BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 630
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 630 (Holden)
          As Amended  August 27, 2013
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |74-0 |(May 2, 2013)   |SENATE: |37-0 |(September 3,  |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    B., P. & C.P.  

           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits a person from using an architect's  
          instruments of service without a written contract or written  
          assignment authorizing that use; prohibits an architect from  
          unreasonably withholding consent from the architect's client to  
          use those instruments of service; specifies that an architect  
          may reasonably withhold consent if full payment has not been  
          made, or if the conditions of the written contract have not been  
          fulfilled; and declares that this bill is declaratory of  
          existing law.  

           The Senate amendments  : 

          1)Prohibit an architect from unreasonably withholding consent to  
            use his or her instruments of service from a person for whom  
            the architect provided the services.

          2)Allow an architect to reasonably withhold consent to use the  
            instruments of service for cause, including, but not limited  
            to, lack of full payment for services provided or failure to  
            fulfill the conditions of a written contract.

          3)Find and declare that this bill is a clarification of existing  
            law and does not take away any right otherwise granted by law.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel. 

           COMMENTS  :  Current law provides certain protections for an  
          architectural work under federal copyright law and state  
          contract law.  For example, if a person improperly uses or  
          transfers architectural work, an architect can pursue legal  
          action in a federal court and seek injunctive relief or  
          compensation ranging from $200 to $150,000 for each  








                                                                  AB 630
                                                                  Page  2

          infringement.  In addition, if a contract prohibits the transfer  
          of architectural work, then an architect can sue for a breach of  
          contract in state civil court.    

          If an architect's written contract does not state whether the  
          right of the original client to use the architectural work can  
          be transferred to another person, it is implied that the only  
          person who is authorized to use the architectural work is the  
          client who signs the contract.  The sponsor believes this bill  
          will remove any ambiguity as to who is authorized to use an  
          architectural work.  This bill further clarifies that an  
          architect may not unreasonably withhold consent, but allows an  
          architect to withhold consent for cause, including lack of full  
          payment or failure to fulfill the conditions of a written  
          contract. 
          
          In addition, if a written contract is silent on the transfer  
          rights of an architectural work, this bill would prohibit the  
          use of an architect's work without permission, even if that was  
          not the intent.  Generally, this would pose no problem, since  
          anyone other than the original client should seek permission  
          from the architect to use his or her work.  However, since  
          copyright protection for a work can last anywhere from 70 years  
          following the life of the author to 120 years after the date of  
          publication, a situation may arise in which the architect will  
          not be available to grant permission, even if it is sought.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Elissa Silva / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)  
          319-3301 


          FN: 0002315