UK ticket bots ban comes into effect, warns of “unlimited fine”
New legislation in the UK making it a crime to use automated software bots to scoop up concert and sporting tickets came into effect yesterday, July 5.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) warned that infringers “will face an unlimited fine.”
“The tide is now turning against the touts,” it proclaimed.
The music industry has been lobbying vigorously for legislation and enforcement changes to stop practices that work against real music fans.
FanFair Alliance, an across-the-board industry collaboration set up to fight unfair practices in the sector, called it “another important step towards cleaning up the so-called secondary market.”
Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the Music Managers Forum, commented: “The new changes to the law including banning bots will help increase the chances of tickets getting into the hands of fans.
“The entire market is now shifting with the increasing ability to enforce artists terms and conditions and provide face-value resale options which are fan-friendly.
“These changes have the potential to have a global impact and the U.S. is now looking to UK consumer law to help clean up it’s own ticketing market.”
Last year, UK regulators alleged that bots scooped up 30,000 tickets to the sold-out Hamilton musical and which led to mark-ups of up to 49% on secondary platforms.
In April the government brought in further laws that insisted resellers provide more information on the tickets.
The music industry has also worked at creating options for consumers who genuinely cannot attend an event and need to sell off their tickets.
Artists including Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, Pixies, The Charlatans and Iron Maiden have introduced measures that allow their fans to make exchanges.