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Used Book Sellers Worried About New California Collectibles Law

abee5 /Flickr

abee5 /Flickr

The authenticity of famous signatures will be easier to track in California under a new state law.

However, some who deal in used books, say it will unfairly hurt their businesses.

The autographed memorabilia law was supported by Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker, based on his experience with finding fraudulent examples of his own signature.

He told lawmakers that standardized rules are needed to ensure the items sold are the real deal.

The new law requires dealers to create a certificate of authenticity, complete with the name and address of the previous owner, for all items over five dollars. Records need to be kept for at least seven years.

Scott Brown with Eureka Books says he believe there were good intentions behind the law, but feels it’s flawed.

“There’s this huge privacy concern and there’s no grandfather clause, so people who sold us items in the past, not knowing that this law would go into effect, they’re not exempted,” said Brown.

Former Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang from the Los Angeles area authored the bill.

A statement on her official Facebook page said the law does not apply to booksellers.

Brown says the law does indeed apply, as he and other booksellers interpret it. But, not everyone affected by the law sees it as a problem.

M. Parker is the owner of HR Sports Cards and Comics in Sacramento and says this law will help with big-name autographed collectibles.

“There has to be something behind it to say it’s real to assure the consumer that they didn’t get taken,” said Parker. “That’s important.”

Booksellers say they’re working with legislators to alter the language as soon as possible.

They’re hoping to raise the five dollar value and reduce the amount of private information they’re required to collect.

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