Announcement

  • Ways to support the OTW this December

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 5 December 2013 - 11:52pm
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    2013 is almost over, and all of us at the OTW are grateful for the tremendous support shown by our members and donors this year. If you've been thinking about donating to the OTW but haven't done so yet, you may want to take a look at your finances and see whether it would be to your benefit to do so before December 31. Donations to the OTW are tax deductible in the United States. And if you're employed, please find out if your employer offers matching donations! Every dollar you give could be worth two dollars to the OTW.

    Cover of the book 'Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World'

    Another way to support the OTW this month is through our ongoing promotion with Smart Pop Books, publisher of Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World. Edited by Anne Jamison and featuring contributions from several current and former OTW staff members, this book would make a great holiday gift for a fellow fan! From now through December 31, if you order the book from Amazon through this referral link, Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to the OTW. They have generously offered to double Amazon's usual affiliate rate, which ranges from 6-8% depending on sale volume, so the OTW will receive 12-16% per book. This promotion applies to both the paperback and Kindle editions.

    We'd like to thank everyone who's already participated in the book promotion — your purchases since October 30 have raised more than US$180 for the OTW! And thank you to all of you who have donated to the OTW throughout the year — we are very grateful for your support.

  • OTW 2013 Election update

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 1 December 2013 - 9:18pm
    Message type:
    Tags:

    Banner by Diane of a 3 line checkbox with the choices 'OTW', 'Elections News' and a checkmark next to 'Make your voices heard'

    The following post was written by Elections Officer Eylul Dogruel to bring OTW members up-to-date results for the election in 2013 and on decisions made by the OTW Board in response to the lack of candidates standing.

    Open seats and candidacies

    The OTW Board of Directors is elected by the membership of the OTW, with one-third of the nine Board seats up for election every year. Thus, for 2013, there were three seats up for election. Two of these seats are held Ira Gladkova and Kristen Murphy, who will be completing their three-year terms at the end of this year. The remaining seat is currently vacant; it was previously held by Francesca Coppa and Maia Bobrowicz.

    There is also a fourth vacant seat, one previously held by Julia Beck. Since this seat was last up for election in 2011, it will be up for election again in 2014.

    All eligible OTW staffers received a message in early September, which notified them of their eligibility for Board and encouraged them to run. The deadline was the end of September, which was then extended by two weeks, at the end of which no candidates had come forward.

    Is the OTW in trouble? Is there something going on?

    The answer to the first question is no. The answer to the second question is somewhat involved.

    One reason for the lack of director candidates this year is the eligibility requirements. The main requirement for eligibility to run for the Board of Directors is nine months' prior service as an OTW staffer. This requirement naturally limits the number of potential candidates.

    Adding to the previous issue is that the OTW has been going through some long but needed transformations in its staffing process over the last year. The volunteer intake process has changed radically, and is now much more in line with non-profit best practices. Unfortunately what this also means is that there were no new staffers inducted for an almost six-month period from 2012 to 2013, and that even now many committees are understaffed and working on preparing to recruit, recruiting or training new staffers. These are very positive medium- and long-term developments, but in the short term they mean that experienced staffers are in especially short supply this year. As a matter of fact, several eligible staffers expressed interest in running for the Board in the future, but were concerned that leaving their committees or projects at this point would be too damaging.

    Can't you relax/revise the eligibility requirements?

    The Board considered this question in August 2013 after seeking input on it from OTW staffers. The conclusion that they came to, after considering staffers' opinions, was to leave the eligibility requirements in place. (However, they did clarify them so as to fit the revised staff and volunteer intake processes.) The OTW is a large and very complex organization that is very different from many other non-profits, and less than nine months' service on staff is simply not enough time to become familiar enough with the OTW's structure and workings. The decision was that allowing candidates to run for Board with less than that amount of experience and proven commitment would be detrimental to the Board and to the OTW as a whole.

    Board decision and next steps

    The Board of Directors has decided to make appointments to fill the three full term seats as candidates become available. In line with the previous board decision earlier this year concerning vacant seats, the fourth seat that has one year remaining will not be available for appointment. It is the consensus of the Board that appointing anyone to less than a two year term does not give them enough time to become familiar with the workload and expectations of being an OTW Director, and would be unfair both to appointees and the Board.

    The Board is currently anticipating a more detailed process of introducing appointees to the OTW membership than with previous appointments. More details on this will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, the Board encourages any staffer who is eligible for Board now or who will be eligible in 2014, and is thinking of running for a seat or who would like to be considered for an appointment, to reach out to the Elections Officer.

  • Stargatefan has found a fully charged ZPM and is dialing up the ÅO3!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 4 November 2013 - 7:10pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Diane saying 'Welcome to the AO3: Stargatefan joins the archive!' with the stargate serving as the O in AO3

    In this post:


    Background explanation

    Open Doors is pleased to welcome StargateFan, a gen Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis archive, to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

    In its new home, StargateFan will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction, fan art, and fan comics housed on the current archive. We will begin manually importing works from StargateFan to the AO3 collection in December 2013.

    What does this mean for creators who have work on StargateFan?

    This is the part where we ask for your help!

    1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your StargateFan works there, please contact Open Doors with your StargateFan pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (We can also e-mail you instructions for mass-adding works to the new collection here on the AO3.)

    2. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your StargateFan pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (We can e-mail further instructions for importing stories and adding them to the new collection here on the AO3.)

    3. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your StargateFan pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (If you would not mind them being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too—we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.)

    All works imported on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with their name in the summary of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work.

    All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 3 months, unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

    If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your StargateFan account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's fantastic; if not, we will work with the StargateFan mod to confirm your claims.)

    If you still have 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.

    We're also planning to hold two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): *November 13, from 02:00UTC to 0:500UTC*, and *November 23, from 20:00UTC to 23:00UTC* (click the links to see when the chats are held in your timezone). You can access OTW's public discussion chatroom using this link.

    Anyone with questions about the process is welcome to join the Open Doors team at those chats, and we’ll do our best to answer you. We'd also love it if fans could stop by to reminisce and help us preserve the story of StargateFan and on Fanlore--no wiki editing skills needed! Of course, if you would like to edit on your own, your contributions would be very welcome. <3 (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)

    We're excited to be able to help preserve StargateFan!

    - The Open Doors team

  • Buy a book and support the OTW!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 5:43pm
    Message type:

    Looking for something new to read? Want to support the OTW? Here's a way to do both!

    Cover of the book 'Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World'

    Smart Pop Books is the publisher of Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, a new book edited by Anne Jamison and featuring contributions from several current and former OTW staff members, including an essay about the Archive of Our Own.

    From now through December 31, if you order the book from Amazon through this referral link, Smart Pop will donate a percentage of the proceeds to OTW. They have generously offered to double Amazon's usual affiliate rate, which ranges from 6-8% depending on sale volume, so OTW will receive 12-16% per book.

    From the book's summary:

    Fic is a groundbreaking exploration of the history and culture of fan writing and what it means for the way we think about reading, writing, and authorship. It’s a story about literature, community, and technology — about what stories are being told, who’s telling them, how, and why.

    With provocative discussions from both professional and fan writers, on subjects from Star Trek to The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Harry Potter, Twilight, and beyond, Fic sheds light on the widely misunderstood world(s) of fanfiction — not only how fanfiction is transforming the literary landscape, but how it already has.

    Here's the referral link again. Thank you to Smart Pop Books and Anne Jamison for this opportunity, and as always, thank you for supporting the OTW. Happy reading!

  • Feedback for Comics Categories

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 - 9:47pm
    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 AO3 Category Change workgroup comes seeking your opinion again!

    After analyzing the past round of feedback, we want to address what we believe was the most contentious point: how to organize the Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art subcategories. Continue reading on AO3

  • Comment Period Extended for Fandom Skills Stories

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 13 October 2013 - 3:21pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Diane of a man and a woman in profile with the OTW logo and the words 'OTW Announcement' in speech bubbles

    On October 3, the OTW's Legal Committee asked for fans to submit stories of how they developed new skills or knowledge as a result of their fandom involvement.

    We asked for people to contribute stories until October 10th since Legal had to submit comments by October 14th. This deadline has been moved forward to November so we can now continue to accept stories until October 30.

    If you would like to submit your own story, please use Legal's contact form. And thank you to all those who have already participated!

  • German Speaking Slashers United zieht um ins Archive of Our Own!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 - 5:49pm
    Message type:

    Click for English language version
    GSSU logo of the letters on a white background with the two S letters as bent male figures

    In diesem Eintrag:

    Hintergrunderklärung

    Bettina, die GSSU (German Speaking Slashers United)-Archivarin, erstellte das Archiv im Jahr 2000 als Zusatz zur deutschsprachigen Querstrich-Mailingliste. Obwohl die Mailingliste immer noch existiert, wanderten viele Mitglieder in andere Bereiche wie LiveJournal/Dreamwidth, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. ab. Aufgrund dessen und wegen der niedrigen Postingaktivität in den letzten Jahren, kündigte Bettina in 2012 an, das Archiv zu schließen. Da dies für sie eine schwierige Entscheidung war und sie einen wichtigen Teil der deutschsprachigen Fandomgeschichte erhalten wollte, stimmte Open Doors bereitwillig zu, die Fanwerke des GSSU im Archive of Our Own zu erhalten.

    Im neuen Zuhause erhält das GSSU eine separate, durchsuchbare Sammlung mit einer eigenen Identität für alle Fangeschichten aus dem Originalarchiv. Mit dem Import des GSSU in diese AO3-Sammlung beginnen wir im November 2013.

    Was bedeutet das für Urheber, die Fanwerke im GSSU haben?

    Das ist der Punkt wo wir eure Hilfe brauchen!

    1. Wenn du schon ein AO3-Nutzerkonto hast und bereits deine GSSU-Fanwerke selbst hochgeladen hast (oder dies gerne selbst machen würdest!), bitte kontaktiere Open Doors oder die Archivarin unter gssuarchivist at gmail.com mit deinem GSSU-Pseudonym(en) und E-Mail-Adresse(n), damit wir deine Geschichten nicht importieren. (Wir können dir auch eine Anleitung schicken, wie man eine grosse Anzahl Geschichten gleichzeitig zur neuen AO3-Sammlung hinzufügt: http://archiveofourown.org/collections/GSSU.)

    2. Wenn du kein AO3-Nutzerkonto hast, aber gerne eines möchtest, um deine Geschichten selber zu importieren, bitte kontaktiere Open Doors oder die Archivarin unter gssuarchivist at gmail.com mit deinem GSSU Pseudonym(en) und deiner bevorzugten E-Mail-Adresse, damit wir dir eine AO3-Einladung schicken können. (Wir können dir eine Anleitung schicken, wie du deine Geschichten importieren und sie zur neuen AO3-Sammlung hinzufügen kannst: http://archiveofourown.org/collections/GSSU.)

    3. Wenn du deine Geschichten NICHT importiert haben möchtest, bitte kontaktiere Open Doors oder die Archivarin unter gssuarchivist at gmail.com mit deinem GSSU-Pseudonym(en) und deiner E-Mail-Adresse(n), damit wir deine Geschichten nicht importieren. (Wenn du nichts dagegen hast, dass deine Geschichten dem Archiv erhalten bleiben, aber du sie nicht mit deinem Namen assoziiert haben möchtest, dann lass uns das auch wissen. Anstelle deine Geschichten zurück zu lassen, wo sie gelöscht werden, können wir sie anonymisieren.)

    Alle Fanwerke, die im Auftrag der Urheber importiert wurden, werden in der Inhaltsangabe der Geschichte mit dem Autorennamen versehen. Im Zuge des Imports werden wir E-Mail-Mitteilungen an die Adresse, die mit der Geschichte assoziiert ist, verschicken.

    Alle importierten Geschichten werden anfangs nur für eingeloggte AO3-Nutzer sichtbar sein. (Nachdem du deine Geschichten mit deinem eigenen AO3-Nutzer verbunden hast, kannst du sie für alle sichtbar machen, wenn du möchtest.) Nach 3 Monaten werden die von niemanden beanspruchten, importierten Geschichten für alle Besucher sichtbar gemacht.

    Wenn du keinen Zugang zu dem E-Mail-Account mehr hast, der mit deinen Geschichten im GSSU-Archiv assoziiert ist, bitte kontaktiere Open Doors und wir werden dir aushelfen. (Wenn du deine Geschichten woanders gepostet hast oder sonst beweisen kannst, dass es deine Geschichten sind, dann ist das toll. Wenn nicht, dann werden wir mit der GSSU-Archivarin zusammenarbeiten um deinen Anspruch zu bestätigen.

    Wenn du noch weitere Fragen hast…

    Wenn du noch weitere Fragen hast, besuche die Open Doors FAQ Seite, kontaktiere das Open Doors Komitee oder hinterlasse hier einen Kommentar, und wir werden so schnell wie möglich antworten.

    Wir planen auch zwei öffentliche Chats auf Campfire (der vom OTW benutzten Online Chat Plattform): 19 October 2013 10:00:00 UTC und 26 October 2013 16:00:00 UTC((klick den Link um zu sehen, wann die Chats in deiner Zeitzone stattfinden). Du kannst auf den öffentlichen Diskussions-Chatraum der OTW unter diesem Link zugreifen.

    Jeder, der Fragen zu dem Prozess hat, ist eingeladen, an den Chats mit dem Open Doors-Team teilzunehmen, und wir werden unser Bestes tun, um eure Fragen zu beantworten. Wir würden uns auch freuen, wenn Fans daran teilnehmen würden, um in Erinnerungen zu schwelgen und so die Geschichte des GSSU und die Geschichte des deutschsprachigen Fandoms auf Fanlore zu bewahren—man benötigt dafür keine Wiki-Editierkenntnisse! Natürlich, wenn du das Fanlore-Wiki gerne selbständig editieren möchtest, sind deine Beiträge sehr willkommen. <3 (Ist das Editieren eines Wiki neu für dich? Kein Problem, besuche einfach diese Seite.)

    Wir freuen uns, bei der Erhaltung eines Teils der Geschichte des deutschsprachigen Fandoms zu helfen, und sind Stolz, das German Speaking Slashers United-Archiv im AO3 willkommen zu heißen!

    - Das Open Doors-Team

  • German Speaking Slashers United is moving to the Archive of Our Own!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 - 5:43pm
    Message type:

    Hier klicken für die deutsche Fassung

    GSSU logo of the letters on a white background with the two S letters as bent male figures

    In this post:

    Background explanation

    Bettina, the GSSU (German Speaking Slashers United) moderator, created the archive in 2000 to complement the Querstrich mailing list. While this mailing list still exists, the German-speaking fannish contingent it serves has migrated to other channels like LiveJournal/Dreamwidth, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Due to this and low posting activity in the last few years, Bettina announced in 2012 that she would be closing the archive. Realising this was a difficult decision for her, and wanting to help preserve an important part of German-Speaking Fandom's history, Open Doors readily agreed to preserve the works on the Archive of Our Own.

    In its new home, GSSU will be a separate, searchable collection with its own identity for all of the fan fiction housed on the original archive. We will begin importing works from the GSSU to the AO3 collection in November 2013.

    What does this mean for creators who have work on GSSU?

    This is the part where we ask for your help!

    1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your GSSU works there yourself (or would like to do so!), please contact Open Doors or gssuarchivist at gmail dot com with your GSSU pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your stories. (We can also e-mail you instructions for bulk-adding stories to the new collection on the AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/collections/GSSU.)

    2. If you don’t have an AO3 account but would like one to import your stories yourself, please contact Open Doors or gssuarchivist at gmail dot com with your GSSU pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (We can e-mail further instructions for importing stories and adding them to the new collection on the AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/collections/GSSU.)

    3. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors or gssuarchivist at gmail dot com with your GSSU pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (If you would not mind them being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too; we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.)

    All works imported on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with their name in the summary of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work.

    All imported works will initially be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. (Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose.) After 3 months, unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

    If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your works on GSSU, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (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 GSSU archivist to confirm your claims.)

    If you still have 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.

    We're also planning to hold two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses): 19 October 2013 at 10:00:00 UTC, and 26 October 2013 at 16:00:00 UTC (click the links to see when the chats are held in your timezone). You can access OTW's public discussion chatroom using this link.

    Anyone who has questions about the process is welcome to join the Open Doors team at those chats, and we’ll do our best to answer you. We'd also love it if fans could stop by to reminisce and help us preserve the story of GSSU and the history of German-Speaking Fandom on Fanlore--no wiki editing skills needed! Of course, if you would like to edit on your own, your contributions would be very welcome. <3 (New to wiki editing? No worries, just visit this page.)

    We're delighted to help preserve this slice of German-speaking fandom history, and proudly welcome the German Speaking Slashers United archive to the AO3!

    - The Open Doors team

  • Your Personal Fandom Stories Are Urgently Needed!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 3 October 2013 - 4:44pm
    Message type:

    The OTW's Legal Advocacy project has stood up for fans' rights to create and share, helping individual fans with legal questions and making fans' collective voices heard in court cases.

    Recently, our Legal Committee asked for fans to help by providing either media stories or personal stories of takedown requests and actions that have made fans hesitant to create or share fanworks.

    Your help is needed again! The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are seeking public comments on copyright policy issues, including the legal framework for the creation of remixes. The window for these submissions is short -- they must be in by October 14, so we need to act now.

    The Legal Committee is thus looking for stories of how fandom has helped fans in day-to-day life. We need you to share your individual stories with concrete examples. For example, perhaps being in fandom has helped you to learn a language, helped you in school, or helped you improve skills that you use elsewhere — skills such as writing, video editing, coding websites, audio editing, or anything else. We don't need personal information from you, but the more specific the story, the better.

    Our attorneys will use your stories to explain to these agencies, which are likely to propose new legislation about copyright, why any change in copyright law should favor freedom to make transformative works. We succeeded before with the DMCA remix exemptions, but only because we were able to share specific stories from vidders. Now we need stories of all kinds.

    We also need them soon! Please provide us with your stories by October 10, as our team needs time to work with them before the submission deadline of the 14th.

    To submit your story, please use the Legal Committee's contact form.

    And if the OTW's legal advocacy work is important to you, please consider making a donation to support our ongoing efforts. Thank you!

  • Legal Needs Your Help!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 5:42pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Diane of two people talking with word balloons that contain the OTW logo and 'OTW Announcement'

    The OTW's Legal Advocacy project engages in legal cases and responds to fan requests that involve matters of U.S. copyright and fans' rights to engage in fan practices such as creating fanworks.

    But now our Legal Committee needs your help. We are helping with some (confidential, for now) court filings and would like to use the following information to help the drafters shape the arguments. We might possibly include fans' stories of facing legal difficulties, but would only do that with express permission from the fan.

    What we need is the following:

    (1) DMCA take-downs. We'd like to hear from fans who have received DMCA takedown requests for their transformative fanworks and have had to decide whether to counter-notify that their fanworks are fair use and therefore don't violate copyright law. We'd like to hear what they decided to do, why they made that decision, and what the outcome was for them.

    AND

    (2) Fans who’ve been told that their transformative fanworks violate someone’s rights of publicity, or who have considered rights of publicity in deciding whether or not to make a fanwork. We're particularly interested in published accounts about the relationship between fandom and rights of publicity.

    In both cases, all communications will remain entirely confidential. We won't tell anyone's story or use anyone's name (or pseudonym) without their express permission. But we want to make contact with people who have faced these situations -- their stories will help us make legal arguments that, we hope, will prevent future challenges and take-downs of fans and fanworks.

    If you have experienced either of these two things, or encountered news items about either of them, please contact Legal. If you know of someone who has experienced a DMCA takedown request, please direct them to this post. We need to hear from people by October 11. Thanks for your help!

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