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EFF Says Burning Man Usurps Digital Rights

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the free-spirit-for-a-price dept.

Privacy 439

Hugh Pickens writes "In a few weeks, tens of thousands of creative people will make their yearly pilgrimage to Nevada's Black Rock desert for Burning Man, an annual art event and temporary community celebrating radical self expression, self-reliance, creativity and freedom, but EFF reports that the event's Terms and Conditions include 'a remarkable bit of legal sleight-of-hand.' As soon as 'any third party displays or disseminates' your photos or videos in a manner that the Burning Man Organization (BMO) doesn't like, those photos or videos become the property of the BMO. BMO's Terms and Conditions also limits your own rights to use your own photos and videos on any public websites obliging you to take down any photos to which BMO objects, for any reason; and forbidding you from allowing anyone else to reuse your photos. This 'we automatically own all your stuff' magic appears to be creative lawyering intended to allow the BMO to use the streamlined 'notice and takedown' process enshrined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to quickly remove photos from the Internet giving BMO the power of fast and easy online censorship. 'Burning Man strives to celebrate our individuality, creativity and free spirit,' writes Corynne McSherry. 'Unfortunately, the fine print on the tickets doesn't live up to that aspiration.'"

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439 comments

the BMO (4, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050353)

just shot themselves in the foot, what better advertising is there than participants showing what a great time they had at the event...

Re:the BMO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050467)

Obviously they are only going to apply the rule to pictures of things that are bad press for them (drug use, sex orgies, etc.).

Re:the BMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050631)

Obviously they are only going to apply the rule to pictures of things that are bad press for them (drug use, sex orgies, etc.).

i Say fight the powar. Put all those orgy pics up on thepiratebay! Do it now, man!

Re:the BMO (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050717)

The only bad press is no press at all.

And do you really trust this organization to just "do the right thing" no matter how much profit is waived in front of their face if they decide to say "we don't like that movie of yours, so you're forced to take it down... oh, and in 6 months, we'll be releasing it nationwide because we don't like it so much..." That's the problem with "good intentions" defining a contract... they can be worked around so easily.

Re:the BMO (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050869)

Bah - BM does not need your puny advertising.

Media control makes sure that Black Rock City does not turn into a venue for the "girls gone wild" film crews. It's also part of the framework that allows BM Org to function on behalf of people when private footage ends up being used in such a manner.

Re:the BMO (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050951)

Not quite. They can choose which pictures to leave up or take down. They're free to claim whichever photos they like, and encourage the dissemination of the ones they do. This is not what copyright is for.

There's no significant financial benefit in owning these pictures, so I can only agree with the summary: this is for censorship and nothing else.

Re:the BMO (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051071)

And if you do digg searches on BM photos, you'll see they hardly ever exercise discretion.

There are many BM participants that plainly don't want the world to see them nude, or having what's a potentially lascivious time. That's their right and a good protection to have fun without the PTA burning you at the stake. Here, the EFF has crossed the line. Imagine all the people in the Human Carcass Wash being exposed for the world to see. That's not what BM is about: outing behavior that's otherwise 'just fine' at the event.

People have more freedom at BM than the 'default world' and should have the right to protection, and the event should be able to control it. Privacy trumps someone's right to masturbate or express other moral outrage to pictures of strange things at BM.

Burning Man: Ren Faire for Anarchist Wannabes (0, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051465)

There are many BM participants that plainly don't want the world to see them nude

Then they should not undress on federal land.

That's their right

What, you think someone parading around naked in the desert has a right to privacy? That is simply incorrect.

People have more freedom at BM than the 'default world'

You make "Burning Man" sound like a Ren Faire for wannabe anarchists. And maybe that's true, but if the Ren Faire and Burning Man are held on public land, I've got the same right to take a picture of you wearing elf ears and waving around a plastic sword as I do of you dancing naked in your warpaint. Ridiculous is as ridiculous does, and if you want to keep it secret, keep it indoors.

Think about this for a sec (4, Interesting)

Lesrahpem (687242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051413)

A place in my area does something like Burning Man on a much smaller scale every year, and they too use a policy like this. I happen to know the organizers of the event in my area and I asked them about this sort of policy. It's not what it seems. The reason for the seemingly underhanded legalize has to do with people using drugs at the event.

Basically, if someone takes pictures which could "let the word out" this enables the organizers to take down those pictures and control the information, so the cops aren't up everyone's ass every year. This has worked for the last five years, and as a result it's fine and encouraged to smoke pot and drop acid all weekend long, even in front of event security (they do it too). I don't know if this is the same reason Burning Man does this, but it would make a LOT of sense.

Don't like it? Don't go to Burning Man (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051431)

Burning Man implements a Temporary Autonomous Zone [wikipedia.org] (TAZ):

The concept of TAZ was first put into practice on a large scale by the Cacophony Society in what they called Trips to the Zone, or Zone Trips. One of their Zone Trips gave birth to Black Rock City, also called the Burning Man Festival.

One of the essential supports for a TAZ is to ensure participants that their temporary experience - which can greatly differ from normal life - be temporary, rather than permanent. People do all sorts of crazy stuff at Burning Man. That self-expression is easier because they know that photographs and videos of their experience will be handled in a particular manner - for example, not taken and turned into a motion picture.

If you don't agree with BMO's photo and video terms, then you don't understand the concept of a TAZ.

Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0, Troll)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050397)

Burning Man started out as an absolute do-whatever-you-want-just-don't-kill-anyone free-for-all.
Like most liberal fantasies, it rapidly devolved into an authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore.
"We automatically own all your stuff" isn't the only BMO rule totally contrary to the events original spirit.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0, Flamebait)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050503)

-1 Inconvenient Truth

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050983)

No, -1 misleading. Seems this is as likely a feature of greed, them wanting to control bad press in order to expand the event and make more money. I am sure organizers can get greedy no matter where on the political spectrum you or they view the event. I know, the world would be so much easier if you could just lump people and viewpoints together like that and label them as wrong.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050529)

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I have this liberal dream of being able to take a solid shit one day.

I also had this liberal idea that hard work and education would allow me to become more financially secure. It appears that it's not the case.

What has solid shits, burning man and working hard have to do with being liberal? Nothing! But Chewbacca was a liberal! He walked around naked with just an ammo belt on! What a liberal FAG! I'm sure he marched in gay pride parades and wants universal health coverage. You can just see it on his face!

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050741)

*head explodes*

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050541)

Like most liberal fantasies, it rapidly devolved into an authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore.

Double Plus Good!

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050817)

"We automatically own all your stuff" isn't the only BMO rule totally contrary to the events original spirit.

Whats the matter, did the BMO organizers ban you from carrying your handguns and wearing your white supremacist t-shirt again?

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051021)

Oooo. SOMEbody struck a nerve! hee hee

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051231)

Godwin's Law already?

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050823)

Like most liberal fantasies, it rapidly devolved into an authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore.

Unlike most conservative fantasies, which start that way.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051445)

Do you WANT the terrists to win?

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (5, Insightful)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050851)

I could point out that the phenomenon your referring to isn't a feature of a liberal system, it occurs despite of your political lean, but...

It always amazes me how people throw things into one of two buckets "liberal" and "conservative". One of the buckets is good and one is bad, depending on the person. How about instead of using inconsistent terms like that we get right to the point, call the categories "us" and "them". Remember you don't have to think about it too much, ignorance is a plus when putting "them" down.

Heh, heh, heh... (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051095)

Go back about a century and "conservatives" were setting up the national park system and "liberals" were all for industrialization and free enterprise.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051133)

the phenomenon your referring to isn't a feature of a liberal system, it occurs despite of your political lean

Be careful, I was modded "troll" for saying the same thing [slashdot.org].

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (4, Insightful)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050867)

As opposed to Conservative fantasies, which don't even bother starting out as absolute do-whatever-you-want-just-don't-kill-anyone free-for-all and just go straight to the authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore stage....
You would have been better off just saying "Power corrupts"

At leat conservatives are honest about intentions (0, Flamebait)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051237)

Which is more than you can say about most "liberals" who pretend to be for freedom but are actually nothing more than intellectual facist wolves dressed up as fluffy hippy sheep. Its the deception and lies that sticks in the throat more with the intentions of supposed "liberals".

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050875)

Don't forget that you have to pay several hundred dollars to get there as well.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (2, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050901)

Like most liberal fantasies, it rapidly devolved into an authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore.

What the heck is "natural ownership?" Copyright is a government creation, not a natural right.

Anyway, BM "devolved into an authoritarian group" only once it sold out and lost touch with its "liberal fantasy". Once I saw Verizon running ads about "keeping touch on the playa" in a burner rag, it was pretty clear that the co-option was complete.

Some of the local burns retain the original spirit -- I've been to Playa Del Fuego [playadelfuego.org] several times.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050903)

That's because when Burning Man started it was just goofs in a desert that no one cared about. Today it's a recognizable brand.

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (4, Interesting)

Bongo (13261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051055)

Like most liberal fantasies, it rapidly devolved into an authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore.
"We automatically own all your stuff" isn't the only BMO rule totally contrary to the events original spirit.

More specifically, I'd say it is about "freedom", and when people are free to be themselves, you end up with the group devolving or evolving to whatever the average person in the group is really like at heart. So if you say to a bunch of nuns, "be free!", they'll probably spend the day in prayer. But if you say it to a bunch of people who believe "the system is bad", then often you get social drop-outs who couldn't organise anything more complicated than just... well they become a gang of thugs who wanna just live impulsively. And if there's some proportion of people like that who go to BM, then that's what it will devolve to.

Are There Sharks in the Desert to Jump? (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051061)

...because my impression was that Burning Man had become a parody of itself (and, by extension, the whole Mondo 2000 era) years ago. Like, Turn-of-the-Century years ago. These aren't "creative people" making an annual pilgrimage, these are Marketing Execs and guys who view the pre-bubble dot-com era the way today's high school pop music fans view 80's synth-pop bands and narrow ties.

"Burning Man" ?!? Christ, why does that even get any ink here?

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (4, Insightful)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051235)

Capitalism started out as an absolute do-whatever-you-want-just-don't-share-with-anyone free-for-all.
Like most conservative fantasies, it rapidly devolved into an authoritarian group usurping natural ownership and dictating rules galore.
"We automatically own all your stuff" isn't the only feudalistic rule totally contrary to the system's original spirit.

That was fun!

Re:Another liberal dream goes totalitarian (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051297)

"[A]n authoritarian group usurping natural ownership" and imposing rules contrary to the original frame of organization is a flaw of every philosophy of organization from anarchy to socialism including democracy. The People must be ever vigilant.

I'd still rather have the societal freedom and market regulation of the "liberal" philosophy over an unregulated market and/or social conformity of other philosophies. The fact that we have no philosophy of organization that is immune to the flaws of people is not "insightful" to me.

Likely to protect the Event Itself (4, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050451)

My assumption is that they ask/force people to take down images and videos that show extremely reckless illegal activity so as to keep the Powers-That-Be from having evidence to get the event shut down.

Re:Likely to protect the Event Itself (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050839)

My assumption is that they ask/force people to take down images and videos that show extremely reckless illegal activity so as to keep the Powers-That-Be from having evidence to get the event shut down.

And that's a bad thing?

Re:Likely to protect the Event Itself (4, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051111)

I'm not really passing moral judgment on their censorship. I understand that people have to protect their own asses, especially in today's day and age. But you cannot deny that it does have some negative effects. It keeps people from expressing themselves in the form of pictures and movies on their websites that they would otherwise be free to share. Again, whether this is justified or not... I'm not really making any call beyond an implicit passive condoning by refusing to care.

Re:Likely to protect the Event Itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051191)

I agree - this is obviously the real reason behind the scenes. BM does not want to get raided by the DEA. Anyone who thinks there is another reason for this T&A has never been to burning man.

Re:Likely to protect the Event Itself (5, Informative)

cger68 (942662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051205)

"My assumption is that they ask/force people to take down images and videos that show extremely reckless illegal activity..." Agreed, for the most part. IANA lawyer, but I did just read the T&C's here: http://tickets2.burningman.com/info.php?i=2386 [burningman.com] They make it pretty clear that pics/video you take (and even post) for PERSONAL use is all well and good. They don't seem interested at all. It's the NON-personal ($$$) stuff they're getting uptight about. In other words, "don't make money using our name without letting us know so we can wet our beak too." And the third party stuff reads like this: "If you put your stuff on YouTube, and someone grabs it and puts it in a documentary, we're going to sue those people." I dunno...maybe I'm oversimplifying here, but I don't have much of a problem with any of it...?

If a TOS Can Also Be A Legal Contract... (1, Troll)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050481)

...then that's okay, my TOS on my site says that I own everything they produce. If they didn't want to accept it, they shouldn't have sold me a ticket. If they didn't read it, tough luck, that's no excuse.

So go and just don't do anything (0, Troll)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050485)

....make the event so boring that no one will ever want to go to it again. And everyone should wear face masks with out faces on them, or hold up signs saying, you don't have a right to use my face for free advertising.

Or the mask can be pictures or butts... or that horrible pic of that man spreading his cheeks.

Re:So go and just don't do anything (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050935)

or that horrible pic of that man spreading his cheeks.

"Horrible" is maybe too strong a word in this case, no? What's the matter are you opposed to the goatse man's right to self-expression?

Well let me tell you something, Mr. Man, you may not realize this, but at Burning Man 2004 the entire event's grand finale was every attendee striking that very pose.

At least I think that's what happened. To be fair, I had dropped some of the brown acid, which I later heard may have been ...(wait for it...) tainted.

[Get it? "Tainted"? As in "taint"-ed? Oh, never mind. My best material is wasted on Slashdot.]

Re:So go and just don't do anything (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051053)

/facepalm

I though Goatse man was an intersting picture. I saw it once, and it's never been forgotten no matter how hard I've tried....

In Soviet Russia... (1, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050559)

"Burning Man strives to celebrate our individuality, creativity and free spirit" - Corynne McSherry.
"Communism strives to celebrate our individuality, creativity and free spirit" - Joe Stalin
"Facism strives to celebrate our individuality, creativity and free spirit" - Benito Mussolini

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050701)

You forgot to add Democracy to that list.

And "America's Got Talent".

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050733)

"Capitalism strives to extract your individuality, creativity and free spirit and leave you a hollow shell, poor, whilst the rich elite who benefit from your efforts lord it up with their friends, laughing at how so many of the poor will defend this system to the bitter end" - any rich cunt

Re:In Soviet Russia... (2, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050785)

If you're gonna call Stalin 'Joe' - you should call Corynne 'Cory' and Benito 'Ben' :P

Karlan Mitchell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050567)

What about free speech, I say fuck em

Business monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050569)

Isn't Burning Man(TM) where CPAs and other business monkeys go to pretend they're cool for a while.
The same people run the event.

Re:Business monkeys (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050707)

Isn't that always the way? I mean how many people riding Harleys are anything but Corporate Tax Accountants and Project Managers pretending to be bad boys & girls. How many people getting tatoos are getting them to express their individuality, ignoring the millions of tatoo wearing humans also expressing their individuality wearing virtually identical tats?

As soon as something becomes a brand and becomes widely known (hell, I read about Burning Man in Motorcyclist magazine!) then what it originally was is no more. See if we can name one thing that when it became officially organized and well known enough to sell tickets to stayed true to its origins?

*Frito-Lay Group sponsored this post*

To your advantage.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050575)

Put up fake child porn or something else considered illegal. They will own them, not you.

Protest (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050589)

Protest by setting fire to something. People will notice then.

Re:Protest (4, Interesting)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050821)

A few years ago an old-time participant set fire to "the man" a couple of days early. The organizers decried it as criminal vandalism and reported it to law enforcement.

The hypocrisy was thick.

Re:Protest (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051151)

If you'll read about the arsonist that did it, you'll get more insight into what actually goes on at the event, and what the symbol of "The Man' means to people at the event.

Yeah, it was fun to see The Man burn twice, but more ironic and paradoxical than hypocrisy. That guy was uniformly vilified by the participants, as well as the organizers.

TICKETS!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050601)

All these years I hearing about this never heard of tickets, that is nuts!!

Who owns the property this event is on? (3, Informative)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050603)

IANAL, but....

In the Nevada desert? State owned property? Then I doubt they have a legal leg to stand on. However, if it's on private property, then they can probably stipulate what gets done with the photos. Stupid? Yes. Legal? Maybe.

Photographers, print this out and carry it with you at all times: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm [krages.com]. It was written by lawyers who do actually know a thing or two about photography and the law.

-S

Re:Who owns the property this event is on? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050859)

I would imagine that their claim is that, by attending the event, you have agreed to the terms, namely signing over the rights to the footage. I think it's bullshit and, at some point, people are going to fight against this crap and put an end to it but, currently, they can put something like this on their ticket stubs and, if you attend the event, it's legally assumed you've agreed to those terms.

Total bullshit though. People keep fighting for the "rights of the artist" but I have yet to see anyone actually fighting for the rights of the people who create creative material...

Re:Who owns the property this event is on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29050873)

You are exactly right. It's in Black Rock Desert which is public land. Therefore they have no leg to stand on, it's open to the public and public property.

Re:Who owns the property this event is on? (4, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051173)

Uh, no. It's a leased space for the time of the event. Their legal basis is court-tested in Nevada and California courts. The ticket is key; it's a contract just like the one you get when you park your car in a garage.

Re:Who owns the property this event is on? (1)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051221)

Thanks for posting this -- I've always wondered if I needed permission to take pictures of old barns and buildings on private property. So long as you're on public property while taking the photos, then you're good to go.

Bah, It's been that way for aa few years now. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050605)

I stopped going to burning man years ago when it became a commercialized corporate mess.

Burning man today is not what it was 10 years ago.
today it's a brand to be protected, an event to sponsor.

Bleh.

Re:Bah, It's been that way for aa few years now. (4, Funny)

rockout (1039072) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050643)

I went to Burning Man in 99 and 2000. At the time, a bunch of people were complaining that "Man, Burning Man today isn't what it was. Now it's all corporate and shit."

Sorry, I'll get off your lawn now.

Same as any organised event, e.g. Beltane (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050989)

Same as with any organised event, I've been along to and involved with the Edinburgh Beltane since 1991 (it started in '88) and people have always said the same thing "it's not what it used to be". Problem with organised events is that it boils down to somebody taking the rap if things go wrong so rules get put into place so no organiser gets personally sued when an idiot throws petrol on a fire (with the usual consequences), or deals have to be struck with the authorities to let some shape of event go on (and the organisers have to work out what point to negotiate to).

Can't speak about photographic rights as Beltane Fire Festival lets anybody film anything - but as a just about surviving community festival that doesn't like corporate branding its pretty galling when all the volunteers work themselves to the bone for months to do a great show then a major TV company or magazine shoots loads of film, publishes the images, makes profit, and gives nothing back to the organisation itself. Dealing with the media - or working out who is shooting film for their personal pleasure and who is shooting to make big profits is very difficult.

My favourite moment was when a National Geographic photographer wanted us to stop part of the show so he could get a good shot on the grounds that he was from the National Geographic.

Re:Bah, It's been that way for aa few years now. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050661)

You should start your own event. Burning burningman.

Re:Bah, It's been that way for aa few years now. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050779)

Hold another event the week after or before Burning Man in the same locale, and call it "Crispy Dude".

Or, better yet, go for the opposite. Hold an event in here in Maine in the middle of January (or Alaska, or anywhere it gets pretty cold). Call it "Peoplesickle" or "Frozen Man".

Re:Bah, It's been that way for aa few years now. (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051197)

Uh, no. There are no sponsors, there are no logos (except humorous art logos). It's still a gifting culture. The only thing that's really changed is the limitation on firearms and pets. I kind of like not hearing the sound of AK-47 clips at 2am above the sound of various drum cultures.

Is it even valid? (5, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050697)

BY PURCHASING TICKETS ONLINE, VIA PHONE OR MAIL ORDER FROM BURNING MAN, I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE READ THIS WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND I FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS TERMS, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS, AND I DO SO KNOWINGLY AND VOLUNTARILY WITHOUT ANY INDUCEMENT OR DURESS.

How do you know you've agreed to the waiver if you haven't read the waiver? Surely if you buy tickets over the phone, (unless they explicitly ask you whether you agree to the waiver) neither party can reasonably expect that you've read the waiver.

And that's assuming this clause is even valid, which I think seems unlikely.

In the spirit of individuality (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050699)

Just start your own Burning Man.

Burning Man isn't a sacred rite. It's a bunch of people who get together and decide to be goofs for a week. Nothing is stopping you from doing the same. I might even join you.

Re:In the spirit of individuality (2, Insightful)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051243)

You'll probably have to call it something different - BM is likely trademarked.

Maybe Smouldering Man (TM)??? A bit more evocative, too :)

copyright, patents, intellectual property (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050719)

is less about rewarding creators and more about corporate control of OUR culture

at this point, i am leaning towards "fuck you" to creators, as long as our legal system has an inability to differentiate between corporate distribution channels and actual creators

creators: i'm sorry your grandchildren can't live off your one hit wonder. i'm sorry you won't be a billionaire for "inventing" shamwow. but you can still get a great job as a respected engineer and you can still get great money from touring. sorry, thems the breaks: get to work like the rest of us dumb shlubs

the original idea that guided the creation of the notion of intellectual property: rewarding creators, has been completely corrupted as a way to reward distributors. the legal goon squads make sure actual creators get less $, and consumers fork over more $. in a preinternet world, distributors were necessary, but this is a scenario the internet has destroyed. now distributors are just unnecessary parasites. its called disruptive technology for a reason. it has disrupted the technological grounds upon which the rewarding of distributors works. all that remains is pushing the stake into the vampire's heart

intellectual property has betrayed its philosophical underpinnings, and we, the people, who are supposed to be the ones in charge, now have a duty to do our best to ignore, and/ or detroy intellectual property, since the legal system, which is supposed to serve us, serves corporate masters beholden to nothing but more cash for less reason

intellectual property law is still effective across the land because of legal goon squads, but philosophically, it is defunct, and you should ignore it... at the peril of the legal goon squads, but not at the peril of your conscience. it is at the peril of your conscience that you continue to believe in intellectual property

Re:copyright, patents, intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051259)

So how does the internet affect CDs coming in my mailbox?

Re:copyright, patents, intellectual property (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051287)

is less about rewarding creators and more about corporate control of OUR culture

True, and sad. Funny how the constitution stipulates that "authors and inventors" have a temporary monopoly, and not lifetime ownership that they can pass on to their decendants or sell to a publisher. If you're not an author or inventor, you're not supposed to hold a patent or coyright in the US. Too bad the constitution has become meaningless, making almost every law on the books meaningless.

Re:copyright, patents, intellectual property (2, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051301)

I'm sure creators have already leaned towards "fuck you" themselves. I'm sorry that you can't get everything at a price that you want, when you want, and how you want, but you can still just buy the damn thing, or not. Sorry, them's the brakes: pay for the work of others that you use.

The original idea of championing individual rights has been completely corrupted by greed and affluence. The hoard of self-justifying pirates make sure that the actual creators get less $, and consumers fork over more $.

Piracy has betrayed its philosophical underpinnings, and we, the people, who are supposed to be the ones in charge, now have a duty to destroy piracy, and educate others on the damage it causes, since our common sense, which is supposed to serve us, seems to be serving nothing but our basest, greediest desires (with our values in tow).

Seriously though, if you have a better system for encouraging creation, then support it, and stop pissing in our system. Some of us don't want to destroy the entire system, and hope that something better will take its place. Start by only dealing with business models you agree with, and lose the "it's our culture, so hand it over" crap. Artists work on these things. It's not about working once and collecting ever after (that's EXTREMELY hard to do), it's about getting paid, one way or another. So I reiterate: find and support another way, or STFU.

Not enforceable in/from a public place (5, Insightful)

evilandi (2800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050725)

Whilst there are probably a dozen practical and legal reasons why this probably isn't enforceable, the one that immediately springs to my mind is that Burning Man is taking place in a Black Rock Desert [wikipedia.org], which is government-owned and criss-crossed with historic trails open to the public. There are likely to be large areas of Burning Man which are visible from these public areas, and thus, according to Kantor's Legal Rights of Photographers [kantor.com] (PDF), open to photographer to take photographs from as they see fit, without restrictions.

Re:Not enforceable in/from a public place (3, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051273)

Nope.

The area is leased to the organization. As a leaseholder, they can encumber you by the terms of the ticket. Your argument doesn't hold water in this controlled-access event. There's a perimeter fence that would thwart even really cool telephoto lenses. There are even NOTAMs for flyers that would like to buzz by.

Good Luck Enforcing That (3, Insightful)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050737)

Sorry, BMO. Any pictures that I take are mine. You can get stuffed if you don't like them.

Re:Good Luck Enforcing That (2, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051241)

this is like the many stories of rent-a-cops telling photogs that they can't take a pic of this or that building.

or mall cops who tell you you can't shoot inside the mall.

the most they can do is tell you to stop and escort you out.

they CANNOT ask to see your photos (ie, you are not compelled to give them any views)
they CANNOT ask to have your memory card (only police can do that and even then, its iffy)
they CANNOT take ownership of 'all photos you take'.

they can ask you to leave (early) but they can't take possession of your photos.

Protecting the image? (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 4 years ago | (#29050769)

They wouldn't want those DMCA powers in order to take down pictures of people engaged in activities like ... drug taking. A friend who went to a Burning Man festival said that most people he encountered there seemed to be whacked out on Ecstacy.

They really _can't_ do this (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051051)

Step 1: Buy tickets by phone

Step 2: Take pictures they don't like
Step 2a: Publish them

Step 3: When they complain, bring up 17 USC 204a: "transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner's duly authorized agent. "

(once again, no profit)

Re:They really _can't_ do this (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051265)

If the EULA/ToS for the event is listed before purchasing, I can see the argument that purchase of the ticket constitutes a signed agreement, especially if the EULA/ToS is printed on the back of the ticket. It's weak, I will admit it, but it seems plausible that would be an acceptable defense.

Poser bullshit and Lawyer Ball in the Desert (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051167)

It used to be this great piece of hippy anarchy. When are people going to realize that lawyers and litigious thinking(it's not all on the Lawyers) are parasitic. They never contribute to anything they only destroy.

!story (4, Interesting)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051257)

Not really new, is this ? I remember JWZ blogging about this years ago. See http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/burningman.html

Good Reason For It (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051361)

There is a good reason for it. Burning Man permits all sorts of non-standard behavior, including nudity. For people to feel comfortable in such an environment, photography has to be limited. For the most part this is not a problem -- real Burners ask before taking a person's picture. But there is a bad element that goes to Burning Man; the tourists. They generally arrive on Thursday or Friday, camera in hand, and start snapping pictures.

Those pictures do two bad things: They inhibit people from acting freely, and they present the wrong image of Burning Man. It is not about nudity, but the daffy ducks with their cameras would make it look like it is; as they walk right past some of the most inspiring art in the world to snap a picture of a person who chose not to wear clothes that day. Keeping those pictures -- which misrepresent the event and are widely reviled by Burners -- off the Internet is a good thing.

I am a hard-core supporter of the EFF, but this time they are wrong to judge. Burning Man is a community with certain standards. Making sure Black Rock City remains free -- in both the legal and the psychological sense -- is one of them. Much like the GPL or anti-trust laws, sometimes freedom is best served by restricting behavior that inhibits freedom.

If You Don't Like It... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051405)

There's a little thing they used to do way back when, the people didn't like what was going on or how things were handled.
 
It's called "BOYCOTT"
 
Don't like their rules, don't go, missing out on all the revenue from the event this year would surely prevent this in future events.

Get your ticket from a 3rd party (1)

sjdude (470014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29051421)

17. I agree to these terms on behalf of any person to whom I deliver any of the tickets I purchase, and I shall notify any such person of these terms when I deliver a ticket to them.

IANAL, but it seems if you obtain your ticket from a third party, you cannot be bound by the agreement which that party entered into when they purchased the ticket. So just make sure you are not on record with BMO as a direct ticket purchaser and you can take and publish all the photos you desire because you can't be bound by a third party agreement.

Not the point of the event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29051471)

A different way of interpreting the fine print is "If you want to take photos, you're not allowed to sell/make money off of them." That is very much the point of the fine print. Would people be as comfortable with their radical self expression if they expected everything they did to end up on youtube? That type of constant concern of basically peer survelance is a bigger threat to self expression than a couple of lines of legal jargon that wont apply to 99.9% of participants who just want to enjoy the event. And the other 0.1% that want to make a buck off of everyone else's creativity doesn't belong at BM to begin with.

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