The Bot Stops Here

A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles has awarded Ticketmaster more than $18 million in its case against RMG Technologies after finding that RMG aided scalpers in obtaining tickets through the TM site at speeds and volumes far beyond human capacity.

Judge Audrey Collins ruled in a default judgment that RMG created, trafficked in and facilitated the use of automated bot programs that were able to circumvent the technological copy protection systems of, and issued a permanent injunction against RMG June 19th.

"This is a big win for fans of live entertainment as well as for Ticketmaster," TM general counsel Edward Weiss said in a statement. "Consumers understand that there often simply are not enough tickets to meet demand, but RMG’s technology was used by some to unfairly cut to the front of the line. Ticketmaster will continue to fight for an equitable ticket distribution process."

TM filed suit against RMG last year claiming brokers were "bombarding Ticketmaster’s Web site with millions of automated ticket requests that can constitute up to 80 percent of all ticket requests made," 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."

The proof seemed to be in the pudding when tickets for one of 2007’s hottest shows – Hannah Montana – sold out everywhere within minutes, showing up soon after on the secondary market. Collins issued a preliminary injunction against RMG last fall.

TM’s award of $18.2 million, plus attorneys fees and costs, stems from profits RMG wrongfully earned through infringement of Ticketmaster’s copyrights, inducement to breach contract and intentional interference with contractual relations, Collins wrote in the judgment.