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fermentor666

My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)

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Long thread coming up.

 

Background information: There is a ticket-scalping company called StubHub, which serves as a place where assholes who by tickets, particularly season tickets, with the sole intention of scalping them at enormous profits, sometimes as much as 20 times the face value, go to sell their tickets. Stubhub encourages this and also makes a commission off of the tickets they sell. In Massachusetts, there is an anti-scalping law that limits the re-sale of tickets to anything below two dollars over the face value. The Patriots organization, as well as others, do not allow season ticket holders to re-sell their tickets at a profit or the season ticket holder scumbag will lose their season tickets.

 

The Patriots had the balls to stand up to Stubhub, and started cancelling the contract between them and season ticket holders that were using StubHub to make enormous profits by scalping their tickets. For example, a seat on the 50 yard line in the first couple of rows goes for about 150 dollars direct from the Patriots. On Stubhub, that ticket goes for at least over 1,000 dollars. Even nose-bleed seats are selling for as much as 600+ dollars on Stubhub for REGULAR SEASON GAMES. So the Patriots sued Stubhub for the list of Stubhub users that were violating the contract between them and the buyers, on the grounds that Stubhub illegally encouraged and promoted the scalping of these tickets.

 

A year later, the Patriots won the right to the list of 30,000 season ticket holders. Reading about it, and pissed that I can't get tickets to the Patriots games unless I want to take out a loan, I ran across a quote by this douchebag, Ari Schwartz, director of

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group of lobbyists, who "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.

 

I thought it was bizarre that the CDT, a supposed privacy-rights group, would bother sticking their nose into something that does not concern them at all. After all, the season ticket holders were clearly violating the terms of their contract to have season ticket holders, and the Patriots, being a private organization, had every right to that list of names. That is why the judge ruled in the Patriots organization's favor.

 

 

 

Why, then, is the CDT wasting time with this, other than to get themselves publicity? Well, as it turns out, a major sponsor of this lobbyist group is eBay, and eBay recently bought Stubhub.com. The dots have now been connected! So, being the twisted, angry fuck I am, I began harrassment campaign on the CDT, starting by leaving a nasty couple of messages on their "contact page" (one of them I no longer have). This lead to a back-and-forth argument between their company director, Ari Schwartz, a pig-headed, scruples-lacking, lobbyist scumbag. I immediately began the attack, not expecting a response at all because of my crudeness. Little did I expect that the CEO of the CDT would respond. It took a total of twelve e-mails, but I had him at every step of the game and ultimately he gave up like the scared little piggy he is, his last effort was to try and condescend to me, which I had none of. I basically put the little shitbag in his place and had a real fun time of it. Though I doubt he will change his lobbyist scumbag ways, at least I ruffled his little feathers a bit. Here is a transcript of the e-mails. It is a little long, but very worth it. I will post them in the following post.

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 22:41:04 -0400

To: cdt-feedback-form@cdt.org

Subject: CDT Site Feedback: Issue Comment

From: cdt-feedback-form@cdt.org

 

Name: ******

Email:

Comments: It is ridiculous that you people would go after the N.E. Patriots over the issue of ticket-scalping. It is not a violation of privacy to get the names of ticket-resellers. The sports team is a private organization. The horrible people that buy season tickets only to re-sell them at up to 10 times the face value are customers. The Patriots have every right to know what their customers are doing with their tickets to events held by the N.E. Patriots. This is not "invasion of privacy", this is called responsible ownership. The Patriots organization is interested in helping the real fans get to the games without having to pay 1,000 dollars for a ticket, and they are doing this by rooting out the bad seeds that facilitate the barbaric scalping practices of companies such as StubHub.

 

Here's a bit of advice, focus your little lobbying group on something that is actually wrong, rather than just trying to get a little publicity by sticking your unwanted noses into what is really a consumer-rights cause. We, the real fans, want to buy tickets at face value, and all you scumbags are doing is supporting the people who prevent decent people from having a chance at going to their favorite team's game. When it comes to football, that's only 16 games per regular season, so watch where you step because you are crossing the line.

 

Get a life, find a real cause, you media-whores.

 

Sincerely,

****

IP Address: ******

 

 

-------------------

 

Response:

 

******:

 

I urge you to read our blog post on the subject -- http://blog.cdt.org/.

 

We are not concerned about people who were clearly breaking the law. A bidder who bid under ticket cost was clearly not breaking the law. It is way out of line for the Patriots to ask for that bidder's name.

 

Ari

 

Of course, what his scumbag reasoning ignores is the fact that none of those tickets went for sale for under face value.

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

My response:

 

First of all, it is not out of line for the Patriots organization to

ask who is selling their tickets under any circumstances. What would

be out of line is if they were cancelling season tickets or

invalidating regular tickets because someone was selling them under

their face value or two dollars above their face value. They are a

private organization and have the right and power to choose whether or

not to validate the tickets. IF a person is selling them for less and

gets into trouble, then they can always go to small claims court.

 

BUT, the fact is, there is not a single Patriots ticket that goes for

below face value on StubHub. Some of those tickets are going for

literally ten times the face value. NONE WHATSOEVER SELL FOR UNDER

FACE VALUE. I challenge you to find me one ticket that sold for under

face value on Stubhub, a subsidiary of the company that puts money

into your warped, sell-out little lobbyist group. Shame on you.

 

-******

Then:

 

And you know what? If those season ticket holders only have those

tickets so that they can sell them off and make a huge profit, then

they don't deserve it and by all means should have their tickets

revoked so that the people who are dying to get tickets and season

tickets to the games can do so at the face value prices, which are

already expensive as it is. You obviously could care less about the

common fan who wants to see their favorite team and not have to take

out a loan to do so. Shame on you, again, for being a whore for eBay.

 

-******

 

------------

 

His Response:

 

If what you say is true, which it is not -- plenty of pre-season games go for face value -- then StubHub would have to turn over all seller's information and you would be happy and so would I.

 

Look, I like the Patriots as a team (I have Gostkowski and Watson on my fantasy team), but I recognize the truth of the matter is that the Patriots are hoping that the scalping law will be changed soon and that fans will be scared into using their system with Ticketmaster so that the they can make money off the resale as well as the original sale. Why else would they go after buyers?

 

I'm sorry that you don't like our position, but it has nothing to do with the fact that we get 1/1000th of our funding from eBay. Our 990s are publicly available and you can take a look at them. We have nothing to hide.

 

Ari

 

--------------

 

 

My response:

 

What I say is true. I challenge you to find me one ticket on Stubhub

to a Patriots game that goes for face value, or below face value on

Stubhub, regular season or preseason. If what you say is true, that

the preseason tickets go for face value, then there is nothing illegal

involved with that and the Patriots most likely have no concern. But

the cheapest tickets for regular season games go for at least twice

the face value which is a blatant violation of both Massachusetts law

and the contracts of the private Patriots organization. What the

Patriots are trying to do is, at worst, is control the re-selling of

THEIR tickets through their own website at face value to eliminate

this glorified version of scalping, by enforcing the law in the great

state of Massachusetts. They are not trying to scare anyone other

than those who were lucky enough to get season tickets and then

decided to be greedy whores who would rather screw fans out of their

hard-earned money rather than use the tickets themselves. Season

tickets are for fans, there are huge waiting lists for both Patriots

season tickets and Red Sox season tickets and if certain holders are

breaking the law and the contract they agreed to, then they have no

right to keep those season tickets. The tickets should instead go to

the fans that would actually appreciate the opportunity to see their

favorite team regularly.

 

They can't possibly be hoping that the law will changed, because that

would mean that Stubhub would have every right to sell those tickets

at the obscene prices they sell them at. It would obliterate

everything they are trying to do right now.

 

Whether your are getting 1/1000th percent of your lobbying money from

e-Bay or 100%, you are still tainted and would not even be interested

in this issue if it were not for your corporate sponsor. If you truly

were working for the people, then you would support the Patriots in

their endeavor to stop this horrible robbery. This is a case of a

private corporation ensuring that the tickets they sell are not sold

for anywhere from two times to ten times the normal prices. If the

law changed to allow tickets to be sold for what they are selling for

now, there is very little chance that the Patriots would be able to

control the resale market anymore. Even so, they are a private

organization and can because of this, they can do whatever they want

to in regards to tickets. Right now, season ticket holders are

breaking the contract that they signed into by purchasing those season

tickets and the Patriots legally have every right to terminate that

contract. Since Stubhub is aiding and abetting this criminal and

immoral action, they should be punished for doing so. Even if there

were any tickets that sold at face value, Stubhub still charges a

commission fee that hypothetically would put the price well over the

limit for resale. This much should be clear to any adult with half a

brain, let alone a lobbying group.

 

 

-********

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

His lame-ass response:

 

Then why do they care about the buyers?

 

-Ari

 

------------

 

My response:

 

They care about the buyers of their tickets because they are an

honest, decent private organization that wants to ensure that the fans

of their organization will not get fucked over by scalping agencies

such as StubHub. They care about their buyers enough to ensure that

season tickets go to those who deserve that privilege, not to those

who abuse it by keeping them solely to make an obscene profit. People

wait for season tickets literally for years, some will never even get

the chance to obtain them. Most of those people on the waiting list

want the tickets so THEY can actually go to the games. Those are the

decent, honest people who deserve those tickets and should get them.

I am not dying to go to a Pats game, but I am a die-hard Red Sox fan

and it makes me sick that I have to go to the secondary market and get

completely raped by the scalper agencies. And those tickets that I've

had to buy? They were all sold to those companies by season ticket

sellers. Those people DO NOT deserve to own those tickets, and they

should be punished.

 

Not only is it ethically immoral to practice and promote scalping, but

it is also illegal in this state as of now. Fact is, none of those

tickets go for below face value, or two dollars above face value (the

legal limit). You know this, and this is why you have not risen to

the challenge. Because you lied about this, I have no reason to

believe you when you say that your corporate sponsor, eBay, has

nothing to do with your ridiculous attack on the Patriots organization

for exercising their right as a private organization to know who

exactly is breaking the rules of the season ticket contract. You are

in the wrong, and if you were decent you would at least admit it, if

you were a man you would publicly retract your statement.

 

-******

 

---------------------------

 

His Respons, fallaciously skirting everything I said:

Find me the listing for one pre-season game that went OVER face value on stub hub and I'll find you multiple listings that went at or under.

 

-Ari

 

Already a retarded proposition, seeing as how the pre-season is OVER and none of those tickets are listed anymore. Regardless, my brother went to a pre-season game with his friend who had to pay well over the face value.

 

-------------

 

My Response:

 

We're talking about regular season games, Ari. The Patriots don't

care if the tickets are being sold for under face value. They aren't

going after those people. Nice try at spinning the argument in your

favor, but you lose. Even so, there is no way I can find out exactly

how much those tickets are going for because they are no longer

listed, but I know my brother went to a pre-season game and paid more

than the face value of the ticket for where he was sitting.

 

Standing room seats for the game against the Steelers on December 9th,

not exactly a hot rivalry, are going for over 300 dollars a piece,

nosebleed seats are going for over 600. That is highway robbery and

for you to think otherwise makes you a moron. For you to actively

stand up for this horrific scalping makes you a total scumbag. This

is why I have no respect for you and subsequently for your little

lobbyist group. You scumbags are trying to maintain this system of

fucking over the fans. Thanks for nothing you fucking bloodsuckers.

 

-******

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

His patronizing, insulting response:

f the Patriots don't care about tickets being sold for under face value then why didn't they agree to keep those sold for under face value out of the list of those that they asked for? If they had done that and left the buyers out too, we would have no problem.

 

The truth is that the request had nothing to do with scalping.

 

I'm sorry that your team let you down. Please don't blame me.

 

Ari

"I'm sorry that your team let you down. Please don't blame me." ????? What a faggot. Talk about terrible debating tactics, let alone conversational tactics. That is seriously the best he could come up with. And this guy leads a lobbying group!!!

 

--------------

 

My response:

You're supposed to be the expert, right? You figure it out. It's

either because none of those tickets sold for under face value or it's

because, hypothetically, those who had season tickets for pre-season

games that hypothetically sold below face value also sold tickets for

the regular season games they also had tickets to for above face

value.

 

Your argument stinks and is fallacious. It is filled with holes.

You've been stumped in every way, you might as well admit what you

are: a dirty lobbyist. You have been unable to find one instance in

which a Patriots ticket has sold for anywhere under two dollars above

face value on Stubhub.com. Let's say that there WAS an instance in

which a season ticket holder sold their ticket for face value or below

on Stubhub.com. The Patriots have that list, they see that person's

name and what they sold their ticket for, then they do not take any

action because that person did not violate their contract or the law.

The organization has not taken any unilateral action against those who

scalped their tickets on Stubhub.com. Got that?

 

"My team" has not let "me" down, "my team" has upheld their end of the

contract that season ticket holders signed into. And they are doing

their part to ensure that their fans do not get fucked in the process

of buying tickets. What you need to get through your thick,

money-padded skull is that the Patriots organization has every right

to that list when Stubhub actively promotes not only breaking the

contract between the club and season ticket holders, but breaking the

Massachusetts state law against scalping. Those people deserve to be

punished and privacy has nothing to do with it. You do not protect

the privacy of criminals. If someone violates a contract, then

whatever they do that has relevance to that contract no longer remains

private. The Patriots organization is not invading the lives of these

people; they are not wire-tapping their phone calls or digging through

their web-browser history. They are upholding the contract made with

the season ticket holders, and if you want to maintain a corporation

then you make sure your contracts are rock solid.

 

Rock solid just like the check that e-Bay puts in your pocket to make

sure that you throw your scruples out the window and defend greed and

decadence. Rock solid just like your need for publicity, so strong

that you feel compelled to stick your nose into a place it does not

belong. Anyone who has ever been fucked out of a ticket because of

greedy scalpers, anyone who has ever wanted to go see their favorite

team play but couldn't because some asshole decided to buy a bunch of

tickets for the sole purpose of making a profit on them, all those

people will read your comments and say "Fuck Ari Schwartz and fuck his

dirty lobbyist group". "My team" hasn't let me down, you have as a

human being.

 

-********

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

His response:

 

I am against scalping. I am in favor of keeping the MA scalping law

the way that it is. I am in favor of law enforcement arresting

scalpers. I am in favor of the Patriots getting the names of

everyone that broke the law. However, it is simply unprecedented for

a business to get the contact information in a court case like this

and it is clearly a very bad precedent for privacy rights. Every

expert that has looked into the case has said so. See -- http://

marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/10/19/stubhub_suit/

 

"There's never been a decision quite like it, speaking strictly from

a privacy perspective." Laura Koetzle, Forrester Research.

"It's a pure business decision. I'm sure that the internal battle was

with the P.R. people who said our fans our going to be unhappy. But

on the other hand, sometimes you take these hard stances looking

forward to the long run." Kenneth Shropshire, sports marketing

professor, Wharton.

 

Please find me a privacy or business expert that disagrees.

 

Why are both the Patriots and StubHub lobbying in Boston for changing

the state scalping law? CDT isn't. We are not opposed to changing

the law. If I lived in Massachusetts, I'd personally be calling my

legislators asking them to keep the law. Perhaps, if you are really

opposed to scalping you should be calling a Massachusetts legislator

too. Tell them that the Patriots and StubHub are wrong and $2 over

ticket price is a valid sale price.

 

On the other hand, I understand why you are upset. You just really

want to root for your team without having to think that they are a

business. It makes watching the game a little less fun. I'm sorry,

for your sake, that I ruined your Sundays a little by publicly

stating that this was legal but very unethical decision. I hope, for

your sake, that the Patriots go 16-0 and make you happy again. Go Pats!

 

Ari

 

Are you kidding me? He thinks his little man words ruined my Sundays!! The nerve of that fat little piggy cock-sucker.

 

-----

 

My response:

 

Buddy, I ain't naive and I'm not idiot, so don't talk down to me. I

am well aware that sports teams are also corporations. I live in one

of the most sports-saturated places in the world, I know all about the

business end of the game.

 

Perhaps it is time for a precedent to be set for a case like this. It

certainly would not have arisen twenty years ago, before you had

online auction sites that turned scalping into the hot new trend.

There hasn't been a precedent because no similar case has preceded

this one. And if you look at the cold, hard facts of the case, it is

clear that the argument is legally sound, which is why the Patriots

organization won the case. I will lay it out for you AGAIN, once

more:

 

1. The Patriots sell season tickets to fans.

2. A fan buys a season ticket and enters into a legal agreement with

the Patriots.

3. This legal agreement entitles the fan to sell their ticket for no

more that two dollars above the ticket price. Other stipulations

include limitations on behavioral conduct.

4. If the person who bought the season tickets scalps their ticket

for over two dollars above the face value, or commits disorderly

conduct, or violates the agreement in any way, the Patriots have the

legal right to terminate this agreement.

5. Stubhub enables and encourages season ticket holders to scalp

their tickets at exorbitant prices.

6. Stubhub is not only enabling and encouraging the violation of this

agreement, but the violation of Massachusetts state law.

7. By involving itself in the re-sale of season tickets, by enabling

and encouraging, Stubhub becomes an accomplice to both the violation

of this agreement with the Patriots organization and to the crime

under Massachusetts state law.

8. Stubhub, as it has clearly been proven, is not above the law and

is not above a legally binding contract such as the one the season

ticket holder agrees to when purchasing the tickets from the Patriots

organization.

 

It is crystal-clear, and this is why the court ruled in favor of the

Patriots. You might not like the precedent, and in this case you are

being paid not to like the precedent, but it has been set and it will

almost assuredly hold up under the highest legal scrutiny, which is

why Stubhub has stopped appealing the case. Your job, as a

psuedo-employee of eBay, parent company of Stubhub, is to clean up the

public relations mess. It's a tough job, one that I wouldn't want to

do, and one that I would not do. I would not do this job because it

is unethical.

 

What makes this precedent so dangerous? Nothing makes it dangerous to

the companies that are obeying the law and not violating any

contracts. The only comparison I can bring up in regards to this case

would be the way that the RIAA and MPAA has been able to access user

records of those who illegally downloaded music and movies. Forget

the government, because they can snoop on whoever they want, precedent

or no precedent, as we have been shown. While I don't like the fact

that the RIAA can sue me for $250 dollars per illegal song, I cannot

argue that my actions were in fact legal and protected. What you are

arguing for is a change in the law. But while in the case of illegal

downloading the crime of larceny is being committed, in the Stubhub

case it was a violation of a private contract between the consumer and

the corporation, one in which the consumer violated the contract and

Stubhub enabled and encouraged the consumer to do so. Go ahead and

tell me how this sets a dangerous precedent. Use your imagination. I

am not expecting much, since you still have not given me evidence of

Patriots tickets that sold on Stubhub for under two dollars above

face-value, even though you seemed so sure that it happened.

 

The only thing you've done to my Sundays is made them more

entertaining by providing me target practice for my words. I am a Red

Sox fan, Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick could run out on the field and

force the crowd to eat Soylent Green and I would not be disappointed

because of what I've been through rooting for the Sox all my life,

disregarding their two recent World Championship titles. Your words

couldn't even put a dent on my internet time, let alone ruin a whole

day.

-******

 

 

And then, after not hearing back for a week, I sent this:

 

Looks like you're at a loss for words there, lobbyist pig scum.

 

---------------------

 

And that was that. Not to toot my own horn, but I definitely pwned the shit out of Mr. Lobbyist scumbag. It's a shame, because some of what they lobby for seem worthwhile, but when you are so corrupt and blatently shilling for a corporation like Stubhub, you lose all credibility. And his main choice of argument was that the pre-season tickets went for sale for under face value, yet after repeatedly asking him to give me proof of this, he decides to completely ignore the issue, clearly because there were no tickets that re-sold for under face value.

 

The waiting list for season tickets is years long, most people will never have the opportunity to buy season tickets in their lifetime. I recently read that the waiting list for the Eagles is literally over a hundred years long. It is sad, and shameful, and disgusting that people who have season tickets only have them to try and make a huge profit, while the real fans are fucked and can't go because they can't afford to drop four thousand dollars on tickets for their family. This is why these laws exist, and why the Patriots are doing their best to ensure this horrible practice does not continue: so that the real fans can actually have the chance to watch their team play. Especially in a game like football, where there are only 16 regular season games. Shitbag, tainted lobbyists deserve nothing better than the worst treatment legally possible, and I will never shy away from tearing them a new one and laying out insult after well-thought-out insult.

 

And the final issue, as I clearly stated multiple times, is that the Patriots are a private organization, and they have a right to terminate the contracts of season ticket holders who violate that contract. Even if there wasn't a state law, the Patriots could enforce their own policy because they are not regulated by the state or federal government in this manner. It is their decision, and if another private company comes along and encourages and enables the violation of this contract between the Patriots organization and the season ticket holders, that company is in effect an accessory to the violation of contractual law.

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

C'mon people, give me some props here.

  • Like 1

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

I don't follow any american sports but there's a very similar situation with ticket re-selling in the english premiership league. the last 4 times I've been to games I payed well over the face value of the ticket.

good for you for chasing this shit.

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

It's pretty funny to think that a man at that level has pretty much no debating abilities.

 

If this were a fight, he'd look like this guy.

 

t1_bookerex2_si.jpg

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Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

that was awesome.

i gotta forward this to my brother. he'll get a real kick out of it.

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Guest shai_hulud

Re: My Fight Against the Lobbyist Scumbag Group, the Center for Democracy and Technology (

 

Good work.

 

The amazing thing was how he continued to skirt the issue after you backed up your claims.

 

Maybe that's not so amazing.

 

I liked the part where you said...

 

"I am a Red Sox fan, Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick could run out on the field and

force the crowd to eat Soylent Green and I would not be disappointed

because of what I've been through rooting for the Sox all my life,

disregarding their two recent World Championship titles."

 

:lol:

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