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Songkick denied preliminary injunction in Ticketmaster lawsuit

By | Published on Thursday 12 May 2016


Songkick has been denied its request for a temporary injunction against Ticketmaster as it pursues its wider legal battle with the Live Nation business.

As previously reported, Songkick sued Live Nation last December, alleging that the live entertainment firm – which is a significant player in tour and festival promotion, venues, ticketing and artist management – was holding the artists it works with to ransom, especially in the US, if they decided to collaborate with the gig recommendations service on fan club pre-sales.

Although best known for its listings and recommendations service, Songkick has increasingly moved into ticket selling itself in recent years, with a particular emphasis on pre-sale campaigns targeting fan club members. But, it argues, Live Nation is exploiting its market dominance in tour promotion and ticketing to hinder that business, by discouraging artists from working with Songkick, or insisting on fees for pre-sale tickets sold by the smaller firm, making its evolving pre-sales service unviable.

In March, Songkick also alleged that Live Nation had increased its demands on artists using its pre-sale service even more since the legal action began. It then requested a preliminary injunction that would stop the live music giant from making such demands. And it’s that injunction request that has now been denied. It’s a relatively small part of the wider litigation, though some reckon the judge’s comments made after denying the injunction don’t bode well for the ticketing start-up.

Responding to the ruling, the President of Ticketmaster North America, Jared Smith, told reporters: “We are pleased with today’s ruling from the court which confirms that Ticketmaster’s exclusive rights agreements mean what they say, and that Ticketmaster is entitled to protect itself from third party ticketing companies exploiting our voluntary programme for artist fan club presales. We hope today’s ruling convinces Songkick to reconsider its pursuit of this lawsuit, but if it does not we will stand firm and vigorously pursue our counterclaims”.

However, Songkick insisted it remains committed to pursuing the rest of its legal action: “As the nation’s biggest promoter, ticket vendor, festival owner, pre-sale ticketing provider and manager of artists, Live Nation has overwhelming control over how fans experience live music – and the price they pay for it. Songkick will continue with its legal case and remains committed to providing artists with an alternative that puts tickets in the hands of fans at a lower cost and helps keep them out of the hands of scalpers”.