Hannah Garrett, Columnist
When one pays money for a good, the item is then fully in his or her possession. Once the item is paid for, the new owner has the right to choose what he or she wants to do with said item.
Unless that item is a concert ticket, that is. After purchasing a concert ticket, big ticketing agencies impose restrictions that limit who can use the ticket and how they use it, infringing upon consumers’ basic property rights.
Consumers across the country are being told what they can and can’t do with their tickets after spending tens or hundreds of dollars for them by companies like Ticketmaster. These companies get away with manipulating consumers because they have a monopoly in the ticketing market and no one is making them uphold fair ticketing practices … yet.
The Alabama House State Government Committee recently heard a bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Lee that deals with this issue. The bill would ensure that consumers’ basic property rights for their live event tickets are protected. Music fans throughout Alabama can rejoice in taking back the freedoms that Ticketmaster stole from them.
Tickets are usually sold months before the show date. Say you bought a ticket to see Beyoncé nearly a year ago, waiting up until the wee hours of the morning so you could snag your tickets in the 12 minutes before they sold out. You spent a week’s salary on these tickets and have been looking forward to seeing Queen Bey all year.
Fast forward to now. A week before the show you catch the flu and are unable to attend the concert. In an effort not to lose the hundreds of dollars you invested into those tickets, you try to resell them on a site like StubHub. The only problem is that you can’t.
Ticketmaster calls your ticket a “non-transferable license” and prohibits you from reselling the ticket, or even giving it to a friend by making you show photo identification or the credit card you purchased the ticket with to get into the concert. You can’t even give it to a nonprofit as an act of charitable giving because of the same entry restrictions.
Ticketing agencies claim that these restrictions “add security” and “help stave off scalping,” but all they really do is hurt consumers.
House Bill 265 will require all tickets to be transferable, making it possible for fans to enjoy seeing the artists they love without the harmful restrictions. The tickets they purchase will actually be their property, to use, resell or give away as they please.
Defend your rights from big ticketing agencies. Your ticket is your property, so don’t let Ticketmaster tell you how you have to use it.
Whether you are an avid concert-goer, a general music fan or a firm believer in property rights, I encourage you to show support for House Bill 265 by reaching out to your representatives and sharing information with your friends.
Garrett is a senior journalism and mass communication major.