Burning Man is known to many as an event enjoyed by peaceful hippies. However, after a commercial aired by the sandwich business Quizno’s, Burning Man’s legal team is stepping out of their peace zone with the threat of a lawsuit. The commercial, aired shortly after this year’s Burning Man, shows characters from a sci-fi film called “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” being sent to Burning Man as though it were one of the trials. While Burning Man doesn’t mind being made fun of, it refuses to make peace with alleged theft of intellectual property.
Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham claims that Burning Man wishes to protect its followers and indulgences from being video taped or photographed by corporate entities, and the Quizno’s commercial seems to have been taped during the event itself. While the event’s legal team has not yet contacted Quizno’s, they are working out what can be done to deal with the alleged theft of intellectual property.
Intellectual property theft is considered a form of stealing by U.S. law, and generally covers theft of ideas, creations, or other abstract items from the individuals who came up with them. For example, if you took trade secrets from your current workplace to your new workplace and used them there, and were discovered doing so, you could be charged with intellectual property theft.
In this case, theft occurred when Burning Man activities were video taped without permission to do so. For your own reference, other forms of intellectual property theft include counterfeit items and electronic piracy.