AO3 News

May 2015 Newsletter, Volume 91

Published: 2015-06-06 12:59:07 -0400

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

 

I. FANLORE TO BE ARCHIVED BY U.S. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Our Wiki Committee had an exciting announcement as May wound to a close. In a post made at their Dreamwidth community, they informed Fanlore users that the United States Library of Congress approached us for permission to preserve Fanlore as a part of their American Folklife Center's ongoing digital culture web archiving project.

"Fanlore's inclusion in the Library of Congress project emphasizes the fact that fan history is a significant part of folklore and culture in the United States and across the world. If you are a Fanlore contributor of any kind, there is absolutely no need to be concerned about attribution of your work. Fanlore's Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license will still be in effect, and displayed on the archived version of Fanlore available to researchers (and eventually to the public) through the Library of Congress."

Wiki spent the month testing Trello as a possible new committee workspace tool, planning for Fanlore's next month-long event in June, and working on outside requests.

II. START THE PRESSES

Journal received approval from the Board to create a press for monograph-length Open Access Gold works. They are brainstorming the infrastructure requirements right now, so while a timeline isn't yet available for considering manuscripts, stay tuned for further announcements! They continued to handle manuscripts for the September 2015 issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, No. 20, and things look good for the March 2016 issue.

Legal’s advocacy mission continues going strong! They filed our submissions to the U.S. Copyright Office and ended May by attending hearings and testifying in support of the fan video exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The news so far is good: our opponents have not opposed the renewal of the exemption the OTW attained three years ago for DVDs and streaming. However, there is still work to do, since they’ve opposed our petition to expand the exemption to cover Blu-ray.

The case of Garcia v. Google, in which the OTW filed an amicus brief, has also come to a positive resolution, which made some good law for free speech and the Internet and avoided some of the problems highlighted in the brief. In theory, the case can still go up to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in practice, that is not very likely to happen.

Legal also responded to a trademark-based cease & desist request; responded to several queries from fans; and responded to press requests for interviews as well as helping many OTW committees with legal questions.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on long-term planning. Their mission to promote inclusivity and the internationalization of the OTW is being developed into a plan to more thoroughly incorporate these goals into the OTW.

Communications is creating a subgroup for media outreach efforts, and has also completed work on a personnel evaluation process which will begin in August. Janita Burgess was approved by the OTW Board as the new co-chair for Communications. With help from Translation, Communications moved forward with plans to launch a Weibo account this year to engage with Chinese fandom. They will be recruiting for a fluent Mandarin speaker as Weibo account mod in June.

Translation had a hectic month with many contributions from across the committee in order to prepare for and distribute multilanguage posts in support of our May membership drive. After the drive, Translation started rounding up internal and cross-committee feedback in order to document the lessons they've learned this time and improve plans for the next drive. They've also been focusing on developing internal structures to help foster a more collaborative task environment.

III. AT THE AO3

Abuse received over 320 tickets in May. They have been seeing an uptick in spam works again, so please report any you find in your fandom so the team can deal with them quickly!

Accessibility, Design & Technology had a few tiny deploys this month (Releases 0.9.58 - 0.9.61), and a somewhat bigger one (Release 0.9.62) which will eventually enable us to translate AO3 email templates. There's still a long way to go to offer users a fully customized Archive experience in their own language, and Accessibility, Design & Technology want to thank them and the Translation committee for their patience and support as the AO3 team takes slow steps towards this goal.

Systems has begun this round of ordering bigger, faster servers! They are also excited to have a recruitment slot coming up. They have begun meetings with their documentation specialist to get information about the committee's processes into the OTW's internal wiki, and also fixed a mailing list issue that was affecting several committees.

AO3 Documentation wrapped two new FAQs this month—Invitations and Contacting the Staff—and is working on several other FAQs and tutorials. The workgroup has been officially approved to move from workgroup status to a permanent committee within the OTW.

Tag Wrangling held some training sessions on freeform tags for their new volunteers, who have hit the ground running. Wrangling staff worked with Accessibility, Design & Technology to try to track down some tag bugs. They also responded to several user questions on Twitter, and a number of Support requests. Wranglers continued their excellent work helping each other with translating the increasing numbers of non-English tags in each other's fandoms.

Open Doors has been working on in-progress imports with assistance from Accessibility, Design & Technology and is starting another archive import that will be announced soon. They also recently recruited for new staffers.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership's May drive efforts were a huge success. Thanks to our generous supporters, we topped our US$100,000 goal on the last day, and checks continue to arrive. That makes our total for May 1-6 over US$104,000. All of May thus far has brought in over US$110,000 and looks to be our second highest grossing month ever (after October 2014). Our hard-working team in Development & Membership handled over a hundred emails and messages during the drive period, and learned a lot from the process. In non-drive related news, they have begun looking at alternative payment processors, as one of the major requests emerging during the drive was for an online alternative to PayPal. They hope to have something new set up by our next drive in October.

Elections ramped up in May by recruiting new staff and preparing for a voting software test. If you'd be willing to help them with the June test by participating in mock votes, please fill out the tester volunteer form!

The Board discussed various proposals and issues with Finance, Legal, and Development & Membership, and has begun planning for the 2015 Annual Retreat. More details regarding the latter will be forthcoming. Board would also like to thank Journal, the Treasurer, and others for coming together to address concerns and work out the details to permit the new monograph press project to move forward. They also extend congratulations to all committees and personnel involved with the recent drive.

Strategic Planning is hard at work compiling internal feedback and suggestions into the third and final draft of the OTW 2016-2019 goals document. Meanwhile, they are training four new staffers who are digesting the previous draft and helping with changes.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting ran campaigns for new staff for Elections and Open Doors, and continued working on internal requests as well as training their new staff members. They also made progress on the final documentation steps of a 2014 project to recognize the service of all OTW volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Janita Burgess (Communications)
New Workgroup Members: Jessica Steiner (AO3 Documentation)
New Communications Volunteers: SoyAlex and 4 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: alterangirl, Loxaris, Leslie, Paopu-Blossom, BlackParadise, penguinbell, and Pokestine
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: Curtis Jefferson (Open Doors), 1 Systems, 3 Development & Membership, 1 Communications, and 2 Translation
Departing Workgroup Members: Scott S (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 7
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

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April 2015 Newsletter, Volume 90

Published: 2015-05-07 12:29:29 -0400

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. MAKE SOME NOISE!

In late March and April, Legal continued its policy-making work in a few areas. They continued to work with Fan Video & Multimedia on the DMCA exemption request for vidders. The team has received the objections to our petitions and are coordinating with other petitioners. Legal will be submitting their responses soon but could use your help. Our Legal team is asking fans to add their voices and tell the U.S Copyright Office that they have a right to remix multimedia. The key exemption for the OTW is the third item on the comment list: "Remix your media (videos)". We're asking that fans write in about their need for high quality material from sources that are only available on Blu-Ray; or material from places such as iTunes or Amazon when obtaining media from them is necessary to make a timely vid to participate in an ongoing fannish conversation. Comments are due by May 29, and will be published on the U.S Copyright Office website.

Legal also sent a representative to attend a U.S. Department of Commerce public meeting on facilitating the development of the online licensing environment for copyrighted works. In addition, the results of the DMCA Working Group project that OTW participated in have been announced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and are available online.

Legal responded to a number of queries from fans, educators, the press, and others. In addition to offering help and information, they were able to connect one fan with counsel who can help them fight for their fan game. They also worked intensively with other committees to provide information, and responded to a lot of fans about the Ebooks Tree site. (More on that below).

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology also responded to reports of AO3 content being reposted on ebooks-tree.com, which had many concerned users reaching out to us via Support tickets and social media. Once it turned out that the site was merely linking to files (instead of downloading them), the Accessibility, Design & Technology team took care of the problem by blocking their access to our servers, and updated users on the situation via Twitter and Tumblr.

Accessibility, Design & Technology had three small deploys in April: Releases 0.9.55 and 0.9.56 and Release 0.9.57 (which included a significant improvement for mobile users). Along with the Wiki Committee, they hosted the annual April Showers event, inviting people to add their works to the Archive or their information to Fanlore for a number of smaller and older fandoms.

Abuse tackled roughly 350 tickets in April. They're seeing a number of tickets come in from users who can't reset their passwords because they no longer have access to their old email accounts. Please do remember to update your email address on AO3 whenever you get a new one! This can be done by going to the following link: http://archiveofourown.org/users/(YOUR USER NAME)/change_email

Content Policy completed Terms of Service changes relating to Open Doors after a public period of comment. And AO3 Documentation uploaded two new FAQs to AO3 this month: Downloading Fanworks and History and Mark for Later.

The new Open Doors import tool, created by Accessibility, Design & Technology, was launched in time to be used for the Henneth Annûn Story Archive (HASA) import, which greatly sped up the process for volunteers working on it. They also continued work on the Boys in Chains import, worked with mods on other in-progress archives, and answered user claims and requests. Some of the claims and requests were for long completed archives, like the Smallville Slash Archive, which might have been helped by publicity with more recent imports--we hope to continue to help creators claim their works!

Support tickets continue to flood in, and they resolve them as fast as they can. For the number-inclined, 700 tickets each month appears to be the new normal. That's 200 more per month than the team used to get this time last year! Support is also planning their first open chat of the year with a switch from open Q&A to topic-focused chats.

Tag Wrangling helped Accessibility, Design & Technology address a tag import bug, and organized some wrangling parties so wranglers could help each other work through their unwrangled tags.

III. PAGES AND PLATFORMS

Translation was hard at work preparing for the membership drive. They also published a page about their committee on the OTW website, sent out a form to collect pronouns from OTW volunteers as a resource for the translation of texts that mention them, and revamped more procedures, documentation and glossaries.

Communications created and updated policies for all OTW News outlets in regards to spam comments and content sourcing and crediting. The OTW Tumblr account got a new layout for better accessibility, and the Google+ account is being moved in light of Google's recent changes to the service. In addition, new site mod thatwasjustadream began work at OTW News' Live Journal and Dreamwidth sites.

Journal's editorial team has upshifted the work on the March 2016 guest-edited issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work, as deadlines loom. Revisions are being processed for publication in the general September 2015 issue. Co-editor Karen Hellekson followed up with the publisher of The Fan Fiction Studies Reader regarding royalties to be paid to the OTW later in the year.

The Wiki Committee held an editing party as part of April Showers early in the month. The event has seen new pages added to Fanlore and many additions to existing pages. Some users have struggled to access certain pages on Fanlore, though there has been no concrete down-time and the cause is currently unknown. The vast majority of users should not experience issues.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections held their first Open Chat, where they invited all OTW members to come and ask them anything and everything about the elections process. In preparation for the upcoming 2015 Election, they'll also be conducting a wide-audience test of the software we hope to use. Elections would love assistance from the membership with this project. If you're interested in participating as a tester, please fill out this form. Anyone who missed the chat can send questions by contacting them directly or by visiting their new Twitter account.

Strategic Planning finished its feedback period for the second draft of the OTW 2016–2019 goals document. The next step is to incorporate all that feedback and finish the plan, and then send it on to the Board for approval. Meanwhile, they also recruited four new staffers who are going through training and will be put to work soon!

Development & Membership kicked off its fundraising drive on May 1 with a goal of US$100,000 and a games theme. Development & Membership completed making arrangements for their new CiviCRM setup, which should make both donating and backend management easier and more convenient.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting ran a recruiting round for 2 roles, and processed 63 applications. Induction and removal requests, internal tasks, and requested tasks from the rest of the organization took up the majority of staff time, although they continued to work on their 2014 Annual Report project and testing workflows for a ticketing system to help streamline our tasks.

New Committee Staff: Ellorgast (Communications), xDream (Communications), OTP221B (Communications), Ira Gladkova (Volunteers & Recruiting), Kate Sanders (Strategic Planning), Seamus Johnston (Strategic Planning), billiethepoet (Strategic Planning), Mandy Gooch (Strategic Planning), 2 other Communications staffers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: stellal, Kuro, insidiousChaos, Solovei, JujYFru1T, savkweaver, aiyesha, Animem, VSSAKJ, Safara, flyrivaille, Val James, sarcasticchick, DestinedForHell, Sam K, AbstractSong101, tabris, Robin, sillyowl, Elysium Barnett, Yohaly, xcacophony, Elizabeth Zavodny, AParticularlyLargeBear, Inspector Caracal, artificiallifecreator, Tim Tyla and 2 others
New Translator Volunteers: lightofthewind, Patricia Sen Lloria, Oniondip, Susanne Møller, Melime, Neene, Lykke, Muriel Kalliokoski, Chloë C, Vénia, Carmen, claire89 and 6 others

Departing Committee Staff: Andrea Horbinski (Journal), mumble (Support), 2 Strategic Planning staffers, 2 Volunteers & Recruiting staffers, 1 Abuse staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: Blue_Meridian and 3 other AO3 Documentation volunteers
Departing Communications Volunteers: Bremo, dogtagsandsmut, & Lisa Shininger.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 2 Tag Wranglers
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3 translators

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

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March 2015 Newsletter, Volume 89

Published: 2015-04-06 13:14:43 -0400

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. SERVER MOVE!

In the past month, Systems performed a large scale server relocation—including the servers for the AO3 and Fanlore—to our own shiny new server rack. The downtime lasted a few hours with site indexing taking an additional day. Systems also worked with tech support at a large university to prevent further DDOS attacks to the Archive, and assisted with the OTW's acquisition of the fandom.org domain name which now mirrors "TransformativeWorks.org."

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed some minor bug fixes (Release 0.9.51: Change Log) early in March, followed by a variety of background changes necessary for future upgrades of Ruby and Rails (Release 0.9.53: Change Log).

Abuse received roughly 450 tickets in March. They've also inducted eleven new staffers! \o/ The Abuse team is working with Accessibility, Design and Technology on creating several new tools that will help both Abuse and our users. Support ended up receiving 738 tickets in February, and are well on their way to a similar count for March with 467 tickets so far.

Open Doors has been working with Accessibility, Design and Technology on a new importing process that they will be trying out with an archive next month. They have also been working on other in-progress archives, particularly the manual import for Chains: The Powerfic Archive. Proposed changes to their policy documentation are available for user feedback until April 13th.

Tag Wrangling worked with Accessibility, Design and Technology to coordinate wrangling around the server migration, assisted Support in responding to user tickets, and responded to several questions on Twitter.

AO3 Documentation has recently welcomed five new members to the team, who are already hard at work on drafting and editing FAQs and tutorials.

III. WHAT'S COMING

Journal's guest edited March 15 issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, Performance and Performativity, came out right on time, thanks to the stellar work of our production volunteers under the able leadership of staffer Rrain. The also guest edited June 15 issue, European Fans and European Fan Objects, is ready to finish up closer to its release date. The Journal team is currently working with authors to complete manuscripts for the September 15 general issue of TWC.

In March Legal responded to a larger than usual number of fan queries, including helping one fan find counsel to fight an overreaching challenge to a fanwork. They also worked with Communications on an educational/informational post about Tumblr takedowns.

Wiki is currently inducting three new committee members. Together with Accessibility, Design and Technology they have kicked off the annual April Showers event. An editing party was held on April 4th to help newcomers to Fanlore with their questions about creating entries.

Translation opened recruitment for volunteers, and received 58 applications! They've inducted 20 new translators and counting—current teams Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, Dutch, European Portuguese, French, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Polish and Swedish have grown, and have formed a new team for Kiswahili!

IV. GOVERNANCE

After the resignation of the Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee chair for personal reasons, Board has been primarily focused on addressing the issues which are continuing to cause instability in that committee and the OTW website. Eylul has been placed as temporary chair. With the support of the rest of the Board, Eylul has been working hard to address the backlog of tickets and stabilize the committee.

In the past month, Board has also approved new staffers for a number of committees, and has discussed and approved various proposals, including the purchase of graphics design software by Accessibility, Design and Technology and a migration of CiviCRM to external hosting in anticipation of the next membership drive.

Development & Membership has been working hard to get everything ready for the membership drive on May 1-6. Its theme will be games. Development & Membership will be highlighting the OTW's good work through the use of game themes including Go, Sudoku and chess! Their new staffers have all been trained and are being hugely helpful.

Strategic Planning successfully finished the second draft of the OTW 2016-2019 strategic goals document! A three-week internal feedback period is scheduled to end April 10th, but they are considering extending it to make sure everyone who wants to has a chance to give input. They will be holding a second chat with volunteers and staff and have also contacted committee chairs and workgroup leads for team-specific feedback. All of this collection of feedback is working towards publishing the final draft of the plan in time for a tentative June 2015 implementation date.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting organized recruiting for Abuse, Strategic Planning, and Translation and is pleased to welcome so many new volunteers!

New Committee Chairs: sarken (Accessibility, Design & Technology)
New Committee Staff: thatwasjustadream (Communications), Katarina Harju (Abuse), Paris Tuggle (Abuse), Astrid Clemons (Abuse), Amalia Blondet (Abuse), Sofia (Abuse), Highlander_II (Wiki), SoyAlex (Wiki), 1 other Wiki staffers, 2 other Communications staffers and 6 other Abuse staffers
New Workgroup Members: Chrissy Sky (AO3 Documentation), Jocelin Potash (AO3 Documentation), KM Ruiz (AO3 Documentation), Calescent and 2 other AO3 Documentation
New Translator Volunteers: Ilona van der Vegt, Marta Gil Almirón, Sofia, Roser Agnes, Eva Mignini, Oriontsuki, badhand, Dutchie848 and 8 others

Departing Committee Chairs: moonmagicks (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Abuse staffer and 1 Communications staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: Lucy Pearson (AO3 Documentation) and 1 AO3 Documentation volunteer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Taine and 4 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Daniela Kreimerman, bm1893 and 6 others

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

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February 2015 Newsletter, Volume 88

Published: 2015-03-06 12:09:28 -0500

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

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.

IV. GOVERNANCE

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.

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January 2015 Newsletter Volume 87

Published: 2015-02-06 12:20:04 -0500

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

I. SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM

Accessibility, Design and Technology has been busy! They've been working closely with Abuse, Support, and Systems to handle ongoing problems with spammers and download bots. (Thanks to Translation for the quick turnaround on that post!) They're currently testing code for release 0.9.45, which, in light of the spam issues, will focus on providing some much-needed tools for the Abuse committee.

Release 0.9.45 will be the eighth deploy since the November newsletter was posted: 0.9.35, 0.9.36, and 0.9.37 - 0.9.39 in December, along with 0.9.40 and 0.9.41 in January.

II. INTERNATIONAL FANWORKS DAY

Communications has been working on plans for International Fanworks Day, which will take place on February 15. Events include a short fanworks challenge and a fic/pro author panel chat, which will take place in the OTW's Public Discussion room between 17:00–19:00 UTC on February 8 (What time is that in my timezone?). More announcements will be rolling out up until the event day, but the OTW wants to know what fans and their communities will be doing to celebrate. Let us know here in comments!

Communications is also continuing the OTW Guest Post series, with posts released in January and February. If anyone has suggestions for participants, please contact Communications.

III. AT THE AO3

Support handled almost 6000 tickets from January 1 to December 31, 2014. To set the bar even higher for 2015, they have, as of January 21, already received over 550 tickets. Support is also planning to do open chats again this year. If you'd like to see them cover something in specific, they are open to suggestions, so leave a comment here!

Abuse has been very busy as well. In addition to dealing with ongoing spam issues, they received roughly 260 tickets in December and 360 in January. Their final total for 2014 was 2750 tickets, which is a considerable jump from 2013, when they had 1900 tickets come in. Please do be patient with Abuse staff if it takes a while for them to respond; our volunteers are working through tickets as fast as they can, but they don't want to rush their investigation and miss any crucial information. Abuse hopes to recruit soon, so if you're interested in helping them out, watch OTW or AO3 News for recruiting information!

Abuse also thanks Accessibility, Design and Technology, Support, Systems, Tag Wrangling and Translation for all their help with the spam cases Abuse has been dealing with.

The Tag Wrangling Committee started 2015 with a successful recruitment drive, and is welcoming all their new trainees. Congratulations to the October class of recruits, who are all making fantastic progress towards training graduation. Tag Wrangling also consulted on quite a few tag-related Support tickets and answered wrangling questions from their Twitter account (@ao3_wranglers). Finally, they launched a virtual wrangling merit badge program, for fun and encouragement.

Also on the social media front, the AO3_Status Twitter is quickly approaching the 25,000-follower milestone, while the ao3org Tumblr has recently passed the 3,000-follower mark.

AO3 Documentation started preparing for recruiting new members by revamping their selection and training process, and they're looking forward to seeing their team grow.

Together with Open Doors, Content Policy prepared tweaks to the Open Doors Terms of Service to reflect greater experience with the process. Meanwhile, Open Doors announced the import of The Henneth Annûn Story Archive, an archive dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien fan fiction, into AO3.

IV. PROJECT NEWS

Journal has issues 18 and 19 going through production right now. Copyeditors and layout editors are busy, and soon Journal's proofreaders will get a last look at each essay. Both 18 and 19 are special issues with guest editors (Lucy Bennett and Paul Booth for Performance and Performativity, and Anne Kustritz for European Fans and European Fan Objects), who are writing their editorials right now. Meanwhile, January 1, 2015 was the official suggested submission deadline for the general September issue, and the essays received are going through peer review and author revisions at the moment. Journal's Symposium editor and Review editor are both handling their sections, soliciting and reviewing submissions. Finally, the 2016 special issue The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work, guest edited by Ika Willis, is still soliciting (deadline: March 1, 2015). For more information, see the March Call for Papers.

Legal is busily preparing to file the OTW's comment in support of the petitions filed in November 2014 as part of the U.S. Copyright Office’s Rulemaking Process. This comment, which will be filed in early February, will contain Legal's arguments and evidence in support of renewing the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption that we helped win in 2009 and 2012, which makes it legal for fan video makers to rip DVDs and online sources in order to make noncommercial fan videos.

In December and January, Legal also continued our participation in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s DMCA Multistakeholder Forum process and answered several queries from fans seeking legal information.

Wiki has been dealing with some technical issues, including a problem with making new accounts. The Fanlore site went through a server move, which occurred with minimal disruption, and they now have plenty of space! A dispute over the use of fandom artwork on Fanlore is still ongoing, as are other outside requests. The OTW also welcomed a new moderator for the fanlore_news Twitter account, Pip Janssen.

V. PROVIDING SUPPORT

These last couple of months have been good to the Elections Committee. They saw the finalization of their 2014 internal feedback request and review as well as the completion of their upcoming 2015 Roadmap. With 2014 in the rearview mirror, they have focused on internal reorganization; a move to Trello; the beginnings of an overhaul to the Elections website; and updates to all their Position Descriptions as they've moved to permanent committee status. Elections also completed basic experiments and planned more extensive reviews of their intended software for the 2015 Election.

Elections had to say goodbye to three staffers who are focusing on other OTW tasks, but took on a new Team Coordinator trainee and is getting ready to open recruitment in February.

Translation's been hard at work juggling many news posts in several languages for the past few weeks. They have also compiled a report of an internal survey with translators, detailing volunteers' thoughts and suggestions regarding the committee, their tools and procedures. With two new Danish translators joining their ranks this month, the Translation committee has now grown to an incredible 20 volunteer language teams.

Development & Membership is still working on sending premium gifts to donors and is researching new CiviCRM hosts. They recently recruited and are interviewing potential new staffers.

VI. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been largely focused on revising and updating internal procedures and documentation, the committee’s Annual Report, and managing the first two recruiting rounds of the year.

December personnel changes

New Directors: Jessica Steiner, M. J. MacRae and Soledad Griffin
New Committee Staff: Araise Solace (Elections)
New Strategic Planning Volunteers: Jessica Steiner and 1 other

Departing Committee Chairs: Hana Lee (Strategic Planning) and Eylul Dogruel (Elections)
Departing Committee Staff: Eylul Dogruel (Elections), Hana Lee (Strategic Planning), Jessica Steiner (Strategic Planning), 1 other Strategic Planning staffer, 1 Abuse staffer, 1 Wiki staffer, 1 Communications staffer, 1 Support staffer, 1 Internationalization & Outreach staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: Trey C
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Abbie and 4 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Tired21, Ana Carolina Nonato and 5 others

January personnel changes

New Committee Chairs: kiki-eng (Internationalization & Outreach) and Elliot Oberholtzer (Strategic Planning)
New Committee Staff: 1 Development & Membership staffer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: blotthis, sabinelagrande, fenn, wanderedpen, AlexandriaTheGreat, VictoriaWrites, Lira, Amayakumiko, 10pm, thedevilchicken, quackingfish, jstorming, Sumi, ClockworkCourier, Marie_L, cricri, Debris, starfield, Taine, Lily Aydan, bladesin, doughtier, Minkster, Maggie, arccie, dianajoy, Mysterie, elmyra, alamerysl, Chaos, VeraSilva, Jasmine Farahani, Fia, Cara, flipflop_diva, Louise Mitchell and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Purple Emilie and 2 others

Departing Directors: Nikisha Sanders
Departing Committee Chairs: Niko Thompson (Strategic Planning)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Elections staffer, 1 Development and Membership staffer, 1 Strategic Planning staffer, 1 Communications staffer, Dai-kun (Translation)
Departing Workgroup Members: Dash (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Translator Volunteers: jerakeen, Dai-kun and 2 others

Mirrored from an original post made at the OTW News Blog..

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November 2014 Newsletter, Volume 86

Published: 2014-12-06 14:41:50 -0500

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

I. A WIN FOR LEGAL

It’s been a very active month for Legal's advocacy mission. In the beginning of November, they filed petitions with the U.S. Copyright Office to renew the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption that the OTW helped win in 2009 and 2012. This made it legal for fan video makers to rip DVDs and online sources in order to make noncommercial fan video. In addition to seeking renewal, Legal has asked the Copyright Office to expand the exemption to include ripping Blu-Ray discs for the same purposes. The petition is only the first step. Over the coming months they will be submitting evidence and providing further arguments to support the need for the exemption. Legal thanks everyone who helped them with stories and information so far.

Legal also got some good news this month based on some work they did back in April in the case of Garcia v. Google. In April, Legal filed a brief in support of Google’s request that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals re-hear the case. And we succeeded! On November 12, the court declared its original ruling void, and set a schedule for re-hearing the case. So on November 25, Legal filed another brief, explaining why we thought the previous result would promote online censorship and harm free speech.

Legal also did some informational work in November by helping to create some educational materials about transformative works and U.S. fair use law. Their post on “The Case Against Licensing Fanworks" sparked some lively discussion on AO3 News.

Finally, in November Legal also continued work on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s multi-stakeholder project to improve the functioning of the DMCA notice and takedown process, and responded to several queries from fans. As always, they welcome your queries!

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology had two code deploys in November — (Releases 0.9.33 and 0.9.34) — and are currently working on a third, with the help of shiny new testers from our last recruitment round! Accessibility, Design and Technology handled a security concern related to our development data by upgrading our encryption method and asking users to change their passwords (via AO3 News post and targeted emails).

Tag Wrangling helped Support resolve tag-related tickets, fixed some broken links in the Tag Wrangling FAQ, and held special-topic training sessions for beginning and intermediate wranglers.

Abuse handled roughly 270 tickets in November, with more constantly streaming in. Please do remember that our team does not need multiple reports sent in; one report per case is all that is required for us to investigate. Most cases are dealt with in less than a week, while trickier cases could take up to two weeks to handle. Abuse is also working with coders to create a way to help better track Fannish Next of Kin requests.

AO3 Documentation sent the first five new FAQs to other committees for revision. This is the last step in their drafting workflow, which means that the first new FAQs are finally almost done! They've also welcomed a new volunteer, and started working on the required documentation to transition into a full committee, while also creating a committee roadmap for 2015.

III. STEPS FORWARD

Systems made some changes to the OTW's internal email architecture to better handle future OTW membership drive emails so that they won't affect the delivery of our internal emails. Meanwhile, Content Policy began revisions to Open Doors' FAQ, with that committee's assistance.

Open Doors announced the pending import for Chains (available in multiple languages thanks to Translation!). They are also receiving much appreciated assistance from Accessibility, Design and Technology on a solution for a second archive import, and have been making progress on two other pending archives. Translation focused on internal documentation and future-planning, including revamping workflows for news posts. Translation chairs are hard at work on chair training documentation and a roadmap for 2015.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee resolved the problem with the OTW website that had been causing frequent downtimes. And Journal is finishing up obtaining final versions of manuscripts for the first two Transformative Works and Cultures issues of 2015, which will go into copyedit in January.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections wrapped up the 2014 elections period with a final OTW news post containing transcripts of the three public chats with candidates. They are now writing a roadmap for 2015 and are contacting other committees for feedback on that process.

Strategic Planning drafted an initial plan from the list of strategic goals that was brainstormed in October and presented it to all staff and volunteers for review, input, and discussion of specific implementation steps.

They then hosted two organization-wide chats to review the goals with any personnel who wished to attend. Additionally, each committee chair was contacted individually to solicit input on implementation the specific goals involving their committees. Once the feedback is received, the plan will be revised and reviewed again.

Strategic Planning also welcomed new staff members who will be helping to refine the Strategic Plan, as well as finish up survey reports for each committee and workgroup.

Development & Membership worked with the Board to create a post on the OTW's financial future following our record-breaking drive. The committee also had a lengthy "what we learned" document put together. Because of our technical difficulties with the OTW website, there were some snags in premium fulfilment for donors. But the committee has a good handle on it now, and things are should be smoother going forward.

In addition, Development & Membership announced that the OTW is taking part in the Amazon Smile program so that fans making purchases at Amazon can automatically donate to the OTW. They are also developing business cards and stationary for organizational use.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting spent November diving into internal committee work after closing out all external recruiting campaigns for 2014. They've made huge leaps forward on an internal audit of all OTW-wide tools, started a revision of recruitment documentation to help improve our recruiting services in 2015, continued to assess and revise committee internal documentation and procedures, and worked on feedback for the recently released draft of the Strategic Plan.

New Committee Chairs: jsparc (Wiki), Curtis Jefferson (Volunteers & Recruiting)

New Committee Staff: Nerine Luna Cyran (Tag Wrangling), ragingrainbow (Tag Wrangling), Nary (Tag Wrangling), theteapot (Translation), Kirsten Korona (Communications), Ridicully (Support), Kenna McKay (Support), LilyC (Support), Sparrow Rubin (Support), Amy Shepard (Strategic Planning), FeminineBrain (Strategic Planning), 3 other Communications staffers, 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers, 3 other Support staffers, 1 other Strategic Planning staffer, and 1 Systems staffer

New Workgroup Members: Amalia Blondet (AO3 Documentation)

New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Tag Wrangling volunteer

New Tester Volunteers: mugenmine, Anika Kabit, twofingerpost, pendrecarc, nightmarefluff, Agwen, and 6 other testing volunteers

New Translator Volunteers: 1 Translator volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: Priscilla Del Cima (Development & Membership), Camden (Communications)

Departing Workgroup Members: EnthusiasmGirl (AO3 Documentation), 3 other AO3 Documentation volunteers

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 11 Tag Wrangling volunteers

Departing Translator Volunteers: Nothorse and 1 other Translator volunteer

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October 2014 Newsletter, Volume 85

Published: 2014-11-05 11:25:25 -0500

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

I. FANDOM COMES THROUGH!

Thousands of fans became new members of the OTW in October and many more donated, signal boosted, and cheered us on during our most successful membership drive ever! The final total for the drive was US$173,760.34, but by the end of October we had received US$182,930.34 in donations from 8,211 people.

Our Development & Membership committee had been preparing content for months, but then had to handle many last-minute workarounds due to tech issues and changes during the drive. Development & Membership also responded to hundreds of fan questions and comments during the drive itself, meaning many long days for this small but hardworking group.

Translation also worked extremely hard in a tireless race to translate all the October drive content, even while it changed as the drive went on. They prepared 10 documents in 18 languages — including two infographics and lots of tweets! Everyone came through brilliantly and amazingly fast. Special kudos to teams Czech and Hebrew, who only recently joined the committee and already hurried to help with the drive effort, as well as to volunteer Ania, who created versions of all the many drive graphics in each language.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology had a series of tiny code updates this month (Releases 0.9.26, 0.9.27-.29, and 0.9.30-.32) and otherwise worked with Development & Membership and others on drive matters. The Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee has been recruiting and will welcome a bunch of new testing volunteers soon!

Abuse handled over 180 tickets in October. They are currently working on a roadmap for next year and reviewing stats for 2014 in preparation for an end of term report. Meanwhile, AO3 Documentation is still making good progress as it works on AO3 FAQs.

Tag Wrangling's had a busy month! Wrangling staff helped Support on several tag-related tickets, answered questions from Twitter, and moved to Trello for internal task management. Our wrangling guidelines completed the migration to a new location. Finally, they welcomed 36 new tag wrangling volunteers and five new staff members!

III. PROJECT NEWS

Open Doors has been continuing to assist with archive imports and improving committee documentation. Communications released a second guest post, this one interviewing fandom blogger Jamie Broadnax. Meanwhile, Journal is pushing through the last few manuscripts for their next two issues while redoing their coding documentation.

Legal has been hard at work on the OTW's initial submissions in the process of seeking to renew the U.S. Copyright Office exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that provides legal protection for fan video creators who have to break encryption on DVDs (and other media) in order to make fan videos. They put out a call for comments, and have received some very helpful responses. If you have other responses, or examples of videos from the last three years that you think we should consider using as examples of how fan videos can create new meaning from existing works (especially if making those videos required breaking encryption on Blu-Ray or online sources such as iTunes or Netflix), please continue to send them! Legal plans to submit our exemption requests in November, but the process will continue from there, and we will still have lots of uses for new examples.

In addition to that, Legal has continued to work with the USPTO/NTIA Multistakeholder process for improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown procedure, and has responded to several queries from fans with legal questions and requests for help.

IV. GOVERNANCE

The OTW Board and Strategic Planning were joined by representatives from Volunteers & Recruiting and Legal for a planning session to map out future plans for the OTW. During the meeting, Strategic Planning presented the data they had collected from surveys and interviews of current and retired staff and volunteers and highlighted organization-wide challenges facing the Board, chairs and leads, and committees and workgroups. From this presentation, they facilitated a brainstorming session that led to a list of overall strategic goals to be accomplished in six-month intervals over the next three years. Board director Anna Genoese stepped down from the OTW Board following the three-day meeting.

Strategic Planning then scheduled three follow-up meetings, open to observers throughout the OTW, to review the goals brainstormed in the meeting. They are currently working on writing up these goals into a draft that will be presented to all staff and volunteers for review, input, and discussion of specific implementation steps. Strategic Planning expects to contact each committee or workgroup individually, as well as lead OTW-wide discussions of these goals, during the feedback phase.

Internationalization & Outreach has been holding a series of internal meetings to help it develop a more thorough understanding of the needs and ideas of the OTW, so that the direction that the committee takes in the future is in response to those needs and ideas. Internationalization & Outreach is focused on raising the profile of the OTW in underrepresented fannish communities and devising outreach strategies and implementing them. Internationalization & Outreach wants to focus on which fannish communities may share or be interested in the OTW's goals, how to reach them, and how to make our projects and our organization more welcoming and more in line with their needs.

Elections announced this year’s candidates for the OTW Board and posted candidate manifestos and bios for the public to peruse. They also reached out to the public for question submissions, which led to the recent posting of a Candidate Q&A covering many issues relating to OTW Board work. They also held a series of chats with the candidates and worked on creating transcripts of those meetings.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting was very active in October both in terms of committee projects and providing support to the rest of the organization. At the beginning of the month, three staff attended the in-person Board meeting to provide input into the discussions there, and have been actively involved in the follow-up conversations working toward the draft strategic plan. Volunteers & Recruiting also managed recruiting for five different roles (with over 150 applications received) and began the official decommissioning of the Category Change workgroup.

Internally, they finished documenting their annual report project and planning for next year, closed out the annual Still Willing to Serve project, finalized the annual revision of our induction and removal procedures, and completed the final stages of migrating volunteer records to a new database system. They also identified and filled in a few documentation holes and have started looking at the future leadership structure for the committee and succession planning with an eye toward sustainability.

New Committee Chairs: Niko Thompson (Strategic Planning Co-Chair)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Forever42, Karissa, LauraBeth, Jamie101, Yzmaisamzy, mrajick, Elizabeth Moonstone, Carolina, Gryfeathr, a_phasia, cordial, SunnyB, Kise, RawringPopcorn, Sezso, clotpoleofthelord, Asha, grungehemmings, Assassin_J, ravelqueen, whylorinda, hannahmhall, ShotaSammy, Swimmies, Amy Ketchup, phoenixacid, Cryllia, needleyecandy, Perfidiously, PhoenixFlame, Pax, Celia, Estirose, Sinope, especiallysarah and Krista
New Translator Volunteers: Neru and Hirannis

Departing Directors: Anna Genoese
Departing Committee Chairs: Cat Meier (Finance) and Aja (Development & Membership)
Departing Workgroup Leads: Soledad Griffin (Category Change)
Departing Committee Staff: 2 Translation, 1 Web Strategy, Design & Development, Reanna LaCasse (Support), 2 Communications, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting, 1 Tag Wrangling, 4 Abuse and 1 Finance
Departing Workgroup Members: 1 AO3 Docs volunteer, hele braunstein (Category Change), Lady Oscar (Category Change), bingeling (Category Change), kiki-eng (Category Change) and 2 other Category Change volunteers
Departing Communications Volunteers: Diane Quintal and 1 other
Departing Tester Volunteers: ljunattainable, openendings and 28 others.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Michelle Dong and 62 others.
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3

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September 2014 Newsletter, Volume 84

Published: 2014-10-05 18:52:26 -0400

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

I. FANS TAKING PART

The OTW celebrated its 7th anniversary last month with a guest post from Flourish Klink. This kicked off the first in what we hope will be a series of guest posts discussing the OTW and fandom issues. We encourage fans to let us know their suggestions for future guest posts.

On September 10, the OTW took part in the Battle for the Net Internet Slowdown by displaying banners to inform users about the attack on net neutrality. A screenshot of AO3's front page appeared as part of the coverage on BBC's tech show Click.

Wiki's event on Fanlore, Stub September, was a great success. Many new editors discovered Fanlore last month, which we are very happy about! The committee held an editing chat on September 14th, and later posted a summary of issues discussed that day. Internally, the committee began examining a mass editing tool that should make behind-the-scenes work much easier in the future.

II. OVER AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology had a busy month! They successfully completed four substantial code deploys: major improvements to our search index code, followed by the first part of a Big Search & Browse Upgrade of 2014, shiny new admin banners (to be seen in action during the upcoming membership drive), and finally, AO3's all new FAQs. You can now browse AO3's help section in several languages, courtesy of the tireless Translation committee and its many volunteers. Major kudos to them for their stellar work and their patience and support as we work towards a truly international Archive.

AO3 Documentation has been doing amazing work to overhaul our entire sprawling collection of partially outdated FAQs. This means the structure of the FAQs on AO3 will now be much more accessible, thorough and easy to navigate. AO3 Docs has welcomed 8 new volunteers to their team to help with this overhaul.

Tag Wrangling focused this month on preparing for their October recruitment effort. If you're interested in becoming a tag wrangler, watch the volunteer page this week for more information. Tag Wrangling also worked with Accessibility, Design and Technology on the FAQ move, and with Support on tag-related tickets.

Abuse and Support have been dealing well with the volume of messages from users. Abuse received 420 reports in September and was able to handle a large portion of them in the same month. Support processed almost 550 tickets in August, and almost 450 tickets in the first three weeks of September. They've also scheduled two more Open Chats for the year - October 26th at 17:00 UTC and December 7th at 00:00 UTC. We'll have an announcement post for each closer to the date. Come visit!

Systems has been negotiating for more rack space in our hosting facility for new switches for the servers, spent some time responding to security issues as they've come up, and built a new Elasticsearch cluster for better AO3 indexing.

III. ONGOING WORK

Journal published issue 17 on September 15. The nineteen submissions range from genderswap in Sherlock, twincest in Harry Potter, and Disney cosplay to fanfiction metadata, fanfiction as Midrash, and an Orlando Jones interview. They are also working on the two special issues for March and June 2015, which are on "Performance and Performativity" and "European Fandoms and Fan Objects," respectively. Kristina Busse was a panelist at the FLOW conference in Austin, Texas, United States, where she met many former and future TWC contributors and reviewers, and discussed "Political Television and Perceptions of American Politics."

Translation is very happy to count 36 new volunteers in its ranks, including the members for two new language teams: Czech and Hebrew! Most volunteers are currently busy working on the October membership drive posts from Development & Membership and new documents from Open Doors, including a future announcement for a new archive import.

Legal submitted comments to the Australian government in association with Australia's Discussion Paper on Online Copyright. OTW filed jointly with Creative Commons Australia, recommending against a proposal by the Australian government regarding online copyright infringement enforcement and penalties. The proposal has since been withdrawn. Legal also responded to several queries for help and information from fans.

Legal is also continuing work on a few ongoing projects such as the USPTO/NTIA multi-stakeholder work regarding the DMCA, and also, as noted last month, they’re gearing up for the next round of work before the US Library of Congress, seeking further renewal of the DMCA exemption we helped obtain in 2010 and renew in 2012.

The OTW website has been experiencing some outages in the past month. If users have difficulty reaching the site or if a post link doesn't seem to be working, please contact our Web Strategy, Design & Development committee with information about the time you experienced a problem, and either a screenshot of what you saw or a copy of the error message received, in order to help them track down the problem.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Strategic Planning completed two more internal Non-Profit 101 sessions to inform OTW volunteers about non-profit structures and practices. They are also wrapping up survey processes for the final few committees before the October retreat, and are focusing on distilling all of the information they have collected into notes and takeaways to bring to the Board at that retreat.

Elections is now an official committee with a new co-chair, briar_pipe. They have been updating our documentation and processes to ensure even more equitable and practical election seasons in the future. For this election season, Elections has worked with the Board to clarify the eligibility requirements and have since successfully sent out a call for candidacy declaration. They are currently finalizing the timeline and procedures around announcement and introduction of candidates to the OTW community.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been hard at work on co-ordinating recruitment with AO3 Documentation and prepping for the OTW's last two recruiting campaigns of 2014. VolCom is also starting to retire departing staff and volunteers as a result of the the Still Willing to Serve project last month. Three members of the committee are heading out for the OTW Board Retreat in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, from October 3 to 5, 2014.

New Committee Chair: briar_pipe (Elections)
New Committee Staff: Ehryn (Support), atly (Web Strategy, Design & Development), 1 Elections staffer
New Workgroup Members: Claire P. Baker (AO3 Documentation), Jess C. (AO3 Documentation), Elenna (AO3 Documentation), 5 AO3 Documentation
New Tester Volunteers: Ridicully and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: SilenceoftheSolitude, Tired21, Erhien, Ariella and 2 others

Departing Committee Staff: Caitlin Munley (Web Strategy, Design & Development), very (Tag Wrangling), 1 Communications Staff
Departing Workgroup Members: Bobdog54 (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 2
Departing Translator Volunteers: Snixx

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