Ticketmaster, resellers and consumer advocates battle over paperless tickets (now isn’t that a nice surprise)

Ticketmaster, resellers and consumer advocates battle over paperless tickets

What could be more inoccuous than paperless tickets? It even has an environmentally friendly ring to it.

On the contrary, paperless tickets are  becoming the latest grounds for a skirmish between Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster, ticket resellers and consumer advocates.

Backed by Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster, a group of concert promoters and artist managers this week declared war on resellers who buy tickets in bulk and then resell them on sites such as StubHub, Craigslist and elsewhere.

“It erodes the heart of our business,” said Randy Levy, an independent concert promoter who is a member of the group, dubbed the Fans First Coalition.

The solution: “paperless tickets” that are largely non-transferable. That means only the original buyer can claim the ticket on the day of the event.

Not so fast, says the Fan Freedom Project, backed by the National Consumers League and founded earlier this year by Jon Potter, former director of the Digital Media Assn.

Potter argues that the real agenda for promoters who back paperless tickets is to prevent consumers from selling or giving away tickets they have purchased.

“Consumers should have the right to determine what they can do with a ticket once they’ve purchased it,” Potter said. “That means being able to sell it at both higher or lower than face value.”

The controversy over paperless tickets is not new. Miley Cyrus and Bruce Springsteen both experimented with paperless ticketing back in 2009 for their concert tours.

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