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Crime The Almighty Buck The Courts Your Rights Online

Scalpers Bought Tickets With CAPTCHA-Busting Botnet 301

Posted by timothy
from the free-market-solution dept.
alphadogg writes "Three California men have pleaded guilty to charges they built a network of CAPTCHA-solving computers that flooded online ticket vendors and snatched up the very best seats for Bruce Springsteen concerts, Broadway productions and even TV tapings of Dancing with the Stars. The men ran a company called Wiseguy Tickets, and for years they had an inside track on some of the best seats in the house at many events. They scored about 1.5 million tickets after hiring Bulgarian programmers to build 'a nationwide network of computers that impersonated individual visitors' on websites such as Ticketmaster, MLB.com and LiveNation, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said Thursday in a press release. The network would 'flood vendors computers at the exact moment that event tickets went on sale,' the DoJ said. They had to create shell corporations, register hundreds of fake Internet domains (one was stupidcellphone.com) and sign up for thousands of bogus e-mail addresses to make the scam work."
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Scalpers Bought Tickets With CAPTCHA-Busting Botnet

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  • Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alarindris (1253418) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:42PM (#34293370)
    I'll never understand why "scalping" is illegal in the first place.

    Nothing they did seems unethical or immoral to me.

    If people are willing to pay more for a ticket, good for them.
    • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rotide (1015173) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:50PM (#34293412)
      The problem is, what stops you, as a scalper, from buying out every ticket you possibly can through whatever means necessary, and then jack the prices up? I have no problem with a guy buying 2 tickets and selling them if he can't go. The problem comes up when someone buys them all merely to resell them at a profit. It's the same idea behind the limits on purchases of heavily discounted items like TV's, etc. You can't just go in and buy them all just to turn around and sell them at a profit. With limited quantities (tickets, discounted items, etc) you have to put limits/rules in place or the only people buying them are those that want to profit off it.
      • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Alarindris (1253418) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:54PM (#34293426)

        The problem is, what stops you, as a scalper, from buying out every ticket you possibly can through whatever means necessary, and then jack the prices up?

        A. Less people buy the tickets and you make less money.
        B. Far less people buy the tickets and you lose money.

        • Re:Hrm (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hey! (33014) on Sunday November 21, 2010 @01:49PM (#34299048) Homepage Journal

          Well, I am certainly sympathetic to the argument that if the concert promoter sets the price of tickets wrong by making it too low, it's not necessarily *dishonest* for some third party to make a few bucks at arbitrage. Still, there's a few wrinkles in this scenario worth considering.

          First, what are you buying when you buy a ticket, a piece of paper? No. You are buying the right to attend an event. *If* the providers of that event stipulate that the right being sold is not transferable unless it is given away or the purchaser was acting as an agent for the planned attendee when he bought the ticket, then what has the purchaser bought from the scalper? A piece of paper. He *cannot* buy the right to attend the event because that right is not transferable. The scalper is encouraging the purchaser to attend the event fraudulently.

          Of course, you might say, "no harm, no foul." That's a different ethical approach, more utilitarian and less legalistic. Well, it's not necessarily the case that there is no harm. The economic relationship between the performer and the audience does not begin and end at the ticket price. There's merchandise sales, for example. The economically optimal price for the ticket, all things being equal, might result in fewer attendees, reducing merchandise sales and future sales of recordings and tickets. Some performers may not like playing to venues with many empty seats, and choose to the avoid larger venues. That harms the venue's owners.

          I believe if the performers and concert promoters are amenable to reselling tickets that's a *different* story; but if tickets are on sale at less than the price which maximizes gross revenue, that doesn't necessarily mean the price has been set too low.

      • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:16PM (#34293544) Journal

        With limited quantities (tickets, discounted items, etc) you have to put limits/rules in place or the only people buying them are those that want to profit off it.

        No you don't need to put limits. Ticket scalping happens because the market is demonstrating that tickets are under priced. If someone buys all the tickets up as you say and than tries to sell them there is a maximum price at which he can expect to move the units. This is the price people are willing to pay to see the show. Lets say I purchase all the $15 dollar tickets to see my favorite band. They are not harmed, they sold their entire inventory of tickets at a price they were willing to offer the service of performing for; I might be able to sell those tickets at $20 each and make a tidy profit. If I try and sell them a $80 each most of them probably won't sell and I will lose my shirt because the self life of the inventory is right up until the show starts and after that its all worthless.

        Now if they want to stop ticket scalping the band should simply charge more. If they raise the price to the maximum they can expect to move all the inventory at lets say its $20, than I while I can still buy them all I wont because I can't even resell them all for $21.

        Really hot shows just need to up their prices. The performers would make more money and the ticket vendor sites would not get DDOSed, with 1000s of requests in the first moments of sale.

        • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pjt33 (739471) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:25PM (#34293614)

          They are not harmed, they sold their entire inventory of tickets at a price they were willing to offer the service of performing for

          The second part of this sentence doesn't imply the first. To throw out a hypothesis, it might be that the tickets were deliberately priced below what the market would bear because the aim was not solely to turn a profit on the concert but also to attract lots of impressionable teenagers who might then become life-long fans and spend more on the band over their lifetime than the yuppie who is prepared to pay more for the ticket.

          (Actually the biggest example which comes to mind of deliberate underpricing is the BBC Promenade series, and in particular the Last Night. If there were an open market in Last Night of the Proms tickets they'd probably sell for 100 GBP or more, but by making some tickets available to people who queue in person on the day they are able to achieve the aim of making it an event which pretty much anyone near enough London can attend).

        • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:45PM (#34293790)

          Problem is, the band wants all 100 seats in the venue to be filled. The scalpers don't give a shit if they sell all the tickets they bought, as long as they sell enough of them to profit. Buying all 100 tickets for $10 each and marking up the price to $100 each means they can sell 20 to the people who REALLY want to go (because the only way to get tickets is for $100, and everyone else who has any interest in the matter other than the money is screwed. The people who manage to get tickets are screwed because they're at a show that's at 1/5 capacity. The people who didn't go because of the wildly inflated price (that clearly the market bore) is out of their range. The band has a mediocre show at 1/5 capacity, which means 1/5 as many people going out and telling their friends how awesome it was and that they should buy the band's album and merch.

          This is part of why they don't "just raise prices". There's more than one factor involved here. But don't let that get in the way of the typical Slashdot-style "I understand one component of the problem a little bit so I have the obvious solution" commentary.

          My captcha: "raving". Of course.

          • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Informative)

            by z4ce (67861) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:26PM (#34294110)

            You must never buy tickets from reseller sites. If the scalpers over purchase (and they often do) you can buy the tickets REALLY cheap right before the game/show. If you wait to the last second, you can often find them for 1/5th the list price.

          • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

            by meta-monkey (321000) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @08:32PM (#34294540) Journal
            Exactly. Not only that, but unless the show sells out anyway, even at the inflated scalper prices, the band and the venue miss out on merchandising and refreshment sales.

            Finally, there's just the matter of not wanting to deal with profiteering jerks. My neighborhood held a community garage sale this morning. I hadn't done any spring cleaning in like 5 years so I had a ton of stuff to put out, bright and early when the event started at 8AM. At 7AM I've got ebay treasure hunters driving by screaming at me "got laptops?!? got jewelry!?!" People who just scout garage sales looking for underpriced stuff they can ebay. I didn't want to sell anything to those assholes. If I had something cheap, I wanted it to go to the poor as crap people who wandered in at 10am because they actually needed hand-me-down clothes and toys for their kids.
        • But the band wants all of their fans to be able to afford tickets. Even if that means they're under-priced. Society has agreed it's not your place to dictate how much the band sells their tickets for.
        • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:51PM (#34293844) Homepage

          Ticket scalping happens because the market is demonstrating that tickets are under priced. If someone buys all the tickets up as you say and than tries to sell them there is a maximum price at which he can expect to move the units. This is the price people are willing to pay to see the show. Lets say I purchase all the $15 dollar tickets to see my favorite band. They are not harmed, they sold their entire inventory of tickets at a price they were willing to offer the service of performing for;

          Unless, of course, there is an intangible benefit to the band of having people in the audience that cannot afford to pay more than $15 per ticket, but can afford to spend the time it takes to purchase them the moment they go on sale (after closely following the band's announcements to find out exactly when that will be).

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by deetoy (1576145)
            exactly. It might be hard to appreciate the intangible benefit if you ignore the psychology that drives people to spend a large proportion of their disposable income, travel long distances and camp out early to get in a physical queue to buy tickets.

            Nothing is more demeaning to a performer than playing to an unenthusiastic audience. Jack up the prices too much and the front row will be filled with suits who give no vibe to the performers.
          • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
            So now we are having the government step in and tell people what they can and cannot buy based on a possible intangible benefit to the band?
            • No, we're having the government step in to prevent people from misrepresenting who they are. Scalpers in this case pretended to be individuals buying the tickets, but instead they bought them wholesale with the intention of cornering the market for desirable seats. free market can only exist if both the seller and the buyer have perfect information about the product and the people involved. Scalpers in this case changed that.

            • If I require you to agree to a certain terms before I will sell you a ticket, and you break those terms, then you have broken the contract you have made with me. So now we are are having the government step in and tell people that they cannot sell their services under their own terms? :)

              The performers aren't indentured servants, they should have say in who they want to perform for. If they want to perform for just their friends they should be allowed to. If they want to perform for highest bidder they can d

            • by Phroggy (441)

              So now we are having the government step in and tell people what they can and cannot buy based on a possible intangible benefit to the band?

              Having those $15 tickets available benefits society. Bands having passionate fans is good for society. Having cultural activities available to those who don't have a lot of money benefits society. The band wants to do this, but they can't enforce the rules by themselves.

          • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday November 21, 2010 @06:25AM (#34296960) Homepage

            You mean (eg.) by actually being fans, knowing the music and cheering when you play the opening chord?

            Scalping take the tickets out of their hands and puts them in the hands of the idle rich who only go because they've got nothing better to do or are trying to impress somebody else who doesn't really want to be there either.

            The band should be the setting setting the prices and getting the profits, not some scumbags. They're the ones doing the work...

        • Re:Hrm (Score:4, Insightful)

          by moz25 (262020) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:06PM (#34293932) Homepage

          Whoa, that's brilliant! How about you call up the record industry executives to suggest they do just this! Obviously, none of them has ever thought "DUH, how about if WE jack up the prices?!?!?".

          Or it might just be that you're not looking at the whole picture and the only value of your analysis is that it demonstrates how a generally valid theory leads to woefully wrong conclusions if boundary conditions aren't taken into account.

        • So what you're saying is you don't mind living in a society in which the richest few people get the best of everything, because that's what would happen. There's a reason why the front rows at NBA games are filled with celebrities, or why most season tickets sold by sports franchises are purchased by corporations (who claim them for tax write-offs). Common folk like me would be priced out of ever seeing a popular show, just like many common folk are priced out of getting, say, good health care. You may beli
          • by whoever57 (658626)

            Taking this a little further, perhaps there would be *more* shows -- just not more by your favorite band, but rather more bands. Money would be available for more venues, etc..

            In economic terms there would be more money available to the promoters of shows, concerts, etc., so they would increase capacity, instead of the extra funds either not being available or being siphoned off by the scalpers. By underpricing the tickets, promoters tend to prevent competition.

        • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjames (1099) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:59PM (#34294312) Homepage

          The bands realize that if they price concerts out of the reach of all but a small percentage of their fans, they may eventually have no fans.

          In addition, a band gets a lot of cred when the concert is sold out. It feeds the hype machine. If the tickets are instead priced at the optimal economic point, the concert will not sell out. The word on the street is then that the band over-estimated itself, especially if they do more than one night and both nights fail to sell out.

          Some concerts are sold at lower prices out of a sense of gratitude to the fanbase. It's really ugly when a greedy bastard then snaps them all up and sells them for a huge markup.

          • by Glonoinha (587375)

            Just a thought - how about pricing tickets the same way Google priced their IPO?
            Dutch auction. Basically you have a large number of (tickets, stock - whatever) and you put them up for public auction. For each set of identical items, say there are 50 seats that are roughly the same 'value' - the top 50 bidders get the tickets at whatever price the 50th bid was - so you can bid astronomically high to insure you get a seat, but the seat prices are actually priced so everybody pays the same (the lowest still

      • by icebike (68054)

        If the event is under priced then I see nothing wrong with "buying out every ticket you possibly can through whatever means necessary, and then jack the prices up".

        If the event is over priced or priced just at what the market thinks is fair, then the scalper gets creamed.

        Nobody can afford to buy ALL the tickets, or even ALL the best tickets, and venues have the option of limiting purchases of large blocks of tickets to specific sized and delayed periods of availability to preserve an equal chance for indivi

        • by sjames (1099)

          Actually, the size of a purchase IS limited explicitly to prevent scalper buying up blocks. The whole crux of TFA is that these scalpers used a botnet to defeat the captcha specifically so they could bypass the maximum per-person restriction.

      • by loshwomp (468955)

        The problem is, what stops you, as a scalper, from buying out every ticket you possibly can through whatever means necessary, and then jack the prices up?

        I'll tell you what. It's called The Market.

        If you buy too many tickets, you won't be able to sell them. You might not make money, and you might even lose money. If you you want to accept this transfer of risk, go ahead.

      • by mrmeval (662166)

        Sucks to be you. What should happen is the ticket originator should jack their price up until the scalpers profit margins no longer make it worthwhile. There are several means to do this that don't require some jack booted thug to get involved.

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Unfortunately, when I was in Chicago I never saw anything except tickets being available from "brokers" and people that somehow thought they needed to stand in line at 3:00 AM to try to get tickets. The brokers always had a service charge which would jump the face value of the ticket 2 or 3 times but you always knew you could get the tickets without standing in line at 3:00 AM.

        I don't believe there is a practical way to get event tickets other than from broker these days. And these folks are just as bad a

        • by lul_wat (1623489)

          I don't believe there is a practical way to get event tickets other than from broker these days.

          There's this little thing I use.

          You might have heard about it.

          It's called the Internet.

    • When you're a musician and you see what amounts to nothing more than thugs ripping off your fans you might understand better. I'm all for piracy and the end to the sale of digital media simply for the fact that musicians will have to tour more and put on good shows to make their living. But nothing turns fans off more than finding out the shows sold out and having to buy tickets off thugs outside the venue.
      • by loshwomp (468955)

        But nothing turns fans off more than finding out the shows sold out and having to buy tickets off thugs outside the venue.

        Since the only other option is buying them from the venue-approved thugs (ticketmaster or livenation), I'm not very sympathetic to your point.

    • by SheeEttin (899897)

      Nothing they did seems unethical or immoral to me.

      Not even buying up all available tickets and reselling them at a markup? Inflating the prices to astronomical levels?
      Capitalism at work. Legal? Sure should be, in a pure capitalist system, but ethical? Oh hell no.

    • Your idea seems to be that ticket sellers should find the sweet-profit-spot between expensive tickets and sales. This will unfortunately mean that concerts will never be sold out. That really sucks for performers who would surely much rather perform to a full audience.

      Ticketmaster probably doesn't care, though. I've long thought that Ticketmaster probably likes scalpers, because it shifts the risk of not selling out from them to the scalpers. If they wanted to stop it, they would do it by requiring one cr
  • That would be at my local bar listening to.. uh I dunno.. Dire Straits on the jukebox..

  • I'm more inclined to think that the ticket prices were set too low to begin if these scalpers are able to find buyers at higher prices. Personally, I'll just watch (or not watch) the stuff on TV.

  • by Rivalz (1431453) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:44PM (#34293386)

    I think I could spend 2 years in min security prison for 5-10 mil and be happy about it.
    Still a pretty good idea they should open a franchise.

    Prices are already screwed to hell for these events. I say good for them sorry they got caught.
    If they were smart they would have lived in a different country.
    I'm just curious but they had to have some serious start up money.
    Were they using stolen CC#'s or did they just have countless credit cards?
    You would think this would be pretty easy to track down the bank accounts that they use.
    Collect who's paying for what and go from there.

    • Prepaid Visa / Mastercards or a card that will give you "one time use" numbers would be two simple ways to sidestep the "follow the money" investigation.

      • Prepaid Visa / Mastercards or a card that will give you "one time use" numbers would be two simple ways to sidestep the "follow the money" investigation.

        Almost certainly not. Law enforcement can easily ask the credit card company for details and it all points back to the master account. However this could make casual database searching a bit tougher, using this plan would still have all the accounts with the same name.

    • by DaveGod (703167)

      I think I could spend 2 years in min security prison for 5-10 mil and be happy about it.

      Better enjoy it quickly - ill-gotten gains are confiscated. Here in UK under the Proceeds of Crime Act, I gather the US has something similar.

  • Bush administration: Defends corporate interests and their "right" to lock down on a market for maximum profit at the expense of the consumer.

    Obama administration: Defends corporate interests and their "right" to lock down on a market for maximum profit at the expense of the consumer.

    Holy shit, that is a profound change. I understand know why the people on the extreme right are up in arms over all this socialism.
  • CAPTCHA security - more worthless by the day [techworld.com] (23 July 2008)

    The article suggests using the Quantum Random Bit Generator Service sign-up [random.irb.hr] approach; you do know your maths through at least calculus ... right?

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      How about giving one of those RSA generator to everyone with access to the internet?

      Or since we're talking about cash transactions here, why aren't the credit cards equipped with built-in RSA number generators yet?!

  • by fishbowl (7759) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:26PM (#34293622)

    Language like "hacking" and "scalping" tend to hide the actual crime here.

    The ticket purchase/sale is a contract, unlike some of the online transactions that people assume are contracts but are not. (There is a mutual agreement to terms, and consideration is exchanged for something of value.) The people who bought the tickets represented a fictitious identity while entering into a contract. This is a crime of fraud (not "hacking") and because of the electronic nature of the transaction and the intent, it constitute wire fraud.

    What I'm wondering is what the threat was that persuaded them to plead guilty.

    • What I'm wondering is what the threat was that persuaded them to plead guilty.

      The original indictment had 43 counts; they plead guilty to just one.

      So maybe they simply didn't want to risk having to serve a N-times longer sentence (where N is greater than one and less than 44).

    • by Solandri (704621) on Sunday November 21, 2010 @07:34AM (#34297154)

      The people who bought the tickets represented a fictitious identity while entering into a contract. This is a crime of fraud

      What I don't understand is that the ticket vendors seem to be so concerned that the ticket purchaser is a real person who won't resell the ticket. But that's a problem that has already been solved by the airline industry. Security requirements dictate that airline tickets be non-transferrable - they're assigned to a specific individual at the time of purchase. You buy your airline tickets, and when you get to the airport you have to prove you're the person whose name is on the ticket. A driver's license or passport is the most common ID, but you can use the credit card used to buy the ticket as well.

      If the ticket vendors really want to stop scalping, why don't they just attach a name to it at the time of sale? Then when a ticket holder tries to enter the venue, they can just cross-check the name associated with the ticket in the database with the ID proffered by the ticket holder. If you wish to buy a ticket as a gift, just make sure you use the recipient's name on the ticket. For people who suddenly can't attend the event, they can implement a buy-back system which credits the original purchaser with (say) 50% the ticket price. They can then sell that ticket to people waiting in a "standby" line the day of the event.

  • by Taur0 (1634625) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:36PM (#34293700)
    What's the difference between this and High Frequency Trading? In both cases you're using very fast computers to give you an edge over normal people in buying items that you will then sell a short time later for a higher price to people willing to buy them.
    • by compro01 (777531)

      Differences being

      1. They're using a botnet, not their own servers.

      2. They're purchasing the tickets under false identities, which is fraud.

    • by sjames (1099)

      The high frequency traders have enough money to buy off law makers.

  • In the grand scheme of things, having to sit 20 rows back instead of 2 is not a big deal. Yea, it offends my self-righteous indignation, but it's not life or death. I don't think prison time is fair for people gaming the system. Our systems are designed for gaming. Our elected officials do it for a living, and what's the punishment? "Censure". On the other hand, I wouldn't protest if the perps were all separated from their reproductive organs by a crazed weasel. I would scalp tickets to that show.
  • Something is for sale, they bought it. Isn't that how it works in capitalism?

  • by xboxilve (1379027) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:19PM (#34294054)
    The 'botnet' these articles are talking about are their own dedicated servers, not virus infections like they are trying to imply. You don't need a botnet to crack captchas, you can use a server to queue up 1000's of captcha images and have third world workers solve them for a tenth of a cent. This entire case is basically just explaining someones business and then inserting and replacing words with ones that have bad connotations to get the public to think that they have solved a crime. Just replace the words 'computer network' with 'botnet', 'revenue' with 'ill-gotten gains', sending a web request with 'impersonating users', and throw in the words fraud, hacking, scheme, and bogus every other word and you can make anything look like organized crime.
  • by Guillermito (187510) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:32PM (#34294136) Homepage

    As ohers have previously said, the problem here is that the tickets prices were not high enough (in a free market sense).

    The solution would be to sell the tickets at the right price, that is, the price consumers are willing to pay.

    I think a system like this would do the job

    1. The day tickets go on sale, charge an outrageous amount (say, $100,000).
    2. Then gradually decrease prices each day (or even every hour)
    3. Last day the tickets would go on sale for $1

    In that way, each person would decide which is the "right" price to pay. Do you *really* want to see this show? Would you risk missing it because you want to save a few bucks and wait until tomorrow? Do you think it would be a good deal to buy tickets now and resell them later for a profit? OK go ahead. How many tickets? At which price? Are you sure you will be able to sell them, considering that people willing to pay a higher price already had the opportunity to do so and refused?

  • If they'd just put that much time and effort into a legitimate operation they'd probably still have made millions and wouldn't be facing jail time.
  • by rickb928 (945187) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:15PM (#34294782) Homepage Journal

    1. If event ticket sales are intended to sell tickets to those who actually intend to attend the event, then resales are contrary to the intent of the initial sale.

    2. If event ticket sales are intended to provide the maximum revenue (or as close to it as can be in an uncertain market) to the initial seller, then resales should be conducted by the original seller, or the original seller should benefit by sharing a portion of the proceeds of resales.

    3. If resales exist only to enrich scalpers (arbitrageurs by a more elegant word), then these scalpers add no value to the original seller.

    4. When event tickets are available in a finite quanitity, there will most likely be more demand than supply.

    5. In view of limited supply, there will always be some who want to attend the event, but will be unable to obtain tickets.

    6. Online ticket sales are impossible to control to prevent arbitrage.

    My point is that it is patently unfair to those of us who want to attend an event, but are unable to purchase tickets when the sales are only online, due to the maipulation of the market by automated arbitraguers. And these arbitrageurs (scalpers) add no value to the event organizers, promoters, performers, or exhibitors, but only increase costs for purchasers. In effect, they take what should have been additional revenue from the original seller, who either chose to accept a lower price or misjudged the market. Unfair? Actually, my complaint is that it's nearly impossible to buy a ticket to a concert unless you camp on the seller and hope you aren't just a moment off. Or got behind the bots who owned the site.

    So, how to fix this?

    Maybe put the purchaser's name on tickets, and require identification. Among other things, well, actually, counterfeit tickets are sometimes a problem also, who knows. But, bottom line is whether or not this a problem.

    So is this a problem that needs to be solved? I say yes.

    Another much better solution - auction off tickets. Yes, this will make tickets cost a LOT more, but it seems that there are people ready to pay more than the face value, so try driving out the scalpers by upping the price to what the market WILL bear, essentially pricing them out of the market. And then of course the buyers will be paying the scalper price right up front. Or will they?

    Problem is, this doesn't really solve my problem. I won't be paying scalper prices for bad seats, and so I'm out again.

    Actually, the problem is simply one of supply and demand. So I'll always just be hoping I got in line early enough to buy tickets. Alas, I may never get a ticket to a concert, just my dumb luck. Unless I buy scalped tickets early when they are a little cheaper (unlikely) or get lucky.

    No fixing this. Screw it. Let the scalpers hose us. I bet some of them conspire with promoters and the 'legitimate' sellers anyways. Ticketmaster in particular is happy to screw us any way they can. All the rest ditto.

    So there's no solution. Damn.

  • by mrsnak (1818464) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @09:51PM (#34294992)
    ...by all the "legal" scalpers that control the market, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, etc. Great acts in small clubs where you can pay directly are where it's at.

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