First Blow For Scalpers

The state of Queensland took the Australian lead in announcing harsh penalties for ticket scalping on the Internet for rock concerts and sports events.

Scalpers will, starting January, be fined $1,500 and buyers $375 if they re-advertise tickets at 10 percent more than face value.

Enraged promoters have tried to keep online auction house eBay from advertising these tickets. But eBay argues it is difficult to tell who is profiteering and who is a genuine fan who needs to sell tickets following changed circumstances.

Promoters are currently only able to take action if the ticket seller used a logo or photo of the act in question, infringing copyright.

The live industry is watching to see if other states take similar steps. But the government of the largest state, New South Wales, rejected the measures, saying it would “drive scalpers underground.”

– Bryan Jones