• OTW Fannews: Shining a Light

    Tags: Activism, Commercial Works Authors, Fan Videos, Fanfiction, Fannish Histories, Gender and Sexuality, Movies, OTW Sightings, Technology, Television, News of Note

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    OTW Fan Video & Multimedia Committee Chair Tisha Turk gave an interview on "the past, present and potential future of vidding and remix culture, and the murky status of fair use – at least when it comes to monetized remixes on YouTube" as well as her own start as a vidder. Discussing copyright claims on fanwork, she said "One possible analogy would be, if I were making a quilt out of various bolts of fabric I purchased, and I cut these pieces, and I piece them together, and add the backing, and I make this lovely quilt, and the people who made the fabrics show up and say: 'I want a cut.' Or: 'You can’t have the profit, I made the fabric, so hand it over.’"

  • Events Calendar for July 2014

    Tags: Academia, Anime and Manga, Call for Papers, Fan Conventions, Fandoms, Fanfiction, Studies, Television, Event

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    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of July! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

  • Volunteer Recruiting: Wiki Committee Staff, Tag Wrangling Volunteer

    Tags: Tag Wrangling Committee, Volunteers & Recruiting, Wiki Committee, Volunteering

    Banner by Erin of a close-up of Rosie the Riveter's arm with an OTW logo on it and the words 'OTW Recruitment'

    We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Translation Staff and Communications Chair Track Staff. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

    • Wiki Committee Staff - Closing 30 June 2014 UTC
    • Tag Wrangling Volunteer - Closing 30 June 2014 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 volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org 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.

  • Chat with Support (in multiple languages!)

    Tags: Archive of Our Own, Support Committee, Event

    Banner by caitie with 'otw chat' at its center and emoticons and other symbols in word bubbles surrounding it.

    AO3 Support staffers are the people who receive your tickets through the Support and Feedback form and try to respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do their best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.

    So Support will be holding an Open Chat session in our public chat room. They'll be available on Sunday, June 29, 13:00 UTC to June 30, 01:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?). Volunteers will be available to answer inquiries in Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. If you can't make it to this chat, keep an eye out for the next as Support will be doing other chats later this year.

  • OTW Video with 16 times the goodness!

    Tags: OTW Sections, Resources for Fans, Translation Committee, Announcement

    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.

  • Better Understanding Fair Use

    Tags: Legal Advocacy, Legal Committee, Spotlight

    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    Recently, PlagiarismToday attempted to explain “5 Copyright Terms” that are, they felt, being used incorrectly. One of those terms was “Fair Use” - but unfortunately, their attempted explanation fell far short of correct.

    They claim that Fair Use is “infringement of a work where the court has determined that the infringer is not liable”.

    That’s not true. Fair Use is a lawful use of copyright. (See Lenz v. Universal Music Corp, 572 F. Supp. 2d 1150 (N.D. Ca. 2008)). As the US Copyright Office says, Fair Use is a “limitation” on the rights of the owner of copyright, and thus others who have not been authorized by the owner can reproduce the work; courts have held that this reproduction right includes the right to create transformative works.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Creations

    Tags: Fanart, Fanfiction, Fannish Practices, Movies, Sports, News of Note

    Banner by Bremo of an elaborate geometric tattoo on an arm

    • io9 traced the history of the term 'meta'. "Today, the word meta has undergone another transformation, largely because of the intensely self-referential fandom community online... This has meant that many shows have meta episodes that are basically fan service. So meta has become a popular trope, and fans have responded by using the term meta to describe these kinds of episodes. But more importantly, fans have transformed the word meta yet again, turning it from an adjective that describes a kind of story into a noun that refers to a form of fan commentary. These days, any essay, rant, or analysis written by a fan is often dubbed 'a meta.'"
    • Sherlock Free after Appeal!

      Tags: Legal Advocacy, Legal Committee, Announcement

      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.

    • Transformative Works and Cultures releases No. 16

      Tags: Journal Committee, Transformative Works and Cultures, Announcement

      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.

    • Join the OTW at LonCon or Nine Worlds

      Tags: Development & Membership Committee, Fan Conventions, Announcement

      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.