Insurers Blame Fatal Stage Collapse on Illegal Music Sharing

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Insurers Blame Fatal Stage Collapse on Illegal Music Sharing


Insurers are blaming the deaths and damage caused by a stage collapse at the Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium last month on illegal music downloading.

Pukkelpop, according to its Wikipedia entry, is an annual music festival that's been taking place near Hasselt, Belgium since 1985. And it's not some hippie Belgian folk music thing that attracts a small crowd of local long-hairs and a half-dozen bored cops; bands who have appeared at the festival include the Ramones, Nirvana, Neil Young, Metallica, Guns n' Roses, Nine Inch Nails and Iron Maiden, and the 2009 event attracted more than 180,000 people. Tragedy struck in 2011, however, as a severe storm on the first night knocked over tents, lighting towers and video screens and caused a stage to collapse, resulting in the deaths of five attendees and injuries to 70 more. The remainder of the concert was canceled.

But according to insurance companies, the real cause of the disaster wasn't the storm. It was illegal music downloading.

I shit you not, and I'll give you a moment to let that sink in because I think you'll agree, it's a pretty creative interpretation of the situation. Let me say it again: the insurance companies claim the disaster is the fault of illegal music downloading.

Here's why. Millions of people around the world download music, typically without paying for it. That, naturally, has led to a dramatic fall-off in CD sales, forcing musical acts to rely much more on live performances to make their money. That means bigger festivals packed with more artists, attracting more people than ever before. And that means that when something does go wrong, as happened last month, the consequences are far more severe than they would have been a few years ago, when people were safely at home listening to their CDs.

It kind of makes sense if you look at it... well, no, who am I kidding, it makes no sense at all. It's possibly the most bizarre bit of twisted logic I've ever run into; in fact, I manually entered the text of this image capture of the original article into Google translate just to make sure it's not some sort of Onion-flavored irony. It is not. It is just sheer, unbridled ignorance and ridiculous spin. Hard to believe, but sadly true.

via: Boingboing


That's probably one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Even if there was some slight chance of that being even remotely true, it doesn't apply to this situation, as the concert is annual. Meaning it isn't something they decided to have to make up for their "lost sales" from piracy. The concert was going to happen anyway.

Wow, next thing you know, the current world financial situation will be blamed on video game piracy. Why not? Everything else is blamed on games.

I didn't know Rupert Murdoch was in the insurance business.

So I'm assuming if it's ruled a fault of illegal file sharing the insurance company doesn't have to pay? They should have to pay double for contempt of court and contempt of logic.

Okay, for starters, let's get the distribution company bullshit out of the way. Artists very VERY rarely make any money off of CD sales. Live shows and performances are HOW they make most of their money. Downloading music illegally doesn't hurt the artists all that much, but it certainly hurts the exploitative fucks who take advantage of them.

Makes a ton sense if you think of it.. both of those things are totally related.
True story.

Okay, but where do the Bowling Ball and the Trampoline come into it?

You know, at first, I thought this idea was perhaps the dumbest thing. The idea that modern piracy and music theft contributing to the appearance of concerts seemed a little far-fetched. I mean, the idea that people didn't like concerts until after the modernization of music piracy didn't seem too terribly sound to me.

Then I did some research, and found out the most-populated concert of all time was a Rod Stewart concert in 1994, at Copacabana Beach. I figured that would be a pretty laughable number, but it was actually estimated to be about 3.5 million persons in attendance there to listen.

Conversely, the major modernization of music piracy occurred in '99 with the publication of Napster, and later BitTorrent in July of 2001.

So yeah, the logic holds pretty well. I'm impressed with the insurance company's foresight and clarity in their argument.


I like it. I think we should start applying butterfly effect logic to everyday situations.

"It's not my fault I'm late to work. In 1875, a man named John Farmer planted an apple tree on his property. When his great-grandson Edward cut the tree down, my uncle planted an oak tree that shades my bedroom, making it very easy for me to sleep in. Blame John, not me."


I know that's not a lot...but...just...what...

It makes perfect sense. These bands have too many fans because of illegal music downloading. Too many fans show up, and...wait a second, did they just blame the weather on fan turnout?

The world makes perfect sense now. Thank you for helping me see the light.

doesn't this make you wish god would just....KILL EVERYONE so no one no where can ever have a stupid comment ever again.

Of course! It all makes sense now! I guess we also can blame the dinosaurs dying out on illegal file sharing too. Which of course means that illegal downloading also caused the death of Jesus! And is the major cause for all major natural disasters!

Thanks you insurance compananies for enlighting me on this...[Sarcasm off]

OT: Just...This is just so stupid. I mean...Come on! Ugh, I can't handle this much stupid.

Just like using windows gives Steve rectal cancer

It makes sense in some sort of backwards bizzaro-world where up is down and the left is right (joke). While they may or may not be correct that the damages would have been less to some degree if there was no piracy (which is unlikely), it's stupid to say that the damage itself was caused by that.

Maybe if the stage was funded by the CD sales? Or maybe, since the piraters obviously 'don't care' about the bands and the music, or whatever, then they just didn't give a flying one about safety? Or did piracy anger the gods of screws and nails?

It sort of makes sense, if artists demanded more money for their performances and the organisers only had the same amount of money they might have to cut back on the quantity/quality of the guys setting up the stage. Leading to a greater chance of someone getting splattered by a roadie. That is, if health and safety inspectors are also affected by music pirates. I'd hazard a guess that the problem here was having a festival, which coincided with a storm, which didn't like things being in its way, which subsequently got moved and under which people found themselves.

On a related note, I have a theory that file sharing sites have a direct link to the amount of rain at Glastonbury. I'll be submitting my findings to Nature next week.

Hey! This could be a fun game. I got one:

The increase in the incidence of cancer is the result of modern medicine. More people are getting cancer because they're not dying young of something else first. So, I blame cancer on modern medicine.

I can haz insurance job?

...Why must people be stupid? Seriously, do they really feel the need to try and link a tragedy like this to a problem that has next to nothing to do with it? What is this world coming to?

If you hadn't been born at all, then we wouldn't even be here, because there'd only be three of us, and three isn't enough to go on University Challenge. So it's your fault.

Cookie for reference.

How about blaming Marty McFly for inventing Rock and Roll? Because without that, there'd never be a festival.


Everybody who downloads music illegally aren't really pirates, they're wizards!

The internet is doomed.

Because we all know this was an elaborate scheme to get many many people there in order to summon a storm and wreak havoc.

This is amazing. I love it when people use this logic, because it means you can blame anyone for anything. It's just a matter of linking enough chains together. It's actually a rather fun game to play with your friends.
Applying it to real life situations though, not a good idea...

Though they still honoured the policy right... right?! It wasn't made clear whether or not they honoured the insurance policy (which I assume covered cost of damages and cost of closing the festival) because unless there was a limit on the number of people there I don't see how this could slide. For the sake of my sanity I'm going to assume that they paid out on the policy, and this is just the ramblings of some executive. Like happened with that PR firm over Duke Nukem.

I honestly just don't...I mean...*stare of bewilderment*

Safety of people has nothing to do with illegal music down loaders. Unless your concert stadium was based on a see saw contraception in which you need x amount of people sitting in the stadium to keep it stable, except you screwed up your figures based on views, instead of sales.

That seems strangely similar to some kind of ancient religion there. "If you give offereings to the goddess statue, no harm will come to you loyal believers!"

Edit: "but you didn't, so sucks to be you!"

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there went my faith in Humanity.
Farewell, old friend. Thou shalt not be missed in this current age.

I shall summon the fury of Udun, and cast the fiery storm upon the petty innocent by using the ancient ritual of torrenting.

Why are they blaming illegal downloading?
It was obviously the communists... no wait, I've got it, NINJAS. They haven't been the typical scapegoat since the Shogun period, so yeah, we're going with Ninjas.

So no, we're not paying out your claim.

So illegally downloading music causes storms over music festivals now?

I've heard of some pretty stupid ways insurance companies try to dodge actually paying out for the insurance they provide but this is a whole other catagory of stupid! Which insurer was it anyway?

I'd type a wall of rage, but the unmitigated amount of Republican stupidity is just...

And if they know the correlation between illegal music downloads and numbers of people attending a festival it is then their responsibility to make sure the venue is up to scratch

LOL, this can't be real... right.... I mean, there is no way that anyone would even be remotely brave or stupid(borderline retarded) enough to pull this kind of stunt. No... just no. ROFL

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