Seeking to enforce their policy prohibiting ticket resales, the New England Patriots have obtained the names of 13,000 people who sold or bought the team’s tickets using the online site StubHub Inc.
The Patriots obtained the list last week as part of a legal dispute with StubHub, an online marketplace for individual buyers and sellers of tickets, over who can resell Patriots tickets and how. The team, which has taken an unusually strong stance against scalping, has indicated in court that it may revoke the tickets of people who resold on StubHub.
StubHub, which is owned by eBay Inc., yesterday began notifying the 13,000 customers that their names, addresses, and phone numbers had been turned over to the Patriots following a ruling by Superior Court Judge Allan van Gestel.
“We take the privacy of our customers very seriously, so we made every effort to appeal this ruling. Unfortunately, our appeals were not successful,” StubHub said in an e-mail to the customers.
[…] The Patriots sued StubHub last November, alleging the company was encouraging fans to resell their tickets on the website in violation of the team’s policy prohibiting resales and the state’s antiscalping law. StubHub countersued, alleging the Patriots were attempting to monopolize the resale of the team’s tickets.
The LATimes has the APWire version: Patriots win bid to ID fans who used ticket resale site — pdf
The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based advocacy group, said the court order to turn over the names infringes on the privacy rights of Patriots fans.
“The Patriots, just at the beginning of the season, were filming opposing teams and accused of surveillance, and given a slap from the National Football League about that. Now they’re turning the cameras on their fans, so clearly there is a lack of understanding about what privacy is,” said Ari Schwartz, deputy director of the center.