KPCC.com (CA) (09/04/13) Cohen, Alex; Martinez, A.
The use of computer programs, or bots, that purchase event tickets in bulk so that scalpers can then sell them at inflated prices is enough of a problem to prompt California's Assembly Judiciary Committee to recently pass a bill designed to fortify existing statutes against scalping. "There's a fan club presale, a credit card presale, then the artists, the promoter, the venue, they all get a big chunk of tickets," says Fan Freedom's Christopher Grimm. "We're starting off with a smaller supply than anyone actually thinks." The bots can circumvent the CAPTCHA security login process and blitz the box office with scores of ticket requests, scooping up all available seats in just seconds. The new legislation, which must be signed by the governor, would fine organizations caught employing computer programs to purchase multiple tickets. Grimm says the problem with controlling bot-scalping is partly attributable to the fact that ticketing firms never report how many tickets are being acquired by bots. "The bill...is a good first step," he says. "It gets everyone in agreement that bots are bad for consumers and that something needs to be done to prevent folks from using them in California."