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November 21, 2017, 09:45:42 am
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Author Topic: The hypocrisy of Burning Man  (Read 3827 times)
Ed W
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« on: September 03, 2012, 05:06:45 pm »

The annual Burning Man art, music, and counter-cultural weirdness festival went off over the Labor Day weekend.  Some of the fundies are clutching their pearls in concern as they view the whole thing as a possible assault on their values by a bunch of pagans.  Naturally, anyone who doesn't conform to cultural norms must be some form of extremist bent on the destruction of all that's wholesome and good.

For their part, the Burning Man participants embrace the weirdness schtick, in what could be accurately described as conforming to non-conformity.  That's fine.  It's their right, after all.

But what gets me is this bit from the BM website.  It's unchanged from last year.  You'd think that something so inherently counter-cultural and anti-corporate would encourage participants and the press with far more relaxed rules, yet these are more binding that anything I've ever seen.  You have to register your camera, and any images become the property of the Burning Man organization to use as they see fit.  Normally, if you're on private property any images you take are yours to keep and use.  A property owner can ask you to leave, but he cannot delete your photos or take ownership of them.

Excerpts from their photo policy:


    The easiest way to determine whether you have to register your camera is as follows: All video cameras must be registered. If your digital camera can record even a few seconds of motion imagery, it is considered a video camera.

    If you are taking photos or shooting video only to show your friends and family, you can register your video camera by filling out a Personal Use Agreement at Playa Info in Center Camp. You do not have to register your still photo camera if you are just shooting for friends and family.

... If you have registered your video camera via a Personal Use Agreement, you can not sell it or make any other use of the photos you take without first obtaining permission from the Burning Man Project.

    Before members of the media can make any use of the images recorded at the event, other than for personal use, they must obtain written permission from Burning Man. Such written permission will be limited to the particular project described, and may be subject to restrictions.

   ... If you are considering any commercial use of still photos, video or audio recorded at Burning Man, you must provide a copy of your work to the Burning Man archive within 90 days of the event. If your work requires post-production, you must provide a copy as soon as it is completed.

    You will be required to grant Burning Man a license to use such images, film, video and sounds for Burning Man art shows, the Burning Man newsletter, and at special Burning Man events, including our San Francisco-based Flambé Lounges and for video or film made by or on behalf of Burning Man. In addition, if Burning Man receives requests from print and broadcast media during the year for images and footage, we will direct interested parties to individuals who have contributed to the archive. In cases of such referral, you are free to negotiate usage terms and fees accordingly, provided Burning Man has approved the intended use.

    Burning Man is a private event that is held on public land. All members of the media are asked to register with organizers in advance of the event. Filmmakers or anyone shooting video for use other than to show friends and family are required to register as press, must submit a proposal for their project and must get approval from the Burning Man Project before filming begins.


There are some artists who insist that their images are their property, so in a sense they have just as restrictive a use policy as BM.  The rationale is that by purchasing a ticket to their event, you're giving them full usage rights.  Normally that's not an issue, but suppose you're in the front row for an embarrassing 'wardrobe failure' and you alone get some crisp shots? 

This photo policy is the envy of most corporate pr guys who would trade their first-born for this much control.  It's ironic and hypocritical that a counter-cultural event tries to exercise such an iron-fisted discipline on professional and amateur photographers alike.   
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Ed

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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 05:46:12 pm »

Having attended the predecessor to BM in Santa Fe in 1983 known as the Zazobra Festival, I think BM is a bit out of the counter-culture zone.

It's an extremist orgy of drugs and sex in the desert and there's little social significance or redeeming social values expressed or practiced. The counter culture always stood for progressive understanding of man and his environment.

I think you are confused, ED.
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patric
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 10:24:15 pm »

Normally, if you're on private property any images you take are yours to keep and use.  A property owner can ask you to leave, but he cannot delete your photos or take ownership of them.

That would still be the bottom line, legally.
Under those rules, you would have to register your cell phone, and grant their corporation unlimited use of it's contents.

It seems the whole purpose of registration is to surrender your rights to your own property, so I would be inclined to not do so, and discretely photograph until someone with the authority told me to stop or leave. 
They would be committing a felony if they attempted to seize my work or my equipment, and my filing a criminal robbery by fear/intimidation complaint will mess up their day much more than their kicking me out of the festival would.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 10:32:05 pm »

Seems like the agreement is a pre-condition of you being allowed into the event, and onto the premises, and that you are absolutely free NOT to grant them the rights to your pictures, but then it is their prerogative not to let you play in their sandbox.  Anyone going in agrees to that before hand, so why would they have any (valid) complaint after the fact??

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 10:39:10 pm »


It seems the whole purpose of registration is to surrender your rights to your own property, so I would be inclined to not do so, and discretely photograph until someone with the authority told me to stop or leave. 
They would be committing a felony if they attempted to seize my work or my equipment, and my filing a criminal robbery by fear/intimidation complaint will mess up their day much more than their kicking me out of the festival would.


So...agree to the terms, then since you lied about agreeing to adhere to the conditions they place on your participation, go ahead and cheat (by taking pictures with intent to defraud), and then complain and threaten to use legal action if they should try to enforce the agreement you signed....**

Don't be going all Republican on us!!!


** And they don't need to do a robbery - they could just sue the snot out of you for breaking the contract you agreed to....
 
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 07:33:20 am »

I wonder what The Daily Mail U.K. had to sign to get these snaps?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2196151/Burning-Man-festival-underway-thousands-gather-searing-Nevada-heat.html
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ARGUS
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 10:41:39 am »

"Burning Man was better last year".
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patric
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 10:52:41 am »

So...agree to the terms, then since you lied about agreeing to adhere to the conditions they place on your participation, go ahead and cheat (by taking pictures with intent to defraud), and then complain and threaten to use legal action if they should try to enforce the agreement you signed.

It would be interesting to see how they would lay claim to your photography.  Do they confiscate your camera when you leave and send it back after they have inventoried it's contents?  Do they hold you against your will until you hand your property over?
How do they know what photos I chose to show to my friends?

I believe I would have a better legal footing than they. 
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 11:21:16 am »

From the airiel photos. I have to wonder how in the World could they possibly account for everyone and all the camera phones etc? It looks like a total free for all. 60.000 plus people has it's own unique challenges to begin with. I can only imagine that a lot of it has got to do with some kind of honour system.

Whoever would set up a bicycle repair shop would make a killing.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 04:32:27 pm »

It would be interesting to see how they would lay claim to your photography.  Do they confiscate your camera when you leave and send it back after they have inventoried it's contents?  Do they hold you against your will until you hand your property over?
How do they know what photos I chose to show to my friends?

I believe I would have a better legal footing than they. 

The ** comment addressed that...I would bet that they have some lawyers, and would just tie someone up in knots for some period of time.  Probably don't use any strong arm tactics...I think that would be counter-productive.

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

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What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
Conan71
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 05:02:11 pm »

From the airiel photos. I have to wonder how in the World could they possibly account for everyone and all the camera phones etc? It looks like a total free for all. 60.000 plus people has it's own unique challenges to begin with. I can only imagine that a lot of it has got to do with some kind of honour system.

Whoever would set up a bicycle repair shop would make a killing.

They would have to have a high tolerance for patchouli.
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 09:21:04 am »

They would have to have a high tolerance for patchouli.

Conan. You are alway's making me look up things. Patchouli indeed.  Roll Eyes
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 11:58:08 am »

Or tabouli?
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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
DolfanBob
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 08:04:43 am »

Well it's happening again this week. And strangely enough. I lived with a very unique woman for 10 years and I can very much see her being a person that this type of festival would appeal to.

And after reading the articles and looking at the web site these past couple of years. The concept is kind of starting to peek my interest......Uhmm for research and study of course.  Shocked

http://www.burningman.com/
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 09:18:30 am »

Oh this thing is going to take off now. Zuckerberg went with his Harvard drop out buddy last week and I guess it was quite the experience for all of them at their Billionaire camp. Mr Z and friends just doing it up big. What a Boss!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2413531/The-Facebook-billionaires-guide-Burning-Man-How-Mark-Zuckerburg-pitched-tent-founder-Moskovitz-hugged-spiritual-moment-Winklevosses.html
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