A post-drive thank you!

OTW: bellyrubz

Our October donations drive has ended, and all we can say is wow: thank you so much. Bellyrubz for everyone!

We raised a grand total of US$10,573, plus that matching challenge grant of US$5000, for a total drive income of US$15,573. Thanks to you, this is our most successful fund drive yet.

We can’t thank you enough for your generosity and your support. Knowing that you’re behind us gives us renewed energy to dive into the projects we’re working on this year — and inspires us to aim toward even bigger and better things in Year Three.

If you weren’t able to donate this week, never fear. We make a special effort to raise funds twice a year, but you’re welcome to donate at any time, whether we’re having a formal donations / membership drive or not. And our fabulous membership premiums will continue to be available!

We also welcome contributions of time and energy — that’s what the OTW really runs on, and we really want your skills, talents, time, brainpower, and opinions! If you’d like to get involved with the OTW in the coming year, check out the Willing to Serve post and join our community of volunteers.

Thank you for your support and for being a part of the OTW!

Love,
The Development/Membership Committee

Link Roundup

A few legal stories that might be of interest to followers of the OTW:

From publicknowledge.org: UGC is More Than Hamsters on a Piano is an essay by Michael Weinberg at publicknowledge.org, talking about the “assumption that the UGC is essentially commercially worthless – it is all first grade ballet recitals, dogs jumping up and down, or kids falling off of skateboards. The real action (and money) is around the “real” content. Since the money will only come from the professional content, the concerns of today’s professional content owners (usually having to do with filtering or kicking people off of networks) tend to dominate the discussion.” But Weinberg points out that we are not all sitting around waiting for professionals to come and entertain us, and that today’s established studios may not have “the best interests of their future competitors at heart.”

From boingboing.net: Meet the 42 lucky people who got to see the secret copyright treaty: Fans should be aware that a number of parties are trying to negotiate an international, anti-copyright treaty “that contains provisions that criminalize non-commercial file-sharing; require net-wide wiretapping for copyright infringement and border-searches of hard-drives and other devices; and disconnection from the Internet for people accused of violating copyright.” A lot of people, including publicknowledge.org, BoingBoing, the EFF, and others–are protesting the secretive nature of these negotiations.

From Rachel Maddow: Hey, Rachel Maddow follows BoingBoing: could we love her more? Rachel interviews BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin about the Ralph Lauren photoshop disaster–but gets that the real story was the attempted DMCA intimidation of BoingBoing after the fact, when reprinting the photoshopped image to mock it was a classic case of fair use. Because Boingboing’s ISP was in Canada, they didn’t have to comply with the DMCA, and Rachel immediately gets what she calls “the deeper part of this story”, that “ISPs just immediately cave whenever they’re confronted by anything like this, and it sort of hurts the first amendment.”

Lastly, our own Rebecca Tushnet caught the story that Mattel has licensed “Barbie Girl”. For those not familiar with the case, 12 years ago, Barbie sued the Danish pop band Aqua, claiming trademark and copyright infringement. The claim was dismissed and the song was ruled as protected speech. Now, Mattel has licensed and rewritten the song to promote its new line of Barbie products. If you can’t beat ’em…?

Donations drive update!

OTW: ohai!

The OTW’s second annual October donations drive is going strong. It’s been an amazing week. We’ve started offering donor premiums for the first time, which has inspired some truly lovely manips. (Also some icons featuring those manips, free to any good home!)

Plus we’ve received our first-ever anonymous challenge grant — an anonymous donor is going to match every dollar we raise during the second half of this donations drive, up to US$5000.

And OMG, fandom: we met our match. Thanks to your incredible generosity, we’ve raised just over US$5000 since we announced the challenge grant a few days ago. We are humbled and delighted by your generosity. And the drive isn’t over yet, so if you haven’t yet donated during this drive, there’s still time to do so! This donations drive ends at midnight UTC on October 19. (What time is that where you live? Find out here: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?month=10&day=19&year=2009&hour=0&min=0&sec=0&p1=0)

We’ve raised almost US$8800 so far during this drive. Our last drive broke US$10,000 — can you help us top that? If you haven’t donated yet, please do! Funds donated during this drive will go toward our ongoing colocation and bandwidth costs (the Archive of Our Own will enter Open Beta soon), building up a safety net for the organization so that we always have funds in-hand to do the work we need to do, and funding the amazing projects we hope to add to our roster in 2010. (Plus: now you can opt to receive stickers and/or a mug!)

As a reminder: we’re also always looking for volunteers to help with our various projects. Whether or not you’re able to donate at this time, you can always write entries for Fanlore, help out our tag wranglers, or join one of our standing committees — information on that is available in our recent Willing to Serve post.

Thanks for being a part of the OTW!