Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

April 2015 Newsletter, Volume 90

I. MAKE SOME NOISE!

In late March and April, Legal continued its policy-making work in a few areas. They continued to work with Fan Video & Multimedia on the DMCA exemption request for vidders. The team has received the objections to our petitions and are coordinating with other petitioners. Legal will be submitting their responses soon but could use your help. Our Legal team is asking fans to add their voices and tell the U.S Copyright Office that they have a right to remix multimedia. The key exemption for the OTW is the third item on the comment list: “Remix your media (videos)”. We’re asking that fans write in about their need for high quality material from sources that are only available on Blu-Ray; or material from places such as iTunes or Amazon when obtaining media from them is necessary to make a timely vid to participate in an ongoing fannish conversation. Comments are due by May 29, and will be published on the U.S Copyright Office website.

Legal also sent a representative to attend a U.S. Department of Commerce public meeting on facilitating the development of the online licensing environment for copyrighted works. In addition, the results of the DMCA Working Group project that OTW participated in have been announced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and are available online.

Legal responded to a number of queries from fans, educators, the press, and others. In addition to offering help and information, they were able to connect one fan with counsel who can help them fight for their fan game. They also worked intensively with other committees to provide information, and responded to a lot of fans about the Ebooks Tree site. (More on that below).

II. AT THE AO3

Accessibility, Design & Technology also responded to reports of AO3 content being reposted on ebooks-tree.com, which had many concerned users reaching out to us via Support tickets and social media. Once it turned out that the site was merely linking to files (instead of downloading them), the Accessibility, Design & Technology team took care of the problem by blocking their access to our servers, and updated users on the situation via Twitter and Tumblr.

Accessibility, Design & Technology had three small deploys in April: Releases 0.9.55 and 0.9.56 and Release 0.9.57 (which included a significant improvement for mobile users). Along with the Wiki Committee, they hosted the annual April Showers event, inviting people to add their works to the Archive or their information to Fanlore for a number of smaller and older fandoms.

Abuse tackled roughly 350 tickets in April. They’re seeing a number of tickets come in from users who can’t reset their passwords because they no longer have access to their old email accounts. Please do remember to update your email address on AO3 whenever you get a new one! This can be done by going to the following link: http://archiveofourown.org/users/(YOUR USER NAME)/change_email

Content Policy completed Terms of Service changes relating to Open Doors after a public period of comment. And AO3 Documentation uploaded two new FAQs to AO3 this month: Downloading Fanworks and History and Mark for Later.

The new Open Doors import tool, created by Accessibility, Design & Technology, was launched in time to be used for the Henneth Annûn Story Archive (HASA) import, which greatly sped up the process for volunteers working on it. They also continued work on the Boys in Chains import, worked with mods on other in-progress archives, and answered user claims and requests. Some of the claims and requests were for long completed archives, like the Smallville Slash Archive, which might have been helped by publicity with more recent imports–we hope to continue to help creators claim their works!

Support tickets continue to flood in, and they resolve them as fast as they can. For the number-inclined, 700 tickets each month appears to be the new normal. That’s 200 more per month than the team used to get this time last year! Support is also planning their first open chat of the year with a switch from open Q&A to topic-focused chats.

Tag Wrangling helped Accessibility, Design & Technology address a tag import bug, and organized some wrangling parties so wranglers could help each other work through their unwrangled tags.

III. PAGES AND PLATFORMS

Translation was hard at work preparing for the membership drive. They also published a page about their committee on the OTW website, sent out a form to collect pronouns from OTW volunteers as a resource for the translation of texts that mention them, and revamped more procedures, documentation and glossaries.

Communications created and updated policies for all OTW News outlets in regards to spam comments and content sourcing and crediting. The OTW Tumblr account got a new layout for better accessibility, and the Google+ account is being moved in light of Google’s recent changes to the service. In addition, new site mod thatwasjustadream began work at OTW News’ Live Journal and Dreamwidth sites.

Journal‘s editorial team has upshifted the work on the March 2016 guest-edited issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work, as deadlines loom. Revisions are being processed for publication in the general September 2015 issue. Co-editor Karen Hellekson followed up with the publisher of The Fan Fiction Studies Reader regarding royalties to be paid to the OTW later in the year.

The Wiki Committee held an editing party as part of April Showers early in the month. The event has seen new pages added to Fanlore and many additions to existing pages. Some users have struggled to access certain pages on Fanlore, though there has been no concrete down-time and the cause is currently unknown. The vast majority of users should not experience issues.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Elections held their first Open Chat, where they invited all OTW members to come and ask them anything and everything about the elections process. In preparation for the upcoming 2015 Election, they’ll also be conducting a wide-audience test of the software we hope to use. Elections would love assistance from the membership with this project. If you’re interested in participating as a tester, please fill out this form. Anyone who missed the chat can send questions by contacting them directly or by visiting their new Twitter account.

Strategic Planning finished its feedback period for the second draft of the OTW 2016–2019 goals document. The next step is to incorporate all that feedback and finish the plan, and then send it on to the Board for approval. Meanwhile, they also recruited four new staffers who are going through training and will be put to work soon!

Development & Membership kicked off its fundraising drive on May 1 with a goal of US$100,000 and a games theme. Development & Membership completed making arrangements for their new CiviCRM setup, which should make both donating and backend management easier and more convenient.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting ran a recruiting round for 2 roles, and processed 63 applications. Induction and removal requests, internal tasks, and requested tasks from the rest of the organization took up the majority of staff time, although they continued to work on their 2014 Annual Report project and testing workflows for a ticketing system to help streamline our tasks.

New Committee Staff: Ellorgast (Communications), xDream (Communications), OTP221B (Communications), Ira Gladkova (Volunteers & Recruiting), Kate Sanders (Strategic Planning), Seamus Johnston (Strategic Planning), billiethepoet (Strategic Planning), Mandy Gooch (Strategic Planning), 2 other Communications staffers
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: stellal, Kuro, insidiousChaos, Solovei, JujYFru1T, savkweaver, aiyesha, Animem, VSSAKJ, Safara, flyrivaille, Val James, sarcasticchick, DestinedForHell, Sam K, AbstractSong101, tabris, Robin, sillyowl, Elysium Barnett, Yohaly, xcacophony, Elizabeth Zavodny, AParticularlyLargeBear, Inspector Caracal, artificiallifecreator, Tim Tyla and 2 others
New Translator Volunteers: lightofthewind, Patricia Sen Lloria, Oniondip, Susanne Møller, Melime, Neene, Lykke, Muriel Kalliokoski, Chloë C, Vénia, Carmen, claire89 and 6 others

Departing Committee Staff: Andrea Horbinski (Journal), mumble (Support), 2 Strategic Planning staffers, 2 Volunteers & Recruiting staffers, 1 Abuse staffer
Departing Workgroup Members: Blue_Meridian and 3 other AO3 Documentation volunteers
Departing Communications Volunteers: Bremo, dogtagsandsmut, & Lisa Shininger.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 2 Tag Wranglers
Departing Translator Volunteers: 3 translators

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.