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

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Wed Jun 24 13:12:47 EDT 2009

Good points.  I'm good whatever way it goes.  (we've managed alright so
far).  :)

And nah, I don't think the name is that important.  And I definitely agree
that the impassioned people running it should be the ones pushing and
coordinating and such.


On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 1:03 PM, Mary Railing <mrailing2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I've also been involved with the Known World Costume Symposium.  The reason
> that it stopped happening for a while is that the corporate A&S officer at
> the time took it out of the hands of the people who had been pushing it
> (mostly Mistress Audelinde), which meant that *no one* was encouraging bids
> or otherwise promoting the event.  (There *is* going to be one this October
> in Philadelphia.)  I'm convinced that these sorts of events run best when
> the people who really care about them are in charge. We might have a
> sympathetic Arts officer at the moment, but officers change regularly.  Our
> consensus method of deciding bids has served us well.  I think that a
> bureaucracy, whether from the corporation or a "dance council" devised by
> us, is just fixing something that ain't broke.  If people feel that the
> Known World name is important enough, then I guess we should just go on
> doing what we have been doing-- vetting bids ourselves and letting whoever
> wins go
>  through the official corporate channels afterwards.  I was simply trying
> to ascertain whether we think that being a Known World event *is* important
> enough to folks on this list to be worth the hassle.
> --Urraca
> P.S., If people really want something more quantifiable than "a consensus
> among the usual suspects", then I suggest the method World Con uses--
> attendees at the event vote on the next location.  (Wow, an excuse for bid
> parties...)
> ________________________________
> From: "billqs at aol.com" <billqs at aol.com>
> To: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
> Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:57:52 AM
> Subject: Re: [SCA-Dance] Not a Known World Dance Seminar?
> Actually, I?am a lawyer now (one of the main reasons I had to go inactive
> for several years) and I can tell you that *legally* without a?valid
> trademark they couldn't prevent *anyone* from hosting an event called "Known
> World" anything.? Not from a legal standpoint.? As a matter of fact had they
> taken the time to procure a trademark and then not used the TM or R
> designation consistently?they could also?lose because you?can be considered
> to have abandoned your trademark if you do not actively display that it is a
> trademark and defend infringements on that trademark.
> The caveat is that *legally* they cannot do anything to prevent it.? Within
> the SCA, however, they could pull sanction on the event which would deny the
> group hosting a KWDS coverage under the SCA's liability insurance.? That
> would most likely kill any local branch's willingness to host the event.? I
> imagine the SCA could demand that no constituent branch publish flyers on
> the event in their?newsletters (though as an ex-Chronicler, each local
> branch newletter [canton, shire, barony]?had to carry a disclaimer stating
> it is NOT an official publication of the SCA.)
> While the dance community could host it ourselves "outside of normal SCA
> channels", I cannot stress enough how imprudent it would be to host a
> gathering of several hundred people, from parts all over the world, without
> having adequate liability insurance and some official business
> organizational status to keep liability from falling fully on the head of
> the Event Steward.? (Not to mention the tremendous help that local branches
> have been to the successful running of the KWDS over the years.)
> It irks me to no end to have to ask for permission from SCA Corp and go
> through arduous amounts of paperwork and timetables- all?to host an event we
> created and continue to run ourselves.? And as I said earlier, I don't think
> their argument for restricting the number of "Known World" events has much
> merit as the overlap of Known World Speciality Events is small.
> Perhaps, Guiseppe can help us "through the mire" and offer some
> suggestions.? Guiseppe was involved in KWDS in its infancy and actively
> helped to put the first KWDS together.?
> If nothing else can be found and if we are turned down for hosting KWDS
> perhaps we could get a local group to host an event called "The Grande Ball"
> or something like that.
> Wm Redcape
> the still mostly invisible...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jane & Mark Waks <waks at comcast.net>
> To: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
> Sent: Wed, Jun 24, 2009 9:04 am
> Subject: Re: [SCA-Dance] Not a Known World Dance Seminar?
> 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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