Bill proposed to criminalise ticket-buying through bots

By Matt Bryan

Users of IT software to purchase mass amounts of concert tickets could face prison sentences if proposed laws are put in place.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, backed the idea which would clamp down on people turning huge profits by using software known as bots to buy tickets only to resell at inflated prices at the expense of fans.

As evidence grows from the music industry, more attention is drawn to the allegations that the consumer rights law is too often being disregarded.

Another Conservative MP, Nigel Adams tabled an amendment to the bill which could prosecute bot users, resulting in a maximum prison sentence of 51 weeks, a fine of up to £5,000 or both.

Adams has accused websites involved in the resale of tickets having no interesting in protecting music fans. 

Kevin Spalding, a Glasgow based DJ and music fan, said: “There needs to be changes made so everyone has a fair opportunity at seeing their favourite acts.

“I’ve had experiences where it has been almost impossible to buy tickets at face value.

“In my opinion, criminalising the mass buying of tickets for the purpose of selling for profit is of course the right thing to do. It’s kind of obvious that it should be criminal.

“I don’t see there being a massive impact with the proposed legislation. The true impactful change is occurring by changes developed by the consumer. Time and money is all anyone cares about in business.

“The whole thing with bots seems to happen more now, or at least we’re more aware of it. I think either way you grudge paying anyone more than face value.

“I would be interested to know how expensive bot programs are compared to what it yields in ticket sales.”

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