2018-11-19

Cal Mah

I nearly called this "Cal Meh" but I feel that is probably more a reflection of my expectation than the event itself. In case you missed it, Cal Mah was a Stargate fan event in Leicester this weekend. It was quite small (I felt), but that is probably to be expected for a UK event. It had some talks, and some of the actors, and a few stands with vendors. I went on the Saturday and felt it did not really justify two days, for me. I suspect that had the organiser not decided to unilaterally cancel my expensive ticket, then I may have had more fun with the extra evening events. Shame.

I am not one for dressing up, sorry, but I did go as far as a lab coat and an "Area 51 ID card". I even made a card for the organiser, and left at the desk when I left. No idea if he likes it, he has blocked me on twitter!

I seem to have been banished to a ship in a distant galaxy!

What was interesting was the number of people that did dress up, and some of them in quite impressive costumes. It seems like quite a community of fans, very friendly.


So, yes, a fun small event. If I can find someone to go with, I may consider one the the bigger events such as Gatecon in Vancouver, one day. I was surprised to see someone dressed as a full Star Trek captain though!

As for the event organisation, obviously I'm not impressed with my ticket being cancelled. It was three weeks after the "misunderstanding" on Facebook and with no warning. It was after I had spent money on a hotel room which he refused to cover. I still don't know who is actually running the event though - "FCD Events presents Cal Mah" does not explain the legal entity involved at all. I saw no terms and conditions as part of buying tickets, and the receipt from PayPal says it was paid to the organiser personally. It seems no data protection registration that I can find, and not complying with PECR (he emailed trying to sell more tickets using the email I used to buy the ticket, with no opt-in having been requested). No accessible privacy policy (just a generic contact link). I'm rather concerned that it is pitched as a charity, which has a whole set of rules of its own. Lots of rules (and laws) broken, or so it seems to me. In the end I decided to go, and not waste the hotel booking for which I would have no doubt had to sue to get my money from the organiser. It really was not the way to treat a fan (or a customer)! Had it gone better, not only would it have been a couple of expensive tickets but could have been a stand at the next event, etc. I am far happier being involved in events than just going to them. I could certainly have informally helped him with meeting some of the legislation! Oh well.

27 comments:

  1. Not surprised you had your ticket cancelled, but am a little surprised it was so long after the fight...

    Side note, did you ask the photographer from the first photo how they got permission? Might help with the whole playing cards thing?

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    1. Indeed. Had he cancelled at the time, having admitting selling with wrong description, that would have made some sense. I could have got a new ticket under the new description. Waiting three weeks until I had a hotel booked was odd. And the photo was by Stargate Command who I think are an MGM thing, so no help there. Shame

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  2. I think that P90 in the photo is probably illegal under the Violent Crime Reduction Act as a realistic imitation firearm.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/38/part/2/crossheading/imitation-firearms

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    1. I was reading as manufacture / import / sale, but Firearms Act 1968 does have possession covered, with certain intents, which don't apply here. I suspect simply having these in these circumstances may not be, in itself, an offence. I guess it may count as a public place, not sure, but do they have reasonable excuse? (IANAL)

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    2. The way the nanny state is going, I'm sure it won't be long before breaking wind in public is considered to be a firearms offence. Or maybe a thought crime, those seem popular these days.

      That said, in my case it's probably more like an international war crime (Weapon of Mass Destruction) owing to the sheer volume of omelette I've been consuming lately.

      Yours sincerely,

      �� (The artist formerly known as Mr Cockburn).

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    3. It probably is but just as with the knife laws, the police are supposed to use discretion and know the difference between a cosplayer and a potential terrorist.

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  3. Sorry, you're right, it's section 19 of The Firearms Act 1968 that would apply. The internet tells me this event was at Leicester City Football Club, which seems like a public place to me. In any case, the user must have transported it there somehow which will have involved having it in a public place!




    19 Carrying firearm in a public place.
    A person commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse (the proof whereof lies on him) he has with him in a public place
    [F76(a)a loaded shot gun,
    (b)an air weapon (whether loaded or not),
    (c)any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm, or
    (d)an imitation firearm.]

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    1. I'm no expert, but it was a ticket holder only event, but as you say, that may count as a public place. The issue may be whether "Stargate convention in costumer" (or travelling to one) is a "reasonable excuse", I guess.

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    2. (Sorry, I never manage to reply to the right bit in blogger)

      Yeah, probably not something I'd like to risk having to deal with an armed police response to when someone calls the police about the "guy in military fatigues carrying an assault rifle", but it does perhaps seem a "reasonable excuse".

      In any case, it's certainly illegal to buy/sell or import such a weapon since the VCR act.

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    3. (And that's not hyperbole - even the Police warn that you could well end up surrounded by firearms officers: https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q329.htm )

      MCM ban such weapons at ComicCon, as they consider them illegal, and that's another ticketed event that the public cannot just walk into without a ticket:

      https://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/10/MCM-Costume-Weapons-and-Props-Rules.pdf

      I think it's likely your organiser was just ignorant of another law...

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    4. My motto is Never be a ��. Always play it safe. Safety first always.

      Thank you.

      Yours sincerely,

      �� (pronounced as "The artist formerly known as Mr Cockburn").

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    5. Personally I would put this under the "reasonable excuse" if you successfully argued that it was an imitation firearm rather than a replica prop (did it have an orange tip for example?)

      It's seems odd that he wouldn't be allowed the toy as part of a costume but I would be well within the law to have on display, a genuine firearm I'm licensed to possess in the UK

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    6. Don't imitation weapons have to have bright orange nozzles these days so that you know it's not real?

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    7. Part of that legislation (see above), and I think more than just he nozzle.

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    8. I don't believe the VCR Act would necessarily be an issue for a manufacturer of imitation firearms for "theatrical performances and rehearsals of such performances" or those who produce airsoft guns there is a defence there.

      As for S19, I'd suggest that if the event is open to the public (even if they need a ticket or have to pay) then you'd be in a public place.

      However I'd suggest that you may have a reasonable excuse. The test of how reasonable something is is based on common sense - if you walked through a shopping centre like that, you'd almost certainly commit the offence or indeed the more serious S16A offence. However if you are at a closed fan event where the context is likely to be understood by all, then you'll likely to have a reasonable excuse. As for getting to the event, transporting the firearm in a suitable case when getting from A-B, you'd again likely have a reasonable excuse.

      I'll have a read of my law book next week to see what the case law says!

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    9. Thanks, Anonymous. I'd be very interested to know the legal position here. Oftentimes I feel the nanny state goes too far against common sense and limits our personal freedoms. Obviously those freedoms need to be balanced against not scaring other people unintentionally and suchlike, but sometimes people do take jobsworthiness too far in my opinion. Only the other day I was told off by someone for taking a photo of my street!! He didn't know me and it was just a nice sunset. There I was, standing on the pavement with my camera taking a nice photo of the street and minding my own business. But because I had a big camera (not ridiculously huge, just a good quality SLR with a lens) he felt the need to ask me if I had a licence and got all jobsworthy about it! Had I been taking the same photo with my phone I doubt he would have cared. And besides, it was bleedin' obvious I was just taking a photo of some nice scenery, no weirdness at all going on. Aren't people odd sometimes. He wasn't an official person by the way, just a random passer-by.

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    10. Cosplay involving relica/model firearms (RIF or otherwise) is /usually/ going to be a "reasonable excuse", but as with everything which is worded vaguely, it's at your own risk to determine where the police/CPS draw the line, and if you fall the other side of that line, how it would go down in court.

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  4. Hi guys, what is all this Stargate stuff about anyways? I love star trek (all of it except DS9 which was boring) and a friend of mine said that Stargate is even better. I'm so looking forward to watching it! Does anyone know if you can get it on Netflix and what order you should watch it in (with star trek I wasn't sure if DS9 came before voyager and accidentally watched some of it in the wrong order). Thank you. ��

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    1. You should watch in order.
      Stargate Movie.
      Sg-1 until Atlantis.
      Start alternating episodes of Sg1 and Atlantis until S10 sg1.
      When s10 started airing, Atlantis Ep were new first so you watch Atlantis S3 E1, then SG1 S10 E1, until end of sg1.
      Ark of truth, then Season 4 Atlantis.
      Continuum.
      S5 Atlantis.
      SGU.

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    2. Wow, thank you very much!! I wasn't expecting such an excellent answer, but now I know exactly how to go about it. I'll be starting my stargate adventure this evening with the Movie, I think!! I love star trek so much (especially STTNG) and got sad when DS9 came along because I thought there was nothing left to watch, then voyager come along but I have almost finished that too. Can't wait to start watching Stargate!!

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    3. As always you have to pretend science and mathematics are not real and just go with the flow. But it is fun.

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    4. Oh, and Egyptian heiroglyphs feature quite a bit too :-)

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    5. Oh, and don't expect the series to be as bad as the film, and the actors change between the two!

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    6. Good point. As SG-1 progresses they do learn to take the piss out of themselves quite a bit too :-)

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    7. It definitely improved year on year. They really found their feet by the end, although by the time the Ori storyline had started it was starting to feel a bit tired. It's still one of my all-time favourite TV series.

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    8. They suffered from running too long.. each defeated bad guy had to be more powerful than the last, until it got to the point that they were defeating things with bona-fide godlike powers and it was getting a bit silly.

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    9. I'm currently watching the end of Star Trek Voyager series 2 and it has all those god-like aliens again (the ones like Q and The Caretaker) which are brilliant. I love all the exotic super-powerful alien stuff!

      I wonder if such exotic extra-dimensional beings of unknown origin who possesses immeasurable power over normal human notions of time, space, the laws of physics, and reality itself, being capable of violating or altering them in unpredictable ways with a casual thought or gesture, really do exist elsewhere in the universe. What an experience it would be to ever meet one!

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