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The California Talent Management Act, Essay Example

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Essay

The California Talent Agency Act makes a clear distinction between talent managers and personal managers. The law, which was enacted in 1978, was meant to protect artists from exploitation by managers and agencies (Devlin, 2000). For talent managers, the law requires that they obtain a talent agency license, failure to which their contract with the artist can be voided. In some cases, the Labor Commissioner may require that they refund monies previously paid to them. According to the language of the code, a talent agent is someone or an entity who engages in procuring and offering employment or artistically engagements for artists.

The personal managers or the talent manager are more personal to the artist and majorly advise or counsels the artists on the best way to market their talent and get the most out of their work. The Act clearly states that personal managers’ role.

One disagreement that exists between the personal managers and the talent agents is found in the definition of their roles. The law requires that for a personal manager to collect the upwards of 10-15% commission on the earnings of their clients, they ought to have an agency license. This requires that personal managers obtain agency licenses makes them conflict with the talent agents, because talent agents also market the artists, and makes them more attractive for available opportunities (Forbes.com, 2013). The talent agent further engages in procuring employment for artists.

For new artists, the first acting or musical performance is usually procured by the personal manager, who often discovers the artist’s talent, and start working on their talent to make them employable. With the California Talent Management Act requiring that personal managers obtain a license before representing their artist-clients, this will put them in conflict with talent agents (Warren & Wechsler, 2014).

I side with the personal managers, in the dispute. Through their industry association, the National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM), the personal managers have launched a campaign to have the California Talent Management Act overturned. Their claim is justified since even though the duties of a personal manager does not include sourcing for jobs for artists, the first or even the second employment engagement is usually procured by the personal manager. When the law states that personal managers should not procure jobs for artists, this opens up a loophole for personal managers not to get paid for their efforts (LA Times, 2019).

The legal situation presented by the CTM Act favors the artists and the talent agents. It favors the artists since, in a dispute over payment between an artist and a personal manager, the court would side with an artist who claims that no law requires them to pay a personal manager a commission out of a job. The law is also more favorable to a talent agent because the Act clearly supports its role.

The California Talent Agencies Act should be applied to the whole country, but it needs a slight amendment to cater to the interests of all parties. First, the role of Act was to protect artists from exploitation by capping the amount of commission that agents and managers could charge. The law would be good for the whole country since the exploitation of financially un-savvy artists is homogenous across America. Secondly, the law would bring sanity to the creative industry, which is not only limited to music and film production. Artists such as sculptors, cartoonists, poets, etc. employ the services of personal managers who invest their time and money in growing young talent. Therefore, the law should also protect their investment.

References

Devlin, G. E. (2000). The Talent Agencies Act: Reconciling the Controversies Surrounding Lawyers, Managers, and Agents Participating in California’s Entertainment Industry. Pepp. L. Rev.28, 381.

Forbes.com. (March 25, 2013) Walking on the California Talent Agency Act’s Thin Ice: Personal Managers Beware!

The LA Times (April 30, 2019). The Latest Wrinkle in the Writer-Agent War: A state law widely seen as outdated.

Warren, K., & Wechsler, R. (2014). An Offer California Can’t Refuse: How an Efficient and Adaptable Framework Can Improve Remedies under the Talent Agency Act and Correct the Issues with Its Interpretation. UCLA Ent. L. Rev.21, 79.

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