Insurers Suggest Podium & Stage Collapse Tragedies Are The Inevitable Result Of File Sharing?

from the say-what-now? dept

You may have heard about the recent tragedy at the Belgian Pukkelpop music festival, in which a tent collapsed in the middle of a big storm and four people died. This came soon after a series of other mishaps with stages collapsing, including at a Cheap Trick show, a Flaming Lips show and the big collapse at the Indiana State Fair, which resulted in multiple deaths as well.

Apparently some unnamed insurance companies have come up with an interesting theory behind all these collapses. As pointed out by JonMontgo, one company seems to be suggesting there's a direct connection to unauthorized file sharing. This comes from a BoingBoing post, which actually links to an image from a Belgian (?) newspaper:
It does not sound like anyone's trying to get out from paying what they owe, but are just trying to explain what happened. Alex Schroeder on BoingBoing did a "loose translation" and came up with:
"The crashing down of the podium of the Pukkelpop rock festival that killed five and injured eighty last August 18, is maybe not due to the violence of the storm. Confronted with multiple similar catastrophes, the experts of insurance companies see it as the unexpected consequence of the falling disc sales. The bands have a vital interest in giant concerts, they rent giant podiums overloaded with video equipment and spots. The rain and the wind do not destroy more often than before, but when they fall, the damage is much greater."
That seems like a pretty weakly supported assertion. I'm not sure that the importance of concerts automatically leads to more video equipment, but whatever. Either way, it seems like a pretty big stretch to somehow pin this on file sharing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    Fake story

    Its an Onion type newspaper obviously.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:46pm

    Obligatory:

    "Live music is killing music"

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    See the actual cause is filesharing...
    It makes more people aware of the bands that they learn to love.
    They show up at the concerts to buy the shirts, posters, trinkets and experience what an MP3 can never capture and deliver.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

    *popcorn*

    This one goes up there with the corn farmers in the "grasping at straws" department.

     

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    Kurata, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:18pm

    The crashing down of the podium of the Pukkelpop rock festival that killed five and injured eighty last August 18, is maybe not only due to the violence of the storm. Confronted with multiple similar catastrophes, the experts of insurance companies see it as an unexpected consequence of the falling disc sales. The bands having a vital need in giant concerts, they rent giant podiums overloaded with video equipment and spots. The rain and the wind do not destroy them more than before, but when they collapse (the podiums), damage are greater.

    That is a much closer translation to what is written.

     

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      Not That Chris (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      My French skills are a bit rusty (and I know it's being nitpicky), but last I checked (and no offense since the original had the same error) "70" translates roughly to "seventy", not eighty.

       

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    blaktron (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:26pm

    Can someone get stats about the % of money a band made from live shows vs music sales in say 1970 vs today?

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 10:14pm

      Re: Can someone get stats about the % of money a band made from live shows vs music sales in say 1970 vs today?

      The average in both cases is probably in excess of 100%.

      Remember, the record companies charge everything against the band, so there is usually no money leftover to actually pay them. This is called being unrecouped.

       

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    Digitari, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    T shirt man?

    the "real" reason for all the video and extra equipment is to try and make legacy distribution relevant, again.

    it's not file sharing that is causing it, but a dying (More for Less) industry.

    the legacy (Love that word) industry (material exchange of entertainment) is trying to recoup what has already long past.

    "the faster the Universe goes, the denser we become, how fast you going?"

     

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    Warren, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    Can someone show me file sharing is referenced at all...? I was expecting some interesting claim from the insurance companies, not some stretch of the imagination for make "falling CD sales" to mean "file sharing", as opposed to something more plausible like.... "falling CD sales".

    Why does this mean file sharing? What about drop in popularity, or not releasing a new cd or single n a while, or people instead buying the music in digital form?

    This article smells of a slow news week and a pro-'free file sharing' attitude.

     

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      RadialSkid (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:01pm

      Re:

      Why does this mean file sharing?

      Because the recording industry places near-as-dammit to 100% of the blame for falling CD sales on file-sharing.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:04pm

      Re:

      Yeah man, I know I always charge for my file sharing attitude. Which is expensive, too expensive for you

       

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    fb39ca4, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

    I feel so guilty now...

     

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      fb39ca4, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:04pm

      Response to: fb39ca4 on Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

      I realized this comment was very insensitive. I apologize if I offended anybody. Could a techdirt admin please remove the comment?

       

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        Angry Puppy (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 1:42am

        Re: Response to: fb39ca4 on Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

        No, it's OK. The person that should apologize is the ass-hat at the record label who ordered overloading of the rigging with equipment to get more profit and then blames falling CD sales (always file sharing to an RIAA member) as the cause. It's like the Flip Wilson character Geraldine: "The devil made me do it!"

         

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    fb39ca4, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    Response to: sara on Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:41pm

    lol spambot.

     

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    Nele, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

    Small factual correction: Pukkelpop is not a Dutch but a Belgian festival. The article in the photo is from the French newspaper Le Figaro, over here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:59pm

    I absolutely must get the website or IP of the stage. Guess I missed downloading part of it. Could someone pass that on next time? It's no fair that everyone else got a piece of the stage before it fell and I missed out.

     

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    herbert, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 1:06am

    any excuse will do

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 3:19am

    Why anonymity is so important and why the entertaiment industry is wrong

     

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    NullOp, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 4:59am

    Insurance

    This is so bizarre as to be beyond laughable. How does anyone with any sense at all come up with this?

    Obama 2012 = NO

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 7:15am

      Re: Insurance

      I would hope that Mike would ask you to keep your political comments to yourself.

      Actually, they may be on to something, but without much of an explaination. If the only money left in music is the performance side (especially in music that appeals to a younger, more likely to pirate crowd), then I am sure they would go all out to make their shows the best possible, in order to charge premium ticket prices.

      If they are bringing more and more equipment, setting up larger grandstands, and overloading them to make the most money possible, there is the porential for problems.

      I will say it takes a big leap to go from "falling record sales" to "blame piracy", only on Techdirt could that happen without to many people noticing.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re: Insurance

        You and #8 seem to be the only ones to rightly note that no reason was ascribed by the insurance company for the falling off of CD sales.

        Insurance companies could care less why CD sales are falling. Their sole concern is liability risk, and the more stuff you stick on a stage can quite easily be seen as as a significant risk factor.

         

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          Angry Puppy (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Insurance

          True. I personally think falling CD sales are mostly due to changing technologies, bad marketing (resistance to lowering prices and lack of retail space), and poor quality of product.

          The RIAA's real enemy of its monopoly is Apple but it's far easier to attack downloaders.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insurance

          Exactly. The story doesn't talk about Piracy, only Torrent Mike does. It is these sorts of logical jumps that make his stuff so hard to take sometimes. Nobody talked about piracy, he just wrote his story like they did.

           

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            JMT, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Insurance

            Do you realise that when you write "Torrent Mike", most readers just think "Douche, ignore and move along"? Ironic you'd suggest his stuff is hard to take.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re: Insurance

        Actually it has nothing to do with the stage or the equipment, it was the tent that crashed do to poor safety bolts. It seem everybody is blaming the equipment/musicians and not reading the actual story.

         

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    abc gum, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Certainly, design and construction of the stage had nothing to do with it.

     

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    Beta (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 9:45am

    the weak link

    I was going to write that the argument might actually be logically correct, that file sharing might have been a contributing factor (although not culpable-- that's a common fallacy), but then I noticed an assumption hidden in the middle:

    Bands that are less successful tend to have more stage equipment.

    Of course in reality that's the opposite of true, but in order to make a link to file sharing via the truth, the newspaper would have to admit that other true thing, about how file sharing can make a band more successful.

    It's an unimportant causal connection, made via a double-false-negative, like saying "cheap medication is bad because it leads to old people driving cars and killing people-- uh, because their pharma stock isn't doing well enough to allow them to hire chauffeurs".

     

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    Lonewolf, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Can someone get stats about the % of money a band made from live shows vs music sales in say 1970 vs today?

    I'm not sure exactly what they make today but if I remember correctly I think Jimmy Hendrix only got paid around $3000 for Woodstock. Also I live in Indiana and one of the groups that was going to play the fair later that week moved to a different place to play but they donated the tickect sales they already had to the victims of the fair deal and that was $500k. So between those two I think today artist make a couple dollars more then back in the 70's.

     

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    Markin, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

    Let's go further...

    Why not pin the Reno Air Race accident on piracy too while they're at it?

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 6:34pm

    Insurers are only interested in one thing here - subrogation.

    So, if they can allege that falling CD sales is due to piracy AKA file sharing, then they can subrogate their claims to Bit Torrent, etc. See? Simple! Multiple and vicarious, anyone?

     

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    btrussell (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 7:04pm

    I blame copyright, not file sharing. The stage builders want a piece of the action too!

    They wish to be paid every time someone uses the stage. Since they aren't granted copyright, they try to build it to last for only one performance.

     

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    MBraedley (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

    I don't know what the #1 is refering to

    Yes, there was a stage collapse in Canada, but it certainly wasn't in Corner Brook or Gander, Newfoundland, nor was it in the smaller towns of Grand Falls-Windsor or Deer Lake, or the tiny town of St. Anthony, which the #1 circle is approximately centered on. In fact, I can't think of any major concert related mishap on Newfoundland in the past decade. If, in fact, they meant the Ottawa concert, then I hate to say it, but they're more than 1500km (~1000 miles) off.

     

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    Thomas (profile), Sep 18th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    My brain hurts...

    Sometimes I read these stories and I have trouble getting my brain to make sense out of them. I find it easier to read far out Sci-Fi books, where the technology is way out there, than to read these wild stories.

     

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    ComputerAddict (profile), Sep 19th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Wait, I thought the newer HD cameras were smaller and lighter? shouldn't the weight of the equipment be going down? Also LED light fixtures weigh less... And If they are buying and hanging more equipment, isn't it their responsibility to also buy heavier duty trusses / stages to mount them too? EVEN IF they were correct that piracy has caused them to hang more equipment, piracy shouldn't be responsible for them not also buying the proper equipment to mount it on.

    that's like saying jacking a 30-ton house with a 2-ton car jack is the Fuzzy Dice's manufacturer's fault.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Ah, I get it now.... Pirates downloaded and stold part of the stage resulting the the collapse

    I was having a hard time figuring out how to link the file sharing with the stage collapse, but using the legacy industry logic:

    Piracy = Theft,
    Pirates wanted the data from the show/stage,
    therefor we can conclude that Pirates stole the stage supports, which was the direct cause of the stage collapsing (because correlation always equals causation, and all we have to show is that pirates 'stole' something and therefore they have to be to blame).

    Am I doing it right? This trolling thing is hard....

     

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