Disappointingly, the actual report of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee into secondary ticket sales - although published - isn't online yet, but the BBC has a copy. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recommendations look like a bit of a messy compromise. Which is a polite way of saying "fudge", of course.
The MPs recommend that there's no reason for legislation stopping the practice:
Which is good news; the committee also blames promoters and venues for creating the problem in the first place by having a rubbish, or sometimes non-existent, returns and refund systems in place.
So: the promoters have more-or-less dropped the ball by making selling on the only way you can get any value from a ticket for an event you can no longer attend, and yet Whittingdale and his committee think they should be rewarded as a result?
The committee suggests that there should be an outright ban on the resale of tickets given for free to children and the disabled, which seems fair enough, but then:
But on what principle? And who is define what "distasteful" is - okay, an event like the Diana concert where all the profits go to charity would count; but would Live Earth? And how about if half the profits are going to charity? What about ten per cent? Could a promoter make such a rule work to their favour if they offered a slither of one per cent of the ticket sales go to a charity? How about if the event is, say, raising funds for something that isn't a registered charity - perhaps to raise awareness of something, or to help out a band whose equipment has been stolen? Does that count as distasteful?
Perhaps what actually counts as distasteful will be cleaned up when we're able to read the full report. But the appearance of the phrase "the middle way" means we're not holding out much hope.
Oral evidence to the committee
Evidence given in advance]