The act was first introduced by California state assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez last year. Its full title is the Free Artists from Industry Restrictions Act, and would cap recording contracts for artists based in California or labels based in California at seven years. The idea is the bill will further protect musicians, as the same protection the bill proposes is already granted to California workers in other fields.
Lauryn Hill is one of the biggest proponents of the bill, and has shared a lengthy letter urging California lawmakers to pass it. If passed, the law would also offer the same protections to TV and Film productions, too.
“We would love to believe that businesses at the highest level are always run by fair practices and moral prerogatives, but this is more often than not, not the case,” she wrote. “For this reason laws MUST exist that protect people from harsh and insensitive practices like artist suppression, and willful sabotage and neglect. Record companies are still peopled and run by... Well, people—with personal policies, biases and issues we may know nothing about. Artists can easily fall prey to the internal politics of business, someone inside simply not liking them, or bulling and intimidation and the attacks that come when someone resists that coercion."
She highlighted that greed can often “pervert the creative intentions of young dreamers who don’t realize they’re up against a system with a history of using and crushing people who don’t comply with their agenda.” Hill would know, as she’s spoken at length in the past about the corruption and greed that’s rife in the music industry.