CONSUMER / CRIMINAL: Japan’s upper house, the House of Councillors has voted unanimously to approve a new criminal law that will encompass almost all ticket touting, just over two years after the #ResaleNO campaign first brought the issue to public prominence. The new law, which came out of the move to criminalise the re-sale of 2020 Olympic tickets, comes into effect six months from the day of the vote, on the 8th June 2019. The legislation was approved by Japan’s lower house, the House of Representatives on the 4th December and will prohibit ticket touting, both online and outside venues, for all shows where the organiser has prohibited resale, a practice followed by the majority but not by all 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, proposed to ensure the “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’, in effect purchasing tickets for the express purpose of reselling them.
Tiketore, Japan’s first face-value ticket exchange, opened in May 2017.
Takeo Nakanishi, the chairman of Japan’s promoters’ association ACPC (All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters’ Conference), told IQ magazine: “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 adding “We hope this new act will set a precedent and spread all over the World.”
IQ adds that 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. Many more now have bans on so called ‘bots’ and increasing levels of regulation to curb the excesses of some secondary ticketing platforms.