Judge Puts Ban On Bots

Ticket scalping may be as inevitable as death and taxes, but a recent court order that will bar one company from offering automated programs to access Ticketmaster’s systems will make life a little less enjoyable for the online scalping biz.

U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins has issued a preliminary injunction against RMG Technologies, which will stop the Pennsylvanian company from aiding scalpers with automated bots that obtain tickets at speeds and volumes far beyond human capacity.

Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against RMG in Los Angeles earlier this year, claiming brokers "are bombarding Ticketmaster’s Web site with millions of automated ticket requests that can constitute up to 80 percent of all ticket requests made," thus denying "the public access to tens of thousands of tickets so that RMG’s customers can purchase and resell those tickets to the same public at inflated prices."

When tickets for one of this year’s hottest shows, Hannah Montana, disappeared in minutes, the bot theory didn’t seem so far fetched, as parents and officials around the country began inquiring how the tickets sold so fast. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has even begun its own investigation into brokers using the programs.

Ticketmaster general counsel Ed Weiss said in a statement that the injunction is merely the first step in the company’s legal efforts against those using bots to circumvent TM’s protection systems.

"Anyone using these programs and any company supplying them should know that we and the entire live entertainment industry will not stand for it," Weiss said. " We fully support the legitimate reselling of tickets, but those who refuse to follow the rules will be hearing from us."