The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization run by and for fans to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures.
Books, Commercial Works Authors, Fanfiction, Intellectual Property, News of Note
At The Washington Post, Jessica Contrera looked at publishing and fanfiction. "'Fan fiction has absolutely become part of the fiber of what we publish,' said Jennifer Bergstrom, vice president and publisher of Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. 'This is changing at a time when traditional publishing needs it most.'” Established authors are getting on the bandwagon. "English crime writer P.D. James’s Austen-inspired book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' became a BBC TV movie...Scottish crime writer Val McDermid’s take on 'Northanger Abbey' was published in April. These books don’t typically market themselves as fan fiction. Instead, they’re 'inspired by' or 'a retelling.'"
DMCA, Legal Advocacy, Legal Committee, Spotlight
In April, OTW's legal team filed an amicus brief in Garcia v. Google. In that brief, we asked the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear the case, which dealt with the internet "safe harbor" provisions that protect intermediaries (like YouTube and the AO3) from liability for user-created content. A three-judge panel of the court had issued a ruling that ignored these safe harbors and imposed liability on Google for material that its users posted. As we noted then, it was a case of "bad facts make bad law," since the plaintiff -- an actress tricked into taking part in the film Innocence of Muslims -- has good reason to want the film taken down. But in creating what might have seemed a just result in that case, the panel disrupted Congress's intent in passing the safe harbor laws and created potentially chilling risks to free speech.
Academia, Activism, Sports, Zines, News of Note
The University of Iowa libraries, which partner with the OTW's Open Doors project, have announced a major fanzine digitization project. "10,000 science fiction fanzines will be digitized from the James L. 'Rusty' Hevelin Collection, representing the entire history of science fiction as a popular genre and providing the content for a database that documents the development of science fiction fandom."