Ticket touts who use ‘bots’ to bulk buy tickets and then resell them at ridiculously inflated prices, will now face “unlimited fines”
The government has said that it will start taking action after tickets to see artists such as Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Drake and Adele, are selling out within minutes, sometimes even seconds, after coming on sale. Moments after they are sold out, they then appear on resale websites such as StubHub, sometimes as selling for as much as 4 or 5 times the original price. This change comes after an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill, meaning that it will now be illegal to use these ‘bots’ to bypass the limits set in place for the maximum amount of tickets that can be bought at one time.
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, a long-time campaigner for ticket reform, is happy with these changes put in place, as these changes would address a “broken and parasitic market”, reports from The Guardian.
“These measures will ensure that fans are protected, but there still remains work to do to make sure that these measures are enforced properly so touts do not circumvent them as this is going to very soon be the law of the land,” she said.
Jo Dipple, chief executive of music industry representatives UK Music, happy with the change. Talking to the BBC, Jo said; “Massive profit is made by people who are taking value out of the music industry and putting tickets out of the reach of music fans. Banning bots is a step towards ensuring the ticketing market for live events works more fairly for gig-goers.”
Ticket resale sites such as StubHub could now face some harsh measures if they cannot prove that they are doing all they can to stop ticket touts.
These changes may not completely solve the issue but it is certainly a step in the right direction.