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Bookstore sues California over autograph law

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A San Francisco bookstore chain is suing California over a new law that requires all autographed books and other items to be worth at least $5 and be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a warranty.

Book Passage owner Bill Petrocelli told ABC 7 that the law — Assembly Bill 1570 — was written so broadly that he and others are worried about how it will affect them. The bill went into effect this year. The lawsuit, filed Thursday by the Pacific Legal Foundation on Mr. Petrocelli’s behalf, claims the law is unconstitutional.

Mr. Petrocelli told reporters he is worried he’ll get sued.

“I don’t know whether we’re subject to the law right now and I don’t want to wait to find out if someone will sue us,” he told ABC 7.

According to news reports, the law was intended to crack down on counterfeit autographs, yet some publishers and bookstores also worry the law will impact book signings and other author events.