BETTER ONLINE TICKET SALES ACT OF 2016; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 176
(House of Representatives - December 07, 2016)

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[Pages H7326-H7327]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to take from the 
Speaker's table the bill (S. 3183) to prohibit the circumvention of 
control measures used by Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable 
consumer access to tickets for any given event, and for other purposes, 
and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Tennessee?
  There was no objection.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 3183

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Better Online Ticket Sales 
     Act of 2016'' or the ``BOTS Act of 2016''.


       (a) Conduct Prohibited.--
       (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), it 
     shall be unlawful for any person--

[[Page H7327]]

       (A) to circumvent a security measure, access control 
     system, or other technological control or measure on an 
     Internet website or online service that is used by the ticket 
     issuer to enforce posted event ticket purchasing limits or to 
     maintain the integrity of posted online ticket purchasing 
     order rules; or
       (B) to sell or offer to sell any event ticket in interstate 
     commerce obtained in violation of subparagraph (A) if the 
     person selling or offering to sell the ticket either--
       (i) participated directly in or had the ability to control 
     the conduct in violation of subparagraph (A); or
       (ii) knew or should have known that the event ticket was 
     acquired in violation of subparagraph (A).
       (2) Exception.--It shall not be unlawful under this section 
     for a person to create or use any computer software or 
       (A) to investigate, or further the enforcement or defense, 
     of any alleged violation of this section or other statute or 
     regulation; or
       (B) to engage in research necessary to identify and analyze 
     flaws and vulnerabilities of measures, systems, or controls 
     described in paragraph (1)(A), if these research activities 
     are conducted to advance the state of knowledge in the field 
     of computer system security or to assist in the development 
     of computer security product.
       (b) Enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission.--
       (1) Unfair or deceptive acts or practices.--A violation of 
     subsection (a) shall be treated as a violation of a rule 
     defining an unfair or a deceptive act or practice under 
     section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 
     U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)).
       (2) Powers of commission.--
       (A) In general.--The Commission shall enforce this section 
     in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same 
     jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable 
     terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 
     U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a part of 
     this section.
       (B) Privileges and immunities.--Any person who violates 
     subsection (a) shall be subject to the penalties and entitled 
     to the privileges and immunities provided in the Federal 
     Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.).
       (C) Authority preserved.--Nothing in this section shall be 
     construed to limit the authority of the Federal Trade 
     Commission under any other provision of law.
       (c) Enforcement by States.--
       (1) In general.--In any case in which the attorney general 
     of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the 
     residents of the State has been or is threatened or adversely 
     affected by the engagement of any person subject to 
     subsection (a) in a practice that violates such subsection, 
     the attorney general of the State may, as parens patriae, 
     bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of the State 
     in an appropriate district court of the United States--
       (A) to enjoin further violation of such subsection by such 
       (B) to compel compliance with such subsection; and
       (C) to obtain damages, restitution, or other compensation 
     on behalf of such residents.
       (2) Rights of federal trade commission.--
       (A) Notice to federal trade commission.--
       (i) In general.--Except as provided in clause (iii), the 
     attorney general of a State shall notify the Commission in 
     writing that the attorney general intends to bring a civil 
     action under paragraph (1) not later than 10 days before 
     initiating the civil action.
       (ii) Contents.--The notification required by clause (i) 
     with respect to a civil action shall include a copy of the 
     complaint to be filed to initiate the civil action.
       (iii) Exception.--If it is not feasible for the attorney 
     general of a State to provide the notification required by 
     clause (i) before initiating a civil action under paragraph 
     (1), the attorney general shall notify the Commission 
     immediately upon instituting the civil action.
       (B) Intervention by federal trade commission.--The 
     Commission may--
       (i) intervene in any civil action brought by the attorney 
     general of a State under paragraph (1); and
       (ii) upon intervening--

       (I) be heard on all matters arising in the civil action; 
       (II) file petitions for appeal of a decision in the civil 

       (3) Investigatory powers.--Nothing in this subsection may 
     be construed to prevent the attorney general of a State from 
     exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general by 
     the laws of the State to conduct investigations, to 
     administer oaths or affirmations, or to compel the attendance 
     of witnesses or the production of documentary or other 
       (4) Preemptive action by federal trade commission.--If the 
     Commission institutes a civil action or an administrative 
     action with respect to a violation of subsection (a), the 
     attorney general of a State may not, during the pendency of 
     such action, bring a civil action under paragraph (1) against 
     any defendant named in the complaint of the Commission for 
     the violation with respect to which the Commission instituted 
     such action.
       (5) Venue; service of process.--
       (A) Venue.--Any action brought under paragraph (1) may be 
     brought in--
       (i) the district court of the United States that meets 
     applicable requirements relating to venue under section 1391 
     of title 28, United States Code; or
       (ii) another court of competent jurisdiction.
       (B) Service of process.--In an action brought under 
     paragraph (1), process may be served in any district in which 
     the defendant--
       (i) is an inhabitant; or
       (ii) may be found.
       (6) Actions by other state officials.--
       (A) In general.--In addition to civil actions brought by 
     attorneys general under paragraph (1), any other consumer 
     protection officer of a State who is authorized by the State 
     to do so may bring a civil action under paragraph (1), 
     subject to the same requirements and limitations that apply 
     under this subsection to civil actions brought by attorneys 
       (B) Savings provision.--Nothing in this subsection may be 
     construed to prohibit an authorized official of a State from 
     initiating or continuing any proceeding in a court of the 
     State for a violation of any civil or criminal law of the 


       In this Act:
       (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
     Trade Commission.
       (2) Event.--The term ``event'' means any concert, 
     theatrical performance, sporting event, show, or similarly 
     scheduled activity, taking place in a venue with a seating or 
     attendance capacity exceeding 200 persons that--
       (A) is open to the general public; and
       (B) is promoted, advertised, or marketed in interstate 
     commerce or for which event tickets are generally sold or 
     distributed in interstate commerce.
       (3) Event ticket.--The term ``event ticket'' means any 
     physical, electronic, or other form of a certificate, 
     document, voucher, token, or other evidence indicating that 
     the bearer, possessor, or person entitled to possession 
     through purchase or otherwise has--
       (A) a right, privilege, or license to enter an event venue 
     or occupy a particular seat or area in an event venue with 
     respect to one or more events; or
       (B) an entitlement to purchase such a right, privilege, or 
     license with respect to one or more future events.
       (4) Ticket issuer.--The term ``ticket issuer'' means any 
     person who makes event tickets available, directly or 
     indirectly, to the general public, and may include--
       (A) the operator of the venue;
       (B) the sponsor or promoter of an event;
       (C) a sports team participating in an event or a league 
     whose teams are participating in an event;
       (D) a theater company, musical group, or similar 
     participant in an event; and
       (E) an agent for any such person.

  The bill was ordered to be read a third time, was read the third 
time, and passed, and a motion to reconsider was laid on the table.