Thursday, May 4, 2017

Australian live industry calls for ticket tout bots ban | UNLIMITED | CMU

Ticket touts

As the bots ban becomes law in the UK, the live entertainment industry in Australia has called on the government there to follow suit. The move would outlaw the software employed by some ticket touts to buy up large quantities of tickets off primary ticketing sites as soon as they go on sale.

As previously reported, the new Digital Economy Act that has just passed in the UK parliament introduces a bots ban over here. Initially the British government argued that a specific ban of such touting software wasn’t necessary. The use of such technology was possibly already illegal, it said. However, in the end ministers backed proposals made in Parliament for a bespoke bots ban targeting the ticket touts.

Similar measures have been introduced or considered elsewhere in the world, and in Australia independent senator Nick Xenophon recently proposed a country-wide bots ban, winning the support of opposition parties, but not the country’s government. Now trade body Live Performance Australia is calling on Australian ministers to back such proposals.

The organisation’s CEO Evelyn Richardson says: “Ticket bots are a growing problem around the world. They are being used to scoop up large numbers of tickets to popular shows which make it harder for genuine fans to get tickets to see their favourite artists. Bot activity also affects the operation of ticketing websites, slowing down performance and making it harder for fans to complete their purchase. For some popular shows, bots can make up the majority of visits to online ticketing sites”.

Conceding that primary ticketing sites also had a role to play in combating the bots, the LPA added that “governments also need to get behind the campaign with effective legislation and enforcement”

Richardson continued: “The UK and US have taken action, but the [Australian] government is missing in action. Bots are a global problem, and Australia should be part of the global response. Fans and artists in Australia – and around the world – should expect the Australian government to be doing its part to fight the bots and ensure that genuine fans have fairer access to tickets”.


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