Bookselling: Still legal in California

Last week, I shared the news that a new California law was going to require vendors in the business of selling collectibles to provide certificates of authenticity. I linked to a post by a California bookstore arguing that the law was going to be difficult — if not impossible — to obey.

But the law blog Scrivener's Error sets that bookstore straight: seems that the California law is much more reasonable than the booksellers believed. The nut of it:

None of the recordkeeping requirements for "collectibles" (defined in § 1739.7(a)(2) as "an autographed item sold or offered for sale in or from this state by a dealer to a consumer for five dollars ($5) or more") apply to anyone except "dealers." Not to private citizens reselling stuff from their uncle's estate. Not to individual artists who sign their paintings or postcards or prints or sculptures. More to the point here, not to authors who sign books for fans at conventions or bookstores... or to bookstores that happen to have a few author-autographed copies lying around, or even that offer — amongst all of their other business — to have a book personalized by the author for a holiday internet order.

So let's be clear: booksellers in California are not being weighted down with an unnecessary and unwieldy new regulation. Booksellers can still sell signed stock. Everything is all right. Carry on.