AO3 News

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Published:
2016-04-04 13:30:31 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. SHINY AND NEW

This month saw the publication of a special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, the OTW's academic journal. Volume 21, "The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work," was guest edited by Ika Willis, University of Wollongong. The essays in this special issue analyze "the relationships between Classical literature (and its afterlives) and contemporary fan work," as Willis's editorial notes. Putting out an academic journal is a mammoth task, and the Journal team do it three times a year. Articles are open access, so anyone can head over and dip into the articles.

After a seven-year run, Communications has concluded the OTW Fannews series. In its place, the committee has debuted a series called This Week in Fandom. Each Tuesday, TWIF will present a roundup of interesting happenings throughout all of fandom from the past week–everything from trending discussions to academia to exciting announcements to media articles on fandom and more. TWIF is new, so feedback on format and content, as well as potential stories and submissions, is very welcome!

The Web Strategy, Design & Development committee has been toiling away to get the new OTW site up and running. This month, the committee moved the website to its final hosting place and is working on doing the same for the Open Doors and Elections sites. Thanks to everyone for their patience with the beta site during the move!

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology have reported a great milestone this month: the Archive now has over 800,000 registered users! They have also successfully put out four releases. Of particular interest is an overhaul of the Skin Wizard, and the ability for gift exchange moderators to search sign-ups.

The Abuse team has received 400 tickets this month.

Tag Wrangling staff inducted a new class of volunteers, who have leapt into action to help keep up with the always-expanding volume of new tags and fandoms on the AO3.

Over at Open Doors, staff worked on manually importing the Hornblowerfic.com archive.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

In March, Legal represented the OTW at the South by Southwest Interactive festival! Legal committee chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented on the panel "Copyright and Creators: 2026" about the future of copyright law. Legal staffer Heidi Tandy hosted a Fair Use and Transformative Works Meetup at the festival, followed by a gathering for all, including those without festival passes, at a local pub. The event featured some great opportunities for fans to interact with U.S. law- and policy-makers, as well as of course gathering and socializing with each other.

Legal also responded to a significant number of legal questions from fans, some of which came in via AO3 Support and others that came directly to Legal.

IV. GOVERNANCE

After publishing the prospective budget for 2016 at the beginning of the month, the Board of Directors met with a Chartered Professional Accountant and is working through their assessment of the OTW's finances. They've also started preparing for this year's tax filing.

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From February 29 to March 27, Volunteers & Recruiting received 84 new requests, and completed 78, leaving us with 39 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below). They also welcomed two new staffers. Elections brought in a new Communications Specialist staffer this month as well.

New Committee Staff: Misty Fritz (Elections), Anna S. (Volunteers & Recruiting), Katrina Hueniken (Volunteers & Recruiting)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: adustyspectacle, arahime, Astra, Bella Irvine, capitola, CB, Flynn J. M. Germain, godsamitdean, ImpossibleGirlWrangler, Ira Gladkova, lightofthewind, LittleMousling, lubabathegreat, M.A., mal_stoner, miaou, Miranda, Osono, Perilous Grey, PineTreePerson, Rachel Harris, RepressedLurker, ShadowRancher, Sofia, the-dreaming-hare, and Twera

Departing Committee Staff: Chrissy Sky (AO3 Documentation), 2 Support, 1 Internationalization & Outreach, and 1 Wiki
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Yenelie, radondoran, and 9 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: waywardson1978 and 2 others

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

I. INTERNATIONAL FANWORKS DAY

The OTW celebrated International Fanworks Day this month, with a whole week dedicated to events, games, posts and challenges leading up to the big day itself on February 15th. In total, the event included 6 guest posts, a Feedback Fest, a short fanworks challenge called IFDShare, numerous games and public chats, and multiple posts, including one that featured both OTW celebrations and other celebrations for IFD. Head on over to this roundup post to learn more.

II. AT THE AO3

Abuse handled 300 tickets this month. They remind users to keep their email addresses updated so that the team can make contact it makes their life easier, and helps keep AO3 running smoothly!

Over at Accessibility, Design & Technology, eight releases were deployed this month. While these mainly focused on improvements to behind-the-scenes functionality such as automated tests and gems, the hardworking coders and testers on the team also found time to make some minor layout adjustments.

III. NEW WEBSITE AND MORE

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee has continued their beta test of the new OTW website and is working on migrating over content. Thanks for everyone's patience while things get settled.

From January 28 to February 28, Volunteers & Recruiting received 91 new requests, and completed 91, leaving them with 36 open requests. They worked with the Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee on the first round of recruitment on the new OTW website. During this round, they recruited for Elections Staff, Tag Wrangling Volunteers, and Volunteers & Recruiting Staff. They devoted time to committee projects including the final stages of the formal audit of org-wide tools access and a revision of training for new staff for their committee. They also fielded a request from a student to answer some questions about experiences with volunteer management within the OTW.

Translation have welcomed 26 new volunteers to the committee, including a new team for Filipino!

Finally, Journal is hard at work on production for the next issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, a guest-edited issue on Classics and fan studies that will come out in mid-March.

IV. LEGAL ADVOCACY

February 22-26, 2016 was Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, and OTW Legal invited fans to “Ask Us Anything” about fair use and fair dealing law. Fans asked several questions, and Legal answered in a public post on February 26. The team also answered individual fan queries throughout the month.

In addition, Legal submitted comments in response to a U.S. Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry regarding the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the triennial rulemaking process associated with those rules. Legal argued that the process of seeking exemptions is unnecessarily chilling on noninfringing activities like fair use, and is unduly burdensome for parties, like the OTW, who have to obtain exemptions.

We’ve also seen the fruits of some of our advocacy work: at the very end of January, the U.S. Copyright Office released a White Paper discussing the legal framework for remixes, including fan remix. The White Paper extensively cited the OTW’s Green Paper submission, which Legal created with the help of many fans who shared their stories with us.

Now we need more stories: to respond to a European Union consultation on how “notice and takedown” is working worldwide, OTW Legal wants to collect stories from fans worldwide on how internet takedowns have impacted fans. Have you, or anyone you know, been the subject of a takedown notice? What did you do about it? How did it feel? Have you had a fanwork of your own, or one you love, taken down? Have you ever been concerned about “three strikes” rules or other potential consequences of posting fanworks? Tell us all about it!

V. GOVERNANCE

This month, the Board has continued to work on sorting out various transition issues and on trying to find the best workflows to make sure everything get addressed in a timely fashion. Besides that, they have published the 2016 budget and have been working on rebuilding the Finance committee.

VI. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

New Committee Chairs: Nary (Support)
New Committee Staff: Apollonie (Support), coaldustcanary (Support), Eugecapisce (Support), Felix Quinn (Support), Morgan (Support), SelenesLion (Support), ShotaSammy (Support), Taylor Clossin (Support), Veronica M (Support), 4 other Support
New Coder Volunteers: 1
New Translator Volunteers: Francine Dulay, Monika Liptáková, JanOda, Amy Lee, cageot, XxArt, Sayali Marathe, Fatima Ahmed, Idiosincrasy, Rana Kamal, Maliceuse and 14 others
Departing Committee Staff: James Baxter (Development & Membership), Jillian Jacobs (Development & Membership), Hele (Translation), ragingrainbow (Tag Wrangling), Jennifer Rose Hale (Communications), 1 other Communications, 2 AO3 Documentation
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Starry_Sun and 2 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: 5

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Published:
2016-02-12 22:27:49 -0500
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages

I. Celebrating Fanworks

There have been some big milestones at the AO3 recently. The Archive recently reached the 2 millon fanworks mark. It took over four years to reach 1 million fanworks, and less than two years to add the second million. Also recently, Tag Wrangling canonized AO3's 20'000th fandom. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in the Archive's success.

Plans have also been in the works for International Fanworks Day on February 15th. Join us for games, a short fanworks challenge, and Feedback Fest. Alternately, join in one of the many celebrations being held by others and tell us about it!

II. AT THE AO3

Our Accessibility, Design & Technology committee followed up the successful release of comment moderation in November with eight rapid-fire releases in December, making updates to the Rich Text Editor, challenges, and gifts, as well as behind-the-scenes fixes designed to improve overall Archive performance. In January, behind-the-scenes work continued with more performance improvements, Gem updates, and additions to the automated testing suite -- and we found time to announce and deploy layout improvements for different screen sizes, too!

Open Doors announced three more archive imports recently: Hornblowerfic.com, and The Prydonian and Human Nature archives. This is a busy start to 2016 after capping off 2015 with five archive imports.

Our Abuse committee ended the year with a total of 4550 tickets for 2015, up from 2750 in 2014. Our Support committee ended 2015 with 8328 tickets. That’s a 40% increase over 2014 and double 2012!

As a reminder, AO3 will not remove works solely because they portray characters or relationships in a bad light. Per our Terms of Service: "You understand that using the Archive may expose you to material that is offensive, triggering, erroneous, sexually explicit, indecent, blasphemous, objectionable, grammatically incorrect, or badly spelled."

III. Fanhackers and Legal Advocacy

Our Fanhackers committee has been restructured for better efficiency. It is no longer a discrete committee inside the OTW. Instead, the Fanhackers blog (and Tumblr) are now part of our Communications committee, and the Fan Studies Bibliography is now part of our Journal committee. The Fanhackers mission of making research about fans more useful and accessible will continue.

In December, our Legal committee submitted a comment in response to the European Commission's request for comments regarding online platforms, online intermediaries, and cloud computing. The OTW's comments emphasized the dangers of regulating based on the false assumption that all online platforms and intermediaries are large commercial entities like Google and eBay.

In January, a request was made asking fans for their stories about fanwork takedowns. Legal also helped make a public statement supporting fan film makers in the wake of a Paramount/CBS lawsuit against the makers of Axanar, a Star Trek fan film.

IV. GOVERNANCE

The resignation of Andrea Horbinski, Soledad Griffin, Jessica Steiner, Eylul Dogruel, Cat Meier, and M.J. MacRae from the OTW's Board of Directors became effective on December 15th. After meeting with our Elections and Legal committees, newly elected Directors Matty Bowers and Atiya Hakeem announced that the remaining candidates from the November 2015 election would be appointed to the Board.

The Board is now hard at work. A draft of the 2016 budget is undergoing internal review for release as soon as possible. Minutes from Board meetings can be found on the minutes page, and future meeting times are listed on the new Board calendar page. (Note: Our website is currently being migrated to a new platform, so some links may malfunction for a little while. Thanks for your patience.)

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Our Volunteers & Recruiting committee has kicked off recruitment for 2016.

New Directors: Matty Bowers (President), Alex Tischer (Secretary), Atiya Hakeem (Treasurer), Aline Carrão, Katarina Harju.
New Committee Chairs: Atiya Hakeem (Finance), Alex Tischer (Web Strategy, Design & Development (Acting)), Alison Watson (Volunteers & Recruiting), James Baxter (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Mahewa (Elections)
New Committee Staff: Katie (Accessibility, Design & Technology), 1 Journal, Nele Noppe (Communications), Gil (Web Strategy, Design, & Development), Atiya Hakeem (Development & Membership)
New Coder Volunteers: Cesy
New Translator Volunteers: Olya, Rose Hannah, and Chien
New Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers:

Departing Directors: Eylul Dogruel, Soledad Griffin, Andrea Horbinski, M.J. MacRae, Cat Meier, Jessica Steiner
Departing Committee Chairs: Soledad Griffin (I&O), Eylul Dogruel (Web Strategy, Design & Development (Acting)), Renay (Volunteers & Recruiting), Nele Noppe (Fanhackers), Daniel Lamson (Development & Membership), hele braunstein (Translation)
Departing Committee Staff: Xierroh (Translation), Amalia Blondet (AO3 Documentation & Translation), Katarina Harju (Translation), 1 Support, 1 Open Doors, 1 Wiki
Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: 1
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Selenay, Ciel, 1 other
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: Stephanie S.
Departing Strategic Planning Volunteers: 2
Departing Translator Volunteers: 7 others

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

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Published:
2015-11-08 12:14:49 -0500
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the names and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. ANOTHER LEGAL VICTORY!

On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Copyright Office released its Rulemaking regarding exemptions to section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Last year, OTW's Legal Committee asked the Copyright Office to renew the exemption permitting fan video makers to circumvent the copy protection on DVDs and digital transmissions, and to expand it to include Blu-Ray discs. And on October 27, we won! The new version of the exemption, which goes into effect immediately, permits people to circumvent copy protection to obtain short portions of films, television shows, and other videos for the purpose of making noncommercial videos that criticize or comment on the original work. The exemption explicitly permits the use of "screen capture" technology and also permits circumvention of copy protection on DVDs, digital transmissions, and Blu-Ray discs if necessary to produce sufficiently high-quality content.

We’ve been working on this particular renewal and expansion effort since September 2014, and because the process requires renewals every three years, we expect we will be back fighting the same fight in another two years. In the meantime, we send out our particular thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who joined us in this effort, and to the many vidders who responded to our calls for stories and explanations of how this exemption matters to what they do.

The Legal Committee also joined allies Public Knowledge in filing a comment with the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in response to that agency’s request for comments on its plan for intellectual property enforcement. The comments made specific recommendations and emphasized the importance of considering the interests of the public at large, including users who can be harmed by overly aggressive enforcement of intellectual property laws.

II. OCTOBER MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

Our Development & Membership Committee wrapped up a successful donation drive earlier this month, raising US$171,363! We are continuing to send out donation premiums. We encourage anyone who is missing their premium to get in touch with us using the Development & Membership contact form, and we'll figure out a solution to get your premium to you. Many things were learned from this drive, and we look forward to putting them to us during the next one. The Translation Committee also successfully collaborated with Development & Membership for the drive, producing over 150 documents in 17 languages!

III. AT THE AO3

This month, the Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee deployed several small releases addressing miscellaneous issues, including some adjustments to our infrastructure. We were also excited to offer a preview of comment moderation, but have yet to be able to push the button due to investigating and trying to fix recent site slowness and downtimes.

The Abuse Committee received about 450 tickets in October. Most were addressed within a few days, though we did have some complicated ones come in. Please be patient if you don't receive a reply immediately — the more complex the report, the more time we'll need to spend investigating!

The Tag Wrangling Committee revised the guidelines for canonical character tags that represent groups of people (to clarify that they should not be either metatagged or subtagged to individual characters), which should help both to reduce the load on servers by getting rid of unhelpful tag trees and to help users more easily find exactly the works they're looking for.

IV. GOVERNANCE

The OTW's Board of Directors met for their Annual Meeting from October 2–4. During this meeting, the 3-year OTW Roadmap produced by the Strategic Planning Committee was approved. The meeting minutes for all three days can be found on the Board Meeting Minutes page of our website.

The Elections Committee is in the final weeks of this year's OTW Board Elections. We'd like to thank the candidates for running this year. They worked hard to answer member questions in their Q&A Responses and participate in five Candidate Chats. Chat transcripts are available on our website. Voter instructions were also sent to current members. For more 2015 Board Election updates, you can visit the Elections Committee at our Twitter, @otwelections.

The annual election is a team effort — and not just the Elections team! Many thanks go out to Development & Membership, Translation, Communications, and more. Without these and other committees helping behind the scenes, this election would not be possible. Thank you all!

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

The Volunteers & Recruiting Committee helped Tag Wrangling, Communications, and Internationalization & Outreach recruit for new volunteers and staffers this month. Thank you to everyone who applied, and everyone who helped spread the word! We also sent a Still Willing to Serve survey out to all current volunteers, and we greatly appreciate the responses of our continuing volunteers, as well as the service of our departing volunteers. Last but not least, we have also started inducting volunteers from our September recruitment round: a warm welcome to all new volunteers, and three cheers for current volunteers taking on new roles!

New Committee Staff: Sofia (Translation), Oriontsuki (Translation), SunnyB (Translation), Cat Goodfellow (Communications), James Baxter (Web Strategy, Design, & Development), Janet Vandenabeele (Communications), qwu (Abuse), Oniondip (Abuse), Nerine Luna Cyran (Abuse), Sammie Jarrett (Abuse), Ilona van der Vegt (Abuse), shiloh (Abuse), Miranda (Abuse), fredoxley (Abuse), 6 other Abuse, 2 Communications, 1 AO3 Documentation, and 1 Systems
New AO3 Documentation Volunteers: 1
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1
New Translator Volunteers: J4Y and 3 others

Departing Committee Staff: squidgie (Wiki), Janna N. (Support), Noah Feeman (Open Doors), Jintian (Communications), Julia Allis (Communications), Ellorgast (Communications), Marta-Bee (Communications), 2 other Communications, 1 other Support, 1 Legal, 2 Elections, 1 Quality Assurance & Testing, and 1 Tag Wrangling
Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: briar_pipe
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Hana Lee, Asha, Swimmies, kiii17, Rana Jones, Elizabeth Moonstone, ryasdfghjkl, and 36 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Erilia Wu and 8 others

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

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Published:
2015-10-06 12:18:11 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. 8 and 20

Communications assisted Journal in celebrating the release of their 20th issue soon after the OTW as a whole turned 8 years old. Journal's editors extended kudos to production editor Rrain Prior for her stellar work handling all the production details and to Communications volunteer caitie~ for the fabulous artwork for Issue No. 20. Systems also updated the software TWC uses, OJS, to its latest version and Journal has been able to bring some new recruits on board for production work.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology produced 5 code releases, which included resolution of a few issues created (and addressed!) in hopes of making the lives of their fellow volunteers in Systems and Abuse a little bit easier. They also created a budget proposal for 2016, and worked closely with Development & Membership to create an Accessibility, Design & Technology-focused post and finalize an email about the upcoming membership drive. They've also been working up a few news posts about some upcoming changes we're really excited about. Stay tuned!

Abuse received over 300 tickets in September. They sadly lost a few staffers recently, but are in the process of recruiting. The committee has been working on documentation and is trialing a chair training track with two lucky volunteers. They will be evaluating the training as they go along, and one volunteer may get to join as co-chair next year.

AO3 Documentation are working well towards their goal of having new versions of all AO3 FAQs up by the end of the year. In September they uploaded the new version of the About FAQ, and have completed new help text for the 'Tips & Tricks' that all AO3 users see after creating their account.

Support had another 700-ticket strong month; as such, they are a touch behind on tickets, but are trying to catch up. They will also be transitioning between ticket tracking software over the next month or so to a system that will better handle the capacity we're receiving. User alert: there will be bumps!

Open Doors has just about finished helping the Table for Three mod import that archive, and will be helping the Seamus/Dean Forever mod soon.

Tag Wrangling welcomed 3 new staff members and said goodbye to 2 staff members who we will be missed very much. For projects, they began a new system called AO3_Wrangling_Project, which should make it easier to regularly wrangle unassigned fandoms in need. They've also have 12 new guideline discussions; they'll begin exploring those topics as a team shortly. Tag Wrangling has also responded to several requests from the Support team, from wranglers, and from users on Twitter, and have hosted several tag wrangling parties.

III. SLOW BUT SUCCESSFUL

Legal celebrated a victory! In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Lenz v. Universal, agreeing with the OTW and its allies that "[f]air use is not just excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law." This is what we argued in our amicus brief in the case, which was submitted to the court all the way back in December 2013. Justice sometimes takes a long time! As Legal said in the OTW News post about the case, the Lenz ruling is good for fans and transformative creators, but our work is far from done—we will continue to fight for fair use in the U.S. and around the world.

For example, in September, Legal submitted a comment to the South African government in response to the government’s call for comments regarding possible copyright law reforms. Our comment urged South Africa to adopt a fair use standard to replace its narrow and outdated copyright exceptions.

Translation received 90 applications total in the August-September recruitment round. They accepted 40 new recruits, most of whom have already finished training and are hard at work, including two new language teams: Greek and Norwegian! This month, Translation is working closely with Development and Membership, translating the upcoming October drive posts, and with Elections, preparing content for the upcoming OTW elections and a few static pages on their website.

Wiki has been at work coordinating Stub September at Fanlore. Engagement has been good on Dreamwidth and Twitter, and significant additions have been made to many stubs!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Strategic Planning now has the 3rd and semi-final version of the OTW strategic plan under internal review. They will be presenting the strategic plan at the OTW Annual Meeting with the hopes of having it and the implementation support plan approved by Board. They will also be asking the Board for their strategic guidance on the focus, scope and reach of the next round of strategic planning.

Elections announced 8 candidates this year, and worked with them to provide individual Bios & Manifestos for OTW members to read. Voters will be able to choose who joins the Board during our election spanning November 6th to 9th. Eligible to vote are any members who joined between October 6th, 2014 and October 6th, 2015 (including both days!) For more information, please see the Eligibility and Voting Instructions posts. Other questions can be directed to the Elections Contact Form

Currently candidates are composing responses to the over 50 questions submitted. Thank you for the enthusiastic response! Candidates' answers will be posted in batches once they are completed by all candidates. On September 27th, it was announced that the Board had directed the Elections Committee to remove former Treasurer Nikisha Sanders from the ballot. Dan Lamson also withdrew his candidacy for the Board on September 27th.

Development & Membership continues to prepare for the October Drive and are looking at adding a second payment processor to the donation page called iATS, which specializes in nonprofits. They hope to have it up and running for the drive so that anyone not wanting to use Paypal will have another option. Development & Membership also sent some documents to Legal for review regarding the possible use of Cafe Press as an OTW Merchandise Store platform, and they hope to have a store up and running by the end of 2015.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on training new staff and updated their training and recruitment materials with the hope of recruiting again soon. Staff have been at work revising the committee's plan to make the OTW more inclusive, in response to internal feedback received.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting did a lot of recruiting in September, seeking staff for Abuse, Communications, Systems, and Volunteers & Recruiting and continued inductions from August. Thank you to everyone for volunteering, and those departing staff and volunteers for their work.

New Committee Staff: Kathryn Soderholm (Internationalization & Outreach), Phoenixacid (Tag Wrangling), Sass (Tag Wrangling), and 1 other Tag Wrangling
New Journal Volunteers: Sarah New, Latina Vidolova, Rebecca Sentence, Gabriel Simm and 2 others
New Translator Volunteers: wordsoftreason, halfslytherin, Ana Beatriz, theimprobable1, gallica, marrjoram, Hatoko, Ipek and 18 others

Departing Committee Staff: Matty Lynne (Support), Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach (Tag Wrangling), 2 Abuse, 1 AO3 Documentation, and 1 Communications
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: Nari, Chloe, Mary Tagus, and 1 other

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

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Published:
2015-09-06 11:51:04 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. UP IN THE MILLIONS

Accessibility, Design & Technology celebrated the AO3's first 15 million page-view day in August. They also partied hard over their new web development environments and started preparing their move to new servers that can better handle all the visitors! None of this could have been done without the hard work and commitment of the Systems team, and their joint staffer james_ especially.

Accessibility, Design & Technology has also been working on moving to a new issue tracker, now that Google Code has entered read-only mode, with a shutdown date scheduled for later this year. After exploring a number of options and cleaning up their current collection of bug reports and to-dos, the committee settled on JIRA as the best fit for its needs. They have finished moving all their remaining issues and expect to get settled in and start updating their documentation.

Accessibility, Design & Technology has also been working with Tag Wrangling to address issues stemming from wrangling bugs and server hiccups, as tag wranglers migrated wrangling and tag-related items over to the new bug tracker and helped test how the servers handle heavy wrangling loads. Accessibility, Design & Technology will also be helping Abuse by providing better tools for their work. They hope to deploy new code very soon that is aimed at dealing with commercial spam and keeping harassment at bay.

II. PARTICIPATE!

Together with our partners in the Re:Create Coalition, Legal has proposed two panels for the 2016 South by Southwest conference. Find out more about them (and upvote us!) here: Copyright & Creators: 2026 (featuring Legal Chair Betsy) and Fair Use Awakens: Classrooms/Libraries/Communities (featuring Betsy and Legal Staffer Heidi). You can also find out more about Heidi’s other proposed panels and suggestions.

In August, Legal helped several fans, from several countries, with legal questions about copyright law, plagiarism, and fair use. They also successfully corresponded with the maker of an unauthorized Android app for reading on AO3. The app maker agreed to change the name of the app and make it clear in all promotions that it is unauthorized and unrelated to the OTW and that the OTW doesn’t provide support for it. Legal also took action regarding another unauthorized widget for Android that used the AO3 trademark in a confusing manner. Please be aware that the AO3 does not have an official app.

South Africa is considering adopting a fair use provision in its copyright law. Fair use supporters are trying to make sure that the law actually protects fair use, and Legal is preparing to file a supporting comment. We need your help signal-boosting our request for stories from South African fans about how they’ve benefited from making and/or consuming fanworks. Please send your stories to our Legal committee. The last time we did this, for the US, the stories were amazing.

Journal is currently in production for its No. 20 issue, and hopes to begin training new production personnel soon from August's recruitment. Communications' media outreach team has been soliciting and organising guest posts for coming months. It also continued its efforts for the upcoming 20th issue celebration for Transformative Works and Cultures. Help us spread the word!

Translation received several dozen applications from potential future translators, and committee members are working incredibly hard processing translation samples, wrangling timezones, and interviewing applicants. Two new language teams have started work this month—Marathi and Slovenian!

Wiki was busy preparing for the kickoff of Stub September, and hopes that everyone will join in to help flesh out entries on Fanlore.

III. AT THE AO3

Abuse had over 500 tickets in August. Please be patient if it takes a bit of time for them to get back to you on a ticket!

Support is on track to receive approximately 680 tickets in August. Overall they're averaging 724 tickets a month this year, compared to 495 last year. Support has been managing with only eight staffers, so they're very happy to have six new volunteers currently in training!

Open Doors has been chugging away on in-progress archive imports and announced plans to work with the Seamus/Dean Forever Archive to bring it to AO3.

Tag Wrangling held an informal training chat to welcome the newest class of wranglers to the fold after finishing another round of recruitment. Additionally, they began holding discussions to update and improve the wrangling guidelines. Wranglers also assisted one another with tag translations and responded to several requests from Support as well as their twitter feed.

AO3 Documentation has three documents in the external betaing phase, which were recently sent to other committees for comments and edits.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board has been in consultation, primarily with Legal, regarding potential changes to the OTW bylaws. At the August 8th meeting, Board voted to approve a change which would make it easier for Board members to be removed from office, when appropriate. Board is also considering a further change to the bylaws surrounding elections. In addition, the Board is considering making changes to the size of the Board. A few years ago, the Board complement was increased to 9 members in order to assist in shouldering the workload that came with the committee liaison system. Now that the OTW is moving towards phasing out the liaison system, Board is proposing to reduce the size of the board to 7 members once again. It is hoped that this will lead to contested elections taking place for the first time since 2011.

Plans and logistics for the 2015 Annual Meeting are in the process of being finalized with Board responding to requests from various committees.

Strategic Planning will be publishing the 3rd and semi-final version of the OTW strategic plan for internal review in the first week of September. This was the result of in-depth work with Volunteers & Recruiting, Internationalization & Outreach and Board.

Internationalization & Outreach worked on processing the internal feedback received on a plan that it developed to promote inclusivity and internationalization within the OTW. They also interviewed candidates and welcomed three new staffers to their team.

Development & Membership is finalizing drive posts, so they can get them off to our hardworking Translation volunteers. The drive will be held on October 7–13 this year. They are also hoping to have some good news on the merchandise store to share with you soon!

Elections posted an internal call for candidacy, with a deadline of September 11. Interested members can check out the elections timeline for more information. They also posted their Confidentiality Policy. The Elections Twitter account is now actively tweeting links to various resources on the Elections website.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting recruited for three roles in August: Journal Staff - Production Assistant, Journal Volunteers - Layout Editor, and Translation volunteers. Among the three roles, the team received 100 total applications! The OTW will be recruiting three more times before the end of the year—twice in September and once in October.

The committee said goodbye to two of its staffers and published an internal report for the second quarter of 2015. The committee is finalizing the Still Willing to Serve survey, which is sent to all current staff and workgroup volunteers to check in and confirm that they would like to remain in their current roles. Volunteers & Recruiting is also continuing to refine their workflow processes with a tool to track requests from others in the organization.

New Committee Chairs: Trey C (Translation), Claire P. Baker (AO3 Documentation)
New Committee Staff: Zsuzsa Gábor (Translation), Seamus Johnston (Systems), Laura Hancock (Internationalization & Outreach) and 1 other Internationalization & Outreach
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Amariel, Apollonie, Arc, Asante Simons, ashto, Charlie Hale, Chelsea Eidbo, chrishuyen, dungbombs, Effy, Em S, Emily D, eternaldissident, Hannah Overstreet, Jane, Jay, Katiana, LeaneGenova, Lisa Stempel, mechanicaljewel, Merchant, mustachenow, Onyi, originally, P-Ys, pearwaldorf, regentzilla, Schrodingerscat, Suicix, TheAlternativeSource, Violet, Viva Hoh, Wond3rland, Yasemin Celebi, Yrindor and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Tina, Nele Noppe, Mel and 1 other

Departing Committee Staff: LokiMoriarty (Abuse), Kalli (Legal), C. Ryan Smith (Volunteers & Recruiting), Anna Maraya (Volunteers & Recruiting), 2 other Abuse, 1 Support, 1 Tag Wrangling, 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: BlackParadise, Matty Lynne and 12 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Celine, regenorakel, Charlotte, Agnieszka Barcik, Rizu and 6 others

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

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Published:
2015-08-06 11:28:12 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. OTW JOINS COALITIONS

In July, the OTW was proud to join three new legal-focused coalitions. First, in early July we joined the Harry Potter Alliance's Fanworks Are Fair Use Project, a community of fan creators, readers, artists, and enthusiasts who are committed to the protection and preservation of fair use law.

Then, a few days later, we announced that we'd joined the Re:Create coalition—a group of organizations representing innovators, creators, and consumers united for balanced U.S. copyright policies, including robust fair use laws.

More recently, we've added our support to the Save The Link project, a global coalition opposed to policies that would allow governments to block hyperlinks or block sites based on where they link to—yet another set of ideas we've long believed in and are thrilled to support.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed a variety of small bug fixes in releases 0.9.65-0.9.69; worked with the Legal, Support, and Communications teams to research and respond to the unofficial Archive app recently released into the Google Play store; and identified and began testing new issue trackers to replace Google Code, which will be shutting down in a few months.

AO3 Documentation completed and uploaded three documents this month: the Posting and Editing FAQ, the Statistics FAQ, and a tutorial on "Posting a Work on AO3. They've also welcomed five new members to the Docs team.

Abuse handled over 300 tickets in July. They are currently working with Accessibility, Design & Technology to make it easier to identify and deal with anon trolls and harassment. They are also in the process of updating their documentation, which should make it easier to help deal with tickets. Meanwhile, Support's ticket count is averaging, for 2015, around 725 tickets a month. They've also signed on seven new staffers to help with the increasing workload.

Systems has been interviewing potential new recruits and are working on documentation. They're installing and setting up lots of new servers and development systems, namely for Open Doors and the AO3 coders. They've also been working on our offsite backup solutions to better protect the OTW's data.

Tag Wrangling implemented a new procedure for revising the wrangling guidelines, which should smooth out the process of keeping everything up to date. They also assisted Open Doors with tag mapping for upcoming archive imports, and held several wrangling parties in chat so everyone could work together and give each other advice on tricky tags. Wranglers also continued to assist each other with translations, and responded to several Support requests.

III. INFORMING FANS

Legal corresponded with the creators of an unauthorized "AO3 App" for Android, whose product and promotion used the OTW's trademarks in a confusing manner. We are pleased that so many people love the AO3, but we don't want people to be confused! For more information about AO3's position on an app, please refer to this post.

Legal also responded to several queries from fans about fair use and fandom law and got help from Translation with a query in French.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Legal Chair Betsy was on a panel moderated by Legal staffer Heidi which discussed the evolution of fandom and fanworks and the laws that surround them. They were joined by panelists from Tumblr, Wattpad, Zefr, Supernatural Wiki, Chaotic Good, and the New Statesman. Video of the panel is now available.

Communications' Media Outreach subcommittee covered the San Diego Comic-Con "Fandom is my Fandom" panel. It also released a guest post with Donna Davies, creator of "Fanarchy," a documentary on fan films. Many more guest posts are being planned by the Media Outreach group, and they would welcome suggestions for future guest posts.

Communications has begun actively moderating the OTW News twitter account, and is still looking for suggestions for non-English-language fan accounts to follow. A moderator for the OTW's new Weibo account has been inducted and is currently completing training. The Weibo account should become active within the next six weeks. A new graphics volunteer has also been inducted and is currently completing training.

Communications is also working on the upcoming 20th issue celebration for Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC). A panel chat with contributors to TWC is planned for September 19th, focusing on the field of Fan Studies. If you have questions on the topic, please let us know!

Journal's next issue of TWC is on schedule. Editor Karen updated paperwork for TWC's listing in a compilation of Open Access journals.

Translation welcomed and trained several new volunteers as a result of June's Spotlight post, including two brand new teams: Japanese and Croatian!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Development & Membership welcomed one new staffer in July and said a fond farewell to four others as they continued work toward the upcoming October drive. They are currently developing a proposal to add a second payment processor (besides PayPal) to address international donor needs.

Elections came to a consensus regarding the extension of the voting period for OTW elections. The voting period will now be four days, spanning Friday to Monday. In addition the committee's confidentiality and neutrality policies were drafted, agreed upon, and sent to Legal for further review. They also finalized a social media policy and selected a Twitter team for their account.

Internationalization & Outreach has been taking internal feedback on a plan that it has developed to promote inclusivity and internationalization within the OTW. They also updated some internal documentation in preparation for their new recruits.

Strategic Planning will be publishing the final draft of our long-range plan for consideration and hopes to work out details of what implementation will look like at our October meeting with the Board. Strategic Planning has a few last-minute meetings with several committees regarding the timeline of certain goals.

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been continuing to work on implementation of their new task tracking system with plans to go live in early August. They recruited for Tag Wrangling volunteers and Internationalization & Outreach staff in July and are presently planning for August recruiting. They have also started discussions for the annual Still Willing to Serve campaign for current staff and a number of end-of-year tasks.

New Committee Staff: OutToGarden (AO3 Documentation), Rebecca Sentance (AO3 Documentation), Robin Gaitan (AO3 Documentation), Kaitlin (Support), Wes (Support), Genie Este (Support), kiki-eng (Development & Membership), sveritas (Communications), 1 other AO3 Documentation staff, and 4 other Support staff
New Communications Volunteers: ElenaWho
New Translator Volunteers: Hana Yu, Tanya Lokot, EmptyLot, tezzin, AndreyVas, and 7 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Systems, and 4 Development & Membership
Departing Tester Volunteers: erialeduab
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: Karagodina Elena and 4 other Translators


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

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Published:
2015-07-06 12:34:42 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. OTW LEGAL IS EVERYWHERE IN JUNE

At the tail end of May, Rebecca Tushnet, Tisha Turk, and Francesca Coppa, together with partners from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and New Media Rights, presented our case at the U.S. Copyright Office’s hearings on renewal and expansion of the fan video exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions. They asked the Copyright Office to expand the current exemption by permitting non-commercial fan video makers to rip Blu-Ray discs. Following the hearing, the groups submitted a written response to the Copyright Office's follow-up questions.

Also, as part of Legal’s advocacy and education missions, the OTW has teamed with the Harry Potter Alliance’s Fanworks Are Fair Use project. This project brings together fans, creators, and fanwork appreciators to focus on U.S. copyright law and public perception of fanworks. Its aims are very much in line with the OTW’s mission to protect fanworks from legal challenge and support fans and fanworks. You can find out more about the project at FanworksAreFairUse.org.

Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt and staffer Heidi Tandy will be presenting at a San Diego Comic Con panel entitled “Fandom is Our Fandom,” talking about the evolution of fanworks’ relationship with law and public consciousness. The panel will be Thursday, July 9 from 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in Room 14A. Heidi will also be moderating the Harry Potter/Wizarding World Fandom panel on Sunday, July 12 and you can find out more about the Fanworks Are Fair Use project at both. For those who will be at San Diego Comic Con, we hope to see you there!

Legal also worked with fan group Whedonopolis to keep the term “Fandom” in the public domain, following Whedonopolis’s application to register the term “Fandom Charities Inc.” as a U.S. trademark. Whedonopolis agreed not to try to claim any exclusivity over the term “Fandom.” That’s a result all fans can be happy about.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology had one small release in June and has been hard at work upgrading the Archive's programming language from Ruby 1.9.3 to Ruby 2.0 — a process which involves the awesome Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee manually testing each of the Archive's many features.

Open Doors recruited in June and is extremely excited to welcome 4 new staffers. With help from Accessibility, Design & Technology, they’ve been wrapping up the import of the Henneth Annûn Story Archive, and will be working on helping other mods progress more quickly using their new import process.

Systems ordered the first of this year's new servers, to be installed soon to give the Archive a bit of breathing room. They are also looking forward to interviewing some prospective new Systems personnel from the recent recruitment opening.

AO3 Documentation is now a committee. The team continues to work steadily through their list of FAQs, with the extra-long Posting and Editing FAQ almost ready for uploading after a long review period. They've also been focused on recruitment and are looking forward to working with new additions to the group.

In Tag Wrangling news, wranglers helped each other by holding several chat sessions to share tech tips, giving some wranglers advanced training, and continuing to translate the ever-growing number of non-English tags on the AO3. On the technical side, the committee worked on testing the wrangulator for the upcoming upgrade of Ruby on Rails and turned the wrangulator off temporarily to wrangle some large, particularly server-intensive tags. Staff clarified the workflow for wranglers by adding a flowchart for wrangling original characters, and a wrangler created a very useful client-side browser script to make it easier for busy wranglers to see where they need to focus their efforts. Tag Wrangling also worked to make tagging information more public: Staff were interviewed by a journalist for an article on tagging, assisted the AO3 Documentation committee with suggestions for the tagging portion of the Posting and Editing FAQ, and responded to user queries via Support and the ao3_wranglers twitter account.

III. GET IN TOUCH WITH US!

Journal's 19th issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, a guest-edited issue on European fans and fandoms, came out right on time, and they are working on the next two issues right now. They recently asked fans to help with their requests for content, and they are also looking for suggestions about how to celebrate the release of their 20th issue in September!

Wiki held June Bloom, an event to encourage fans to start the pages they always wanted to see on Fanlore. To help new posters, they held an editing party on June 13th. June Bloom led to the creation of many new Fanlore accounts and pages, though the majority of changes continue to be made by a few core contributors. The Wiki team has moved their primary task tracking to Trello, and is continuing to trial a system of having two staff members on call to respond to new issues more quickly.

Communications wrapped work on the OTW's 2014 Annual Report, which was distributed on June 25. Communications is looking for fannish accounts to follow on social media, particularly on Twitter and Tumblr. If you know of a great account that shares fannish content, especially about non-English fandoms, leave a comment here or let us know through the Communications contact form.

Communications also worked with Translation to create a Spotlight on Translation post, which led to some great emails from fans to the committee. Translation is working with Accessibility, Design & Technology, Support, and Abuse on splitting the 'Portuguese' language listing for AO3 works into 'Brazilian Portuguese' and 'European Portuguese,' after several user requests to that effect. They've also started working on translating static content for the Elections website.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Due to various outside commitments by Board members at this time of year, Board has had to reschedule several meetings recently, and is in the process of working out its schedule for this quarter. Plans for the OTW 2015 Retreat are moving ahead. This year it will be held from October 2nd to October 4th in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to the Treasurer, Board has invited several committees to send two members each: Legal, Volunteers & Recruiting, Strategic Planning, Development & Membership, and Internationalization & Outreach. The focus of this year's retreat will be on making progress with implementation of the Strategic Plan, and improving the OTW's financial health, including setting the 2016 budget.

Strategic Planning is nearly finished with the third and final draft of the OTW 2016-2019 strategic plan. Their main focus has been on its structure and finalizing the timeline so large-scale goals don’t overlap one another. They are also working with the Board to determine an implementation date to best fit their needs.

Development & Membership is gearing up for the OTW's next membership drive. The fundraising goal will be US$175,000, which is US$5,000 more than the OTW made last October. They also met with Elections to discuss the dates of the drive and the elections and they how they will mesh.

Elections saw their committee size double with six new recruits who are currently completing their training. The newbies jumped right in during an important month where Elections ran a mock election to determine the viability of a potential software. It went splendidly, and the committee thanks all who participated, and offers a hearty handshake to those who sent them feedback! Translation also guided Elections staffers through making its website more international-user-friendly.

Internationalization & Outreach prepared a tentative plan for internal review to more thoroughly promote inclusivity and the internationalization of the OTW. They will be soliciting feedback from OTW volunteers soon as well as recruiting new ones for the committee.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has continued to train their awesome new staffers, and are very close to implementing a new ticket tracking system to better streamline their workflow. They also wrapped up inductions from the last round of recruiting, and announced recruitment dates for the coming quarter.

New Committee Chairs: Janita Burgess (Communications), Amy Lowell (Development & Membership)
New Committee Staff: Amalia Blondet (AO3 Documentation & Translation), Claire P. Baker (AO3 Documentation), Jocelin Potash (AO3 Documentation), ltfoxyee (AO3 Documentation), Sammie Jarrett (AO3 Documentation), l1n (Elections), kaytrea (Elections), Noah Feeman (Open Doors), Kathleen Lietzau (Open Doors), Libby Camp (Open Doors), 6 other AO3 Documentation, 4 other Elections and 1 other Open Doors

Departing Committee Chairs: Claudia Rebaza (Communications)
Departing Committee Staff: Sparrow Rubin (Support), Cheyenne Bingham (Support), 1 other Translation
Departing Tester Volunteers: erialeduab
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Pslasher, Marie_L, Firefly_Ca, Animem and 3 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: 1


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

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