Resolutions and Rulings of Continuing Effect

2003 Business Meeting, Toronto, Canada

Kevin Standlee, Chair
Donald Eastlake III, Deputy Chair / PO
Pat McMurray, Secretary
Clint Budd, Timekeeper
William J Keaton, Glenn Glazer, Tech Support

2002 Business Meeting, San José, California

Kevin Standlee, Presiding Officer
Kent Bloom, Deputy Presiding Officer
Pat McMurray (Standing in for Cheryl Morgan), Secretary
Seth Breidbart, Timekeeper
Paul Kraus, Tim Szczesuil, William J Keaton, Tech Support

BM-2002-1 Future Worldcon financial reports submitted after that Worldcon is over should only contain reportable balances, not income unattributable to that Worldcon such as interest or other activities.


The meeting can pass a resolution expressing an opinion as to the future legality of a foreshadowed motion that can not be legally introduced at the Preliminary Business Meeting. (Appealed and sustained.) The Chair further ruled that such a resolution would not be legally binding upon the Chair.


Blanket eligibility extension applies to dramatic presentations as well as written works. The word "published" as used in the Hugo Awards definitions should be interpreted in its technical sense under copyright law.


If a motion is Reconsidered, its debate time is refreshed. [Upon further review, this ruling was shown to be inconsistent with the Parliamentary Authority; a motion that is reconsidered on the same day as originally considered picks up where it previously left off, any exhausted debate time remains exhausted. If the motion is reconsidered on the next day, its debate time is refreshed.]


Amendments to the Constitution become part of the Constitution at the moment of ratification, although they generally do not take effect until later; therefore, they are subject to amendment as any other part of the Constitution.

2001 Business Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Donald E. Eastlake III, Chair
Kevin Standlee, Parliamentarian & Deputy Presiding Officer
Bridget Boyle, Timekeeper
'Zanne Labonville, Emergency Holographic Timekeeper
Cheryl Morgan, Secretary


Resolved, The NP&FS is directed to remind each future Worldcon, early and often, that the WSFS Business Meeting believes that membership badges be readable, with members' names printed in no less than 24 point type.


Resolved, to establish a committee to study the history of Worldcons and to produce a standard list of Worldcon and Hugo Award historical information, with Bruce Pelz as chair, and the chair authorized to appoint additional members.


The Chair ruled that the Business Meeting could create standing committees of the Business Meeting by standing rule, but could create standing committees of WSFS only by constitutional amendment


The Chair ruled that it is right and proper for the Business Meeting to ask to know how excess funds remaining after a Worldcon are disbursed. It is not sufficient for the Worldcon to simply report that the funds have been transferred to another body for disbursement.


The Chair ruled that the Standing Rules can only cover the conduct of the Business Meeting and may not be used to impose requirements upon Worldcons.

2000 Business Meeting, Chicago, Illinois

Donald E. Eastlake III, Chair
Kevin Standlee, Parliamentarian & Deputy Presiding Officer
'Zanne Labonville, Timekeeper
Robert Sacks (standing in for Pat McMurray), Secretary
Cheryl Morgan, Emergency Holographic Secretary


Resolved, that the proper formatting of the WSFS Constitution is as follows:

  1. The WSFS Constitution is divided into a number of Articles, which are numbered in Roman numerals, thus: 1, 2, 3, 4, ….
  2. Each Article is divided into a number of Sections, which are numbered with their Article and Section number in Legal format in Arabic numerals, thus: 1.1, 1.2,…. Each Section has a title relevant to its contents.
  3. Each Section may be divided into subsections, which are numbered with their Article, Section and subsection number in Legal format in Arabic numerals, thus: 1.5.1, 1.5.2,…. Subsections do not have titles.
  4. Enumerated lists of items are numbered with their sequence number in Arabic numerals enclosed in parentheses, thus: (1), (2),….
  5. Sections should be arranged in approximately chronological order within articles, as should subsections within sections, and items within lists.


Resolved, to encourage Worldcons who tape their sessions to make copies available to the Worldcon history exhibit.


The Chair ruled that the definition of a "signature" (as per the Hugo voting rules) was a matter for individual Hugo Award committees.

1999 Business Meeting, Melbourne, Australia.

Jack Herman, Chair
'Zanne Labonville, Timekeeper
Pat McMurray, Secretary

No Resolutions or Rulings of Continuing Effect were made at Aussiecon III.

1998 Business Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland.

Tim Illingworth, Chair
Don Eastlake, Deputy Presiding Officer
Kevin Standlee (standing in for Kathy Westhead), Timekeeper
Pat McMurray, Secretary
Robbie Bourget, Master-at-Arms


The Chair ruled that it was in order to nominate sitting [appointed] members of the Mark Protection Committee for election to the Mark Protection Committee.

1997 Business Meeting, San Antonio, Texas.

Donald E. Eastlake III, Presiding Officer
Kevin Standlee, Secretary
'Zanne Labonville, Timekeeper


The Chair ruled that the Business Meeting could create "recognized publications" (as contemplated in the motion being debated) by resolution.

1996 Business Meeting, Anaheim, California.

Donald E. Eastlake III, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Kevin Standlee, Parliamentarian and Deputy Presiding Officer
'Zanne Labonville, Timekeeper

No Resolutions or Rulings of Continuing Effect were made at L.A.Con III.

1995 Business Meeting, Glasgow, Scotland.

Kevin Standlee, Presiding Officer
Tim Illingworth, Deputy Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Gary Feldbaum, Timekeeper


It is the sense of WSFS that it is inappropriate for a Worldcon Committee to gather additional demographic data on the site-selection and/or the Hugo Award ballots beyond that which is required by the WSFS Constitution, or useful for the efficient administration of the balloting.


Balloting is necessary, unless the rules are suspended, even if the number of Mark Protection Committee nominees is the same as the number of seats to fill, since write-ins are allowed.


It is out of order, unless the rules are suspended, to change an existing working group to a committee.


It is out of order to amend a motion so as to simply undo an amendment previous[ly] adopted at the same session; however, the motion to Reconsider may be available.


In response to an inquiry as to the meaning of "published in advance" in rules related to the Business Meeting published in advance by the Worldcon Committee, the Chair ruled that such rules would have to be printed with the official documents, and not included by reference, although a reference could be made to an existing parliamentary manual.


The Chair ruled that the Standing Rules do bind the Worldcon Committee.


Persons casting site-selection ballots by mail may change their vote as long as practical until the tallying begins. [It was pointed out at the 1996 Business Meeting that CH-1995-6 meant it was appropriate to allow a change, not that it was required.]

1994 Business Meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Donald Eastlake, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Kevin Standlee, Parliamentarian
Rick Katze, Timekeeper

BM-1994-1 WSFS Electronic Archives

RESOLVED, the Committee on Motions of Continuing Effect is hereby requested to maintain a list of sites that volunteer to keep public electronic archives of WSFS-related material. Worldcons are requested to transmit to such sites a copy of the current WSFS Constitution, Standing Rules, Business Passed On, and Business Meeting Minutes whenever new versions are available for distribution. The Committee on Motions of Continuing Effect is also requested to transmit to those same sites a copy of its report on such motions and any other reports deemed appropriate for general distribution. Materials made available electronically are not to contain personal information such as mail address or phone number without the express consent of the individual whose information is to be contained therein.


RESOLVED, that WSFS strongly encourages prospective Hugo categories to be tested before being submitted to the WSFS Business Meeting.

1993 Business Meeting, San Francisco, California

John Lorentz, Presiding Officer
David Levine, Secretary
Kevin Standlee, Parliamentarian
Rick Katze / Jeff Canfield, Timekeepers


[Incorporated in Standing Rule 4.3].


A motion to take the vote on an Objection to Consideration by written ballot was ruled to be in order.


A motion which referred to the place of residence of a named individual was ruled to be in order.


A suggestion of 50 years as the debate limit for a motion was ruled to be dilatory.


The Chair ruled that a Constitutional provision beginning with the word "Provided" and affecting only one year would automatically disappear from the Constitution after that year.

1992 Business Meeting, Orlando, Florida

Bruce Pelz, Presiding Officer
Ben Yalow, Parliamentarian
George Flynn, Secretary
Kevin Standlee, Timekeeper


The Mark Protection Committee is directed to investigate the possibility of protecting the Hugo rocket symbol and, if in its judgement the protection is worthwhile, to begin the process of protecting it.


The Mark Protection Committee is directed to use its judgement in selecting which marks to protect in which countries to achieve maximum protection with available resources.


The Mark Protection Committee is authorized to negotiate royalties for commercial use of WSFS marks.


It was the sense of the meeting that all (unofficial) site-selection results should be posted as soon as they are known. It was noted that future Worldcons could not be bound in this respect.


Ruled that if "None of the Above" wins the NASFiC balloting and the decision goes to the Business Meeting, the Business Meeting can not choose "None of the Above".


Ruled in connection with use of the WSFS marks that

  1. use by Worldcon and bidding committees is not commercial use,
  2. a blurb of "Hugo Winner" on a book's cover would not count as commercial use but a book like The Hugo Award Winners would be, and
  3. T-shirts produced for a Worldcon by an outside vendor would be commercial use.

1991 Business Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.

Ross Pavlac, Presiding Officer
Bruce Pelz, Assistant Presiding Officer
Yale F. Edeiken, Parliamentarian
Theresa Renner, Staff Sergeant-at-Arms
Richard S. Russell, Secretary
Kevin Standlee, Timekeeper

BM-1991-1 (right after the Vote Count from Hell)

Resolved, That the Business Meeting recommends that all future Worldcons adopt the practice of validating site-selection ballots as they are received, rather than after site-selection balloting closes.


Ruled that an Objection to Consideration is still in order, after debate on the time set for a motion, if debate has not touched on the substance of the motion.


After a tie vote which did not include the podium staff, an attempt was made to add the podium staff votes. A point of order was raised that all who wish to vote must do so at the same time (except that the chair should generally refrain from voting but may then add their single vote if it affects the outcome). This point of order was found to be well taken.


An objection was raised that the chair should not try to influence the vote while voting is taking place. The chair agreed.

1990 Business Meeting, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Bruce Pelz, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Ben Yalow, Parliamentarian
Rick Katze, Timekeeper


A point of order was raised against a motion because the seconder was eleven years old. The chair ruled that the point of order was not well taken as there are no age limits on membership in the society.

1989 Business Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Donald Eastlake, Presiding Officer
Bruce Pelz, Deputy Presiding Officer
Kent Bloom, Secretary
Rick Katze, Timekeeper
Theresa Renner, Sergeant-at-Arms


The chair ruled that any amendment to the Constitution imposing additional financial reporting requirements would not apply to a Worldcon held before the requirement went into effect.

1988 Business Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bruce E. Pelz, Presiding Officer
Elayne F. Pelz, Secretary
Ben Yalow, Parliamentarian


Every Worldcon Committee is requested to include the following additional notice in each of its publications: The World Science Fiction Society and the World Science Fiction Convention are not related to "World SF, The International Association of Science Fiction Professionals."


The Business Meeting endorses the proposal that a Worldcon Procedures Guide be created, as discussed in The Mad 3 Party.

1987 Business Meeting, Brighton, England.

Tim Stannard, Presiding Officer
Tim Illingworth, Secretary
Ben Yalow, Parliamentarian


The chair ruled that a quorum need not be present to hear reports.

1986 Business Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.

Bruce E. Pelz, Presiding Officer
Elayne F. Pelz, Secretary
Ben Yalow, Parliamentarian


[Superseded by BM-1988-1].


All Worldcon and NASFiC Committees are encouraged to financially support the Mark Registration and Protection Committee.

1985 Business Meeting, Melbourne, Victoria.

Jack Herman, Presiding Officer
Kent Bloom, Secretary
Donald Eastlake, Parliamentarian


It is the sense of the Business Meeting that the name of "World SF, The International Association of Science Fiction Professionals", does not infringe on any proper trademark of WSFS.


A Committee (to be convened by George Flynn) is requested to (i) compile and maintain a list of resolutions adopted by the Business Meeting which are still in effect, (ii) send copies of this list to each Worldcon, and (iii) make copies available to members of the Society on request.

NOTE: As originally proposed, the Standing Committee was to perform this task. Mr Flynn had not agreed to do this, and the task was taken on by Mr Eastlake.


The chair directed that the Mark Registration and Protection Committee should respond to requests for lists of Hugo winners provided that the use of service marks is noted.

1984 Business Meeting, Anaheim, California.

Ross Pavlac, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
George Scithers, Parliamentarian
Bob Hillis, Timekeeper


The Mark Registration and Protection Committee should be directed concerning pursuit of registration for particular marks only by resolution of the Business Meeting.


(a) The current Worldcon Committee should be neutral between committees bidding for future Worldcons. It should not request or accept money or supplies from any one bidding committee without making equivalent opportunity available to any competing committee(s).

(b) This resolution shall not preclude any individual member of a Worldcon Committee from offering his or her services, funds, or supplies to a bidding committee.

(c) This resolution shall not preclude the current Worldcon Committee from accepting the services of a bidding committee or its members, nor shall it preclude a bidding committee from offering services or merchandise to members of a Worldcon.


[Action performed].


[Action performed].


A motion to refer a site-selection rotation zone plan to the United Nations was ruled out of order.


[Incorporated in the Constitution, Section 4.6].

1983 Business Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland.

Kent Bloom, Presiding Officer
Mary Morman, Secretary


A Constitutional amendment was up for ratification which divided a Hugo category into two new categories. A motion was made to delete one of the new categories. The chair ruled that this was permissible at the ratification stage and that further ratification the following year would not be needed if the change were adopted. The ruling of the chair was appealed and the assembly overruled the chair, deciding that such a deletion was out of order at the ratification stage in this case.


A Constitutional amendment up for ratification was reworded with more neutral language but with no change in meaning. A point of order was raised that this would require it to be ratified again in changed form the following year. The chair ruled this point of order was not well taken

1982 Business Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.

Donald Eastlake, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Rick Katze, Counsel
Leslie Turek, Timekeeper
Paula Lieberman, Sergeant-at-Arms


Whereas recent Worldcons have had, and future Worldcons can expect to have, significant excess funds following the close of the convention;

And whereas there has been considerable debate and discussion in the past about the appropriate uses for these funds;

And whereas there are many organizations that would be worthy recipients of such funds;

And whereas it is difficult to choose which of the many worthy organizations should receive said funds; Be it resolved that the following organizations are considered by the World Science Fiction Society to be among those worthy to receive donations:

  1. recognized fan charities, such as TAFF, DUFF, GUFF, TOFF and the FAAn Awards;
  2. established national fan organizations, such as the NFFF and the Fantasy Artists Network;
  3. PBS, NPR, and their local affiliates, for the production and/or sponsorship of science fiction programming; and
  4. future Worldcon committees.

NOTE: The above motion as originally proposed also listed "Small, established regional conventions;", "Established local fan organizations, especially IRS code 501(c)3-recognized not-for-profit organizations;", and "Local public libraries, for improvements to their science fiction collections;". These were specifically deleted from the list of acceptable recipients by vote of the Business Meeting.


[Incorporated in the Constitution, Section 6.3].


The chair ruled that when the procedure of filling a blank is used to determine debate time limits at a Business Meeting, voting should start with the longest time period and proceed to shorter time periods until one obtains a majority.


The chair ruled that the opinions of the Business Meeting chair as to the meaning of Hugo category definitions are not binding on future Worldcons.


A motion was introduced that would direct future Worldcons supervising site selection to disqualify any bid that used hotels from a particular chain as the main convention hotel until certain conditions were met. The chair ruled the motion out of order on the grounds that requirements for bidding are specified in the WSFS Constitution and additional criteria cannot be imposed without amending the Constitution.


A motion to amend the Standing Rules to impose additional criteria for NASFIC bidders to appear on the ballot was ruled out of order by the chair on the grounds that bidding criteria are specified by the Constitution and any additional criteria can only be imposed by Constitutional amendment. (The ruling of the chair was appealed and the chair was sustained by vote of the assembly.)


The chair ruled that actual personal signatures are not required on motions submitted in writing as long as the makers of the motion are identified.


The chair ruled that "generally available" means you can get it if you want it, not that there have to be copies for everyone who might want it.

1981 Business Meeting, Denver, Colorado.

Donald Eastlake, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Rick Katze, Sergeant-at-Arms
Bob Hillis, Timekeeper


The chair ruled that the term "publications" includes everything sent to all members, and also flyers, etc


1980 Business Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Donald Eastlake, Presiding Officer
George Flynn, Secretary
Mike Lalor, Sergeant-at-Arms
Bob Hillis, Timekeeper


[Incorporated in Standing Rule 1.1].


The chair ruled that in the case of the adoption of an entire new Constitution for WSFS, general amendments would be in order at the time of ratification.


[Incorporated in the Constitution, Section 3.8 ].


A motion was introduced to authorize a named individual to select and publish a series of "retrospective Hugos" for the years 1926 through 1951. A point of order was raised that, in light of the WSFS Constitution provisions prohibiting extending the name to any award other than that awarded by the mechanism provided in the Constitution, this would require a Constitutional amendment. The chair ruled that this point of order was well taken.


The chair ruled that allegations of misconduct involving a non-Hugo award administered by a Worldcon are not WSFS Business. (The ruling of the chair was appealed and the chair was sustained by a vote of 20-1.)

NOTE: 1980 was the first Business Meeting at which a special committee to register and protect the WSFS marks was created. This committee was continued from year to year until a constitutional amendment was adopted in 1982 and ratified in 1983 giving these duties to the Standing Committee. The composition of the Standing Committee was identical to that of the Board of Directors in a new Constitution being considered in those years (see note after BM-1978-01). A further constitutional amendment passed in 1985 and ratified in 1986 changed the name of the committee to the Mark Registration and Protection Committee. A further amendment passed in 1990 and ratified in 1991 simplified the name to the Mark Protection Committee.

1979 Business Meeting, Brighton, England.

Donald Eastlake, Presiding Officer
Rick Katze, Secretary

NOTE: The written notes of the Secretary and a tape recording of the Business Meeting were both destroyed in an apartment fire before they could be transcribed or distributed. Thus no minutes exist for this Business Meeting. A note of actions has however been prepared based on Ben Yalow's surviving copy of the Agenda for the Main Meeting, together with his notes.

1978 Business Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.

Bob Hillis, Presiding Officer
Donald Eastlake, Secretary
Jack Speer, Parliamentarian
Mike Lalor, Timekeeper


A permanent body, the World Science Fiction Society, Incorporated (WSFS, Inc.) should be established, independent of any Worldcon Committee, whose members will be the members of the current and upcoming Worldcons. The Board of Directors of WSFS, Inc. should be selected by the members of the Society and by current and recent Worldcon Committees.

WSFS, Inc. should be responsible for the administering of voting for selection of the Hugos and the sites of future Worldcons. No change should be made in either Hugos or site selection as a result of the establishment of WSFS, Inc. except as necessary to administer the voting.

In cases of a Worldcon Committee becoming unable to properly manage its designated Convention, either because of internal collapse or misconduct, then, after investigations and due process, the Board of Directors should have the right to remove the name "World Science Fiction Convention" and the awarding of the Hugos, site selection and the holding of the Society's Business Meeting from the control of the guilty Committee and to award them to another responsible group.

NOTE: As initially passed, this resolution also continued a WSFS Constitution Drafting Committee that had been set up even earlier. This committee existed for a number of years, being chaired by various fans at various times. Ultimately it came up with a full Draft Constitution, a large part of which were debated and perfected at a WSFS Business Meeting. Finally, at the 1983 (??1982) WSFS Business Meeting, a report of the committee was received and the committee dismissed with thanks but no further steps were taken to perfect or adopt the new Constitution. While no steps are being taken to put the above resolution into effect, nothing has ever been done to repeal or contradict it either.

NOTE: At the 1988 Business Meeting a motion to repeal resolution BM-1978-1 was introduced and defeated.

NOTE: The 1978 Business Meeting was the one at which the first set of permanent Standing Rules for the Governance of the WSFS Business Meeting, as provided in the Constitution, were adopted.

1977 Business Meeting, Miami Beach, Florida.

Bob Hillis, Presiding Officer
Larry Smith, Secretary


The Convention Chair asserted a right to co-preside at the Business Meeting without replacing the Presiding Officer.


The chair ruled that an Objection to Consideration could not be made unless good reasons for the objection were given. The ruling of the chair was appealed and the chair was overruled.

NOTE: Minutes are not available for the 1977 Business Meeting. The above is based on notes made by Bob Hillis after consultation with Larry Smith

1976 Business Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri.

Bob Hillis, Presiding Officer
Larry Smith, Secretary
George Scithers, Parliamentarian


Immediately after calling the meeting to order, the Presiding Officer asked for and received a unanimous vote to the effect that the Constitution printed in program book was invalid and that a document distributed to the Business Meeting was the valid current Constitution with a set of pending amendments as passed in 1975 at Aussiecon. (A minor correction was later made, after researching the original language passed in 1972 at LACon I, in the wording of the separate eligibility of the English language translation of a work originally published in a language other than English.)

NOTE: Previous practice was to incorporate all changes in the text with the understanding that the change was not binding on the next Worldcon unless it wished to observe this. Considerable confusion resulted. In addition there had been attempts to adopt major changes at DisCon II in 1974 and Aussiecon in 1975 while bypassing the one year delay. Bill Brown had ruled that changes made at DisCon II needed to be ratified but changes at Aussiecon went into effect immediately.


The chair ruled that amendments could be offered to constitutional amendments pending ratification provided that the proposed change would constitute a lesser change from the existing Constitution than the original language passed the previous year.

NOTE: This Business Meeting adopted a set of Standing Rules, asserting its authority over its own procedures, but these were not yet provided for in the Constitution.

NOTE: Minutes are not available for the 1976 Business Meeting. The above is based on notes made by Bob Hillis after consultation with Larry Smith