A little over a month ago, I wrote about the newly formed Fix the Tix coalition which is urging the US Congress to pass legislation to protect ticket buyers from exploitative ticket pricing/manipulation, ticketing scams, and use of bots to purchase high demand tickets.
Last week they released the details of what they are pushing Congress to enact. It is pretty much everything ticket buyers and venue operators have been praying for.
In addition to restrictions on just plain gouging, the plan calls for the end of speculative ticket selling by requiring sellers to legally have physical or virtual ownership of tickets.
● require that resellers and ticket resale platforms legally obtain each ticket and have each ticket in possession, virtually or physically, prior to placing it on sale.
● require that the ticket resale platform has written proof that a reseller possesses a ticket to sell.
Similarly, they ask that attempts to make a ticketing site masquerade as official outlet of a venue be made illegal.
● make illegal the use of deceptive URLs, search engine optimization, or advertising that improves the visibility of secondary sites over primary sales platforms and makes fans believe they are buying tickets from the venue or artist.
● require secondary ticketing resellers and platforms to clearly and conspicuously disclose:
○ a notice that it is not the primary ticket issuer and venue;
○ that a ticket may still be available from the primary ticket seller and link back to the primary ticket seller;
○ the original face value and fees of each ticket; and
○ a certiﬁcation that the event ticket offered for sale is in the possession of the reseller or secondary ticketing platform.
Note, I haven’t listed everything they are asking to occur in each of these situations. Check out the full document for more info.
As you might imagine, they are also insisting on full transparency for fees up front during the purchasing experience.
In terms of privacy and safety, they are asking the secondary market sellers be required to provide venues with the contact info of ticket purchasers so they can be reached in case of emergency or rescheduling. But they also insist that secondary market buyer information be protected and not used for sales and marketing without purchaser permission.
As mentioned, Fix the Tix also want to prevent tickets from being snatched up by bots and to ensure secondary ticket sales are made at or near face value on a one on one basis rather than by corporations to individuals:
● ensure that artists, working with venues, determine how to get tickets into the hands of actual fans.
● prohibit companies that operate both primary and secondary ticketing platforms from forcing tickets sold for more than face value to only be resold on their platforms.
● encourage ticketing platforms to operate exclusive, no-fee, fan-to-fan exchanges of tickets as long as they are not exchanged on those exclusive platforms for more than the face value (or the original total cost) of the ticket.
● prohibit companies that are primary sellers and secondary resellers from offering secondary resales on the same web page or display where the primary seller also offers tickets for primary sale.