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  • OTW Fannews: Crossing Boundaries

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tirsdag, 22 December 2015 - 3:52pm
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    • Hypable reported on how a The 100 fanfic went viral in non-fanfic communities. "It’s absolutely hilarious to see how non-fandom has responded to this fictional argument, and how people have even taken sides — but the fact that Clarke was immediately assumed to be a male does say a lot about our heteronormative society, doesn’t it?! Despite this somewhat depressing factor, The 100 fans are having a blast with this, and are fully embracing the ridiculousness of #ClarketheHusband. We’ve never been more in love with this fandom."
    • Hypable also reported on a less happy example of a fanwork crossover, the appearance of yet another practitioner of the fanworks ambush stunt. "The segment started out fine, with Corden showing off brilliant, iconic pieces of artwork. But then… well. They start mocking fan art from artists who might have had less practice, or are younger. And Corden, especially, finds it all hilarious. And, sure. It’s amusing. Until you realize that there are people out there who drew them — and that these works are reproduced without consent or warning. The context of these pieces is stripped back; the smug hosts reduce them to a mockery, the butt of a joke. And these creators could be watching this show, without expectation, only to be accosted by unwarranted abuse."
    • Of course, the print media is increasingly moving in on RPF fandoms' turf by creating their own fanfic, focusing on anyone from local figures to politicians to celebrities.
    • Huffington Post pointed out how fandom's use of social media had made their interaction with celebrity family members ever more likely. "But perhaps the best use of social media is the ability to know her son is safe wherever he might be in the world, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of fans almost 'stalking' their every move. 'If they’re flying, I’ll do a search for “5SOS airport” and I’ll see they’ve landed and I’ll know they are safe...I would do that when I was looking after them too on tour, if they’d gone out on a particular night and I wanted to know if they’d come home to the hotel -- it would be on Twitter -- it’s kind of like they’ve got lots of little mums out there checking up on them.'"

    What have been examples, for better or worse, that you've seen on fandom and fanworks crossing boundaries? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Justifying the Drama

    By thatwasjustadream on Søndag, 13 December 2015 - 5:38pm
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    • The Learned Fangirl wrote about the professionalization of fandom. "As we see more mainstream writing and academic study about the economies of fan culture and digital media, the ideas that Timberg presents here are worth revisiting. Communities of fan creators are more robust than ever before, and the semi-professionalization of fandom is more formalized than it has ever been, with clearly defined points of access and channels of distribution of creative work (cons, social media, podcasts, etc.). And if technology is the lifeblood of the creative class, allowing more rapid growth and implementation of ideas from different sources, then that doesn’t sound quite like a 'killing' to me."
    • The Columbia Chronicle posted about gender bias in fandom. “'People don’t think I’m mature because [WWE is] like fake wrestling and has a bunch of cheesy storylines, but I like it,' said Tutson, noting that she has about 40 action figures and 11 games and gets looked down upon because people do not typically expect an 18-year-old girl to collect wrestling action figures."
    • At ProWrestling.net, another writer complained about the reaction of wrestlers to critiques from their fans. "Coachman, like representatives of WWE frequently say, is using the 'it's about the fun' argument and instructing others to sit back and watch. WWE likes to say wrestling isn't meant to be deconstructed and thought deeply about. They like to paint a picture of an industry where the most important thing is smiles on faces. They like to ignore the call for responsible storytelling. "
    • Meanwhile Metro ran an opinion piece asking for celebrities to start intervening in fan attacks. "The more popular the icon the more power and influence they wield, but too often they are silent when it comes to acknowledging the dark side of their fandoms. Jessie J has finally taken responsibility for her fans, isn’t it time every other pop star does the same?"

    Drama? Fandom has plenty of it. Write about the events you've seen in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Setting Goals

    By Sarah Remy on Torsdag, 10 December 2015 - 5:29pm
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    • The Phillipine Star offered a look at fanfic's changing prominence. "You, me, and your lola are probably now aware of what fanfiction is. In my simple mind, it used to be some underground cult, but has grown into a legitimate hobby in the last few years. You got your books, you got your movie tie-in novelizations, and then you got fanfiction. It’s not quite a sequel, in the way the New Testament followed the Old one. Imagine a hardcore Bible-reader wanting to know what happened after the Book of Revelations, so he wrote a post-apocalyptic novel featuring The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Ridiculous, but strangely plausible."
    • Huffington Post listed one of many benefits of fanfic, including its ability to encourage reading. "While the other two strategies helped, when my daughter found fanfiction things really took off...Because she was already invested in Padme and Anakin through the movies, it was an easy leap to enjoy reading about them. And it hasn't stopped with Star Wars. She's read fanfiction based on Once Upon A Time, How to Train Your Dragon, and even Pride and Prejudice! That was a year ago, and now I struggle to get her to stop reading." Some of those Star Wars readers may also one day become Star Wars writers.
    • More media outlets are getting into the business of offering serious recommendations, such as when Vulture included recs to Buffy fanfic as part of a larger story on its appeal. "To truly understand Buffy’s fanfic reach, though, consider the following: One site featured 351 Buffy-related fiction updates last month, even though the series ended its run more than a decade ago. And that’s only one site. There are multiple online sources for Buffy fanfiction. Some, like Archive of Our Own and FanFiction.net, offer detailed tagging and filter options for those seeking out very specific Buffy experiences...Other fanfiction sites specialize in Buffy crossovers, for those who are curious how Buffy’s world would collide with Harry Potter’s or Luke Skywalker’s."
    • Of course, as The Telegraph revealed, those fanfic readers may also one day become television producers creating crossovers and prequels. “It's quite a simple concept...Taking a selection of Dickens' most iconic characters and free them from the narrative of the book. Take them and put them all in one place, and see what happens. Let them interact and see what it's like when Fagin meets Scrooge." Said screenwriter Tony Jordan, "I'm not going to pretend to be a Dickens scholar. I've probably watched more TV and film adaptations then I've read books. But I've grown up loving them."

    What stories can you tell about writing or reading fanfic? Contribute them to Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: For Reals

    By Katie on Søndag, 22 November 2015 - 6:17pm
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    • The BBC noted that fans have been right all along in their devotion to popular culture, given that it's adding to the stories of old. "Our modern civilisation, like all civilisations before it, has settled around a set of myths and legends as the basis of its culture. They are more complex, more interesting, more sophisticated, and with a much richer interaction between creators and fans than you might think. Far from being mere films or comic books, they are whole extended fictional universes, entirely self-consistent, with deep histories, hundreds of characters, and even a form of theological scholarship."
    • As the curators of cultural preservation, librarians have been proactive in responding to fans activities by not just encouraging their creation with numerous library programs, but also now doing readers advisory for fanworks. The results can be important. "While wearing an Avengers t-shirt in the library, a librarian was stopped by a little girl who wanted to know if she'd seen the Avengers movie. The librarian responded that it was one of her favorite movies, and the girl confessed that she loved it too, even though her teacher said it was just for boys. She then asked if the library had any Avengers books. As the librarian helped her collect a stack of Iron Man easy readers, the girl's mom tearfully explained that her daughter was a reluctant reader, and that this was the first time she'd actually wanted to check out books."
    • Even media outlets that one wouldn't expect are trying to integrate fannish practices into their coverage, such as Fashion & Style highlighting Twilight fansites, or Seventeen making a fairly good list of responses to criticism, such as countering the familiar "'Why don't you care about something that actually matters?" with "Who are you to say something I'm this passionate about doesn't matter? It matters to me."
    • Meanwhile more fannish and amateur publications are reporting on topics from fan terminology in motion, to what happens when fandom burnout begins, or charting the course of a fannish passion. Stories like these mean that all sides of fandoms and fannish experiences are joining their canons in being a part of cultural history.

    Is it important to you that fannish history be preserved? Then open an account and write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: What's in a Name?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Torsdag, 19 November 2015 - 5:47pm
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    • The New Statesman weighed in on an important discussion as fanworks become more well known: what actually counts as one? "It comes down, as it often does, to money. Because money, and a lack of it, is at the heart of long-held tensions about fanworks. Fanfiction is overwhelmingly the product of unpaid labour, millions and millions of words given freely, whether for legal reasons or community norms. Because it isn’t compensated – and because it is so often done by women it is devalued, as an art form and as a way to spend one’s time. When money is added to the mix, whether in giant pull-to-publish book deals or, increasingly, fanfiction contests and authors sponsored by television networks and Hollywood studios, the place that fanworks occupy in the vast sphere of adaptation and reworking begins to shift. And not always for the better."
    • The confusion about what counts is understandable given the visibility of commercial works that either tell the stories of fans, that do similar work, or even co-opt the terms to market a product from commercial authors. What's promising is the increasing focus on available fanwork, especially when it provides a way to show audience response to a current event or topic of interest.
    • The visibility of fanworks means that its features and practices have been inspiring commercial creators and industries, whether it's to blend fanwork with their own work; to take popular genres more seriously; to respond to users' wishes about how they want to interact with stories; or to create works about them.
    • The transformative nature of fanworks is an important element in its legal protection but this is often overlooked or misunderstood by the media, even while examples of its commentary on commercial entertainment are easily found. One recent example is a fan edit focusing on Pulp Fiction and Breaking Bad. The need to educate others about what fanworks makes the effort of fans to do so all the more important.

    Do you think it's important for fans to explain their own practices and communities? That's what Fanlore is all about. Contributions are welcome from all fans so create an account there and share your knowledge.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Staying Vigilant

    By .EliseThrasher on Søndag, 30 August 2015 - 7:04pm
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    • The Japan News posted a story about how a Trans-Pacific Partnership crackdown could affect fanfiction publishing. "[T]he 12 nations engaged in the TPP negotiations are building a consensus that would allow for prosecution of copyright infringement without the need for a formal complaint, but instead based on reports from third parties or an independent judgement by an investigative authority." This contrasts with Japan's current system, "copyright infringement can only be investigated after a formal complaint from the creator of the original work or its rights holder."
    • Changes to their system would also allow for many false claims to result in takedowns. Kotaku reported on the widespread action against videos that had no connection to copyrighted content. "Last week, the anti-piracy firm Entura International, which frequently works with Pixels distributor Columbia Pictures, filed a big old DMCA complaint—as first reported by TorrentFreak—that goes after a bunch of videos not for pirating or violating copyright in any way, but for using the word “Pixels,” which it turns out was invented in 2015 by Adam Sandler."
    • The Daily Dot reported on an alarming development connected to Windows 10's End User License Agreement. "Microsoft won't hesitate to make sure the programs and games you have installed on your computer are legitimate, and if not, it has the right to disable them." The agreement includes preventing "unauthorized hardware peripheral devices" but who determines legitimate use could be a problem.

    What areas do you think fans should remain vigilant about? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fangirls in the Wild

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tirsdag, 28 July 2015 - 4:00pm
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    • San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) season means it's time for the media to once again declare that fangirls exist. The New York Times thought this was the year for fangirls. "A bunch of oddballs — nerds and fanboys, toy collectors and cosplayers, gamers and fantasists — invaded the mainstream and planted themselves at the vital center of the entertainment industry...Lately, though, something else has been happening, too — a shift in the ecosystem of fandom symbolized not only by Sadness but also by another new addition to the Comic-Con costume repertory: Imperator Furiosa, the crew-cut, one-armed avenger played by Charlize Theron in 'Mad Max: Fury Road.' Furiosa’s presence amid the Disney princesses and Manga pixies is an especially potent sign of the feminism that is a big part of this event."
    • A more thoughtful article at Refinery29 points out that SDCC is hardly a bastion of feminism yet. "What we’re calling fangirls here covers an admittedly wide and amorphous group of women. They’re cosplayers, comic book collectors, sci-fi nerds, steampunk enthusiasts, booth babes, Lolitas, and more....And they are vocal: When the proportion of female writers and artists for DC Comics plunged from 12 percent to 1 percent in 2011, female fans started a petition for DC to hire more women. DC Comics responded by promising to try. Female fans from a group called the Carol Corps. were also instrumental last year in pushing Marvel to announce plans for a movie about Captain Marvel, a super-powered woman. In other words, fangirls are engaged and numerous, making up a significant portion of the audience that shells out hard-earned dollars to support their pop culture passions. And yet, despite that, this group remains the third estate of the comics / fantasy world."
    • The Chicago Tribune focused more on numbers. "'But when you start to break it down according to how fans identify themselves, we find that no individual fandom is that even,' continues Salkowitz, who will discuss his findings Sunday afternoon at Comic-Con. 'Comics, videogaming, hobby gaming and toy collecting are majority male, usually in the 55- to 60-percent range. Manga/anime, science fiction/fantasy and media fandom are 60- to 65-percent female. Because today's big conventions appeal to fans of everything, audiences coming to shows are pretty much gender-balanced. However, it's still the case that, say, 'comics' fandom tends more toward older guys, whereas manga appeals more to younger women.'"
    • As Neon Tommy pointed out, having female creators representing female fans in the media is a needed step forward. "As for today’s devoted fangirls — who have often been excluded from the full participatory side of media — Jarett says the 'Fan Girl' film's message is one of female empowerment. 'Telulah is a filmmaker,' he says. 'And being a fan of something can also be someone’s art — it’s a form of creative expression.'"

    How many times have you been discovered within fandom? Write about your history in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?

    By .Ellorgast on Tirsdag, 23 June 2015 - 4:29pm
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    • South Africa's Daily Maverick provided an overview of fandom with some definitions. "You cannot be a part of fandom if you love something but do not interact with fellow fans. Fandom is less a kingdom of fanatics and more a kinship of one...Imagine this happening; a group of fans sit down, someone says I really thought x should have been y and almost everyone agrees on the fact. Not that big a deal, right? Now imagine that they do that same thing on the internet. Suddenly the scope of people who are meaningfully discussing and often reach consensus numbers in the thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes much more than that. That alone is a powerful thing; hard for the original creator of a book or TV show to ignore, but it is not the only powerful thing about fandom."
    • As each year passes, it seems most people take part in fandom in some way, however unlikely. It's also increasingly seen as a professional outlet. ABS CBN News featured live erotica readings in the Philippines that included fanfic creations, though these at least were created by the performers. " The writers dream up their concoctions in various formats: monologues, radio plays, fan fiction, interactive games. They draw inspiration from everywhere: history, art, science, comic books, movies. Once a draft is ready, it’s submitted to a core group of writers who conduct an informal workshop, offering comments and and revision, until there’s a general consensus that the work is ready."
    • The Daily Beast focused on print erotica, interviewing a writer selling U.S. president fanfic on Amazon. "'I wanted to write something that had never been done, but then I thought, ‘Oh, this is a really interesting idea,’' he said, before adding that in fact, presidential erotica has sort of been done. 'There was some [erotica] that involved sex with four presidents, but they were all consecutive. No one had sex with William Howard Taft (1909-1913) but also Richard Nixon." No mention was made of Historical RPF fanworks.
    • As a conversation between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro at The New Statesman pointed out, commercializing fanwork is hardly new. "I love the fact that, you know, in the early versions of King Lear, the story had a happy ending. Shakespeare turned it into a tragedy, and through the 18th and 19th centuries they kept trying to give it a happy ending again. But people kept going back to the one that Shakespeare created. You could definitely view Shakespeare as fan fiction, in his own way. I’ve only ever written, as far as I know, one book that did the thing that happens when people online get hold of it and start writing their own fiction, which was Good Omens, which I did with Terry Pratchett. It’s a 100,000-word book; there’s probably a million words of fiction out there by now, written by people who were inspired by characters in the book." (Gaiman is mistaken about the limits of his success, though).

    Make sure your own favorite fanworks don't get forgotten: write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • Fannews: It's the Little Things

    By .Ellorgast on Mandag, 8 June 2015 - 5:18pm
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    OTW Fannews: It's the Little Things

    • At Huffington Post, The Flash actress Candice Patton was happy to hear about fanfic about her character. "There's Iris fan fiction? That's news to me. I try to stay off the parts of the internet which pertain to me or my character to a large degree. But, I think fan fiction is a great way for people to express themselves and storylines they want to see. I think it's a wonderful creative outlet! I believe I wrote / read some fan fiction when I was a teenager. It was fun!"
    • Smart Bitches, Trashy Books ran a feature on The Romance Reader’s Guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which did not overlook fanfic. "If you like erotica and/or m/m: Fanfic. Oh God. SO MUCH FANFIC. We can safely guarantee that wherever your desires lie, there is fanfic about it. Some fan fic is totally non-erotic in nature – here’s a link to my fav purely SFW piece, “Steve and Natasha Go to Ikea”. Some of it is torrid beyond belief. A lot of it is m/m, so until we get a gay MCU universe character, Science Bros (among others), will have to tide you over if m/m is your thing."
    • At Collider, Anna Kendrick discussed the femslash aspects of Pitch Perfect and also her disappointment that not all of it is torrid beyond belief. "I’m not gonna lie to you, I tried to read one fanfiction because I was like, ‘I have to know’ and I was… maybe I chose the wrong fanfiction to read, but it was so slow. I was expecting it to be like, ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe they’re writing this crazy shit about me and Brittany [Snow]’ but there was a lot of exposition and I was like, ‘This isn’t a [Charles] Dickens novel’ so I gave up on it after that."
    • The Roanoke Times' introduction to its new crime reporter demonstrated that even professional bios might discuss fanfic. "Interesting fact about you that few know: I used to write fan fiction – mostly Teen Titans and X-men related novellas. I recently made the (probably unwise) decision to return to fan fiction, this time spurred by the Faustian anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica."

    Where are all the places you're seeing discussion about fanfic taking place? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Product Placement

    By .Lindsey D on Søndag, 5 April 2015 - 5:34pm
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    • Vulture released a series of articles on fanfiction, including an attempt to unravel "My Immortal", and a look at some published authors discussing fanfiction activities. "[T]he undeniable signature of a writer’s fic orientation isn’t eroticism but confession, the frank and extended discussion of emotions. If porn offers men the vision of women whose carnality is neither elusive nor mysterious, fic offers its mostly women readers men whose inner lives are wide-open books — not so easy to find in popular culture. Whether these imaginary Spocks or Justin Biebers are straight or gay, theirs is a love that not only dares to speak its name but will happily go on talking about itself for thousands of words at a time."
    • While fanfic has gone on for not just thousands of words but thousands of years, there are constant claims about what was its first example. A recent one was made by the president of the local chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America. "Thompson has written extensively about Jane Austen fandom, and she has an article coming out in the United Kingdom: “Crafting Jane: Handmade homages and their makers.” Even Jane Austen fandom was ahead of its time. The ultimate contemporary fan tribute is to write your own stories, set in the world of your favorite author-filmmaker. 'I'll be talking about the first translation of ‘Sense and Sensibility' into French from 1817...The writer didn't like the end of the book, so she rewrote it. It represents the first fan fiction.'"
    • ABC Newcastle, Australia sought to find the origins of fandom. "When people can be so unwavering and loyal to their fanaticisms, what are the ethical boundaries around organisations not exploiting their product's fans? Melanie James believes fans can be viewed in different ways. 'Fandom is cultivated by organisations. Football clubs want their fans; movie franchises want their fans...A marketer would look at a fan quite differently [to someone else]. [Marketers could think], 'There is a potential person for me to make a lot of money out of, because they're going to buy the t-shirt, the video, the game, the costume and go to the movies.' They're a commodity.'"
    • Wattpad certainly seems to think so. A story in It Business, Canada reported on a marketing to millennials talk that revealed that product placement is something the company is attempting to use with its writers. For example they have fit "existing stories to brands, with ads for Taylor Swift’s new album performing well inside pieces of fan fiction featuring Taylor Swift. Brands have also written their own stories for Wattpad readers, with writers of the new USA Network TV series Dig writing stories for the platform. Brands have also created a whole campaign around a Wattpad story. The company has a very large following in the Philippines, and Unilever wanted to reach it to promote its Eskinol pimple cream. They commissioned a Wattpad writer to write a story about someone getting a pimple just before a date." Their strategy is to obscure the marketing aspect as much as possible. "When we failed, it obviously looked and felt like an ad."

    How have you seen fanworks being co-opted for marketing use? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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