Did you know that the Burning Man Organization owns the copyright to all pictures taken on the playa? they do. Did you read the fine print when you bought your ticket?
Why would BMO—the organizer of an “an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance”—undermine speech and creativity like this? BMO claims that the terms in the Burning Man ticket agreement are necessary to protect Black Rock City’s unique culture and the privacy of its participants. Furthermore, BMO points out that the limitations are rarely enforced and they only claim copyright if the photos are used in a way BMO doesn’t authorize. By claiming copyright in all photographs taken at the event, BMO can use the streamlined “notice and takedown” process enshrined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to quickly remove unapproved photos from the Internet.
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