Viagogo thrashed in Court by RFU Lawyers (again)
Written on Thu 22 Dec 2011
The Rugby Football Union has won an important victory in a Court battle with the secondary ticketing agency Viagogo. The RFU won an appeal ruling, which forces Viagogo to reveal the identities of profiteering touts who had sold tickets for matches at Twickenham.
In March this year the RFU first took Viagogo to Court. The legal summary explained the case very well.
RFU could, if it chose, issue tickets at prices designed to maximise profits. But it does not do this. .... Its main object is not to make profits. It does use its right to issue tickets to raise the revenue it needs to operate the Stadium ... It keeps ticket prices at an affordable level to encourage interest and involvement in the sport by a wide section of the public.
RFU has taken steps to try to prevent the resale of tickets at prices above the face value of the ticket….Viagogo carries on business for profit, and has no other responsibilities.
The RFU argued that when the touts had sold their tickets at a profit then they had committed a wrong, and that Viagogo had facilitated their wrongdoing. Viagogo therefore had a duty to assist the RFU in correcting this, by giving them the names and addresses of these touts.The RFU won the case initially, but Viagogo then appealled.
In the Appeal hearing Viagogo attempted to protect the names and addresses of the ticket-sellers. They cited the ‘fundamental rights’ of the individuals, But the Appeal judge agreed that arguable wrongs had been committed against the RFU, and that it was necessary for Viagogo to reveal their names and addresses. He added that there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of data which reveal such arguable wrongs and Viagogo’s own conditions of business point out to their customers that there may be circumstances in which their personal data will be passed on to others.
We are delighted to hear this news. We think it sets an important precedent. And we hope that the RFU will pass on the names and addresses of the touts to the Inland Revenue, who might also be interested in their affairs.
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