I. CONTINUING THE FIGHT FOR FANS, FANWORKS, AND FAIR USE
Legal continued the fight for fans’ ability to make fair use vids and multimedia works, joining several allies in filing support for two exemptions from the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “anticircumvention” provisions in December. The first filing seeks an express exemption for fans who want to rip DVDs, Blu-rays, and streamed material to incorporate audiovisual material in fanfiction. The second filing seeks to clarify and broaden the existing “vidders’ exemption” for ripping DVDs, Blu-rays, and streamed material to make remix video. A big thank you to the many fans who helped gather stories and other factual support for these exemption petitions.
In January, Legal joined allies to file an amicus brief in De Havilland v. FX, a case about the FX television show “Feud.” In the brief, they argued that the U.S. First Amendment protects the right to make expressive works about real people, and that right of publicity laws shouldn't be used to prevent people from making docudramas and other fictionalized historical and biographical works.
Also in January, Legal staffer Stacey Lantagne was a Guest of Honor at Illogicon, where she gave presentations and participated in panels on the OTW, law, and fanworks. Legal worked with the Communications team to participate in Copyright Week, with features including “Five Things Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt Said” and a profile post on Josh Lamel of the Re:Create Coalition.
Meanwhile, Legal also addressed the existence of a phishing site that imitated the Archive of Our Own in an apparent attempt to get users to enter their passwords. Reminder: To keep your passwords safe, make sure that when you visit a familiar site, you’re actually visiting that site. If you follow a link to something that looks like the AO3 but don't know why you aren't logged in, double check to make sure that you’re actually on the AO3.
II. AT THE AO3
December and January were busy months at the AO3! Open Doors completed the imports of MTAC and the Dana Knight memorial account. They also announced the upcoming imports of InDeath.net Fan Fiction, All Things Rat, TER/MA, Artifact Storage Room 3, and The New Adventures of Sinbad: Fan Fiction Season 2 with help from Translation and Communications.
Thanks to Sofia, Terizia, Paula, Sebastian, and the rest of the special project volunteers, Open Doors also continued to tackle the duplicate search queue, completing AO3 searches of MTAC, National Library, The Boy / Michael Shanks, and Firefly's Glow. Special thanks to Tag Wrangling for continuing to help with multiple tag mappings and Systems for setting up redirects to imported works from several archives.
Tag Wrangling survived the fic exchange season intact! Approximately 550,000 tags were wrangled in November, and another 610,000 in December, which brings the total tags from April-December for 2017 to 5.2 million--about a quarter of all tags ever posted to the archive.
In other Archive-related news, AO3 Documentation updated the Your Account and Series FAQs this month, as well as uploading a brand new Tutorial: Creating a Work Skin for those creators wanting to customize AO3 and their works.
Lastly, in December 2017, Abuse had ~1360 tickets come in, compared to 360 in December 2016. January was a bit lower, with 900 in 2018, up from 430 the previous year. Support saw increases of over 50% in numbers of tickets from the same period last year as well, receiving ~1330 tickets in December 2017 and ~1450 in January 2018.
III. UPDATES TO OTHER OTW SITES
Transformative Works and Cultures has had an infrastructure update! A big thank you to Systems for making the upgrade to TWC's OJS open-source software happen.
Fanlore has ramped up its visual presence, thanks to their graphics volunteers, featuring Ship Sunday and Trope Tuesday graphics on its social media accounts. Look for other exciting developments, supported by a new staffer and new volunteers.
The OTW celebrated a big milestone on January 1, 2018: the first anniversary of the Strategic Plan! Strategic Planning would like to thank every volunteer in the OTW for help getting the plan off the ground. To celebrate, Strategic Planning launched itself headlong, alongside the Board, into planning the visioning stages of the next strategic plan.
Board also focused on both past and future in December and January. Before the end of the year, they approved and released the 2016 Annual Report. In addition, they continued to work on protecting users' data and rendering the OTW compliant under the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
V. UPCOMING EVENTS
February 15 is International Fanworks Day! Help us build awareness of this celebration through the #WhatFanworksMeantoMe tag event. Encourage people in your fandom(s) to take part in the OTW's activities the week of February 15 or to hold their own events -- and look for the full events schedule on February 12.
Other things to look for in the next few months: an upcoming one-week Fanlore Challenge event to encourage wiki editing, new issues of TWC for March and June 2018, and the upcoming launch of the OTW's April donation drive by Development & Membership.
VI. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS
As of the 28th of January, the OTW has 626 volunteers. \o/
Recent personnel movements handled by Volunteers & Recruiting are listed below:
New Committee Staff: Mandy Gooch (Tag Wrangling), Luin (Tag Wrangling), mmmdraco (Tag Wrangling), 2 Tag Wrangling Staff, redsummernight (Accessibility, Design & Technology), Cyn (Volunteers & Recruiting), Stephanie Godden (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 Fanlore Staffer
Departing Committee Chairs: James Baxter (Webs)
Departing Committee Staff: ChelseaIBelieve (Tag Wrangling), Kat Heiden (Development & Membership), 4 other Development & Membership Staffers, Curtis Jefferson (Volunteers & Recruiting), 2 Abuse Staffers, Catarina Pimenta (Communications), James Baxter (Webs), 1 Support Staffer, 1 Elections Staffer, 1 Fanlore Staffer, 1 Systems Staffer
Departing Accessibility, Design & Technology Coder Volunteers: Cesy
Departing Accessibility, Design & Technology Quality Assurance & Testing Volunteers: Eve Forbes and 12 other volunteers
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: nocokenojoke, Vociferocity, summerlove_jl, carboncopies, Mieun, sabinelagrande, regentzilla and 2 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Arence, Audrey Lee, ianavi, nyxmidnight and 3 other 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.