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Congress Sends Bill Cracking Down on Ticket Bots to President Obama

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: hands out sweet treats and tickets to her sold out show for Marriott Rewards Members in Los Angeles next week at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 17, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Universal Music Group)

President Obama will consider legislation intended to crack down on ticket scalpers who operate automated software to snap up seats, after the House of Representatives passed it in a voice vote this afternoon, Billboard reports. Inspired in part by $1000-plus resale ticket prices for Hamilton (instant Radiohead sell-outs don’t move the needle in Congress, apparently), the BOTS (or Better Online Ticket Sales) Act would make the use of ticket bots an “unfair and deceptive practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act and thus subject to FTC investigation.

Congress’s actions follow New York state’s proposed legislation, which would make the use and operation of ticket bots class A misdemeanors. Up until now, digital hurdles like purchase limits and CAPCHA codes have proven largely ineffective against bots, which buy up tickets faster than mere mortals in order to re-sell them for profit on secondary markets like StubHub. Lin-Manuel Miranda may save this country yet.