The U.K.'s Association of Secondary Ticket Agents has thrown its support behind the creation of the Resale Rights Society, a new U.K.-based body unveiled this week with an aspiration to regulate the secondary market for live music tickets.

"I wholly support the project and so do my members," comments ASTA executive director Graham Burns in a statement, issued today.

The creation of the RRS, notes Burns, was a "significant milestone in the legitimisation of the secondary ticketing business. It is a good thing for the whole industry."

ASTA was established in October 2005 with an aim to promote "the highest standards" in the secondary ticketing market, by serving as a consumer watchdog and liaising with authorities to identify bad business practises.

ASTA currently counts 42 members involved in the selling of tickets to entertainment and sporting events, including Premier Events, Double8, Front Row Promotions, Mission Impossible and Ticket Solutions.

The RRS, an initiative of the Music Managers Forum, and chaired by former Island Records U.K. managing director Marc Marot, opened up to the media for the first time this week. The new body has an agenda to develop a "kite-mark" system for ticket sales Web site, and negotiate a share in the proceeds of resold tickets, on behalf of artists and the live sector.

Ticketing site Viagogo was among those which immediately welcomed the new body. "I'm delighted that we have the support of the MMF and therefore the 600 artists it represents," said Eric Baker, CEO of Viagogo, following the Dec. 4 announcement.

But not everyone, it seems, is happy. Joe Cohen, CEO and founder of Seatwave, also stepped forward to blast the RSS as "a direct attempt by a few music managers and promoters to line their pockets at the expense of consumers."

Burns today rejected that criticism. "I feel strongly that the secondary ticketing market can and should nurture performers," he said. "I think the RRS can set a benchmark that other sectors of the sports and entertainment industry could look towards. It is only fair that money should be returned to the people who create the value."