AO3 News

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Published:
2016-05-16 14:52:27 -0400
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Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

Our hard-working, all-volunteer Abuse team has asked for a change in how abuse reports are submitted. Based on the past seven years’ experience, it has determined that anonymous complaints are unhelpful and highly burdensome. First, the majority of anonymous reports are duplicates. Second, a large number of anonymous reports have, in the past, been rejected, but we have no way to contact the reporters to explain what is and is not a violation of the Terms of Service. Finally, many anonymous reports do not include the necessary information, which means Abuse closes them without investigating since there is nothing else it can do—the team can’t follow up to get more information. We realize some people may not feel comfortable reporting things under their own name. However, reports may still be made using a throwaway or dedicated email account, as long as there is a way to contact the person making the complaint.

Current text:

1. Submitting a complaint

Complaints may be submitted to our abuse team. Except in the case of copyright complaints, a complainant may submit a complaint via the web form, which does not require identifying information. Depending on the nature of the complaint, however, anonymity may hinder our ability to verify the complaint or affect the credibility of the complaint. In order for the abuse team to follow up on any allegation, the exact location (URL) and nature of the alleged violation must be supplied in the original complaint. Repeated unverified abuse complaints from the same source may be subject to summary rejection.

2. Treatment and investigation of complaints

Only people who need to know about a complaint will be informed about it. The details of any individual complaint are confidential and must be used only in resolving that complaint. The subject of a complaint may also be among those who need to know about it. Only information provided in the complaint will be passed on. The complainant has complete control over what information is submitted to Abuse, and can submit the complaint anonymously. (Legal names and other information sufficient to identify a person in the physical world will never be disclosed as part of a standard abuse complaint. For further clarification, please refer to our privacy policy.)

Proposed text:

1. Submitting a complaint

Complaints may be submitted to our abuse team. Except in the case of copyright complaints, a complainant may submit a complaint via the web form, which does not require identifying information. Depending on the nature of the complaint, however, anonymity may hinder our ability to verify the complaint or affect the credibility of the complaint. In order for the abuse team to follow up on any allegation, the exact location (URL) and nature of the alleged violation must be supplied in the original complaint. Repeated unverified abuse complaints from the same source may be subject to summary rejection.

2. Treatment and investigation of complaints

Only people who need to know about a complaint will be informed about it. The details of any individual complaint are confidential and must be used only in resolving that complaint. The subject of a complaint may also be among those who need to know about it. Only information provided in the complaint will be passed on. The complainant has complete control over what information is submitted to Abuse, and can submit the complaint anonymously. (Legal names and other information sufficient to identify a person in the physical world will never be disclosed as part of a standard abuse non-copyright complaint. For further clarification, please refer to our privacy policy.) Except in the case of copyright complaints, the name and contact information provided by the complainant will not be disclosed to the user.

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Published:
2016-05-11 12:22:36 -0400
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OTW Recruitment banner by Erin

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Elections Committee Staff.

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Tag Wrangling volunteers - closing after 50 applications or 18 May 2016 UTC
  • Legal Committee Staff Member - closing on 18 May 2016 UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us. If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Tag Wrangling Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to keep the millions of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: due to (amazing!) interest in wrangling, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only. See the application for which fandoms are in need.

Applications closing after 50 applications or 18 May 2016 UTC

Legal Committee Staff Member

The Legal Committee is responsible for carrying out the OTW's legal advocacy mission and providing internal legal support and guidance to the OTW as an organization. We provide confidential legal advice to every part of the OTW organization, respond to fans' requests for general assistance and information, and create educational materials. We also file briefs in lawsuits and advise lawmakers about how to take fans’ needs and interests into account in creating and interpreting the law. And we're looking for a few new members!

We are particularly looking to expand our committee’s expertise in the fields of personnel/employment/HR law and nonprofit law. We’re also interested in finding people with expertise in the intellectual property laws of countries other than the U.S, and in adding to our group of people with expertise in U.S. copyright and trademark law. If this describes you – or even if it doesn’t, but you have legal experience and would be interested in joining the OTW’s Legal Committee, please click through to the application form.

Applications are due 18 May 2016 UTC

Apply at the volunteering page!

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title banner with newspaper background

I. DRIVE NEWS

Development & Membership held the OTW's April 2016 membership drive this month, raising just under US$100,000! Kudos to them, as well as to Communications, Translation, Web Strategy, Design & Development, and everyone else who worked on the drive.

And a big thank you to everyone who donated, signal boosted, and supported the drive. We couldn't have done it without you!

II. OTW PROJECTS

Board has filed taxes for 2015 and worked with the Strategic Planning Committee to finish the revision of the Strategic Plan.

Communications' Media Outreach team posted the first of a new Five Things an OTW Staffer/Volunteer Said series, which is replacing the old Spotlight series as a way to showcase what OTW personnel do. Stay tuned for more posts like this in the future.

The Wiki Committee upgraded Fanlore's MediaWiki software to version 1.26.2. This version includes new features and allows Fanlore to take advantage of upcoming security releases.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is happy to announce that the move to the new transformativeworks.org site is finally finished, and that the Open Doors and Elections sites have also been moved. Elections has been working to make sure navigation works smoothly on their new site, and Web Strategy, Design & Development is reviewing the main sitemap to make sure all content is up-to-date.

III. HARD WORK AT LEGAL

At the very end of March, the ever-busy Legal team submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office about the notice-and-takedown provisions in Section 512 of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The OTW argued that the law is far from perfect, but that it helps allow online creativity to thrive. The committee reminded the Copyright Office that many entities that rely on the DMCA, like the OTW's Archive of Our Own, are small and lack the resources to monitor user-provided content for infringement. They also highlighted the importance of preventing and punishing improper takedown notices, and discussed how the current system of counter-notification doesn’t do enough to protect fair use and free expression.

Early in the month, Legal Committee member Rebecca met in person with the European Union delegation in the U.S., and in mid-April, Legal submitted comments to the European Commission regarding the EU’s Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. They discussed the pros and cons of notice-and-takedown systems and the importance of making sure those systems don’t chill non-infringing speech. They also urged the Commission to recognize that significant innovation and creativity can come from the non-commercial sector, and not to make rules that only large businesses will be able to follow.

Later in the month, Legal joined allies in a letter to the U.S. Senate regarding the appointment of Dr. Carla Hayden as U.S. Librarian of Congress. They continue to work with allies to monitor and provide input to the Senate confirmation process.

Legal also responded to several law-related queries from fans. Internally, Legal is monitoring trademark activity concerning parties’ attempts to obtain exclusive trademark rights over the word “fandom,” and laying groundwork to oppose those attempts.

IV. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology have announced an upcoming Archive functionality that will allow collection owners to invite works to their collections. They successfully deployed releases 0.9.129-0.9.131 and began testing for release 0.9.132. The deploys included an emergency fix for an issue where work and bookmark listings weren't updating, as well as some much-needed changes to help Support and Abuse manage comments from logged-out users.

Open Doors began importing works from the WesleyFanfiction archive with the assistance of the site's moderator.

AO3's Tag Wranglers have been seeing a strong increase in newly canonized or renamed tags not updating properly in the filters, which can mean that some works do not appear properly under the tag. Coders are aware of the situation and are working towards a solution, but users are the best resource for finding these tags. Please submit a support ticket if you come across one!

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Legal bids a fond farewell to long-time committee member Iona. They look forward to the possibility of her returning to the committee when time allows.

Strategic Planning is very sad to see their staffer, Seamus, leave the committee, but they wish him well in all his future endeavors in Systems and in life!

Systems is very excited to welcome a new Project Manager, Puckling!

This month, Tag Wranglers inducted five new staff members.

Volunteers & Recruiting opened recruitment for 2 Elections staff positions, and worked with Strategic Planning and Board on revisions to the Strategic Plan.

New Committee Staff: Patrycja Zarzecka (Elections), Gesundheit (Tag Wrangling), Cryllia (Tag Wrangling), Schuyler (Tag Wrangling), alamerysl (Tag Wrangling), ChelseaIBelieve (Tag Wrangling), puckling (Systems), 1 Journal
New Coder Volunteers: 1
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: dizmo (Tag Wrangling), cinnamonandtea (Support), Ilona van der Vegt (Abuse), Ehryn (Abuse) and 1 other Abuse staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: PineTreePerson and 6 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: 2, Mierke

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Published:
2016-04-20 12:38:33 -0400
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OTW Recruitment banner by Erin

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Elections Committee Staff: Team Coordinator - closing 27 April 2016 UTC
  • Elections Committee Staff: Voting Process Architect - closing 27 April 2016 UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Elections Committee Staff: Team Coordinator
The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections. We ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. As a team, we update the elections process, communicate with members and other committees about the process, help candidates prepare for and carry out their tasks, and run the election itself.

We are currently looking for Team Coordinators to organize our efforts and document procedures.
Applications are due 27 April 2016

Elections Committee Staff: Voting Process Architect
The Elections Committee is responsible for running OTW Board elections. We ensure the fairness, timeliness, and confidentiality of the process. As a team, we update the elections process, communicate with members and other committees about the process, help candidates prepare for and carry out their tasks, and run the election itself.

We are currently looking for Voting Process Architects to run the election itself and preserve our data security.
Applications are due 27 April 2016

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Published:
2016-04-18 16:47:20 -0400
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We’re adding a new functionality to the Archive! To date, only work creators have been able to add their works to collections. With an upcoming code release, collection owners and maintainers will also be able to invite works to collections!

For Collection Owners & Maintainers

The new code will allow collection owners and maintainers to add works to their collections by visiting the work, selecting the 'Add To Collections' button at the bottom, and entering the name of the collection.

The Add To Collections button at the bottom of a work.

If the work's creator has chosen to automatically allow their works to be included in collections, then the work is added to the collection -- no further action needed!

A work with a blue flash message at the top indicating the work has been successfully added to a collection.

If the creator hasn't chosen to automatically allow their works to be included in collections, a request will be sent asking them to approve or deny the addition of their work to the collection.

After inviting a work to a collection, maintainers will be able to see its status in the collection's 'Manage Items' page. While the request is pending approval, the work will show under 'Invited'; once approved, the item will move to the 'Approved' section. If the item is rejected, it will show under 'Rejected'.

The Manage Items page of a collection. The Invited button is selected, showing that works listed are awaiting creator approval before inclusion.

For Work Creators

Work creators can fully control how to interact with this new feature. Checking the 'Automatically agree to your work being collected by others in the Archive' option in Preferences will allow works to be added to collections directly without approval. A notification will let you know when your work(s) have been added to collections.

The Collections, Challenges and Gifts user preferences.

If that preference is not checked, you will receive an email asking you to approve or deny the invitation.

An invitation email informing a work creator that a collection maintainer wants to include the work in their collection.

Please be aware that these approval request emails fully respect the 'Turn off emails from collections' setting. If collection emails are turned off, but you don't allow your works to be automatically added to collections, you will not receive approval request emails and will need to periodically check your 'Manage Collected Works' page to approve the addition of your works to collections. Similarly, if you have collection emails turned off and do allow your works to be automatically added to collections, you will not receive an email when one of your works is added to a collection.

Creators can review and respond to invitations through the 'Manage Collected Works' page. This page is linked in the approval request email, and is also available in the 'Collections' section of the Dashboard sidebar. From there, you can approve or reject invitations, and review previously approved or rejected invitations.

A user's Manage Collected Works page.

As always, if you have any questions or experience any problems, please contact our Support volunteers, who will be glad to help!

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Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 6–12, 2016

Our April 2016 drive has come to an end, and we’d like to thank you for your support! It's because of you that we can do more than ever in 2016: grow our projects, increase our outreach, and help our teams thrive. With your help, we will be a stronger organization, better able to support what matters most—you, our community.

Together we raised US$ 97,155.54 from 4095 individual donations. To the 970 new members of the Organization for Transformative Works: Welcome! To our returning members: we're so grateful for your ongoing support! None of what we do would be possible without you. Everyone at the OTW would also like to acknowledge the volunteers who have worked behind the scenes to make this drive run smoothly.

Whether it was by signal-boosting, sending words of encouragement, or donating, if at any point throughout the years your voice has helped bring us to where we are today, thank you.

(And of course, while this drive may be over, you can help the OTW at any time!)

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Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 6–12, 2016

Your support has brought us a long way so far (thank you!) and this year we hope to go even further. Here's some of what we're looking forward to in 2016:

The Archive of Our Own (AO3) will hit several milestones in the coming year: 1,000,000 registered users, 25 million comments on works, and 20 million page views in a single day. Currently the team is focusing on upgrades to our infrastructure, laying the foundation for more improvements.

The Transformative Works and Cultures academic journal is publishing two issues this year: "The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work" in March and a general issue in September, with a combined total of 25 fan studies essays.

Our fandom history wiki, Fanlore, is also on track to hit two huge milestones: 40,000 pages and 700,000 page edits. Join Fanlore and help write fannish history by sharing your own—add information about your favorite fandoms, ships, fanworks, and fan events.

Legal Advocacy will continue to fight to protect fandom and fanworks, filing briefs in courts and submitting policy recommendations to governments around the world in defense of fair use and transformative works, participating in discussions and conferences on copyright law, and answering questions from fans everywhere.

Donations from fans like you make all of this possible! With a donation of US$10 or more, you can join the OTW as a member; with US$50 or more, you can choose to receive an exclusive OTW thank you gift. Please help spread the word: reblog, retweet, share this post, and donate to the OTW today!

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Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 6–12, 2016

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) dedicates itself all year to the protection and preservation of fanworks and fan culture through its projects: Archive of Our Own (AO3), Fanlore, Legal Advocacy, Open Doors, and Transformative Works and Cultures. This week, we'll share what we've accomplished in 2015 thanks to your support, and what your donations can help us achieve in the future.

Infographic with OTW project statistics and 2016 budget information
Follow this link to access this infographic's contents in text form. Graph adapted from the 2016 OTW Budget.

Help our work grow even more this year by making a donation. If you give US$10 or more, you can become a member of the OTW, and for US$50 or more, you can choose an exclusive OTW thank you gift. Please help spread the word: reblog, retweet, share this post, and donate to the OTW today!

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