On January 9, 2007, LaughingSquid.com announced that John Law, one of the original three co-founders of Burning Man, has filed suit against his former partners Larry Harvey and Michael Michael over the ownership of the Burning Man name, image, and likeness. (link: click here)
Maid Marian responds:
On behalf of the volunteers, staff, and board of Black Rock City, I wanted to comment on the lawsuit filed by John Law regarding the Burning Man name, image, and likeness.
First, about this suit. The issue is a legal disagreement between people who’ve known each other a long time, and it will get resolved.
Secondly, about the event. We’ve gotten questions from a number of participants asking “Is this the end of the event?” The answer is “No”. We are moving full steam ahead for Burning Man 2007, and we will be back in the Black Rock Desert this August — count on it.
Finally, about the idea raised in the lawsuit of putting the Burning Man name and image in the public domain. While the concept is interesting, the reality is that we’ve been fighting attempts by corporations to exploit the Burning Man name almost since the first day we set foot on the playa. Making Burning Man freely available to individuals who would only use it to make money would go against everything all of us have worked for over the years. We will not let that happen.
We’ve created a desert oasis free of corporate sponsorship and marketing, a place where interactions aren’t intermediated by commerce. More than that, we’ve created a global community of people who share values of radical self-reliance, self expression, and civic responsibility. Burning Man is more than a place or an event, it is an idea. That idea is worth protecting, preserving and defending, and that’s what we’ll continue to do while we work out this disagreement.
Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you at the 2007 event.
Director of Communications
Black Rock City, LLC