HOUSE BILL No. 5828

 

August 15, 2012, Introduced by Rep. Cotter and referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

 

     A bill to regulate the issuance and resale of tickets to

 

certain entertainment events; to provide consumer protections for

 

ticket purchasers; to prescribe powers and duties of certain state

 

governmental officers and agencies; to provide remedies; and to

 

provide for the promulgation of rules.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "event

 

tickets act".

 

     Sec. 3. As used in this act:

 

     (a) "Event" means a concert, theatrical performance, sporting

 

event, exhibition, show, or other similar scheduled activity held

 

in this state that meets all of the following:

 

     (i) Is open to the general public.

 

     (ii) An admission fee is charged to attend.


 

     (iii) Is held in a venue that accommodates more than 1,000

 

individuals.

 

     (b) "Event ticket" means a physical, electronic, or other form

 

of a certificate, document, voucher, token, or other evidence

 

indicating that the bearer, possessor, or person entitled to

 

possession through purchase or otherwise meets any of the

 

following:

 

     (i) Has a revocable or irrevocable right, privilege, or license

 

to enter an event venue or occupy a particular seat or area in an

 

event venue for 1 or more events.

 

     (ii) Is entitled to purchase a right, privilege, or license

 

described in subparagraph (i) for 1 or more future events.

 

     (c) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited

 

liability company, partnership, association, or other legal entity.

 

     (d) "Resale" means any form of sale or other transfer of, or

 

offer to sell or transfer, possession or entitlement to possession

 

of an event ticket from 1 person to another, with or without

 

consideration, whether in person or by means of telephone, mail,

 

delivery service, facsimile, internet, email, or other electronic

 

means. The term does not include the initial sale of an event

 

ticket by the ticket issuer.

 

     (e) "Ticket issuer" means a person that makes event tickets

 

available, directly or indirectly, for initial sale to the general

 

public. The term does not include a person that is involved in or

 

facilitates event ticket resales. The term may include any of the

 

following if the person makes event tickets available for initial

 

sale to the general public:


 

     (i) The operator of a venue.

 

     (ii) The sponsor or promoter of an event.

 

     (iii) A sports team participating in an event or a league whose

 

teams are participating in an event.

 

     (iv) A theater company, musical group, or similar participant

 

in an event.

 

     (v) An agent of a person described in subparagraphs (i) to (iv).

 

     (f) "Venue" means any public or nonpublic theater, stadium,

 

field, hall, or other facility where an event takes place.

 

     Sec. 5. Except as otherwise provided in this act, a ticket

 

issuer shall not prohibit or restrict the resale or offering for

 

resale of an event ticket by any person that lawfully possesses

 

that ticket, including, but not limited to, engaging in any of the

 

following activities:

 

     (a) Purporting to impose license or contractual terms on the

 

initial sale of an event ticket, including, but not limited to,

 

terms printed on the back of a physical event ticket, that prohibit

 

resale or free transfer of the ticket or that restrict the price or

 

other terms and conditions under which the ticket may be resold or

 

used by a person other than the original purchaser.

 

     (b) Requiring the purchaser of an event ticket, whether for a

 

single event or for a series or season of events, to agree not to

 

resell the ticket or to resell the ticket only through a specific

 

channel approved by the ticket issuer.

 

     (c) Bringing legal action based on an unlawful prohibition or

 

restriction on resale of an event ticket against any of the

 

following:


 

     (i) A purchaser that resells or offers to resell an event

 

ticket without permission of the ticket issuer or in violation of a

 

restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer.

 

     (ii) A person that facilitates or provides services for the

 

resale of event tickets without permission of the ticket issuer or

 

in violation of a restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket

 

issuer.

 

     (iii) An operator of a physical or electronic marketplace where

 

event tickets are offered for resale without permission of the

 

ticket issuer or in violation of a restriction purportedly imposed

 

by the ticket issuer.

 

     (d) Imposing a penalty on a ticket purchaser that resells or

 

offers to resell an event ticket without permission or in violation

 

of a restriction purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer, or

 

treating that purchaser in any material way less favorably than a

 

similarly situated purchaser that does not resell or offer to

 

resell an event ticket or that complies with resale restrictions

 

purportedly imposed by the ticket issuer.

 

     (e) Employing technological means for the purpose or with the

 

foreseeable effect of prohibiting or restricting the resale of

 

event tickets, including, but not limited to, issuing event tickets

 

in an electronic form that is not readily transferable to a

 

subsequent purchaser, or conditioning entry into the venue on

 

presentation of a token, such as the original purchaser's credit

 

card or state-issued identification card, that cannot be readily

 

transferred to a subsequent purchaser.

 

     (f) Requiring that the purchaser of an event ticket pick up


 

the event ticket from a box office or "will call" window in advance

 

the event.

 

     (g) Seeking to limit or restrict the price, or to impose a

 

minimum or maximum price, at which an event ticket may be resold.

 

     Sec. 7. (1) A person engaged in any trade or business

 

described in subsection (2) shall not engage in the primary or

 

secondary market for event ticket sales if that person does not do

 

all of the following:

 

     (a) Maintain a toll-free telephone number for complaints and

 

inquiries regarding its activities in the sale or resale of event

 

tickets.

 

     (b) Subject to subsection (4), implement and reasonably

 

publicize a standard refund policy that meets the following minimum

 

standards:

 

     (i) It provides a consumer who purchases an event ticket a full

 

refund if any of the following occur:

 

     (A) The event is canceled before the scheduled occurrence of

 

the event and is not rescheduled.

 

     (B) The event ticket received by the purchaser is counterfeit.

 

     (C) The event ticket is canceled by the ticket issuer for

 

nonpayment by the original purchaser or for any reason other than

 

an act or omission of the consumer.

 

     (D) The event ticket materially and to the detriment of the

 

consumer fails to conform to the description provided by the seller

 

or reseller.

 

     (E) The event ticket is not delivered to the consumer before

 

the occurrence of the event, unless the failure of delivery is due


 

to an act or omission of the consumer.

 

     (ii) It provides that a consumer entitled to a full refund

 

shall receive the full price paid by the consumer for the event

 

ticket and any fees charged in connection with that purchase,

 

including, but not limited to, convenience fees, processing fees,

 

at-home printing charges, shipping and handling charges, or

 

delivery fees.

 

     (2) Subsection (1) applies to a person engaged in any of the

 

following as a trade or business:

 

     (a) Acting as a ticket issuer.

 

     (b) Subject to subsection (3), engaging in the resale of event

 

tickets. However, if a person described in this subdivision only

 

resells event tickets in a physical or electronic marketplace that

 

fully complies with this section, the person is not required to

 

comply with subsection (1).

 

     (c) Providing a physical or electronic marketplace for the

 

sale or resale of event tickets by other persons.

 

     (3) An individual that does not resell more than 80 event

 

tickets in any 12-month period is not considered to be engaged in

 

the trade or business of reselling event tickets for purposes of

 

this section.

 

     (4) A person subject to this section may include any of the

 

following in the standard refund policy required under subsection

 

(1)(b):

 

     (a) That entitlement to a refund is conditioned on the timely

 

return of the event ticket purchased.

 

     (b) Reasonable safeguards against abuse of the policy.


 

     (5) This section does not prohibit any person subject to this

 

section from implementing any consumer protection practices in

 

addition to those described in subsection (1) if those practices

 

otherwise comply with this act.

 

     Sec. 9. (1) The attorney general may bring a civil action for

 

any violation of this act. In an action described in this section

 

to enforce this act, the attorney general may pursue that action in

 

the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction,

 

powers, and duties, as apply to the attorney general in his or her

 

enforcement of the Michigan consumer protection act, 1976 PA 331,

 

MCL 445.901 to 445.922, including, but not limited to, any of the

 

following powers:

 

     (a) To bring an action for a temporary or permanent injunction

 

in the manner provided in section 5 of the Michigan consumer

 

protection act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.905, together with costs and

 

reasonable attorney fees.

 

     (b) To apply for the issuance of subpoenas in the manner

 

provided in sections 7 and 8 of the Michigan consumer protection

 

act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.907 and 445.908.

 

     (c) To bring a class action in the manner provided in section

 

10 of the Michigan consumer protection act, 1976 PA 331, MCL

 

445.910.

 

     (2) All of the following apply to a class action described in

 

subsection (1)(c):

 

     (a) Subject to subdivision (b), the attorney general may

 

recover either of the following, whichever is greater, together

 

with costs and reasonable attorney fees:


 

     (i) The actual damages suffered by the residents of this state.

 

     (ii) An amount equal to $100.00 for each event ticket sold,

 

resold, or offered for sale or resale in violation of this act,

 

subject to a maximum of $100,000.00 with respect to all of the

 

violations related to any single event.

 

     (b) The court may increase a damage award against a defendant

 

to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount otherwise

 

available under subdivision (a) if in a prior civil action the

 

defendant was found to have violated this act.

 

     (3) For purposes of bringing a civil action under subsection

 

(1), this section does not prevent the attorney general from

 

exercising any powers given to the attorney general by any other

 

law of this state to conduct investigations, administer oaths or

 

affirmations, or compel the attendance of witnesses or the

 

production of documentary and other evidence.

 

     (4) The attorney general may not bring a civil action under

 

this section more than 2 years after the date of the violation that

 

is the subject of the action.

 

     Sec. 11. (1) A political subdivision of this state shall not

 

adopt or enforce any ordinance or other regulation that purports to

 

do any of the following:

 

     (a) Limit the price at which an event ticket may be resold.

 

     (b) Impose any other restriction on the resale of event

 

tickets inconsistent with this act.

 

     (c) Permit any action prohibited by this act.

 

     (2) This act supersedes and preempts any ordinance or other

 

regulation of any political subdivision of this state that purports


 

to do any of the following:

 

     (a) Limit the price at which an event ticket may be resold.

 

     (b) Impose any other restriction on the resale of event

 

tickets inconsistent with this act, or that purports to permit any

 

action prohibited by this act, but only to the extent of that

 

inconsistency.

 

     (3) This act does not limit or otherwise impair the

 

jurisdiction or powers of any department, agency, officer, or

 

political subdivision of this state to enforce any law, rule,

 

regulation, code, or ordinance that does any of the following:

 

     (a) Regulates or prohibits the sale or resale of event tickets

 

based on proximity of the location of the sale to the location of a

 

venue.

 

     (b) Regulates or prohibits the sale or resale of event tickets

 

in a manner that constitutes disorderly conduct or breach of the

 

peace.

 

     (c) Empowers the operator of a venue or its agent to deny

 

admission to any person, or to eject any person from an event, in

 

order to preserve public safety or order or to prevent or restrict

 

the admission of minors.

 

     (d) Prohibits fraud, deception, or similar practices in

 

connection with the sale or resale of event tickets or prohibits

 

the sale or resale of counterfeit tickets.

 

     (e) Treats an event ticket as a license for any purpose other

 

than the prohibition or restriction of resale.

 

     (f) Regulates the initial sale of event tickets by limiting

 

the number of event tickets that a person may purchase from a


 

ticket issuer.

 

     (g) Prohibits the intentional circumvention of technological

 

means employed by ticket issuers to enforce limitations on the

 

number of event tickets that a person may purchase from a ticket

 

issuer, or the sale or distribution of devices, computer programs,

 

or other tools for the purpose of an intention circumvention

 

described in this subdivision.

 

     Sec. 13. This act does not apply to restrictions on the resale

 

of event tickets imposed by any of the following:

 

     (a) A sponsor or promoter of an event intended solely to

 

benefit charitable endeavors, for which all tickets are distributed

 

free of charge.

 

     (b) A not-for-profit educational institution, with respect to

 

athletic events involving athletes or teams of that institution, to

 

the extent that resale restrictions apply to tickets initially

 

distributed by the institution to any of the following:

 

     (i) Students, faculty, staff members, or alumni without charge.

 

     (ii) Members of a bona fide booster organization that consists

 

of those making substantial financial contributions to the

 

institution.

 

     Sec. 15. The attorney general may promulgate rules under the

 

administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to

 

24.328, to implement and administer this act. Rules promulgated

 

under this section may include any of the following:

 

     (a) Defining categories of persons otherwise subject to this

 

act that are temporarily or indefinitely excluded from its

 

provisions, or against which the department of attorney general


 

determines it will not enforce this act in whole or in part, if the

 

attorney general determines that the activities of those persons

 

otherwise subject to this act have a relatively insignificant

 

impact on commerce in event tickets.

 

     (b) Any other reasonable rules the attorney general determines

 

are necessary to implement and administer this act.

 

     Enacting section 1. This act takes effect 90 days after the

 

date it is enacted into law.

 

     Enacting section 2. This act does not take effect unless

 

Senate Bill No. ______ or House Bill No. 5827(request no.

 

01478'11 a **) of the 96th Legislature is enacted into law.