Critical Financial Protections for Youth Content Creators Passes Senate Floor
SACRAMENTO – Today, the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 764, the Child Content Creator Rights Act. The bill, authored by Senator Steve Padilla (D-San Diego), would ensure content creators under 18 earn fair financial benefits from the use of their image.
“Protecting children from all forms of exploitation and abuse is one of our highest callings in government,” said Senator Padilla. “The financial exploitation of children must be identified and eliminated within the influencer industry and economy as they continue to grow. These performers are entitled to fair compensation from the money their content brings in.”
The bill requires content creators that feature minors in at least 30% of their content, to set aside a proportionate percentage of their earnings in a trust for the minor to access when they reach adulthood. The legislation mirrors the landmark financial protections that California established with the Coogan’s Act in the 1930’s that went on to become the national standard to best safeguard the economic future of actors under 18. However, Coogan protections only extend to child performers under contract. As parents do not need to draft contracts to record or post videos of their family, children in these posts are not guaranteed access to the profits generated by their likeness and participation.
“Children need more protections with regards to social media,” said Chris McCarty, Founder of Quit Clicking Kids, an advocacy group instrumental in the passage of similar legislation in Illinois. “I am delighted to see California taking steps to protect minors who are monetized online.”
“Children are recognized as a vulnerable group and, as history shows us, are susceptible to various forms of exploitation,” said Mary Jean Amon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida. “If we are interested in children’s rights, then some form of restrictions on their social media exposure is warranted. It is important that those in government are willing to pay attention to these emerging trends and behave proactively as leaders in this legislative arena.”
"I'm thrilled the California legislature has taken up this issue with expediency and diligence,” said Dr. Jessica Maddox, assistant professor of digital media at the University of Alabama. “Under Senator Padilla's leadership, California is poised to make meaningful protections for the children of influencers, creators, and family vloggers. Hopefully, the Assembly continues work on this important matter and is willing to implement it into law."
SB 764 passed the Senate Floor 34 to 0 and now moves to the Assembly. To read more about SB 764, click here.
Steve Padilla represents the 18th Senate District, which includes the communities of Chula Vista, the Coachella Valley, Imperial Beach, the Imperial Valley, National City, and San Diego. Prior to his election to the Senate in 2022, Senator Padilla was the first person of color ever elected to city office in Chula Vista, the first Latino Mayor, and the first openly LGBT person to serve or be elected to city office. Website of Senator Steve Padilla: https://sd18.senate.ca.gov/