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Managers try to rein in ticket market

Music business wants its cut

Reps of more than 400 performing artists, including Robbie Williams, KT Tunstall and Radiohead, have banded together to create the Resale Rights Society, which aims to license the unregulated secondary ticketing market.

Initiative was launched Tuesday in London by the Music Managers Forum.

The Resale Rights Society aims to ensure music fans are protected from unscrupulous or bogus resellers by introducing a scheme to validate sales on ticketing sites. It also wants to ensure that artists and the live music industry share in the proceeds of resold tickets. It will approach websites including eBay, Viagogo, Seat Exchange, Seatwave and GetMeIn.

“The secondary ticketing market offers benefits to music fans and the live music industry alike. It does not make sense to criminalize it,” said Resale Rights Society chairman-elect Marc Marot, manager of Yusuf Islam and Paul Oakenfold, and former chief executive of Island Records. “But there are real issues of consumer protection here, and it is unacceptable that not a penny of the estimated £200 million ($413 million) in transactions generated by the resale of concert tickets in the U.K. is returned to the investors in the live music industry. Where this trade is fair to consumers, we propose to authorize it by agreeing to a levy on all transactions.

“The online ticketing exchanges have consistently claimed that they wish to work with artists and the live music industry. This society presents them with that opportunity.”

The initiative comes in response to four U.K. government summits on secondary ticketing. A Dept. of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, chaired by John Whittingdale, is expected to announce the results of its inquiry within days.

Jazz Summers, chairman of the Music Managers Forum and manager of the Verve, said, “The industry needs to stand together and ensure that our artists and the fans are not exploited by operators of online ticket exchanges.”

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