The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization run by and for fans to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Changing & Changed

    Tagi: Anime and Manga, Gender and Sexuality, News of Note, Comics, 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

    Tagi: 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

    Tagi: DMCA, Announcement, Intellectual Property, Takedowns, Legal Advocacy, 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.