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article imageBurning Man criticized for rules, says protection needed

By Stephanie Dearing     Sep 6, 2009 in Lifestyle
Organizers of the popular Burning Man festival are facing criticism for new rules on photography for the clothing-optional event. Organizers claim the rules will protect participants by preventing nude pictures being posted on porn sites.
The annual private art event that runs for seven days always ends with the burning of an effigy, hence the name for the festival. Each year, thousands of people congregate in Nevada's Black Rock Desert and create a temporary city, which is now about 2 miles long. Activities go day and night. The clothing-optional event has always tried to protect participants from opportunists, and last year Burning Man (BMO) was able to have five sites remove pictures taken at Burning Man. A Burning Man representative said that three of those sites were porn sites. The stance taken by organizers of the festival, which draws about 48,000 people, has been criticized by the U.S. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The EFF works to defend free speech on the internet, to protect individual's privacy and consumer rights. EFF says that Burning Man is censoring the work of individuals by not allowing photographs to be posted.
EFF's position came about after Burning Man organizers announced new rules in August. The rules let the BMO hold the copyright for images that BMO participants might post on social networking sites or third party sites. These rules enable BMO to have sites that fall under the definition remove unapproved images. BMO has responded that it is simply trying to protect participants, who may not want the world to know what they did for their summer holiday. EFF states that the new rules take away the rights of participants to"... own and control their photographs."
There are three doctors on the site to provide medical care.
This year there was an art tour organized for seniors, who were driven in an air-conditioned bus through the Burning Man encampment.
This year's art theme for the festival is "Evolution."
Burning Man maintains a site that contains "official" photographs. Burning Man is also offered virtually in Second Life.
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