Braden Cox, Policy Counsel of the NetChoice Coalition, testified today
in Rhode Island on its pending ticket speculator law. The law clearly
restricts e-commerce in a way that is unnecessary, sends a negative
message to the technology community, creates a new crime based on
"intent to resell", and fails toaddress the big picture of how tickets
are issued, allocated, distributed and sold to the public.
The most puzzling piece of this is why they’ve chosen to single out only
Internet commerce by criminalizing purchases of buyers with the intent
to resell…..but only online! In other words, it wouldn’t be a crime
to buy a ticket listed in a Rhode Island newspaper classified ad, even
if intended to resell over face value. But it would be a crime if the
buyer bought the same ticket-for the same reason-from the same
newspaper’s online classifieds.
A law singling out Internet transactions sends a negative message to
technology businesses in Rhode Island, and to those that are considering
locating in Rhode Island.
These bills completely miss the big picture of how tickets are issued,
allocated, distributed and sold to the public. Ticket resellers are not
to blame for the limited supply of tickets and high demand from
consumers. RI is heading in the wrong direction, swimming upstream
against a current of liberalization for ticket reselling.
We feel what is needed is a comprehensive revisiting of the need for
restrictions of ticket reselling. We don’t need further prohibitions of
online reselling. Instead, we should see how we can exploit the Internet
for all the good things it can provide to consumers.