The Editor of The Pale – May 2020 Letter

My dear people of the Middle Kingdom; family, friends and those I look forward to meeting someday, too.

What a time we are living in. I know that for most of us (all of us?), we are still processing and trying to figure out just how to function in this ‘new normal’ that the world has presented us. Across the Kingdom we are seeing so many people juggling life right now, and the effect of this pandemic runs the gamut for the populace. It is an uncertain time, as well as an ever-changing one.

What I see most, however, trickling through the stress and frustration, is a community that has risen to this challenge. People are creating virtual watch parties, classes, and other gatherings to help everyone connect. I have seen people reach out for help and have so much assistance offered that my heart fills with joy just knowing the incredible generosity of spirit that we have in this wonderful Kingdom. And, most wonderful of all, is the support and hope given when someone needs it most.

We in the Middle Kingdom are a tribe. We collectively represent five states and two countries.  We are thousands of people strong, with an amazing collective experience.

So, I ask you to look around.

Look at the amazing way this Kingdom has pulled together, weathering changes more strongly, more resolutely and with an uncommon grace and understanding.

Know that the virtual arms of the friends and family–
Of this great culture– are here for you.
Be brave and let yourself feel.
Be courageous and let yourself break.
Know strength, by allowing yourself to show weakness.
Show your weaknesses, and let others be strong for you,
And then, when you are settled, you can be so for them.

We are all here.
We are all scared.
And yet, we are also all so incredibly blessed.
In this strange time that mimics the long-ago history that we have studied for years,
See that they, too, recovered.
The world survived, then.
We will, too.

And, yes, while we have loss, and fear,
We will also find joy and friendship.
We will fight this and grow together.
Our bonds will strengthen.
Our love will persevere,
And we will be together again.

This is you.
This is us.
This is our shared sadness and
Our celebrated joy, even across barriers.
This is our support.
This is our friendship, and
This…. Is our love.

This is your Tribe.

JahanAra
Editor of The Pale

Update on April Events (Cancelled) from Kingdom Seneschal

Dear Members of the Midrealm,

As the Dragon protects its treasure so do We, the Crown and Great Officers of State wish to protect the great Populace of the Midrealm. Thus, with a heavy heart, do We here proclaim the following:

All events (weekend events, business meetings, practices, other official SCA activity, etc.) are hereby cancelled, effective immediately through the end of APRIL. We will evaluate the situation at the end of April to determine the next appropriate steps.

This determination was not made lightly. However, under recent guidance from the CDC that activities with over 50 attendees be postponed and recent closures and actions by state officials We feel this is the best course of action for the safety of the Populace. If you’d like to see the referenced guidance:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

As previously announced pre-registration of events through PayPal will be disable until further notice. It is recommended that local branches stop offering a pre-registration option to avoid potential issues with refunds due to cancelled events or requests due to illness. To help ease the potential impact of these decisions, the Middle Kingdom will be making the following financial policy changes:

For local branches hosting events, the Middle Kingdom will assist local groups who provide site refunds to individuals who request one due to them or a family member being ill. Such requests would have to occur on or before the event. Policy to be re-evaluated in 60 days.

Local groups forced to cancel the use of a venue by government, venue, the Board of Directors of SCA, Inc. or by the Middle Kingdom: If the venue does not offer a full refund of the deposit and the forfeiture of the deposit would result in the group having a balance of less than $500 in their account, the Kingdom will assist to ensure a minimum of $500 remains in the group’s accounts for ordinary operational costs. Policy to be re-evaluated in 30 days.

You may find the most current, official, word at the following sites:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
Ohio: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
Indiana: http://www.state.in.us/isdh/
Illinois: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/
Kentucky: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/pages/covid19.aspx
Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
Iowa: https://idph.iowa.gov/
Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/

Remember, PROTECT YOUR FRIENDS, WASH THY HANDS! The plague was so 1347!

Yours in Service,
Master Cerridwen verch Ioreword
Middle Kingdom Seneschal

Pennsic War 49 – COVID-19 update

G’Day Everyone,

From the Mayor, Pennsic 49.

First of all, I want to reassure you all that the Pennsic 49 Senior Executive Group, the Pennsic Seneschal’s Group, Pennsic 49 Staff and the Management Group of Coopers Lake Camp Ground will continue to consider all precautions to protect Pennsic 49 attendees as much as possible from the current health Issue sweeping our countries, the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic outbreak. 

We are still about 4.3 months away from Pennsic and therefore have plenty of time to access and re-assess the risk to attendees and organisers alike as we get closer to Pennsic 49 start date. 

Pennsic War is a unique event for attendees who come face-to-face with one another every day. The Pennsic 49 executive is focused on delivering a safe, healthy event site by planning to adopt various precautions that are sustainable and safe for Pennsic 49 attendee’s long-term welfare in mind.  

I have already been in discussions with the James Brezel of the Coopers Lake Management group and we are progressing plans should a worst case situation develop. 

The Pennsic 49, Executive Management Group will remain alert to any increased risk and ensure that we take all precautions for the safety, health and wellbeing of all those who attend Pennsic. You will be advised of any future developments as they come to hand. However, it must be noted that at this stage there is no plan to cancel Pennsic 49. 

That being said, some decisions maybe be out of our hands. We have no control over the SCA, State or Federal Government bodies that may enforce closure of these types of events in the interest of public safety. However, we will plan and act accordingly as per that direction or advice from these bodies. 

At this time the SCA is approaching the issue of COVID-19 on a monthly basis and that is the plan for Pennsic 49. We are “NOT” pressing the panic button and Pennsic 49 is “NOT” being cancelled. 

We are now at Stage 1 only. 

Stage 1. Proceed with Planning for Pennsic49 as per usual.

Stage 2. In the event that Aethelmarc War Practice is cancelled, Pennsic 49 Executive Staff still plan to meet and continue the planning for Pennsic 49, however this will be with reduced numbers with essential staff members only, attending the meeting or appearing by Vidcom link to the meeting.

I promise I will keep everyone advised with the facts as they come to hand. If you don’t hear it from me, it has not been said. 

Kind regards
Greg Turkich
(Sir Gregory of Loch Swan)
Mayor
Pennsic 49 

From the Kingdom Seneshal on Covid-19

Dear Children of the Dragon,

In these troubled times we seek to do our best to protect and defend. Sometimes that means making difficult decisions for the health and safety of those that need it most. Thus on behalf of the Crown and the Great Officers of State, hear and know the following:
Gulf Wars has been officially cancelled.

All events (weekend events, business meetings, and practices, etc.) are hereby cancelled, effective immediately through the end of March. We will evaluate the situation at the end of March to determine the next appropriate steps.

Pre-registration of events through PayPal will be disable until further notice. It is recommended that local branches stop offering a pre-registration option to avoid potential issues with refunds due to cancelled events or requests due to illness. To help ease the potential impact of these decisions, the Middle Kingdom will be making the following financial policy changes:

For local branches hosting events, the Middle Kingdom will assist local groups who provide site refunds to individuals who request one due to them or a family member being ill. Such requests would have to occur on or before the event. Policy to be re-evaluated in 60 days.

Local groups forced to cancel the use of a venue by government, venue, the Board of Directors of SCA, Inc. or by the Middle Kingdom: If the venue does not offer a full refund of the deposit and the forfeiture of the deposit would result in the group having a balance of less than $500 in their account, the Kingdom will assist to ensure a minimum of $500 remains in the group’s accounts for ordinary operational costs. Policy to be re-evaluated in 30 days.

You may find the most current, official, word at the following sites:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
Ohio: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
Indiana: http://www.state.in.us/isdh/
Illinois: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/
Kentucky: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/pages/covid19.aspx
Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
Iowa: https://idph.iowa.gov/
Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/

Remember, PROTECT YOUR FRIENDS, WASH THY HANDS! The plague was so 1347!

Yours in Service,
Master Cerridwen verch Ioreword
Middle Kingdom Seneschal

Some website images not loading – 10 Oct 2019 – RESOLVED

Good afternoon everyone!

The Helpdesk team wanted to let everyone know that we are aware that some images on the Service portal, etc. are not loading. We’re currently looking into it and checking with our hosting company. Hopefully this will be resolved soon.

UPDATE: The hosting company has resolved this issue. Thank you everyone for your patience!

UPDATE: (TS 3:17 pm)– This seems to be affecting the Calendar and any of the web services that we have with the hosting company. A ticket has been filed and we will update you as soon as we have more information.

Thank you to all for your patience and assistance in letting us know when things are working,

JahanAra
Midrealm HelpDesk Team

Minitorial: How to grids more effectively

Greetings! I have uploaded a video to my Youtube Channel that is a quick tutorial on how to make effective use of the interactive grids in many pages of the Services Portal.

One complaint I often hear about the portal is that some of the forms are clunky to use. Invariably, they involve the use of an interactive grid and sometimes the information gets “squashed” down and is difficult to read.

By using the Single Row View feature of the interactive grid, you can view the contents of a single row in a format that is easier to use, cycle through the rows in a grid, and even edit (where appropriate).

To use the Single Row View feature, click on the “Hamburger” menu for the row you want to view and select Single Row View. From within there, the left and right arrow keys will allow you to cycle through the other records in the grid quickly. Editing information can be done by clicking on the Edit button at the top of the area. Getting back to seeing all the rows in the grid is simply a matter of clicking the “Report View” button.

I hope this helps you more effectively use the Services Portal. If you have other ideas for tutorials, please drop us a line at issues@midrealm.org and we will work on getting that up on the channel.

Baron Rijckaert vanUtrecht,OP
Kingdom Web Minister

Model/Copyright Policy Update

Below is the content for the updated Model/Copyright Policy. This can also be found in the Middle Kingdom Documents Library under “Guide – Middle Kingdom Clarification on Model Releases and Object Releases

Middle Kingdom Clarification on Model Releases and Object Releases per Communications with Society on 7/20/2019

Model Releases
Per the SCA policy on release forms, as summarized from the FAQs, found at https://www.sca.org/docs/pdf/ReleaseFormsFAQsWEB.pdf, the SCA Model Release Form is needed when: 
• the image is portrait-style (see below) 
• the photograph is taken in a private space at an event (such as a personal encampment) 
• the photograph is taken at a non-public venue (such as an armor-making workshop at a home) 

No model release form is needed when the photograph is taken at a public place and in a public forum (where there is no expectation of privacy), including any SCA contest or competition, merchants’ row, court, class, etc.

A “portrait-style” is defined by its usage. A picture of two individuals posted a website or in a newsletter with a heading “A lull in the day is enjoyed by Baronesses Suephlay and Shirleyknott” does not require a release as it is deemed to be “news” under court interpretation of right to image laws. However, when an image has a caption that only identifies the person and her position/office or otherwise it isn’t “news”) it requires a release. These are images that are likeliest to remain on the website for either a reign or a term of office. (Note: A photograph can have multiple people such Their Majesties, Their Excellencies, etc. and still be a “portrait-style” image.) 

This policy has recently caused some confusion. As such, clarification has been provided by Society on when releases are needed.

When the picture is taken at a public place and is used only to reflect what happened on that day, it is considered “news” and does not need a release since it is not promoting anything.  “NEWS” posts can be on a group website, a newsletter, Facebook, or other Social Media, although Society encourages obtaining a Model Release for “news” when the picture will be in print and not just a website.  See below for treatment of Minors.

Example 1:  A picture is taken at court of an award recipient and posted in the Pale with the heading “Lady Lovely receiving a Purple Fret from Their Majesties.” This is “news” and no release is needed. 

Example 2:  A picture taken by an individual of their spouse shooting archery at an event with text over it that reads “SCA archery is fun! You should try it!” posted to the Middle Kingdom Facebook group.  Since this is captioning the day and posted on a closed social media page, it counts as News and no release is needed. If wanting to put on the local groups website, this is leaning more towards needing a release (see below) so either get a release or re-caption so it looks less like promotional material.

However, all of us, famous or otherwise, have the right to protect our likeness. Our likeness, in the legal sense, means a representation of us used to promote ideas, products, services, or things.  Individuals have the right to determine the use of their likeness when it comes to promoting things, like the SCA. 

So if an image is being used to promote the SCA a Model Release is required, even if it is taken at a public place.  When in doubt, get a Model Release form.  And always get parent/legal guardian permission for use of pictures of Minors, regardless of if it’s “news” or promotional.

A Model Release is needed for each identifiable person when it is being used for promotional/endorsement. As this is modern law and concept of identifiability, just because we can identify someone by their garb or armor, but we can’t see their face, doesn’t mean they are identifiable from a modern perspective.   A Model Release From can be found at https://www.sca.org/docs/pdf/ReleaseModel.pdf

Example 3: Melee fighting (combatants with their armor and helmets on).  No Model Release. 

Example 4: Classroom where you see the back of heads, but the teacher’s face. No Model Release from class, but a Model Release from the teacher. 

Example 5: The Royals giving an award and include all the smiling Barons/Baronesses next to them in the line. A Model Release is needed from all of them. 

Example 6: Going back to Example 2 of the picture taken by an individual of their spouse shooting archery at an event with text over it that reads “SCA archery is fun! You should try it!”  If this is being used at a demo, in demo material, or put on a group page easily accessible by the public (this does not included a closed Social Media page) this is more promotional than news and should have a Model Release.    

Art Object Releases

Regardless of whether the photographs of an individual’s art, e.g. scroll, embroidery, costuming, etc, are being used for art or promotional purposes, credit must be given to the artisan, much like credit is given to the photographer for taking the picture.  This is because the art created is the individual’s copyright and the artisan must be recognized as the owner.

When the photograph of the art object is being used for promotional purposes as stated above, a Copyright Assignment/Grant of Use Form must be completed.  These forms can be found at https://www.sca.org/docs/pdf/ReleaseCreative.pdf.

Fall Letter – Kingdom Job Openings Launches

Marhaba from The Pale Editor in Chief!

Autumn came swiftly upon us this past month, and with the swirling leaves, it seems that time has moved more swiftly and our desired to be warmed by the hearth fire firmly set in. Changes are upon us! The Kingdom has Heirs, and I know we are all excited to have Prince Edmund and Princess Kateryn join the Middle Kingdom Royal Family.

The new Middle Kingdom Jobs Page is up on https://www.midrealm.org/jobs . If your group has a job that need to be listed, pleasecontact me at thepale@midrealm.org. The site will be updated at least once amonth near the 10 th of the month. Most likely I will update it as the jobs come in, though.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you have a lot of Job Listings that need to be included into The Pale, be sure to let the me know as SOON as you can. There is a limit to the number of pages (16) that can be published in The Pale and I will need to adjust the content if we have a lot of postings. If we start to run out of room, I will do my best to accommodate.

The Pale is also always looking for content. We already have had some wonderful columns as of late, if you haven’t seen them, please go back and take a look. Our Social Media Officer, Lady Sarah has published several articles to help everyone adjust to the new world of Social Media and the SCA. We have had a few Chatelaine columns written by Baroness Verena, some articles on how to understand the Transgender culture in the SCA by Baron Sammi, and a lovely Scottish tale about Duntrune Castle by Lord Angus.  I would love to have even more of these things going forward, so please, send me an email if you are interested.

Well, my tea has gone cold and it seems that another month is gone. I have you have a wonderful December, enjoying the Holidays and your time with friends and family,

In Service to the Dream,

JahanAra

Editor in Chief, The Pale