Pages of History

The newsletter of the Naturist Education Foundation and the Naturist Action Committee.

Volume 1, Number 9.  September 2020.

NAC and NEF Annual Meeting

Doug Hickok, NAC and NEF Board Member
The 2020 Naturist Action Committee and Naturist Education Foundation Annual Meetings were held last weekend.  The board meetings for the nine members scattered coast-to-coast took place via eighteen hours of Zoom meetings, in two-hour blocks, evenly spaced out across three days to keep our sanity us refreshed and revitalized to pursue moving forward!

All-in-all, the meetings went very well with much being accomplished!  Many areas were looked at, first reflecting on the past, and then looking forward anticipating and planning for the future of the organizations, always with a critical and nurturing eye to the larger picture and organizational climate.

Why do we spend so much time together for this meeting?  It's much more than simply electing officers, making appointments, and the other required agenda items.  One of our board members happens to be a strategic planning consultant, so we have professional help with reviewing, evaluating progress, and modifying our missions and long-range goal plans as necessary.  That flows down into reviewing the many projects the organizations are working on and the action plans for each.  Meeting our legal and fiduciary duties as board members is about protecting, overseeing, and directing the organizations toward their missions while ensuring nonprofit 501c3 and 501c4 compliance.

With NAC (a 501c4) and NEF (a 501c3) being two separate organizations with similar, but different, goals, programs, strategies, and governance requirements, that means these steps are all multiplied by two.

As always, progress on these many varied projects will be reported here, so stay tuned!

Naturist Action Committee Goes to the Aid of Yet Another Nude Beach Visitor, This Time in Florida

NAC Board
During July 2020 a visitor to Florida's Playalinda Beach in Canaveral National Seashore (CNS/NPS) was cited by a Park Ranger for being merely nude while sunbathing on the beach near parking lot #5.

Playalinda Beach has a recognized traditional nude beach section in the area of parking lots 12 & 13.

The visitor from the state of Georgia had picked up the information on the nude beach at Playalinda Beach from the State of Florida's official tourist information site, Visit Florida.

However, the Visit Florida site does not list the appropriate parking lot location and Canaveral National Seashore has no signs to identify where the traditional nude beach is located.

The visitor, known here as A.S. was ticketed for Exposure of Sex Organ and Disorderly Conduct.  A.S. then contacted the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) for assistance.

A.S. was advised that mere nudity, absent any sexual activity, in Florida or in a National Park on Federal land is not classified as Indecent Exposure or Lewd & Lascivious Behavior.

Also, for the charge of Disorderly Conduct, there has to be a third person as a complaining party.  That person(s) would have to come forward and sign a complaint with their name and address, and agree to show up in court to testify.  The park officer cannot be the complaining party.  (A 6th Amendment, US Constitutional issue)

The representative of the Naturist Action Committee advised A.S. of their rights and seriousness of his situation, and recommended that he first acquire an attorney, and under no circumstance not show up in court, and do not plead 'No Contest' which is basically considered the same as a plea of guilty.  It would lead to a conviction by the judge and allow for the same sentencing options as a guilty plea.

A conviction on the 'Exposure of Sex Organ' charge, while over-broad, could have a person's name end up on a Sexual Predators List.

The NAC representative immediately wrote a letter to the Park Superintendent outlining the errors in the citation and requesting the citation be voided.  The conversation was professional and objective.  The superintendent agreed to look into the situation and act according to the law and the advice of the US Attorney.

A.S. received a summons to the federal court in Orlando.  He did not hire an attorney because the fee quoted was going to be in excess of $4000.

When A.S. arrived at the court, he was met by the chief ranger and the ranger that issued the citation.  They informed him that the citation had been cancelled and apologized to him for the mistake and any inconvenience they caused him.

Note: the Naturist Action Committee is not a law firm and only acts to educate the public of their rights to a fair trial in the justice system.

[Editor's NoteFor NAC to provide this service, we maintain a reference page with the laws in each state (here) and case law in the Toni Egbert Law Library (here).  We sincerely hope that we never need to help you out of a citation, but if we do, wouldn't you want these references to be as complete and up-to-date as possible?  You can help with that by donating to NAC.]

Research Request Policy Change

Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director
The NEF Research Library, like most other libraries, has a process to let researchers request articles (and other things) called a "Research Request".  (The form is on the main library page.)  There were a couple significant considerations that went into defining that process.

First, the process needs to meet "fair use" standards.  This is true of every library.

Second, unique to the nature of our content, images of naked people should be limited in some way.  There are a lot of people out there who enjoy copying and redistributing images with nudity, without any consideration of copyright.  There had to be some way to limit this.

My initial intent was to use money as a limiter on the number of photos going out with research requests.  As part of the Research Request, we suggested a donation to be made of $10 for an article of XEROX quality (+$5 each additional article), or $15 for an article with full color and quality (+$10 each additional article).  If a researcher was interested in the article text, then XEROX quality would be perfect for them.  The additional cost of full color and quality meant the researcher was likely planning to include an image with their work, or the image was an important part of the research.  As you can see, an attempt to snag lots of images would be an expensive endeavor.

After I announced our Search tool last month, a complaint was received by the consortium.  The publisher of a magazine was unhappy that the general public could search for and then eventually receive articles, and that NEFRL could be receiving donation money for their copyrighted work.

Full Disclosure:  To date, no researchers have actually paid the suggested donation amounts.  Prior to February, suggested donations weren't mentioned as part of the Research Request.  And after COVID hit, most haven't been in a stable financial situation.  Keep in mind that it was written as a requested donation -- as a charitable organization and library, we still fulfilled requests.  Also noteworthy is that none of the requests that have been filled have been for articles from the publisher that complained.

As a precautionary measure, I reviewed the copyright laws again and verified that our Research Request process is adhering to them.  (Specifically Title 17 Section 108: "Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives" as enacted in 1976 and the Model Statutory Language as drafted and last distributed in 2017.)  During this, I did find two areas that needed improving.

First, Title 17 Section 108(d)(2) specifies that our order form must contain the copyright warning language dictated by the Register of Copyrights.  Although I already had language in there that conveys the same intent, I added this at the end of the form anyway.

Second, Section 108(a)(1) states "the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage."  It's not entirely clear what "commercial advantage" actually means.  For researchers, buying the whole magazine for $10 from the publisher would've been cheaper than having NEFRL process the request for an article.  I've experienced other libraries and museums charging money for Research Requests, either to cover hours spent by the staff to process and distribute the request, or for licensing fees depending on the intended use.  I genuinely didn't see any harm in requesting a donation, and the request certainly wasn't a "commercial advantage" for NEFRL.  Either way, this "commercial advantage" concept actually stems from the "Gentleman's Agreement" of 1935, around the time photo-duplication became available for printed works.  At that time, the source institution was not allowed to make a profit from the duplicated work.  Again, what is "profit"?  Could they cover material costs, labor, or operational costs?  I'm still not entirely clear on this.  Certainly it would be hard to find a library currently that provides free copies of materials.  Even when patrons do their own research and request copies, they are charged or directed to a copying machine that requires payment.

In an abundance of caution after the one complaint, and in recognition of the fact that NEF is a charitable organization whose mission includes educating the general public about naturism, we have decided to drop the "requested donation" from the Research Request process, and all fulfillments will be in full-quality instead of XEROX quality.

We will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis and see how it goes.

To recap:
Research Requests:  Free starting this month.
Digital Loans: As from the start, still free with a (free) library membership.

If you support libraries, or support our naturist library, or support the work that we're doing to make items available to the public, or simply support the educational mission Lee Baxandall started decades ago, we ask that you consider a donation to the Naturist Education Foundation.

Thank you for all your support so far!

[Editor's NoteWe still have boxes available!  Send your order in soon!]

Lee Baxandall's First Published Work?

Shannon Lewis, NAC and NEF Area Representative

[Editor's NoteShannon had a paragraph-and-a-half in last month's newsletter about this topic, but decided to expand on it a little more and offer up a link to read Lee's original work.]

In the fall of 1953, Lee Baxandall began his undergraduate studies at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The February 1954 issue of The Octopus, the university's satirical magazine, features an essay which may be Baxandall's first published work, a short piece entitled "One Whole Generation of Jelly Fish."  The one-page essay describes the 1893 toppling of the university's Bascom Hill Lincoln statue by a group of students, told from the point of view of the statue itself.

Being unbolted from his base and pushed down the snowy hill by the students, described as "six of his favorites," on a chilly February night is a fond memory of the Lincoln statue.  "He at first considered yelling for help, but he reconsidered; something exciting was going to happen, something novel in his life."  After recalling some flirtatious moments with two other statues near the hill, Liz Liberty and Lady Justice, Lincoln laments that the current batch of undergraduates is "a generation of jelly fish," too unimaginative and apathetic to carry out the rebellious pranks of the earlier groups of students.

Is Baxandall suggesting that a continued critical analysis of our historical figures is a better way to honor their often complicated legacies than simply revering the monuments we build for them?  Is he making an observation about the disengagement of his peers living in the shadow of the Korean War and on the precipice of America's involvement in the Vietnam War?  Is his depiction of the controversial Lincoln statue as a living, thinking, even lustful entity meant to inspire the reader to consider historical figures as imperfect and sometimes problematic human beings rather than godlike icons?  Is he encouraging a skepticism of contemporary politicians, with characters named Governor Seymour Hiemegne and President E.Z. Frayed suffering humiliation at the hands of a student revolt?  Is the essay a call for student engagement and activism?

Or, was Baxandall simply a snarky nineteen year-old writing a bit of provocative satire?

"I'm having a difficult time avoiding that latter conclusion," my professor friend replied, when I asked for his opinion on the essay.  You can read Lee Baxandall's "One Whole Generation of Jelly Fish", at The University of Wisconsin Collection, and draw your own conclusions!

Nude Cruise of 1932

Photos provided by Susan Shopiro
Text by Doug Hickok

This brochure, likely from among the first commercial "nude cruises", was recently re-discovered by a Sky Farm member.  They are thought to be from one of the original members of Sky Farm.

This tour was led by Mason and Francis Merrill.  Mason was a University of Wisconsin professor of English, who ended up publishing the books "Among the Nudists" in 1931 and "Nudism Comes to America" in 1932.  (NEFRL has a copy of both books.)  Shannon Lewis was kind enough to show me an Alumni newsletter from June of 1932 listing their accomplishment.  It states:  "Class of 1921.  Francis Smith Merrill and her husband, Mason Merrill, '26, are the authors of 'Nudism Comes to America,' in which they discuss the growth of nudist cults in this country."  It's a wonderful surprise that they would put this into an alumni newsletter, but disappointing that they used the word "cult".  Between the books and the tour, this must've been a busy time for the Merrills.

Coming back to the topic at hand, check out this brochure!  I apologize in advance about the clipped edges -- the original photos from the Sky Farm member didn't capture everything.  I'm just grateful to see most of this very unique piece of history!