An interesting legal battle has been started up by StubHub, the
secondary ticket marketplace for live events owned by eBay, against
Ticketmaster and the NBA Champion, Golden State Warriors.
It appears that the Warriors have engaged Ticketmaster as its
official primary and secondary ticketing partner.
StubHub is a well-known secondary ticketing marketer. It is used
by people to resell their tickets to events that they cannot attend
although there have been some stories in the press describing it as
having a reputation as a platform for scalpers as well.
According to StubHub's claim, the Warriors' head
office and Ticketmaster have cancelled fans' season tickets and
playoff game tickets when and if they elected to use StubHub to
resell their tickets rather than using Ticketmaster to do so.
StubHub's position is that Ticketmaster and Warriors acted
unlawfully by threatening fans with cancellation to force them to
use Ticketmaster's resell exchange exclusively. This type of
allegedly monopolistic conduct, according to StubHub, is a breach
of the US anti-competition law.
This lawsuit has been described by Fortune Magazine as simply the
latest of a long line of feuds between the two companies. However,
leaving aside the question of a pre-existing animosity between two
extremely competitive businesses, the lawsuit does give rise to the
interesting question as to exactly what rights a ticket buyer
acquires when he or she buys a ticket.
Everyone knows that a ticket to a sporting event entitles the
holder to enter into the arena and sit in a designated seat
identified on the ticket. What happens after that, of course, is
anyone's guess (although if the event is a Leafs game, the
likely outcome may not be in quite so much doubt). But what is the
ticket? Is it an asset which the holder should be able to deal with
however he or she sees fit? Or is it more like a licence, so that
the sports team has the right to dictate what the holder does with
the ticket by threatening to revoke the holder's ability to
purchase season tickets in the future if the ticket is disposed of
in manner of which the team does not approve?
I would have thought that once a person buys a ticket to a
sporting event, he should be able to deal with the ticket as he
sees fit. Perhaps the answer might be different if it was made
clear on the ticket itself that there were limitations on the
manner in which the ticket could be disposed of if the holder chose
not to attend the event. Subject only to that, I cannot see any
logical reason why there ought to be such restriction.
Hopefully this lawsuit will shed more light on this interesting
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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