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NY Triumphs Over Robots, Assembly Criminalizes Scalper Ticket Bots

New York has declared that scalpers who use ticket botsticket purchasing software that might scoop up to hundreds of tickets for the purpose of resalemay face fines or even jail time. The use of these bots have always been illegal, but offenders were subject to civil sanctions rather than criminal violations. Assembly speaker Carol Heastie says scalping has had “a very negative impact on fans” and wants “to discourage the tactic by criminalizing this offense.” The Assembly cites a report conducted by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which showed incidents of hundreds of tickets for music events being taken by bots.

Assembly member and chair of Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force Marcos Crespo sponsored the bill, stating:

New Yorkers have been dealing with this frustrating ticket buying experience for too long. Countless have lost opportunities to experience the richness of our arts and entertainment industry because there are those willing to circumvent by using automated software to deprive the average consumer of access to entertainment venues. The top music, theatre and athletic talent of our nation have priced their events at levels affordable to the mass public. With this bill becoming law, we will ensure the prices to see such talent will be within reach of all New Yorkers.

This news comes up not long after Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New York Times piece about these bots and resale tickets. Miranda celebrated the news on Twitter with some good ol’ Terminator images.

Hopefully the legislation will make events and shows more accessible for New Yorkers and tourists alike and encourage other states to do the same.

(via Engadget, Feature Image via Tim Wilson on Flickr)

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