Music Industry

Ontario Vows to Ban Scalper Bots. Can It Be Done?

Scalper bots–those automatic ticket-buying programs that elbow ahead of humans and buy up all the best tickets to hot shots before us meatbags have chance to hit “enter”–are among the most hated artificial entities since the T-1000. They must be stopped before they completely take away all abilities from us squidgy organisms to see concerts at a fair price. But how?

Politicians certainly know there’s a problem. New York State is working on doing something about bots. In the UK, there’s a proposed amendment to a digital economy bill that seeks to punish what they call “ticket touts.” Last month, Kingston MPP Sophie Kiwala put forward a bill in the Ontario legislature that would attack the situation. And now the Ontario General of Ontario is on the case.

AG Yasir Naqvi wants the Liberal government to intervene in the practice of automated ticket buying. But how?

Naqvi is asking questions and looking for answers, consulting with authorities in other jurisdictions (including New York and the UK) as well as consumer groups, artists and anyone else with skin the game. Those findings will be added to Kiwala’s bill to give it more teeth.

Just in time, too. A survey of showed that two-thirds of all the tickets sold to the final Tragically Hip tour weren’t sold directly to fans.

We should all wish everyone involved all the luck in the world. No one likes a ticket-buying Bender.

(Via Chartattack and Todd)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37811 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Ontario Vows to Ban Scalper Bots. Can It Be Done?

  • I think we’d (Music fans ) all like to see something happen but .. Is this that important that government should get involved? And what can they do anyway?

    Making it illegal for ticketmaster to resell tickets through any associated companies might help but good luck getting that through.

    As long as there are people willing to spend crazy money in the secondary ticket marketplace this will always be an issue.

  • It won’t matter. Much like any internet technology. It’s just gonna be replaced with another, after one is gone. Remember what the outcome of Napster became? Or kickssstorrents not that long ago?

    Best way to get rid of the bots. Stop selling tickets online and get your ass to an actual ticket outlet, or god forbid the venue where the show is happening.

    Or, like I said before on deaf ears. DON’T BUY THEM AT ALL! If you want the true power of action. It is as simple as not buying these bot bought tickets in the first place. But it seems that no one is listening. So, now that is your own fault if you bought them. That’s like you pouring more gas on the fire.

    CBC’s Marketplace did an entire episode on this issue last night.


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