The epic fight between Burners in Canada and the corporate conglomerate of Decommodifcation LLC, the Burning Man Project, and Black Rock City LLC (together trading as “Burning Man”) is over. The “800 thousand ton gorilla” won, crushing the opposition who could not even afford a lawyer.
Napalm Dragon (source: Google+)
Burning Man’s Decommodification LLC kills Burn BCLong story short.
I tried repeatedly to settle with them. They changed what we agreed to each time, and never provided my one request.
– A list of marks they own.
After we let it go, they threatens me with a Gag Order.
That I and Burn BC, or anyone who associates with us would…
– Never say anything disparaging.
– Never associate with or speak to Burners.
– Have to get written permission to file any future trademarks.
– Would never talk about this or assist anyone regarding this.
– Give them our websites
– admit they own these marks in Canada.
– turn over rights to my artwork.
I kindly told them to go fuck themselves….
So when I refused to sign away my rights, they killed Burn BC by preventing Burn BC from defending its rights in court.
A couple of months ago the Lawyers for Decommodification LLC (The new American Corporation that now owns the American Burning Man Trademark) blocked Burn BC from defending itself.
They would not allow the directors of Burn BC to submit a defence, suppressing a very lengthy defence I’d put together for the organisation.
(I was hospitalised with a major panic attack from the stress of dealing with this).
The judge gave 30 days for Burn BC to find a lawyer. If Burn BC could have found a lawyer, we have mountains of evidence that could have easily defended Burn BC.
So without a lawyer, the flimsy claims against Burn BC went to default judgement. Without a reasonable defence for Burn BC, the Judge was forced to rule based on weak claims by the plaintiff.
Decommodification LLC didn’t just stop at $10,000 plus $25,000, they also wanted the Burn BC website. There’s NO need for the website.
The Judge ruled $10,000 damages (based on one sided claims, and no defence), and turning over our Burn BC website to Decommodification LLC. I can’t blame the judge, he had limited information, and Burn BC was completely unable to defend itself.
So, it’s the end of an era for me.
Burn BC is dead.
I created Burn BC out of love and respect for my community in British Columbia, but shitty territorial assholes killed it.
Time for me to move onto something else I guess.
I’m glad there’s some resolution, and I’ve at least walked away with my integrity and self respect.
~ Napalm Dragon
Now that Decommodification, LLC has full control over the use of their commercial trademarks in Canada, what will this mean for Burner culture up North? Will it benefit, and flourish? Or will it stagnate, dead in the water with corporate sharks jumping all over it? Expect some panel discussions starring Burning Man’s founders, coming soon…