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I. MORE WAYS TO SUPPORT THE OTW!

The OTW is excited to introduce an additional way to donate as of November 2017: We're now a Humble Store charity! Are you shopping for games, books, comics, or software? If so, shop at The Humble Store or purchase a Humble Bundle, select the Organization for Transformative Works as your charity of choice at checkout, and the OTW will get a portion of the proceeds.

Humble Bundle lets you pay what you want for a selection of games, books, comics, and software, while the Humble Store acts as a hub for users to purchase games for multiple platforms. In both cases, you can select an amount to go to the OTW in support of its projects. Content availability may vary depending on your country, but there’s an incredible selection to choose from. Just remember to select the Organization for Transformative Works as your charity of choice at checkout, and we will receive a portion of the proceeds. As always, your privacy is guaranteed!

(Donations the OTW receives as a result of Humble Bundle or Humble Store purchases will not make you a member of the OTW. If you wish to become a member, please donate via our donation form.)

Thank you so much for your support! And kudos to the Finance committee for launching this new relationship!

II. AT THE AO3

In November, Accessibility, Design and Technology and Abuse successfully combatted an avalanche of spam works through the deployment of several new anti-spam measures and improvements to the admin interface. This allowed the reopening of the AO3 invitation queue after a forced closing of several weeks. Using the spam detection tool to automatically hide works flagged as spam, with Abuse staffers monitoring the hidden works to unflag legitimate fanworks, has had a promising success rate so far. Users should start seeing less spam in their fandoms, and what does make it through should be dealt with in minutes instead of hours.

On a related note, the Webs committee has also (fortunately) seen a sharp dip in spam on the OTW website as of late.

At the end of November, Support received 1,686 tickets in one day when the old search engine went down. Accessibility, Design & Technology resolved the immediate problems and are working to deploy the new version of the search engine--which includes improvements to the filtering interface--as soon as possible, even while necessary server upgrades are ongoing.

The Open Doors committee continued to be busy during November, completing imports of The Alpha Gate and The Fandom Haven Story Archive! New import announcements were made for Glass Onion, The Boy / Michael Shanks, and the Dana Knight Memorial Archive.

Lastly, Systems have bought new servers and are working to set them up, and ticket numbers continue to rise, with Support receiving an unusually high 2,954 tickets in November, and Abuse receiving over 1,200 tickets.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

As part of the Legal committee's petition for clearer and more inclusive legal exemptions to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, they put out a call for stories to help the OTW fight for fair use. The stories collected will support Legal's petition seeking exemptions that would allow fans to rip clips from DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital downloads, not only to make noncommercial remixes like fanvids, but also to include clips and stills in fanfiction. These expanded and clarified exemptions would build further on the successful renewal of the vidders’ exemption to the DMCA in October.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 27th of November, the OTW has 671 volunteers. \o/

Recent personnel movements handled by Volunteers & Recruiting are listed below:

New Committee Chairs: Rebecca Sentance (Fanlore)
New Committee Staff: 1 Communications staffer
New Fanlore Volunteers: Nat Bauer, fie, fictionforlife, and 3 other volunteers
New Translator Volunteers: Gaël, Carrochan, MJ Martinez, Poro, KeepCalmAndPlayDumb, Hanna Alexander, Halley, Adi M., Nilv, and 5 others
Departing Committee Staff: Atiya Hakeem (Lady Oscar) (Finance), and 2 other Finance staffers, Madoc Cage (Translation), Stephanie Godden (Elections), 1 Abuse staffer, Nemopedia (Legal), Morgan (Support), and 1 other Support staffer
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: dense.lancer, and 3 other volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: AParticularlyLargeBear, Chiralitivity, Amanda Triplett, MichelleMS, Llwyden ferch Gyfrinach, Tari, Avery, supergreak, pedanther and 39 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 1 volunteer

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


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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I. MEMBERSHIP DRIVE SUCCESS!

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) recently held its October 2017 membership drive, run by the Development & Membership committee with help from Communications, Translation, Webs, and more. During this drive, we beat our goal of US$115,000, raising over US$137,000 from over 5,500 individual donations representing more than 70 countries. To break that down a little more: 2,733 donations were from first-time donors, 1,243 new members are eligible to vote in next year’s OTW Board election, and we will be shipping out 110 thank-you gifts in the next month!

Thank you to everyone who donated and signal boosted. Your support means so much to us. And if you missed the drive, don't worry, we accept donations at any time, and thank you gifts are always available.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology had a busy October. First, AO3 switched to default to secure browsing (HTTPS), but then experienced some issues with server load during peak times, so the default was set back to HTTP. It's still possible to browse AO3 in HTTPS when following secure links or using a browser add-on, if you prefer that.

When the new front-end servers (coming soon!) are installed, HTTPS will be the default protocol for good. Users who use audio or video players in their works (to post podfics or fanvids) are encouraged to read up on multimedia embeds and secure browsing to learn how this change will affect them.

Another issue that Accessibility, Design & Technology tackled in October is spammers who were creating bogus works and collections on AO3 to link to their fare. They've become highly adept at using Archive features, and they've been flooding the invitation queue with throwaway email addresses to create new accounts. As a short-term measure, the invitation queue was turned off to relieve some of the burden on the Abuse committee, and to allow for time to discuss and implement a solution to prevent the worst spam attacks.

The Open Doors committee was also busy in October, completing imports of The Collators’ Den and the fanfiction section of Unknowable Room. Import announcements were also made for West Wing Fanfiction Central, MTAC, and Firefly’s Glow.

In other Archive-related news, AO3 Documentation updated the Skins and Archive Interface FAQ, for those who prefer customizing the look of AO3 and of their works.

Lastly, Support received roughly 1600 tickets in October, and Abuse received over 1000 tickets.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY AND FANNISH ACADEMIA

Great news from the Legal committee! In response to the OTW’s petition, the U.S. Copyright Office has renewed the "vidder’s exemption" that permits vidders and other makers of noncommercial remix video to decrypt clips from DVDs, Blu-Rays, and online sources to make fair use of them without violating the "anti-circumvention" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Legal also filed petitions to clarify and broaden the existing exemptions for remix video and multimedia e-books, and will continue working on supporting those. Stay tuned—not only will there be progress updates in the months to come, but there will also be a request for your stories to help make arguments in favor of those clarifications and expansions!

TWC is also requesting your input. There are two new calls for papers out for upcoming issues of Transformative Works and Cultures. One is for an issue on Fan Studies Methodologies, and the other is for an issue on Fanfiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures. Submission guidelines and due dates are available at the links.

IV. GOVERNANCE

OTW's Board welcomed three new board members, who officially started October 1, and said goodbye to Alex, Aline and Katarina, whose terms have now finished. Thank you to the departing Directors for your service.

Finance issued an update on the OTW's 2017 budget this month. Thanks to everyone who attended the open chat on October 15th to ask questions. Meanwhile, preparations also continue for the first audit of the OTW's financial statements, which we expect to see happen annually from now on.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 27th of October, the OTW has 714 volunteers. \o/

Recent personnel movements completed by Volunteers & Recruiting are listed below:

New Committee Staff: Jess Hindes (Communications), 2 Communications staffers, 1 Translation staffer, ironysupplement (Systems), 1 other Systems staffer, AliceandJane (Abuse), guro (Abuse), 1 other Abuse staffer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: li-sus, batgirlSwrite, and Kyubey Kotone
New Translator Volunteers: alive, nyxmidnight
Departing Directors: Alex Tischer, Aline Carrão, Katarina Harju
Departing Committee Chairs: Mahewa (Elections)
Departing Committee Staff: Minx (AO3 Documentation), JessicaLovesSocks2658 (Abuse and AO3 Documentation), Supergreak (Tag Wrangling), Morgan (Tag Wrangling) & 2 other Tag Wrangling staffers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 4 Tag Wrangling volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: HLITH, Chiralivity, and Jessica Park

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


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2017-10-08 13:35:52 -0400
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I. OTW'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY

On September 5th, the OTW celebrated ten years of successfully achieving our mission to support the creation and distribution of fanworks and preserve their past. During the month of September, our Communications Committee hosted online chats with authors Lev Grossman, Martha Wells, Seanan McGuire, Christina Lauren, and Tessa Gratton, along with Young Adult Library Services Association board member Kate McNair, and romance writer and professor of cultural and gender studies, Catherine Roach. We also hosted several open house chats with OTW volunteers, a trivia contest with prizes donated by author Tamora Pierce and First Second Books, a guest post from media scholar Henry Jenkins, and a retrospective post by OTW co-founder and author Naomi Novik.

A big thank you to all of our wonderful guests, staff, and volunteers who helped make our celebration (and the last decade) a success! We hope everyone enjoyed the events and posts this month. If you missed any of September's events, we have links and transcripts to many of the posts and chats available.

II. AT THE AO3

In September, Accessibility, Design & Technology completed the move of AO3 to Rails 5.1 and Ruby 2.3.4, capping off a long process. They also grappled with login issues, rewrote several bits of code to speed up tag sets and wrangling pages, and fixed a bunch of lingering bugs, as summed up in their most recent release notes.

In recent months, Open Doors has made a great deal of progress working through a large queue of archives to import to the AO3, with a new archive import announced nearly every two weeks! Open Doors was excited to complete the imports of The Brian/Justin Fanfiction Archive, and Hammer to Fall, and Bang and Blame in September and to publicly announce the upcoming imports of The Alpha Gate, and a little piece of gundam wing, and soul circuit. Special thanks to Communications, Translation, and Tag Wrangling for their help in this process.

Tag Wranglers assisted Open Doors' import of new archives by searching the AO3 for existing copies of works--a manual and time-intensive process--and helping with tag mapping for several new archive imports. In addition, Tag Wrangling volunteers assisted Accessibility, Design & Technology in testing the wrangling functions for the code upgrade to Rails 5.1. Wranglers continued to handle over 500,000 tags per month.

Lastly, Abuse received over 600 tickets, and Support received over 1,300 tickets in September.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

In September, Legal joined allies to submit two petitions to the Copyright Office seeking exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions. These petitions follow and expand upon our petition to renew the vidders’ exemption, which allows people to rip DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital files for the purpose of using clips in noncommercial fanvids. One of the new petitions seeks a more inclusive exemption that would permit ripping audiovisual works to use short portions for criticism or comment (not limited to vids). The other seeks an exemption that would permit ripping audiovisual works to include short portions in multimedia e-books.

As part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations, Legal also held two open house chats on and fielded questions about law, fanworks, and the OTW’s legal advocacy mission. Thanks to everyone who came and chatted!

In addition, Legal is also addressing some issues with app makers who are confusing people into believing that they are affiliated with the OTW. A reminder: OTW and AO3 have not authorized any apps.

IV. GOVERNANCE

In a public meeting on September 1, Board elected the following officers for the next year: Yuechiang Luo, the current Finance chair and Treasurer, as Treasurer; Priscilla Del Cima as the new President; and Jessie Camboulives as the new Secretary. All board meeting minutes can be found here on our website.

Board has also had a busy September integrating the new Board members prior to the changeover on October 1st.

VI. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 27th of September, the OTW has 697 volunteers. Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Directors: Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, Jessie Camboulives.
New Committee Staff: SarkaS and 1 other Translation staff, 1 Fanlore, 1 Support.
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Adie, AkaKarasu, cali, Charlotte Im, Desipio, Diana Horton, Ellie Burrell, falsteloj, Fevrier, FurryVille, Goodwin, Hando, hmweasley, Icey, idiosincrasy, Jeniouis, Jenny Lynne, lemoncave, Marta Cardoso, Millip, Natalia Gruber, NirCele, NovaNica, Okaykay, patron, Qkat, rdv, Ron Geromy, Ruby Davis, Sang Yun Kim, SavannahM, Shotenchu, SoVeryAverageMe, Tatapioca, Tsukiko, Zoë Renee.
New Translator Volunteers: Marika

Departing Committee Staff: Kellyn (Support) and RoseJackson (Abuse).
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: IShouldBeWriting, Andy D, 1 other volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: ayerenne, Rana Kamal, Ha Thi Ngoc Huyen and 5 other Translation Volunteers

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


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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I. 2017 Election Success!

The 2017 Election went off without a hitch thanks to the Elections committee and their collaboration with the Communications, Development & Membership, Translation, Volunteers & Recruiting, and Webs committees! Elections would like to thank all of the members who sent in questions for the Q&A and everyone who voted in the election. They also thank all six phenomenal candidates, and send congratulations to Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, and Jessie Camboulives for becoming our newest Board members!

II. At the AO3

After the upgrade to Rails 4.2 in July, Accessibility, Design and Technology has begun testing upgrades to move AO3 to Rails 5.1 and Ruby 2.3. You can keep up with all the changes made to AO3 in our release notes.

Open Doors had a very productive August! They worked with Translation and Communications to announce the import of The Collators' Den and The Fandom Haven Story Archive to AO3. They completed three semi-automated imports: Daire's Fanfic Refuge, HL Raven's Nest, and StargateFan. They also finalized preparations and began manually importing works from the archives Hammer to Fall, Bang and Blame, and Least Expected.

In August, Abuse received over 600 tickets, and Support received over 1,300 tickets. As a reminder, all Abuse and Support reports must now include an e-mail address for the submitter.

III. Legal Advocacy and Fannish History

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was at the forefront of the Legal committee's August activities. They submitted a petition to the Copyright Office seeking to renew the vidders’ exemption to the DMCA, which allows people to rip DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital files for the purpose of making make non-commercial fanvids.

Legal also submitted comments to the Canadian government suggesting what Canada’s copyright law priorities should be as it renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trilateral NAFTA talks between the governments of U.S., Canada, and Mexico began in August, and will be resuming in September.

Lastly, the Fanlore homepage has a new section that features articles that require expansion. Go check it out and see what you can contribute!

IV. It's All About the Peeps

As of the 28th of August, the OTW has 680 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: 1 AD&T, 1 Open Doors, 2 Communications
New Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: Syd and 2 other Fanlore Gardeners
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Chai, Canislupa, Andy D, Stephanie Godden, Windian, Relle, Miss_Chif, Annie Staats, leftmost, snowynight, kenzimone, Hannah Miro, Leo, Eliana, Evie D, Alex D., Dre, Lily_Haydee_Lohdisse, Reeby, Zed Jae, Nemesis, Koi W, Saoirse Adams-Kushin, englishsummerrain, RussianRadio, Amy Lynn, ElleM, and carboncopies.
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: Asanté Simons (Volunteers & Recruiting), Amy Shimizu (Abuse), gracethebookworm (AO3 Documentation), 1 Abuse Staffer and 1 Communications Staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 1 Tag Wrangling Volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: Maliceuse, Kyanite and 2 others

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Published:
2017-08-06 16:20:36 -0400
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I. The Election is Coming

The moment we've all been waiting for is almost here! The Board of Directors Election will take place August 11-14. By now, all members should have received voting instructions by email. If you are a paid member and didn't receive an email with instructions, please contact the Elections Committee.

Elections has spent the past month preparing for the election and providing the public with plenty of information about our six candidates' platforms and goals. Elections worked closely with Communications to advertise three candidate chats on July 26, 29, and 30 and the publication of candidates' Q&A responses on five topics, including OTW Changes, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Positions, Personal Interview, and Communication and Outreach. Check out those OTW Elections site, AO3, Twitter, and Tumblr for more Elections news!

II. At the AO3

After two long months of testing, Accessibility, Design and Technology deployed Rails 4.2 on July 17 and tested and released bug fixes and enhancements to complete the the Rails 4.2 update.

Open Doors was excited to complete the imports of ScullySlash and The Basement! They also formally announced the upcoming imports of Unknowable Room and The Brian/Justin Fanfiction Archive, two large archives that will each include several thousand fanworks, with help from Translation and Comms.

Abuse received and responded to over 530 tickets in July. As a reminder, submitting multiple reports for the same issue only makes the process slower, so please be sure that staff are working hard to resolve them.

III. Legal Advocacy Work

Legal had a fun and busy July, including a visit to San Diego Comic Con! Legal Chair Betsy and Legal Staffer Heidi participated in panels about law and fandom, and hosted a well-attended “Meetup of Our Own” with friends and allies celebrating 10 years of the OTW! The panels and meetup all went very well, and it was a joy to meet so many wonderful fans from all over. Also, Legal Chair Betsy discussed the OTW, law, and fandom on the latest installment of the Copy This Podcast, entitled “Cosplay, Copyright, and Comic-Con."

IV. Governance

Strategic Planning had excellent results in reaching the OTW 2017-2020 Strategic Plan 6-month goals for creating board purview and roles documentation, improving Board-committee communication, documenting OTW-wide chair/lead position and expectations, and developing preliminary purview statements! They are happy to report this level of success at this first milestone due to the hard work of all OTW personnel and are excited to work toward their 9-month goal of documenting team-specific chair/lead position descriptions.

V. It's All About the Peeps

As of the 27 July 2017, the OTW has 658 volunteers. Recent personnel movements are listed below.

    New Committee Chairs: Alison Watson (Open Doors)
    New Committee Staff: Nikki Bird, 2 other Finance Staffers, Breanna, Lex deLeon, Anna Gassen, Mangalite and 3 other Support Staffers, and Mangalite, Ben Bach, Di Theis and 1 other Development & Membership Staffer, JessicaLovesSocks2658 (AO3 Docs)
    New Communications Volunteers: Alix Ayoub, Deven Wilson, Olivia Riley, vertexcat, Katek, and 1 other Communications Graphics Volunteers
    New Translator Volunteers: Tari, Maartje van Sandwijk, Ringa Hohti, Heleen Cauwels, Llyrianna, and 8 other Translation News Volunteers
    Departing Committee Staff: Nocokenojoke (Support), 1 AO3 Documentation Staffer, 1 VolCom Staffer
    Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Cerch, and 1 other Tag Wrangling Volunteer
    Departing Translation Volunteers: 2 Translation Volunteers

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Published:
2017-07-07 12:46:23 -0400
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I. THE 2017 ELECTION IS APPROACHING

Election season is upon us! The Elections committee was thrilled to announce the six candidates running this year for the three open spots on the OTW Board of Directors. The candidates are (in alphabetical order by given name):

  • Claire P. Baker
  • Danielle Strong
  • Erica Dulin
  • Gimena Calixto
  • Jessie Camboulives
  • Milena Popova

You can view the candidates' biographies and platforms on the Elections website. Also on the Elections website is the timeline of events for this election.

The voting period will be from August 11-14, 2017. If you were a member of the OTW (what does that mean?) as of June 30, 2017, then you are eligible to vote. That means that, if you began or renewed your membership anytime between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, then you are eligible to vote, even if your membership expires sometime between July 1, 2017, and August 11, 2017. Check out our voting instructions for more information about how the election will be held.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question for the candidates to answer. It's great to see so many people invested in the future of the OTW. Be sure to follow @OTWElections on Twitter and otwelections on Tumblr for notifications of when new candidate answers are posted, as well as for information about upcoming live chats with candidates.

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design and Technology, with the help of several volunteers and staffers from other committees, has been testing the Archive's big upgrade to Rails 4.2. The testing is a very time-consuming process that involves manually trying out each and every feature and setting on the Archive, but it's nearing the end! Hopefully, Rails 4.2 will be deployed soon, and then work can start for the upgrade to Rails 5.0.

Tag Wrangling was excited to announce AO3's 25,000th canonical fandom, which was Brainstorm (1983)! What's your favourite small fandom? For updates about Tag Wrangling, as well as fun tags of the week, follow @ao3_wranglers on Twitter!

Open Doors had a busy June. They completed the imports of Due South Archive and The Hex Files and assisted a number of creators with claiming their works from these archives and others. They also announced the upcoming import of Hammer to Fall & Bang and Blame, with help from Communications and Translation. Special thanks to Tag Wrangling this month for their help with tag mapping recommendations for multiple archives and to the import wranglers for their help searching AO3 to prevent the importing of duplicate works from ScullySlash, Least Expected, and Daire’s Fanfic Refuge & HL Raven’s Nest.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

Legal has been staying busy on the advocacy front! In June, they filed a submission to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) highlighting important issues for the upcoming negotiation of the NAFTA treaty. The filing advocated for an open and transparent negotiation process, and it emphasized the importance of including exceptions and limitations such as fair use in any provisions concerning intellectual property protection. Legal staffer Rebecca Tushnet followed up this submission by testifying before the USTR on June 27.

The OTW also participated in a large-scale action against proposed laws in New York State that would have vastly expanded New York rights of publicity in a way that would dramatically chill free speech about real people, including historical figures. We were joined by dozens of other nonprofits, trade associations, and professors, including many with whom we don’t often agree. The action was successful – New York rejected the legislation.

Legal also responded to a number of queries from fans, and they are also hard at work preparing for next month’s San Diego Comic Con. Stay tuned for more information soon, including panels that Legal personnel will be presenting at, and an event that all can attend!

IV. DOCUMENTING FANDOM

TWC's Queer Female Fandom issue, the publication's 24th volume, came out on June 15. Thanks to the the editorial and production teams for all their hard work. Be sure to check out the issue for articles on Supergirl, yuri, racial dynamics in femslash, and more!

Lastly, Fanlore got a new main page this month! In addition to a new look, this update includes a weekly Featured Article. Want to nominate your favourite articles or vote on current nominations? Then check out the Featured Articles page on Fanlore.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 27th of June, the OTW has 631 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Judy Wen (Elections), Hazel Seanor (Elections), Arly Guevara (Strategic Planning), royrichard (Strategic Planning) and 2 Strategic Planning staffers

New AD&T Coder Volunteers: Nana

New Translator Volunteers: AdaVila, someplacelikebolivia, Ellisa_SS, nanabanana, ayerenne, steelwater, Audrey Lee

Departing Committee Chairs: briar_pipe (Elections)

Departing Committee Staff: 3 Abuse staffers, 1 AO3 Documentation staffer, 4 Support staffers

Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: 7

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3

Departing Translation Volunteers: Amalia Blondet and 1 other


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

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I. OTW IN PERSON

May brought two opportunities for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) staff to interact with OTW members offline! Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Communications staffer Claudia Rebaza presented "Celebrating 10 Years of Serving Fans: Meet the OTW" at WhedonCon in Southern California. Thanks to the convention organizers and everyone who came out to chat!

Additionally, Legal staffer Casey gave a TedX talk at Colorado University about fair use and remix, entitled "How the Internet and Copyright Fuel Creativity." You can check out a video of the talk on YouTube and learn about how fanworks fit into US copyright laws.

II. AT THE AO3

During May, Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed releases 0.9.191 - 0.9.193. These releases included updates and bug fixes for managing co-creators on works, resolving some common issues that would result in an error 500 message, and various other improvements. There is now a code freeze (brr!) to ensure a smooth behind-the-scenes update from Rails 3.2 to Rails 5.

Open Doors completed the import for The Quidditch Pitch this month. They also announced archive imports for Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest and Death-Marked Love.

Tag Wrangling worked hard this month, continuing on from a busy April where they wrangled approximately 497,000 tags! \o/ At the request of Open Doors, wranglers assisted with tag mapping for several archive imports and searched to find metadata for over 1,000 works in the Stargate SG-1 fandom. Wranglers also continued to work on disambiguating single-name characters and relationships to bring them into compliance with guidelines on ambiguous tags.

Lastly, Support received over 1167 tickets, and Abuse received roughly 500.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

May was an active month for Legal. They submitted reply comments to the U.S. Copyright Office regarding the Copyright Office's inquiry into the "moral rights" of attribution and integrity. These reply comments followed up on their submission in March, corrected some other participants' assertions about fanworks and fan cultures, emphasized the complexity and effectiveness of fans' attribution norms, and pointed out that if converted into law, an attribution right may be more likely to be used against noncommercial creators than it is to be used by them.

They also joined with several allies to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Georgia v. Public Resource. The case is about ensuring that the public has free access to the official versions of laws and related government information. Among other things, the OTW's brief argued that making something available for free cannot be "commercial use" for purposes of analyzing copyright fair use.

Lastly, Legal worked on two public posts about legal developments. For the first one, they worked with Communications to inform and mobilize fans in the European Union with regards to pending legislative proposals that would promote censorship and Internet filtering. For the second, they explained some recent U.S. legal developments about what internet service providers can do with user data, and discussed what impact those legal developments might have on fans in the U.S. They also responded to a number of individual queries about fanworks and law.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board has announced a change in Treasurer: Finance chair Yuechiang Luo has replaced Atiya Hakeem (Lady Oscar) as OTW Treasurer.

Elections has continued to prepare for the upcoming election. As a reminder, some dates from the election timeline: This year's election will be held August 11-14, and the membership deadline for being eligible to vote is June 30. Candidates running for the Board of Directors will be announced on June 21. Check out Elections' Twitter and Tumblr for updates throughout the election season.

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 28th of May, the OTW has 638 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Rachel Bussert (Volunteers & Recruiting), Connie Pini (Volunteers & Recruiting), Judy Wen (Elections), Hazel Seanor (Elections), 1 other Election staffer and 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting staffer.
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Alex Garner, BooksAreLife, Christina L Simpson, fykan, gracethebookworm, Helena, hthesecond, I-Mushi, Ingi, Iridium, Ironweed, Jackie, KamW, Lianne, Mieun, Mikayla, Miniwave, Miranda Parker, mmmdraco, Nis, Nissi, oncomingtragedy, Parker, Paula, Rimb, savannaharcana, scm.sarah.miller, squallina, TajarGirl, tallcoins, The Calamity, Thewordlover, Tildy, Trixxster103 and Victoria M.
New Translation Volunteers: Anhaita, redsummernight and 12 others.

Departing Committee Chairs: Kiri Van Santen (Communications) and Atiya Hakeem (Finance).
Departing Committee Staff: Astrid Clemons (Abuse), Rachel Pearl Bracker (Communications), Pip Janssen (Communications), Elanya (Tag Wrangling), Michele Carter (Open Doors), 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer and 1 Strategic Planning staffer.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: saraolives.
Departing Communications Volunteers: ElenaWho and 1 other.
Departing Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: 1 volunteer.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3 volunteers.
Departing Translation Volunteers: Mareen Fischer, Andita, Roser Agnés, Zsuzsa Gábor and 1 other.

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

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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. Membership Drive Success and April Showers

Thank you to everyone who helped make our recent OTW Membership Drive a rousing success! We raised US$146,595.80 from 5,660 donors in 73 countries. Whether you donated or helped spread the word about the drive, your support means the world to us. You can see how your donations will be put to use in our budget post.

Thanks to Development & Membership, Communications, Translation, and everyone else who worked hard on this drive.

Fanlore was also busy hosting the month-long April Showers celebration. The event was to encourage people to contribute their own stories and experiences to Fanlore, especially those from smaller fandoms. Kudos to everyone who created or expanded an article this month. You can learn more about April Showers at Fanlore's Dreamwidth community or new Tumblr account.

II. At the AO3

The Archive of Our Own hit a major milestone in April: 3 million fanworks! To celebrate, we're asking to hear from you, our users. It's the people who make AO3 what it is, so tell us your #myAO3 story about what the Archive means to you and help spread the squee.

Also during April, Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed three batches of fixes, which were summed up in the most recent Release Notes. They also had some extra fun when the database that holds everyone's AO3 History ran out of numbers.

While the aim is always to fix urgent bugs and take care of performance issues that make AO3 unstable, the focus has been on backend upgrades for several months now, and progress has been made. The first step towards running the latest version of Ruby on Rails was completed (converting all our code to work with strong parameters, for the curious). \o/ Also, the contractor started the actual Rails upgrade process, which will happen in several steps to get us from Rails 3.2 to Rails 5.

Tag Wrangling made minor updates to the wrangling guidelines. These updates included changes to when (Character) is used as a disambiguation, as well as a project to un-subtag show-specific RPF fandoms from the RPF fandoms for specific countries. Since many actors work in shows from many different places, it was leading to confusion, so show-specific RPF fandoms are now subtagged directly to Actor RPF.

The implementation of some earlier guideline updates was also completed to standardize the treatment of fusion settings in the Alternate Universe tag tree, which involved the removal of a few character-specific tags that didn’t really belong in the Alternate Universe tree.

Lastly, Support received over 770 tickets, and Abuse received roughly 600.

III. Legal Advocacy and Scholarly Fandom

In the tail-end of March, Legal filed a comment with the U.S. Copyright Office, responding to a Copyright Office inquiry asking whether the U.S. should adopt additional “moral rights” laws requiring that authors be identified in connection with their works (known as a right of “attribution”) and requiring an author’s permission to make changes to copyrighted works (known as a right of “integrity”). In their comment, they argued that a right of integrity would harm free expression, and that while in general attribution norms are often beneficial and common within fan communities, they should not be given the force of law.

In April, together with our allies in the Re:Create Coalition, Legal sent letters to the U.S. House, Senate, and Executive Branch advocating for balanced copyright laws. The letter laid out a set of key values to help guide copyright policy, including the value of free expression. “We support the Constitutional promise that all people should be able to express themselves freely and believe that such expression includes fair use of works created by others, as protected by the Copyright Act and the courts. Overly-burdensome copyright laws stifle free speech, expression and the diffusion of knowledge in society."

Are you interested in meta about fanfiction? Transformative Works and Cultures staffer Francesca Coppa recently published a new book, The Fanfiction Reader, and all royalties are being donated to the OTW! So if you'd like to read some fanworks and writing about those fanworks, check out the link or let interested friends know it's available.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections announced the 2017 election timeline this month. This year's election will be held August 11-14. The membership deadline for being eligible to vote is June 30. Candidates running for the Board of Directors will be announced on June 21. Check out Elections' Twitter and Tumblr for updates throughout the election season.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 30th of April, the OTW has 604 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: pyrrhical (Fanlore), 1 Fanlore Staff, capitola (Tag Wrangling), Stephanie Godden (Elections), JessicaLovesSocks2658 (Abuse), Jonny H. (Abuse), 8 Abuse staff, adustyspectacle (Tag Wrangling), Solovei (Tag Wrangling), rachelisce (Tag Wrangling), 1 Translation, 1 Tag Wrangling
New Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: SavannahM, 1 other
New Translator Volunteers: Silarona

Departing Committee Staff: Cat Goodfellow (Communications), Patrycja Zarzecka (Elections), Sofia (Abuse), Aline Carrão (Translation), 1 Tag Wrangling, 3 Abuse
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: alicefung & 1 Other
Departing Communications Volunteers: doughtier
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Cadkitten and 5 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: XxArt, Chloë C, Quincette, 1 other

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

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