FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY: RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The annual Burn in Black Rock City is a private event held on public land. As a participant or member of the media, you must consider your rights and responsibilities. Burning Man is committed to preserving the uniquely creative and noncommercial character of its culture. These rules have been established in order to do so.
Below, you will find:
- Professional Use Rights and Responsibilities
- Personal Use Rights and Responsibilities
- Participant Rights and Responsibilities
- Artist Rights and Responsibilities
- Burning Man Rights and Responsibilities
For all media-related questions contact: press(at)burningman(dot)com.
If you are a professional member of the media (anyone shooting film/video or photography for use other than showing friends and family) you must submit a proposal and obtain written permission from Burning Man before you begin filming. Start the registration process here.
- Our Ticket Terms and Conditions cover our media policies; using your ticket to enter the event stands as acceptance of our media policies.
- Sharing images, video, or recorded audio publicly, regardless of commercial intent, requires registration and a professional use contract.
- Professional use contracts are required to sell images. We do not permit online image sales or the sale or distribution of photos or video via stock agencies.
- Before professional image use contract holders can publish images or sound recorded at the event, they must obtain written permission from Burning Man. Such written permission can only be granted by an authorized member of the Communications Department and may be subject to restrictions.
- All photographers, professional and otherwise, must not interfere with the immediate experience of other participants.
- You must ask permission before photographing or filming any participant. If you are asked to stop filming, you must do so immediately.
- Burning Man forbids the making of private profit from the documentation of nudity at the event without the express written permission of subjects.
- The copyright of a design, written work, artwork or performance is owned by the person or group who created it. You must ask before capturing such artwork and performances and obtain signed model/property license(s) or release(s) from all appropriate parties.
- You must use model releases for all recognizable individuals. We may ask for verification of these releases before granting permission to use an image or footage commercially.
- All filmmakers and members of the media should register with the Communications Department in advance of the event and must check in at Media Mecca upon arriving in Black Rock City.
- The Burning Man name, logo, city design, and Black Rock City-specific imagery are federallytrademarked. None of these items can be used in association with any commercial venture, advertising campaign, or sold or transferred to a third party, without prior written consent from the Burning Man organization.
- You are legally responsible for complying with all domestic and international laws concerning copyright, trademark, intellectual property, and privacy. Click here further information on Burning Man’s approach to intellectual property.
- Archive submissions of your project’s final edit are required within two weeks of approval.
- You will be required to grant Burning Man a license to use such images, film, video and sounds for Burning Man art shows, communications pieces, at special events and for video, or film made by or on behalf of Burning Man.
- You are encouraged to submit your photos to our Image Gallery. When we receive requests from print and broadcast media for images and footage, we direct interested parties to the archive. You are then free to negotiate usage terms and fees, provided Burning Man has approved the intended use.
- Any filmmaker who attends the event and has not registered or received approval for their project is trespassing. Burning Man reserves the right to take any necessary action against trespassers. Trespassers have no rights to any use of images obtained at the event.
- Violating these or any other media policies is grounds for expulsion from the event or from not being allowed to enter the event in future years.
- You have the right to express yourself and create art as a photographer, videographer, and/or audio artist.
- If you are filming or videotaping for personal use, complete an electronic Personal Use Agreement (form available in June). These are not available on site. Only electronic forms are accepted.
- You are responsible for respecting people people you wish to record and seeking permission from them before recording their likeness or voice.
- You may use imagery or audio that you have obtained at the event only for personal use. No mass distribution or commercial use of any imagery or audio may be made without prior written permission from Burning Man’s Communications Department.
- Documentarians – still photo, motion picture, sound recorder, or other – failing to act responsibly will be escorted out of the event.
Participant Rights and Responsibilities
- You must take responsibility for your own image and voice.
- You have the right to know what someone plans to do with your image or voice.
- If you see a camera turned on you, ask why they are shooting. If you don't wish your image to be used as they describe, ask them to stop filming you immediately.
- If a photographer or videographer plans to use your image or images of your artwork for public or commercial purposes, you can allow her or him to do so by signing a model release or license form. Certain circumstances, like news and editorial usages, may not require a signed release.
- Though Burning Man makes every effort to ensure releases are used, we cannot accept responsibility if you knowingly choose to let someone film you without written permission.
- Professional cameras are tagged. Personal use cameras are not. Whether they are professional or not, an individual should notify you of his/her intentions for the footage before they film you.
- If someone is disrespectfully using a camera or recording device of any kind, ask them to stop. If they do not, please take a description (including tag number, if available) and tell a Ranger or report it to Media Mecca.
- You have the right to protect the image of your artwork or performance.
- Photographers and videographers should obtain your signature on a release or license in order to make use of images of your work for commercial purposes. Images used in editorial works may not require a signed release.
- You have the right to ask someone to stop taking images if you do not approve.
- You have the right to be credited for your artwork wherever possible and perhaps to receive a payment.
- You have the right to enforce copyright and trademark ownership of your unique work. To have the greatest legal protection, artists should apply for a copyright. To learn more, see www.loc.gov.
- Photographers and videographers should obtain your signature on a release or license to make any use of images of your work for commercial purposes. Images used in editorial works, such as news or editorial articles, may not require a signed release.
- Any image that contains identifying features of Burning Man, including the Man, lampposts, street signs, Burning Man commissioned and other art, must also receive permission from Burning Man and any affected people and artists.
- Burning Man encourages the media to credit specific artists.
- The names "Burning Man", “Black Rock City”, and the Burning Man symbol are registered trademarks of Black Rock City LLC. All images and likenesses of the Man, the city layout design, lampposts, street signs, and commissioned theme artwork are protected under trademark, copyright and intellectual property laws, and cannot be used for commercial or third-party purposes without written permission from the Burning Man organization.
- We will respond to reasonable, timely media inquiries made in the spirit of good journalism and Black Rock City citizenship.
- Burning Man is responsible for creating an environment for the citizens of Black Rock City that does not tolerate rude or irresponsible use of photographic, video or audio recording equipment. Persons who cannot respect the rights and wishes of others with respect to photographs or recordings of any kind will be asked to leave.
- Burning Man reserves the right to disallow the use of Burning Man-related imagery and recordings of any kind for commercial or unapproved public or editorial use, particularly if we determine that such use(s) may undermine the personal expression and privacy of participants or the integrity of the event.