Back in October of 2015, Live for Live Music started a petition calling for the banning of ticket scalper bots in America. Amassing over 25,000 signatures, it seems that our words were not taken in vain, as a concurrent New York state investigation found that the ticket scalping industry was widespread, and detracting from an average fan’s ability to buy tickets.The success of the scalpers was largely due to ticket bots, aka software programs that can quickly navigate through the ticket purchasing steps on Ticketmaster and snatch up dozens of tickets faster than humanly possible. This software was not previously illegal, though ticket bot users could face civil charges if brought to the courts.That has all changed in the state of New York, as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly member Marcos Crespo have passed legislation creating criminal penalties for ticket bot users. “This kind of ticket scalping has had a very negative impact on fans that want to enjoy sporting and entertainment events,” said Speaker Heastie in a statement. “Ticket scalpers often buy up as many tickets as possible with this illegal software and then resell tickets at prices that many New Yorkers simply cannot afford. This measure aims to discourage the tactic by criminalizing this offense.”The measure classifies use of ticket bots as a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in fines and jail time for any culprits. “New Yorkers have been dealing with this frustrating ticket buying experience for too long,” said Assembly member Crespo, who wrote the bill. “Countless fans have lost opportunities to experience the richness of our arts and entertainment industry because there are those willing to circumvent by using automated software to deprive the average consumer of access to entertainment venues. The top music, theatre and athletic talent of our nation have priced their events at levels affordable to the mass public. With this bill becoming law, we will ensure the prices to see such talent will be within reach of all New Yorkers.”Let’s hope other states follow suit and eliminate this disrespectful practice.