Ticket Bots are now illegal in the U.S.


Barack Obama’s time in offer may be just over a month from coming to an end, but the current President of the United States has one last surprise for music fans before his exit.

As Engadget reports, yesterday President Obama signed the Better Online Ticket Sales act into law. The act —which you could call the BOTS act (get it?)— makes it illegal to use automated software to buy up tickets to events. Those bots are a huge part of the reason you can’t get good seats to big, popular shows without dumping huge amounts of money on the secondary ticket market.

According to the new law, people will only be able to use those bots to buy a specified number of tickets, and they will not be allowed to sell any tickets bought with a bot. Anyone who knows how the tickets were purchased is liable for the offense; it’s not just limited to the person who used the bot to buy the tickets. And state governments will have the power to sue to get restitution for their affected residents.

Whether or not anyone will ask you if your tickets were acquired through legal means is another conversation altogether, but if nothing else it’s good to see something being done to curb the rise of ticketing bots. I write this with absolutely no irony in my body: “Thanks, Obama.”

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.