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back to article Muggers plundering gig bootleggers' booty

Gangs are watching gigs to see who's filming the stage on a nice smartphone, then nicking it from their pocket in the ensuing crowds, according to a Metropolitan Police warning. The Met will be putting up posters at venues and providing Bluetooth messages telling punters to put their phones away, and perhaps enjoy the gig rather …

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Grenade

Darwin in action

If someone's filming the entire concert do what a lot of people are doing now, smack the phone out of their hand. It's crime prevention that we can all appreciate and it means you can actually watch what's going on live rather than through their poxy camera's screen.

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FAIL

Thats not...

Crime prevention.. its assault.. Even if it was crime prevention you are not the police.

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Anonymous Coward

bulls<cough>hit

This sounds like an urban myth worthy of Snopes, except this time we know exactly where it comes from. Come on, thieves like this would be better off hanging around in shopping centres or anywhere else where people use their phones. This is a pathetic attempt to get people to stop trying to film gigs.

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Piracy?

Recording a gig is piracy? Really? How does that work then? Ok, maybe if the ticket or the programme or the publicity for the concert or something explicitly says 'no recording'. But otherwise, surely I can record anything I like, if it happens in public?

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Grenade

asshole

1st off, a privately run club, charging entry isn't a "public" place.

2nd, part of the *contract* you form with the proprietor (and thus, by proxy with the artist) is "no recording equipment to be used" or however they word it noways.

Jeez, you are so lucky Peter Grant has passed on ......

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Heart

@J. Simon van der Walt

You are exactly right but as in all concerts there are always flyers handed out and posters stuck up on the wall saying "no recording devices may be used in this venue", that means that you can't do it...or crowdsurf :-(

@Chris Wareham

I'm 5'11 weedy with glasses and they've never bothered me, usually cause they realise they're in the wrong and when they turn round there are 10 people glaring at them who I've just made friends with by smacking the phone down :-D

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WTF?

erm

yeah its in a place i paid to get in to to watch a performance, just like cinema's and recording in there is not piracy either! oh wait....

i still dont get why people do this with stage lights etc you can't see anything and the mic on the phone is totally overwhelmed all you end up with is an extremly blurry video of distortion. Mean while all anyone can see is rows of hands and fscking screens from these twonks

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Silver badge
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We can't catch you

making your crappy videos of the star falling off the stage or lip-syncing so you can post them on failblog, but if you do gangs of evil people will steal your phone and make calls to ubeckistan and download kiddy porn so you better not!

and you will go blind, and some one will run over your dog.

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Thumb Up

Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of selfish arseholes

not only are the performers rendered invisible by the forest of screens packing out the first ten rows, but the buggers are even watching the whole gig through their phones.

It's right there. In front of you.

It is no less real for not being presented on an LCD.

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Bronze badge

@ J. Simon van der Wait

They aren't recording in public - their in a venue. And yes, I have done what one of the posters has suggested by knocking phones out of the hands of the inconsiderate arseholes who block the view of the stage with their bloody phones. It helps to be six foot four, almost 100Kg and in good shape, but if I have trouble seeing a gig for all the phones, how do people shorter than me feel?

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Happy

@ J. Simon van der Wait

It helps to be six foot four, almost 100Kg and in good shape, but if I have trouble seeing a gig for all the phones, how do people shorter than me feel?

Most of us wish you'd stand behind us.

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Coat

Oh teh noes!

'tis the work of criminal masterminds!

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Anonymous Coward

What IS that aroma?

A waft of other recent campaigns in this, like the ones explicitly trying to link the purchase of fake or pirated goods to funding terrorism; "Buy a dodgy DVD, fund a terrorist atrocity".

Funny isn't it how terrorists always choose intellectual property violation to fund their nefarious activities, rather that the more traditional sources of income such as dealing smack, turning over banks or protection rackets, all of which seemed to serve the various Irish factions so well over the years. Or could it be, as AC No1 suggests another number where the Met's strings are being tugged by Peters Friends?

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FAIL

It happened to Me

I had my phone pickpocketed as a Carter gig at the Forum in London - and no I wasn't filming it, although I had been tweeting about.

What anoyed me the most though was that talking to the met afterwards to register the crime it seems that both the forum staff, security and police are aware that this has been going on for some time and none of them seemed to want to do anything. So I suppose a poster and bluetooth message is better then nothing, but how about catching the buggers and locking them up?

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Don't blame the victims of crime

I made it through both Carter gigs last month with my phone & wallet still safe in my pocket, but dozens if not hundreds of people weren't so lucky, including some of my friends who certainly weren't filming the gig.

This isn't a problem confined to 'bootleggers' filming the whole gig, organised gangs are targetting concerts where they can be sure to find hundreds of people distracted by the performance and desensitized to being pushed and jostled.

Taking a few photos as a memento isn't a crime. Theft is.

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The Mandelson Candidate!

This craziness sounds like a plot for a movie! I will be the first to film it in the cinema when it is released!

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MJI
Silver badge
Happy

Use a video camera - on a tripod

At least it is then watchable, and 20 years on the band loved it.

At least in the 80s it was a lot easier.

As they used to say The more you learn about video the better Beta looks.

Well it looks better than phone footage!

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Jobs Halo

word to the muggers.

you touch my phone and you wil lose your hand permanently

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Anonymous Coward

Why do it anyway?

The picture will be shite. A handheld phone, in low light at long range? That's going to be a great picture isn't it? Loads of shake, loads of image noise on that crappy little sensor. And the sound will be shite too.

Likewise the photographers. Every time I go to a gig there are flashes firing all the time. It's been said before, but your poxy little flash is only going to light up the back of people's heads, not the stage. Better yet you see people using camera phones from right at the back of an arena set at maximum digital "zoom". Bet that looks great, a blurry low resolution shot.

The trouble is that this is one of those cases of eternal optimism. I know people who do this and they take photographs of every gig they go to. The following day they show the office blurry, noisy snaps with the subject unreconisable. See that blur there? That's Bono, that is. Even after that experience they do it again and again, secure in the knowlege that one day their phone will produce the photographs they saw in the advertising. You've all seen them, they're the ones that look like they were shot with a top end DSLR with a very, very small print disclaimer at the bottom.

I don't think anybody invented this story to combat bootlegging. The videos produced by this method are so uniformly shite that nobody would be interested anyway.

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Bod

gig bootlegs

Whilst most the cameraphones are crappy quality, there are a lot of people going to gigs with high end compacts that are exceptional at gig photography and video. You only need to browse through the gig photos on flickr to see some amazing examples, and check out what cameras they are using. No, they're not SLRs generally.

And yes, a lot of people are interested in them. Some bands even turn a blind eye or sanction bootlegs for download, so long as they are not for sale. Some are quite interested in fan shot photos and videos. The studios however tend not to be.

As for piracy. In most gigs, the audio track is copyright in theory, but the visual act may not be (I've rarely seen copyright even mentioned on the tickets, only stuff about photography forbidden which isn't the same thing). Studios and promoters tend to get their knickers in a twist over it though claiming copyright infringement (as they are the ones who stand to lose money, not the band as they pay the bands crap all anyway. Though how a bootleg deprives them of gig money is beyond me as going to a gig is an entirely different experience to a bootleg).

Copyright infringement anyway when you take a photo of something is a dubious argument many photographers would disagree with. Copyright is attributed to the photographer, not the subject. The legal aspect is usually the permission to shoot there.

The real criminals at gigs are the touts anyway, and there's no law against them.

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Boffin

"Piracy"

Actually it's not piracy in all cases, some performers let their fans make personal recordings of gigs. Recently Nine Inch Nails (same band that gave away an album online for free and just sold limited edition records, previously covered by El Reg) decided on a free-camera policy for gigs, allowing people to record and enjoy later stuff they had seen live.

If it weren't for that fact then they wouldn't have overcome the extortionate prices charged by venues for professional filming by 'crowdsourcing' (ugh, I know) their media, and come up with this rather good quality DVD composed of fan-shot footable of their last tour and second only performance of the entirety of The Downward Spiral at www.thisoneisonus.org - officially free for download.

So don't just jump on the bandwagon of theives and assholes at gigs consummated by the ignoble call of "stopping piracy" without realising not every situation is the same.

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Thumb Up

I seem to recall

the Grateful Dead *encouraged* the audience to tape, and used to set up special areas in the theatre where they could set up their kit, away from the crush.

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Anonymous Coward

Piracy? Avast ye' scurvy seadogs!

Perhaps what they mean that if you record a performance where the artist is miming to the album version of their track then it is copyright infringement?

And since when has bootlegged footage of a live performance stopped someone going to concerts? It's not at all comparable to cinema-based copyright infringements.

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