Christian Science Monitor (09/25/13) Wood, Daniel B.
A new California law takes aim at scalpers' practice of using ticket-buying software to circumvent the security of ticket-vending websites. "When you have a huge population state like California say, 'We don't want our customers cheated out of good seats,' that sends the biggest message possible to the rest of the country that this will be stopped," says Fans First president Michael Marion. He notes that passing similar legislation has been a struggle for many states, and California's action represents a turning point in the anti-scalping movement. "As the leader in the fight against 'bots,' we applaud Governor [Jerry] Brown for signing into law an anti-bot bill," says Ticketmaster's Jacqueline Peterson. "This is an important step in combating nefarious scalping practices that are responsible for too many tickets ending up in the hands of scalpers." The law takes effect in January, but some observers are unsure that it will make a difference. "It's very easy to vilify professional scalpers and say they are using some untoward means to bypass security, but the fact of the matter is that the ticket inventories available to the general public are actually quite small," says Dean Budnick. He notes that set-asides and presale offers associated with fan clubs or those seeking credit card bargains often limit the number of seats sold, for example.