Assembly Bill 329 by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would have made it illegal for companies such as Ticketmaster to use ticketing methods that prohibit fans from reselling their seats.
The bill was backed by StubHub's advocacy group Fan Freedom and opposed by Live Nation Entertainment, owner of Ticketmaster.
Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media committee members said key provisions needed to be cut in order for the bill to move forward. The bill was stripped of the provision to make it a misdemeanor for ticketing companies to use restrictive tickets that are non-transferable.
Restrictive tickets are paperless and require the purchaser to show ID and the credit card used for payment to enter a venue, as highlighted in this story. Pan said this effectively prevents ticket-holders from giving them as gifts, donating them to charities or selling them when they can't attend an event.
Opponents of the bill, including a Live Nation representative, said venues and artists ask to use the non-transferable tickets in order to protect consumers from scalpers' marked-up prices.
Committee members said it was unclear what the effects on consumers would be if Pan's bill passed as is. However, they said there was agreement on AB 329's provision to ban robotic ticket-buying software. "Bots" flood online box offices with thousands of simultaneous purchases purporting to be different buyers in order to resell tickets at higher prices on other sites.
PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, during the first day of session at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Dec. 3. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee file, 2012