by Mike Masnick
Tue, Oct 16th 2007 11:26am
There's been a lot of talk recently about how ticket scalpers have been able to score so many tickets to Ticketmaster events, locking genuine fans out of buying tickets at list price. The NY Times had a detailed story on the debate a few weeks ago. That story noted a number of things. First, lots of people are pissed off at Ticketmaster for making it so difficult to get tickets. While there are plenty of legitimate reasons to hate Ticketmaster, in this case, it might not be the company's fault. As it noted in its defense, it often does not get to sell tickets for an entire event, as large percentages of tickets may be reserved or offered through other methods. But, more importantly, Ticketmaster pointed the blame at RMG Technologies, a company that apparently makes software popular among scalpers. The software somehow gets around Ticketmaster's ticket limits, allowing them to buy up vast quantities of tickets the instant they go on sale. The article noted that Ticketmaster had taken RMG to court, and now a judge has banned the sale of the software. There are certainly plenty of reasons to want to make the ticket buying process more fair -- but it does seem questionable that this needed to end up in court. Basically Ticketmaster is admitting that it doesn't have the technical chops to build a site that can actually limit how many tickets an individual can buy (or to come up with an entirely different system that allocates tickets more fairly). While what RMG is doing does seem unfortunate, why should it be illegal?
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