Burning Man's Copyright Grab
from the and-that's-how-it-goes dept
The Burning Man event is supposed to be all about personal freedom and freedom of expression… but apparently the organizers feel a bit differently about it. The EFF notes that the terms of service you agree to in attending Burning Man, includes a neat little legal claim that if anyone does anything that the Burning Man organizers don’t like with your photos or videos, you agree to hand the copyright over to them, so they can force it offline.
I agree that, in the event I post, or allow to be posted, any images (still or video) on a personal website or a website controlled by a third party, that (1) in the event Burning Man notifies me that any such images must be removed, for any reason whatsoever in Burning Man’s sole discretion, I will promptly remove or cause to be removed those images; and (2) I will place, or cause to be placed, on any website in which such images are displayed a notice that the images can be used only for the poster’s personal use and not for any other purpose and that downloading or copying of the images is prohibited. I further agree that, in the event any third party displays or disseminates any of my images in a manner not authorized by this agreement, I assign to Burning Man the copyright so that Burning Man can enforce against the third party any restrictions concerning use of the images, and I appoint Burning Man as my attorney-in-fact to execute any documents necessary to effectuate such assignment.
Free expression! Except if we don’t like it.
EFF also notes that the same agreement attempts to get you to waive your fair use rights (which can’t be taken away that way) on its trademark, even to the point that you’re not allowed to, say, post images labeled “Burning Man 2009.” The reasoning behind this is that Burning Man wants to avoid any sort of “commercialization,” but abusing copyright and trademark law to do so doesn’t seem particularly reasonable.