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H.R. 5104 (114th): BOTS Act

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 28, 2016 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 5104


April 28, 2016

(for herself, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Israel, Mr. Tiberi, Mr. Cohen, Mr. DesJarlais, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Byrne, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Bishop of Michigan, Mr. Costello of Pennsylvania, Ms. Jenkins of Kansas, Mr. Harper, Mr. Ross, and Mr. Cárdenas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To prohibit, as an unfair and deceptive act or practice in commerce, the sale or use of certain software to circumvent control measures used by Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for any given event, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Better On-line Ticket Sales Act of 2016 or the BOTS Act.


Unfair and deceptive acts and practices relating to use of ticket access circumvention software


Conduct prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person—


to intentionally use or sell software to circumvent a security measure, access control system, or other control or measure on a ticket seller’s Internet website that is used by the seller to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for any given event; or


to sell any ticket in interstate commerce knowingly obtained by that person or another in violation of paragraph (1).


Federal Trade Commission Enforcement

A violation of subsection (a) shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)). The Federal Trade Commission shall enforce this section in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.


Civil action

Any person who suffers injury as a result of another person’s violation of subsection (a) of section 2, may bring a civil action against such person in a United States district court and may recover from such person damages for such injury plus $1,000 for each distinct use or sale of software in violation of paragraph (1) of such subsection or sale of a ticket in violation of paragraph (2) of such subsection that caused such injury, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.