11/03/2017 London, UK: UK Music has welcomed a Government commitment to outlaw the use of computer software to bulk buy tickets for gigs, a practice which stops many genuine fans from attending events.
Ticket touts will be banned from using “bot” technology which bypasses security measures enabling them to acquire hundreds of tickets the moment they go on sale, then appear almost instantaneously on resale sites at hugely inflated prices. Many fans are unable to pay the huge fees demanded of them.
An amendment to the Digital Economy Bill will enable the government to create a new criminal offence for the use of bots to exceed limits on maximum ticket purchases. There will be unlimited fines for breaking the law.
Welcoming the move, UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple said: "UK Music is pleased that Government is responding to industry representations and is now acting on the recommendations of the Waterson review. The use of ‘bots’ to bulk-buy tickets amounts to industrial-scale touting. 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.”
The Government says the move is part of its wider drive to ensure genuine fans are not losing out in the secondary ticketing market, and it is accepting the recommendations of a review into secondary ticketing by Professor Michael Waterson.
This included calls for ticket sellers to put in place tougher anti-bot measures and report bot attacks, stronger enforcement of existing consumer rights laws, and the threat of further action if the industry does not act against rogue ticket traders.