Quick Update from Canada

One of our readers asked us today on Facebook what was going on with the lawsuit between Decommodification, LLC, a for-profit US company which did not exist before 2010, who are trying to use the term “Burning Man” in Canada for money-making purposes; and Canadian arts collective BurnBC, who are fighting as best they can for usage of the term to remain free in the Public Domain in their country, where they argue it has been for at least 20 years.

Artist Napalm Dragon reports:

image: Napalm Dragon

image: Napalm Dragon

Not much to say right now.
The only thing that’s happened is that the judge is deciding if Burn BC can defend itself.
She’s going to make a decision at some point, (could be days or months).
If Burn BC is not allowed to self represent than Burn BC has 30 days to find a lawyer or it goes to default judgment.
Decommodification LLC has lowered “damages” to a lump sum payment of $2000.
I doubt they’ll ever see a penny.

So yeah. 

Nothing much to say other than Decommodification LLC is coming off like an arrogant bully pushing frivolous litigation through the courts to intimidate me into signing a ridiculous settlement agreement I will never agree to.

Sounds like Decommodification LLC have backed off a bit on their financial demands, but aren’t prepared to let this case go – even though they have finally got around to applying to register their trademark in the jurisdiction. Their application for a trademark has not been granted yet, and could still be opposed.

Napalm Dragon said recently on Ello:

lawsuit docs

Does this look like a reasonable attempt to reach a solution? Or corporate bullying?

What changed. What was the thing that took it out of the hypothetical and made it real.
The court case. www.gofundme.com/f8bo7g
The trademark wasn’t being used to protect “the community” it was being used to suppress it.
In the court documents, Decommodification LLC makes false claims, including that basically it owns all the Burning Man Communities.
A hypothetical possibility was made real by Federal Court Documents.
That’s what changed.

Since Decommodification/BMOrg are only seeking $2000 (down from an earlier claim of $40,000), money is not the objective – and neither is protecting the trademark, since they’ve now filed an application for it like they should’ve done in the beginning. So what is the point of continuing? To me it seems punitive, and somewhat petty. What is this lawsuit actually “protecting”? Who benefits? Who’s paying?

david-vs-goliathIf you want to help the little guy Burners against the corporate machine in this David vs Goliath battle, please support them here: Burning Man is Not A Commodity. Every little bit helps, no donation is too small.

Previous coverage of this story from Burners.Me:

Embattled Burners Ask Community For Support

Canada Draws Battle Lines For Burner Culture

Help Canada

Burnileaks: Bullying The Burners

South Bhak – Burning Man and South Park S18 Connection Again

Back In The Day