• Video de la OTW ¡16 veces mejor!

    By Ridicully on Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 7:10pm
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    Imagen hecha por Diane con las siluetas de un hombre y una mujer hablando con burbujas de texto, una de las cuales tiene el logotipo de la OTW y otra que dice 'Anuncio de laOTW'

    En abril, la OTW (Organización para las Obras Transformativas ) dio a conocer un video que presentaba nuestro trabajo en resumen y daba una introducción a las obras fandomeras a los no-fans. Los siguientes equipos voluntarios de traducción han creado subtítulos para el video en los siguientes idiomas: alemán, árabe, catalán, chino, español, finés, francés, holandés, húngaro, indonesio, italiano, polaco, portugués, ruso, sueco y turco

    Para activar los subtítulos en el idioma de tu elección en el video siguiente, da click en el botón "CC" que se encuentra al lado de las opciones de volumen y HD:

    Todos estos subtítulos también están disponibles en la versión del video hospedada en YouTube. Simplemente da click en el botón rectangular Captions/CC en la esquina inferior derecha del video y selecciona el idioma.

    Si deseas descargar una copia del video con tus subtítulos en el idioma de tu elección, usa el enlace listado abajo:

    ¡Muchas gracias a quienes trabajaron en la traducción de este proyecto!

    ¡A nuestro equipo de traducción le encantaría el tener este video narrado en tantos idiomas como sea posible! ¿Puedes ayudarnos? Si hablas con soltura y claridad en un idioma (¡o en más de uno!) que sea diferente al inglés y quieres grabar un segmento de audio, por favor contáctanos. ¡Sería un placer trabajar contigo!

  • OTW Video with 16 times the goodness!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 6:45pm
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    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    The OTW released a video in April that provides an overview of our work and gives non-fans an introduction to fannish works. Our translation volunteers have now produced captions for the video in the following languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

    To enable subtitles in your language of choice on the video below, click on the "CC" button next to the volume and HD options.

    All these subtitles are also available on the video we have hosted on YouTube. Just click on the rectangular Captions/CC button in the lower right hand corner of the video and select the language.

    If you wish to download a copy of the video with your preferred subtitles, use the links below:

    Special thanks to all the volunteer translators who worked on this project!

    Our Translation team would also love to have this video narrated in as many languages as possible! Can you help? If you're fluent in a language (or more!) other than English and are willing to help record the voiceover track, please contact us. We'd be thrilled to work with you!

  • Sherlock Free after Appeal!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 - 5:50pm
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    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    A few months ago, OTW's Legal Committee advised fans of some promising results in a case involving copyright on Sherlock Holmes stories: a U.S. Federal District Court had held that because copyright had expired on all but ten of the stories in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes canon, all elements of the Holmes canon that were first introduced before 1923 -- including the characters of Holmes and Watson as they existed pre-1923 -- were in the public domain. After that post, The Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. (or "CDE"), appealed the decision.

    Now, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in the case, and the appeals result is, if anything, even more favorable than the earlier opinion by the District Court. (There is still a fairly remote possibility that the CDE will attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court, although it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would have any interest in taking the case.) The upshot is that, as a matter of copyright law, everything that originated in the first 50 stories and novels of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Canon is entirely copyright-free. Only "original elements" from Conan Doyle's last 10 stories remain protected in the U.S. through 2022. (Everywhere else in the world, copyright has expired in those stories, as well.) This means that since nearly everything we know about the characters of Holmes and Watson was set forth in the first 50 stories, for practical purposes, Conan Doyle's Holmes and Watson are now "fair game" for creators.

    The court explicitly recognized that extended copyright protection would chill creativity. As the judgment states:

    "[E]xtending copyright protection is a two-edged sword from the standpoint of inducing creativity, as it would reduce the incentive of subsequent authors to create derivative works (such as new versions of popular fictional characters like Holmes and Watson) by shrinking the public domain...With the net effect on creativity of extending the copyright protection of literary characters to the extraordinary lengths urged by the estate so uncertain, and no legal grounds suggested for extending copyright protection beyond the limits fixed by Congress, the estate’s appeal borders on the quixotic.

    The spectre of perpetual, or at least nearly perpetual, copyright (perpetual copyright would violate the copyright clause of the Constitution, Art. I, § 8, cl. 8, which authorizes copyright protection only for “limited Times”) looms, once one realizes that the Doyle estate is seeking 135 years (1887–2022) of copyright protection for the character of Sherlock Holmes as depicted in the first Sherlock Holmes story."

    What does this ruling mean for fans? First, since it makes clear that the original-recipe Holmes and Watson are in the public domain, it means that fans of the original Conan Doyle Canon will seldom have to wonder whether their Doyle Canon fanworks are fair use. Fair use remains important for Holmes fans, however, since U.S. copyright still protects not only the last 10 Conan Doyle stories, but also the sources for many Holmes fandoms, such as the Warner Brothers Holmes, Elementary, and BBC Sherlock. For these fans, fair use principles still protect their right to create fanworks.

    The ruling will also make it more difficult for the CDE to restrict commercial adaptations of the canon, something that's good for all fans of Holmes and Watson.

    More importantly, however, this case represents a court's acknowledgement of something that the OTW has been saying for a long time: that the law should encourage creation of works that build on preexisting works.

    OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt consulted on this case, and we extend our congratulations to her and to the legal team for the plaintiffs. As we stated after the initial judgment: "The case also has broader implications for U.S. copyright in serialized works. Many now-famous characters were introduced in series that started in the early 20th century, but continued for decades or more after then. This ruling establishes the principle that all of those characters have the public domain more quickly than some had originally thought." So it's possible that many more fandoms will be celebrating the public domain status of their canon in the future.

  • Transformative Works and Cultures releases No. 16

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 - 4:26pm
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    Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine.

    Transformative Works and Cultures has released issue No. 16, "Materiality and Object-Oriented Fandom," guest edited by Bob Rehak, Swarthmore College. This issue features academic articles that focus specifically on the materiality of fan objects and on object-oriented fandom. The Open Access Gold online multimedia journal has collected scholarly essays, personal essays, and book reviews that seek to bridge fan and academic writers and readers.

    Editor Bob Rehak notes that even though fan objects have always been a central part of fan cultures, collected and cherished symbols of fannish passion, scholarship has often ignored them in favor of fan texts: "Solid forms of fan engagement have often been rendered taboo by fan studies that privilege textual over tactile engagement." In this issue, Rehak brings together a variety of scholars whose work discusses the cultural significance of fan objects, comics,video games,movie fandoms, and autoethnography.

    Matt Hills and Benjamin Woo argue for the value of studying material fandom: Hills looks at replica props to introduce what he terms mimetic fandom, which, he argues, transcends the text/reality boundaries, whereas Woo studies limitations of space for fans and their fan objects. Dorus Hoebink, Stijn Reijnders, and Abby Waysdorf offer a case study of the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, while Luke Sharp discusses the diversity of Japanese maid cafés. The material objects discussed in this issue include Lincoln Geraghty's analysis of Hard Rock Café Pins and Ian M. Peters's video game feelies. Several essays look at the embodiment of fannish engagement, such as Matt

    Yockey's case study of comic book artist Don Glut and his early fan films, and Matthew Ogonoski's discussion of cosplay and its Japanese origins.

    In the Symposium section, which features shorter, more personal essays, Forrest Phillips describes lightsaber makers,Bethan Jones discusses her fannish tattoos, and wordplay provides an account of her journey through Glee fandom. The three interviews present the readers with Batmobile maker Mark Racop, early and important vidder Kandy Fong, and Dana Sterling Bode's "Beyond Souvenirs: Making Fannish Items by Hand," which collects interviews with several fan makers. The issue concludes with the reviews of three important books: Michael S. Duffy's review of Lincoln Geraghty's Cult Collectors: Nostalgia, Fandom and Collecting Popular Culture; Brandeise Monk-Payton's review of Marc Steinberg's Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan; and Sun-ha Hong's review of Georgina Gregory's Send in the Clones: A Cultural Study of the Tribute Band.

    A general nonthemed issue is slated to appear September 15, 2014. For 2015, TWC has planned two themed issues—European Fans and European Fan Objects (close date for receipt of manuscripts January 1, 2014), and The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work (close date March 1, 2015)—as well as a general nonthemed issue. TWC welcomes submissions from fans and academics alike.

  • Join the OTW at LonCon or Nine Worlds

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 16 June 2014 - 6:12pm
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    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    The OTW has an opportunity to participate in two upcoming fandom-friendly conventions in the UK: Nine Worlds (Aug. 8-10) and LonCon 3, home of this year's WorldCon (Aug. 14-18). We are looking to do meetups for members, fans, and supporters of the OTW and its projects. Depending on the number of members we have in attendance, we may also have the possibility of staffing promotional tables and/or doing workshops or small Q&As for attendees.

    Nine Worlds is a new con created on the premise of embracing fan culture. LonCon will be having a transformative fanworks programming track for the first time in its history this year. This is an important opportunity for OTW to reach new audiences who are primed to learn more about what we do.

    If you are an OTW member who will be attending either of these cons, we would like to invite you to join us in creating an OTW presence. If you are interested in helping by staffing a booth, hosting a meetup, participating in a workshop or other informational session, or just showing up to lend moral support, please email the Development and Membership committee. Even if you aren't able to help staff an OTW event but are going to be at the cons, we would like to hear from you so that we can gauge the potential number of attendees at an OTW meetup event.

    Please feel free to pass the word to friends and supporters of the org who are attending these cons, and don't hesitate to email Development and Membership if you have questions.

    Thanks, and happy con-going!

  • OTW Board to Hold Public Meetings

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 6 June 2014 - 3:53pm
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    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Board'

    As mentioned in the May newsletter, the OTW board would like to announce two recent decisions that we hope will help with accessibility and transparency of our work, and bring more opportunities for both our staff and volunteers, as well as the public, to communicate with us.

    Open Board Meetings

    Effective from June 7, 2014, open section of the board meetings will be held in our Public Discussion chatroom. This will ensure that all volunteers can join the proceedings, as well as interested members of the public. In the future, the hours for the meetings may rotate, both to accommodate the schedules of our directors, as well as to make meeting attendance more accessible for volunteers and fans alike. When rotation times have been determined, they will be announced.

    At the moment and for the foreseeable future, meetings will be held on Saturdays at 18:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?).

    For anyone unable to attend meetings, minutes are available on our website within a month of the meeting (as the minutes must first be approved before posting).

    Anyone who would like to suggest an agenda item for the open section of the Board meetings may do so by sending Board a message through the contact form on the OTW website.

    Office hours

    We are establishing “Office hours” for directors. Each director will be available 2 hours a week in the same Public Discussion chatroom. Below is the current weekly schedule for directors:

    Andrea: TBD in September
    Anna: 23:00 UTC – 01:00 UTC on Tuesdays
    Cat: TBD in July
    Eylul: 18:00 UTC- 20:00 UTC on Thursdays
    Sanders: 05:00 UTC-07:00 UTC on Tuesdays

    We hope that this additional time will be an opportunity for volunteers and staffers to get to know directors individually in a more informal setting, as well as have a chance to ask questions and bring issues to our attention in a casual setting. Office hours have begun this week.

  • Franzeska Dickson resigns from OTW Board

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 2 June 2014 - 4:05pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    After almost two years as a Director, we are sorry to announce that Franzeska Dickson will be stepping down from Board service. She is leaving due to personal issues, and while we hate to see her go, we’re pleased she’s taking care of herself and putting her needs first.

    We realize the number of directors is very low right now, and the Board will be holding an internal meeting in June to discuss related topics with staff and volunteers. These will include plans for this year’s elections, the possibility of appointments, and what people would like to see happen with the Board. The Board will have updates on this once the meeting has been held and they have had time to synthesize the ideas from OTW staff and volunteers.

    In the meantime, the OTW would like to take this opportunity to thank Franzi again for her work as Director and for her dedicated service to the organization.

  • Yuletide Archive Move Complete!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 18 May 2014 - 4:48pm
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    Open Doors is proud to finally welcome the Yuletide Archive for 2003-2008 to the Archive of Our Own!

    In this post:

    Background explanation

    In late March, we announced that the early Yuletide archive would be moved to the Archive of Our Own.

    Our senior coders have now completed the import, and all works can be found in the relevant Yuletide Collection on the AO3.

    How will I be notified about my work being imported?

    If the email address you used on still works, you should have already received an email from the Archive inviting you to claim your works.

    If you’ve lost access to the email address you used on, and haven't already contacted the Open Doors committee, use this contact form to let us know the change and we'll forward the claim email. If you've posted the stories elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Yuletide Mods to confirm your claims.

    How do I claim my works?

    The claim email includes a link to the claim page, where you can add your work to your logged-in AO3 account, or create an AO3 account. Once you’ve claimed your work, you’ll be able to edit the work and AO3 tags like any other work you've created.

    I have already added my work to the AO3

    If you used the AO3's Import tool to import your work from the Yuletide website, or you asked us to transfer comments, a duplicate of the work will not be imported.

    However, if you uploaded the work manually and didn't contact Open Doors with your work links before the import, a duplicate was produced with comments from the original archive. Once redirects are set up (scheduled within the next week), the original Yuletide URL will point to this duplicate work.

    If you would like to redirect the Yuletide URL to a particular work on AO3, please delete the imported copy and then contact Open Doors to let us know the original Yuletide URL and the URL of the AO3 work it should be redirected to, in the format

    Yuletide URL:
    AO3 URL to Keep:

    (Once you delete the imported copy, the redirect will break, but we will use your links to fix it as quickly as we can!)

    Unfortunately we are unable to transfer comments now that the import is complete (see below under What about tags, comments and gift notifications? for further information).

    What about tags, comments and gift notifications?

    The original Yuletide archive only includes ratings and fandom names; Yuletide fandoms were automatically converted to AO3 Canonical tags upon import. You are welcome to change or add fandom tags and other tags to your work once you have claimed it.

    Unfortunately we were only able to transfer comments to existing AO3 works if we were notified prior to the import. While manually adding old comments is not allowed, AO3 coders are working on a merge tool that will allow users to combine the comments (as well as other stats: hit counts, kudos, etc.) while keeping a single work body. If you would like to wait for this tool, we recommend including a link to the preferred copy in the duplicate work's Summary to redirect viewers until the merge tool is complete. If you would still like to delete the imported duplicate, we can provide a reference copy of the Yuletide comments page for your work, though these comments may not be manually imported to the AO3.

    Works contain a message "For [Name]". If the recipient has an AO3 account, you’ll be able to assign it to them once you have claimed your work. (Note that their name on the original Yuletide archive and their AO3 name might be different; we advise against assigning it unless you’re sure of their AO3 account name. Try checking this post on the Yuletide Admin LiveJournal community to see if your recipient has posted their AO3 name!)

    I used the Import feature or contacted Open Doors before the import, but my work imported again anyway

    An import bug caused some works to be imported again despite either having been imported using the AO3 import tool or updated by Open Doors. We were able to delete these duplicates and re-import comments for affected works, which sent an import notification to all affected authors; the works listed in those notifications were all works that received re-imported comments.

    I don’t want my work on the AO3

    After you receive the claim email, you can choose to delete or orphan your work. (If you want to delete your work because it's a duplicate, see I have already added my work to the AO3! above.

    The Yuletide Archive mods would much prefer that you orphan your stories (i.e., remove your account association and/or name) rather than delete them. Orphaning of your works on the AO3 does not mean they expect you to orphan them everywhere, however. You are of course, as always, welcome to post your Yuletide stories anywhere else you want to, with whatever attribution you prefer.

    Deletion of your work from the Yuletide Collection will leave you ineligible for participation in future years. If you have any questions about future eligibility, please direct them to the Yuletide mods at yuletideadmin [at]

    I have other questions!

    If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

    Are you a Yuletide participant or do you otherwise enjoy the challenge? Share your memories on Fanlore and keep its story going for future generations—contributions are welcome from all fans! (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)

  • Category Change Final Announcement

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 16 May 2014 - 4:19pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    The Category Change workgroup is ecstatic to present the final version of how fandom browsing will work in the Archive of Our Own in the future.

    This includes deep changes in the way current ‘media categories’ are organized – that is, a heavily reworked grouping of fandoms. You can view current categories in the Fandoms by Media page in the Archive.

    This proposal was elaborated based on internal input and the feedback obtained from Archive users, as well as ensuing discussion within the workgroup. You can learn more about the creation of the workgroup and the issues it arose from in our introductory post.

    Continue reading on AO3 News

  • The OTW Merchandise Store is coming!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 5:34pm
    Message type:

    Red ballpoint pen with OTW logo in white

    The OTW's Development & Membership Committee is working on a permanent OTW merchandise store. It’s our goal to give fans of the OTW and our projects (like AO3 and Fanlore) ways to show your love, give back to the organization, and get swag! When it’s ready, the merchandise store will be available online for anyone to buy without needing to become an OTW member.

    So we need all of you to tell us what kinds of products you’d like to purchase! Would you wear a Fanlore t-shirt? Have you always wanted an AO3 kudos mug? What about an OTW umbrella or a poster with all our projects listed? Whether it's a product you want, or something you'd want on that item, the sky’s the limit!

    You can leave comments here or, as always, drop us an email at devmem [at]

    Check out the OTW’s new donation premiums!

    Although the merchandise store isn't up and running yet, you can already get OTW swag by making a donation of US$50 or above. Even though our membership drive is over, you can donate at any time of year. Here’s a few of the reasons there’s no better time to become a member of the Organization for Transformative Works — new premium rewards for you to select!

    Black tote bag with OTW logo in redDark grey tumbler and straw with OTW logo in red

    Red ballpoint pen with OTW logo in white

    If you decide to become a recurring monthly contributor to the OTW, you can still get premiums! Email the Development & Membership committee and tell us which premium you want your recurring donations to count toward. When your monthly donations have reached the premium amount, we’ll send you cool stuff!

    And thanks for supporting the OTW!


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