The Tragically Hip perform in 2009. The band’s final tour in 2016 sparked renewed public outcry across Canada about ticket ‘bots’ snapping up event tickets and reselling them for a profit. (Scott Alexander/Wikimedia Commons)

The Tragically Hip perform in 2009. The band’s final tour in 2016 sparked renewed public outcry across Canada about ticket ‘bots’ snapping up event tickets and reselling them for a profit. (Scott Alexander/Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. man’s lawsuit over Ticketmaster, StubHub can proceed, judge rules

Class action on behalf of people who lost out due to ‘ticket bots’

A B.C. man’s lawsuit over ticket resellers jacking up prices for live events has taken a step forward in B.C. Supreme Court.

David Gomel is suing TicketMaster and associated companies in a class action on behalf of all B.C. residents who bought event tickets for personal use from resellers between Jan. 25, 2010 and Sept. 18, 2018. It’s one of a series of similar class action lawsuits, and Gomel alleges that Ticketmaster isn’t doing enough to stop scalpers from using “bots” to scoop up tickets within seconds of them going on sale.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen ruled this week that Gomel’s lawsuit can proceed, refusing a procedural motion by Ticketmaster lawyers to stay the action until Saskatchewan case involving multiple provinces can be decided. Ticketmaster has not yet filed a statement of defence in the B.C. case.

Gomel’s case is based on his purchase of a concert ticket from a secondary seller, StubHub, which was originally sold by Ticketmaster.

RELATED: B.C. law attempts to regulate online ticket resellers

RELATED: Survey finds frustration with fast event ticket sellouts

“Broadly put, the essential claim is that Ticketmaster represents on its website, at the time of initial sale of all tickets, that there are purchasing limits in place for the number of tickets per customer, and that such limits ensure fairness and prevent purchasers from purchasing a large number of tickets for resale,” Tammen wrote in a decision released this week.

“The notice of civil claim alleges that Ticketmaster has, contrary to the representations on its website, actively developed and marketed software called TradeDesk, which facilitates and encourages the use of ‘ticket bots.’ Ticket bots are automated software programs used to allow one purchaser to purchase a large number of tickets online.”

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth passed legislation in the spring of 2019 aimed at preventing mass-buying software for live event tickets. The law requires clear disclosure of ticket prices, refund guarantees by secondary sellers and declarations by them that they are not the original ticket provider. Enforcing such rules is hampered by ticket resellers operating outside of the province.

The B.C. government hosted an online questionnaire in March 2018 on the subject. Of the 6,507 people who responded, 96 per cent reported live event tickets selling out quickly, and nearly 60 per cent said they had seen tickets offered by a secondary seller before the primary seller made them available.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Electrophysiology (EP) studies the electrical activity of the heart to determine where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) is coming from. Tests must be performed in an EP Lab, a highly specialized medical diagnostic environment. Photo: KGHFoundation.com
New advanced heart rhythm program opens for Interior Health patients

Medical internists provide cardiac care in Trail, Cranbrook, Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Penticton

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland early last month

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

The Head to Head mentorship program is intent on helping athletes like Black Jack Ski Team’s Adam Heale reach their potential. Photo: Submitted.
Olympian’s Head to Head mentorship program coming to Kootenays

Head to Head promotes mental resilience and physical wellness through mentorship program

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that's supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read