The score of the Champions League final at the Stade de France, which pitted Real Madrid against Liverpool at the end of May, may not be remembered. On the other hand, the fiasco of the organization of this sporting event at the Stade de France, marked by the question of counterfeit tickets (alleged or real), is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon… If this question is at the heart of the grievances presented against the Parisian organization in terms of liability, it is also of legal interest.
Remember that the repression of counterfeit banknotes takes place first of all through the qualification of fraud, defined by the Penal Code, in its article 313-1, as “the fact (…), by the use of fraudulent tactics, of deceiving a natural or legal person and thus determining it, to its prejudice or to the prejudice of a third party, to hand over funds, securities or any property (…)”. This offense is punishable by five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 375,000 euros.
Breach of an automated data processing system
Moreover, insofar as the logos and brands of the organizing club, or the name of the event concerned in particular, are necessarily reproduced on the disputed ticket, the qualification of infringement could also be held against the seller as well as the manufacturer. or the importer of the counterfeit tickets. This offense is, at least, punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros.
Finally, it is possible that a qualification based on the attack on an automated data processing system, punishable in articles 323-1 and following of the Criminal Code, is also retained, since the identification of the serial numbers of the tickets will have been made possible by intrusion into the computer system of the club or of the organization responsible for issuing tickets giving access to the sporting events concerned.
Furthermore, it should be specified that the buyer himself may be convicted of concealment from the moment when, in accordance with the provisions of article 321-1 of the Penal Code, he knowingly benefits from the proceeds of the offense committed. Thus, he may be punished by five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 375,000 euros, as soon as he is likely to know that the ticket purchased has a fraudulent origin, that it is a counterfeit ticket. As such, the price and the circumstances of the resale will be particularly taken into account to establish or not its criminal responsibility.
The possibility of sanctioning the sale of these counterfeit banknotes is, moreover, supplemented by that, specific to French law, of prohibiting the unauthorized resale of real banknotes. Indeed, the Penal Code, in its article 313-6-2, makes liable to a fine of 15,000 euros the act of selling, offering for sale or exposing with a view to sale, access tickets to a sporting event in the usual way, without the authorization of the organizer of the event. The access titles concerned, which here correspond to “real” tickets, can be documents, messages or codes, whatever their form and medium.
This prohibition is not specific to the sporting field, since it also targets cultural and commercial events, as well as performing arts. Legal cases have multiplied in recent years: the sites viagogo.fr, next-concert.com and live-booker.fr were recently condemned by the French courts.
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Fake Champions League tickets: what means of repression? | Picardy the Gazette