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 

Do you have what it takes?

I have been in the position of Web Minister for close to five years now.  I am insanely proud of the systems that have arisen and the army of people that have come together to make it all possible.  I am also at a point now where I feel confident that another can step into the role of Kingdom Web Minister and not be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of technology that must be managed on top of managing the administrative side of things. 

To that end, I am seeking applications for my eventual replacement.  If you are interested in serving as Kingdom Web Minister, please send me an email at webminister@midrealm.org with your pertinent qualifications.  I would like to make a decision by the end of January and have that person shadow me through Coronation and Crown tournament.

Secondly, I have an opportunity for someone to gain real world IT experience and learn the inner workings of the Kingdom Services portal that has been built on an Oracle Database and Oracle’s Application Express (APEX) tool.  This is an apprenticeship where I will teach a person the basics of database administration, application development with APEX and Oracle’s PL/SQL Programming language, technologies that are used in many corporate environments.  I am hoping to build up the knowledge base of the Kingdom such that not all of the knowledge of how things run under the hood is concentrated in one place, and to allow someone to learn modern data administration in a less stressful environment than business yet has a relevancy beyond the very basics. 

If you are up for this challenge, or have questions about what it will entail, please send me an email at webminsiter@midrealm.org and I would be happy to discuss things with you.
In service, I remain,Baron Rijckaert vanUtrecht, OPKingdom Web Minister

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.

Old server has been restored

As an update to the missive from a week or so ago, the old hardware, which held the Wiki, the Peerage Sites, and a few groups’ websites, has been brought back up. A huge thank you to Master Lancelin for his continued efforts to maintain the server. He has graciously offered to host the old server at his home until we either a) are able to get the server running on a commercial host; or b) we have moved all the remaining services to a new solution.

Sir Seamus McBain will be working to migrate the Wiki to the new hosting this weekend. There may be intermittent outages of the Wiki as we tackle this. The other services will be moved or updated as time permits.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

Site outage update

Just after the 50th Year Celebration, the Dayton area was hit by tornadoes, causing widespread damage to property. One such was the location where our old server resides, which houses things like the Wiki, the Peerage sites, and two groups’ websites. As a consequence, our server is still down as it was not part of the disaster recovery plan at the location. The server team has been trying to get a copy of the server up and running again, if for no other reason than to gain access to the data on the drives. It’s proving a tough nut to crack due to the age of the system software. We are doing everything in our power to restore service as soon as possible and we appreciate everyone’s patience.

As further updates happen, I will update this note.

In service to the Kingdom, I remain,

Baron Rijckaert vanUtrecht,OP
Kingdom Web Minister

Constellation Web Minister

Good afternoon.

Lord Gunnbjorn has served as the Constellation Regional Web Minister for several years and has expressed a desire to step down. If you are interested in taking on this role, please email me at webminister@midrealm.org and send me your applicable experience for the position.

Requirements for the job are as follows:

  • Be the liaison between my office and the local web ministers in Constellation
  • Maintain the roster of web ministers within the Services Portal for Constellation
  • Have excellent communication and troubleshooting skills
  • Assist the Kingdom Web Minister with various projects as needed
  • WordPress experience a plus but not required

If you have questions about the role, please email me and I would be happy to discuss things over with you.

“Missing” Awards

Greetings!

I have been made aware that some awards in the Order of Precedence are “missing” for a few folks. In my investigations, every case thus far has been due to awards being listed under a different name. When the awards were imported from the old system, all we had to match on was name. Awards under different names for the same person (or a misspelling of the name) came in as multiple profiles.

To correct this, it is a simple matter of merging the profile accounts together. This is a task that is fairly straight forward, and the folks at issues@midrealm.org are able to make this happen, but they need some information to do so.

Check your awards to ensure that they are complete. If they are not, please email the following information to issues@midrealm.org and they will help you out.

1) Your name as is appears on your profile in the services portal
2) Your user id
3) The missing award name and the date it was bestowed
4) Alternate names or spellings it might be under

The helpdesk team will attempt to track down the missing award in the other profile and merge it in. The more information you can provide the helpdesk, the quicker the issue can be resolved.

Baron Rijckaert vanUtrecht, OP
Kingdom Web Minister