Fanlore, Wiki Committee, Event
While fans are welcome to edit Fanlore at any time of the year, next month the Wiki Committee is organizing a special event. Stub September is a challenge for anyone, newcomers and seasoned Fanlore editors alike, to pick a stub and expand on it. A stub is an article on Fanlore that is under-developed and missing important information. Right now, there are over 1600 existing pages on Fanlore that are already identified as stubs. You're invited to use the list to find a page where you know something about the topic, and edit the page to add your new information. It's as simple as that.
Books, Intellectual Property, OTW Sightings, Sports, News of Note
It's not unusual to find media articles or online posts with dubious declarations about fanworks' legal status, but it's less common to find posts that reconsider the topic. One writer for Business2Community took advice from OTW Legal staffer Heidi Tandy to better explore relevant legal cases and events. "One of the hallmarks of fan fiction is that it must be non-commercial. Yet many of the sites have ads on them – so aren’t they commercial? Not necessarily, says Tandy. 'Since 2002, there’s been a pretty clear distinction about what constitutes commercial vs. non-commercial publishing. I did a panel with Warner Brothers, and posed the question, ‘What if we put Google Ads or become an Amazon affiliate on our fan fiction site as a way to pay our server and hosting bills?’ And they said, ‘We have no problem with self-funding. What we have is a problem is with people selling things as if they are authorized or created by us or the original author.’'”
Fanfiction, Fannish Practices, Music, Technology, Television, News of Note
As fandom has become more visible, the terms it uses have spread out into new areas. At this point various bands have written songs titled "Fan fiction" and Australian musician Geoffrey O'Connor has recently titled a whole album "Fan Fiction", while there is also a band with the same name.
Activism, Cosplay, Legal Advocacy, Public and Private Identities, Announcement
The OTW is partnering with the EFF, io9, Wattpad, The Baker Street Babes,The Harry Potter Alliance, and Southeastern Browncoats to sponsor Project Secret Identity, a cosplay photo campaign to raise awareness of how anonymity and privacy are key to free expression.
Archive of Our Own, Support Committee, Event
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 Saturday, August 30, 13:00 UTC to 19:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?). Volunteers will be available to answer inquiries in Chinese, English, Finnish, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. If you can't make it to this chat, keep an eye out for the next time as Support will be doing other chats later this year.
Business Models, Gaming, Intellectual Property, Movies, Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality, News of Note
In February 2014, OTW Legal submitted comments to the European Commission in regards to its copyright regulations review. Now a report is out summing up the responses. "The results are not entirely surprising and very clear: we have a strong divide among copyright stakeholders with end users and institutional users (e.g. libraries, archives, universities) strongly in favor of copyright reform and authors, collective management organizations, publishers and producers in favor of the current copyright system."
Volunteers & Recruiting, Report
We are pleased to announce that the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee has published its 2013 Annual Report (PDF or HTML). This is the second annual report the committee has produced, and the first one available to non-OTW personnel. Our committee handles various tasks for the OTW, the main one being to assist our committees in finding volunteers, and to process individuals into and out of the organization.
Books, Comics, Fannish Communities, Gender and Sexuality, News Media, Television, News of Note
TIME's James Poniewozik examined why different media fandoms need to play nice. "Outlander the TV series is an adaptation, which Starz–like HBO or AMC or any other adapter–is making for an audience that, ideally, will be far larger than the readership alone. Can you not have a legitimate opinion on them unless you have read the source books–and unless you love the source books and are invested in a series you haven’t yet seen? Are the old fans the true fans, the authentic fans, the authoritative fans? Can you truly appreciate and understand an adaption without reading the source–or is it actually a handicap?"
Intellectual Property, Legal Advocacy, Legal Committee, Remix, Event
The OTW's Legal Committee has been representing fans in a series of discussions dubbed "The Green Paper Roundtable", which are part of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)'s efforts to seek public comments on copyright policy issues.
The OTW's earlier participation led to our team having a seat in these ongoing discussions to advise the NTIA/PTO on a legal framework for the creation of remixes.
Books, Fandoms, Fannish Communities, Gender and Sexuality, News of Note
An Autostraddle post explored the influence of femslash. "I didn’t find femslash until I was 17. I can’t remember the exactly when but I do remember the exactly what: Ginny Weasley and Pansy Parkinson. I noticed that Ginny seemed a lot happier and more alive with Pansy than she ever did with Harry, kind of like how teenage me was noticing that I hated being around boys but was positively radiant in a girl’s presence. You can actually track the evolution of my sexuality with the fanfiction I read and wrote: the more comfortable I became with my hugely gay life, the more hugely gay my bookshelf was, fanfiction included."