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Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the headlines-that-would-be-cooler-if-taken-literally dept.

Privacy 210

Briden writes "Earlier this week, we discussed the EFF's criticism of the Burning Man Photo Policy. Burning Man has now responded at length on their own blog. Here's an excerpt: 'In fact, there are but two essential reasons we maintain these increased controls on behalf of our community: to protect our participants so that images that violate their privacy are not displayed, and to prevent companies from using Burning Man to sell products. We don't remove images from pages just because they criticize us (I've never been involved in taking down an image from an editorial blog criticizing Burning Man, and it's certainly not because there haven't been any!). We're also not at all interested [in] preventing participants from sharing their personal imagery or impressions of the event on third party sharing sites in a noncommercial manner, so long as they observe the concerns about privacy and commercialism. We're delighted to see people sharing videos, stories, and pictures on our official Facebook page, and we know that it, along with Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. are representative of the way many of us share personal imagery in the digital age.'"

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210 comments

No sir, I don't like it (3, Insightful)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075373)

I liked Burning Man a lot more when it was called "touring with the dead". Precisely the same amount of drugs, spectacle and enlightenment, except for about 300 bucks less per person.

Re:No sir, I don't like it (5, Insightful)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075413)

But, but, but we are doing it for your privacy! We ask you to give us rights to your works, and give some of them up, _solely_ for your own good, don't you get it? We're thinking 'bout you! How can you acuse us like that?

And, no, we're not lying, no... No, really!

Re:No sir, I don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075437)

Sounds about like the federal government.

Re:No sir, I don't like it (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076121)

Except this is voluntary.

Re:No sir, I don't like it (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076359)

OH SNAP

Re:No sir, I don't like it (4, Insightful)

martyros (588782) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076643)

You forgot, "Just look at our record; we've been doing this for a long time and never abused our rights. Furthermore, the minute we do, next years' attendance drops significantly, so we have a financial incentive not to abuse our power."

Re:No sir, I don't like it (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075743)

+1 AMAZING for subtle Ren and Stimpy reference.

Public Event (3, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075375)

Just how the heck can they claim privacy concerns for a public event in a public space? If people wish to do something in private I suggest that they do it alone in a place where only they can go.

Re:Public Event (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075507)

Somebody said they leased the area the festival is on, so it wouldn't be public space but private space.

I don't care enough to verify that, though ;)

Re:Public Event (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075513)

The previous post answered that. Apparently, there is something over 300 dollars worth of admission fee. This likely is needed now to secure the space for the event, pay for insurance, etc. which means it's no longer a public event, it's a private enterprise. As a private enterprise it's not surprising that they would want to start to control the how images, etc are used. After all, if there is money to be made from images of their event, they would want to be the ones making the money. That's plain human and, further, corporate nature.

Re:Public Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075531)

It is still outdoors in a wide open space. Sorry...that is public.

Re:Public Event (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075639)

Bullshit. Your 'it is because I say so' argument fails. Outdoor events can be private. Try wandering onto a golf course during a PGA event and see how far you get. 'But it's outside!' you can yell while the police push your brainless ass into the back of the squad car.

Re:Public Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075775)

I'm pretty sure he could take pictures at that PGA event without giving up any rights to them. That's because in public, there is no "expectation of privacy". Certainly he may have to pay admission to get in though. I don't believe the GP was arguing about that.

Re:Public Event (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075961)

Only if they allowed you to bring a camera into their private event. I think this is crap, and stupid on Burning Man's part, but private events control whether you can take pictures or not and what you can do with them all the time.

Re:Public Event (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076777)

No they cannot.

To control your images taken in a semi-public space (to be a private space only members can be invited: these tickets are available to the public) copyright must be assigned to them, entirely or through exclusive license. USC17 s204 requires that this is with a PHYSICAL SIGNATURE - it MUST be written.

Buying tickets over the phone means that they cannot assign copyright.

Re:Public Event (2, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076147)

The Bureau of Land Management would absolutely disagree with you. The Black Rock Desert is public property, through and through. The reason for the hefty fee is for the PERMITS for such an event.

And I just spent a week going out to various deserts to do meteorite hunting and to watch the Perseids, the Mojave and Black Rock deserts were my first places to go hunting, so I already know the area of which you talk about, as I had to go get a permit for my haul from that desert area from the Bureau of Land Management.

Re:Public Event (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076577)

Public and private are separate in terms of admission verses privacy. Under the Current US rules concerning privacy, if I can see you and you are not inside your home (which is sort of questionable too depending on if the curtains are closed or not) then your actions become public. This is how tabloids get away with anchoring a boat of the coast of a private Island or beach and taking photos of celebrities, this is also how people can take photos of the PGA event from outside their controls and the PGA has little control over it. Even the police will not be able to do anything. Trademark and copyright might come into play but that's a case for a civil lawsuit, not criminal enforcement.

Don't confuse two very distinctly different concepts of the law.

Re:Public Event (5, Informative)

Hizonner (38491) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075529)

  1. The people who come to Burning Man are NOT the general public; they're a subculture with completely different attitudes. If your boss happens to actually be at Burning Man, it's pretty unlikely that your boss is the kind of person who will then turn around and decide to fire you for, say, being naked at Burning Man. Same for lots of other people who might give you grief for lots of other things. Yes, it could happen, but it's far, far less likely, and probabilities matter.
  2. You can see who's around you at Burning Man (or in any public place, for that matter), and adjust your behavior accordingly. You can't see who might look at a photograph later.
  3. If you don't happen to notice everybody who's around you in a public place, you expose your activities to the relatively limited number of people who are right there, right then. If you don't happen to notice that a photograph is being taken, that exposes your activities to an unlimited number of people, that number of people can grow in the future, and people can easily pass around a credible record of your activities, rather than just gossiping about them. Again, the probability of harm is much greater.
  4. Burning Man isn't a completely public event, in that the attendees are supposed to agree to certain rules, including privacy rules, which do NOT apply in public places in general.

I don't necessarily like the BMO's picture policy, because I think it gives them too much arbitrary power. I'm not even sure it's reasonable to try to address these privacy concerns, or similar concerns in similar public or semi-public settings, at all, because it's damned hard to actually have a useful effect without giving somebody too much power. But it's bogus to pretend the concerns don't exist.

Re:Public Event (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075621)

The people who come to Burning Man are NOT the general public

But they are still in a public space, which makes your point irrelevant.

You can see who's around you at Burning Man (or in any public place, for that matter), and adjust your behavior accordingly. You can't see who might look at a photograph later.

Which changes the fact that you're in a public space how, exactly?

If you don't happen to notice everybody who's around you in a public place, you expose your activities to the relatively limited number of people who are right there, right then.

You are still in a public space, not a private one.

Burning Man isn't a completely public event, in that the attendees are supposed to agree to certain rules, including privacy rules, which do NOT apply in public places in general.

But it's still in a public space

See, when you're in private, you can expect privacy. When you're in public, there is no expectation of privacy.

Or are you just a fucking moron?

Re:Public Event (5, Insightful)

cmdahler (1428601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075735)

It's always fun on slashdot to see the IANAL-but-I-KNOW-I'm-right crowd come out of the woodwork on articles like this. No, he's not a moron - you are. BM is held on property that is leased for the event. That makes it private, you can't get in without a ticket, which does indeed hold you under a binding contract while you are on that property. The only way you could get around this legally would be to find a location that is not on the leased property from which you could view BM, and then take pictures there. Now, go back under your rock.

Re:Public Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076073)

The only way you could get around this legally would be to find a location that is not on the leased property from which you could view BM, and then take pictures there. Now, go back under your rock.

If that's leased land, then it's the same as taking pictures of a bathroom from out in the street. Very, very illegal.

Re:Public Event (1)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076159)

So, then, Google is breaking the law by photographing people's houses and making the images public? Pointing your camera into a window is far different than pointing it into, say, a an open-air beer garden on a sidewalk in San Antonio.

Re:Public Event (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076695)

Public and private are distinct legal concepts within concepts. The confusion here is that people are wanting to claim that because they can control admission to the event, it's private. That's probably right, it's a private event. However, in the terms of privacy it's a different standard and being a private event doesn't necessarily maintain an expectation of privacy and can be very public in those terms.

The problem here is people without proper consideration of the law or concepts of the intricacies in it. You can stand outside the event's borders and take photo graphs of anything you can see and there isn't a thing they can do about it. You can sit inside the events and take photo's of everything and there isn't a thing they can do about it unless trademarks and copyright come into play. Major League Baseball, probably one of the most arcane in regards to rules like this, can't do a damn thing about someone taking pictures of people in the stands at one of their parks. The rules for privacy when covering something in plain sight often follow the rules a cop needs for probable cause but a little less stringent for public people. This is how tabloids get away with using telephoto lenses a mile away to take pictures of celebrities on private beaches, private parties, and so on. They, just like the police, can even go to the air and see over privacy fences.

Re:Public Event (0, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076167)

"BM is held on property that is leased for the event."

NO IT IS NOT. THE BLACK ROCK DESERT IS PUBLIC LAND AND THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT DOES NOT LEASE OUT PARCELS FOR TEMPORARY USAGE, ONLY PERMITS TO HOLD AN EVENT AT SUCH DESIGNATED LOCATION.

You don't need to be a fucking lawyer to know that one, you just need to have the skills to know how to read a fucking map and know which government agency to call/check with.

You are the moron.

Re:Public Event (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076327)

The land is public for roughly 50 weeks of the year. Durning Burning Man, the BLM permit makes the area of Black Rock City and a 2 mile perimeter private. I believe the permits are public record, feel free to file a FOIA request and read them before you start talking out of your ass.

When farmers lease BLM land for their cattle, do you think they are not allowed to turn away trespassers?

Re:Public Event (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076217)

It's always fun on slashdot to see the IANAL-but-I-KNOW-I'm-right crowd come out of the woodwork on articles like this..

Well, they are really hiding in the woodwork and shouting out their opinion. The fact that they post AC is a pretty good indicator that they are full of crap. The rest of your points are spot on. Just like software, if you don't like the conditions just say no thanks.

Can someone please fork Burning Man... What to call it though...
Burning Guy?
Smoldering Dude?
Immolation Person?

Re:Public Event (1)

CecilPL (1258010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076261)

I hear there's good old-fashioned forking going on at Burning Man all the time!

Re:Public Event (1)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076619)

TABM Ain't Burning Man.

Re:Public Event (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076253)

The people who come to Burning Man are NOT the general public; they're a subculture with completely different attitudes.

The people who come to Burning Man are whoever can cough up the dough to purchase the publicly available tickets. Subcultures interested in privacy sell their tickets through private (and often quasi backdoor) means, and they don't advertise the sales and have multiple ticket purchase locations.
 
They may have started out a subculture, but they've been commercial for years now.
 
 

If you don't happen to notice everybody who's around you in a public place, you expose your activities to the relatively limited number of people who are right there, right then. If you don't happen to notice that a photograph is being taken, that exposes your activities to an unlimited number of people, that number of people can grow in the future, and people can easily pass around a credible record of your activities, rather than just gossiping about them. Again, the probability of harm is much greater.

The solution to that is simple - don't do something in a public place you'd be embarrassed to be photographed doing. I mean seriously, I'm getting tired of the nonsensical arguments advanced in this and the previous discussion that Burning Man is simultaneously a place for public performance art and a private place where the performers/participants shouldn't be subject to the normal constraints of being public. You can be one, you can be the other, but you can't be both at the same time.

Re:Public Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075619)

It's an open space, but invites are based on tickets.

Your logic fails, try again.

Re:Public Event (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075847)

The first time I heard about the Burning Man, they were saying everywhere "come at your own risk ! We don't provide water or health services ! If you want to be safe, either bring an hospital or stay home !" At the beginning, it was supposed that there were no spectators, only participants. They sounded like they would be ready to leave you dead on the sand.

Now what ? They want to protect the privacy ? What kind of sissy participant is unable to come unrecognizable if s/he does not wish to be ?

Re:Public Event (3, Interesting)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075989)

The first time I heard about the Burning Man, they were saying everywhere "come at your own risk ! We don't provide water or health services ! If you want to be safe, either bring an hospital or stay home !" At the beginning, it was supposed that there were no spectators, only participants. They sounded like they would be ready to leave you dead on the sand. Now what ? They want to protect the privacy ? What kind of sissy participant is unable to come unrecognizable if s/he does not wish to be ?

It's not about privacy. Burning Man is no longer what you described. It's now a corporate money machine and like all things that explode with success the raiders descend and now they try to control the environment so that the golden goose continues to lay eggs for as long as possible. Their goal is to no longer have Burning Man grow but instead to have it generate a low risk income for as long as possible before their suffocating grip slowly kills it. This is not new by any means, companies behave in the same way in any industry.

Entrepreneur begets, risky business, begets client base, begets minor success, begets corporate buyout/rapid growth, begets a need to ensure future profits, begets restrictions on customer base, begets slow decline begets litigation, begets bankruptcy begets another cycle.

It sucks anyway (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075389)

Let them own the pictures and everything else. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence should move on to another even tor start their own.

Re:It sucks anyway (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075703)

The whole time I was reading the response, I kept thinking, "If they need to police photographs just to keep the noncommercial environment, then it is time for Burning Man to just end and for something new to take its place."

Re:It sucks anyway (2, Insightful)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076271)

I've been thinking that since I first saw a documentary on BM about five years ago. My first thought was "how awesome, free-for-all art-fest!", but after a little research, having just watched an in-depth movie on how it started, etc, the ticket prices alone made it obvious that they had veered pretty hard off-course.

And I don't buy into the "but we have to charge x to cover expenses" crap. It may be true, but if you are out-pricing 99% of the artists who would really add color and flavor to the event, then your mission is no longer facilitating a friendly space for art: you are facilitating an event, not much different than a curator or the manager of a conference center...and that's a big difference.

This may be the Year of Linux on the Desktop! (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075397)

Or not. Every so often, the blogosphere erupts in furious exchanges on the subject, with the Pollyanna set trilling 'This is the Year!' and the Eeyore types giving Linux on the Desktop about the same odds as the Cubs winning the World Series. But wait -- summer's just beginning!

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is unofficially here. What better way to celebrate than with another rousing "Year of Linux on the desktop" debate?! Sure enough -- it may be an oldie, but it's clearly a goodie, and in recent days, bloggers far and wide have been ready and willing to entertain the question again.

In fact, two such topics have dominated the Linux blogs lately, and they're inherently related. First came the well-worn question of whether Linux needs marketing Click here to get the Free Email Design No-No's Guide from Lyris -- includes the top 10 things you need to know., a topic that was kicked off when Danijel Orsolic noted that "Linux is not an OS."

"Good luck with that," quipped tuxchick on LXer, leading to more than 100 lively comments. 'Marketing Fail' Orsolic went on to argue that because Linux is not an OS, attempting to sell it as such causes "Marketing Fail." That conversation, in turn, intensified when H. Kwint asserted that "Linux doesn't need marketing," spawning a fresh round of debate.

A few days later, that good ol' "year of" debate surfaced apparently independently --almost like the Swine Flu, one might say -- in multiple spots throughout the blogosphere, where many -- and we mean *many* -- bloggers succumbed to the urge to have their say on the matter yet another time.

Carla Schroder of Linux Today began by asking, "When will it really be the year of Linux?" Almost 40 comments followed on that site before it was picked up on LXer as well.
'It Will Never Be the Year'

Meanwhile, Thomas King asserted on LXer that "It will never be the year of the Linux desktop," sparking another joint round of spirited comments there.

Around the same time, however, Slashdot bloggers were pondering a published list of reasons "Why Linux is not (yet) ready for the desktop" -- to the tune of more than 1,300 comments there.

Some questions just can't be debated too much, especially if you're a Linux geek! We here at LinuxInsider felt we had no choice but to take to the proverbial streets for more.
'There Is a Disincentive'

"Of course GNU/Linux needs marketing as in advertising, publishing, spreading the good news," blogger Robert Pogson told LinuxInsider by email. "It does not necessarily need someone planning to make money from GNU/Linux to do that, but advertising is expensive so the two are usually connected."

An ad "showing off some good features and advantages of GNU/Linux could indeed bring in customers, but the retailers/OEMs already get loot from M$ for pushing their stuff, so there is a disincentive for established merchants to push GNU/Linux," Pogson noted. "It will have to be someone big enough to stand up to M$ -- like IBM (NYSE: IBM) More about IBM or Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) More about Google --or it will have to be a smallish outfit with nothing much to lose in the way of business connected with M$."

Only in the netbook realm has GNU/Linux been able to compete with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) More about Microsoft on price and quality, "and that is because there is not a big enough price to hide all the slush the suppliers and M$ have been dividing up all these years," Pogson added. "Now consumers will be aware of the M$ tax. Before long, M$ will have to cut prices everywhere and they will no longer have the slush to bribe the market."
'It Does Need More Visibility'

On the other hand: "I don't think Linux needs to be 'marketed' in the traditional sense of marketing," tjonnyc999, an Internet marketing consultant and Slashdot blogger, told LinuxInsider via email. "It does need more visibility and to be 'de-stigmatized,' or cleared from the overtones of being the 'weird' system of choice for 'geeks and hackers' -- not brought into the mainstream, but accepted as an equal."

Then, once Linux's virtues are exposed to a particular individual, "they do the marketing for themselves," he explained.

Indeed, the "marketing Linux" posts "tend to miss the fact that there is actually a great deal of Linux marketing going on, either on the distro or service provider level," Chris Travers, a Slashdot blogger who works on the LedgerSMB project, told LinuxInsider in another email message. "I don't think that 'Linux' can be marketed in a central manner because the Linux community is not organized to do this, but there is a lot of decentralized marketing going on."
More Harm Than Good?

Whether the net effect of that decentralization is good, however, may not be so clear.

"Linux has always been 'viral,' and while that's probably great, hasn't it hurt Linux more than it helped it so far?" wondered Slashdot blogger Badpazzword in an email to LinuxInsider. "A lot of the FUD I read so far about Linux are install nightmares from 2000ish; those stories are viral too."

Either way, the statement that Linux 'needs more or better marketing' "implies that Linux is competing with Windows and MacOS for desktop dominance," tjonnyc999 added. "This is both untrue and unfair. Linux is both 'free as in beer' and 'free as in liberty,' so it's not competing with the mainstream OSs on either the price point or its core philosophy and intended purpose."

We also "don't know what distros will be around tomorrow, so it will help to keep everything as one family should a new distro manage to be better than the current lot," Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack added. "Most marketing involves simplifying the message and not making it more complex."
'Not Ready for Prime Time'

But when will it be The Year??

"At the present time, it's a bit silly to talk about the 'Year of Linux on the desktop,' because it's not ready for prime time yet," tjonnyc999 said. "Linux is ideal for power users, but until the majority of hardware vendors can be relied on to release stable Linux drivers, until the software publishers expand the selection of business-oriented software, and until the differences between the multiple distributions are resolved, it's not going to be the first choice of the vast majority of casual users."

That said, "Linux does not need to be 'in prime time'," he added. "Surely, it's nice to think about the end of the Evil MicroApplesoft Empire and imagine the day when everyone will throw off the chains and dance happily under the bright sunshine of the One True Distro, complete with 100 percent hardware drivers and slick GUI... but the reality is that the vast bulk of users out there are not ready, not willing, and do not have the time to RTFM and configure kernel options from the command line."

Trying to force the current realities of Linux onto "this un-ready user base is a recipe for trouble," he warned. "Let the power users and developers continue to support and improve the system. Let the evangelists spread the word, and let early-adopter business users lead by example. Those who have the mental capacity, the need and the time to understand what Linux has to offer will convert."
'I Would Love to See a Giant Billboard'

Of course, once converted, "there is no going back to the expensive, unreliable, closed-in reality of the MicroAppleSoft Matrix," tjonnyc999 added. "It will take time, but eventually Linux will crush the Windows/Apple duopoly just as surely as a glacier will move a mountain."

One thing that would help hasten the process, in fact, would be for major industry players to start integrating Linux into their marketing, he pointed out.

"I would love to see a giant billboard in Times Square, advertising the latest (US)$600 cell phone, with a little slogan in the corner along the lines of, 'Imagined by Samsung More about Samsung // Powered by Linux'. This would go a long way toward de-stigmatizing Linux in the eyes of the mainstream users."

Indeed, "the melting point for Linux-based operating systems will happen once Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) More about Wal-Mart and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) More about Best Buy start carrying PCs loaded with Ubuntu or Mandriva or Fedora, and not just low-cost subnotebooks or a token offering that they don't promote," Damian Yerrick, a Slashdot blogger based in Fort Wayne, Ind., told LinuxInsider. "Ubuntu on Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) More about Dell N series PCs is a start, but it isn't promoted either, and a lot of people are still afraid of mail order."
'I Think We Will See Slow Growth'

Whether there even is such a thing as 'desktop Linux' is far from clear, Travers noted: "There are many different desktop roles, and Linux is better at some of these than others."

Overall, the problem with the idea that there will be a 'year of Linux on the desktop' is that "it supposes that suddenly Linux will break through and suddenly become a major player -- I don't think this is likely," he opined. "Instead, agreeing with the LXer post, I think we will see slow growth into some areas of desktop use, and then gradual expansion. This will happen slowly over the course of years or decades."

At the same time, there may be a time when we will see a "year of" in a more limited sense, Travers added. "I think that we will eventually see a consortium of computer hardware vendors come together to build a desktop Linux distro for their customers' use. At that point we can consider Linux to have 'broken through' the main barriers, but that time is fairly far off for a number of reasons."
'Linux Is a Support Nightmare'

Others saw it differently.

"The reason it will never be 'the year of the Linux desktop' is actually quite simple: follow the money," Slashdot blogger hairyfeet told LinuxInsider via email. "As my dad always says, you can learn a lot about someone's true motives by following the money. And the simple fact is, all the money being spent on Linux is being spent on server and not desktop support."

Specifically, "Red Hat and Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) More about Novell and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) More about Oracle and all the other major corps that actually spend money to develop Linux drivers don't care about the desktop; all they care about is the server," he explained. "So the vast majority of hardware Joe and Jane consumer are going to find in retail stores doesn't work. This is why Linux is a support nightmare for retailers."

In order for there to be a "year of the Linux desktop," Linux aficionados need to do several things, hairyfeet asserted:

    * "Demand a stable ABI that makes writing drivers for Linux easier than writing drivers for Windows."
    * "Reach out to the hardware manufacturers and offer free labor and expertise."
    * "Make a serious effort to make damned sure that EVERYTHING in Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) More about Staples 'just works'."
    * "Make a serious effort to reach out to all the small Mom & Pop shops like mine to help build a nationwide Linux repair and support network like what Windows and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) More about Apple currently enjoy."

Failing that? "I'm afraid Linux will remain a niche for programmers and others with IT experience," he concluded.
'This Is the Year'

Finally, an upbeat view: "Those who claim it will never be the 'Year of GNU/Linux' should wake up and smell the roses," Pogson asserted. "There is fresh air out there."

This is the year, in fact, "because everything is going right for GNU/Linux," he added. "Netbooks are on fire all over the world at prices from $100 to $500, and children/women/geeks/youth love them because they are small, cute, cheap and they work.

"Business has rejected Vista, and is seriously examining GNU/Linux," he continued, and "thin clients continue to grow and live long."

In short, "this is the year when GNU/Linux cannot be ignored, laughed at or fought -- we are winning," Pogson concluded. "Even M$ is advertising for GNU/Linux by raising their prices and recommending against migrating to Vista. It doesn't get much better than that."

There's tickets? (5, Insightful)

savanik (1090193) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075423)

Since when did you have to buy tickets for Burning Man? I thought it was a counter-culture, anti-corporate, neo-society experiment out in the middle of nowhere that sounded like a really cool idea. Now they're saying that they're trying to 'keep it real' and prevent crass commercialism by... putting a highly restrictive EULA on the tickets they're selling for the event at anywhere from $280 to $450?

For that matter, now they're saying they're building a community/city out in the desert. Since when do you get charged a fee for walking into a city?

I was actually thinking about going to Burning Man this year. It sounds like I already missed the good years.

Re:There's tickets? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075487)

Since at least 1995, 14 years ago.

Complaining about burning man was better last year.

Re:There's tickets? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075561)

Remember when burning man was good?

Burning man was never good.

Re:There's tickets? (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075563)

I was actually thinking about going to Burning Man this year. It sounds like I already missed the good years.

There are other festivals that are similar to Burning Man--out in the middle of nowhere and dedicated to radical free expression--but which are still quite unknown. I'm obviously not going to name any, but if you are the sort who is into that sort of thing, you probably have friends who are also into that sort of thing and who know some cool places to attend. Just ask around, enjoy yourself there, and live in the moment without thinking all the time about how you missed Burning Man at its prime.

Well hell, I'll name one (3, Informative)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075879)

I'm obviously not going to name any

Why not? Don't want to "ruin" a good thing? Bah, says I! I'll name one, then. kaZantip [wikipedia.org] is a somewhat hedonistic music festival held on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine. It's becoming a lot more commercial now (aren't they all?) but it's still a lot of fun if you're into the scene.

Also, it's filled with beautiful Ukrainian & Russian women that really enjoy their sunbathing.
Check out the photo gallery for more [kazantip.com] .

Re:Well hell, I'll name one (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075951)

Festivals dedicated to radical free expression (like Burning Man) are very different from music festivals.

Re:Well hell, I'll name one (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076449)

When I vomit, I call it free radical expression.

Re:Well hell, I'll name one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076551)

That photo gallery sucks ass. It makes you a retarded flash player that only shows the top part of any picture. All the hot naked women are cut off at the neck.

I went to Burning Man a year ago.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075569)

...and I really didn't enjoy ia at all & I fall into the target group (male 20-30). There seems a belief too that anyone who doesn't enjoy it is either thick, against violence or especially 'doesn't get the message behind it'. Well, none of those apply to me. In this flawed film, I understand that it was any of: a)a group of young men rebelling against a Borgeousie consumerism society. b)one man seeing how he is totally dissatisfied with life and how his mind tries to change things or c)people stopping to watch Cornelius fight himself because voyeurism is human nature the film makes a deliberate attempt to make the viewer feel guilty for being a voyeur. (I'll come to that later)

You can take your pick really, whatever way, I still find it crap. Any film (Shawshank Redmeption excepted) which concerns 'one mans' anything, generally creates no emotion in me other than boredom. The whole tagline to the film makes me want to puke: "one 30 year old man's journey of self-discovery." So what? Are we supposed to sympathise with Norton because of this? I'm sorry but I have sympathy in films with people dying, or who's family have been killed. John Hurt triumphing over cancer in Champions, Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, thousands of others. Even Norton himself actually in the brilliant American History X. In the 2nd half, I sympathise with him for the life he has found himself with.

But in this (and I find myself saying the same as I did with the equally awful American Beauty) Just because some blokes fed up & having a midlife crisis we're supposed to feel for him. Oh diddums. The only film where this premise has worked brilliantly is 'It's a Wonderful Life' with James Stewart. He was in crisis (and justifyably too) but never resorted to any of the levels stooped to here. (That might seem a weak point, but It's just come to me & I can't put my finger on exactly why Wonderful Life is so far superior to Fight Club in tackling a midlife crisis, but they are as far extreme as you can get) I'd also question whether we're all voyers? For every moron that slows down on a motorway to look at an accident on the other side, there's a 100 or so that can't believe the stupidity of it.

There are countless flaws too. The scene prior to the car crash wouldn't have worked? Who was Norton talking to? with the passengers there? Where did he acquire his knowledge of soap from? Would people have watched 1 bloke fighting himself? and much more too. Ok, maybe one or 2 of those have answers but I couldn't find them. I think to really enjoy this film, you have to have clicked or empathised with the main character, and if you did, I feel a bit sorry for you. It would however account for the popularity of such things as marriage guidance councillors, drugs, footballers agents, even to a degree religion (but only when it becomes absolutely fanatical & life revolves around it).

Maybe it's just me & I'm fortunate but so many people seem unable to get through the little problems that life throws up on their own & without help of any kind anymore, like inventing a friend for one thing. I know plenty of people who like this, intelligent some of them, so I've no problem with people who enjoy 'Arty & deep' films with psychological meaning to them. I just don't. But not through failing to understand them, Just merely through not connecting with characters who suffer problems like a 'mid-life crisis for non deserving reasons'. On top of all of that, it was a very slow film too.

Captcha: analfucking
-=Ethanol-fueled=-

Re:There's tickets? (2, Insightful)

Overunderrated (1518503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075637)

That's faux-socialists for you. Everyone giving gifts to each other works out great, as long as there's a lot of money paid up front to create the temp economy. Real life doesn't operate for free, but get someone high enough and they think they're revolutionary.

Re:There's tickets? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076031)

Everyone giving gifts to each other works out great, as long as there's a lot of money paid up front to create the temp economy.

The Rainbow Gatherings have been going on a lot longer then Burning Man. Always free.

Regional burns like Playa Del Fuego are quite cheap, just enough to lease the land, maybe a little extra to buy firewood and first aid and safety gear.

I have no idea what it costs to lease the land, and buy the necessary material to build and then disassemble Black Rock City, but I suspect the per capita cost is just about what a ticket costs.

Spending money to build the box in which the gift economy experiment takes place, is different than spending money to prime the gift economy.

Real life doesn't operate for free

Not as long as there are landlords around to squeeze rents out of us, no. But in real life, apart from landlords and capitalists, food actually, literally, grows on trees. As does fuel for cooking and heating, and a wonderful building material called "wood". The sun shines for free; the photosynthesis that makes the oxygen you breathe is provided free of charge. Real life is free; it's humans who add a cover charge.

Re:There's tickets? (5, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076249)

Real life is free; it's humans who add a cover charge.

That really depends on what you consider "free". In real life we evolved ways to free up people from the task of hunting/gathering for their own personal needs. Smaller and smaller groups of people were needed to supply food and materials for the entire community, which meant everybody else was free to do something to make their slice of the world better for the community. Thus, the modern world was born, and eventually grew into what it is today.

That things may have gotten out of hand a little bit does not suggest in any way that devolving culture by 10,000 years is going to make life better. In fact, if you ever listen to archaeologists or read books about what things were like back then, it really sucked. Life was hard, most people died early. Convenience was a piece of flint chipped to the shape of a spear, which meant you might actually get that buffalo this time and be able to feed your family for the month.

But in real life, apart from landlords and capitalists, food actually, literally, grows on trees. As does fuel for cooking and heating, and a wonderful building material called "wood". The sun shines for free; the photosynthesis that makes the oxygen you breathe is provided free of charge.

You've got an odd idea of what living in nature is like, have you ever actually tried it? I know people who have, and it's no walk in the park, as you seem to suggest. Why the hell do you think we developed away from it?

The fact is, all of you people who claim life would be better if we all just "got back to nature" are nothing more than a bunch of hypocrites. You could do it now, as you say everything is free, so all you have to do is leave, find some place secluded, and live. But nobody from Burning Man, or any of these other "freedom" parties ever does, because nobody wants to give up the luxuries the modern world provides. It's really nothing more than an excuse to have a raucous party.

Your idealism is faked.

Re:There's tickets? (1)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076339)

I think that, ultimately, is the moral to this story: if you are putting substantially more focus on the apparatus than the thing the apparatus is supposed to do, you probably don't remember exactly why you built it in the first place.

or: catching a mouse is not the same as building a mousetrap factory.

Re:There's tickets? (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075757)

The good YEAR was the first one. I know I sound like an elitist snob, but really I was just lucky enough to be in the right car at the right time and ended up going by mistake.

I went to the second one on purpose, and wanted to leave the minute I saw some asshole selling ten dollar hamburgers off the grill hanging on the back of his microbus. I've not gone back since.

Re:There's tickets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075865)

> wanted to leave the minute I saw some asshole selling ten dollar hamburgers off the grill hanging on the back of his microbus.

There is no money allowed in BRC. So ummm... you're not an elitist snob... you're just a liar pretending that you're an elitist snob.

Re:There's tickets? (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076175)

Nope, you're just a jackass pretending they know what they're talking about. I have no idea if there's a no-money rule now or was one in the beginning, but there were DEFINITELY people selling food and other things 15 years ago. Try knowing what you're talking about before spouting off.

Re:There's tickets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075843)

You're better off.

Re:There's tickets? (2, Informative)

desmondmonster (863068) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075877)

There are serious logistical challenges to building a city in the desert. Organizers must secure permits, hire portapotty cleaners (who come every day), give out art grants, etc, and these things cost serious money. Burning Man isn't spontaneous and people have realized that for 50,000 people to live civilly with each other, there need to be some rules and a modicum of organization. (The "rules," IIRC, are mostly about adhering to the laws of federal park lands, which the playa is.) I've been twice and old timers always say it's not like it used to be...even people who have been there only three times. But they keep going back, because not-what-it-used-to-be is still better than anything-else-that's-going-on.

Re:There's tickets? (3, Interesting)

Distan (122159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076139)

I'm not going to correct all the errors in your post, but the key error is falling into the "we need permits" trap that the Burning Man organizers have set up for you.

Anybody can camp on BLM land. No permit required. In the early years, we all used the "spontaneous gathering" excuse (the same as rainbow gatherings still use today). If a group has no leader, there is nobody for the government to demand a permit from. If 20,000 people spontaneously all decide to individually camp at the same place at the same time, no permits are required because the gathering is not organizing.

By setting themselves up as the "leaders", Larry Harvey and company were able to exert further control over an event that was originally all about spontaneity and lack of control.

Re:There's tickets? (2, Insightful)

desmondmonster (863068) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076305)

'spontaneously gathering' may work for a few thousand people for a couple years, but the cat's now out of the bag. if you want to throw technicalities at BLM, they can probably find a technicality to toss all the campers off the land. burning man gets away with it every year because it brings money into a depressed area, which requires coordination. if you want to relinquish all responsibility, you're opening yourself up to being controlled by other, outside influences. i think the tradeoff's worth it.

Re:There's tickets? (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076317)

The fact of the matter though is that if there was no organization the event would be classed as a riot, not spontaneous camping. Thanks the the events' namesake, that would be easy for the government to justify. Further, many of the imposed rules are mandates from the Bureau of Land Management, not from Black Rock City LLC.

Re:There's tickets? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076451)

Yea well, 20,000 people spontaneously shitting in the same place without porta-potties presents certain logistical problems but I'm sure you have the answer to that.

Re:There's tickets? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076181)

Despite hating heat, I was considering going a couple years back. Even by then the general opinion had been that it'd become so commercial that going was pretty much pointless other than to just be able to say you were there.

So (1)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075449)

That's all right then ;)

Time to have the funeral (3, Insightful)

Sir_Kurt (92864) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075453)

I have followed Burning Man for many years. I have not attended myself, so maybe I am not qualified to comment, but in the best Slashdot tradition......

I have enjoyed hearing tales of Burning Man from my friends, and I find the images a videos facinating. However it is now clear that the organizers are interested in money, and by attempting to prevent others from capitalizing on the event, are positioning themselves to do the same.

Like the famous funeral held in Haight-Ashbury in 1967 to protest commercialization of the movement, Burning Man should recognize that their creative cycle has come to the point where the appropriate thing to do is bring it all home and walk away.

Burning Man, we knew ye well.

Kurt

Re:Time to have the funeral (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075465)

Or alternatively everyone could just show up like normal but without buying a ticket. How do you stop THAT many people in the middle of a desert?

Re:Time to have the funeral (3, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075665)

Burning Man corp is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Halliburton / Umbrella Corporation. They have a zombie army.

Re:Time to have the funeral (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075781)

"They have a zombie army."

Excellent! BM is now a FPS turned real, pack the shotgun!

Zombie: ...uuuurgh mooooaan... far out man.
*BOOM* head shot!

Despite BM assurances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075467)

the fact remains that on nothing more than BM's whim they can claim ownership of the copyright of someone else's work be it a photograph, video or whatever.

Once they've claimed the best items for themselves, I imagine, they could be used to promote the Burning Man Event itself. If there are any items that cast a poor light on the event they can be claimed and put in the can, never to be seen again.

This boils down to corporate greed and censorship.

Re:Despite BM assurances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075493)

No, it boils down to personal greed and censorship. There is no corporation involved.

Re:Despite BM assurances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075659)

Exactly. Personal greed is more dangerous than corporate greed could ever hope to be.

Another day at the office (1)

Jeppe Utzon (721797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075471)

Flame on!

So fix the terms and conditions (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075473)

In fact, there are but two essential reasons we maintain these increased controls on behalf of our community...

If there are only two cases where you need that control then specify those two cases in the terms and conditions. Don't just include a blanket "we can make you take them down for any reason and then we own them" clause.

Re:So fix the terms and conditions (2, Insightful)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075611)

hear hear. what they suggest makes sense (yes, privacy is important, and so is making sure they pictures are used in a manner consistent with the spirit of the event). But spell that out in the EULA don't use a hatchet job to get it done.

Right (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075535)

I bet this all started when pictures of someone's boobies got online and mom & dad found out.

*Dad at work*

"Hey Jim, check out this boobie parade thing!"
"Whoah niiiice... wait-a... what the hell!! Susieeeeeee NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"

Make it clear in writing. (5, Insightful)

GrantRobertson (973370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075541)

If you have a rule written in a way that allows for broad range of interpretation, yet you claim that you only enforce within a narrow range, then it is incumbent on you to rewrite the rule to only cover that narrow range. Otherwise that rule or law can be selectively enforced or more harshly enforced later.

Never trust a vague or partially enforced rule or law. They are quite often used against the citizenry or "community" later.

Re:Make it clear in writing. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076363)

but we've never indicated any desire to interfere with tagging images with "Burning Man" on sharing sites or talking about it online -- nor indeed, to censor anyone from engaging in criticism or negative commentary about the event on personal, editorial, or third-party sites, as the EFF seems to infer. This is where their argument really falls apart.

Want proof? We've not engaged in trying to censor or remove certain third party sites containing criticisms of Burning Man using our trademarked names (some of these URL's even contain "Burning Man" alongside derogatory phrases, but they're obviously social commentary, and of little concern so long as they remain free of either violations of privacy or commercial content). We've equally never intervened on any of the many (hundreds? thousands?) of Burning Man related debates or criticisms on sites like Tribe.net or Facebook.

Uhhh... can they?
Owning a trademark doesn't give you license to remove image tags, take down criticism, close BurningManSucks.com, etc

Or am I missing something? Who would make such expansive claims unless they thought they could do those things?
/I also fully endorse the Parent post.

Re:Make it clear in writing. (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076621)

On the contrary, society only works based on trust. Rules are only there for when trust breaks down.

The "enforcer" is promising people coming to the event (1) no commercial exploitation and (2) a certain level of privacy (for those who want to express themselves by being nude). To fulfill this promise, he "enforcer" is asking photographers to voluntarily give them over-arching powers over their work. They ask attendees and artists to trust them to protect them from exploitation, and they ask photographers to trust them to only use their power over their work for good. Since the assignment of trust is limited in duration (it lasts only the one year) and the event is repetitive, giving a feedback mechanism and incentive for the enforcer to keep their promises.

Either way, the bottom line is that if you don't trust the Burning Man enforcement team, you don't have to come.

The real reason (5, Informative)

__david__ (45671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075567)

I remember this coming up a number of years ago when they first put this clause in the ticket sale license. It was discussed to death back then and so it's kind of funny to me that it has suddenly come up again. The (possibly apocryphal) reason that my more in-the-know burner campmates told me way back when:

The year before a bunch of guys went around with a video camera and tried to release a "Girls of Burning Man" video in the style of "Girls Gone Wild". This was widely viewed as poor form. So the organizers put the clause in specifically to nip that kind of behavior in the bud. They didn't want people (women in particular) to have to worry about unwittingly becoming part of some cheesy softcore porn video.

Re:The real reason (4, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075705)

It doesn't seem to be working too well

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&safe=off&sa=1&q=Girls+of+Burning+Man&btnG=Search+images [google.com]

Nor would you expect it too quite frankly.

Re:The real reason (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075791)

There are a lot of pictures out there, but they aren't distributed in bulk for money.

Re:The real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076479)

Right, it's OK to give it away but don't sell it!

Ugh (2, Funny)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076385)

Taking a glance at those photos, I would pay more money for the vast majority of them to put their clothing BACK ON.

How I read it (5, Interesting)

AFresh1 (1585149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075623)

What I got from reading TFA was that Burning Man's lawer (who used to be head lawer at the EFF) has found this to be the most reasonable way to accomplish their goals. They looked at many other ways, but the choices they have are limited by the law. They continue to have discussions on how to not take too much away, but their lawers haven't figured it out yet.
More transparency would be nice. This blog post was a good start, although something formal describing what they are attempting and why they chose the option they did would be even better IMO.

Ah privacy ... (4, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075663)

Seems like "Privacy" is the new go-to excuse for people who want to make unreasonable / unusual demands about photographs. We care about our attendees' privacy so much that we want to own pictures of them! Even if we didn't take them, we want to own the pictures of them - for their own protection! It's for your own good, move along now. I'm seeing a vague and ironic similarity with the shopping malls who CCTV your every move but claim personal photography is forbidden to protect their customers' privacy. Sure, we want to own pictures of everyone - but you can trust us! Somewhat unlike the shopping malls, I can believe that this is probably true of the Burning Man organisers - they may very well be trying to protect their attendees and have no ill intent.

They may very well have good intentions. They want to restrict your freedom of expression but only in good ways! As creative people, though, if they want to prevent abuse of imagery from their event maybe they ought to have thought twice before giving themselves easily-abusable powers. Maybe they believe themselves pure enough and hard enough to corrupt from an organisational standpoint that this isn't a risk. They may also have a point in believing that a strength of the event is being somewhat "disconnected" from the usual freedom to take and display photographs. Maybe this is sufficient to justify these restrictions.

At the end of the day though, their attendees are creative people and should, hopefully, be able to just Burning Man by their actions - what their policy is *and* how they choose to enforce it. I don't think they're being entirely reasonable but then I won't be going anyhow ;-)

Re:Ah privacy ... (1)

buzzn (811479) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076039)

A couple years ago at BM I met a pro photographer who was working on a book project. He took a lot of pictures of people and was very conscientious about obtaining model's releases. The BM organization reviewed the project and to this day has not approved it for final publication due in no small part to concerns about some semi nude photographs in the set. That is not about censorship. It's absolutely the case that they do not want other people to profit from sensationalist coverage about the event. You can (and do) speculate that Burning Man, LLC might someday want to cash in and abuse their powers. However, this is antithetical to the core values of the event. It would be as absurd as Disneyland becoming a spring break destination for college students. Please do a search on flickr etc. and then let's discuss how they restrict your photographic freedom of creative expression. They don't.

Re:Ah privacy ... (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076311)

Well, I'm not actually saying that they are planning to cash in / abuse their powers. I'm just noting that they're giving to their organisation powers which could be abused. Which is probably fine at the moment, if they consider themselves pure and uncorruptable for now. However, they're obviously worried about commercialisation. If, for instance, in 10 years time commerical interests have somehow taken control of their organisation and decide to exercise the rights they've been reserving on all the photos taken over that time period then that would be a problem and highly antithetical to the stated intent of this licensing deal.

It's a bit like the principle that you shouldn't vote in oppressive laws: it's not just a question of whether you trust the current administration to use them sensibly, it's also a question of whether less well-meaning successors could abuse them. I do generally think that a prerequisite to true freedom of expression is that it not be at somebody else's sufferance: if somebody is reserving the right to restrict what you say, this element of freedom is not there no matter how generous they are. In essence they're giving you a very very large reserve to live on but it's still them that sets your boundaries.

But the blog post stated privacy as a concern - I really intended to point out that that argument seems like a red herring. The example that you gave of a photographer on the book project is, I would consider, something of a case in point: the photographer was responsible, none of the individuals minded being in it so there is no privacy concern, yet publication is still not approved and cannot be published. I personally don't think it's reasonable for the organisation to do this, however it's their choice. I would, though, rather privacy not get trotted out every time somebody wants to restrict photography for other reasons.

Re:Ah privacy ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076111)

I have been going to burningman a long time. While I disagree with the heavy-handed rule, but you also have to understand the community and how it developed. Back in the day where the BLM and the state did not force their regulations on Burningman (which is why the tickets, etc are now required), cameras were basically banned. You did not take pictures of other people or their stuff without their permission, and even that was rare. If you did it would be the equivalent of going into a biker bar and spitting on someone, i.e. it likely would not be pretty. Now that the event is fairly well known, about half of the population are first timers every year. Cameras are still not allowed without registration, and then you're still supposed to ask permission to take pictures of individuals. With nearly 50,000 people, this is obviously unenforceable and the population doesn't care as much as when it was a tighter community and it was enforceable.

The Burningman Organization is owned by 5 people who are credited with making the event what it is (some arguments about certain people who think they should control a piece). One of their key rules is no commerce. That means no advertising, no money, no selling. When you're at the event, everything is free and no one is trying to pitch their business to you. That really changes the way people interact. Think of how you'd react to someone at your door if you know they weren't trying to pitch their religion or a home security device, but probably giving you a free pizza or icecream on a hot day.

The burningman organizations role in enforcing this is two-fold. Protecting people who do not want pictures of them naked running through the desert publicly posted, and to keep people from using photographs of other people or their work used to make money. I don't like the wording they use, and I don't trust them 100% but I understand why the rule is in place and I trust them enough that I'd rather have it there than completely eliminated, but I'm also one of those people in favor of the "no cameras at Burningman in the first place" rule. So that is why the community has support for a crappy clause.

Re:Ah privacy ... (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076565)

Nice to hear the opinion of someone who has actually been to the event. I haven't but I took the blog post at face value and dont see anyone posting anything that contradicts what they say. Given that the laws they have to operate under are not of their choosing I cant understand the fuss that people are making.

privacy? (2, Interesting)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075767)

If privacy is so important why parade around nude or in outlandish costumes then? Every social phenomenon seems to morph from spontaneous fun to organized event to incorporated enterprise. Didn't BM start out as just one guy burning a large scale wooden stick figure that he built himself along the beach in California? Now look at it. Note to social engineers: You can't organize and control anarchy or direct spontaneity.

Re:privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29075809)

Humanity is filled with people who have an intrinsic need to control other people. Any event, any group, any organization of people attracts them, because they are not happy unless other people are being controlled "for their own good".

Even an event where that is contrary to the whole idea and spirit of it, those people still exist, and still want to control.

get a clue, slashdot (5, Insightful)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075839)

I know. EULAs are evil. But, this is not your garden-variety EULA. This is an EULA expressly designed so chicks can feel comfortable *running around topless.*

Can we just take a deep breath and stow the nerd-rage on this one?

They can dress it up any way they want (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075905)

The message is still the same, a bunch of people who always claim that all censorship is bad even if its is to protect society claiming that their censorship is alright to protect their society.

If you are against CCTV you can't put CCTV up in front of your house. If you are against speed bumps, you can't petition to have one put in place in your street.

This measure is nothing more then censorship and using extreme draconian laws to do it.

Considering the supposed background of the Burning Man event that is hypocrasy in the most extreme sense.

It does not matter in this discussion wether you agree with the measure. At issue is WHO is implementing the measure. It would be like greenpeace running its ships on whale oil. You might be pro-whale-hunting but would still have to say that such a measure would be completly and utterly wrong.

Allow me to sum up for you... (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075923)

"no no we're the good guys we're doing it to stop the big bad corporation and greedy people. IT"S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD."

Any time someone's position boils down to it's for your own good, they're a liar. It may be for some reason they consider noble and altruistic but what is in your best interest is exercising your free will and when people restrict free will in another it is in their best interest not yours.

Burning Man may be a wonderful thing I've never gone but don't for a second believe anyone is helping you out by restricting what you can do. I don't even necessarily thing they shouldn't try to restrict you but I'm offended by the rationale corporations, religions, third world dictators, and now naked, desert hippies use when rationalizing why they're doing some form of mild evil or evil light if you will.

As a disclaimer, I work for a mega-corp, belong to a religion and hope to someday be a third world dictator surrounded by naked, desert-hippy chicks so it's not like I'm against these types of folks on principle, just for the love of all that is good quit telling me you're limiting me for my own good.

Why the policy strips "your" rights... (1)

buzzn (811479) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075967)

The entire purpose of BurningMan, LLC is to get people to not go. This is why the event is held in mid summer in the center of an inhospitable and very dusty desert hundreds of miles from civilization, with a steep entry fee, and the rules and regulations are totally outrageous. Despite all this, a few thousand people still show up. I hear that this year they will institute mandatory strip searches at the gate, and next year drug testing.

Because (1)

Usually Unlucky (1598523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29075987)

These rules are probably in place because after people come down from their drug trips they are horrified to see naked pictures of themselves on the internet. I am sure the naked woman dancing at burning man on its wikipedia.org page probably isn't thrilled to have that honour.

As a long time burning man attendee and eff member (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076153)

I believe people ar missing a valuable opportunity to address the matter of legal protection for photography. I do know there are some extensive protections in place for the photographer but I am unaware of comprehensive coverage for the subject or creator of a subject matter that is photographed. It would be ridiculous to have to place NDAs or EULAs on our persons or art works but while art galleries do have some additional legal protections in place, public events may not.

One last note, burning man is actually a private event which happens to be permitted to occur on public land. I would recommend reading articles and background materials before starting a flame war!

/. Users - AKA The perpetually clue impared (5, Informative)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076163)

Such typical responses...

First of all the photo policy is rarely, if ever used. When it is, it is because some asshole went to the event with primary intent of taking pictures of nude people so they can sell them. That we don't tolerate, period, end of discussion. You don't like it, don't by a ticket.

Ticket prices? Ever wonder it costs to pay for porta-potties for +-50,000 people and have them serviced twice a day? Go here [burningman.com] and read the afterburn reports, they contain a full accounting of what it costs to put this event on. Give you a hint, it is over 1 million dollars just so people can take a shit.

And yes, I attended the even for 5 years running, and I worked for the event, so yes I know of what I speak.

Re:/. Users - AKA The perpetually clue impared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076723)

300 x 48 000 = 14 400 000 6.9 percent of total revenue. That isn't much - wish I could get such high margins.

Just trust us... (2, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076277)

Concise version: Just trust us. We'll only use the power wisely.

Suppose Disney did this. (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076445)

Suppose Disney did this. Which they could. Then they could squelch embarrassing videos like this one of the aftermath of a monorail crash. [youtube.com] You can see guests trying to get the driver out of the wrecked monorail as the clueless Disney employees try to stop someone from photographing the crash.

The problem is that Burning Man wants to censor videos at their absolute discretion. If they had a set of standards on what was acceptable, that would be reasonable, but, as is typical with EULA agreements, they overreached.

They've been at it for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29076463)

Back in '98, I was accosted by the Burning Man photo police for taking a picture of my >own tent. The guy demanded I produce a press pass because he deemed my old medium format film camera to be "professional-looking."

Transfer of Copyright (3, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076667)

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html [copyright.gov]

"(a) A 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."

SCO has been trying to get around this since 2003. The APA contains no such language that the Unix copyrights were ever transfered to SCO from Novell, much to SCO's dismay.

An EULA is not a contract. It is not a conveyance of copyright signed by the ticket holder/owner of the photographs. The BMO cannot own your photographs simply because you bought a ticket. The BMO (not me) is making nice, because I think someone told them they don't have a leg to stand on.

--
BMO

Go to burning man.. (1, Interesting)

leptons (891340) | more than 4 years ago | (#29076755)

...or shut the hell up, because you really have no clue what you are talking about. Most of these posts sound incredibly misinformed. I've been to burning man 10 times since '96 and I'm happy BMO has taken steps to limit the use of the event by unscrupulous people who wish to profit from exploiting people at the event who are trying to experience just a bit more freedom than is welcome outside of burning man. I've seen outrageous and awesome things at BM, and to exploit those things for profit would be to prevent unique and wonderful situations from happening there in the future. People at burning man can and do express themselves in ways not possible outside of burning man, and to record video and sell it as a 'girls gone wild' type product is just plain wrong. It has happened before, and this is what prompted BMO to take action in this way. I can say with full confidence that BMO is only trying to protect itself and the citizens of black rock city from this type of exploitation.
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