Music group seeks share in concert ticket re-sales

Tue Dec 4, 2007 12:02pm EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Music management groups representing some of Britain's biggest acts are seeking a share of the proceeds from concert tickets re-sold over the Internet on Web sites like eBay, Viagogo and Seat Exchange.

But they are likely to face stiff resistance from the sites, one of which has argued that such a levy would effectively mean paying an artist twice for the same ticket.

Management organizations behind more than 400 performers, including Robbie Williams, the Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead, aim to unite the live music industry in a new Resale Rights Society that would license the unregulated secondary ticket market.

Tickets to gigs are regularly re-sold online, often for many times the face value, but also for much less.

There have been complaints from musicians in the past, although they have tended to focus on the re-sale of tickets to concerts specifically designed to raise money for charity.

Marc Marot, formerly of Island Records and chairman-elect of the Resale Rights Society, estimated the business generated around 200 million pounds ($400 million) annually in Britain.

"The secondary ticketing market offers benefits to music fans and the live music industry alike. It does not make sense to try and criminalize it," Marot said in a statement.

"On the other hand there are not only real issues of consumer protection here, it is unacceptable that not a penny of the estimated 200 million pounds ... is returned to the investors in the live music industry.

"Where this trade is fair to consumers, we propose to authorize it by agreeing a levy on all transactions."   Continued...

 
<p>File photo shows rock band Arctic Monkeys during a concert at the Benicassim International Festival in the eastern Spanish town of Benicassim July 22, 2007. Management organizations behind more than 400 performers, including Robbie Williams, the Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead, aim to unite the live music industry in a new Resale Rights Society that would license the unregulated secondary ticket market. REUTERS/Heino Kalis</p>