Ticketmaster has welcomed the signing of the BOTS Act by President Obama, which makes the use of bots to scalp tickets a federal offence.
After already clearing Congressional hurdles, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act has now been signed into law across the US.
The BOTS Act hands the Federal Trade Commission the power to penalise those found to be using ticket bots to scalp large numbers of tickets bypassing the security of ticket sales systems.
The bill also makes it illegal to sell tickets obtained through bots. Both the person who employed the software and anyone who has knowledge of how the tickets were obtained can be held liable for the offence.
The legislation states that violations “shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices” under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
“On behalf of artists, venues, teams, and especially fans, Ticketmaster is pleased that the BOTS Act is now a federal law,” the company said in a statement.
“Ticketmaster worked closely with legislators to develop the BOTS Act and we believe its passage is a critical step in raising awareness and regulating the unauthorised use of bots.”
Under the terms of the Act, state governments have the power to bring a civil suit to US district court on behalf of its residents. During those proceedings, states can seek to obtain damages, restitution or other compensation for the affected residents in the case.
According to the bill’s sponsor, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, the legislation will “level the playing field” for those frequenting ticketing sites.