Burning Man at Open Video Conference in October

Ever wonder what the small print on back of a Burning Man ticket really means to a photographer?  Want to understand why Burning Man has certain “Terms and Conditions” regulating media use?  Curious about how the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) recent criticisms have affected Burning Man’s policy on the use of images?   Want to learn more about this or share your opinion?  Join us for an ongoing public dialogue about digital rights at Burning Man and implications for wider society!

On Fri., Oct. 1, 2010 5:30-6:30 pm EDT, Burning Man IP Legal Counsel Terry Gross and Burning Man adviser Rosalie Barnes will have a panel discussion with EFF’s Corynne McSherry at the Open Video Conference.  The panel meets at the Auditorium of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), located at Seventh Avenue and W. 27th Street in New York City.

You’re invited to participate in-person or virtually!  Details about registering for in-person are here: http://www.openvideoconference.org/.

The session will be streamed live via the Internet on the main conference page via www.openvideoconference.org.  Folks watching online will be able to tweet questions to discussion moderator Katherine Chen using a hashtag.  For more info and online discussion about Burning Man’s digital rights policy, go here: http://blog.burningman.com/digitalrights/.

This is what OVC has on their site:

Summary: EFF v. Burning Man – (Friday, October 1 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM)

Description: Each year, Nevada’s Black Rock desert plays host to the Burning Man festival. Tens of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to celebrate self-reliance, creativity and freedom. Anything goes in Black Rock City–except, apparently, when you’ve got a camera in your hand…

For some time, the organization behind the event has enforced a highly restrictive set of policies around photography in Black Rock. Through its ticket sales and online terms of use, the Burning Man Organization claims ownership over all photos and videos created at the festival.

In late 2009, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Corynne McSherry went on the attack, criticizing these rules in a post at EFF’s Deep Links. This set off an internet battle for the ages. Burning Man argues these restrictions protect attendees’ privacy. People escape to Black Rock to express themselves freely, not have every action documented—-and they need to be protected. But EFF thinks attendees’ freedom of expression, and their copyrights, must be respected. How do you balance both concerns?

In a interesting turn of events, Burning Man, the EFF and Creative Commons have entered into negotiations to transform the largest counter cultural art gathering in the world into a legal platform for human readable language and free culture. Will it work? Will it crash? What will they as a team decide?

Join us for a real world ethics question, and a small-scale version of the free culture debate with insights into the governance of online video platforms, privacy, autonomy, and freedom of expression. Throw in panelists from Burning Man, EFF—and giant burning wicker man—and you have one interesting discussion. http://blog.burningman.com/digitalrights/

Corynne McSherry — Electronic Frontier Foundation
Lightning Clearwater III — Burning Man IP Legal Counsel
Rosalie Barnes — Burning Man
Moderator: Katherine Chen – Assistant Professor of Sociology, CUNY

Join Us! On Playa Digital Rights: Copyright & Privacy- September 3, 2010 -Black Rock City, NV

The Media Mecca team is settling in and reporting direct from the West Wing (our internet office in Center Camp).

August 25, 2010- The West Wing- Black Rock City, NV

As you may already know, we’ve been undergoing a review of the Burning Man Digital Rights Policy this year. We have some changes that we will review at our Playa Digital Rights event (described below) and back in SF. We have until December to finalize this review, as new tickets and terms (2011) will be released at that time.

We want to invite all interested in this conversation to join our Playa Digital Rights: Copyright & Privacy event at Center Camp Cafe, Black Rock City, NV, in 2010. Ask questions, engage with our crew, and contribute to the evolution of our media policies.

Join the Media Mecca team

Friday. September 3, 2010

Center Camp Cafe

Black Rock City, NV

Playa Digital Rights: Copyright & Privacy

The event will be audio recorded.

Questions this presentation will cover:
1. What constitutes personal use?
2. What are our guiding principles when it comes to documentation and when do we enforce and why?
3. Where and when can I report camera violations?
4. How can I contribute to the best practices document?
5. What are some of the issues around playa documentation?

Your Questions and comments are welcome in person and via cameratales@burningman.com

warmly and softly,

the burning nerds.

Winners–2010 Video Acculturation Series

This year, we had four awesome categories and many great submissions. We have selected four award-winning videos—fulfilling us beyond our wildest dreams with entertaining, educational media about playa culture.

Here’s a toast to these wonderful works and to the many more that are circulating out there!

Film Categories & Selected Winners:

+ Acculturation: What did you wish you had known before you got to Black Rock City?

WINNER IS: Gifting by Halcyon

“Gifting” – by Halcyon from Belief Buffet on Vimeo.

+ Ten Principles: Would you illustrate or teach others about one or any of our principles?

WINNER IS: Jewish Motherly Advice at Burningman by Lisa Shroeder and JTA (Radical Self-Expression)

+ History: Got a classic piece of video that illustrates a special piece of art, theme camp, or performance and why it matters to you?

WINNER IS: Burned By Desire (2009 webstream of the Burn) -Experimental

Burned by Desire from ViViDeo on Vimeo.

+ “We Are Everywhere”: Burning Man happens every day, all over the world. How can you explain what Burning Man is beyond the week in the desert?

WINNER IS: Gifted-Burning Man Values Go Global by

Welcome to Digital Rights: Debates in the Dust

[Rosalie Fay Barnes is a consultant for the Burning Man Project, facilitating the review of current media documentation and legal policies. She also consults with Black Rock Solar, helping to develop k-12 educational materials around climate change, environmental law, and disaster responses. Rosalie earned a double Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education focusing on technology and cognitive development, where she worked extensively with Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, a digital rights think tank. To contact her and/or to inquire about blogging for the Digital Rights Series, email cameratales@burningman.com.]

The Media Takes Aim at Larry Harvey, 1998
The Media Takes Aim at Larry Harvey, 1998

As you may have read in the blogosphere, the Burning Man Project has been undergoing a review of legal terms related to media documentation at the event (for media references, see the link list below). And while the goal of this effort is to determine the specific legal language on the ticket and Burning Man’s Terms and Conditions, it’s really about accurately reflecting the culture and community of the Burning Man event.

Should certain on-playa activities (such as the Critical Tits Ride, for instance) be camera-free events? Should photographers be able to make a profit by selling their Burning Man photographs? If so, how much? What framework best facilitates every participant’s right to enjoy “radical self-expression” on playa in this regard? These questions are just the start of the conversation, and it’s certainly true we’ve seen quite a diversity of impassioned opinions being expressed around this highly complex, nuanced issue. (And it’s no wonder: one needn’t extrapolate too far to see how these considerations have resonance in the real world, as the dynamics of digital media are evolving quickly with advancements in technology, cyberlaw, and socio-cultural norms.)

Browsing the Free Photography Zone Gallery
Browsing the Free Photography Zone Gallery, 2006

Over the coming months, we will continue to dialogue with photographers, theme camps, artists, interested participant groups, Creative Commons and the Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF) in order to improve our policies for the present and for the future. We will be talking (if not facilitating public discussions) about this process at the Burning Man event, at the Open Video Conference in New York City (Oct 1-2, 2010), and other locations to be announced.

At the same time, we want to engage in an ongoing public dialog — a Debate in the Dust, if you will — through this blog series, featuring a diversity of representative voices sharing their perspectives on various aspects of this multifaceted issue. It should be noted that the perspectives expressed in these posts don’t necessarily reflect those of the Burning Man Project. Instead, we intend this Digital Rights blog series to be an arena for a thoughtful discussion within our community and beyond. We invite all readers’ commentary, and request that comments be constructive in nature while adhering to our Comment Policy.  Thank you for contributing to the ongoing evolution of the Burning Man project!

Wired Article: Burning Man Rethinks Its Legal Ownership of Your Photos
Burning Blog Post in Response to EFF Critiques, by Andie Grace
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Tell Burning Man To Respect Your Digital Rights
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Snatching Rights on the Playa
Boing Boing Commentary
Burning Blog Post by John Curley

Burning Man Video Acculturation Series Launches!! Submit Your Flicks!!

Burning Man is looking for videos that acculturate or educate the larger world about the 10 Principles of Burning Man and/or that teach Survival Guide basics, Burning Man history, and/or other important aspects of Burning Man culture.

So dust off those cameras and old-school Burning Man footage, or grab your friends and let the tape roll! Just create and send in your short films and video, being careful to adhere to the requirements listed on the Burning Man Video Acculturation Series Webpage. The contest will accept rolling submissions, and the first deadline is August 1, 2010.

Consider yourself invited to participate!

Possible Film Topics Include:

+ Acculturation: What do you wish you had known before you got to BRC?
+ Ten Principles: Illustrate or teach others about one or any of our principles!
+ History: Got a classic piece of video that illustrates a special piece of art, theme camp, or performance and why it matters to you?
+ “We Are Everywhere”: Burning Man happens every day, all over the world. How can you explain what Burning Man is beyond the week in the desert?

Visit the Burning Man Video Acculturation Series Webpage for more INFO and the requirements.