CARSON CITY — A bill to prevent impostors from taking the names of popular musical groups without legal permission won unanimous approval Wednesday in the Assembly.
During hearings on Senate Bill 53, Jon Bauman, better known as Bowzer of Sha Na Na, and Sonny Turner, a member of the Platters, asked lawmakers to back the "Truth in Music" bill.
The bill would create a deceptive trade category for groups with no original members to pass themselves off as the famous groups unless they had the legal right to do so.
Groups performing under a famous name would have to have at least one original member of that group, barring some other legitimate legal claim to the name.
The legislation would allow a performance violating the requirements to be shut down ahead of time.
"Basically what has happened in Las Vegas is there are some groups who have advertised as if they were the popular group, when they didn’t have rights to use the name," said Assembly Minority Leader Garn Mabey, R-Las Vegas. "People who went to the show were disappointed because they didn’t see who they expected to see."
Approval came during a floor session attended by more than 100 schoolchildren. Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, tried to have legislators explain the bill to the audience.
"I hope there is one bill every day that is interesting to kids," she said. "We want to try to keep them from falling asleep."
The bill is intended to protect consumers, who might not know they are buying tickets to see fake 1950s group perform, and artists who only have their history as performers to rely on, Bauman said during hearings.
He is pushing similar bills in other states as chairman of the Truth in Music Committee of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Several states have adopted versions of the law.
The Senate approved the bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Heck, R-Henderson, and Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, on a 21-0 vote.2007 Nevada Legislature