By Alfred Branch, Jr. On August 1, the likes of Tom Petty and other artists will no longer have to hide the fact that...

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

On August 1, the likes of Tom Petty and other artists will no longer have to hide the fact that they’re scalping tickets to their own shows in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty Monday signed into law a bill that repealed the state’s 94-year-old anti-scalping law, after it had received overwhelming support from state legislators.

The move comes at a critical time in the secondary ticket industry. Minnesota is one in a wave of states that recently repealed – or are considering repealing – their outdated anti-scalping laws, because legislators are realizing the laws are largely unenforceable in the Internet age. . . . While some have argued that repealing the law will drive ticket prices higher, most echo the sentiments of Minnesota State Rep. Phyllis Kahn who told Minnesota Star Tribune newspaper that the old anti-scalping law represented “the worst kind of socialist interference with the free market.”

Last year, Petty and Ticketmaster cancelled 500 pre-sale tickets to the performer’s Xcel Energy Center concerts in St. Paul after the fan club-issued tickets popped up on secondary ticket websites. But, Petty was among the artists who sanctioned the resale of tickets to the shows through the website Fanfire.com. Tickets on www.Fanfire.com were reselling for upwards of $200.