Michigan lawmakers introduce 'Taylor Swift' bills to crack down on ticket-buying bots - TAI News
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Taylor Swift performs during “The Eras Tour,” Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

A bipartisan pair of Michigan state lawmakers introduced a bill on April 25 that would ensure average Michiganders can afford concert tickets.

State Reps. Mike McFall, a Democrat from Hazel Park, and Graham Filler, a Republican from Clinton County, introduced “Taylor Swift” bills aimed at cracking down on people who use bots to snap up concert tickets and then turn around and sell them on the resale market at prices much higher than face value, making them hard or impossible for lower- and middle-income Americans to afford.

House Bill 5661 would ban people from using bots to buy more than an event’s stated ticket limit or to circumvent or disable electronic ticket waiting rooms in order to buy tickets. House Bill 5662 would give the Michigan attorney general the power to enforce civil fines of up to $5,000 against those found to have violated the bot ban.

“This is about fairness and ensuring that Michiganders have a fair shot at purchasing tickets to their favorite events without unfair competition from automated bots,” Filler said in a news release posted by Michigan House Republicans. “This is an issue that affects all of us who love attending concerts and sporting events.”

The bill authors named the legislation after pop star Taylor Swift, whose fans experienced problems trying to purchase tickets for concerts during the popular Eras Tour but were unable to because bots had bought them up. On average, Eras Tour tickets on the resale market cost $3,801 each, the online music publication Pitchfork reported in August 2023.

“Michiganders are tired of these scalping bots who purchase and hoard tickets for resale, often pricing them out of reach for many hardworking families,” McFall said in the House GOP news release. “I am proud to sponsor these bills which will protect consumers, keep tickets affordable, and hold bad actors accountable.”

If the bills become law, Michigan would be the second state to pass legislation to crack down on ticket bots. In April, Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a bill into law that bans people from using bots to buy more than the posted ticket limit during online ticket sales.

Congress is also looking at tackling the issue. In December, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), along with seven co-sponsors from both parties, introduced the Fans First Act, which would create a federal ban on bots used to purchase tickets online. 

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