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The Oregon House of Representatives Thursday unanimously passed proposed legislation that would outlaw the use of software "bots" to obtain event tickets.
Such software, which has been highly controversial over the past couple of years, can help users gain an unfair advantage and quickly bypass online security efforts when buying tickets from primary Web sites, such as that of Ticketmaster Entertainment.
The legal maneuvering continues in the three-year-old lawsuit by the New England Patriots against StubHub, as the secondary ticketing company was reportedly dealt a blow recently to one of its arguments.
StubHub unsuccessfully tried to argue that it should not be held responsible for the actions of its users under Section 230 of the landmark Communications Decency Act. The company was seeking a partial summary judgment that would have gone a long way to thwarting the Patriots' efforts to paint the secondary ticket company as partly liable for users buying and selling the teams' tickets. StubHub claims it does not sell tickets itself, the company simply created a forum for others to buy or sell tickets.
About 8,300 fans of the legendary Aerosmith will be receiving free tickets to see the band later this year as part of a settlement the band has reached in a lawsuit over a canceled concert in Maui two years ago.
The band, which has a major tour lined up for this summer with ZZ Top, will perform a single concert in Maui as part of the settlement, most likely in the fall after the tour. In addition, the band is expected to reimburse fans' out-of-pocket expenses for travel and other costs.
After two years of progress in adopting favorable ticket resale laws, several states are again taking a hard look at the issue and are considering reforms that could significantly impact ticket brokers.
In some instances, the various moves came in the aftermath of the Hannah Montana ticketing controversy, but now state legislatures are again studying the issue in light of the problems associated with Bruce Springsteen tickets, which led to a settlement with New Jersey, and the proposed merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation.
Bowing to pressure from state, federal and Canadian authorities, Ticketmaster Entertainment said today that it was going to turn over to officials "certain information about TicketsNow's broker clients and their sales activities."
In an email to TicketsNow clients, Ticketmaster outlined some of its reasons for doing it, stressing that it centered around its handling of Bruce Springsteen ticket sales, which were part of a settlement the company reached with New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.
A proposal to eliminate the speculative selling of tickets for events in Arkansas has been delayed while a state House committee reviews the measure.
Last week, the proposed bill, SB966 which was sponsored by Sen. Larry Teague, prohibits brokers and others from selling tickets to events in the state, with the exception of sporting events, before tickets go on sale to the general public. The plan received overwhelming support in the state Senate, but the measure left questions unanswered, namely what would it mean for fan clubs or theater subscriptions, both of which offer tickets for sale in advance of the general public.
With new federal money coming into state coffers because of the stimulus package, New York Gov. David Patterson has dropped a plan for a proposed 4 percent tax on event tickets from his upcoming budget.
The proposed ticket tax was one of several taxes or fees that the governor was proposing to help the state make up the difference from an estimated $13.7 billion budget deficit in next year's state spending package. Patterson and other state officials believed the event ticket tax would have generated revenues of about $53 million in next year's budget and $70 million the following year.
The New York State Assembly is considering a proposed bill that would mandate that at least 7 percent of the tickets for sale for a sporting event be affordable, if the game is played in a facility that received taxpayer money to help build it.
Bill number A00508, sponsored by Democratic Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, calls for "an accounting of all benefits that any state or local authority has granted for the purpose of construction, reconstruction, repair, or rehabilitation of a professional sports facility" so that an affordable ticket price can be determined.
A Washington, DC-based law firm has launched its own investigation into the business practices of Ticketmaster Entertainment and its subsidiary TicketsNow as it relates to the companies' handling of the recent onsales for Bruce Springsteen tickets.
Finkelstein Thompson LLP is the latest entity to question how the two companies handled the Springsteen sale, and the investigation comes as parent company Ticketmaster deals with the federal probe into its plan to merge with Live Nation.
New York Governor David Patterson is proposing to add a 4 percent sales tax on event tickets in the next fiscal year, a plan that could take hold considering the budget deficit the state government is facing.
And, to add insult to injury, New York City, home to Broadway, is also mulling over including a 4.5 percent tax on tickets on top of the 4 percent Patterson is proposing, raising ticket prices in the country's largest entertainment market by a combined total of 8.5 percent.