[Newsmaker] K-pop fans take action against online scalpers

By Kim Hye-soo
  • Published : Oct 5, 2018 - 16:55
  • Updated : Oct 5, 2018 - 17:40

With so many events slated for this month featuring artists with huge fan bases, the race is on to get tickets to see our favorite singers live.

Most concerts featuring world-famous singers can’t accommodate all the fans who want to be there, and ticket-reservation websites often crash as soon as tickets to a popular concert become available. The impact of too many people logging in at the same time is just too much for the servers.

Knowing that competition will be fierce, fans gear up in advance as the day approaches, sometimes even resorting to improper means. They may use several friends’ IDs in hopes of purchasing one ticket, or they may use sketchy online ticket-trading sites. 

(Melon ticket)
(Melon ticket)
(Melon ticket)

The more famous a singer is, the more of a nightmare it can be to get a ticket for a concert that should be a treasured memory. More and more, online scalpers are snatching up all the best seats by using macro programs -- computer programs that click continuously, buying more tickets faster than any human can. The scalpers then resell them to fans at extortionate prices.

Until recently, there was no effective way to stop online scalping because there was no clear law against the practice. But as the problem got more and more widespread, singers and fans who fell victim to this dishonest form of ticket trading decided to take action.

Veteran solo singer IU and her agency, Kakao M, drew praise for the definitive policy announced Sept. 27 on the agency’s official homepage. According to the announcement, if any ticket-trading irregularity is detected, the agency will buy the ticket to see the registration information, cancel the ticket and take legal action. If the ticket broker is found to be a member of IU’s official fan club, the person will be permanently eliminated from the club and can never attend another IU event.

(Melon Ticket)

Not only singers but fans too are doing their best to hunt down online scalpers. Some fans are volunteering as “illegal ticket hunters,” searching for online posts advertising concert tickets at inflated prices and reporting them to the agency. Some agencies are compensating people who make such reports to encourage more fans to participate in stopping the ticket scalpers. As ticket release dates approach, tips can be found online showing how to report unauthorized ticket trading.

Currently, unauthorized ticket trading constitutes a misdemeanor under the Minor Offenses Act, but only if it takes place on the scene -- that is, offline. Online ticket brokers cannot be prosecuted under the law as it is currently written.

By Kim Hye-soo (clairek@heraldcorp.com)