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RETURN OF THE TOUTS; Sellers defying net ban.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE by MEGAN LLOYD DAVIES

GREEDY touts are defying an internet ban on selling tickets for the Live 8 music extravaganza.

The scheming sellers offer passes for the concert on auction site eBay without mentioning it by name.

One advert reads: "Gr8 LIVE concert. I have a pair of tickets to this amazing one-off concert. Please don't ask me how much I want for them.

"The current highest bid is 500 so only email if your bid is higher."

Other touts are urging people to "email quickly" before their advert gets pulled, while some advertise tickets for the "greatest-ever concert" and smarmily tell potential buyers "you know which one".

Website eBay banned people from selling free tickets for the gig after the Mirror highlighted the scam and Live 8 mastermind Sir Bob Geldof branded the touts, who were asking around pounds 1,000, sick profiteers.

Furious fan Mark Pathak, of Liverpool, said last night: "At least the first people to sell on eBay were upfront about it.

"But these people are the worst of the worst because they're thinking of ways to get round the ban. I feel sorry for eBay because they're doing their best. It is disgusting. I've emailed people who are selling them saying 'How can you do this,' and they've emailed back saying what they do with their tickets is their business."

An eBay spokesman said: "The decision not to allow the sale of Live 8 tickets on the site also applies to listings that attempt to circumvent our policies.

"Our customer services team will take steps to halt the auctions the Mirror has alerted us to and we would urge users to stop listing Live 8 tickets as their auctions will be taken down."

One of France's greatest symbols of opulence, the 17th century Versailles Palace, will provide the backdrop for the Paris Live 8 gig - and Sir Bob said the location could not be more appropriate for an anti-poverty event.

He added: "We need an iconic building to represent the wealth of our countries. There is a great, rich symbolism. In a global event like this, you must talk symbols. Also, I wanted a nice place to stay for the night."

Stars such as Sheryl Crow, Craig David, Youssou N'Dour and Shakira will be on the Paris bill alongside an array of top French artists.

Sir Bob hit back at complaints from some critics who insisted the Live 8 concerts don't include enough African stars. He said: "We need the biggest artists as defined by popularity and sales. The fact is most African kids listen to Eminem and 50 Cent."

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ANGER: Sir Bob Geldof and Mirror story about eBay Live 8 ticket scam
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 18, 2005
Words:452
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