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

The trustees of the Spences Bridge Improvement District argue that one reason the EV charging station (l) should be moved is because it could compromise emergency response from the nearby fire hall. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Time is running out for Spences Bridge EV charging station

Lease for the site runs out at the end of January and no new agreement has been reached

Areas in blue show properties in Cache Creek zoned C1, which the village’s Cannabis Regulatory Framework proposes as properties where retail cannabis stores could be sited. The area outlined with a dotted orange line shows a 200 metre buffer zone around Cache Creek Elementary School, within which no retail cannabis establishments could operate. (Photo credit: Village of Cache Creek)
Cache Creek council gets more input on cannabis regulations

Council considers options to regulate retail cannabis sales and production within the village

(from l) Gordon and Lee Berdan in front of the framed ensign from HMCS Sudbury which they recently presented to the Ashcroft Legion. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Ashcroft Legion continues helping community in tough times

Branch now also displays a recently donated artifact from WW II corvette HMCS Sudbury

Odours emanating from the former Wander Inn restaurant in Cache Creek, which now houses a cannabis grow op, has spurred a petition asking for more regulations around the production of cannabis for personal medical use. (Photo credit: <em>Journa</em>l files)
Cache Creek council supports petition seeking cannabis regulation

Petition asks for reform to licensing, oversight of production of cannabis for personal medical use

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read