I. LEGAL MOVES
Legal submitted the comments in support of our Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemption petition with the U.S. Copyright Office. This submission contained 93 pages of supporting content in appendices, and was part of the every-three-year process of renewing the exemption that makes it legal for fan video makers to break encryption on DVDs to create their work. This process will continue in coming months and, as always, these documents are available for fans to view on the OTW website.
Around the same time, OTW Legal joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation in filing an amicus brief seeking rehearing in the case of Davis v. Electronic Arts, a case that deals with the relationship between free expression and right-of-publicity law.
Legal also had a few projects relating to the information part of our advocacy mission. They created two educational posts on fair use and misconceptions about it for Fair Use Week, as well as another about the recent phenomenon of Tumblr account deletions. Legal also responded to a few media requests for interviews.
Legal's working with a number of organizations to prepare a letter to the U.S. Congress regarding copyright policy. And besides helping several individual fans with queries about the law and their fan projects, they helped the OTW purchase the domain name "fandom.org".
II. AT THE AO3
Accessibility, Design and Technology started February with Release 0.9.46, which focused on resolving January's spam issues and allowed them to re-enable the Archive's invitation queue. They followed up with two more releases that included a variety of enhancements and bug fixes before finally wrapping up February releases with a brand new homepage and Favorite Tags feature, which were received with overwhelming positivity. 1,500 Favorite Tags were created in the first 12 hours alone!
The Archive also reached 17.5 million kudos during February and has now passed half a million registered users! If you don't have an account yet, here are some reasons you might want one. The @AO3_Status Twitter account also flew past the 25,000-follower mark with 27,000 and counting.
Support has been a little bit busy with 780 tickets in January, and received about 550 tickets in the first three weeks of February. Abuse received roughly 350 tickets in February. They have recruited for new members this month, and are currently in the process of sorting through their most recent applicants. Thanks to all that applied.
Tag Wrangling answered some questions from users on Twitter and helped Support respond to several tickets. Wranglers continued to help each other out by providing translations for tags in many different languages. Additionally, some new wrangling merit badges have been added to their just-for-fun collection on the OTW's internal documentation wiki.
III. PROJECT NEWS
Open Doors announced the moves to the AO3 of the Monaboyd.net and Table for Three archives. They also continued to work with moderators of pending and in progress archives. Content Policy finalized a proposal to revise the Open Doors terms of service with Open Doors.
Translation worked with Communications on International Fanworks Day, preparing several news post translations, and were happy to see the celebrations were a success! They have also been restructuring their glossaries and all language teams are working on discussing the new terms. Our team Portuguese has also split in two to better cover language variations, leading to new teams for European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. Translation also started testing a new committee-wide team chat tool, which has already provided improvements in their day-to-day communication.
Communications was hard at work last month preparing for International Fanworks Day events and publicity. Our staff has begun planning for April Showers so if you have any suggestions of older fandoms to highlight, please contact us.
Wiki is also planning for April Showers, and ideas for specific challenges were proposed in a chat held on February 21st. The Fanlore twitter account participated in International Fanworks Day by retweeting a number of IFDrabble submissions.
Fanhackers has been working to induct two new volunteers and is brainstorming ways to develop the fan studies bibliography into a more useful resource. Journal is hard at work on production for the March and June issues.
Development & Membership is excited to be training nine new staff members and are looking forward to the next drive which will happen on May 1-6. They are currently working on theme related issues and hope to have it nailed down soon.
Elections has been busy conducting a small-scale test for our preferred voting software option and writing reports about its functions and suitability. They’ve also started cleaning up the Elections website and writing instructions for how Elections team members can post there.
Strategic Planning just finished collating all feedback offered to them on the first draft of the OTW strategic plan, and are putting together a second draft. They plan to have a second review period, so once the new draft is released in March there will be another three-week discussion and feedback period.
Strategic Planning is in the process of training three new staffers and a new chair. They hope OTW volunteers and supporters alike feel able to come to them with any questions or feedback about the strategic planning process.
New board director Jessica Steiner began holding open office hours once a week. The OTW Board continues holding the open session of their weekly meeting in the OTW's Public Discussion chatroom although hours have been changing in the past month in an effort to accommodate the different timezones of its members. Board's meeting minutes are always available on the OTW website.
V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS
Volunteers & Recruiting prepared and opened recruitment for four roles this month, while inducting the new recruits from the previous round, including welcoming new staff of their own. They said farewell to departing personnel, answered questions about recruitment and volunteering, helped people with their access to tools, and provided feedback on proposals.
New Committee Staff: C. Ryan Smith (Volunteers & Recruiting, Development & Membership), 2 other Volunteers & Recruiting, Jillian Jacobs (Development & Membership), Nica Dobles (Development & Membership), DeeCharlotte (Development & Membership), Alex Carlin (Development & Membership) & Marian H. Dews (Development & Membership), 3 other Development & Membership, and 6 Translation staffers
New Communications Volunteers: Kat St Pete
New Translator Volunteers: Marta Cardoso, Noura, and 4 others
Departing Committee Staff: Meep (Support), Megan Cummings (Open Doors), Elliot Oberholtzer (Translation), Ehryn (Support), Jennifer Radecki (Communications)
Departing Workgroup Members: 1 AO3 Documentation volunteer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Cassandra Chan
Departing Translator Volunteers: birggitt, Carpelia, Hirannis, DeeCharlotte, timetowakeup, and 5 others.
For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.