ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ticketmaster and Those Pesky Bots

Last week, I mentioned a California bill addressing the issue of ticket resales and secondary marketplaces.  I think that the primary problem for consumers is not that these secondary marketplaces exist -- being able to resell tickets is generally a good thing for consumers--but that scalpers use bots (automated software programs) to buy up large quantities of tickets which they then resell at jacked up prices.  Fans get angry because shows are quickly "sold out" and they are forced to pay heart stopping prices in the secondary marketplace if they want to see their favorite performer (or get decent seats).  Well, Ticketmaster has had enough and is suing 21 people involved in circumventing its online security system by buying up vast quantities of tickets.  Ticketmaster's weapon of choice here?  The universally reviled yet oh-too-familiar Terms of Use.  Ticketmaster's TOU prohibits the use of bots.  (It's also suing for copyright infringement, among other things).  In fact, back in the early days of the Internet, bots were one of the reasons companies started to use TOU.  The more things change....

[Nancy Kim]

Current Affairs, E-commerce, Miscellaneous, Web/Tech | Permalink

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I just attempted to buy tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert in Nashville, TN.
This was the fifth time in less than 2 years that I have tried through Ticketmaster to obtain tickets to a show and never gotten through the system once. This time, I even tried the fanclub presale 4 days before the general sale. Never got a chance there either.
Is there nothing the fans can do?
Is there no way fans can stand up against this legally?
I checked on eBay 20 minutes after giving up today, and there was one seller located in New York with 164 tickets to this show!!!!
What can the fans do?
I have had enough.

Posted by: Stephen Powers | May 17, 2013 8:35:30 PM

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