Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wrappin up...

It appears more and more likely that lawmakers will wrap up by the end of next week.
Yesterday, House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman told me he expected them to be done by then. Today, committees were working overtime to get through bills.

Drought will likely get wrapped up. I'm told there's an agreement on anti-gang legislation and it will be rolled out next week. So, if you need something with a lawmaker better see them quick cause you're likely to see nothing but dust by the end of next week.

In the meantime I did a story on Hannah Montana today. I know...just read below!

RALEIGH -- State lawmakers could ban software that allows brokers to sellout concerts or games in just minutes.

The software helps brokers get hundreds if not thousands of tickets. Those tickets are then sold for a much higher price on the internet. Teen sensation Hannah Montana sparked idea not only in North Carolina but other states as well.

Last fall, Hannah Montana came to Greensboro. Rob Fisher tried to buy tickets online the minute they went on sale.

"We clicked on any available seats and nothing came up so we figured maybe our computer clock was off by a minute or two so we tried again, tried again and nothing came up," Fisher said last September.

That's because the concert sold out in record time. Most of those tickets were likely bought in seconds by computer software.

"There are people in the country that have these robotic systems that actually come in," Sandy Sands, who represents Ticketmaster, said. "We're not talking about two dozen tickets, we're talking about hundreds and thousands of tickets."

Those tickets are then resold online for a much higher price. A proposed law continues to make its way through the legislature that would ban that software.

"And it will give the venue and the seller the ability to go after them and stop them and get an injunction and hit them for money damages which is a whole lot more than a little misdemeanor which is currently in the law now," Sands said.

While pretty much everyone including venues all across North Carolina are in favor of banning these computer programs, companies like eBay and Stub Hub do have concerns about a new tax in the bill they would have to collect.

The bill allows the resale of tickets online above the ticket price, but it charges a three percent tax.

Those companies argue it's not their responsibility, it's the person who sells the actual ticket. A company representative compared it to classified ad sales in newspapers.

"You're saying the newspaper should collect taxes on the appreciated value of the items sold in the classified ads," Bill Scoggin, who represents Stub Hub and eBay said.

The bill still needs approval in another committee and from the full House. Then it goes back to the Senate for approval there before heading to the governor's desk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tim, an alternate storyline would be that Ticketbastard found some techo-rube legislators to wave something shiny in front of and convince them that the state should outlaw some software in order to relieve Ticketbastard of the need to upgrade and modernize its legacyware. Oh, and try to impose an noncollectable online tax in the bargain. Rubes of all kinds like taxes.

Don't buy the official line next time.