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Ticketmaster, Prestige Entertainment Settle “Bot” case in California

IndustryLegalTop Story

July 10, 2019
Olivia Perreault 1

Ticketmaster and Prestige Entertainment have settled a lawsuit regarding the latter’s alleged use of automated programs to purchase numerous tickets by evading the Live Nation-owned giant’s limits. While the ticketing operator achieved one goal of its litigation – a promise by Prestige that it would not use such programs – it did not win any damages or legal fees in the settlement.

According to Bloomberg Law, the broker Prestige Entertainment West Inc. will stop using automated software, often known as bots, from ticketing giant Ticketmaster after a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright. The broker will no longer be able to bypass Ticketmaster’s security measures or violate the website’s terms of use.

In 2017, Ticketmaster sued the company, claiming that Prestige’s bots made duplicates of their website data and accessed the information through “circumvented security measures.” Prestige reportedly scooped up 30,000 Hamilton tickets – which adds up to 30 to 40 percent of the available tickets from Ticketmaster – and resold them on their site. Additionally, the Connecticut-based company was under fire for purchasing tickets to a boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

Early last year, Ticketmaster faced a blow in the case when a court dismissed its claim that Prestige violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by violating terms of their website, however, in May, a court rejected Prestige’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit, noting that Ticketmaster had showed that its webpages contained copyright-protected content.

In the final judgement, agreed to by the parties, Prestige Entertainment West, Inc., Renaissance Ventures LLC, Nicholas Lombardi and Steven K. Lichtman agreed to a permanent injunction against the use of such programs – already illegal under federal law following the passage of the BOTS act several years ago. Specifically, they are prohibited from “creating or using ticket bot technology to search for, reserve, or purchase tickets through any Ticketmaster website or any Ticketmaster mobile application,” the filing reads, going into granular detail as to what specifically they are not allowed to do.

In its initial lawsuit, filed in 2017, Ticketmaster had asked the court for damages that could have stretched into tens of millions of dollars, plus coverage of its legal costs of pursuing the case. But Monday’s judgement stipulated no damages, and both parties had to pay their own legal fees.

 

Ticketmaster Settles Suit Against Prestige For Illegal ‘Bot’ Use