Sorry, to be safe, no photo can go here!
So, it’s late August, and you wanna go to Burning Man; that yearly counterculture blowout and paean to, I dunno, free love and the Woodstock nation? You’re gonna maybe take some pictures, do a video or an audio slideshow that will put you on the map as a sensitive documentarian of contemporary counterculture?
So maybe, in 40 years, they’ll be using your images on the PBS Burning Man anniversary special (directed by Ken Burns, Jr.)?
Think again, my friend.
This event may masquerade as a celebration of “la vie boheme,” but they want to restrict your rights as a photographer just like the big money-making events run by the NFL and rock stars. Only difference is, those latter two don’t pretend to be anything but money making operations…(well, maybe some of the rockbands do, but certainly not the NFL.)
Here are the terms and conditions of attending BM:
“I UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THAT NO USE OF IMAGES, FILM, OR VIDEO OBTAINED AT THE EVENT MAY BE MADE WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM BURNING MAN, OTHER THAN PERSONAL USE. I understand that I have no rights to make any non-personal use of any image, film, or video footage obtained at the event, and that I cannot sell, transfer, or give the footage or completed film or video to any other party, except for personal use, and I agree to inform anyone to whom I give any footage, film, or video that it can only be used for personal use.
I acknowledge that the Burning Man name and logo are the property of the Burning Man organization, and I understand that the Burning Man organization controls all rights regarding the licensing and reproduction of any imagery recorded at the event . I agree that I will not use the mark or logo of Burning Man or likeness of the Man on any website or in any commercial manner.”
I had an 8 paragraph rant about this, to run after a jump. But in an uncommon fit of discretion, it was redacted by the superego department. Needless to say, the id department is up in arms, and I expect some tough times ahead for the ego department, who had to negotiate this settlement…..Oy, these voices in my head! I wish they would all shut up!
As always, to get a cogent perspective (rather than my incoherent rants) on any legal issue regarding photography, visit my friend Carolyn Wright’s site, The Photo Attorney, or buy her book, Photographer’s Legal Guide.