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October 24, 2016
PRS for Music has reported in “M-Magazine” that, at Prime Minister’s Questions on 19 October, Nigel Adams MP asked for Prime Minister May’s support to tackle the large scale online ticket touting now prevalent at music, sport, theatre and other cultural events.
Following similar measures taken in New York, Mr Adams proposed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that would criminalise the misuse of so-called “bot” technology to unlawfully harvest event tickets.
Ms May responded: “I thank my Hon. Friend for raising that issue. I am sure that he is not the only Member of the House who has had that experience, and he is certainly not the only person who has been affected, as members will know from their constituency mailbags.
“The Consumer Rights Act 2015 introduced a review of online ticket sales. Professor Mike Waterson’s independent report on online secondary ticketing makes a number of recommendations, including some whereby the industry itself could better protect itself from the problem. The Government will look very carefully at those recommendations to see what can be done to address the issue”.
The automated software criticised by Mr Adams hacks into ticket sales at the instant they go live online. They can perform thousands of transactions simultaneously, potentially blocking access to genuine fans and enabling touts to scalp inventory for resale at profit.
PRS for Music says that it is estimated that the UK’s secondary ticketing market is worth more than £1 billion per year.
Mr Adams’ amendment is due to be debated in parliament by 27 October 2016. To read PRS for Music’s article in full, click here.