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Report from the Grand Council: Quarter 3, 2010, respectfully submitted by Baroness Bianca the Inquisitive, Grand Council Secretary

The Council was asked to explore options regarding social networking/media policies, etc.


Other Changes
Annalies Grossmund – Calontir
Gabriele Kalothetos – Lochac
Johannes von Narrenstein

Charles the Grey of Mooneschadowe – Ansteorra
Kane Greymane - Lochac


The following 4 Items are presented as recommendations from the Grand Council to the Board of Directors in response to their request for discussion regarding social networking/media policies.

Item 1: General recommendations
Item 1, General Recommendations:
18: YES
8: yes
2: abstain
2: no
4: NO
Weighted value: 31
Total Yes = 26
Total No = 6
Abstain = 2
Total votes: 34

Individual behavior in Social Media:
The Grand Council believes that poor behavior in Social Media settings is not a problem with Social Media but rather is a behavior problem just as poor behavior in any other setting is a behavior problem. The Grand Council does not believe that a policy specific to Social Media is required or would be beneficial. Rather, the Grand Council believes that poor behavior in any setting should be treated equally. The definition of where the Board will take note of poor behavior and consider sanctions needs to be broadened. Currently most people believe that if the behavior doesn't occur at an SCA event it cannot be the basis for sanctions.

The Grand Council would recommend that the Society policies regarding when and where sanctions may be applied, for bad behavior, be changed to:
"IF the SCA becomes aware of SCA-related behavior in any venue which grossly violates the spirit of courtesy and chivalry expected of all Society participants, aims at marginalizing a participant or participants or that aims at forcing them out of the Society or making their participation difficult, or which can cause harm to Society, then the SCA “MAY” choose to apply any measures it deems fit to address the problem, ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS."

There is a lot of variation in bad behavior and in the choice of measures used to address them.
For example:
·         Duke Angus slandered the Queen of Caid within the hearing of the kingdom seneschal. Banished from realm and peerages revoked.
·         An SCA treasurer failed to follow acceptable business accounting practices in handling SCA funds. Revocation and Denial of Membership.
·         An SCA chirurgeon/certified medical professional sent an annoying hypochondriac a bill for services rendered at an SCA event. Warrant yanked with no possibility of re-warranting and banished.
·         A Pelican did not secure his computer and left the kingdom's online candidate discussion and informal polling on his screen where it was seen by several people who were not members of the Order at a meeting held at his house. Kicked off the kingdom's Pelican mailing list, censored by the order for a year.
·         A person sends a restricted-circulation social networking post maligning several individuals and outlining plans to drive those individuals out of the Society (unverified as to actual contents of post). Banished and exiled for the reign.

Branch use of Social Media:
Because the policies that might affect the Branch use of Social Media are spread across several officer handbooks, the Grand Council formed a subcommittee to look for these policies. It was found that some of these policies could actually prohibit the use of Social Media by branches of the SCA. It is now way too late to attempt to enforce these policies so the Grand Council recommends amending the policies to reflect current use and to update and consolidate them into one location so they are easier to find.

The Grand Council believes that all of the involved Offices need to coordinate one set of policies in one location so that it is possible to determine what is allowed and what isn't and what is required to comply with Society policies. This would include the Web Minister, Media Relations, Chronicler and Seneschal. The current policies are outdated and in many places contradictory. This makes compliance extremely difficult at best and in some cases impossible. Policies of this nature do nothing to encourage the promotion of the Society and its events and in fact make it harder to find volunteers to actually manage sites, email lists, etc.

Further, the Grand Council does not believe that policies specific to Social Media need to be created, but rather that more general policies will serve the Society better and can include future communications mechanisms as well.

To this end the Grand Council recommends that the policies be consolidated and amended as follows:

Official Communications:
Any communication from a warranted officer is considered official so long as they directly relate to the performance of the office and contain a disclaimer stating that the communication is official. This can include a web page, email, social media page, social media post, forum post, Twitter post, etc. It should be noted that these communications need to be made in as many forms as possible and may not be limited to only sites requiring membership to access. All pages, sites, social media sites, email lists, etc. that are used for official communications must have a minimum of two officers with ownership ( e.g. full, admin, owner, etc.) rights or access to the user name and password for the owning account. The two people with managerial access to the site or list should not reside at the same residence.

Official sites, pages, etc.:
Official branch web sites, social media pages, etc. will only be considered to be official if they are sponsored by a branch of the SCA or an Office of a Principality, Kingdom or the Corporation. All such sites must contain a disclaimer stating they are official sites/pages/etc. All official sites, pages, email lists, etc. fall under the auspices of the Web Minister's office. They may be maintained by the Web Minister of the branch or any designated deputy web minister.

The use of websites, social media pages, forum posts and email posts is allowed for the promotion of events held by branches of the Society. (Note, current media policy can be interpreted to disallow any of this unless approved by the media officer.)

Any office or branch looking at creating a site, page, social media page, email list, etc. must examine the privacy policies of the host and in cases where large amounts of personal information are required by the host for access the office/branch must provide an alternate but equal method for participants to receive information contained on the site, page, social media page, etc.

Due to the collaborative nature of newer communications media, such as Social Media sites, the reported new policy for photographs is believed to be totally unworkable.  The Council recommends replacing it with a policy that states that the use of photographs must comply with modern law. If a person in a photograph requests that they not be shown or identified the photograph should be edited to remove the person or the image should be removed, if possible. (Note, with the way Social Media sites work, it is not possible to remove all photos as they may be posted in a non-official location and displayed in posts/messages on other pages/sites.) Model releases are only required for use where they are required by modern law. Frequently they are required for advertising or promotional use but not for images that document events. These requirements vary by State within the United States as well as varying greatly from country to country. It is the responsibility of the Web Minister to be familiar with the requirements in their jurisdiction.

Currently there is a ban on the official use of any service that inserts advertising on pages. This effectively bans the use of all Social Media pages by any branch or office of the Society. The ban on the use of pages that insert advertising needs to be removed as Social Media sites insert advertising on all the pages on the service.

Item 2: Media Policy Specific Recommendations
Item 2: Media Recommendations:
15: YES
11: yes
1: abstain
4: no
3: NO
Weighted value: 31
Total Yes = 26
Total No = 7
Abstain = 1
Total votes: 34

Some additional, specific changes to the media policy are recommended as follows:
Appendix 1 - Society Media Relations Plan 1. Definitions:- Reportable media event. Any event or happenstance in which one or more of the following occurs:
ii. SCA Branch or representative wishes to publicize an event or activity in modern media venues.
Append to:
Appendix 1 - Society Media Relations Plan 1. Definitions: - Reportable media event. Any event or happenstance in which one or more of the following occurs:
ii. SCA Branch or representative wishes to publicize an event or activity in mass communication media venues, including but not limited to, news organizations and web sites, magazines and corporate newsletters not belonging to, or published by the agency of, the Society for Creative Anachronism, Incorporated.

Append to section 1:
- Social Media Publication event. Any form of electronic publication that utilizes social connections or 'opt-in' subscription to distribute news or informational updates regarding an SCA event or activity, including email lists, SMS text distribution, and Facebook or similar social networking web pages.
Append to
3. Media relations at the local branch level.
- Reporting. Local individuals, branches, or other entities should report within 7 days a media interaction to their Kingdom representative and the seneschallate whenever one or more of the following is true.
v. A pattern of negative Social Media Events, including abusive or bullying messages, intentionally misleading information, or publication of information without authority to do so (such as pronouncements regarding an event made by persons not on the event staff)

Local Branches that establish social media information distribution should send an invitation to participate in that page or channel to the Kingdom representative and/or seneschallate so that they may monitor Social Media Publication Events as they see fit.
Append to:
4. Media Relations at the Kingdom level.
the following:
- Kingdoms will monitor Social Media Events, through such participation as necessary. The Media Relations deputy (or Seneschal, if the position of Media Relations deputy is not filled) may assign local group designates to monitor relevant local Social Media Events on their behalf.
append to:
5. Reporting. The Media Relations deputy will report through appropriate supervisory channels as follows:
the following:
- Alarming or intractable patterns of negative Social Media Events.

Item 3: Electronic Newsletter Recommendations
Item 3: Electronic Newsletter
20: YES
12: yes
0: abstain
2: no
0: NO
Weighted value: 50
Total Yes = 32
Total No = 2
Abstain = 0
Total votes: 34

The Grand Council recommends that the Board amend current Society policy to allow Kingdoms to publish newsletters electronically with the following restrictions.
1) A Hard copy option must be offered in some manner to those who do not wish to or cannot receive an electronic version.
2) Any electronic version must be distributed in a manner that respects the privacy of anyone listed in the newsletter (publishing personal contact information for the world to access is not considered acceptable without permission from the person who's information is being published)
3) The privacy of the recipients must be considered in the delivery format.  Further Kingdoms should be allowed to remove subscription fees or reduce subscription fees for electronic newsletters. (Note: This would affect the annual membership costs for sustaining members and might make it more reasonable to remove the subscription from the membership and have the Kingdoms collect the subscription fees from those wishing hard copies. This would remove the corporate handling of stipends for newsletters as well as the corporate liability for newsletter subscriptions, leaving only corporate publications for the corporation to handle.)

Item 4: Officer Newsletter Recommendation:
Item 4: Newsletter Recommendations
25: Yes
7: yes
0: abstain
1: no
1: NO
Weighted value: 54
Total Yes = 32
Total No = 2
Abstain = 0
Total votes: 34

The Grand Council recommends that the Board remove the requirement for Officers to receive a copy of the newsletter at their address and institute a policy requiring that officers have ready access to the information required to perform their duties. (Note: Many offices do not currently use the newsletters for communication of information and some have almost no communication. All offices need to be required to provide regular communication to the officers below Kingdom level.)

A sub committee was formed to extract existing SCA Internet policies and present recommendations.
The temporary sub committee on existing Internet policies recommends that the Grand Council consider that:
I)                   The Seneschal's policies appear to discourage making any "official" pages about groups or events that are not created by an appointed web-minister on designated and approved by Kingdom Web-minister web servers. Using Social media appears to be disallowed by policy.
II)                The media Policy has not been updated since 2005 (before the widespread adoption of Social Media), although the Web-Ministers handbook was updated in 2009
III)              Under the current Media Policy, social media pages about events and/or CA-groups fall under the definition of "Reportable Media Events" and require full coordination with the Kingdom Media Liaison in creation and maintenance.
IV)             Twitter and Twitter pages, SMS, and phone/text distributions are not covered at all in any policies, but might be broadly placed under the context of email systems.
V)                Currently, under the Web-ministers guidelines, a page that exhibits photos requires explicit permission on file from the photographer. It is specifically stated that attendance at an event cannot be considered blanket permission to publish photos of individual attending events. Social Media pages have no specific exclusion. Also linking to photos not on the site but on photo services such as Flikr or Photobucket requires notification that the user is moving to an uncontrolled non-official site. This policy needs to be updated with regard to Social media, photos generated and used in common, and web-host/owner assumed copyright.
VI)             The use of servers or pages that insert ads is forbidden on official web pages.

As it stands, due to these policies, no Social media pages may be considered official information channels at any time. Here are the relevant policies:
Coordinating with the Kingdom Media Liaison; Fostering Public Relations: You should work with the Media Liaison of the Kingdom Seneschal to help maintain positive publicity throughout your Kingdom for the SCA, Inc. Local officers should be provided with the SCA media kit, policies and contact information for your Kingdom's media liaison as well as educated about proper methods of dealing with the media. In addition, local groups should be encouraged to utilize the local media for publicity to develop membership. If a negative article or newsworthy negative event concerning an SCA member arises, contact the Society Media Liaison immediately, both by e-mail (media@sca.org) and by phone, as well as your Kingdom Media Liaison and your Kingdom Seneschal. You should under no circumstances make any statements to the media on behalf of the SCA. You should, instead, refer members of the media to the Society Media Liaison for any statements. The Society Policy for Media Relations is at http://www.sca.org/docs/mediapolicy.pdf.

NOTE: the entire Policy for Media relations is not being posted; the section specific to the Internet is:
The Internet: With the preponderance of Internet photo and video websites (e.g. YouTube, MySpace), more and more people are posting pictures and video of Society-related activities to these sites. While it is not the intention of this office to limit this type of expression, it is an arena where good sense needs to prevail. Think before you post. If the material is your own, fine. If the material is copyrighted, and you do not hold the copyright, don't post it unless you obtain written permission from the copyright holder to do so. (Please note: televised newscasts ARE copyrighted material, the copyright being held by either the station or the network.) This includes placing copyrighted music with your own pictures or video. As it stands now, the person responsible for posting the pictures or video is the one who is responsible for obtaining permission, and is the one legally liable if material is used without permission. At the current time, the Internet is something of the "Wild West," as far as guidelines and regulation are concerned. However, this topic is heating up with Congress and the FCC. Copyright holders have successfully sued websites which used their materials without permission.

Media relations officer:
http://sca.org/officers/media/filmcrewrules.html. Mostly it's about limiting what professional film crews may do including needing to clear filming with the Autocrat, Seneschal etc, and not being obvious to the participants. There is a rule about not "soliciting volunteers from participants". - It mostly boils down to this statement: "Entry to an event held by the SCA, Inc., or any of its branches does not implicitly give permission to film individuals. Compliance with the various local, state and federal laws remains the burden of the photographers and film crews, and they are urged to take all suitable action to ensure compliance."
Appendix 1 - Society Media Relations Plan
1. Definitions:
·          Media Relations activities. Activities involving information gathering and distribution through organized news media, whether the SCA, Inc., is approached by a media representative or the media participation is sought out by our organization via an individual, branch, or other Society representative.
·          Reportable media event. Any event or happenstance in which one or more of the following occurs:
o   SCA Branch or representative wishes to publicize an event or activity in modern media venues.
o   Image to the outside World. The image we wish to portray to the outside world should reflect our goals, purpose for existence and the finer aspects of achievement. To this end, people asked to speak to the media should show the best of:
§   Clean-cut image
§   Professional style
§  Knowledge of the rules, purpose, and policies of the Society For Creative Anachronism.
§  Skill at avoiding unfortunate topics.
§  Skill as a public speaker
§  Use vocabulary that is both meaningful and palatable to the public.
·         Avoid the word "Mundane." Never use it with the media-its(sic -Elias) patronizing and insulting. A better term is "Modern-era."
·         Never discuss the following topics with the media
o   Religion
o   Lewd behavior that can be perceived as a form of sexual harassment.
o   Alcohol making, preparation, studies, distribution, sale, etc.
o   Households.
o   Reporting. The Media Relations deputy will report through appropriate supervisory channels as follows:
§  Incident reports whenever there is an occurrence of an incident involving items in or similar to the list under Reportable Media Event of this Policy.

Seneschals handbook
Additional Policies of the Seneschal's Office
IV. Media Relations and External Publicity
See Appendix D for the complete details of this policy
("Appendix D" looks like an earlier version of the SCA Media Policy, quoted above - Elias)
A.                 The general purpose of this policy is to have a Unified, professional approach to informing the media of our purpose, activities, and when necessary, a position on relevant topics and events. This policy crosses into both the "game" side of the society and into our modern-era operations.
B.                 Each Kingdom will have a designated representative responsible for compliance to this policy. This person may or may not be an existing officer; this is left the the Kingdom to decide and manage.  This person should meet the criteria contained in the section "Image to the Outside World: found in Appendix D of this handbook
C.                  When appointing the official, the Kingdom Seneschal should route the candidate information to the Society Seneschal and Deputy Society Seneschal for Media Relations. In the event a Kingdom has no appointed representative, the responsibility for compliance lies within the office of Kingdom Seneschal

VI Electronic Mail
A.     Following is the SCA policy on Electronic Communications
2.         Formal email correspondence with an SCA officer is acceptable and official only when the officer has offered to communicate electronically by placing his or her email address in SCA publications, by releasing it for individual use, and by initiation of email correspondence for official business.
3.         Formal email correspondence from an SCA officer is appropriate only as a reply to incoming email were electronic communication is clearly invited and welcomed by the recipient.
5.         Official electronic correspondence must be treated like any other piece of official correspondence. Any procedures governing the handling of official correspondence, such as the maintenance of file copies for correspondence with lasting effect, apply equally to official electronic mail.
B.     So what does this mean to you?
3.         No messages posted to bulletin boards or general email lists can be considered official communications. Therefore, these messages do not belong in your permanent files. However, it may be wise to keep copies of some messages if they could help document a problem.
4.         Do not use general email lists or bulletin boards to make official pronouncements from your office.
5.         You may use an email list to post clarifications of policy if it would help to clear up a topic under discussion on the list. If you choose to post to the list, make it very clear whether you are speaking in your capacity as Kingdom seneschal or as yourself, an individual. And remember that even if you are 'speaking for yourself only,' many people will always take what you say as Official Policy!

VII Internet Websites
A.     For an Internet site to be recognized by the SCA, it must represent an established branch of the Society and must have a warranted web-minister responsible for its content. The SCA will not recognize sites for households or guilds. Group officers with a website are responsible for ensuring that the site complies with Society guidelines
Web-Minister's policies

D.     General Guidelines for Recognized Web Sites
5.   Image Publication Standards
All images, photographs and artwork that are used on a branch web site must have permission o publish from the artist, meet acceptable publication guidelines from the artist or publisher or e copyright-free. In the event that the subject of a photograph requests that their image be removed from the web site, the Web-minister should take any measures necessary to remove their image from the web site, either by direct removal or cropping of the image.
9. Statement of Ownership
All websites that are recognized by the SCA are required to display the following disclaimer and copyright statement.
<Disclaimer Text Excluded >
This statement should be displayed on the home page of the site, but may instead be displayed on a separate page, provided that an obvious link to such a disclaimer page is provided on the home page. Recognized websites may never be hosted on a service that requires banner or pop-up advertisements.

G.  Additional Policies
1.   Electronic Mailing Lists
Electronic lists are extremely valuable to disseminate information to a large group of people in a timely manner. We need to be mindful that not everyone has access to this medium, nor does everyone wish to have access to this medium. Additionally, as most of the lists are hosted by list providers such as Yahoo and Google, ownership of the lists often can be in contest. It is recommended to refrain from the use of publicly hosted mailing lists whenever possible. The Governing Documents of the SCA, Inc., cover when communication to and from an officer may be considered official. Moderators of said mailing lists are not considered warranted officers of the SCA at any level, and there are no reporting relationships to any SCA officers. Officers at any level of the SCA may choose to use a private mailing list to assist with communications for their office, but the use of such mailing lists is not regulated by the SCA, Inc.
     If a mailing list is maintained by a Kingdom or the Society (example: lists.sca.org) and the moderator is acting in an official capacity as recognized by the Kingdom or the Society, communications via such lists may be recognized as official if the persons subscribed to the list also are recognized as officers and subscription to the list is required to fulfill the obligations of said office.

2.   CaféPress
CaféPress and other similar vendors allow for the customization of certain household items to be sold and profits rendered to the patron who provided the artwork and inspiration for said customization. While this falls outside the purview of the Society Web-minister, many questions regarding this service have been raised. There is no official SCA policy regarding this service. When considering the use of this service, keep in mind that all branch names and heraldic devices registered with the SCA College of Arms belong to the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., and may not be used without permission.

Nothing to report


Definition of a “minor”
There was a brief discussion concerning the definition of a minor.  This discussion was spurred on by an announcement regarding minors taking classes at Pennsic.

It was noted that the age of legal majority is divorced from the legal drinking age in most places in North America.  Technically a minor is someone who has not yet reached the age of majority but the age of majority actually varies a great deal.  Since the discussion was specifically about Pennsic, it was confined to the age of majority in the USA and Canada.

Most states and several Canadian provinces use 18 as the age of majority; a few states like Nebraska define the age of majority as 19.  Some Canadian provinces also use 19 as the age of majority (e.g. Nova Scotia).  The lowest age of majority in the USA is 14 in the Territory of American Samoa.

Someone younger than the age of majority can become "legally emancipated" through a petition process or hearing before a judge. These legally emancipated minors have gained all the rights of adulthood despite their age. Most states have a minimum age for legal emancipation; for example, the minimum age for legal emancipation of a minor in the State of Connecticut is 16.

Bottom line: don't assume that the age of majority is uniformly 18 everywhere in North America.

There are no such topics at this time.

SCA NameKingdom Rep/at-largeKingdom
Aelfwyn the Needleworker KindomMiddle
Alan CulrossNomComMiddle
AlysounAt LargeTrimaris
Ariel of LindisfarneKingdomDrachenwald
AshaHitoAt LargeAtlantia
Berengaria de Montfort de CarcassonAt largeAn Tir
Bianca the InquisitiveAt LargeMeridies
Caelin on AndredeAt largeAnsteorra
Catalina OroSolNomComLochac
Cathal mac Edan na faeledKingdomMeridies
Charles the Grey of MooneschadoweKingdomAnsteorra
Chiara Francesca Arianna d'OnofrioAt largeAn Tir
Conal Mac NachtanKingdomOutlands
Daniel de BlareKingdomWest
Eilis o'boirneAt largeWest
Elias GedneyAt largeEast
Elizabeth Turner de CarlisleNomComAn Tir
Flanna DunwaltonAt largeWest
Galleron de CressyNomComEast
George Anne of AethelmearcKingdomAethelmearc
Giles LeabrookNomComLochac
Heather SheaKingdomEaldormere
Helena Bryenissa RaoulainaAt largeAn Tir
Hrolf HerjolfssenNomComLochac
Hrothgar the SmithAt LargeCalontir
Ixtilixochitl de los IndiosNomComMiddle
Jason Griffiths of ShadowHyrstNomComCaid
Jehanne le feu du ChristKingdom/NomComAtenveldt
Kane GreymaneKingdomLochac
Kat MacLochlainnAt largeAnsteorra
Kevin EriôlAt largeMeridies
Madog Maelgwn LlewelynNomComMiddle
Meliore Gimigna FioravantiNomComOutlands
Mitchell MacBainKingdomEast
Orla CareyKingdomAtlantia
Raphe CuthbertAt LargeDrachenwald
Rebecca with the GreyhoundNomComGleann Abhann
Saito TakaujiNomComWest
Simone Marruin Ui'DunlainghNomComAnsteorra
Sine GunnsdottirNomComAn Tir
Stephen Godwin fitz BaldricAt LargeTrimaris
Therasia von TuxNomComAnsteorra
Tibor of Rock ValleyNomComEast
T'ressa MargariteNomComNorthshield
Tristan von EisigKingdomNorthshield

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