Just found this interesting tit-bit on Burning Man’s Wikipedia page. Does anyone know any more about this case? Or similar ones? If so, please share: this could be a big deal for the global Burner community. I’ve tried to find the Facebook page mentioned, there are a couple of candidates but I can’t be sure. If anyone knows Harlequin who wrote this, please put us in touch, we would like to hear more about this story:
Legality of Burning Man photography restrictions
I can confirm that Burning Man has absolutely no legal right to prohibit your personal photographs, or even professional photographs (as the judge explained to my lawyer and I), from being used in absolutely any way you desire. Be they of drug use or nudity either. I’ve received a “cease and desist” notice emailed to me (i’m Australian) from their company towards my Facebook photography profile and later photography website profile. Responding to these was as easy as “please go screw yourselves” (much to my lawyers later chagrin). Upon receiving a seemingly legal notification through the post, again demanding a cease and desist or legal action would be taken, I talked to my lawyer who initiated “harassment stoppage” officially towards their organisation. Despite this, we receive a few further notices, all which my lawyer replied with his own replies to stop sending me these notifications. WE then initiated legal proceedings towards them, seeking a court ordered stop to their harassment. Hilariously they still thought they had any ground to stand on and kept at it.
After 8 months, they were pretty much straight away found by the judge to have no legal basis for their complaints and had no legal right to tell me what to do with my private property and (now) copyrighted material as the land was still public, even though rented for a festival, and my buying a ticket was in NO WAY A LEGAL CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT TO TERMS OF SERVICE. This is according to both US and Australian law.
Those in my photographs were willingly photographed, nude and all, and had knowingly consented. She stated that being at the festival was no grounds to have ownership over the photographs either, as it was still a public space and photography was allowed. We are currently chasing up their company for court costs, which they’ve now mysteriously stopped replying to emails for.
I’d just like to let everyone here know that if you want to take photographs at Burning Man, either as a private or professional photography, you’re completely within your rights to keep any and all photographs you take and use them in any way you wish. Including for profit or for public dissemination. If someone could include this information in the articles section on photography restrictions, id would be great. – 19 September 2013 (UTC) Harlequin
We wonder if this is the same Australian Harlequin mentioned in Jackedrabbit in February 2013:
THE AUSTRALIANS GO TO BURNING MAN
“After several years of dreaming and planning, hoping and wishing, in 2012 four Australians managed to travel to the other side of the planet to find themselves in Black Rock City.
It was an amazing experience that will never be forgotten. This is what happened – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg7_n8ieHWM (nb: video is slightly NSFW)
With love, from The Australians.
ps we’re happy to report that we all got tickets for 2013, and we will be back with an even bigger group this year. See you on the playa :)”