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Published:
2019-01-18 20:12:05 -0500
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Banner by Erin of a spotlight shining the OTW logo behind the text spotlight on legal issues

On the last day of Copyright Week, the EU nations' Councils have voted on their positions on Article 13, and the majority have decided not to support it in its current form. This is good news for fans!

Article 13, as it was drafted, would have held many websites liable for user-created content, and in many cases would have required the use of filters that could have limited the availability of fanworks and other legitimate, non-infringing uses of copyrighted material. Although the proposal would not have affected nonprofits like the OTW--that is, AO3 would not have been affected--it still could have had a significant impact on other popular fan sites.

This result is powerful. It means that you can still continue to create fanworks and share them not only on AO3, but also on sites that would have been affected by Article 13, such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

This is not the end of the road for Article 13--its supporters can go back to the drawing board to find a "qualified majority" of nations that would support it. But we should not lose sight of what this result means. It represents victory for users' rights. It shows that a significant proportion of European governments care about Internet users. And, perhaps most importantly, it shows that public attention to copyright law can make a difference.

This decision also keeps the EU in line with other nations' copyright law. For example, in the U.S., Internet hosts are protected by the "safe harbor" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"). Under the DMCA, hosts are not responsible for their users' actions as long as they take down infringing material when they are notified about it. This "notice and takedown" system provides protections for users, platforms, and copyright holders.

Although proposals like Article 13 might have prevented some infringement, they would be terrible for the Internet and for fair use/fair dealing. As a practical matter, these proposals would require hosts to use algorithmic filters to try and prevent users from uploading infringing material. Not only would such filters probably be ineffective at filtering out infringement, they'd also filter out plenty of non-infringing stuff. Because there simply aren't algorithms capable of filtering for fair use, a lot of fair uses--including a lot of fanworks--would undoubtedly get caught in such filters. We know you don't want that! OTW Legal has argued against mandatory filtering proposals, and will continue to do so.

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International Fanworks Day

It’s time to mark your calendars: the fifth annual International Fanworks Day will take place on February 15, 2019. Here at the OTW we have lots of exciting plans in store, but we also want to hear your ideas about the day.

What is International Fanworks Day?

The OTW founded International Fanworks Day in 2015. It’s a day for fans around the world to celebrate the diversity and creativity of fanwork in all its forms. Whether you enjoy reading fanfiction, creating fanart, listening to podfics or audio mixes, editing fan videos, or getting deep into meta discussions, International Fanworks Day is your opportunity to share your favorite fanworks and talk about what they mean to you. You could also use it as an opportunity to run a challenge or create some new fanworks of your own!

What do fanworks mean to you?

Next month, the OTW will announce the activities with which we plan to celebrate International Fanworks Day this year. But right now, we’d love to hear what the wider fan community will be doing to mark the day. Let us know via our social media or in the comments below.

We’d also like to invite your submissions on the topic "What fanworks mean to me." If you’d like to contribute, you can take part by:

  • Making a post with your thoughts on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook and adding the hashtag #WhatFanworksMeanToMe.
  • If you have more to say, you can submit longer essays of up to 350 words to the Communications Committee via the OTW’s contact form. You can take a look at the hashtag to see everyone’s contributions, but a selection of submissions will also be featured on the OTW blog in the run-up to International Fanworks Day 2019. If you’d like your piece to be considered, please make sure that it includes your country of residence, as well as the name under which you’d like us to list your work.

We accept submissions in every language, so there’s no reason to hold back. Let the fanworks love flow free!

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Published:
2019-01-09 15:35:36 -0500
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OTW Recruitment

Would you like to wrangle AO3 tags? Do you have experience copyediting or proofreading academic journals? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer - closing 16 January 2019 at 23:59 UTC
  • TWC Proofreader Volunteer - closing 16 January at 23:59 UTC
  • TWC Copyeditor Volunteer - closing 16 January at 23:59 UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.


Tag Wrangling Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to keep the millions of tags on AO3 in some kind of order! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Steve/Tony with tentacles or g-rated Rose/Kanaya fluff.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling! To join us, click through to the job description and application form.

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. Additionally, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only, which will change each recruitment round. Please see the application for which fandoms are in need.

Applications are due 16 January 2019


TWC Proofreader Volunteer

Transformative Works and Cultures is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics, promoting dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Proofreader carefully proofreads final online HTML-tagged manuscripts for online publication, using Chicago Manual of Style 17 (CMOS), Merriam-Webster online, and TWC's style sheet. Applicants may be given a brief test.

Applications are due 16 January 2019


TWC Copyeditor Volunteer

Transformative Works and Cultures is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics, promoting dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Copyeditors professionally copyedit submissions for Transformative Works and Cultures according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Applicants may be given a brief test.

Applications are due 16 January 2019


Apply at the volunteering page!

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