On-line vs. Printed Newsletters (long)

Pug Bainter pug at pug.net
Tue Feb 11 06:43:41 PST 1997

> Disclaimer #1:  My views, in no way, reflect the views of the Ansteorran
> Kingdom Chronicler, the Kingdom of Ansteorra, the SCA, Inc., or anyone
> else but me.  Please attempt to overlook the fact that I work in the
> Black Star's office.  (Ignore the man behind the curtain!)

Disclaimer #2: My views aren't worth a hill of beans. As well, I am not
speaking as an officer, yet.

> As most of you may know, the Black Star became (to my knowledge) the
> first Kingdom Newsletter to be reproduced online.  Our Kingdom
> Chronicler (who happens to be my mundane landlord, in the interest of
> disclosure) was entirely pleased with himself for this accomplishment. 

As was I. I, as well as others locally, have been very pleased with both
the printed and on-line version.

> As he is very good at his work, we had clean, clear, and concise
> publication:  an online product that everyone could refer to, within or
> without the SCA.

Yes I know. I have since tried to decide what to do with the Ansteorra
web page due to the complaints about the BS being on-line. After talking
in length to Barat and others, I have started to make conclusions that I
will go into in part later.

> Then the complaints started.  One group called to complain that their
> event announcement was online, and that they didn't give permission for
> that.  Another local seneschal called to say that she didn't want her
> address or phone number published on-line.  And so on, and so on.

Actually when I talked to her, it was just her address due to possible
physical violence from an individual, but that's a nit-pick.

> Please understand that, in our current environment here in the Black
> Star, we are either going to publish >every< event announcement or >no<
> event announcements on the Web site.  In addition, we are either going
> to publish >every< regional and local Seneschal and Baron/ess or >no<
> regional and local Seneschals and Baron/ess.  It is entirely too much
> hassle on this office to publish some, but not all.

People need to remember *this* statement when discussing this topic.
Please note that it says all or none. Adding a checkbox to include it
or not won't change this sentiment. The Editor in Chief is producing the
BS on-line for our convience. If it's a hassle to him so that he has to
take time away from his true duties, than he won't do it.

> Here's the questions that I'd like to throw open for discussion by this
> august body.  (Please note:  this is not official, and I'm trying to
> stay as far away from my office as I can within this letter.)

I don't know if I can stay away from my office, since my office is
Electronic Publications. I will voice my *personal* opinion though.

> 1)  Does the standard Release for Publication (in your Black Star) grant
> the permission to the Kingdom Chronicler to reproduce the material in
> any official (Corporate-owned) SCA publication, including a Kingdom
> Newsletter on the Web?  (That's the legal question)  And should it? 
> (That's the everyman's question).

IMO, yes for several reasons. The release states something like:

  By this writing, I/we hereby grant permission to the Black Star to
  publish this work, and to reprint it as the Black Star sees fit.

It does not state that the "publish"ing has to be on paper. As well, the
BS saw fit to reprint it in electronic form. All copyright claims are
still valid.

As well, the copyright statement as of the February BS says:

  Except where otherwise stated, all articles in this publication may be
  reprinted without special permission in newsletter and other
  publications of branches of the SCA, Inc., subject to the following

  1) The text must be printed in it's entire, without additions or changes.
  2) The author's name and original publication credit must be printed
  with the text.
  3) You MUST send a letter to the editor of the originating newsletter
  informing them of what articles you have used and in which publication
  the material has been reprinted.

I think Barat can avoid step 3, but he could do it just in case he is
concerned that he might sue himself.

> 2)  How do we balance the privacy of warranted officers (to include
> autocrats in event announcements) against the need for information?

My own opinion, as well as all of the officers within the Barony of Bryn
Gwlad that voiced an opinion, is that you are an officer, you are a
public figure, it will be published so people can contact you. Even
non-warranted officers felt this way.

> 3)  (Sorry for the legalese.)  Does the Society for Creative
> Anachronism, Inc., operating as a foreign corporation everywhere except
> for the Northern California Non-Profit Corporation Act boundaries, have
> a legal responsibility to disclose the names/addresses/phone numbers of
> its corporation's officers within a particular area (e.g. a state)?

IMO, which isn't worth a hill of beans, not only do we have a legal
responsibility, we have have a social responsibility.

The only exception is those individuals that have proven that they are
presonally in danger. IMO, these individuals truly concerned and can't
afford a second line, a PO box, or the ability to use someone elses
phone and address shouldn't be officers since officers are our points of
contact between the populace and public to the SCA. Those groups that are
borderline and can't get people willing to be public figures should stop
being a group until their population can maintain it. Doesn't mean they
can't play this game we call SCA.

Those people (more than one so far) who bring up the scare tatics of
pagans, cultists, fundamentalists, etc, of showing up to events or
trying to get us shut down, are not serving the SCA in their full
capacity. We have to try to keep from hiding from these groups. We have
to educate (that is our purpose isn't it?) the general public as to what
we do and that we aren't a danger. If we try to keep information from
everyone, they will think we have something to hide, thus proving their
concerns and feeding the fire that keeps them after us. Those true
problems within the SCA that feeds the fire will continue to happen
unfortunately. There are always bad apples to spoil it all for us.

As for an influx of new people, I say great! We can use more people. We
of course have to educate them as to our practices, which is what the
Guiding Hand and other documents written try to do. If they choose not
to read these documents, we will have to educate them in person. (Why
does this education topic keep coming up? Hmmmm.)

> 4)  What information >should< appear on the "official" SCA web site for
> our area (in my case, http://www.ansteorra.org), or in an online
> representation of the Kingdom Newsletter?

Everything that we can.

> Should Great Officers of State reports be there?


> Lesser Officers of State?


> The Kingdom Calendar (in an unofficial capacity)?


And more of course.


Phelim Uhtred Gervas  |  "If you want my views of history,
Barony of Bryn Gwlad  |   there is something you should know.
House Flaming Dog     |   The three men I admire the most are
pug at pug.net           |   Curly, Larry and Moe." --Meatloaf

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