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Japanese MPs vote unanimously to outlaw ticket touting

Japan’s House of Councillors has voted 237–0 to approve a law criminalising nearly all ticket touting, just over two years after the #ResaleNO campaign first brought the issue to public prominence.

The legislation – approved by Japan’s lower house, the House of Representatives, on 4 December, and the upper house, the House of Councillors, on Saturday 8 December – proscribes ticket touting, both online and outside venues, for all shows where the organiser has prohibited resale – in practice, the majority of promoters.

Anyone who violates the new law, which encompasses both paper and electronic tickets, may be punished with a one-year prison sentence, a fine of up to ¥1 million (US$8,900), or both.

The legislation – in full [A law] regarding securing proper distribution of entertainment tickets by prohibiting illegal resale of specific entertainment tickets (特定興行入場券の不正転売の禁止等による興行入場券の適正な流通の確保に関する件) – also outlaws ticket touting as a ‘business’: ie purchasing tickets for the express purpose of reselling them.

It comes into effect six months from 8 December (8 June 2019).

“This legislation … will not only protect consumers but also enable further development of the live industry”

The law has its roots in a bill drafted by Japan’s Parliamentary Group on Live Entertainment late last year, with MPs seeking to abolish secondary ticketing before the 2020 Olympic Games.

It followed the launch of #ResaleNO (#転売NO), an industry backed, FanFair Alliance-style campaign aimed at ending ticket touting, in August 2016, and that of Tiketore, Japan’s first face-value ticket exchange, in May 2017.

Welcoming the swift passage of the bill and its signing into law, Takeo Nakanishi, chairman of promoters’ association ACPC (All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters’ Conference), tells IQ: “This legislation, developed after a two-year discussion, will not only protect consumers but also enable further development of the live industry ahead of the 2025 World Expo and the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

“We hope this new act will set a precedent and spread all over the world.”

Other territories where for-profit ticket resale (or ticket resale altogether) is illegal include France, Norway, Belgium, Israel and Poland, with the Republic of Ireland set to follow suit.

 


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Japanese MPs to table anti-online ticket touting bill

A coalition of Japanese parliamentarians are to submit a bill to the House of Representatives to regulate Japan’s increasingly controversial online secondary ticketing market.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members of the Parliamentary Group on Live Entertainment met on 7 December to author the bill, which would mandate all tickets resold on the internet include information about the event’s date, time, location and seat number; a notice that resale of the ticket is prohibited; and that the promoter has taken measures to prevent the ticket’s resale, including by checking the identity of the ticket seller.

The proposed legislation would also classify resale of tickets above face value as fraud, similar to the ban on street ticket touts. There is currently no regulation of online ticket resale, which according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2017 is a ¥50bn ($44m) market, with Ticket Camp – currently being investigated by the police for alleged breaches of competition law – the largest player.

“I would like to … present this bill as soon as possible”

The parliamentary group plans to table the bill in the House of Representatives, the lower house of Japan’s national parliament, the Diet, in January.

The ruling LDP hopes to have the ban in place, with cross-party support, before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. “I would like to consult with the [LDP’s coalition partner] Komeito and opposition parties and present the bill as soon as possible,” says former LDP secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba.

The new bill follows the launch of #ResaleNO, an industry backed FanFair Alliance-style campaign aimed at ending ticket touting, last August, and that of Tiketore, Japan’s first face-value ticket exchange, in May.

 


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Pia launches Japan’s first ticket exchange site

Pia Corporation, the company behind Japan’s largest primary ticket agency, Ticket Pia, has established the country’s first face-value ticket exchange.

The launch of Tiketore (チケトレ), which went live on 10 May, comes after several industry groups, festivals and artists took out newspaper ads in support of #ResaleNO, an initiative aimed at ending the “huge profits” being earned from the secondary ticketing market, last October.

The new site is endorsed by the four industry associations – the Japanese Federation of Music Producers (FMPJ), Japanese Association of Music Enterprises (JAME), All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters’ Conference (ACPC) and Computer Ticketing Council – all of which backed #ResaleNO.

In a joint statement, the four organisations express their hope Tiketore will offer an alternative to “the present situation, where ticket resale is rampant” on for-profit secondary ticketing sites.

Pia charges both seller and buyer a 10% handling fee, with the buyer also paying for the cost of posting the ticket.

These fees, although the same as the 10% charged to buyers by Twickets (although it doesn’t bill sellers), have already provoked criticism from some users of social media, with many Japanese complaining the cost of buying and selling is too high. (Ticket Camp, for example, has a lower rate of commission, although it also allows listings for tickets above face value.)

 


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