Tennessee legislation aimed at making it easier for online consumers to buy tickets to high demand events has passed the State House of Representatives and is now moving forward to the State Senate Judiciary Committee.
Linked to the now infamous Hannah Montana ticket debacle, the bill seeks to end the use of online technology aimed at buying up large numbers of tickets at one time, effectively boxing out the average consumer and making it nearly impossible to buy tickets for in demand events. Some states are taking legal action, most notably Missouri, and several states, including Connecticut, which only just recently legalized the resale of tickets, have pursued legislative options in an attempt to prevent a similar situation from occurring again. Ticketmaster has also taken action against the creators of the technology, filing an injunction against RMG Technologies, in the hope that legal action may curtail any similar situations to what occurred with Hannah Montana.
The Tennessee law would be enforced, according to State Rep. Gary Moore, who authored the bill, by having the online ticketing brokers watch for people buying up large blocks of tickets. The suspicious buyer’s unique IP address would then be logged and passed onto the state authorities for further investigation. Moore explained the specifics of the bill in an interview with Nashville television station WSMV, saying, “Ticketmaster, let’s say, who is trying to sell their tickets online, it allowed them to get in front of individuals who were already online trying to purchase tickets. This bill makes it a fine for anybody to utilize this software to purchase tickets.”
In addition, the Tennessee legislation would also make it illegal to give, sell, or use scalping software, hopefully leading to an even playing field when it comes to online ticket sales. Under the legislation, those found to be using or selling the online technology would face a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine for every ticket purchased with the illegal technology or a fine in the amount for which the ticket was resold for- whichever is higher.
The proposed legislation still does not include any stipulation for other unfair ticketing methods that occurred during the Hannah Montana ticket mess, particularly the actions of concert venues withholding tickets from buyers, choosing instead to focus on the growing problem of online ticket buying technology.