The State of New Jersey has been handed a setback in a case involving the Truth in Music Act, though advocates of the law said Monday that the ruling would not materially affect its effectiveness.
A federal appeals court ruled last week that the state Attorney General's Office must pay attorneys' fees to the promoter of groups calling themselves the Platters and the Cornell Gunter Coasters.
The case stems from 2007, when then-New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram sought a restraining order to force the groups to call themselves "tribute" bands when they performed in Atlantic City. The groups sued, and the state eventually conceded in U.S. District Court that it had enforced the law incorrectly.
The Truth in Music law, passed in 2007, was aimed at preventing the unauthorized use of the names of groups like the Platters, who recorded "The Great Pretender" and other hits in the 1950s and '60s.
State Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque, who sponsored a Truth in Music bill in the New Mexico state Legisalture, recently said he'll try again next year.
I wrote about the issue last week in a story about a group calling itself "Billy Richards' Coasters" playing the Clovis Music Festival.