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Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the headlines-that-would-be-cooler-if-taken-literally dept.
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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Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy

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  • by yttrstein (891553) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:20AM (#29075373) Homepage
    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.
    • by impaledsunset (1337701) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:28AM (#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!

      • by martyros (588782) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @12:55PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Hojima (1228978)

          I personally know people who have gone to the BM and they have no complaints over this. A friend of mine said she like the ability to paint her body and walk around in the nude without her dad seeing her in a Girls Gone Wild video. The burning man really is incredibly lenient about the amount of control they exert, but when you go in to blatantly exploit the population at their expense, you've crossed the line. The burning man is actually not about profit, and the 300$ that everyone whines about is nothing

        • Quick summary is that Burning Man has made a rights grab, and their response is to say, but we're only going to use our powers for good, not evil.

          Very likely true. I believe them.

          Nevertheless, their policy essentially boils down to, "all your base are belong to us."

    • +1 AMAZING for subtle Ren and Stimpy reference.

  • Public Event (Score:4, Insightful)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:21AM (#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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 hu

      • by v1 (525388)

        We need you to write us a blank check signing away your rights in case we need them to protect you (us). We promise not to abuse it.

        Is anyone else tired of hearing this?

    • Re:Public Event (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hizonner (38491) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:59AM (#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.

      • 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.

        • by Miseph (979059)

          I know some burners, and I can honestly say you're full of shit. If I really want to, I could probably go for approximately free (I'd have to chip in for gas and food, but I pay for that normally, so it hardly counts) with the connections I have simply because of the tangentially related activities I do. I don't because, well, it doesn't really strike my fancy. They're absolutely a subculture (or maybe a sub-subculture), just like otakus, gamers, hackers, furries, rennies, martial artists, wannabe martial a

      • by centuren (106470)

        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.

        At the same time, if you go to Burning Man and are photographed doing drugs and running around naked, and these photos make it back to your boss who DOES fire you for whatever behavior, so be it. It's your choice where you go and how you act, and if that violates something in the company guidelines you might have to answer for your decisions.

        As for photos, if Burning Man is in a legal position to set the policies it has, then again, you are entering into that contract. If it is too absolute, then, like all

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      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 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fooslacker (961470) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @10:59AM (#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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:24AM (#29075389) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by skuzzlebutt (177224)

        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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by H310iSe (249662)

      it doesn't suck (going again this year) BUT you're right, there is symbiosis on Sept... 17th? from at least a music pov it should be *at least* as good, possibly better

  • There's tickets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by savanik (1090193) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:30AM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Since at least 1995, 14 years ago.

      Complaining about burning man was better last year.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Remember when burning man was good?

      Burning man was never good.

    • Re:There's tickets? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday August 15, 2009 @09:11AM (#29075563) Homepage

      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.

      • by Civil_Disobedient (261825) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @10:33AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CRCulver (715279)
          Festivals dedicated to radical free expression (like Burning Man) are very different from music festivals.
      • by mcvos (645701)

        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.

        I'm into that sort of thing, but all my friends have become really boring lately. There's lots of festivals I want to go to but don't have anyone to go with. Well, I'm at Hacking At Random [har2009.org] now, and found two friends as well as making a lot of new ones.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      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: (Score:2, Informative)

      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 o
      • Re:There's tickets? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Distan (122159) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @11:29AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

          '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.
        • by Tacvek (948259)

          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.

    • by Joe Tie. (567096)
      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.
  • by Sir_Kurt (92864) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:39AM (#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

    • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:42AM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hal_Porter (817932)

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

        • "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!

        • by istartedi (132515)

          Burning Man corp is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Halliburton / Umbrella Corporation

          Does that mean you no longer have to worry about losing your security clearance if you attend? I was never cleared, but I used to be around a lot of people who either were, or were planning to be. There was initially this idea of "attend BM, certain denial", but later on it became "they will just ask you a lot more questions".

      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        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?

        By asking nicely and giving more than you are asking them to give up. Much like we keep telling the music industry to do. It actually works. It's pretty cool -- you should come some time.

      • I have been there. First there is only one way in or out of the event. Second there is a huge plastic trash fence that runs around the entire event (about 7 or 8 miles I think). Third, the fence is patrolled. Fourth, all vehicles are searched upon entrance for weapons or stowaways.

        It may seem a bit to controlling if you have never been there but actually if there was absolutely no law and order in a city of 40,000 to 60,000 people you would see a lot of horrible crime. Once you are you are pretty muc

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pha7boy (1242512)
      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.
  • by CODiNE (27417)

    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!!!!!"

  • by GrantRobertson (973370) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @09:02AM (#29075541) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      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.

    • by martyros (588782)

      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 photographe

      • Everyone is a "self-interested fuck" and you should NEVER blindly trust ANYONE. The parent you are responding to is right on the mark. Laws are very frequently interpreted in interested ways to get DAs another notch on their belt, and every message board I've been at, the moderators and admins would use gaps in the rules to enforce their own agendas (and of course then all the other moderators and admins would stand up for them). Rules against "insulting people," for example, are always extremely bad law

  • The real reason (Score:5, Informative)

    by __david__ (45671) * on Saturday August 15, 2009 @09:11AM (#29075567) Homepage

    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.

  • How I read it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AFresh1 (1585149) <andrew+slashdot@@@afresh1...com> on Saturday August 15, 2009 @09:26AM (#29075623) Homepage
    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 ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lemming Mark (849014) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @09:39AM (#29075663) Homepage

    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 ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 15, 2009 @11:24AM (#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.

      • 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? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr_Ken (1163339) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @10:04AM (#29075767) Journal
    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.
  • by Aurisor (932566) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @10:23AM (#29075839) Homepage

    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?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mashiki (184564)

      Apparently you've never been to other parts of the world. They can do it in parts of Canada. No one gives a shit, and that's in a "public" space. Personally this reeks of money grab but what do I know I'm already in my 30's, and simply don't care anymore.

    • This isn't a EULA at all. It is standard contract that you agree to in the standard way when you purchase a ticket. There is no reason I can't sign away my copyright to a work if I choose to, or place limitations on how I distribute these works.

      The reasons that people object to these terms (and I don't blame them) have nothing to do with the objections to EULAs.

  • 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 i

  • "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 h
  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 15, 2009 @11:33AM (#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.

  • Just trust us... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @11:50AM (#29076277) Homepage

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

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @12:21PM (#29076445) Homepage

    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.

  • by bmo (77928) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @12:59PM (#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

  • You Are Clueless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:35PM (#29076917) Homepage

    Wow, it amazes me how many comments start or end with "I don't go to Burning Man, but I know how that community should work." No, you don't. You don't have any idea what Burning Man is.

    People keep saying it's a public event in a public space. No, it is not. It is a private event on leased land.

    People keep saying these are their photographs in question. No, for the most part they are not. When you take a picture of a non-public figure on private property without consent where the subject matter is primarily that person, you do not have full exclusive rights to that photograph -- it is not "yours" in the legal or moral sense. When you take a picture where the subject is primarily someone else's work of art, particularly on private property, you do not have full exclusive rights to that photograph -- it is not "yours" in the legal or moral sense. When TIVO misappropriated the Linux kernel, where were all you screaming, "This is TIVO's software!" No, it wasn't.

    People keep saying they've never been, but they think it sucks now and used to be better. WTF?!? What would you say to someone who said, "I've never read Slashdot, but it's just a bunch of teenagers talking about Miley Cyrus, so it sucks."

    Nearly fifty thousand people will haul everything it takes to survive for a week in one of the most barren and hostile environments on the planet in two weeks. You don't know shit about why we do it, and what we have to attempt to make it work. The United States legal and cultural systems are completely fucked and make it incredibly hard for Burning Man to work. Yet we still try, and we get pretty goddamned close to what we are trying to achieve. So until you've been there, until you've been through a four hour dust storm, watched it destroy half your camp, and come out smiling because that dust storm means you are home (and your in-camp DJs didn't drop the beat the whole time) -- you don't know what you are talking about.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by /dev/trash (182850)

      You used to be much cooler man. The MAN has gotten to you!

    • TiVo didn't misappropriate the Linux kernel. If TiVo had misappropriated the Linux kernel, they would have been sued by the FSF.

      I do feel somewhat sympathetic about the problems of putting on Burning Man. But saying it us the US legal system or cultural systems that cause this problem is ridiculous. The problem is that technology is making what people thought was once private behavior more public. And they then are worried about or ashamed of others finding out what they did. This isn't a legal system probl

  • '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...

    It's not that you don't remove images from pages for your stated reasons, it's that you could. I prefer situations where it simply can't happen at all. Too often I've been burned otherwise by promises of, "

  • Good luck with that. You want an event open to everyone and who are also free to do (nearly) anything but you still have an expectation of anonymity and privacy? How are you gonna manage that? This just isn't possible IMHO. Just face it BM has morphed into a commercial event these days just like Lollapalooza and Coachella or the Newport Jazz festival have. (For you students of anarchist political theory please note that this how a state entity evolves into being.)

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