Senate Bill 1034, proposed by Senator Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles), passed the Senate just yesterday and is now on to be considered by the Governor. The bill, which has been under consideration and revision for some time, proposed minimum accounting standards for the recording industry, which currently has no standard procedures for accountability. All records are property of the record company, and many contracts limit the artists' access to audits or other means of recourse to claim royalties owed.
From Senator Murray's website: "Proper accounting is the basic foundation of the relationship between artists and record companies. Since only one party, the record company, holds the financial information to calculate royalties, only one party has complete 100% control of the facts and resources to determine how much the other is owed.
For an artist, having the ability to verify their earnings is more than just knowing how much they owe or will receive. Royalties determine if an artist qualifies for healthcare and pension benefits which is vital to the artist and their families. There are no basic standards for the audit process in the recording industry as there are generally accepted accounting principles for other industries."