Ticketmaster vs. Tickets.com

By Arianna Cirksena and Izzi Fielder

What happened?

In 2000, Ticketmaster.com tried to sue Tickets.com for 3 reasons. 1) Trespass of chattels 2) Copyright Infringment 3) Breach of contract. Tickets.com used spiders and deep linking to access information from Ticketmaster.com. Ticketmaster thought this was unfair and against their terms and conditions.

Why was it controversial?

Because deep linking can lead to significant

financial loss because the linking goes past the

home page which is full of advertisements which

makes more money for the company.


"A consumer's [conduct] does not communicate assent to contractual terms if the offer did not make clear to the consumer that [the conduct] would signify assent to those terms.96 California's common law is clear that "an offeree, regardless of apparent manifestation of his consent, is not bound by inconspicuous con- tractual provisions of which he is unaware, contained in a docu-

ment whose contractual nature is not obvious. "


In the end, Tickets.com was not sued because deep linking was not found to violate the copyright act of 1976 because it did not involve direct copying. What tickets.com did was seen as fair use because it did not cause harm to Ticketmaster.com.