1 month ago

A victory for common sense in California

By Kevin Desormeaux Digital Content Manager

Book Passage, a renowned Bay Area bookseller, filed a constitutional lawsuit in May against onerous new state restrictions that made it extremely risky, if not impossible, for stores to sell autographed books or host author events, like the more than 700 book signings hosted by Book Passage each year.

After PLF and Book Passage owner Bill Petrocelli filed suit, California has now rescinded the state’s “certificate of authenticity” requirement for the sale of autographed books. Hear directly from Bill and case attorney Anastasia Boden about the impact of this victory for freedom, common sense, and Bill’s right to be an upstanding small business owner.

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Book Passage v. Becerra

In the wake of a First Amendment challenge by Bay Area book seller Bill Petrocelli and his renowned store, Book Passage, California has rescinded the state’s onerous “certificate of authenticity” requirement for the sale of autographed books. The regulation would have made it extremely risky, if not impossible, for stores to sell signed books or host author events.

Under the former law, sellers of any autographed good worth over $5—including books—were required to provide a Certificate of Authenticity that included details about the transaction and the personal information about buyers and previous owners. Any omission, or failing to maintain the records for seven years, resulted in outrageous fines. Following PLF’s lawsuit, the legislature passed AB 228, which exempts books from the mandates.

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