Nigel to PM: Back our ban on cyber ticket touting software!

Nigel to PM: Back our ban on cyber ticket touting software!

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Story via Harry Cole in the Sun:

 

Furious MPs are demanding Theresa May copy US President Obama and crack down on sophisticated cyber ticket touts.

In one of his last actions in the White House, the outgoing US chief last week outlawed computer “bots” that harvest sports and gig seats for greedy ticket touts.

The Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016 makes it a US federal offence for ticket touts to use sophisticated computer software to buy huge amounts of tickets as soon as they go on sale.

The bulk tickets are then sold on at a massively marked up price, netting the touts fat profits but leaving genuine fans out of pocket.

Now British MPs want the PM to pass similar legislation for British customers.

Tory MP Nigel Adams, Chairman of the All Party Group for Music, told The Sun last night: “I am delighted that President Obama has taken action to criminalise the use of ticket buying software or ‘BOTS’.”

He added: “I am pressing our own Government to join together with our American allies to combat industrial scale digital touting by introducing a similar law as part of the Digital Economy Bill.

“Genuine fans are being squeezed out of the market for popular event tickets and it’s time to take a stand against the touts”.

Mr Adams’ plea is supported by the boss of the powerful Commons Culture Committee who has also called time on the touts.

Last month Damian Collins hit out at ticket websites accusing them of a “failure to provide the most basic assurances about what they’re doing to tackle known large scale touts and fraudsters operating on their own sites.”

 The Conservative MP lashed out at his own Government’s claims that touts are covered by the Computer Misuse Act 1990, saying that law “does not seem to allow sufficient provision or clarity in this area, and as such there is a strong case for new legislation here to prevent individuals manipulating online ticketing systems”.

Seats for Phil Collins’s tour sold out on Ticketmaster in seconds last month, but the £55 tickets were later spotted selling on other websites for more than two thousand pounds.

Bands like Mumford and Sons and One Direction are also backing a clampdown on the ticket rip off.

Signing his Act into law last week, President Obama said his new law would “prohibit the circumvention of control measures used by Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events.”

It also outlawed tickets being sold on “if the seller participated in, had the ability to control, or should have known about the violation.”

Republican Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas who was a key driver of the Act said it was designed to “level the playing field” for ordinary fans.