About SCAtoday.net

SCAtoday.net is a news portal website offering news, information, and discussions free of charge to members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and to others interested in the history of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

This is a totally not-for-profit web site, a true "labor of love" run by an all-volunteer staff and funded out of pocket by its Publisher and Editor. We welcome participation by members of the Medieval Living History community, and we are always looking for news reporters, editors, and correspondents from around the world.

While our title, SCAtoday.net, may suggest that we are exclusively oriented toward the Society for Creative Anachronism, that is not the case. We welcome news stories, event announcements, and other contributions from any Living History group within the loosely-bounded time period of 600 CE to 1650 CE, and from historical organizations that do not necessarily include "living history" (for example, museums, historical art galleries, university history departments, etc.). As with the SCA itself, we tend to blur the early-end time boundary, because events in pre-medieval history (such as the Roman Empire) had a formative effect on the Middle Ages.

SCAtoday.net is an independent publication not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. While most of our staff are members (and even officers) of the SCA or its branches, we do not presume to speak for the SCA or its Board of Directors. We are an independent news source.

Guidelines for Contributors

SCAtoday.net welcomes contributed articles, links, and other content from our readers. This page explains how to contribute items so that they fit into our editorial format and policy, making it more likely that we will be able to publish what you have written.

Prerequisites

To keep spammers from clogging our system with garbage, we required that contributors be logged in with an SCAtoday.net user account. If you do not have an account yet, you can visit http://scatoday.net/user/register to create one. It takes only a few minutes, and you also will be able to customize the appearance of the SCAtoday.net home page.

Requiring contributors to be logged in also allows our editors to obtain your email address from the database, so we can contact you with questions about articles you contribute. (The email addresses are not visible to the public, only our senior staff.) This can make all the difference in the world if we are unsure about copyright permissions, for example.

What Kind of Article?

There are several different types of content you can contribute, depending on how the article will be used on the site. Here is a guide to the most common types, so that you can select the appropriate type for your article:

In general, if you are contributing a news item (that is, something that is temporal in nature), then it should be a story. If you are contributing a link to a web site, rather than a link to an individual article on a web site, then you probably should make a weblink. Events are self-explanatory.

If you are still not sure, even after reading these instructions, don't worry. We can convert from one type to another, although it's a bit of extra work that might cause a delay in publishing your item. You are also welcome to contact us for advice.

Our Editorial Queue

For legal reasons, no article, forum post, or comment is ever published on SCAtoday.net without being reviewed by one of our staff editors. This is for our protection, to prevent our site from being used in ways that might subject us to litigation, and it is for your protection, to keep the site from becoming a dumping ground for spam, pornography, political and religious solicitations, chain letters, and similar junk.

When you contribute an article, it goes into our "editorial queue" to await approval. This queue is stored in a relational database that is extremely reliable and backed up at frequent intervals; even if our server should crash, it is very unlikely that your article will be lost.

If you contribute something that is time-sensitive, such as a notice about an event that is coming up in just a day or two, please feel free to put "[TIME SENSITIVE]" in the title. We will attend to such items as quickly as our modern-world schedule allows, and we will remove that "flag" text from the title before we publish.

Likewise, if you need to tell us something about your article for editorial purposes, feel free to include this in the body of the article. Just clearly indicate that it's an editorial note and should not be published with the rest of the text, and we will remove it before approving the article.

Editorial Schedule

If you look at the posting dates and times on our newswire, you will probably get the impression that we have a team of people working around the clock to bring you the latest news. It's a nice illusion, but the fact is that we use an automated scheduling feature in our software to have articles appear on the newswire at nicely-spaced intervals rather than clumping all together when our editors happen to have time to work on the site. Remember, this is our hobby, not our job. Like you, we have our real modern-world responsibilities, and like you, we spend a lot of our spare time at events and demos.

Our editorial calendar is typically scheduled three to seven days ahead. We review and edit contributions and schedule them to appear at appropriated times, based on our experience with what seems to be popular with our readers. Believe it or not, certain types of articles tend to get more reads if we publish them at certain times of the day or on certain days of the week. (Who says web publication is all science and no art?)

The point of mentioning all of this is so that you will understand why your article may not be published for several days after you contribute it. We intentionally "bank" articles in the queue a few days ahead, so that we do not run out if we happen to have a couple of slow news days in a row.

You can scan our Hall of Fame page's statistical summary to get an idea of how far out the editorial schedule goes; the "items approved for automatic publication in the future" statistic provides this information. Since we typically run 3 or 4 stories per day, divide this statistic by about 3.5 to get an idea of how many days into the future the schedule currently goes. This isn't an absolute indicator of how soon any given story will run, however, since we do not run stories in sequential order, and we will often "bump up" the priority of a story that is very timely versus others that are less time-sensitive. For example, a story naming the new Royal Heirs right after a Crown Tournament will run very quickly, whereas one describing an archaeological find may be in the queue for a week or more.

Copyright Issues

SCAtoday.net is a non-commercial, nonprofit web site, but we are still required to strictly comply with all applicable copyright laws and treaties. Beyond that, as members of an organization founded on the principles of courtesy and honor, we will not knowingly use someone else's work without their permission. Articles contributed to SCAtoday.net must therefore meet one of the following criteria:

What does this mean to you as a contributor? The short answer is, "Don't past entire articles from other web sites or email into our contrib form unless you wrote the article." People often do exactly that with entire articles from CNN, Yahoo! News, and other published sources — and we absolutely can't use these. If the article is of great interest to our readers, we may assign one of our reporters or editors to write an abstract of it so we can link to the original, but this takes a lot of time. If we don't have a staff member available, we simply have to reject the contribution.

If you see an interesting article online, and you want to contribute it to SCAtoday.net, don't cut and paste the entire text. Instead, write up a brief summary (even just a couple of sentences is perfectly fine) in your own words, and contribute that, with a link back to the original.

story
A story is, very simply, a news item that will appear in our main newswire on the home page, where readers can see the "teaser" (or lead) and can click on the headline to see the full article. Stories start at the top of our newswire and are "pushed down the page" as newer items are published. Eventually, they scroll off the bottom of the newswire page, but they remain in our archives indefinitely.
weblink
A weblink is not a pointer to a news item, but rather is a pointer to a permanent web site or a major section of a web site. Unlike stories, weblinks do not ever show up on our newswire. Instead, they are immediately filed by category into the links directory for permanent reference.
event
An event is an item that goes on our event calendar rather than on the newswire. If your group wants to promote its event, please feel free to contribute a notice. We recommend, in general, that you put only basic information about the event into SCAtoday.net, and provide a URL to the official event web site. This way, changes and additions to your event will not make the SCAtoday.net notice outdated.

Links to Non-Public Content

If your item links to a web site that requires login to a specific commercial provider, such as Facebook, we may not accept the item, because we do not wish to influence our reader toward or away from any specific commercial site. We have no objection to these sites, but we do not feel obligated to help increase their influence and profits. Links to publicly accessible (that is, without logging in) pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and similar social sites are quite welcome. We also make exceptions for official sites (such as the SCA's electronic newsletter downloads, or online governmental resources) and for non-commercial sites such as those for museums and universities offering online courses.

Please note that when we say "login required" in this context, we refer to the requirement to view the content, not to create it.

Format

When pasting content into our site, please paste from a plain-text source, not a word processor, whenever possible. Stray HTML markup can cause all kinds of technical problems for us, and it is very tedious for us to remove it once it's embedded in your document. Many word processors (notably MS Word, but they all do it to some degree) and also "rich" email clients insert invisible tags like <span> and <div> that cause formatting problems, particularly for our readers who use assistive access technology.

A very easy way to clean HTML out of your document is to paste it into a plain-text editor (such as Notepad on Microsoft Windows), then copy from there back to your clipboard. On Macintosh, the system text editor will also work if you change the document format to plain text from the menu. On Linux, programs such as gedit or even the ubiquitous vim will work well.

Editing

We of course edit content before publication, but as a general rule we do not substantively change content in documents that we are directly quoting, particularly official missives from officers or event staff. We will edit any content for formatting and other technical issues, but if you are sending us an official announcement, please take the time to proofread it carefully before you send it.

Contact SCAtoday.net

Having trouble with some part of the site? Do you have comments or suggestions for our staff? Here are the best ways to contact us.

By sending your email directly to the correct staff member, you will help us to respond more quickly.

Forgotten Password
Request New Password
Problems Accessing Web Pages or Logging In
webmaster@scatoday.net
Content-Related Issues
editor@scatoday.net
Legal, Copyright, or Policy Matters
publisher@scatoday.net
Suggest New Forum
forums@scatoday.net

Cookies at SCAtoday.net

SCAtoday.net uses cookies as a part of its technical design. A "cookie" is a small quantity of data that is sent to a browser by a server, and which is stored either temporarily or permanently on your local computers.

A cookie is not a program and therefore cannot contain malicious software such as viruses. Cookies are always associated with the domain of the server that sends them.

Our site uses cookies to allow users to navigate between pages and remember registrations. SCAtoday.net is committed to not using "cross-domain" cookies, that is, cookies sent or retrieved by other servers for advertising purposes. Cookies created and used by SCAtoday.net will be used solely by this site to support personalized features and will not be used for marketing purposes.

Some banner advertising companies use their cookies to track your surfing across multiple sites among their affiliates. This is accomplished by having the banner graphic actually be fetched from their server, not from the web site you intended to visit. You can (with most browsers) configure your computer to automatically reject such cookies. In any case, SCAtoday.net emphatically does not use this kind of cookie anywhere on the site.

It is the policy of SCAtoday.net to make the site work as much as possible without cookies enabled, but for some features, this is not practical. Users may choose to configure their browsers to disable cookies, but may not be able to take advantage of the personalized features of the site.

If you are really concerned about the privacy features of the SCAtoday.net web site, and you are technically inclined, you are welcome to download the source code and examine it for yourself. The source code for most of this web site is released under an Open Source license.

Links Policy

This document has detailed information for webmasters who wish to link to SCAtoday.net or to syndicate our content on their own sites.

General Links to SCAtoday.net

SCAtoday.net recommends that other web sites link to our main page (http://scatoday.net/) if they wish to recommend our site to their visitors.

We appreciate such links, and we invite webmasters who link to our site to submit their own main URL as a potential "partner site." We will reciprocate the link if we consider the web site to be related to our topics and therefore of interest to our visitors. We will not acquire "partners" that are unrelated to our topics simply as a way to increase our traffic, and we do not accept paid reciprocal links or banners.

Outbound Links from SCAtoday.net to Other Sites

In our links catalog are outbound URL links to numerous other web sites. These are provided as a courtesy and a useful service to our visitors.

SCAtoday.net has no control over the content of these sites, and while we try to keep track of our links we cannot promise you won't occasionally find something out there that offends you. We consider removal of offensive links on a case-by-case basis, weighing the sensibilities of any one individual against the mission of our site and our perception of the sensibilities of the majority of our visitors.

If you run a web site that is related to living history, the SCA, or historical research, and you think it would be of interest to our visitors, you are welcome to submit it for consideration. We do not, in general, link to unrelated sites, so if you are promoting diet pills, investments, or multilevel marketing we are not interested.

Policy on "Deep Links" to SCAtoday.net

Other web sites are welcome to link directly to single articles or sections of SCAtoday.net, but we do not guarantee that the URLs for such content will not change in the future, nor do we guarantee a redirection link if they do.

In general, we don't object to these so-called "deep links," as long as you understand that they may not be indefinitely valid. The proper way to link to one of our articles is with a URL like this:

http://scatoday.net/node/#
where the "#" is replaced with the node number of the article. In an upcoming software revision, this format will change slightly but in this case we do plan to redirect to the new URLs (the "view" directory level is going away).

SCAtoday.net does not, however, welcome deep links to individual graphic files on our site. The modern-world legal status of such links is currently the subject of much debate, but at the very least we consider such links to be unethical because they allow our graphics to be used out-of-context without our permission.

In the spirit of treating others as we would wish to be treated, SCAtoday.net will not deep-link to individual graphics on other web sites unless we have the permission of the site owner to do so. Our normal policy is to link from our newswire directly to the full text of the referenced article or story, but we will make reasonable efforts to construct such links in such a way that they render the article in the full, normal, context of the destination site, with advertising intact. Sites that wish to have us link only to their main "home page" should contact our Editor-In-Chief to request this; we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate such requests.

SCAtoday.net provides banners which you may freely copy and display on your site provided that they are clickable hyperlinks that point to our main page, http://scatoday.net/.

Merchant Listing Policy

Merchant listings are free to any merchant that is, in our editorial opinion, of interest to SCA folk or other medieval recreationists or reenactors. Note that our merchant listings, unlike news articles, are in a permanent, non-scrolling directory page. Note: As with all content on this site, your submission will be reviewed and may be edited before publication. It is normal for this process to take a few days, depending on our volunteer team's modern-world commitments.

How to Request a Merchant Listing and Link on SCAtoday.net

  1. Create a personal login account on SCAtoday.net, if you haven't already. Be sure you are logged into your account for the following steps. We disallow anonymous posting because of spammers, and because we may need to contact contributors with questions about their posts.
  2. Click on "contribute content" from our main menu, and choose a "weblink" as the content type. This is important! If you contribute your link as the wrong type (e.g., a story or a forum post), we will probably still accept it, but it requires us to manually convert it to the correct type. That will delay approval.
  3. Type in the text that you want to use to describe your business. We reserve the right to edit this per our editorial and style guidelines, but there is no limit to length, within reason. Style guidelines are listed below.
  4. Be sure to put your full URL, with the "http://", in the appropriate form field.
  5. Submit the weblink, and our staff will usually review, edit, and approve it within a day or two. Please do remember that we are run solely by volunteers, so sometimes work or family responsibilities prevent us from attending to link requests as quickly as we would prefer.

Finally, remember that all submissions get "queued" for editorial review before they are visible on the site. This is how we keep spammers from posting their garbage onto our pages (and yes, they try, several times a week). So don't be alarmed when you submit your link and don't see it right away. If the webform says "your weblink was created," then it is stored in our database queue.

Style Guide for Merchant Links

These are general stylistic guidelines, and we reserve the right to edit all content posted on our site. But if you follow these guidelines, we will try to preserve your content as much as possible within reason.

We don't charge for merchant links, not a dime. SCAtoday.net is funded out-of-pocket by the Publisher and Editor because we like doing this for our friends in the SCA. We don't accept paid ads, and we are pleased to help our readers find merchants of interest to this hobby. Your link stays up as long as you want it to, and as long as we continue to publish, though we will withdraw a link upon request. We also reserve the right to drop a link if the URL to which it points becomes unsuitable to our audience (that is, for example, if your domain is purchased by a company unrelated to our editorial mission).

Merchant Text Examples

With the above in mind, here are some examples of good and not-so-good descriptive text.

GOOD:

Honest Alan's Armoury provides high-quality chain mail, helmets, gorgets, shield blanks, rattan, and basket hilts for SCA fighters. They have been in business for 25 years, and each item is guaranteed to pass Marshal inspection for SCA combat. Custom orders are welcome to create armour specialized to your fighting style or persona.

Honest Alan's Armoury also offers combat-related items other than armour. They have SCA Marshal gages made from precision-milled aluminum and from high-grade epoxy resin. Durable metal-covering paints (spray and brush-on) are available in all the standard heraldic colors for decorating your shield. Honest Alan's Armoury has an extensive selection of rubberized axe heads and polearm tips, and combat archery projectile kits.

NOT GOOD:

Need the best armour available anywhere at the best price? Come to Honest Alan's Armoury! We've got a better selection and better prices than any other armourer you can find, and our quality is museum-grade. This month we are having our annual pre-Pennsic special, with 10% off on all helmets and shield blanks. That means you can pick up an SCA-legal STAINLESS STEEL spun-top helm for as little as $129.99!

If you need a Marshal gage, shield paint, or combat archery gear, we're the place to go because we've got it all! Forget the other guys, make us your ONE STOP SHOP!

You can call me on my cell phone at 555-555-1234 to order products! Order your armour today!

The "not good" example breaks almost all of our style guidelines! Notice how the "good" example conveys the quality and selection without sounding quite as...well, not sounding like a TV commercial. The "not good" example has time-sensitive pricing, first-person viewpoint, and an extremely promotional tone.

Opt-In Email List

The "commercial" email list is another venue that might be of interest to SCA-related merchants. Unlike most SCA lists that discourage merchants from advertising, this list is specifically created for that purpose. Subscribers fall into two categories: merchants, and prospective customers who have deliberately signed up for the list because they want to hear from SCA merchants. Thus, SCA merchants are welcome and encouraged to post any reasonable number of text ads, product announcements, sale notices, etc. Membership on the "commercial" list is free, but you must be a subscriber in order to post, and SCAtoday.net reserves the right to ban any merchant who abuses the list with excessive posts. As a general rule, we recommend no more than one or two posts per week per merchant, but that limit is flexible as long as common sense prevails.

Reciprocal Links ("Link Exchange")

As a policy, we do not participate in quid pro quo link exchanges. We appreciate other sites linking to ours, but it is not a requirement in order to have your merchant link approved. If your business is, in our judgment, on-topic for our site's editorial content, we will link to you. If your site is not on-topic, offering us a link exchange will not induce us to link to it.

Privacy Policy

This document explains what personal and statistical data is collected by SCAtoday.net, and how we will (and will not) use that information. We are committed to protecting your privacy as we would protect our own.

Anonymous Statistical Information and Logs

As a routine part of running this site, SCAtoday.net collects information about its users and their computers, for technical administration and for gathering statistics. We do not ask specific permission to do this, but we also do not link this information with you as an individual unless you give permission, you request help with a problem, we have reasonable cause to believe that you are attempting to compromise the security of our server, or we are compelled to do so by court order.

The information collected by SCAtoday.net for all visitors is of the following nature:

All of this information is collected in our standard server access logs, which record every HTTP transaction; this is very typical of almost all web sites.

SCAtoday.net may release aggregate statistics, which do not identify any particular individual, as we wish, for any purpose we choose. Aggregate statistics in this context include such data as how many people have visited the site, which features are most used, how many registered users there are and from what geographic areas, etc. Statistical data will never include any information that can reasonably be used to identify specific individuals.

Registered User Accounts

It is certainly possible to use SCAtoday.net anonymously, and anonymous visitors are welcome to browse nearly all of the site's content. For various legal and technical reasons, however some features will not be available except to users who are logged in with a registered user account. Registered accounts are available for free, and can be created by any visitor with a reasonably-modern web browser; no administrator approval is required for new accounts. Visitors are requested not to create multiple accounts, and SCAtoday.net reserves the right to delete multiple accounts created by automated software and in other cases where we feel our hospitality is being abused.

When creating a registered user account, visitors are asked to pick a user name (called a "screen name" by some other web sites) and to provide an e-mail address, persona name, and kingdom of allegiance. This will allow users to login and have access to all features of the site. Any other information collected by SCAtoday.net is strictly voluntary, but may allow registered users to participate in forums, contributing stories, or being listed in a future online directory.

Stories contributed to SCAtoday.net will be attributed to the contributor by user name; visitors to the site can click on the user name byline to see the persona name and kingdom of allegiance but not the email address. Contact information will not be posted unless requested. Some features may offer an option to post anonymously.

SCAtoday.net plans to offer an online directory of registered users, listed by user name, persona name, and kingdom of allegiance. No other personal information will be given unless authorized by the registered user. Users may choose to provide additional information in optional fields, but the default will always be to show the minimum amount of information.

SCAtoday.net promises never to sell or give your personal information to a third party without explicit consent of the user unless we are required to do so by a court of law or unless we have reasonable cause to believe the user is engaged in an illegal activity on our site. Note: Any probable evidence of illegal activity will be reported to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

At any time, users may request that personal information be removed from the database. We will comply within a reasonable time period after establishing the authenticity of the user's request. It may not be practical to remove data from the offline archives, but we promise to remove it from the active web server's database if requested. Login accounts will be disabled and all personal information removed from the database, but the empty user name will remain if it is linked to any contributed content. Exception: SCAtoday.net will not remove data from our database if doing so would violate a court order or subpoena.

Email Addresses

The email address provided when registering a new user account is not revealed to the public. Rather, it is used by the web server software to send out the initial random password for the account, and to send out a new password if you request it. SCAtoday.net administrative staff can obtain the email address from the database, and will occasionally use this to contact you for specific purposes, such as to ask a question about a story or forum post that you have contributed or to notify you of problems with your account. We will not publish the address, however, without your permission.

From time to time, SCAtoday.net may send out e-mail notices to all registered users for the purpose of notification of policy or technical issues. SCAtoday.net will not send out unsolicited e-mail for commercial or marketing purposes, nor will it make e-mail addresses available to third-party marketers unless specifically authorized to do so. There will never be an implied or implicit opt-in by default for any unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE, commonly called "spam").

SCAtoday.net may offer e-mail discussion or announcement lists, to which users may subscribe if they wish. Such subscriptions will always be strictly opt-in, with specific action required on the part of the user rather than a default opt-in for all users.

As a standard policy, if someone other than SCAtoday.net's editorial staff seeks to contact one of our registered users, we do not provide the email address of the user to that person. Rather, we ask for an email address from the person seeking the contact, and then one of our staff will send that address to the person being sought, allowing them to decide for themselves if they wish to converse with the person seeking them. Once the person being sought decides to respond to the person seeking them, the conversation is directly between the two individuals and does not involve SCAtoday.net staff members.

Email addresses embedded within a contributed article may or may not be redacted by our editorial staff, based on our judgment in good faith as to whether the person whose email address is indicated intended for that information to be published. For example, if we receive a press release or event announcement containing a contact email address from the person whose email address is in the announcement or someone we may reasonably believe speaks on their behalf (such as a colleague on the event staff), we will usually include the address in the published article. We will remove email addresses from published articles upon request from the owner of the address, however.

Securing Personal Information

SCAtoday.net takes reasonable precautions to safeguard the privacy of personal information in the database, but there is no way to make the system 100% impenetrable while still offering public access by way of the Internet. There is, therefore, no warranty of security for information in the SCAtoday.net database, and SCAtoday.net advises visitors not to share SCAtoday.net passwords with anyone, nor to use the same password for SCAtoday.net as is used elsewhere.

Syndication

Like many web sites, SCAtoday.net provides a "syndication" mechanism to allow other sites to display our headlines with clickable links back to the full story on our site.

SCAtoday.net's newswire can be syndicated freely on other sites, provided only the headlines and/or "teaser" information is copied and not the stories' main page. The syndicated headlines must link back to the story page on SCAtoday.net; you may not cut and paste our entire story onto your site without specific permission.

Currently our newsfeed supports RSS 2.0 format. RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is an XML (extensible markup language) format standard that is compatible with a variety of news reader and web site content management programs.

Typically, programs that display news feeds will "poll" our site at regular intervals to see if there are new stories on the wire. We recommend that you set the polling interval to not less than one hour, though we do not specifically enforce that guideline unless someone abuses our site by polling at ridiculously-frequent intervals. You should also set your polling time to something other than "on the hour", to avoid having everyone pile on requests at the same minute.

The URL from which our RSS feed can be accessed is http://scatoday.net/node/feed . You can look for the little XML icon on pages where syndication is supported. This icon links to the appropriate RSS feed.

If you begin running our newswire on your web site, please let us know so that we can add a link to your site from our Partner Sites directory.

Terms of Service

These are the Terms of Service under which we provide this free web site for your use. By using this site, you agree to these terms.
  1. SCAtoday.net is provided free of charge to members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and to others interested in the history of the Middle Ages. As a free service, we reserve the right to limit access, to change or withdraw features or services, or to discontinue the entire site at any time, with or without advance notice to you.
  2. SCAtoday.net is committed to full compliance with applicable copyright law and treaty currently in effect in the U.S. As such, we will not knowingly publish copyrighted material without express permission from the copyright owner. Please refrain from posting copyrighted material to our forums or including copyrighted text as part of a contributed article or story.
  3. Small excerpted quotes from copyrighted material, or URL links to such material, are welcome at SCAtoday.net as long as they are permitted under the "fair use doctrine" of copyright law. SCAtoday.net's normal editorial policy is to link to articles on other web sites, with a short lead or abstract written by our own staff. A brief quote of the original article is usually considered "fair use" in this context. We do not republish entire stories, or substantial portions thereof, from other sources unless we obtain explicit permission from the owner of the material.
  4. By posting messages to our forums, or contributing a story or article to SCAtoday.net, or uploading a file, you agree that:
    • You are the original author of the material you have provided to us, or you have appropriately cited the source within the text of your contribution so that we may establish permission from the owner.
    • SCAtoday.net and its publisher have a non-exclusive, perpetual right to publish the material on the Internet or in any other media, without compensation or fee to you. You may also publish your material elsewhere, as you wish, so long as you do so non-exclusively. Once you contribute material to SCAtoday.net, you may not withdraw the granted permission to publish.
    • You remain the copyright owner of your material, but SCAtoday.net is the copyright owner of the overall web page (or other medium) in which your material is published.
    • Publication on SCAtoday.net does not constitute endorsement of the material or viewpoints expressed therein by SCAtoday.net or its staff. You may freely disclose to anyone that your article or forum message has been published on SCAtoday.net, but you may not state or imply that SCAtoday.net endorses what you have said.
    • The material you are contributing is not, to the best of your knowledge, untrue, illegal, or libelous. (The prohibition on "untrue" material does not apply to material that is clearly and obviously a work of fiction, parody, or satire.)
    • The editors of SCAtoday.net are permitted to edit the material for length, to correct grammatical or spelling errors, to reformat the material to fit the web site's layout, or to remove portions which violate our Terms of Service. If you are unhappy with the edited version, you may appeal to our Editor-In-Chief to ask that your original text be restored or the article withdrawn from our site. The decision on this appeal is solely at the discretion of the Editor-In-Chief.
    • You may offer material with no editing permitted, by explicitly stating this constraint at the time of the contribution. If you elect to do this, SCAtoday will either accept the material without alteration or will reject it, at our discretion. (In this context, "alteration" does not include reformatting to fit the layout of our site or correcting minor typographical errors.)
    • If you wish to allow others to freely republish your material, or to place your material in the public domain, you may indicate this within the text. SCAtoday.net will include such notice with your article if it is practical for us to do so within the constraints of our site's design.
  5. The following specific types of material are considered unacceptable on the SCAtoday.net site, and will be removed without notice if found in a forum:
    1. Chain letters, virus warnings, or other flagrantly off-topic messages
    2. Material which in the sole judgment of our editorial staff is patently profane, pornographic, or offensive
    3. Material which we believe violates copyright or libel laws
    4. Racial, national, religious, or ethnic slurs or hate speech, threats, or advocacy of any illegal activity
    5. Material which is defamatory or unduly derogatory of a specific individual or group
    6. Overtly commercial messages, including multilevel marketing schemes
    7. Religious or political solicitations or advocacy, except for political advocacy within the specific topic context of the area of our site for which the material is contributed.
  6. Our intent is to maintain roughly a "PG" content rating on our site, with material that is appropriate to most adults and teenagers, and to maintain a civil tone of discussion even when there are strong disagreements about the issue at hand.
  7. This does not mean that you may not speak your mind frankly, bluntly, and openly on political issues. It does mean, however, that the discussion is constrained to civil discourse and that it focuses on issues and not on personalities. The U.S. Bill of Rights gives you the right to free speech, but does not require SCAtoday.net to provide an unrestricted soapbox. If you want to be free from our constraints, you are free to build your own web page.
  8. "Commercial messages" in this context refers to material of a marketing or advertising nature, where such material is not germane to the topic of discussion. It is permissible to mention a specific commercial entity, such as a merchant, in the broader context of a discussion or article about a related commodity. For instance, within a discussion of period tweedle glomping on a forum, you are permitted to mention that you happen to be a merchant specializing in selling tweedles. The guideline is that such messages must be on-topic and that the commercial portion must be brief (a mention, not a lengthy advertisement).
  9. Discussion of religion in the context of historical research is welcome. Advocacy or dis-advocacy of modern religious or spiritual doctrine is not. Historical discussion of politics, or debate of current SCA political issues (such as a proposed change in policy) is welcome. Advocacy or debate of modern-world political parties, issues, or candidates is not.
  10. Some forums may be marked as being for children, and our editorial staff will maintain a stricter standard of content in these forums.
  11. Everyone who posts content to the forums on SCAtoday.net is expected to behave honourably, as a Lord or Lady of the Current Middle Ages. If, in the judgment of our editorial staff, you have failed to do so, we may act to prevent you from further such conduct on our site. This may include a warning by e-mail, banning from forum posts, or termination of your login account. If we terminate your account, our editorial staff may post a notice in the relevant forum(s) stating that your account has been terminated for violation of our Terms of Service, so that other posters are aware of why you are no longer participating in the forum.
  12. Commercial entities whose web sites or e-mail addresses are linked from SCAtoday.net, or which are listed in our directories, are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by SCAtoday.net or its staff. Any business transactions between SCAtoday.net visitors and such merchants are a private affair between the two parties and do not involve SCAtoday.net.
DISCLAIMER SCAtoday.net is provided as a public service to the members of the SCA and to interested others, but it is not affiliated in any official or legal way with the Society for Creative Anachronism, Incorporated. This web site does not delineate the policy of the SCA, Inc., its organizational units, nor any officers thereof.

Colophon

This Colophon describes how this web site is created and maintained, and provides credits for those who have contributed in a major way.

Technical Features

This web site runs on a content management system (CMS) called Drupal (http://www.drupal.org/). Drupal is an Open Source, free software application that stores all of the text and HTML content for the pages themselves, user accounts, security settings, search engine data, and so on. Drupal, like other CMS programs, allows people to concentrate on creating content while it handles the details of page formatting, navigation links, and other administrivia.

Large files, such as images, are stored on the server's filesystem, but all other content is stored in a relational database called MySQL (http://www.mysql.com/). MySQL is another free Open Source application, and it is powerful and reliable enough to be used in many commercial and industrial applications.

The web pages are delivered to your browser using the Apache Web Server (http://httpd.apache.org/), yet another free Open Source application, which happens to be the most popular web server on the Internet by a wide margin.

Finally, all of this software runs on the GNU/Linux (http://www.linux.org/) operating system, created by Linus Torvalds and improved upon by hundreds of thousands of other programmers. Linux is an Open Source, free operating system akin to UNIX™ but available from the Internet at no cost.

Graphics

SCAtoday.net doesn't have a lot of graphics, and that is intentional. We want the site to be heavy on content and light on pretty fluff, so that it will download fast even over dialup links. The graphics that we do have, however, were mostly created by Mistress Heirusalem Crystoma in their original form, then modified and composited by Justin to fit the page layout of the site.

Web Site Hosting

SCAtoday.net gratefully acknowledges the contribution of our hosting provider, NewTide Group. Byron Albert and Jason Dutt run this business together, with Byron providing the technical work and Jason taking care of the back-office business functions. SCAtoday.net's Publisher, Justin, first met Byron at a Linux User Group meeting and is proud to call him a friend.

Byron has gone out of his way to offer great flexibility, reliable service, and prompt resolution of problems to this and Justin and Milica's other web sites, and has worked closely with us to accommodate the special configuration requirements of these web sites even if we asked for things not offered to his other customers. We have hosted with Byron's company since about 1996, and the reliability and service have been superlative.

We don't, as a rule, do commercial endorsements here at SCAtoday.net, but in this case we will make an exception—we highly recommend NewTide Group for web hosting of small-to-medium-scale web sites.