[SCA-Dance] Not a Known World Dance Seminar?

Jane & Mark Waks waks at comcast.net
Wed Jun 24 10:04:32 EDT 2009

David Learmonth wrote:
> Now like I say, this was when we were looking at options of running it as
> something else, but assuming that the KW level was to be rejected.  (but
> still trying to use the acronym, since we didn't want to change the website,
> and keeping the spirit of the event).  Here was what was said:
> "yes - the concept of a KW event is owned by Sca Inc and therefore subject
> to intellectual copywrite. You may not use the acronym as it would
> misrepresent the event as a KW event."

Hmm. Sounds to me like an officer blowing smoke. Names are covered by 
trademark, not copyright, and claiming that they can sue over "the 
concept of a KW event" -- well, admittedly I'm not a lawyer, but I'm 
fairly sure that would have been promptly laughed out of court. Even by 
the fishy standards of IP law, that sounds awfully weak. (And I doubt 
that the current Corporate officers would have tried -- they're mostly 
more sensible than that.)

They *could* certainly have made trouble -- an angry bureaucracy can be 
quite a bull in the china shop. But it sounds to me like the claims of 
lawsuits were nothing but bluster from an officer who didn't have a clue 
what they were talking about. The American legal system may be a pain in 
the ass, but it does have rules, and I don't think the above has much to 
do with them.

On the idea of having the A&S office officially delegate the job to us 
in some fashion, which a couple of people suggested, I'm of mixed minds. 
On the one hand, it's a rather nice piece of bureaucratic judo, and it 
does have the potential to work.

OTOH, though, I have to caution folks that it's likely to not be that 
easy. The KWDS has, in practice, been run by community consensus -- 
that's a large part of its spirit. Things have always been pretty 
informal, deliberately. But the SCA, Inc is *intensely* bureaucratic, 
and growing ever moreso. Bureaucracies, by and large, dislike informal 
mechanisms, and delegating to a "community" tends to rankle them.

(Certainly, some bureaucratic brains would explode at the notion of 
deciding which bid wins via a galliard-off.)

So if folks decide to go that route, understand that it's entering 
choppy waters. It *is* possible that, if Giuseppe were to go to bat for 
the idea, and Garraed was at least willing, it might succeed. And if it 
*does* succeed, it might well be the easiest way to get what we want, 
which is basically to let the community run its event without having to 
jump through pointless hoops. But keep in mind that there are plenty of 
people up the chain who could throw a spanner in the works simply by 
demanding, "Who is in *charge* there?", and trying to answer that 
question stands a very good chance of wrecking the spirit of consensus...

				-- Justin
				   Who is mostly kibitzing here, mind --
				     I haven't been seriously involved
				     in KWDS since the Carolingian one,
				     so this shouldn't be taken as more
				     than minor opinion...

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