AO3 News

Post Header

Published:
2021-04-30 13:03:22 -0400
Translations:
Tags:

Spotlight on Legal Issues

Of special interest to German fans, as well as other fans in the EU.

Germany is working on implementing Article 17, which makes significant changes in European copyright law. This has created an exciting opportunity to clarify that fan fiction is legal under German copyright law.

The German government has sent a draft bill to the two houses of Parliament. The final vote is planned for the beginning of May. The government proposal makes clear that nonprofit websites like the Archive of Our Own should not be required to get licenses from copyright owners, as commercial websites like Facebook and YouTube will have to do. The draft bill also proposes to explicitly legalize fan fiction, fan art, and many other transformative works, as part of the EU exception for “caricature, parody and pastiche”.

There is one problem, and one risk. The problem is that the proposal includes language that is not required by Article 17 and that could be confusing and unduly restrictive of the ability to engage in caricature, parody and pastiche. This language restricts caricature, parody and pastiche “to the extent required by the specific purpose,” which would invite second-guessing of an artist’s purpose by courts and copyright claimants. Fan fiction, like caricature, parody and pastiche in general, has its own artistic existence and courts should not ask whether a work of fan fiction takes “too much” of the characters.

The risk is that some lobbyists are asking for a remuneration requirement for caricature, parody and pastiche—including fan fiction and fan art—even if they are not posted on commercial websites. The consequences of a payment requirement would be perverse: it would favor commercial platforms over nonprofits such as the Archive of Our Own and Wikipedia. This is because users could freely upload fan fiction, fan art, memes etc. to YouTube or Facebook, because the commercial platform would already be paying a collecting society through the implementation of Article 17, but the same users would have to pay a collecting society if they wanted to upload the same fan fiction, fan art or memes to their personal website or to a nonprofit website such as Archive of Our Own. In practice, the law would strengthen the big commercial platforms by creating an incentive for internet users to close down their private websites, leave nonprofit platforms such as AO3, and move their activities to a Facebook group instead.

We suggest that German fans should (1) ask Members of the German Parliament (Mitglied des Bundestags) to remove the restriction on the caricature, parody & pastiche exception “to the extent required by the specific purpose” and (2) explain how important it is that this exception should not be subject to remuneration. One easy way to do that is to use the portal abgeordnetenwatch.de, whose page on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection shows those members of parliament who will be in charge of this proposal.

We believe that the law should not add an additional condition, not part of Article 17, to the exception for parody, caricature and pastiche, saying that uses should only be allowed “to the extent required by the specific purpose”. This wording only serves to muddy the waters, because it is very difficult for a user to determine the extent of the use of a work that is “required” for the purpose of fan fiction, fan art, and other transformative uses. Likewise, we believe that the law should protect individual fans and noncommercial websites, and fight against the dominance of Facebook and YouTube, by rejecting a compensation requirement for the exception for parody, caricature and pastiche.

Update 5 May 2021: Based on fan response to this post about Germany's impending copyright reforms, we have created a Change.org petition for fans to use, which may provide an easier way to reach the legislator than submitting individual comments in the form of a question to the website (as suggested in the original post). 


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Black and white banner image with Buffy and Giles in formal wear on the left and text reading The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive to their right with a leafy scroll underneath

The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive, a Buffy/Giles fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

Founded in 2007 by Solo84, the Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive initially archived fic from the "New Buffy/Giles Relationshippers" site, but grew substantially larger through later submissions! Eventually, it passed into the hands of Rainne, the current mod. Due to substantially decreased fandom engagement and continued costs of hosting, Rainne decided to close the archive while preserving its works with the assistance of Open Doors.

The purpose of the Open Doors Committee’s Online Archive Rescue Project is to assist moderators of archives to incorporate the fanworks from those archives into the Archive of Our Own. Open Doors works with moderators to import their archives when the moderators lack the funds, time, or other resources to continue to maintain their archives independently. It is extremely important to Open Doors that we work in collaboration with moderators who want to import their archives and that we fully credit creators, giving them as much control as possible over their fanworks. Open Doors will be working with Rainne to import The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all images currently in the Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages.

We will begin importing works from The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive to the AO3 after May.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of 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 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. The site will then be permanently closed.

Please contact Open Doors with your Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive 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 great; if not, we will work with the Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on:

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive!

- The Open Doors team and Rainne

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2021-04-19 13:09:03 -0400
Tags:

Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Kate Sanders, who volunteers as a staffer for the Strategic Planning Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I have volunteered for several years with the Strategic Planning Committee. Our work has been to synthesize the needs of the OTW as best possible into the first strategic plan to guide some internal improvements, then to help implement the goals from that plan by working with committees across the OTW, and now to draft a second strategic plan to continue setting goals for the OTW to aspire to and achieve collectively.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

As a volunteer, I will have a to-do (or a few) assigned during the week to accomplish and our meeting each Saturday. These to-dos could be simple updates to wiki pages or drafting goals or somewhere in-between.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I have been an avid reader of fanfic since college, and several years back, I found myself between school and jobs, needing an outlet for my time and wanting to give back to the fanfic community I lurked in. I applied for the Strategic Planning Committee and found both people and a mission that I have enjoyed supporting since.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

Perhaps a challenge for me has been remembering that everyone volunteers differently: people have different amounts of time to contribute, varied interests and commitments, different ways of participating especially in a chat-based medium, etc. It is wonderful that so much is accomplished with everyone contributing in different ways.

What fannish things do you like to do?

While I enjoy perusing Transformative Works and Cultures, my first and deepest love is burying my nose in a wide swath of fanfics on AO3. I read whatever appeals to me and the well never runs dry. I truly appreciate all the wonderful authors out there!


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Lotrfanfiction archive banner. View of the Shire at twilight, overlaid text reads 'Lord of the Rings fanfiction'.

Lord of the Rings Fanfiction, a Lord of the Rings fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The wonderful stories of lotrfanfiction.com once again belong to the Tolkien fan community!

Open Doors will be working with Queen Mab to import Lord of the Rings Fanfiction into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all fanfic currently in the Lord of the Rings Fanfiction will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from Lord of the Rings Fanfiction to the AO3 after April.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on Lord of the Rings Fanfiction?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of 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 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. We will then permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Lord of the Rings Fanfiction pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Lord of the Rings Fanfiction 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 great; if not, we will work with the Lord of the Rings Fanfiction mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Lord of the Rings Fanfiction on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Lord of the Rings Fanfiction!

- The Open Doors team and Queen Mab

Comment

Post Header

Organization for Transformative Works: Elections News

The OTW Elections committee is pleased to announce that the timeline for the 2021 election for new members of the Board of Directors has been posted!

This year's election will be held on August 13-16. This means that the deadline for staff to declare their candidacy is June 18.

As usual, the election membership deadline is June 30. If you're interested in voting, please make sure your membership is active as of that date. Please note that your donation receipt will be dated in US Eastern Time, so if your donation is listed after 19:59 on June 30, 2021 on the receipt, you won't be eligible to vote. If you are unsure whether your donation was made before the deadline, please contact our Development and Membership Committee by using the contact form on our website and selecting "Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?".

You can find out how to become a member on the Elections website, or if you're familiar with the process, you can donate here!

If you want to know more about the election process in general, you can check out the Elections Policies.

We're looking forward to an active election season with ample communication between candidates and voters, and we hope you'll be a part of it. Don't forget to follow the Elections committee on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news!

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact Elections.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Published:
2021-04-14 12:21:30 -0400
Tags:

OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Do you love meta and research on fans? Or would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Communications Fanhackers Staff - closing 21 April 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • Translation News Volunteers - closing 21 April 2021 at 23:59 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 our email address 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.

Communications Fanhackers Staff

Do you love meta and research on fans? Are you familiar with Transformative Works and Cultures and other fan studies research? Are you interested in volunteering for the OTW? Great! Fanhackers is a project and blog that aims to make fan studies research accessible to fans. The Fanhackers team is currently looking for someone who can spare a few hours a week to help us collate, curate, compile, and manage academic work on fans and fannish meta. We would love someone with a good knowledge of fan studies (both historical and current) who is interested in communicating complex research to a more general audience.

Communications staffers are responsible for the distribution of information internally to OTW personnel and externally to the general public, the media, fans, and other fannish organizations. Communications is also typically the first point of contact for someone interested in or wanting help from OTW.

Applications are due 21 April 2021

Translation News Volunteers

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? We are looking for volunteers of native or near-native fluency in their target languages, who can translate or beta news posts within five-day deadlines. If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We particularly need people for Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Kyrgyz, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish and Welsh —but help with other languages would be much appreciated.

(Please note that our Catalan, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Malay, Polish, Portuguese-BR, Portuguese-PT, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process. More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications are due 21 April 2021

Apply at the volunteering page!

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

Comment

Post Header

Organization for Transformative Works: Membership Drive, 9th-11th April 2021

Now that the Organization for Transformative Works’ April membership drive has ended, we would like to thank everyone who participated. We are stunned and grateful to say that during the drive, we raised US$264,918.85 from 9110 donors in 84 countries, far exceeding our target of US$50,000. We also increased our membership to 16,842 members total. You are incredible: thank you!

We’d particularly like to offer our sincere thanks to our OTW members. During this drive, we had 4,348 donors choose OTW membership. Thank you for your donations, year after year. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to fund our projects: you really are the bedrock on which the OTW is built. To show our appreciation, we now have a membership rewards program. After three, five, and ten years of OTW membership, members will be eligible to receive exclusive gifts! And of course, it’s our OTW members who vote for our Board of Directors. More news on our upcoming elections will be forthcoming soon.

This drive wouldn’t have been possible without all of our volunteers, who worked so hard to make sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you all for your help! We’d also like to extend our gratitude to everyone who talked, tweeted, or posted about the drive. Your support made a real difference. Thank you so much!

And finally: this drive has officially ended, but you can make a donation and join the OTW year-round. You have until June 30, 2021 to become a member in time to be eligible to vote in our next election in August!

Comment

Post Header

Organization for Transformative Works: Membership Drive, 9th-11th April 2021

The Organization for Transformative Works was founded by fans for fans in 2007, with the mission of serving fandom by preserving and encouraging the creation of transformative works. Fourteen years later, our commitment remains unwavering. Whether through legal advocacy against fan-unfriendly legislation worldwide, rescuing endangered fanworks, recording fan history, providing a venue for fan studies scholarship, or hosting your fanworks old and new, the OTW is working to protect fans and the transformative works they create.

But we can't do it without your help. As we do in April and October every year, over the next three days we are asking you to consider joining the OTW and donating to support our work. If you aren't able to donate at this time, please consider sharing news of our drive with others in your fandom networks, and please know that however you show your commitment to the OTW, your participation and enthusiasm are very much appreciated.

To express our gratitude for the generosity of our donors, we have a new addition to our array of thank-you gifts. You can claim the rainbow kudos sticker set when you make a donation of US$40 or above. Yes, you can finally award kudos to your friends, pets, and household items!

Six stickers, each featuring the AO3 logo with five rainbow-colored kudos hearts in an arc above it. The logo is depicted in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Remember, if you are not able to donate at this level but would like to claim this or another thank-you gift, you can do so by choosing to donate a smaller amount on a regular basis through our recurring donations page. Just contact our Development and Membership team once you have set up your recurring donation and let them know which item you would like to save up for. They will begin counting your running total towards the thank-you gift of your choice.

Donations of US$10 or above also make the donor eligible for OTW membership. Members will receive a special digital icon, which you can use on your account on AO3 or on social media. More importantly, membership enables you to vote in the annual elections to the OTW's Board of Directors. Find out more about membership and voting here.

For OTW supporters in the United States, one easy way to add value to your donation is through employer donation matching. Many employers will make equivalent donations to charitable causes supported by their employees: why not speak to your employer to see if they offer this perk?

No matter if you’ve been around for every drive since our inception, or if this is your very first, we’re grateful for your support and involvement. Let’s work together to make this drive a success: and if you are able to do so, donate today!

Comment


Pages Navigation