State Appeals Court Says Stubhub Isn't Responsible For Actions Of Its Users
from the tickets-he-re...-we've-got-tickets-he-re.. dept
Over the years, we’ve written about the Section 230 safe harbors — which protect service providers from being liable for certain actions of their users — a number of times. This is perfectly common sense legislation: the blame should be placed on the person who actually committed the action, rather than the tools they used. Yet, for some reason, some still have trouble understanding this. A frequent target of those misunderstandings has been online ticket reseller Stubhub. A few years back we wrote about a ruling in a case in Illinois where the court effectively ignored Section 230. Apparently there was a similar move by a state court in North Carolina some time ago, but thankfully, the appeals court has reversed it, and once again made clear that you don’t blame Stubhub for illegal actions performed by its users.
Filed Under: north carolina, secondary liability, section 230, ticket sales
Comments on “State Appeals Court Says Stubhub Isn't Responsible For Actions Of Its Users”
Meanwhile, in the MPAA/RIAA’s headquarters….
Mook: “Sir! I just discovered something amazing!”
Boss: “What is it?”
Mook: “People pirating use the road for transport.”
Boss: “Burn the roads! All of them!”
Mook2: “But what about all the legitimate uses of a road–“
Boss: “Piracy! Burn the roads! The roads are killing our economy! Burn the people who made them, too!”
Mook2: “Right away!”
Mook: “Oooh, I also figured something out that’s vital to our goals!”
Boss: “Go on.”
Mook: “Pirates transport their goods using legs!”
Boss: “BREAK ALL THE LEGS. And SUE GOD FOR GIVING THEM TO US.”
I give it a B-. Effort was there, woulda been better if the order was to burn the ocean, since the pirates sail and all that.
On the one hand, I love the proper application of liability.
On the other hand, I despise StubHub.
Too often in my life do I miss out on the sale of concert tickets by five minutes, only to find them being immediately scalped on StubHub for at least three times their face value. I know that if it weren’t on StubHub, it would be somewhere else, but goddammit, still makes my blood boil.
(I wish more acts would have integrity and go paperless. Then I could watch StubHub burn and have Section 230 remain unperverted.)
NFL tried a ticket exchange service where you could buy and sell tickets at face value. Guess what? There were never any tickets to buy there. Any tickets that were posted were immediately snapped up by scalpers for resale. Soon, no one posted tickets there because they felt like chumps. Now, NFLTicketExchange points to a StubHub-like ticketmaster domain where the free market sets prices and scalpers get no more or less advantage than anyone else. No one likes a market where speculators dominate but some speculation is often necessary to create a liquid market.
This is indeed aggravating. StubHub is allowed to have a mini monopoly on each concert. If eggs are too expensive at one place, I can go to another market, but StubHub buys ALL the eggs! Why is this even legal? They should die a horrible death.
Yeah, here in Illinois, the court has a habit of ignoring all sorts of things. Then again, the Illinois rules of government implies there was a predetermined beneficiary of the ruling.
Maybe Paypal should hire Stubhub’s lawyers.
Blaming The Shopkeeper
The poor old shopkeeper is everybody’s favourite victim. They are always there, so they are easy to find. There is none of this tedious concealment of identity and being hard to find. So serving papers on them is a doddle. Also, they are always non-violent, so there is no danger in being nasty to them for years and years. Plus, they have money, since they are running a shop, so there must be some assets. So any successful lawsuit must produce some payoff. All this makes them an irresistible target for a lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the real perps are hard to find and, when found, have a nasty tendency to shoot back. Nailing the real perps is difficult and dangerous. It is ten times worse when organised crime is involved. Wise guys are scary. What is a lazy/frightened police person or lawyer to do? Why, blame the shopkeeper!
Entirely aside from StubHub facilitating "illegal activities" ...
Why is it illegal to resell a ticket at whatever price the market will bear? This is America, the center of capitalism, not Soviet Russia.
Surely this falls under price fixing, like a manufacturer telling distributors they cannot sell the product for less than the MSRP?