Worldcon Intellectual Property Announces Censure of McCarty, Chen Shi and Yalow; McCarty Resigns; Eastlake Succeeds Standlee as Chair of B.O.D.

Worldcon Intellectual Property (W.I.P.) is the California non-profit corporation that holds the service marks of the World Science Fiction Society ( including the mark “Hugo Award”. In the midst of social media discussions about the continued viability of these marks, W.I.P. issued the following press release on January 30.

W.I.P. takes very seriously the recent complaints about the 2023 Hugo Award process and complaints about comments made by persons holding official positions in W.I.P. In connection with these concerns, W.I.P. announces the actions listed below. There may be other actions taken or to be taken that are not in this announcement. 

  • Dave McCarty has resigned as a Director of W.I.P.
  • Kevin Standlee has resigned as Chair of the W.I.P. Board of Directors (BoD).

W.I.P. has censured or reprimanded the following persons, listed in alphabetic order, for the reason given:

  • Dave McCarty – censured for his public comments that have led to harm of the goodwill and value of our marks and for actions of the Hugo Administration Committee of the Chengdu Worldcon that he presided over.
  • Chen Shi – censured for actions of the Hugo Administration Committee of the Chengdu Worldcon that he presided over.
  • Kevin Standlee – reprimanded for public comments that mistakenly led people to believe that we are not servicing our marks.
  • Ben Yalow – censured for actions of the Hugo Administration Committee of the Chengdu Worldcon that he presided over.

Donald Eastlake has been elected Chair of the W.I.P. BoD.

The release also asks readers to note:

Each year’s World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is run by a separate organization which administers the Hugo Awards for that year. The Chengdu 2023 Worldcon has asked that any specific questions about the administration of the 2023 Hugo Awards be sent to [email protected]. (For media enquiries on topics related to W.I.P. other than the specifics of the 2023 Hugo Awards, you may contact [email protected].)

[Based on a press release.]

Update: 01/30/2024: The membership of the WIP Board are the members of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee. Upon Dave McCarty’s resignation, the MPC elected Bruce Farr to fill that now-empty seat (which was up for election at the 2024 WSFS Business Meeting). Bruce was currently already serving as a non-voting Treasurer of the MPC and of WIP.

The members of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee as of January 30, 2024 are: Judith Bemis (Elected until 2026); Alan Bond (Appointed by Seattle 2025 until 2027); Joni Dashoff (Elected until 2026); Linda Deneroff (Secretary, Elected until 2024); Donald E. Eastlake 3rd (Chair Elected until 2024); David Ennis (Appointed by Buffalo NASFiC 2024 until 2026); Bruce Farr (Treasurer, Appointed by Board Resolution to fill vacancy until 2024); Alissa Wales (Appointed by Glasgow 2024 until 2026); Chris Rose (Appointed by Chicon 8 until 2024); Linda Ross-Mansfield (Appointed by Pemmi-Con/2023 NASFiC until 2025); Chen Shi (Appointed by Chengdu Worldcon 2023 until 2025); Kevin Standlee (Elected until 2025); Mike Willmoth (Elected until 2026); Nicholas Whyte (Elected until 2025); and Ben Yalow (Elected until 2025).

266 thoughts on “Worldcon Intellectual Property Announces Censure of McCarty, Chen Shi and Yalow; McCarty Resigns; Eastlake Succeeds Standlee as Chair of B.O.D.

  1. Dave Weinstein: You inspire me to create the Jay Blanc Memorial Award for Today’s Thing To Worry About. Wear it proudly.

  2. …will be sneered at by some as unrealistic, old-fashioned, and even irrelevant.

    We live in a much different world than we did in 1939.

    It has become more litigious than before. And more aware.

    A convention has to duty to the attendees to provide a space that provides for safety and security. It also has a duty to insure the committee, the volunteers, security from fiscal harm due to legal actions.

    The scope of fandom has expanded. More people who love the genre have found fandom and want those moments you speak of. More are demanding recognition and respect as fans.

    The fandom of 1939, 49, 59, 69, 79 is gone. Hopefully not forgotten. But if we want to preserve fandom, as a community we must evolve to reflect the realities of our current times and how to create that “bubble” today so fans can connect.

    Some may find that blasphemous. I don’t.

  3. Fandom is both larger and broader than it was even twenty years ago. And far less isolated. Many of the communities that make it up are organized and vocal.

    How long is WorldCon likely to last as a Gathering of the Tribes if it’s less organized and securely structured than the tribes it’s gathering?

  4. Ed Green on February 3, 2024 at 2:47 pm: I don’t see anything that you wrote as in the least incompatible with what I wrote. If you did, you misread me.

  5. Certainly the fandom of 1939, being smaller and more cohesive, would never have had a controversy over exclusion. (/s)

  6. Or perhaps you wrote it poorly. Either way it happens.

    I remember the time here where you misread a comment I made here one time and you accused me of saying Pros were not fans. Which of course was not true, and you have yet apologize to me for it.

    Well, water under the bridge for both us, eh?

  7. @katster

    I was lurking in the r/legaladvice subreddit when Tree Law first became a thing. It’s not so much that Tree Law is arcane. It’s that the subreddit had, within a relatively short period of time, three or so questions that all went, more or less:

    Question: My asshole neighbor cut down several beautiful old trees on my property while I was away on vacation because he said he was tired of them dropping leaves in his yard! Is it worth it to sue him for the value of the trees?

    Subreddit: “CHA CHING! You now own his house!”

    Turns out live old trees are ferociously expensive to replace, and depending on the type of tree and the age, it might also have additional protections (one question concerned, I believe, some hundred-year-old native white oaks that were almost extinct in the area and thus were granted extra protections by the local authorities). So after the first time someone on the subreddit looked up the values of the slaughtered trees, and the number of zeroes just kept climbing, everyone on the subreddit started really enjoying Tree Law because it’s always fun to be able to tell the questioner that yes, they absolutely SHOULD sue their tree-murdering asshole neighbor for the cost of replacing several 100 year old native white oaks.

    There was one jackass neighbor who cut down an entire row of old trees that weren’t his because he said they were blocking his view of the road or something. The cost of replacing all of those was astronomical. “It’s just a tree, how much could it possibly be worth if I cut it down??”

  8. No matter how you feel about the Israel v. Palestine relations, is anyone going to want to go to Tel Aviv when there’s liable to be an active shootin’, bombin’ etc. war going on at any time? (That was one thing nobody worried about in Chicago, Chengdu, Glasgow, Seattle, f’rex.) Mass murderers are no respecters of tourists over natives. They ought to pull out now. Put out whatever generic anodyne statement they want to. A simple bland “due to current unrest in the region” would do it. Regardless of your politics, everyone could agree with that.

    @Gary Farber: Absolutely correct. Worldcon is for meeting other fen! I’ve been going since 1981 and I’ve never attended a Business Meeting, and there are several times I didn’t go to the Hugos for one reason or another. I could have nominated for Chengdu thanks to my Chicon membership, but I didn’t.

    @Tom Becker: And nobody would say you couldn’t sit there in 1939! Or remember that for the rest of the century and into the next! (bigger /s)

    I cannot contribute, but will happily partake of further fannish 1776 development. I got an A on my college history exam about the Revolution and before thanks to it. My professor asked why I was moving my lips and I told him I was singing to remember the answers. He LOL.

    Nowadays I guess you could also rap about it. I ROTFL at the 1776 quote in “Hamilton”. They make a nice double feature on the 4th of July; we’ve watched 1776 every year since we got a recorded-off-HBO VHS tape in the 80s and of course we’re on Blu-Ray now. In the Before Times, friends had a party just for that, BYO stuff, then off to an empty parking lot we could see several firework sites from.

    I once met John Cullum, who sings “Molasses to Rum to Slaves” in the movie. He was in “Northern Exposure” at the time, so everyone else at the event was all about that. So he was very happy when I enthused about 1776.

  9. @Maytree

    Thanks for the enlightenment! I’m just somebody on the wider internet who gets the memes garbled at times. I like knowing the story behind it.

    (PS: Name is appropriate.)

  10. @Lurkertype: I can understand the Israeli fans holding off on making a decision for now — who knows, maybe the war might be over by the bidding deadline next year — but so far no other 2027 bids have surfaced yet.

    I would expect that a bid from another country, at least one from any past Worldcon host country besides China or from most countries in Europe, would be able to surpass Tel Aviv. But I wouldn’t expect Tel Aviv to withdraw now in favor of nobody.

  11. Apologies to OGH for my recent double post. WordPress gave no indication that the first one went through, so i tried again. Likewise there was no 4 minute edit window the double check my stuff.

    “Pixel, pixel, scroll and stumble.
    File churn and cauldron double.”

  12. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 2/4/24 Pixel, Pixel, Scroll And Stumble. File Churn And Cauldron Double - File 770

  13. Brad Templeton

    I don’t know if this list starts with “the WSFS constitution.” Perhaps it should. However, there’s a decent, but not watertight argument that by submitting a bid, you are implicitly agreeing to follow the rules of what you are bidding for. It might be good to make that explicit. If a write-in bid were to win, it might argue it made no such implicit agreement.

    I totally agree.

    Read sections 1.2.1, 1.6, 1.2.5 and 2.1 of the WSFS constitution. That WSFS picks the Hugo winners is literally the first rule in the constitution

    1.2.1 gives the function to WSFS and 2.1 gives that duty to the Worldcon committee… so it seems as if there may be a little ambiguity????? (I am not a lawyer but have been involved in learned scientific society governance.)

  14. One last 1776 remark occurs to me:

    “Oh, Mister Frodo, you are walking me to Hobbit-cide”
    “Hobbit-cide, hobbit-cide!”
    “We may see Mordor yet!”

  15. Pingback: Cheryl Morgan, Dave McCarty Resign from WSFS’ Hugo Award Marketing Committee - File 770

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