TM Sues Prestige, Renaissance

Ticketmaster is going after two companies it claims used bots to illegally acquire large amounts of inventory for hot tickets like “Hamilton” and the 2015 match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
– Ticketmaster
The suit was filed by Ticketmaster against Prestige Entertainment Inc.; Prestige Entertainment West, Inc.; Renaissance Ventures LLC; and individuals Nicholas Lombardi, Steven K. Lichtman and 10 unnamed “Does” Oct. 2. The complaint is for copyright infringement, violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, fraud, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, violation of Ticketmaster’s Terms of Use and many other counts. 
The suit claims that Prestige and Renaissance – aided by Lombardi and Lichtman and numerous Does – evaded CAPTCHA and “splunk” security features and used bots to procure tens of thousands of tickets to “Hamilton” – often 30-40 percent of available inventory. It goes on to say that the companies got “a majority of the tickets available through Ticketmaster” to Mayweather v. Pacquiao.
A source wishing to remain anonymous told Pollstar that large amounts of inventory acquired through Prestige and Renaissance often end up moving on StubHub, meaning the platform could be pushing bot-acquired tickets. A representative from StubHub told Pollstar there was no official relationship between it and Prestige, but that its user agreement prohibited StubHub from speaking on who buys and sells tickets on the site.
Prestige agreed to pay out $3.35 million after an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into the state’s problems with ticket bots. At the time that settlement was announced, Schneiderman’s office said Prestige used two different bots and thousands of Ticketmaster and credit card accounts to purchase New York concert tickets, including 1,012 tickets to a 2014 U2 concert at New York’s
TM’s suit also claims that Prestige continued using bots, even after one of the terms of the settlement with Schneiderman was that the group would stop using the technology.
“Ticketmaster is suing Prestige Entertainment over their use of bots to instantly and illegally purchase tens of thousands of tickets and leave real fans out in the cold,” Ticketmaster’s Brett Morrow told Pollstar in a statement. “Ticketmaster has zero tolerance for bots and will continue to employ all available methods to stop their usage.”
Ticketmaster’s secret weapon in its war against bots has been its Verified Fan system, which it claims is boasting a high success rate in getting tickets to shows like Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen on Broadway into the hands of real fans. 
However, that system is not being utilized at all of its shows and TM puts forth 13 claims for relief in the filing. 
The ticketing giant is seeking to prevent further infringement, bot usage and circumvention of its security measures and money covering legal costs, profits derived from defendants’ “individual and collective misconduct” and other compensatory damages. 
Representatives from Prestige hadn’t provided comment to Pollstar at publication time.