July 6, 2017

Mark Hamill vs. Autographed Memorabilia: The Revenge of the Dark Side

By Anastasia P. Boden Attorney

Our friends at Reason have posted this excellent video on Mark Hamill’s effort to destroy small booksellers save kids from the menace that is fake Mark Hamill autographs.  Hamill’s legislative efforts resulted in a law so burdensome that it threatens to shut down bookstores across California.  We’re representing Bill Petrocelli and Bay Area bookstore Book Passage in a constitutional lawsuit against the law, as featured in this video.  Enjoy!

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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First Amendment challenge by Bay Area book seller Bill Petrocelli and his renowned store, Book Passage, California has rescinded the state’s onerous “certificate of authenticity” requirement for the sale of autographed books.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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