BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 329
                                                                  Page  1


          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 329 (Pan)
          As Amended  May 7, 2013
          Majority vote 

           ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS     5-2                 JUDICIARY    
          10-0                
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Ian Calderon, Bloom,      |Ayes:|Wieckowski, Wagner,       |
          |     |Gomez, Levine, Wilk       |     |Alejo, Chau, Dickinson,   |
          |     |                          |     |Garcia, Gorell,           |
          |     |                          |     |Maienschein, Muratsuchi,  |
          |     |                          |     |Stone                     |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Waldron, Brown            |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 

           APPROPRIATIONS      16-1                                        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Gatto, Harkey, Bigelow,   |     |                          |
          |     |Bocanegra, Bradford, Ian  |     |                          |
          |     |Calderon, Campos, Eggman, |     |                          |
          |     |Gomez, Hall, Rendon,      |     |                          |
          |     |Linder, Pan, Quirk,       |     |                          |
          |     |Wagner, Weber             |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Donnelly                  |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Provides that any person who intentionally uses or  
          sells software to circumvent a security measure, access control  
          system, or other control or measure on a ticket seller's  
          Internet Web site that is used to ensure an equitable ticket  
          buying process is guilty of a misdemeanor.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, potential minor non-reimbursable costs to cities and  
          counties for enforcement, offset to some extent by fine  
          revenues.  
            








                                                                 AB 329
                                                                  Page  2


          COMMENTS  :  According to the author, robotic ticket-buying  
          software ("bots") are designed to bombard online box office Web  
          sites with thousands of simultaneous purchase requests, thereby  
          bypassing the principle of first-in-line and creating instant  
          sellouts of events before the average fan has a chance to obtain  
          tickets.  The author states that the entertainment industry has  
          continuously blamed "instant sellouts" on the unregulated use of  
          bots by scalpers, who then turn around and sell the tickets at  
          severely marked up prices, forcing fans to pay higher prices for  
          tickets without having had any opportunity to purchase a  
          face-value ticket from the ticket issuer or event organizer.  To  
          address these problems, this bill would prohibit the use or sale  
          of robotic ticket-buying software, and making violations  
          punishable by a misdemeanor. 

           Technological attempts to combat robotic-ticket buying software  
          have not been entirely successful  :  According to the author, the  
          ticket industry has attempted to combat the problems caused by  
          bots by employing other technological means such as Completely  
          Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart  
          (CAPTCHA) phrases and pictures tests at the point of sale during  
          the online transaction.  Visitors to any ticket selling Web site  
          in recent years may recall having been instructed to view a  
          distorted image of a word or phrase and type the characters into  
          a response box before being allowed to purchase tickets on the  
          Web site. This type of CAPTCHA test is designed to prevent the  
          use of bots because the requested task is one that a person can  
          complete correctly in virtually every case, but is difficult for  
          a robotic software program to accurately perform.  Variations of  
          CAPTCHA methods involve visual identification of common objects  
          like animals or fruit rather than words or phrases; in either  
          case, the idea is that correct responses to CAPTCHA requests can  
          be reliably presumed to have been entered by a person using the  
          ticket Web site, and not an automated software program.   
          According to supporters of the bill, however, these  
          technological efforts do not appear to have been very successful  
          because the problem of instant sellouts and increased resale  
          prices for tickets continues to generate complaints from the  
          ticket-buying public.  This bill seeks to address the novel  
          problem caused by the rise of bot software by prohibiting the  
          use and sale of any software that "circumvents a security  
          measure, access control system, or other control or measure on a  
          seller's Internet Web site that is used to ensure an equitable  
          ticket buying process."








                                                                  AB 329
                                                                  Page  3



           Recent amendments  to the bill taken in the Assembly Arts,  
          Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee  
          limit the bill to only the current prohibition of the sale or  
          use of robotic ticket buying software.  Several professional  
          sports teams and other ticket sellers who previously opposed the  
          bill now support it, and there is no known opposition to the  
          current version of the bill.

          Please see the Assembly Judiciary Committee analysis for a full  
          discussion of the current version of this bill.


           Analysis Prepared by  :   Dana Mitchell / A., E., S., T. & I.M. /  
          (916) 319-3450


                                                                FN: 0000619