On February 17, 2016 a new bill was introduced in the State of California. On August 30, 2016 an amendment to the California Labor code was approved by the Governor and it’s about porn stars and their agents.
Okay it’s actually about ANY performer in the state of California, not just porn stars, but still. It applies to us too so that’s all we care about anyway. 🙂
California Assembly Bill Number 2068 – Chapter 245 is an act to amend Sections 1703 and 1703.4 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.
This has been past and is now a law, effective 08/30/2016 and was put into place for “California Talent Agent Scam Prevention”.
The first part (that we care about in our industry) is dealing with talent agents not removing photos of talent from the agencies website when requested to do so.
Now an agent has 10 days of delivery of a request which is made by telephone, mail, fax, text message, or email, to do so. A willful violation of those prohibitions is a crime.
See that part? If an agent refuses to remove you from their website and you have requested they do so, they have committed a criminal act.
This is the same law that says that if you sign a contract with an agency and then later change your mind, you can cancel it without penalty in the first ten business days.
(e) (1) An artist may cancel a contract or within 10 business days from the date he or she commences utilizing the services under the contract. An artist shall notify the talent service of the cancellation for talent services within 10 business days of the date he or she executed the contract by mailing, delivering, or sending by facsimile transmission to the talent service, a signed and dated copy of the cancellation notice or any other written notice of cancellation, or by sending a notice of cancellation via the Internet if the contract was executed in part or in whole through the Internet.
And it is also the same law that says no contract between a porn star and a talent agency can be more than 1 year long and contracts are not allowed to be automatically renewed. So anyone who has signed a 2 or 3 or 4 year contract, doesn’t have a valid contract once the first year has passed.
At the end of the year when your contract expires, you must sign a new contract with your agent if they want it to be valid.
(f) A contract between an artist and a talent service shall have a term of not more than one year and shall not be renewed automatically.
The thing about some agents, they count on the fact that most porn stars don’t know shit about the law and just how easy it is for a porn star to get them in some serious trouble by filing a complaint with the labor board in California. While not all violations are criminal acts, some are and others are just fines or in some cases, agents can even lose their license.
Most porn stars don’t realize that they just have to fill out a little form and hand deliver it (and it’s totally free) to get their agent or former agent in some serious trouble with the State.
I’m talking potential jail time, and/or thousands of dollars in fine and/or the loss of their license all together.
This new law is meant to strengthen and update the original “Talent Scam Prevention Act”. The guy who wrote the bill said there are nearly 500 talent agencies are registered within Los Angeles County and that most are legitimate. But some agencies refuse to remove content at the request of a client.
This bill is also meant to fight agents charging a management fee for services. The law prohibits that. An agent is only legally allowed to charge you a commission for a job he (or she) books for you. He can’t also charge you a monthly management fee. The lady who they recently nailed that that now faces two years in jail and $20,000 in fines. She was arrested and then arraigned on Feb 5 of this year. She was calling herself a “talent agent manager” and charging clients a monthly management fee up front. You can’t do that. You can only pay a commission based on work an agent gets you. No flat fees.
This chick, Debra Baum ended up pleading no contest to just the one count of operating an “advance fee talent service” and got 36 months probation, 45 days in jail and 20 days of community service. She also had to pay $91,252.75 in restitution to the victims.
They nailed her on the very same laws that protect porn stars and that very same section of the law is what forces agents to take your photos off of their website if you request it.
Stand up for your rights. You do have them!