SCA To End Emailing of Credit Cards

The SCA will soon stop asking local event organizers to pay for venue insurance certificates by sending their personal credit card number to the corporate office via email, as it had been doing for the last two decades.

Instead, event organizers will be asked to process those credit card payments on the new membership portal operated by NeonOne, as hinted when the new higher costs for certificates were announced in April.

This change will be well received by Internet security enthusiasts among the membership, who have complained for many years about the practice of sending credit card numbers by email.

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Lawsuit Watch: Parker v. the SCA

A recent mention in social media led me to discover a currently-active lawsuit against the SCA currently being litigated out in An Tir: Parker v. Society for Creative Anachronism Inc.

As I understand it, the case was brought by Ha’kon Thorgeirsson and Alizand Thorgeirsson, a couple with long history in the Society, who became embroiled in a seemingly-endless web of disputes with other local participants, which seem to have included a mix of disagreements about how to run local Society affairs, random interpersonal drama, and the kinds of things that Americans refer to as “culture war” issues — the lead plaintiff’s social media posts include allegations of Democrats rigging the 2020 election, and claims that anti-Covid measures are motivated by a sinister desire for pervasive social control, while some of their antagonists complained about comments that were perceived as racist.

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Are Releases Needed to Re-share Social Media?

Someone asked an interesting question over on the Known World Discord server this evening, and after I wrote up my answer I thought I should also post it here (lightly edited) in case it was of use to anyone else:

Is sharing posts from individuals […] acceptable by SCA social media rules for official accounts, or is a written release required?

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Procedures for Reporting IT Vulnerabilities

The SCA does not have an established procedure for reporting or addressing technology security vulnerabilities.

In correspondence with the Society IT Manager, they suggested sending vulnerability notifications by email, either to them, or to the relevant kingdom officers, or both.

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Update: SCA Disclaims Copyright to Heraldic Officers’ Work

Earlier this year I learned that the SCA has long relied on an unwritten interpretation of copyright law that does not seem to be well supported.

I’ve encouraged Society leadership to reconsider this approach, motivated in part by the fact that this would have implications for my work on the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art, but it’s been difficult to make much headway and now a month has passed since my last email without any reply.

While I am not a lawyer, I am profoundly skeptical that the Society’s interpretation holds any water, and so I have decided to move forwards without giving it any credence, as laid out in the letter below.

[Update:] I’m very happy to report that the Society Seneschal has responded, stating that they are not claiming copyright to the armorial depictions produced by heraldic and scribal officers.

It remains unclear to me on what grounds they claim copyright for some creative works created by volunteers but renounce it for others — however, as a first step in the right direction, I am pleased by this declaration.

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Accessing SCA Member Information

For reasons discussed here previously, I was curious as to how complex it might be to programmatically access member data from the SCA’s new member portal.

It turns out the switch from MembersOnly to NeonOne has made this dramatically easier, and we can access member data in just a few lines of Python without scripting Chrome or hand-crafting any RPC calls.

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From the Archives: Annexation of the Southern Marches

When the Middle Kingdom was created in 1969, the borders between kingdoms do not seem to have been precisely drawn, but it appears that all of the seaboard states continued to be part of the East.

I’m not sure exactly what folks at the time had in mind, but I think it was something like this:

The borders of the East remained this way through 1972, by which time branches had been founded in Florida and Georgia.

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From the Archives: Women as Fighters, Knights, and Sovereigns

For those with an interest in SCA history, it can be intriguing to follow a thread of discussion as Society policy is defined and changed over time. Below is one such example, showing a sequence of entries from the minutes of the Board of Directors discussing women in armored combat over the years 1975–1977.

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Release Form Improvements

When the new Release Forms Handbook was published earlier this year, it included updated versions of the release forms themselves.

Although I had a chance to provide feedback on the contents of the handbook, the new forms unfortunately weren’t shared with me prior to publication, so I wasn’t able to proofread them or provide suggestions for their appearance.

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Complaints as a Service

Thank you to Thomas Blackmoore, Society IT Manager, for the mention in last month’s report to the Board.

Commendations: Matthew Cavalletto (Mathghamhain Ua Ruadhain) – for invaluable assistance in finding issues that need to be resolved

President’s Report for April Board Meeting

It’s good to know that the ceaseless stream of emails I send to Society officers are productive, even if they may at times be somewhat annoying.