Costume-Con ConStitution

Version 2.6
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

1.0 General Provisions

1.1 Costume-Con Service Mark

“Costume-Con” is a registered service mark of Karen Schnaubelt (Dick), the conference’s founder, hereinafter referred to as the Service Mark Holder. [Amended Wednesday, January 20, 1999, Sunday, September 18, 2005, and Tuesday, April 19, 2016.]

1.1.1 Use of the Service Mark in Printed and Electronic Publications

All Costume-Con conference committees and Costume-Con conference bid committees shall publish, in all publications such as advertisements, promotional flyers, Progress Reports, Program Books, or Web sites, either of the following notices: “’Costume-Con’ is a registered service mark of Karen Schnaubelt (Dick) and is used with permission.” The ‘®’ designator shall be placed on the first or most prominent use of ‘Costume-Con’ in any document, paper or electronic. OR “’Costume-Con’ is a service mark of Karen Schnaubelt (Dick), which may be registered in some jurisdictions, and is used with permission.” The ‘SM’ designator shall be placed on the first or most prominent use of ‘Costume-Con’ in any document, paper or electronic. [Amended Wednesday, November 24, 1999, Wednesday, January 20, 1999, Wednesday, June 03, 1998, Sunday, September 18, 2005, and Tuesday, April 19, 2016.]

1.1.2 Registration of Domain Names and Procurement/Management of Costume-Con Web Sites

Bid committees may register only one (1) domain with the cc##.domain name (eg: cc30.com, cc30.org, cc30.info, etc.). This will allow opposing bids to register an alternate, should it be available. Bid websites using a cc##.domain address must include links to any opposing bid websites. Bids registering domain names must indicate the Service Mark Holder as the owner of the domain, but may use their own contact addresses and billing information. Changing the domain contract address is simplified, and there is no question concerning the owner of the domain(s). Once the vote has been cast and counted, all corresponding cc##.domain addresses must be transferred to the winner of the vote. If, for any reason outlined below, the winning bid committee must be replaced, the domain name(s) revert to the Service Mark Holder for reassignment. [Added Tuesday, July 16, 2002.]

1.2 Costume-Con Conference Licensing

Use of the Costume-Con name and goodwill is licensed to one conference committee per calendar year, in accordance with a trademark license agreement, for a $1.00 fee and for other good and valuable consideration. Additionally, the Costume-Con conference committee shall send one copy of all publications to the Service Mark Holder to assure that the requirements of 1.1.1 are being maintained. The Costume-Con conference committee is selected according to the Site Selection procedures described in Article 2.

1.2.1 Licensee Obligations

Each Costume-Con conference committee, as licensee of the Service Mark, is obligated to ensure that the Costume-Con conference it runs meets certain minimum quality standards (“Minimum Quality Standards”). Each Costume-Con conference committee therefore will abide by the original goals and venue stated in the Costume-Con conference’s initial bid materials. The Service Mark Holder have the absolute right to terminate the licensing of the Costume-Con name to said conference in the event that at any time the conference does not meet the Minimum Quality Standards. Potential reasons for the Service Mark Holder to terminate the license include, but are not limited to, (1) if a Costume-Con conference committee radically changes the dates, venue, or other major details of their conference in such a manner that it is no longer the same conference that was voted upon in site selection; (2) if a Costume-Con conference committee, in the reasonable opinion of the Service Mark Holder, proves to be incompetent in the administration of their conference; or (3) if a Costume-Con conference committee fails to meet the minimum responsibilities detailed in this ConStitution. Any termination of the License Agreement will be in accordance with the procedures set forth in Sections 1.2.1.1 and 1.2.1.2. [Added Saturday, January 04, 2003. Amended Monday, January 27, 2003.]

1.2.1.1 Failure to Meet Minimum Quality Standards

If a Costume-Con conference committee does not meet the Minimum Quality Standards or fails to abide by the terms of this ConStitution, the Service Mark Holder will provide the Costume-Con conference committee with written notice of such default. The Costume-Con conference committee will be given thirty (30) days to cure the default. If the Costume-Con conference committee does not cure the default within the thirty (30) days, or provide the Service Mark Holder with an acceptable plan to effect a cure if such cure will take more than thirty (30) days, then the Service Mark Holder may terminate the License Agreement in accordance with Section 1.2.1.2. If any Costume-Con conference committee receives a third such written notice of default, even if the first two (2) defaults were timely cured, the Service Mark Holder, in their sole discretion, may terminate the License Agreement in accordance with Section 1.2.1.2. [Added Monday, January 27, 2003.]

1.2.1.2 Termination Procedure

The Service Mark Holder may terminate the License Agreement (a) upon thirty (30) days written notice of a material breach of the License Agreement if such breach is not cured within such thirty (30) day period; (b) upon ten (10) days notice of either (i) the Costume-Con conference committee’s failure to cure a written notice of default in the meeting the Minimum Quality Standards or (ii) the Costume-Con conference committee’s third default in meeting the Minimum Quality Standards; or (c) upon ten (10) days notice of either (i) the Costume-Con conference committee’s failure to cure a written notice of default in the abiding by the terms of this ConStitution or (ii) the Costume-Con conference committee’s third default in abiding by the terms of this ConStitution. [Added Monday, January 27, 2003.]

1.2.2 Responsibilities

Each Costume-Con conference committee shall be responsible for its own bookkeeping, finances, and taxes.

Each Costume-Con conference committee shall be responsible for enforcing the provisions of this ConStitution. Each Costume-Con conference shall distribute a copy of the Costume-Con ConStitution to all of its members, typically by publishing it in the Program Book. [Renumbered Saturday, January 04, 2003.]

1.3 Name and Date

Costume-Con is an annual conference for science-fiction, fantasy, and historical costumers, or anyone else with an interest in costuming, either amateur or professional. It is traditional, but not obligatory, that the Costume-Con conferences take place between the third weekend in January (Martin Luther King Day weekend in the U.S.), and the last full weekend in May (Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.). [Amended Wednesday, November 24, 1999.]

1.4 Conference Activities

As tradition has established, each Costume-Con conference must have the following program items: (a) staged costume events, including Science Fiction/Fantasy themed competition, Historical themed competition, and Future Fashion themed fashion show (based on a pre-conference future fashion design competition); (b) at least ten (10) instructional/educational presentations of some sort (which can take the form of lectures, panel discussions, seminars, hands-on workshops, etc.); (c) Site Selection voting for a future Costume-Con conference (see Article 2); and (d) at least two hours and a meeting area provided for the Annual Meeting of the International Costumers’ Guild (as dictated by their By-laws).

Traditionally, conference activities have also included: (a) a Social (party) on the first night of the conference; (b) costume exhibit, and (c) a dealer/merchant area. Other events and competitions have been added now and then at the committee’s discretion. Some of these activities are: The Single Pattern Contest, $1.98 Contest, Iron Costumer competition, and Doll Contest.

The Service Mark Holder reserves the right to reject any bid that does not, in their opinion, uphold the competitive staged events and overall high standards set by the long history of the conference. [Amended Thursday, March 25, 2004.]

1.5 Membership Classes

There shall be at least two classes of membership in Costume-Con conferences: Supporting and Attending. The committee shall notify members of their membership class in a timely fashion. Individuals joining the Costume-Con conference should allow 4-6 weeks for processing of their paperwork, especially if they wish to vote for Site Selection via mail.

1.5.1 Supporting Members

Supporting members shall receive all publications published or distributed by the Costume-Con conference committee. Typical Costume-Con conference publications include: Progress Reports, Site Selection Ballot, Fashion Folio and Program Book. Optionally, some Costume-Con conferences distribute the Whole Costumer’s Catalogue. Supporting members may exercise Site Selection voting rights. All Costume-Con conferences shall be required to offer Supporting memberships until at least fifteen (15) days prior to the opening of the Costume-Con conference. Any class of membership offered by a Costume-Con conference costing at least as much as a Supporting membership shall include a Supporting membership. [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

1.5.2 Attending Members

Attending members shall have all of the rights of Supporting members, plus the right to attend the Costume-Con conference.

1.5.3 Restriction of Memberships

Each Costume-Con conference committee shall have the right to limit the activities of its attendees, either individually or in groups, insofar as such activities endanger, physically or legally, other persons or property. Such limitations may include, but are not limited to, closing down parties, ejecting persons from the Costume-Con conference, or turning offenders over to other authorities. No refund of membership need be given in such circumstances. Each member, in purchasing his/her membership, agrees to abide by this ConStitution.

1.6 Name Badges and Membership Numbers

All Costume-Con conference committees shall issue name badges for all Attending members. It is suggested that name badges for pre-registered members should display the member’s name or nickname in no less than 24-point bold type. All conference committees shall assign a unique membership number upon processing of a Supporting or Attending membership. This number shall be printed on the label of all Progress Reports, shall be printed on membership name badges, and shall be used for Site Selection purposes. In the event a membership is transferred, the membership number shall also be transferred, and applied to both the badge and registration information used for Site Selection voting administration. Membership badges or other proof of membership remain the property of the Costume-Con conference committee for the duration of the conference and may be confiscated for cause; no refund of membership fees need be given in such circumstances.

1.7 Archive of Costume-Con ConStitutions

The Costume-Con Archivist shall act as the archivist for the Costume-Con ConStitution. The Costume-Con Archivist shall maintain the Costume-Con ConStitution and shall forward one copy of the current ConStitution to the newly selected Costume-Con conference committee (referred to as Costume-Con X+3 in Article 2), within four (4) months of the close of the previous Costume-Con conference. The newly selected Costume-Con conference committee shall provide copies to the committees of all Costume-Con conference bids for the year in which that Costume-Con conference committee is administering the Site Selection. Any individual or group that requests a paper copy of the ConStitution shall reimburse the Costume-Con Archivist for copying and mailing costs. [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

1.8 Costume-Con Conference Archives

The Costume-Con Archivist shall store all available paper Costume-Con conference archival materials at the contact address below. Electronic Archival material shall be made available at the web site located at www.Costume-Con.org, which shall be the official web site of Costume-Con conferences, owned by the Service Mark Holder. Each Costume-Con conference committee shall provide the Costume-Con Archivist with the URL of the Costume-Con conference’s web site, to be linked into www.Costume-Con.org. [Amended Tuesday, July 16, 2002, Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

2.0 Costume-Con Conference Site Selection

2.1 Timing

The site of a Costume-Con conference shall be selected three years in advance (e.g., the location of Costume-Con X+3 conference is decided at Costume-Con X conference).

2.2 Administration

Site Selection shall be administered by an individual or individuals appointed by the committee of the current Costume-Con conference (referred to in section 2.1 above as Costume-Con X conference), to serve as the Site Selection Commissioner.

2.3 Eligibility of Sites

Any site in any geographic location is eligible to be the site of a Costume-Con conference, except as restricted by the provisions of this ConStitution.

2.3.1 Geographic Rotation

There is no geographic rotation scheme at this time.

2.3.2 Exclusion Zone

There is no exclusion zone (with respect to a geographic rotation scheme) at this time.

2.4 Filing Requirements

A Costume-Con conference bid committee must provide written evidence of the following:

  • At least two (2) separate people declaring themselves Chair and Treasurer respectively;
  • An organizing instrument (such as bylaws, articles of incorporation or association, or a partnership agreement) which specifies how the committee is organized and the method of selection and removal of committee members; and,
  • A letter of intent or option from a hotel or other facility declaring specific dates on which the proposed Costume-Con conference shall be held. If proposed dates will be outside of the “traditional” range specified in Section 1.3, the Service Mark Holder must approve the dates. (See Section 1.1.) All bids shall prominently display their prospective dates and facility information on all flyers and other advertising media used to promote the bid.

The following two items are helpful, but not obligatory:

  • A sponsoring organization (such as the International Costumers’ Guild or one of its chapters); and/or,
  • Tax-exempt status (such as 501(c)(3)). [Amended Wednesday, January 20, 1999]

2.5 Deadline for Filing Bids

Only those bids whose filing paperwork (required by section 2.4) is in the possession of the Service Mark Holder by one-hundred and eighty days (180) days preceding the administering conference (ninety (90) days preceding the balloting) shall be listed on the ballot. Filing paperwork should be delivered to the Service Mark Holder at the address in the Comments section of this document. If the filing paperwork can be verified to be at the address of the Service Mark Holder, it is considered to be in the Service Mark Holder’s possession. A copy of the filing paperwork should be delivered to the Costume-Con Archivist at the address in the Comments section of this document. [Amended Monday, November 29, 1999 and Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

2.6 Notification of Administering Costume-Con

The Service Mark Holder shall notify the Site Selection Commissioner of all valid bids no later than one hundred sixty (160) days prior to the conference. If the notification paperwork can be verified to be at the address of the Site Selection Commissioner, it is considered to be in the Site Selection Commissioner’s possession. The Service Mark Holder shall also notify the Costume-Con Archivist, so that bid information can be published on the Costume-Con archival web site.

2.7 Provisions When No Valid Bids are Received

If no valid bids are received by the deadline in section 2.5, then the Site Selection process falls to the discretion of the Service Mark Holder. (See Section 2.17)

2.8 Eligibility of Voters

Site Selection voting shall be limited to those persons who are Attending or Supporting members of the administering Costume-Con conference. Other classes of membership may vote only upon the unanimous agreement of all qualified bidding committees. One person equals one membership equals one vote. Corporations, Associations, and other non-human entities may vote only for “No Preference.” “Guest of” memberships must be transferred to an individual before voting for anything other than “No Preference.”

2.9 Voting Fee

As established by a majority vote at Costume-Con 17, a voting fee of $10.00 (US Dollars) will be required to register a vote in Site Selection. This fee must be made payable to Costume-Con X+3. All proceeds from the collection of the voting fee will be provided to the winning bid committee. The voting fee entitles registered voters to an automatic credit, equal to the voting fee, towards a Supporting or Attending membership in the winning Costume-Con bid. You must be a member of the administering Costume-Con conference to vote (see Section 2.8). [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

2.10 Ballot Template

Balloting shall be by the transferable preferential system (where preferences are marked “1, 2, 3,” not “make an X”). The Costume-Con Archivist shall archive a Site Selection ballot template, including instructions for preparation of the ballot, and shall provide the template with the ConStitution when it is given to the administering Costume-Con conference committee as provided for in Section 1.7. Upon receipt of the template, the Site Selection Commissioner may complete the ballot by filling in the following information: The names of the eligible bid committees, dates of the proposed Costume-Con conferences, minimum membership requirements (including the cost of a Supporting membership) in the administering Costume-Con, and the address to which Site Selection ballots should be sent.

Alternatively, the Site Selection Commissioner may choose to create a facsimile ballot, as long as the ballot contains the same information described in the previous sentence. The Site Selection Commissioner shall be responsible for the publication and distribution of the Site Selection ballots to the administering Costume-Con conference’s membership. All eligible bids received in accordance with sections 2.4, 2.5 and 2.6 shall be included on the ballot. The ballot shall include entries for “No Preference” and “None of the Above,” and shall provide space for at least one (1) write-in bid. The ballot shall be a secret ballot, specially marked for preferential voting with an explanation of the method for counting preferential votes. (For instructions on handling ballots marked with an X, see Section 2.16.) [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

2.11 Distribution of Ballot

Ninety (90) days prior to the date on which the administering Costume-Con conference begins, the Site Selection Commissioner shall ensure that a Site Selection ballot and the full rules for Site Selection voting is mailed to all persons who hold memberships in the administering Costume-Con conference as of one (1) week before the mailing.

The ballot may be incorporated into the Costume-Con conference’s final Progress Report, or may be mailed separately at the discretion of the administering Costume-Con conference committee. Costume-Con conference bid committees may provide a half-page statement containing the following: The dates and location of the proposed Costume-Con conference, the committee’s chair and Treasurer, and a brief statement promoting the bid, to be included in the distribution of the Site Selection ballot and full rules. Members who join the Costume-Con conference after the mass distribution of the ballot and rules for Site Selection shall receive copies of these items when their memberships are processed. (Please note expected processing time for a membership in Section 1.5.) The ballot and full rules for voting on Site Selection, including the location of the polling place and the hours it is open, shall be given to all Attending members upon registration at the Costume-Con conference, or such information shall be prominently displayed at the registration area throughout the Costume-Con conference. The ballot and full rules for voting on Site Selection also shall be available at the polling place.

2.12 Deadline for Voting by Mail

All ballots received by the Site Selection Commissioner fourteen (14) days prior to the date on which the administering Costume-Con conference begins shall be counted.

2.13 Bid Presentations

Each eligible bid committee shall have at least fifteen (15) minutes of scheduled program time on the first full day of the administering Costume-Con conference for the purpose of making a bidding presentation, if desired.

2.14 At-Conference Voting

Site Selection shall be open for at least eight (8) hours total on the first two (2) days of the administering Costume-Con conference, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and midnight. All on-site balloting shall be at one central location, under the supervision of the Site Selection Commissioner. [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999]

2.14.1 Hand-Carried Ballots

The Site Selection Commissioner shall accept hand-carried ballots, which are otherwise valid ballots, delivered to the Site Selection Commissioner by someone other than the member who completed the ballot.

2.15 Verification of Ballots

Properly completed ballots shall contain: the member’s printed name; the member’s membership number as assigned by the administering Costume-Con; the member’s dated signature; the member’s current address; and the member’s vote(s) as defined elsewhere in this ConStitution. Verification of the ballots shall consist of matching the name and number of the member with the records of the administering Costume-Con conference. Ballots received by the Site Selection Commissioner prior to fourteen (14) days before the administering Costume-Con conference shall be held unopened by the Site Selection Commissioner until the opening of the Costume-Con conference, at which time the ballots shall be verified by the Site Selection Commissioner and the bidders.

2.16 Counting of Ballots

The Service Mark Holder shall have the right, but not the obligation, to be present during the counting of the ballots. The Site Selection Commissioner shall arrange the counting of ballots, and each eligible bid committee shall be allowed to send at least two (2) observers to such ballot-counting. The count shall be by preferential ballot, otherwise known as the Australian counting method. Ballots marked in error with an “X” or checkmark instead of numbers will be considered as a “1” vote for the bid thus checked, and a “2” vote for no preference.

The winner shall be that bid which gains a majority of those votes expressing preference for a bid. For the purpose of vote counting, “None of the Above” shall be treated as if it were a bid. “None of the Above” and votes for ineligible bids shall count toward the total number of votes cast. Blank ballots, illegal or illegible ballots, and votes for “No Preference” shall not count toward the total number of votes cast. All vote totals of final results and of all intermediate counts shall be made available at or before the end of the administering Costume-Con conference. The final vote total shall also be given to the Costume-Con Archivist, to be added to the Costume-Con archives. [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999.]

2.17 Procedures When a Write-In Bid Wins

Should a write-in bid win the balloting, the committee of that bid must provide the Service Mark Holder with written evidence of their filing requirements (see Section 2.4), within fourteen (14) days of the announcement of the Site Selection winner. If the committee of the write-in bid cannot show such proof, the conference will be awarded to the bid with the next highest vote that has met the eligibility requirements. [Added Wednesday, October 07, 1998] [Amended Tuesday, September 21, 1999.]

2.18 Procedures When No Bid Wins or is Eligible

Should there be no qualified bidding committee, or should no eligible bid win the needed majority, or should “None of the Above” win, or should the Site Selection procedures be called into question during or after the conclusion of the administering Costume-Con conference, the Service Mark Holder may choose a site within six (6) weeks of the close of the administering Costume-Con conference. In the case of no eligible bid winning a majority, the Service Mark Holder may choose between/among the current eligible bids. The Service Mark Holder shall have the option to decline making a site choice, meaning there will be no Costume-Con conference that year. [Amended Wednesday, October 07, 1998, Saturday, January 04, 2003.]

2.19 Availability of Results

The results of the balloting shall be reported to the membership of the current Costume-Con conference at the evening event (traditionally the Historic Masquerade), on the third day of the administering conference. A record of the results of the balloting, including all intermediate counts, shall be published in the first or second Progress Report of the winning Costume-Con conference and on the Costume-Con archival web site. [Amended Wednesday, October 07, 1998.]

3.0 Amendments to the ConStitution

3.1 Authority

At this time, the Service Mark Holder, or their legal successors, are the only entities with the authority to make amendments to this ConStitution. However, suggestions for improvement may be made to the contact address in Comments, and will be given due consideration. As a general rule, modifications to the ConStitution will be made in the sixty (60)-day period following each Costume-Con conference so the document is not constantly in flux.

Comments

Contact information for the Service Mark Holder: Karen Schnaubelt (Dick), P.O. Box 1, Beallsville, PA 15313; Phone: (724) 886-4459; Email: janusaries55@gmail.com

Contact information for Costume-Con Archivist: Betsy R. Marks Delaney, Costume-Con Archivist, Costume-Connections, P.O. Box 1393, Greenbelt, MD 20768; Phone: (301) 922-1865; Email: info@Costume-Con.org; Web Site: www.Costume-Con.org.

Contact information for the International Costumers’ Guild: c/o The Corresponding Secretary, E-mail: corr-secretary@costume.org; Web Site: www.costume.org

Contact information for the Whole Costumer’s Catalogue: c/o Karen L. Schnaubelt, Editor / P.O. Box 1, Beallsville, PA 15313; Phone: (724) 886-4459; Email: janusaries55@gmail.com