Is anyone aware of this bulletin from PSA stating a new scary law that can seriously affect autograph memorabilia sales? Is it legit? Can anyone add more details or clarify this?
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Could you post the letter, its content or at least the gist of it?
I'm guessing this is the fairly recent California law that does nothing except create a burden for legitimate sellers?
Yes, this is legit -- here is the letter -- some very scary stuff:
Dear PSA Customer:
As a Sports and Entertainment collectibles seller located in the State of California, the following information is very important to the survival of your business.
Last January, California Assembly Bill 1570 became the law. The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board called it "one truly horrible law" that was "badly drafted, likely to be ineffective... [and has] serious potential for unintended consequences."
The California Coin and Bullion Merchants Associations has formed an alliance with auction houses, and grading services such as PSA and PSA/DNA, to overturn this draconian legislation. Our bill is Senate Bill 579 by Senator Galgiani.
Although California has had legislation regulating the sale of autographed sports memorabilia for two decades, the obscure law was ineffectual and widely ignored. Last year, at the behest of some Hollywood personalities, Assembly Member Ling Ling Chang introduced AB 1570 to expand the law to cover all autographed items, whether or not they were sports related, including PCGS/NGC/ICG/ANACS signed labels for gold and silver U.S. coins and other signed collectibles. The bill passed the Legislature without opposition and was signed by Governor Brown.
Basically, the new law requires "dealers" to provide a "certificate of authenticity" every time they sell an autographed collectible for more than $5. The seller must warrant the authenticity of the autograph and either declare that he personally witnessed the signing or provide the date, location and the name of the person who witnessed the signing. In most cases, this will be impossible. The seller may not limit the express warranty that the signature is genuine. Any consumer harmed by the dealer’s breach of warranty is liable for up to ten times the actual damages in a civil action plus the consumer’s attorney fees and costs. The dealer will have to disclose whether or not he maintains a surety bond or other insurance to protect the consumer against the dealer’s errors and omissions.
As you know, there is a serious problem with counterfeit autographed sports and entertainment memorabilia. The current law is replete with traps for dealers that trial lawyers are just discovering. We need sellers in signed sports and entertainment collectibles to become active by contacting their California Assembly Member or Senator to urge them to accept additional consumer protection amendments to SB 579 that will provide signed Sport Collectible Dealers with an exemption if they offer products authenticated by PSA or PSA/DNA.
What does it mean to "warrant the authenticity of the autograph" and what does "the seller may not limit the express warranty that the signature is genuine" mean???