Turning Away from Burning Man

Duncan Davidson:

I’m a photographer. I don’t feel welcome at Burning Man anymore.

The primary reason I don’t feel welcome is found in the terms and conditions that come with the purchase of a ticket in a contract of adhesion. In short, if you want to show a photograph you’ve made at Burning Man in public, the contract stipulates that you have to get permission not only from people in the photograph, but from Black Rock City LLC. Furthermore, if your camera can capture video—and what camera these days doesn’t—you have to register it and have it tagged. Finally, in a rights grab that’s usually associated with the kind of clueless big companies that burners love to hate, Burning Man also grants itself rights to your photos.