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What do scalpers sell ?

For brokers and others who favor a free secondary market for tickets, these concerns cut to the philosophical heart of the issue: Is a ticket a commodity that can be freely exchanged, like a stock, or is it a license granted by a theater, a sports team or an artist that can be used or revoked on their terms?

Brendan Ross, the chief executive of Razorgator, a reselling exchange similar to StubHub, said fans -- particularly season-ticket holders in sports -- take considerable risk when they buy tickets months ahead of time, and should be able to do what they like with the tickets. Paperless ticketing, he said, is a way for Ticketmaster and other companies to control, and potentially eliminate, that secondary market.

"The lion's share of the rights in this situation are in the hands of the person who sold you the ticket," Mr. Ross said. "You're taking all the risk. They're taking none of it. You can't get your money back, you can't change your mind. So the question is, should you have the right to sell the seat that you bought?"

Scalping 2.0: Naming the Ticket's Master
Published: June 4, 2010
In the age of chips and bots, is a ticket a commodity controlled by the buyer, or a license granted by an artist or sports team?


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