certain advantages, including: (1) constructive notice to the public that the registrant owns the mark; and (2) a legal presumption that the registrant owns the mark and has exclusive right to use it. Ownership of a service mark may arise from use, registration, or both. A service mark owner may prevent others from using the mark for the same or similar service. An owner may also prevent others from using the mark for other services or products if such use could be confusing to consumers.
A service mark owner may lose his or her rights to the exclusive use of a service mark if he or she abandons the service mark. Abandonment may be shown by the owner having notice of another using the service mark and failing to take action to stop the infringement.
To disseminate advertising in any form that is deceptive or misleading is a misdemeanor.
Summary of Bill: Promoting or conducting a live musical performance through advertising that claims or implies an affiliation between the performing musical group and a recording group is prohibited unless any of the following apply:
Anyone who violates this prohibition is liable for a civil penalty of up to 2,500 dollars per violation. An action for the civil penalty or other injunctive relief may be brought by the Attorney General or a city or county prosecutor.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: There are imposters who perform and pretend to be the real band that recorded the hit music; they mislead the public. Only the original musicians, who have a right to use the band's name, should be able to perform under its name.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Gretchen Christopher a.k.a. Gretchen C. Matzen, The Fleetwoods and Gold Cup Music.