• OTW Fannews: Speaking Out for Fandom

    Tags: Activism, Entertainment Industries, Fanart, Fandoms, Fanfiction, Fannish Communities, Television, News of Note

    Banner by Alice of a simple drawing of a human with a speech bubble containing a heart and a page of writing'

    While quite a few articles in the media continue to portray fanwork creators as somehow abnormal, even while acknowledging their part within a larger remix culture of popular entertainment, others set fandom more positively in this cultural environment. This support has come from fans and entertainers alike.

  • OTW Fannews: Women's Experiences In Fandom

    Tags: Comics, Fan Conventions, Fanfiction, Gender and Sexuality, News of Note

    OTW Fannews Banner Women's Experiences in Fandom

    Comic Book Resources reported on a NYCC panel about female fandom in which Kelly Sue DeConnick said, "'I think that there's an important thing to remember too, that what you're seeing now, the influx of female readership and female creators is not a revolution, it's a restoration...Back in the '30s and '40s there was a girls' magazine that had a distribution of 300,000 copies per month and it was comics... [In the decades since] women were discouraged, dissuaded, made unwelcome, and now for a plethora of reasons, women are returning...There are enough comics for everyone...Say it with me now: equality is not a loss.'"

  • OTW Fannews: What's a Fanwork?

    Tags: Fanfiction, Fanfilms, Gender and Sexuality, Theater, News of Note

    OTW Fannews Banner What's a Fanwork

    NPR's "Pop Culture Happy Hour" featured a look at fanfiction with "resident fan-fiction expert, Petra Mayer" who was asked for some recs. Mayer herself reviewed After, and a discussion ensued among listeners as to whether or not RPF qualified as a fanwork. (Partial transcript available).

  • OTW Fannews: Social Media for Fans

    Tags: Audio Fanworks, Business Models, Fanfiction, Intellectual Property, Music, Technology, Television, Twitter, News of Note

    The Wall Street Journal wrote about different fandom activities on different social media platforms. "[T]he CW is trying just about everything in social media. Interestingly, once its fans tell the network which platform they want to use to interact with their favorite shows, the network leans in hard. 'We attack all the social media,' said Rick Haskins, the CW’s executive vice president of marketing and digital programs. 'Very, very quickly, the consumer says ‘this is the social platform we like [this particular show] on.’ When we see upticks, that’s when we move in quickly.'"

  • OTW Fannews: Fitting in Fanworks

    Tags: Cosplay, Fanfiction, Fanfilms, Fannish Practices, News of Note

    OTW Fannews Banner Fitting in Fanworks

    Blogger Marie Larsen wrote about her daughter's classroom success in writing fanfiction. "The story is a Transformers fan fiction piece, long enough and worthy enough of being an animated episode." But she was "concerned of its fan fiction style. Recently, I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, where the main character received a failing grade from a teacher that didn't find any value in fan fiction. I wasn't sure how my girl's teacher would receive this piece." However, her story had a happy ending. "To praise her in front of her peers, to give her the only A+ out of all those very bright, accelerated students was a self-esteem booster I could never give her."

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom is Sharing

    Tags: Books, Commercialization of Fans, Fan Conventions, Fannish Communities, Television, News of Note

    OTW Fannews Banner Fandom is Sharing

    At Business of Fashion, Madelin Newman wrote about the rise of fashion fandom. "Jennifer Post, a Black Milk fan from California, has attended every SharkieCon since its inception and said it was unlike anything she had ever seen. 'With what other fashion brand do you have fans of the brand getting together to share in the joy of it all?' she said. 'Sharing styling tips, taking selfies, meeting people in person that you have chatted with online for hours at a time.' The depth of brand advocacy for Black Milk can be felt in the way community members create their own art, songs and photography for the label. One Sharkie even creates her own designs that she sells in a Facebook group called ‘For the love of nylon’ using old Black Milk pieces."

  • OTW Fannews: IP From New to Old

    Tags: DMCA, Fanfiction, Intellectual Property, News of Note

    • A post at JD Supra focused on the way fair use is being seen in U.S. courts following a decision in Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. "More broadly, decisions like TVEyes suggest that courts are moving away from viewing fair use as a narrowly-drawn exception to copyright holders’ exclusive rights in their works, to the view that fair use promotes the creation of transformative works and thus serves one of the goals of copyright law itself. The TVEyes opinion, which essentially presumed transformativeness of the work at the outset of the fair use analysis, suggests that the trend toward this broader view of the role of fair use continues to gain traction in the federal courts."

    • The Case Against Licensing Fanworks

      Tags: Legal Advocacy, Legal Committee, Spotlight

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

      As fanworks have become more popular and the concept of fanwork creation has become more mainstream, the legality of fanworks has become a popular topic for media stories and blog posts. Some of these stories reflect understandings of American copyright law that are muddled or just plain wrong. Writers--particularly those focused on recent examples of "commercialized" fanworks--ignore or under-emphasize copyright's fair use doctrine, or look for ways to combine fanwork creation with media markets. One common trope, lately, has been to suggest that fanwork creators can, or should, obtain licenses before creating fanworks. After all, the argument goes, many authors and other media creators now recognize the positive value of fanworks, and would be delighted to give permission for fans to make fanworks. So why not have more licensing regimes for fanworks, where copyright holders give fans permission to make fanworks, probably in exchange for a fee or a share of the fan's proceeds if they want to commercialize their fanworks?

    • October 2014 Newsletter, Volume 85

      Tags: Newsletter, OTW Sections

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

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


      Thousands of fans became new members of the OTW in October and many more donated, signal boosted, and cheered us on during our most successful membership drive ever! The final total for the drive was US$173,760.34, but by the end of October we had received US$182,930.34 in donations from 8,211 people.

      Our Development & Membership committee had been preparing content for months, but then had to handle many last-minute workarounds due to tech issues and changes during the drive. Development & Membership also responded to hundreds of fan questions and comments during the drive itself, meaning many long days for this small but hardworking group.

      Translation also worked extremely hard in a tireless race to translate all the October drive content, even while it changed as the drive went on. They prepared 10 documents in 18 languages — including two infographics and lots of tweets! Everyone came through brilliantly and amazingly fast. Special kudos to teams Czech and Hebrew, who only recently joined the committee and already hurried to help with the drive effort, as well as to volunteer Ania, who created versions of all the many drive graphics in each language.

    • Chat Transcripts for 2014 Board Election

      Tags: Elections, OTW Board, Announcement

      OTW 2014 Elections Banner

      Over the past week, Elections held three public chats with our candidates. We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended and made the conversation great. If you couldn't make it or just want to review the chats, you can read the transcripts by clicking the links below.