Shea Porr, President of the Camarilla, Jan. 15, 2002
Sent to the membership of the Camarilla via e-mail
To the members of the Camarilla,
As many of you will have seen across various lists today, White Wolf
under the guidance of it's new President, has taken the unusual steps
the right to manage an independent organization over which they have no
claim : The Camarilla.
The Camarilla is an independent non-profit organization, incorporated
USA, which is managed by a volunteer board of directors, and made
of the hard work of you - the members, coordinators and storytellers
so much effort into this fantastic organization. We will not allow an
organization to claim ownership of The Camarilla and take it over as
their marketing department. This is not in the best interest of the
and based on feedback we've received in the past few days, is not what
For some time we have tried to negotiate a contract which was in the
of the organization. In the time we have been undertaking these
White Wolf has rejected a number of key compromises and remained firm
view of this club. It is clear that they have a different view as to
and direction of The Camarilla to that of it's own members and
of this difference, it is unlikely that an agreeable contract will be
in the near future.
White Wolf has never had any part in the running of this organization,
"White Wolf will manage the club directly". Our club will continue to
it has done so in the past. In the mean time we are consulting with
to ensure that we have explored every possible option open to us.
To be clear :
* Coordinators, if they were sending their reports to White Wolf, are
doing so immediately.
* No membership list will be presented to White Wolf.
* Our chronicle will not be shut down, re-set, altered or otherwise
in the immediate future.
* Memberships will continue to be handled in the current manner.
* The Camarilla will continue operations as normal.
We will keep you updated as to the resolution of this issue as it
Shea Porr, 9509-075
The Camarilla (r)
---Letter # 2-----
Shea Porr, President of the Camarilla, Jan. 21, 2002
Sent to the membership of the Camarilla via e-mail
I'd like to say a couple of things before I get into the meat of
First, I apologize for the delay in posting this response. Things
very hectic this week and I wanted to have some answers for you, better
than "We're looking into this." Second, I want to compliment the
on their attitudes and reactions to this situation. For the most part,
been highly pleased to see rational and polite conversations and
on the lists I'm on and in the communications I've received privately.
seen comments from both sides (pro-The Camarilla/NPO and pro-White
I thank everyone for remaining calm and being polite as we move forward
these trying times.
I'm going to try and put some order to this post and cover some of
questions that I've seen as well as update you on the situation at this
in time. Some of the more high-profile questions include the trademark
name The Camarilla and the incorporation of this organization. When
first formed, White Wolf told us that any terms used in their books
"trademarks" which White Wolf allegedly owned, including the name
For this reason, you will find references in some of the older
to White Wolf owning that word. It was later determined that White
was false, and that White Wolf had never trademarked the name "The
Consequently, commencing in 1998 The Camarilla filed an application to
the name "The Camarilla", along with the distinctive way we spell
for our fanzine and our logo in order to protect the organization. The
was granted in February 2000. As an FYI, when an organization files
for a trademark,
the United States Patent and Trademark Office publishes a notice
someone has filed for a trademark and allowing a period of time for
and other claims to ownership of the trademark. The Trademark Office
to find any other uses of the word in question, where such an
put the company using the word in violation of the upcoming trademark.
was no contest filed in response to our application by White Wolf or by
The Camarilla was incorporated April 14, 1995. Our investigations
revealed that a different organization was formed sometime in 1992 or
Seattle Washington which also used "Camarilla" in its name.
Seattle company signed a contract with White Wolf in 1993, and again in
and it is my understanding that they were noted as the Official Fan
that time. I am uncertain as to the exact wording of those contracts,
have never received a copy despite asking for one from White Wolf. The
company apparently failed to renew its corporate registration and was
dissolved. There is no legal link between the group that organized the
company and the group that organized the Salt Lake City company.
expiration of the incorporation in Seattle and the incorporation by the
Lake City group, the contract with White Wolf expired. There has been
contract since. However, we have cooperated with White Wolf and have
had a good
working relationship with White Wolf while attempting to negotiate a
with them over a number of years. In that time, the club has grown,
growth has supported White Wolf.
The Camarilla is a legally incorporated non-profit organization
in the State of Utah that was incorporated April 14, 1995 by a group of
totally independent of White Wolf. It is a charity recognized by the
Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code.
is a corporation in good standing. It's corporate charter has not
been revoked. The Utah Department of Commerce made a mistake when the
report was filed and incorrectly showed The Camarilla as being expired.
error was resolved the same day that we called it to the attention of
of Corporations, and our corporate filings with the State of Utah are
through April 2003, although this fact will not show on their website
they update it in about a week. The Camarilla is not and never has
been a subsidiary
of White Wolf. One of the reasons that the contract negotiations with
Wolf failed was that White Wolf was intent on assuming control of The
and in fact operating it as a subsidiary. It appeared to the Board
Wolf was attempting to turn The Camarilla into a new profit center
unpaid volunteers. Although there is nothing to prevent White Wolf
and running their own fan club, White Wolf is not in control of The
and cannot start up their own fan club using the name The Camarilla, or
other name deceptively similar to The Camarilla due to the Camarilla's
registration. It is the position of the Board that White Wolf will
create its own fan club with a different name, rather than take over
and membership developed by the members of The Camarilla.
One of the complaints/comments I've heard is that the membership feels
have been blind sided due to the fact that there have been difficulties
negotiations between The Camarilla and White Wolf. It is not common
to post the details of contract negotiations while they are ongoing.
my intent to have a contract signed and concluded early in my tenure as
However, as I negotiated with White Wolf, I encountered more and more
to formation of an agreement with White Wolf as it became more and more
that White Wolf was intent on assuming control of The Camarilla. I
(perhaps incorrectly) that the continued mention of the fact that the
was still under negotiation would indicate to the membership that
was not going smoothly, and eventually I dropped the comment as things
were not progressing due to White Wolf's complete refusal to make the
to the contract we had requested in order to prevent White Wolf from
over The Camarilla and shifting various of its liabilities to The
I met with Mike Tinney in July 2001, and a couple minor points were
In particular, they agreed to put a clause into the contract that they
not sell the membership list, and they offered that the only approvals
would require on the Board would be President, EVP, VP Finance, and VP
I noted at that time that we would have to run this issue by our
was when we discovered that, by Utah statute, we could not give White
right to approve Board members unless our Bylaws were amended by a vote
full membership. White Wolf never responded to this issue or to my
have the membership vote on the prospective amendment. We had our
an acceptable contract which included many of the terms requested by
but which maintained the integrity of the organization as a volunteer,
corporation managed by its members rather than by White Wolf. We also
to have our lawyer work directly with White Wolf's lawyer, as we were
into some legal issues. This offer was denied and White Wolf insisted
we accept their contract without any of the changes we had requested.
In addition to the letter sent to the membership by Mike Tinney, on
15, our legal counsel received a letter from White Wolf's lawyer. This
detailed the steps White Wolf is taking to assume control of our
and requested that The Camarilla be dissolved; that the membership
turned over to White Wolf; that all intellectual property of The
conveyed to White Wolf; that all merchandise either be destroyed or
to White Wolf, including Requiem; and implied that legal pressure would
if the organization did not abide by these terms. White Wolf's lawyer
audacity to include three transfer documents along with his letter,
documents to transfer ownership of our website, mailing lists and all
assets to White Wolf.
Allow me to clarify that despite current events, we are not anti-White
We are still open to negotiating an acceptable contract. We still
it is in the best interests of both our group and White Wolf to work
but that will require compromise on both sides. A lot of people have
very hard over the past seven years to make The Camarilla what it is
The Board is committed and determined to preserve this organization,
its assets and do what is in the best interests of its membership.
On January 16, 2001, the day after our legal counsel received the
that White Wolf was assuming control of The Camarilla, The Camarilla
lawsuit against White Wolf in the United States District Court for the
of Utah seeking a preliminary injunction against White Wolf Publishing,
and White Wolf, Inc. to prevent them from using the name The Camarilla;
them from claiming to be The Camarilla or to be in control of The
for a declaratory judgment that The Camarilla owns the assets which it
along with the art work, rules supplements and other publications its
have developed over the years; for theft and conversion; for violation
Landham Act; for intentional interference with existing and prospective
relations; and for trademark misuse. On Friday, January 18, our
a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, and we have obtained an
hearing on that motion, which will be heard on Wednesday morning. Our
counsel has advised us that the Courts are very reluctant to grant
restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, especially in cases
trademark infringement, but we feel we have a strong case. If we do
on this motion we will continue to prosecute The Camarilla's claims
White Wolf. We do not anticipate that this matter will be resolved any
soon. However, as I said earlier, we continue to be willing to
reasonable settlement with White Wolf. Such a settlement will not
this organization or its assets over to White Wolf. All assets we as
have created, supported and paid for.
The bottom line is that nothing has changed, except that The Camarilla
longer claim to be "The Official Fan Club" of White Wolf. We are doing
we can to protect your organization and the assets it has developed
past seven years. We will update you from time to time as the legal
progress. In the meantime, please continue to have your games, your
meetings and your domain meetings. Plan for the regional and national
We are here to enjoy each other's company and to have a good time. We
anticipate any changes in the near future, but if something does
will let you know as quickly as we are able.
Shea Porr, 9509-075
The Camarilla (r)