Photo: Sean Ardoin
The Restoring Artistic Protection (RAP) Act Takes Effect In Louisiana
Louisiana became the second state in the nation to enact a law that protects a creator’s right to artistic expression by limiting the use of creative works. Here’s what that means for all music people.
On August 1, with the enactment of the Restoring Artistic Protection Act (HB 475), Louisiana became the second state in the nation to enact a law that protects a creator’s right to artistic expression by limiting the use of creative works, such as lyrics, as evidence in criminal court cases.
Since the bill’s introduction in March, the Recording Academy has been working closely with Louisiana State lawmakers, including State Rep. Tanner Magee who was the original bill sponsor, to help ensure its passage.
On April 20, the Recording Academy’s Memphis Chapter even hosted a Louisiana Music Advocacy Day in Baton Rouge where Academy members met with state lawmakers in support of the bill. Following the Advocacy Day, HB 475 passed out of the House on April 26 before clearing the Senate on June 4. And, on June 12, the bill was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards with an effective date of August 1.
The passage of HB 475 marked a significant milestone in the nationwide effort to protect creators’ First Amendment rights. Upon the new law taking effect, Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy said, “Today we celebrate an important victory for music creators in the state of Louisiana. Silencing any genre or form of artistic expression is a violation against all music people. As the second state to enact a law protecting creative expression, Louisiana continues to build momentum in the fight to safeguard artists’ creativity nationwide. We extend our gratitude to Rep. Tanner Magee for his leadership on this issue and to Governor Edwards for recognizing the importance of protecting artistry and signing the Restoring Artistic Protection Act into law.”
Besides Louisiana, California is the only other state to have a law to protect music creators from their lyrics being used against them in a criminal trial. However, the Recording Academy has continued to work in many other states, such as New York and Missouri, on similar legislation.
In addition to the Recording Academy’s statewide efforts, the Academy has also been working closely with Members of Congress to get a federal bill on this issue passed. On April 27, during the Recording Academy’s GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, the federal Restoring Artistic Protection Act (H.R.2952) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition to its re-introduction, the Recording Academy joined the bill’s cosponsors, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) for a press conference outside of the U.S. Capitol to announce the bill’s reintroduction.
Keep checking the Recording Academy’s Advocacy site for more information about how the world’s leading society of music people fights for the music community!