• Yuletide chat reminder

    Tags: Open Doors, Event, Open Doors Committee

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

    Just a reminder that Open Doors will be holding two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses) for Yuletide participants. The first will be on April 26, 4pm UTC (what time is that in my timezone?)

    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 would also like to direct Yuletide participants to our announcement post as it has been updated with information about the import of comments. Please read the section beginning with Edited to say as we will NOT be able to add backdated comments to works after the import in May.

  • OTW Fannews: Wherefore fandom?

    Tags: Fannish Endings, News of Note, Gaming, Sports, Fannish Communities, Fannish Practices

    Banner by Lisa of grafitti with the words

    Kristin Bezio wrote at The Learned Fangirl about responses to a post on Anita Sarkeesian, and defended critical fandom. "This commenter clearly has no concept of how popular culture reflects and shapes society, and I’m fairly certain I’m not going to be able to convince him (presumably) that it does, since he appears to be one of those people who doesn’t realize that his opinions about the universe have been constructed by his life-long exposure to media (including games) and society. Clearly his opinions were plopped into his brain by Truth Itself."

  • The OTW Merchandise Store is coming!

    Tags: Announcement, Development & Membership Committee, Financial Support

    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!

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Changing & Changed

    Tags: Anime and Manga, Gender and Sexuality, Comics, News of Note, Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality, Commercial Works Authors, Music, Fannish Practices

    Banner by Bremo of Pikachu dancing in excitement while a horde of other Pokémon characters look on in annoyance.

    Slate was among several sites which wrote about the fanfiction-writing, Avengers-loving Ms Marvel. However, Slate also pointed out the important role fandom had in launching her. "A diverse and exuberant fan community, the Carol Corps, emerged almost overnight and began tweeting, blogging and cosplaying their love for both the character and DeConnick. (It’s worth noting that in addition to offering sharp writing and great stories, the new series let Carol trade her revealing leotard and domino mask for an actual body-covering uniform.)"

  • Comment period open for FAQ and ToS Updates

    Tags: Archive of Our Own, Announcement, Content Policy

    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'

    Our Content Policy workgroup has been at work on some FAQ updates and Terms of Service (ToS) changes for the Archive of Our Own which have now been approved by the OTW Board. This post begins a two-week open comment period so that AO3 users can leave feedback on these changes before they are added to the current ToS and FAQ pages.

    The ToS changes are mainly small wording changes that reflect the way AO3 features have evolved from the time in which the document was originally drafted. There is one policy change that will not make a significant difference in our practices but may be of particular interest to users, which is our adoption of a DMCA policy similar to that of Wikipedia's. It takes fair use into account, but also provides us with more protection in case we are threatened by copyright trolls.

    Continue reading on AO3 News

  • OTW Legal Files Amicus Brief in Garcia v. Google

    Tags: DMCA, Legal Advocacy, Announcement, Intellectual Property, Takedowns, YouTube, Technology

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

    In our continuing effort to protect against online censorship that would harm fans, last week, the OTW filed an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v. Google. The case involves the scope and application of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which together prevent content hosts -- like YouTube, the AO3, and many others -- from being liable for what their users post.

    This case is partly a classic example 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 response to her request, the court not only applied a tortured interpretation of copyright law (an issue addressed in many other briefs filed with the court at the same time), but also ignored important anti-censorship "safe harbor" laws.

  • OTW Fannews: Copyright threats and benefits

    Tags: News of Note, Intellectual Property, Books, Music, Television, Fan Videos, Entertainment Industries

    Banner by Erin of a shield bearing the logos of several digital rights organizations.

    The Asahi Shimbum detailed fan concerns about the TPP. "Usami and other creators of fan fiction, however, could face the possibility of legal prosecution as copyright violators in the future, depending on the outcome of TPP negotiations. Some countries are apparently demanding that Japan clamp down on knock-off and pirated works in the intellectual property arena, even if the copyright holder does not object to it. Under current Japanese copyright law, authorities take action only after the copyright holder, such as the artist of the original work or publisher, lodges a formal complaint."

  • OTW Fannews: Acafans of today and tomorrow

    Tags: Conferences, Comics, News of Note, Fan Conventions, Fanfiction, Academia

    Banner by caitie of the OTW logo wearing a mortarboard with the post title written on lined paper

    For those fans who enjoyed the OTW's academic panel chat you may also want to look at Participations: Dialogues on the Participatory Promise of Contemporary Culture and Politics. This conversation among seven academics included Sarah Banet-Weiser, Nancy Baym, Francesca Coppa, David Gauntlett, Jonathan Gray, Henry Jenkins and Adrienne Shaw. Coppa discusses Welcome to Night Vale: "[I]t looks to me like something that could have been invented by an artist trying to imagine Henry’s definition of transmedia’s best self: radio, so giving fans an opportunity to imagine the visuals individually and collectively, which they have done with gusto; central characters who are queer and of color; an open invitation to make other things for and in the world (I wouldn’t even say 'an invitation to fans,' because, in a way, we’re not fans; we’re explicitly framed as citizens of Night Vale)."

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom self-discoveries

    Tags: News of Note, Commercial Works Authors, Fanfiction, Fannish Communities

    Banner by Diane of the post title with the OTW logo exploding in fireworks.

    Two articles popped up recently that showed how introducing people to fanfiction through, well, fiction could spark discoveries. At Book Riot, Cassandra Neace used Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl as a way to jumpstart her imagination. "This is what I’ve learned: writers of fan fiction are incredibly capable and inventive...I even, at one point, dabbled in writing my own because it occurred to me that it was a great way to get used to writing on a regular basis. When the stress of world-building is taken away, it’s much easier to let the words flow. Eventually, the act of writing becomes so comfortable that the idea of building my own world from the ground up isn’t as intimidating as it once was."

  • Our Legal & AO3 projects are looking for volunteers!

    Tags: Abuse Committee, Volunteering, Legal Committee, Volunteers & Recruiting

    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 volunteers!

    Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

    • Abuse Committee Staff - Closing 21 April 2014 UTC
    • Legal Staff - Closing 21 April 2014 UTC
    • Volunteers & Recruiting Staff - Closing 21 April 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.

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