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Bill on Free Agency for Artists Dies

August 16, 2002|CHUCK PHILIPS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A bill designed to open the door on free agency for recording artists died Thursday in the California Senate.

Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) announced that, "at the request of artist representatives," he had decided not to move forward this legislative session with Senate Bill 1246.

In fact, Murray did not have the votes to pass the bill, which would have repealed a music-industry-supported amendment to the California Labor Code that binds recording artists to contracts longer than other workers.

After listening to artists testify at hearings last year, lawmakers told their representatives to work out a compromise on the bill with the major record labels. The two sides have been struggling for months to negotiate a deal but failed to come to terms on several key points.

Murray said he plans to introduce a comprehensive package next year that would deal with recording artists' rights, the length of recording contracts, music accounting practices and health-care and pension benefits.

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