AO3 News

August 2014 Newsletter, Volume 83

Published: 2014-09-06 12:55:44 -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. TAKE PART IN STUB SEPTEMBER!

The Wiki Committee is organizing Stub September again this year, which encourages newcomers and seasoned Fanlore editors alike to pick a stub and expand on it. A stub is an article on Fanlore that is under-developed and missing important information. Right now, there are over 1600 existing pages on Fanlore that are identified as stubs. You’re invited to use the list to find a page where you know something about the topic and edit the page to add your new information.

To help newcomers get started, the Wiki Committee will be organizing an editing party on Sunday, September 14th at 19:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?) in the Fanlore chat room, where you can come and ask questions, or just work on entries alongside other people.

II. COMING AROUND AGAIN

Fan Video & Multimedia is once again working with our Legal Committee as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to petition for a DMCA exemption granting vidders, AMV makers, and other creators of noncommercial remix video the right to break copy protection on media files. In 2010, we won the right to rip DVDs; in 2012, we got that exemption renewed and expanded to include digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon Unbox, etc.). In 2015, we'll be pushing to add Blu-Ray. Right now we're in the data-gathering stage: asking fan video makers to talk with us about how they get Blu-Ray source and why Blu-Ray is important.

In August, Legal also responded to several legal queries from fans and continued its work with the USPTO Green Paper DMCA working group, and responded to a claim from an alleged rights holder.

Open Doors has been working on documentation, in-progress imports, and closing (or re-opening!) old cases, while Journal is in the last stages of production on issue 17, which will be published on September 15. They're 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. Meanwhile, editor Karen Hellekson was an academic keynote speaker at WorldCon 72 in London.

III. OVER AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology have squeezed three more deploys into August, a somewhat slower month than usual. However, user activity at AO3 has not been slow at all! On August 10, we recorded our first Sunday (always the busiest day of the week) with over 10 million page views, an average of roughly 7,000 page views per minute.

To go along with all that activity, Abuse received 198 reports in the last month. All but 18 have been resolved! Support also had a busy, busy month: 458 tickets and counting as August came to a close. They also held a multilingual live chat to assist users with the help of Translation. Support will be recruiting in October, so if you'd like to help users at AO3, keep an eye out for their announcement next month.

Tag Wrangling Staff helped out the Support team on some complicated tag-related tickets, and thanks the AD&T team for their advice on working around server restrictions and bugs.

IV. GOVERNANCE & OPERATIONS

Development & Membership had personnel changes with the departure of former chair Lesann and the addition of Aja and Dan as new co-chairs in her stead. New staffer James Baxter will be working on graphic design as part of the October Drive. Development & Membership also coordinated an OTW presence at Nine Worlds and LonCon 3, and collaborated with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others at Dragon Con as part of Project Secret Identity.

Systems is happy to report that their efforts to spin different functions off onto different virtual machines has kicked off with the move of the OTW's Vault platform, and they're continuing to work on a mail server and a new RT server, which will include improvements to benefit Support and Abuse. Additionally, staffer James has been hard at work applying our new wildcard SSL certificate to secure various sites on transformativeworks.org subdomains, while Sidra is undertaking the daunting task of looking into long-needed Vault improvements.

Board had a relatively quiet month while our directors continued to hold weekly Office Hours and plan for their October retreat along with Strategic Planning. Strategic Planning has been working on some internal training sessions about non-profit organizations and structures while continuing to survey and write reports for a variety of committees.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Translation is busy interviewing and training their many new recruits from their successful call for volunteers. They kept Volunteers & Recruiting busy co-ordinating recruitment. Besides inducting and retiring personnel, Volunteers & Recruiting has been answering internal requests, finishing up their database audit, and gearing up for the annual Still Willing to Serve, and releasing their 2013 Annual Report.

New Committee Chairs: Aja (Development & Membership), Dan (Development & Membership), Kiri Van Santen (Communications)
New Committee Staff: James Baxter (Development & Membership)
New Workgroup Members: Jenny McDevitt (Elections) 2 (Elections); Lady Oscar (AO3 Documentation) and 1 other AO3 Documentation member.
New Translator Volunteers: MagdaC, Quarby, DeeCharlotte, sevenwonders, GreenFug, convincle, Eimry, Lextiel, Kyanite, Keito, Hayyu Anshary, Jáchym Fitris, Iristiel, chocochino, Amalia Blondet, Artmetica, Sanni L., A Walker, firebreathing, Magdalena A, and 14 others

Departing Committee Chairs: Lesann (Development & Membership)
Departing Workgroup Leads: Matty Lynne (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Committee Staff: Lesann (Development & Membership), vtn (Tag Wrangling), Sherry (Abuse), girlmarauders (Support), Nikibee (Support), Jenn Calaelen (Tag Wrangling), Ellen Fleischer (Web Strategy, Design & Development), Kit Paige (Translation), victoriajm (Translation), Charlotte (Translation), lisaa35 (Abuse) and 2 other Abuse Staffers.
Departing Workgroup Members: Richard Davie (AO3 Documentation)

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July 2014 Newsletter, Volume 82

Published: 2014-08-05 12:38:13 -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. STEPPING OUT

As usual, there’s lots happening with Legal! On July 26, staffers Betsy and Heidi, together with Josh Wattles of deviantART, gave a well-attended presentation at San Diego Comic Con entitled “Fans, Love, and the Law.” We hope to be able to post a recording of the presentation in the future. Legal is continuing to work on the USPTO/NTIA copyright law Green Paper project, and has been participating in working group meetings as part of that process. They also took part in the USPTO Green Paper Roundtable in Los Angeles on July 29. Legal has responded to several legal queries from individual fans, and helped an individual fan who received a cease & desist request regarding fanworks. Finally, they’re working on a legal brief to be filed next month — we'll be letting everyone know more on that when they're able to make it public.

In another look at legal issues, Fanhackers chair Nele Noppe wrote a well-received post about the censorship problems faced by anime and manga fans.

Also, the Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee has temporarily halted anonymous commenting on the OTW website due to a major spam wave. We hope to see this restored soon.

II. OVER AT AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology has squeezed three more code deploys into the last month and are wrapping up Release 0.9.15 with 110 closed issues in the bugtracker. In preparing for the next Release, they are now down to 25 pull requests (code submissions), and will focus on Quality Assurance & Testing recruitment and larger coding projects next.

Unfortunately, dealing with the day-to-day tasks of running the Archive (fixing bugs, planning code updates, monitoring performance and server stability, etc.) has left AD&T with little time to clean up and optimize old, crufty code. They've been in search of a Ruby on Rails freelancer to help out with specific coding and refactoring tasks, which will be important for adding new features and future-proofing the Archive for increased traffic, and have now found a contractor, Marie, they are very excited to be working with. Thanks go to Board and Legal for enabling AD&T to outsource a small amount of their workload, and to OTW's donors for contributing financially to the future of the Archive.

Support had 485 tickets and counting for the month of July, which is right in line with their new average. They also had an Open Chat at the end of June thanks to all of the Support and Translation staff and volunteers who volunteered their time. There are plans for another Open Chat at the end of August, with two more to follow later this year.

Tag Wrangling Staff has worked with Support on quite a few tickets and continued refining their training documentation. They've also made arrangements with Translation to request their services for tags or works that wranglers need help with, to help streamline non-English wrangling. Tag Wrangling welcomed another 28 new Tag Wrangling Volunteers from their June recruitment, making this class of 43 new wranglers the biggest yet. Congratulations to everyone for their progress in training thus far!

Abuse talked about a lot of different policies and what warnings mean this month. It's harder than it sounds! At the same time the committee dealt with about 200 reports of abuse from AO3 users.

AO3 Documentation just wrapped up some major internal workflow restructuring, and things are now merrily chugging along as they work on a bunch of FAQs.

III. PROJECT TIME

Journal is not resting on its laurels after the successful on-time release of its latest issue in June. They are prepping to go into production for the September issue and are wrangling content for the first two issues of 2015.

Wiki added 3 new staffers and 2 new gardeners as a result of recent recruitment efforts. They successfully closed several identity protection cases and continue to deal with various outside requests. They're also working on a DMCA policy with Legal and discussing a few future projects.

Development & Membership is in the process of brainstorming and concocting a scheme for year-round fundraising as well as moving forward with discussions about the OTW's visual identity.

Open Doors is still working on strengthening documentation and assisting with on-going manual imports.

Translation volunteers and staff started developing tools for language-specific translation training—very important, but a lot of work! They've been testing PhraseApp, a potential tool for Archive interface translation, and are cautiously optimistic. They're also preparing for a big volunteer recruitment next month, so if you've been thinking of volunteering, keep an eye on OTW News!

IV. GOVERNANCE

Through June and July, Board has been discussing their retreat. Board is very pleased with how the new office hours have been going and plans to continue office hours until at least the end of the term. Per best practices, transcripts are not being made public, but anything Board needs to discuss and/or vote on that's brought up in any director's office hours is either put onto the agenda for Open Session (1800 - 1900 UTC in Public Discussion on Saturdays) or voted on and put into the minutes for that week.

In July, Cat Meier, President of the Board, also began regular office hours on Wednesday/Thursdays from 23:59-02:00 UTC.

Strategic Planning is excited to announce that they are currently in the process of planning out Non-Profit 101 discussions, open to all OTW staff and volunteers. The purpose of these discussions will be to help educate the OTW as a whole about how non-profits are generally organized, structured, and run; how the OTW works as a non-profit; and how strategic planning fits into the picture, both in the non-profit world at large and specific to our organization. Also, starting in September, Strategic Planning will be going back to active committees that they spoke with more than six months ago to ask for updates in order to make sure they bring the most current information to the upcoming Board retreat.

They're also in the process of interviewing and surveying Legal, Finance, Category Change, Translation, Fan Video, and Journal, and they have reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, Development & Membership, and Internationalization & Outreach in progress.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been hard at work clearing a backlog of requested tasks, as well as keeping up with the new ones filed in July. They've brought the annual Still Willing to Serve Project forward a few months, and are also working some annual document revisions, including a project to revise induction/removal documentation. They've also formally welcomed the following:

New Committee Staff: Rachmel and 2 Other Wiki Staffers;
New Workgroup Members: briar_pipe (Elections), Trey C (Elections), Carli Anderson (Elections)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: MichelleMS, Aderam, Meu, drashian, Penny S, ChelseaIBelieve, okdreaming, cannothink, White Hawk, Sylwia Reszczynska, Ania Kopertowska, Goose, covur, ryasdfghjkl, MissGloryAnne, Jenny McDevitt, kiii17, FallenAngel, spock74, astoryandasong, QueenAlkmene, Shivakshi Rana, Arithanas, Dai-kun, mefisto, Wade, Sammie Jarrett and 1 more;
New Translator Volunteers: 1.

And we say goodbye with thanks to:

Departing Committee Chairs: Natalie (Web Strategy Design & Development);
Departing Committee Staff: Natalie (Web Strategy Design & Development); Cynthia (Communications); Cece (Volunteers & Recruiting), tekla (Volunteers & Recruiting); 1 Translation Staffer; 1 Development & Membership Staffer; 2 Abuse Staffers; 1 Internationalization & Outreach Staffer;
Departing Workgroup Members: Claudia Rebaza (Elections).

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June 2014 Newsletter, Volume 81

Published: 2014-07-05 13:14:30 -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. FANLORE PASSES 30,000 ARTICLES

On June 8, Fanlore reached the 30,000 article milestone with a post by Sparcicle on Nox et Lumos! The Wiki committee last celebrated a milestone in February when it reached the 500,000th edit on the site. Many thanks to all the gardeners and editors who have made this kind of progress possible!

II. MORE PROJECT NEWS

Legal has welcomed three new staffers, Diane Girard, Elizabeth Gray and Kalli, who bring diverse expertise to the committee. Legal has had another active month as they have continued to represent the OTW in the USPTO and NTIA’s multi-stakeholder process for improving the DMCA notice and takedown procedure. As part of that process, Legal has participated in several working group meetings and conference calls. Legal has also created two posts about legal issues of interest to fans, one on fair use and the other on the U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in the “Free Sherlock” case. As always, Legal welcomes your questions!

Open Doors has been tying up loose ends from the Yuletide archive import, and is working on preparing two other archives for a manual import.

Journal's issue No. 16, a guest-edited issue on material fan culture, came out bang on time. Thanks to the editorial and production team members for their great work, particularly Rrain Prior for her work as production editor. The next issue comes out on September 15. Co-chair Karen Hellekson will be attending Worldcon and is giving a talk on Doctor Who fan videos there.

III. OVER AT THE AO3

With the help of their new recruits, the Abuse Committee has successfully closed over 150 reports in the last month! Many of these were long-standing and complicated issues requiring cross-committee work and internal policy debates. As of now, the Abuse Committee only has about 30 pending reports. Because of this, their response time and productivity have dramatically improved. Meanwhile Content Policy made a few FAQ tweaks to address some common questions.

Accessibility, Design and Technology is continuing to work through our backlog of bug fixes, with five deploys and 52 issues closed in our bug tracker in June alone. AD&T were looking at a pile of almost 200 pull requests (code submissions) at one point earlier this year, some of which were over two years old, and they're now down to under 50! This has been a very satisfying and very exhausting process for the committee and our coders. They're now looking forward to digging into bigger projects and making plans for the rest of the year once more of the code mountain has been defeated.

Support held another chat to assist AO3 users, and in conjunction with Translation, was able to do so in multiple languages. Support's chair, Sam, extended thanks to all the longtime Support staffers who have made both their daily work and special events possible.

Tag Wrangling has had a month of working together on many, many tag-related Support tickets, and AD&T's latest code push included some excellent tag-related fixes. Tag Wrangling got a great response to their latest recruitment and is welcoming in the new volunteers. The Wrangling Staff hosted some staff-led training sessions for new and current wranglers in June. They were a rousing success and more are being planned for the future.

IV. INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT

Development & Membership is undergoing a leadership transition. The committee is saying goodbye to long-time chair Kristen Murphy, who is taking on a more silent role in premiums and CiviCRM support, but is appreciative of all that she brought to the OTW and everything she taught her staff. DevMem has begun working with other committees to start up the Visual Identity Group, which will focus on the OTW's visual branding. Meanwhile, convention outreach is undergoing an overhaul, with a current focus on Nine Worlds and Loncon.

Strategic Planning is in the process of surveying Legal, Finance, Category Change, Translation, Fan Video, Journal, and Fanhackers, and is making good progress on the reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, DevMem, and I&O. Their two newest staffers have finished their training and are starting to take lead on their own surveying projects! They have also started the succession planning process for committee chair, Hana, and are working on developing procedures for chair training.

Translation has welcomed 8 new staffers. With this increase in staff, they are working on strengthening internal procedures and making progress on new projects and ideas. Last month they were able to release the OTW video with subtitles in 16 languages! Huge thanks to all of the language teams who put in so much work on this project.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has been recruiting for Tag Wrangling Volunteers and Wiki Committee Staff in June resulting in a slew of new names around the OTW!

New Committee Staff: Kiri Van Santen (Communications), MyraM (Communications) Katarina Harju (Translation), LilyC (Translation) Elizabeth Gray (Legal), Kalli (Legal), Girard (Legal), 2 other Communications Staffers, 1 Internationalization & Outreach Staffer, and 6 other Translation Staffers

New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: sarken, Night, Allons-y, Jamie Marie, bbcatemysoul, Elizabeth H, cadkitten, starrwinter, BearHatter, Gesundheit, Fredericks, justlikeheaven, Katarina Harju, defe, and 1 other Tag Wrangler volunteer
New Translator Volunteers: Anne-Katrin Koch and 3 others

Departing Committee Chairs: Kristen Murphy (Development & Membership)
Departing Committee Staff: 6 Abuse staffers; 1 Translation staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: 2 AO3 Documentation volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: KeevaCaereni and 2 others

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May 2014 Newsletter, Volume 80

Published: 2014-06-05 13:03:20 -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. ALL BUSY ON THE LEGAL FRONT

In May, Legal continued their advocacy work with a couple of larger scale projects. First, they filed a Notice of Protest with the U.S. Trademark Office against a registrant seeking trademark rights in the term “FANDOM.” They also continued our participation in the USPTO/NTIA “Green Paper” process regarding U.S. copyright law, this time participating in a multi-stakeholder meeting regarding standardization of DMCA “notice and takedown” procedures. Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented at that meeting, and the OTW has a seat on the Working Group that emerged from it.

Journal is quickly pushing ahead on their schedule. Issue No. 16 will be out soon on June 15, and they are hard at work on No. 17, which will come out in September. They are also already beginning work on two special issues for early 2015 and on issue No. 20.

II. OVER AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology continued to work on code deploys, steadily chipping away at their backlog of bug fixes. Their first May release included a batch-wrangling tool for tag wranglers. This made for an exciting month for Tag Wrangling, as they are now able to do mass-wrangling from individual fandom pages. This makes wrangling much easier and faster, especially for large mega-fandoms. Tag Wrangling has also been collaborating with AD&T on a project to reduce server loads, and they helped Support resolve several tickets.

The new tag wrangling trainees have been doing a great job! Recruitment will open again in June, and Tag Wrangling will be targeting specific fandoms. If you missed out last time and want to join them, or just want more information, keep an eye on AO3 or OTW News as well as the Volunteer page for updates.

AD&T also worked with Open Doors on the Yuletide import. Open Doors has largely been handling claims, redirects, and other inquiries from the Yuletide import (which has generated almost 300 tickets so far). The outreach from the Yuletide import has also generated other archive import help requests, which they will be working on.

Abuse received almost 200 tickets in May. They've been training 13 new recruits who should be ready to start working on tickets in another couple of weeks. They now have about 20 staffers, which marks a real growth from 2013.

Support has scheduled another Open Chat for June 29. In order to hopefully reach more of our worldwide audience, they'll be throwing open the chat room at 13:00 UTC, and will be around for about 12 hours. We'll have links and more information posted closer to the date!

III. DOCUMENTATION AND POLICIES

Board is currently working hard on various projects, including putting together a retreat for October 2014 (and working with Legal and Volunteers & Recruiting on a conference anti-harassment policy to go along with it). Beginning June 7 (18:00 UTC), Board plans to hold the open session of their meetings in the Public Discussion chatroom. Those minutes will continue to be available on the OTW website.

Communications published the OTW's Annual Report for 2013 after a period of internal review.

Translation’s language teams have been hard at work on all our projects. Two new language teams, Russian and Catalan, have started working. The teams have now translated the final Category Change announcement, which presented how fandom browsing will work on Archive of Our Own in the future, following deep changes in the way current ‘media categories’ are organized.

Translation's co-chairs, Hele and Priscilla, have also joined AO3 Documentation as additional workgroup leads. The AO3 Docs FAQ redesign project is moving along.

Content Policy had an AO3 Terms of Service/FAQ update and new DMCA policy approved for inclusion, and AD&T has posted it to the Archive.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting welcomed two new staffers to their own committee in May, as well as continuing to process new recruits into and out of the OTW. As always, we thank those departing for their contributions.

New Committee Chairs: moonmagicks (Web Strategy, Design & Development)
New Workgroup Leads: hele braunstein (AO3 Docs), Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)
New Committee Staff: Anya (Volunteers & Recruiting), Sarah Sisk (Abuse), NadiaB (Abuse), Trey C (Abuse), PoppyPickford (Abuse) and 1 Legal staffer, 9 Abuse staffers, 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer
New Workgroup Members: Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Docs)

Departing Committee Chairs: Emilie Karr (Tag Wrangling)
Departing Committee Staff: Jenny Scott-Thompson (Financial), Jaunita Landéesse (Wiki), Priscilla Del Cima (Internationalization & Outreach)
Departing Tester Volunteers: Jenny Scott-Thompson
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: AlixMason, Luzula, Tonko and 6 others

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April 2014 Newsletter, Volume 79

Published: 2014-05-05 12:55:46 -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. THANK YOU!

Development & Membership was happy to report record donations during our April membership drive. Translation produced over 100 translated posts this month for the membership drive, and helped Development & Membership respond to several potential donor messages.

Translation churned out translations for tweets and a couple of news posts in collaboration with Communications and Accessibility, Design and Technology. It’s been really exciting to see so much content reaching fans in several languages, with great results.

Communications released the OTW video at the end of the membership drive. Work is now underway in getting multiple language versions of the video completed by Translation.

Communication's liaisons to Accessibility, Design and Technology and Wiki have been hard at work with those committees in April, creating and distributing tweets and posts for April Showers. It's been a great month of spotlighting fandoms!

II. OVER AT AO3

The comment period has closed for proposed changes to the AO3's Terms of Service. The changes announced by Content Policy will now include a DMCA policy that takes fair use into account while providing us with more protection in case we are threatened by copyright trolls.

Abuse received over 200 tickets in April. In the next few weeks they'll be adding new staffers and getting them trained to help manage the workload.

Open Doors had their first open house Yuletide chat last week, and had another on May 4. They've mainly been working on Yuletide requests, while trying to keep other archive import projects moving along. They would also like to give their thanks and congratulations to Bettina, the German Speaking Slashers United mod, for completing the GSSU archive import into the AO3--over 700 works, safe in their new home!

Systems has been doing some spring cleaning of older out-of-date tickets, and continuing the never-ending quest to tune the Archive to get the best performance possible out of it.

Accessibility, Design and Technology continued their rolling releases with updates on April 4, April 13, April 17, April 21, and April 24. They also announced changes coming to the Archive FAQ System, and reassured users regarding the Heartbleed OpenSSL Security Vulnerability.

III. WORKING FOR YOU

Journal is finishing up production for the June guest-edited issue, and obtaining the final documents from authors for the September issue. They've already begun working with the guest editors of a 2015 issue.

Legal filed an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v. Google. This case involved the scope and application of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which together prevent content hosts -- like YouTube, the AO3, and many others -- from being liable for what their users post.

Strategic Planning is training new staffers and have started a new round of surveys, reaching out to Translation, Finance, and Fan Video. They're working through the info-gathering and data analysis stages for Journal and Fanhackers while plugging away on reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, DevMem and I&O. You can check out Strategic Planning's completed reports on the OTW website.

Development & Membership announced plans for an OTW merchandise store and solicited comments from fans about what they should offer.

Communications reminded users of official sources of information on the OTW, how to contact us, and addressed a few other questions the OTW has been receiving.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting conducted recruiting for 3 roles, inducted new personnel recruited last month and retired departing personnel. They also answered over 20 non-induction/removal requests, developed some tool documentation, and updated internal training documents.

New Committee Staff: Meep (Support), Nary (Support), Niko Thompson (Strategic Planning), Gryph (Strategic Planning), Kathryn Soderholm (Open Doors), Curtis Jefferson (Open Doors), kittypimms (Volunteers & Recruiting), & 1 Web Strategy, Design & Development
New Workgroup Members: Sammie Jarrett (AO3 Docs), Jennifer Reinhart (AO3 Docs), paraka (AO3 Docs), DekuDani (AO3 Docs), bobdog54 (AO3 Docs) & 7 Others (AO3 Docs)
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: abluegirl, deedidoo, Dr_Harbinger, IrogicalArgument, jon_dough, Sass, Slypher, TricksterWins, Yenelie, marrjoram, ThroughTheTulips, Ciel, Nana, parma, Eko, Val
New Translator Volunteers: Maite, Ana Carolina Nonato, Anneli G, Lisa Altevogt, Daphne, and 2 others

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Support staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 8
Departing Strategic Planning Volunteer: 1
Departing Translator Volunteers: 2

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March 2014 Newsletter, Volume 78

Published: 2014-04-02 15:24:27 -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. CELEBRATING FANWORKS & FANDOMS

Following the milestone achievements of several of our projects in February, Communications planned a series of events in March to celebrate. The OTW thanks all of our panelists for taking part, and was delighted to see the many fans joining us for the chats. If you missed any of the events, check that link to catch up!

Journal followed their announcement of the Fan Fiction Studies Reader by releasing issue number 15 of Transformative Works & Cultures which featured articles on a variety of fandoms. They are already busy finishing up issue 16, and the editorial team is working hard on issue 17, which will come out in September.

Open Doors has started the import process for Yuletide, and will likely have a few busy months alongside the Yuletide mods and AD&T getting things ready. (AT LONG LAST. \o/)

Meanwhile Legal advised fans worried about SOPA about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and worked with Communications staffer John to release a post on copyright in China.

II. OVER AT THE AO3

Abuse had 160+ tickets come in during March. The most popular issues being reported are still plagiarism and non-fanwork content. As a reminder, they only need one report sent in about a specific issue. So if a work of yours has been plagiarized, please don't ask your friends to send in multiple reports!

Accessibility, Design and Technology had two more deploys in their current release cycle (Release 0.9.14) and are now getting ready to deploy a small bunch of fixes for gift exchange matching. Together with liaisons from Communications, and the Wiki Committee they've been preparing for our yearly April Showers event, during which we highlight a variety of old and new fandoms and encourage fannish activity on the AO3, including new fanworks, imports, and recs, and on Fanlore with new entries and edits to existing ones. For the upcoming April Drive, they've been working with DevMem on a drive email that can be sent to all 290,000+ AO3 users without bringing the mail server to its knees. Many thanks to james_ in Systems for his work in this endeavor!

Systems welcomed back former chair Sidra as a staffer, and added a new co-chair, Karen. Systems is continuing to split functions out onto the virtual servers we now own and run, making the AO3 sleeker and more distributed and reducing our dependence on outside providers for OTW-supporting functions. Systems has also been working with Support and Abuse to bring their trouble ticketing in-house for greater flexibility and reduced cost, using the same RT solution that Systems uses for their own tickets.

Thanks to the dedicated work of the Support team, they are caught up again, after two months of 460+ tickets. The six new staff members they've added will help keep them on track!

Tag Wrangling welcomed 15 new volunteers and the staff has been working on training the new volunteers, refining communication policies, helping Support with relevant tickets, and coordinating with AD&T and Systems to help wranglers work within server-related restrictions.

III. THINGS TO COME

Strategic Planning is gearing up to recruit some new staffers to help them hopefully complete the strategic planning process by the end of 2014. They are also working on completing reports for Support, Communications, Abuse, and DevMem, and finishing information-gathering on several other committees so they can move on to the report writing process. As always, they appreciate all the volunteers and staffers who have taken the time to participate in their survey process.

Development & Membership is pleased to welcome longtime staff member Lesann as their new co-chair. There's been plenty to work on as they've busily prepared for the April membership drive. Translation welcomed and trained over forty new volunteers in March and have also been at work translating all of DevMem's April drive posts.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting began the decommissioning of the Grants Committee, conducted recruitment for 4 roles, and tested the ticket tracking software that is part of our volunteer database software. They also resolved over 80 internal tickets!

The OTW would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members of the Grants committee for their work, as well as that of all our departing staff and volunteers.

New Committee Chairs: Karen Johnson (Systems), Lesann (DevMem)
New Committee Staff: Kate E (Support), Cheyenne Bingham (Support), Meredith Sears (Support), Karlina (Support), Janna N. (Support), Agnieszka Górniok (Support), Sidra (Systems)
New Coder Volunteers: 1
New Communications Volunteers: Ania Kopertowska, Alice Wieckowska & 2 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Abby N-R, Aidan Walker, Amanda Triplett, Angie, Asmita, Bekkie, Beltenebra, happytohelp1991, hstoms, Imme, inkedcoffee, Karnipple, Lindsay MacMillan, Love_82, Maymay, Nerine Luna Cyran, nolifeinabox, Oryx, Skylark, yanajenn, and 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Aurora, Meep, regenorakel, Anna Morbach, Liselot, Yenelie, Qiongshu Wu, Quincette, Sarah Konersmann, Nothorse, Mareen Fischer, Andita, Annachiara Traverso, Leonora, and 13 others

Departing Committee Chairs: Tara Keezer (Grants)
Departing Committee Staff: Sarah Trombley (Legal), 1 Open Doors staff, 3 Grants staff, 1 Web Strategy, Design & Development staff, 1 Internationalization & Outreach staff, 2 Support Staff
Departing Translator Volunteers: 2

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February 2014 Newsletter, Volume 77

Published: 2014-03-04 16:13:19 -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. MILESTONE-PALOOZA

February was a month with major milestones from three OTW projects. Fanlore passed 500,000 edits, the AO3 passed 1 million fanworks, and our Journal Committee editors produced The Fan Fiction Studies Reader.

To continue the celebrations in March, Communications has lined up a series of discussions on "The Future of Fanworks" with academic, fan, legal, and entertainment industry guests. And to continue the focus on fanworks through coming years, they announced an International Fanworks Day to be held annually on February 15th.

II. NON-MILESTONE NEWS

Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed Release 0.9.13, which included significant performance fixes and improvements to the importing code. Their next update, Release 0.9.14, is happening in tiny batches and will focus on small bug fixes -- this will enable them to work through the backlog of code submissions more quickly and efficiently.

Open Doors also worked with AD&T and QA&T to update importing documentation with the fixes and features in the last deploy.

Abuse is finalizing its 2014 Road Map, discussing new policies and working on 2013 stats. Support is in the midst of recruiting and looking forward to welcoming new staffers to help them respond to tickets! Tag Wrangling is still limited due to server strain, but AD&T’s latest code push allowed them to lift some of the time restrictions. Tag Wrangling staff spent the month helping Support with tag-related requests, and coordinated with AD&T and Systems to get some large re-wranglings done without disrupting the servers.

Journal is currently going through production, with the March and June issues (No. 15 and No. 16) going through simultaneously.

III. IN OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Development & Membership welcomed five new staffers and is in the process of training them. They're also working on plans for the April membership drive, scheduled for April 3-9. DevMem chair, Kristen Murphy, was also interviewed by Three Patch Podcast about the OTW's growth and milestones.

Legal continued their outward-facing work, helping fans with inquiries about fair use, about how to respond to takedown requests, and about what to do when others are using their fanworks without permission. In addition, Legal Staffer Casey Fiesler published a paper on fans’ understanding of fair use. Legal also registered the OTW in the European Union's Transparency Register and filed a submission to the European Commission in response to its call for comments concerning possible EU copyright reform.

Strategic Planning is wrapping up surveys of Abuse, Comms, DevMem, I&O, and Web and moving into the data analysis and report-writing stages. They are preparing for another round of surveys and interviews in March. They also made a minor correction to the appendices of the Wiki Committee/Fanlore report based on the feedback from a former staff member.

Translation is happily training new staff, and their teams are hard at work preparing the transformativeworks.org website for the upcoming April membership drive in all the languages they can cover. They’re also finalising procedures for collaboration between tag wranglers and translators, to bring the two volunteer pools closer and enable ways that they can help each other out.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has once again been very busy. In addition to answering questions from individuals both inside and outside the org, they inducted staff from the January round of recruiting and opened recruiting for three more roles (Translation volunteers, Support staff, and Communications graphics volunteers). We were very pleased with the overall turnout and are grateful that so many people are interested and willing to give their time to help the OTW and support our projects.

Beyond recruiting, VolCom is completing the set up of their new volunteer database and preparing to do a final audit to make sure that all of the records made it over in the import. They are also conducting annual reviews of committee documentation and working on VolCom's annual report for 2013 with plans to release a public version once it is completed.

New Committee Staff: Jennifer Radecki (Communications), Elise Thrasher (Communications), Rachel Weir (Communications), theteapot (Accessibility, Design & Technology), Helka Lantto (Development & Membership), DandalfTheWhite (Development & Membership), Rowan (Development & Membership), 1 other Communications staffer, 4 Translation staffers, 2 other Development & Membership Staffers.
New Coder Volunteers: 1 volunteer
New Communications Volunteers: Dogtagsandsmut
New Translator Volunteers: jerakeen, MayCSB, Nerine Luna Cyran, Nari, Snixx, Ulrika A, ACarrao, madamezou, IcePhoenix & 6 others.

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4 volunteers

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January 2014 Newsletter, Volume 76

Published: 2014-02-03 16:00:20 -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. FOCUSING ON COPYRIGHT

While some of our committees and staff were able to take a bit of a holiday break over the past month, others have been pretty busy with OTW work. This was particularly obvious with our Legal Committee.

In December, Legal filed an amicus brief in the U.S. case of Lenz v. Universal, a long-running case involving Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notices. Our brief, written by the Stanford Fair Use project and joined by Public Knowledge and the International Documentary Association, argued that the law should be read to punish rightsholders who issue takedown notices without first considering whether a particular use constitutes fair use. Legal also reported on the outcome of the "Free Sherlock" case

Speaking of DMCA take-down notices, Legal has dealt with an increasing number of requests that the Archive of Our Own take-down particular fanworks.

In addition, Legal staffer Rebecca Tushnet testified before two U.S. government agencies on behalf of the OTW. Those agencies are considering possible proposals for new U.S. copyright legislation. Rebecca’s testimony reflected the public comments the OTW made to those bodies in November. A video of her testimony is available (scroll down to "Legal Framework for Remixes”; Rebecca's opening remarks start about 33 minutes into that video).

Legal has also had several public projects in January: (1) Working with Communications to create several posts for Copyright Week; (2) Naomi Novik's testimony before the U.S. Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet; (3) Working with the EFF and Public Knowledge to craft and file an amicus brief (PDF) in the case of DISH Network v. ABC, currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The DISH case is the latest development in the battle over DISH's "Hopper" DVR, and Legal argued (among other things) that any infringement analysis should be configured to take into account when a user is engaged in fair use.

Legal also has a lot of pending projects, including preparing a submission to the European Commission in response to its call for comments concerning possible EU copyright reform, which they expect to submit in early February.

II. LOVE AND HOLIDAY CHEER

Visitors to the AO3 have likely been aware of all the work being done by Accessibility, Design and Technology and Support. Support had the second busiest month on record in December 2013, with 556 unique tickets received! Kudos to our phenomenal staffers for blowing through these, and to all the staff they consulted with on other committees.

AD&T deployed Release 0.9.12 a few days before Christmas. Many, many thanks to senior coders Elz and Enigel who wrapped up a ton of server work aimed at site stability and performance improvements.

AD&T finished 2013 with 300 closed bug reports, over 600 new Tumblr followers and several thousand new Twitter followers, an established love/hate relationship with our test suite software, and one huge Rails upgrade.

AD&T is currently working on their first deploy of 2014, which will include a critical performance fix, a few importing and archiving fixes, and a long overdue upgrade of our Rich Text Editor. After that, they are planning to deploy a significant rewrite of our bookmarking backend, which should help alleviate some of AO3's current problems. Many thanks to AD&T/Systems staffer james_ for his diligence in keeping the servers running. Those servers are at capacity right now, and we have to take the Archive offline almost daily to give them a few minutes of rest. We're looking forward to new servers and shiny code improvements soon. Coding volunteer Stephanie has been hard at work reviewing our backlog and spreadsheeting all the things that have yet to be reviewed, tested, and deployed.

AD&T also posted Site Stats: A Look at 2013 and Beyond, Part 1 and an accompanying spreadsheet, for the data nerds among us.

Tag Wrangling is still limited in when and how much they can wrangle; they're avoiding making changes to tags on lots of works as much as possible to avoid extra strain on the AO3 servers. Behind the scenes, the committee is currently inducting new staff members and improving documentation to smooth the welcoming process.

Abuse has also been busy! They've had roughly 120 tickets come in so far this month. Please keep in mind that Abuse thoroughly investigates each and every report that comes in, so it might take a while before they can respond. Also just a reminder, please don't send in multiple tickets or ask everyone you know to report the same issue. Instead of speeding things up, this actually slows the process down! One ticket is all we need to start an investigation. Of course, if you have new information to share, please do send it in.

III. GOVERNANCE

Strategic Planning released a report on the Survey Workgroup. The next scheduled Strategic Planning reports are on the Wiki Committee and Fanlore team, the Grants Committee, and the Systems Committee. They hope to release those in early 2014. They are also in the process of surveying Web, Internationalization and Outreach, Abuse, and Communications.

Development & Membership reported on our fundraising promotion with Smart Pop Books, which ended on December 31. This resulted in OTW supporters purchasing 157 printed books and 47 ebooks through the affiliate link, raising a total of US$322.30 for the OTW. Thank you all for your support! DevMem is currently reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for staff positions.

IV. KEEPING THINGS RUNNING

Systems has been working hard both on the upgraded Archive machines, and transitioning internal OTW systems off of our remaining Linode server onto our own virtual machines.

Open Doors has been humming along on current archive importing projects, and had two successful zine collection donations to the Fan Culture Preservation Project. This month they began working with a fan on another Fan Culture Preservation Project donation, and are very excited about a few importing fixes and features in the next deploy to AO3. You can read more about Open Doors in their spotlight post which went out in January.

Journal is preparing to go to copyedit in January for its two guest-edited issues to kick off 2014 (March and June).

Communications has begun posting news to the OTW's LinkedIn account, so anyone who would like to keep up with us there, or who has listed OTW volunteer work in their profile, is encouraged to follow us. Communications is also busy planning celebration activities for AO3's forthcoming 1 millionth fanwork milestone which will be announced in coming weeks as plans are finalized.

Translation started January in full swing, undertaking meetings, documentation work, and translation assignments. They’re interviewing several potential new staffers and have begun talks with Tag Wrangling staff about setting up official procedures for collaboration, as well as with Development & Membership on outreach ideas for the upcoming membership drive.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting welcomed new chairs into their roles, as well as inducting some additional staff for committees. Anna Genoese was inducted to the Board and Ira Gladkova and Kristen Murphy ended their three year terms.

In December, in addition to answering tickets from current personnel, Volunteers & Recruiting worked to retire departing staffers and volunteers. VolCom also began the retirement of the Survey Workgroup project and would like to say a final thank you to all the members of Survey Workgroup, past and present, for their work on the report released in 2013.

New Directors: Anna Genoese
New Committee Chairs: briar_pipe (Tag Wrangling), Qem (Tag Wrangling), Hana Lee (Strategic Planning), Priscilla Del Cima (Translation)
New Committee Staff: vtn (Tag Wrangling), JanOda (Tag Wrangling), Elanya (Tag Wrangling), very (Tag Wrangling), Sumeria (Tag Wrangling), Elizabeth Young (Tag Wrangling), Supergreak (Tag Wrangling) & 1 other Tag Wrangling staff, Curtis Jefferson (Volunteers & Recruiting)
New Volunteers & Recruiting Volunteers: 1

Departing Directors: Ira Gladkova, Kristen Murphy
Departing Committee Chairs: Matty Lynne (Support), Anna Genoese (Strategic Planning), Andrea Horbinski (Internationalization & Outreach)
Departing Committee Staff: Anna Genoese (Strategic Planning), Andrea Horbinski (Internationalization & Outreach), 3 (Communications), bookgazing (Volunteers & Recruiting), bethbethbeth (Abuse), Joanne (Abuse), Evelyn Browne (Grants), Alison Watson (Tag Wrangling), Adam Compton (Systems) and 1 Abuse, 1 AD&T QA, 3 Accessiblity, 3 Support, 1 Fan Video, 1 Finance, 1 I&O, 1 Open Doors, 2 Web.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: Ronan Klyne, Mark Bowers, look_closer, dharma_slut, Becky Mezz, estirose & 42 others
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 1
Departing Survey Workgroup Volunteers: 7 volunteers, Claudia Rebaza, Betsy Rosenblatt, Lady Oscar, Sole G., Tari
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Wendymarlowe, Adrienne Gorney, Alisha Miller, Alison Watson, antisock, cake, charliebravowhiskey, Elke Tanzer, Gills, gnine, Lee, wantstothrill, Snow, snowynight, Sydni, viennajones, Jet, Lee and 24 others
Departing Translation Volunteers: 3 Translation volunteers
Departing Workgroup Members: 2 Content Policy volunteers, 2 Elections volunteers, theorangenectarine (AO3 Docs), Wereleopard58 (AO3 Docs) and 8 other AO3 Documentation volunteers

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