Burning Man Scene Pulled From Freaks and Geeks Vacation Reunion

Re-blogged from Cinema Blend:

Late last year, Vacation co-director John Francis Daley revealed to the world that he would be using his directorial debut to reunite with his former Freaks and Geeks co-stars Martin Starr and Samm Levine, adding that he wanted to use the film as an opportunity “to get the three geeks back together in the same project.” Sadly, it turns out that the trio actually wound up being cut from Vacation, and there’s a pretty lame reason for it: the sequence where the cameos occurred just didn’t work.

SlashFilm attended a special early showing of Vacation at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month, and it was during a post-screening Q&A session that John Francis Daley and his co-director Jonathan Goldstien that the reasoning for the cut Freaks and Geeks moment was explained. According to the filmmakers, the sequence that Daley, Martin Starr, and Sam Levine were in simply wound up not working, and it “wasn’t as funny as they hoped it would be in the final cut of the movie.”

Unfortunately, Daley didn’t offer any specific details about how he worked himself and his Freaks and Geeks co-stars into Vacation – but he did reveal that it was going to be a part of a scene that found Ed HelmsRusty Griswold and his family get stuck at the desert festival known as Burning Man. You can’t actually see any of the actors in any of the marketing materials that Warner Bros. has released for the movie, though there are scenes shown in the trailer set at Burning Man (including a moment with an exploding car):

Justice League Dark

While the Freaks and Geeks reunion didn’t make it into the final cut of Vacation, it was actually shot – and it’s not disappearing forever. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstien apparently confirmed that the special moment will be included with the deleted scenes in when Vacation hits Blu-ray and DVD – which will presumably happen at some point in the fall. In the meantime, comedy fans will be able to catch the continuation of the National Lampoon series when the new movie – co-starring Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Beverly D’Angelo, Skyler Gisondo, Charlie Day, Chris Hemsworth, and Chevy Chase – will be in theaters on July 29th.

And for you Freaks and Geeks fans who find this news unacceptable and need more of the Paul Feig-created show in their lives, the good news is that the home video company Shout Factory has announced that the cancelled-too-soon series is in the process of making its way to Blu-ray. So stay tuned for more details on that front!

[Source: Cinema Blend]

 

Burner Artists Ripped Off by David Guetta and Nicki Minaj

You would think that top DJs could afford to pay for their art installations, instead of stealing them. David Guetta is the #2 highest paid DJ in the world ($30 million in 2014, so as big as Burning Man), and Nicki Minaj is #11 on the Forbes rappers list ($11 million in 2014), the only woman listed.

Maybe BMOrg’s IP policy made it all too hard. Rather than negotiating with all the lawyers, they just went to a set designer and said “make me this”.

Guetta appears with the art piece(s) and flame effects at about 2:20.

The official video for the song is definitely Burning Man themed:

Will they appear on the Playa this year, to perform their new hit?

From thump.vice.com (emphasis ours):

Did David Guetta and Nicki Minaj Steal From Burning Man for Their Billboard Music Awards Performance?

…Structures on stage with Guetta and Minaj nearly identical to those of a Burning Man art installation known as the HYBYCOZO series have prompted accusations the DJ and rapper stole someone else’s work.

“We received several calls in the evening telling on Sunday telling us to turn on the TV to watch the David Guetta performance because our design was popping up all over the stage,” designer Yelena Filipchuck tells THUMP. “It was so egregious that people who weren’t even that familiar with the project sent us messages asking us if we did the stage design!

Filipchuck and her design partner Serge Beaulieu debuted the HYBYCOZO installation at Burning Man after a successful Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2014. The series of steel-wrought, laser-cut, light-emitting geometrical structures went on to become one of the most photographed installations in the festival world after follow-up appearances at Treasure Island festival in San Francisco and Further Future outside of Las Vegas earlier this month.

HYBYCOZO, a contraction of Hyperspace Bypass Construction Zone, features a number of different geometric permutations placed in conjunction, but in particular, the pentagonal dodecahedron (12-sided structure of five-sided panels) is the design that the designers suggest was pinched by Guetta and Minaj.

side by side hybocozo

Side by Side comparison. Image: Vice

“The size looks similar at six feet tall,” says Filipchuck. “The pattern attempts to be a copy, we zoomed in and the composition of the pattern matched exactly [a circle in a pentagon] on a grid of lines coming out of the corners. The shape itself even had the same thicker darker edges, glowing from the inside and matched the distinctive laser-cut repeating patterns that we are known for.”

Strengthening Filipchuck and Beaulieu’s intellectual property theft case is the more circumstantial evidence in the “Hey Mama” video, in which Guetta and Minaj galavant in distinctly Burning Man-themed scenes, replete with dusty post-apocalyptic revelers, art cars, and a stage setup commonly used at Burner spin-off events like Desert Hearts.

…”The part that hurts the most is that we are young artists doing festival art and stage design. Now it feels like anything we do will just be copied by one of these huge corporate teams,” Filipchuck adds. “If they wanted this aesthetic they should have contacted us to discuss the options rather than [create] what a appears to be blatant rip off of our art without our permission.”

Guetta enjoys burner vibes in the video for his and Minaj’s “Hey Mama”

Read the full story at Thump.

Over to you, BMOrg. You say that your IP policy is only there to protect artists and defend our culture: please go and defend our artists and our culture from these thieves.

 

Burn BC Admits Defeat In Battle For Public Domain

Image: Roger Luijten/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Roger Luijten/Flickr (Creative Commons)

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+)

Burn BC is Dead
Burning Man’s Decommodification LLC kills Burn BC
Long 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


Burners.Me:
You can read more of our previous coverage of the matter here:

Canada Draws Battle Lines for Burner Culture

Help Canada

BURNILEAKS: Bullying The Burners

Embattled Burners Ask Community for Support

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…

 

Commodifying Decommodification

A guest post from our reader Pantsless Santa. It’s an eye-opener! The desire of these people to laugh at the very principles they created, and told us we had to live by, seems to know no bounds.

image: RK Richardson/Flickr (Creative Commons)

image: RK Richardson/Flickr (Creative Commons)


 

By Pantsless Santa:
This belongs in the totally effin’ hilarious category more than anything else:
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Decommodification LLC is actually trying to register the word “decommodification” as a trademark itself, and they’re doing it in the most hypocritical and illogical way possible.
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Trademark registrations and applications are all public record. If you search for “Decommodification LLC” on the Patent and Trademark Office’s search system, “TESS,” you can see all of the trademarks that that the LLC owns and has applied for.
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 decommodification1
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There are the usual suspects “Burning Man,” “Decompression,” and “Black Rock City.”
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Flambe Lounge,” which dates back to 2003, is probably some old business idea that never panned out.
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Burning Man Brew” was originally registered by a brewer and later purchased (I suspect) by the LLC, likely because it would have been more expensive to fight over it in court – nothing indicates that the BMOrg intends to get into the speciality beer business.
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Black Rock Gazette” is registered by the BMOrg (Black Rock City LLC). Nothing is currently registered by Larry, Michael, or Marian.
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Finally, the LLC has applied to register “Decommodification.”
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I’ll stop for a minute here to explain a couple of important things about trademarks. Trademarks are very different than copyrights. You can’t simply pick out a word or phrase or logo (a “mark”) and get the rights to it.
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To oversimplify greatly, you can’t register or protect a mark unless it’s associated with a particular good or service (defined broadly), and has actually been used publicly to promote or sell the thing it’s associated with. That last part is called “use in commerce.” People often get tripped up over “use in commerce,” because in normal human language it looks like it means the same thing as “used commercially.” It doesn’t. It’s a legal term of art meaning something like “used to promote or sell any type of good or service for any reason whether or not for profit.” This keeps companies from simply registering all of the words they think that they or their competitors might use and squatting on them. They can only register marks they’re actually using.
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To oversimplify again, you can only protect or register a mark in order to keep people from using your name (or brand or logo) on their products in a way that might fool consumers.
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So, Decommodification LLC applied to register the mark “Decommodification.”
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Thinking back to the above, you might ask yourself: “What the hell good or service could Larry & Co. POSSIBLY plan to use this for?” Well, they put it right in the application: “Commercial administration of the licensing and sublicensing of intellectual property by others.”
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 decommodification2
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Now, before anybody (*cough*) gets started with grand theories about what the LLC might be planning with this, I want to share my opinion that absolutely nothing sinister or underhanded is going on here. “Commercial” is still being used as a term of art as above, and the rest of the sentence simply describes exactly what the LLC does. In other words, the actual purpose of this trademark application is to prevent somebody else from opening up their own Decommodification LLC or Decommodification Inc. or Decommodification Gmbh that does the same thing as this one.
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This trademark has a very narrow reach. Remember, a trademark must be associated with a particular good or service. This wouldn’t stop any of us from calling our toilet-removal businesses “Pantsless Santa’s De-Commodeification” or whatever. So why bother bringing it up in the first place? Like I said above, it’s effin’ hilarious! To spell it out:
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Larry Harvey & Co. are attempting to define the word “Decommodification” as “Commodifying intellectual property.”
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Decommodification LLC filed their application for “Decommodification” on March 26, 2012. The application is still being processed because the LLC has not, even after multiple extensions, been able to provide evidence that they have actually used the word “Decommodification” in “commerce.”
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Honestly, there is no reason for them to actually register “Decommodification.” Who else in the world would ever create an intellectual property licensing company by that name? The only reason anybody might do that is to poke fun at the BMOrg/Decommodification LLC: and a trademark does not protect you against parody.
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You can check the history and status of the trademark application here: http://tinyurl.com/mojkq47
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Pantsless Santa, Esq.
General Counsel
Portland Cacophony Society

Help Canada

David, Goliath and Mom.
BurnBC, the non-profit collective of (some) Canadian Burners who is being sued by BMOrg for $40,000 for daring to have a legally registered trademark in their own country that they’ve been using for 20 years, has asked for our help. They’re trying to raise the modest sum of $2500 to cover the costs of appearing in court to defend themselves against a $30-million a year behemoth which spends more than $100,000 every month on lawyering.

If you want to help spread culture around the world, a donation to BMOrg will lead to more lawsuits, and a donation to BurnBC will help them have their day in Court. Let’s let the law decide, instead of one party with more resources being able to bully a weaker one. According to BMOrg, this is all in the name of charity and making the world a better place – but there are very few non-profits that go around suing other non-profits. It’s kind of against the point of the whole thing – unless the point of the whole thing is a tax-free way for 6 people to earn royalties off the efforts of Burners, rather than the stated aims about Principles, values, and cultural expansion.

Please help their Gofundme if you can, they’re not asking us for much so even a small donation helps.

For some of the history of the case, including how Burning Man’s US trademark was in widespread public use for many years before corporations took it over in this country, see:

Back in the Day

Embattled Burners Ask Community For Support

Canada Draws Battle Lines for Burner Culture