Annual Report 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PROJECTS

  • Archive of Our Own
  • Fanlore
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Open Doors
  • Transformative Works and Cultures
  • Fundraising and Outreach
  • Communication and Public Relations
  • People and Planning

TIMELINE 2016

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

  • Statement of Financial Position
  • Statement of Activities
  • Function Expenses
  • Program Expenses
  • Notes to Financial Statements

THE OTW: MISSION, VISION & VALUES

  • Our Mission
  • Our Vision
  • Our Values

ABOUT THE OTW: WHO WE ARE

  • Board of Directors
  • Emerita Board Members
  • Committees
  • Workgroups

LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dear OTW donors, supporters, and volunteers,

2016 has seen a successful continuation of our organization’s progress towards its goals and expansion of its projects. The Organization for Transformative Works perseveres in our mission to protect the interests of fans and to preserve and provide access to fanworks and fan cultures.

  • Our Legal team participated in numerous petitions, comments, and amicus briefs around the world in defense of copyright fair use, workable Internet policies, and freedom of expression, while also helping fans to better understand their rights and answering questions related to copyright and other topics.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures published two new issues in 2016, expanding its scope with an issue on Classic literature. The journal’s editors and editorial board continue to represent the journal and the OTW at academic conferences worldwide.
  • The Archive of Our Own continues its impressive growth: it is fast approaching 3 million works and has more than 1 million users in nearly 25,000 fandoms.
  • Open Doors imported nine archives in 2016.
  • Fanlore passed the 40,000-article mark, and keeps growing steadily, with a community of dedicated editors.

All these accomplishments show how much our volunteers can do with your support and generosity. We have once again raised a record amount in donations, and we hope to put it to good use in the coming year to serve fans and fandom.

We started 2016 with an entirely new Board of Directors who took up the challenges of steering a growing organization while creating much-needed documentation for Board roles. We are planning for the future so that we can maintain a strong and united organization that is prepared to deal with the challenges ahead.

The OTW Board of Directors is looking forward to these challenges and is confident and hopeful for this upcoming year and all the milestones yet to come.

With sincere thanks and best wishes,

The Board of Directors

Matty Bowers
Kristina Busse
Aline Carrão
Priscilla Del Cima
Atiya Hakeem
Katarina Harju
Alex Tischer

PROJECTS

Archive of Our Own

2016 marked another year of notable growth for the Archive of Our Own (AO3), the OTW’s fanworks archive, with roughly 675,000 new fanworks added to the Archive over the course of the year. The Archive also celebrated the registration of its one millionth user in October, and the Tag Wrangling committee canonised AO3’s 20,000th fandom in January.

Tag Wrangling compiled and posted the First Principles of Wrangling in July, which seek to help wranglers understand how to implement edge cases in the guidelines and to better inform AO3 users about tag wrangling standards. Tag Wrangling also updated guidelines for when to make ambiguous tags into metatags in September.

The Archive handled increased traffic smoothly, thanks to the Accessibility, Design, & Technology Committee (AD&T), which deployed close to 40 releases throughout the year, including a number of performance improvements, bug fixes, and behind the scenes updates. The committee optimized Archive layouts for different screen sizes, completely overhauled the Skins Wizard, and debuted new tools for collection owners and other users. AD&T also increased the OTW’s presence on GitHub to encourage contribution from coders outside of the organization.

The Abuse committee handled roughly 5,300 tickets during 2016. The Support committee handled roughly 10,000 tickets during 2016.

The AO3 Documentation committee posted four new documents in 2016: a revised Your Account FAQ, an updated Unofficial Browser Tools post, a new Bookmarks FAQ, and a new Profile FAQ.

Fanlore

Fanlore, the OTW’s fannish wiki, had a steady 2016. During April, the Wiki committee updated the MediaWiki software that the site is built on to version 1.26.2. This removed the page hit counters, but allowed for continued site stability and use of new security features.

In November, the Wiki committee was renamed to the Fanlore committee.

Legal Advocacy

The OTW’s Legal committee, which proactively protects and defends fanworks from commercial exploitation and legal challenge, had a busy 2016. At the start of 2016, the committee submitted a comment in response to the European Commission’s request for comments regarding online platforms, online intermediaries, and cloud computing. The OTW’s comments emphasized the dangers of regulating based on the false assumption that all online platforms and intermediaries are large commercial entities like Google and eBay. In April, committee member Rebecca Tushnet met in person with the EU delegation in the U.S., and Legal submitted comments to the European Commission regarding the EU’s Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. In June, the committee submitted comments to the EU in response to its Public Consultation on the Role of Publishers in the Copyright Value Chain and the Panorama Exception. OTW Legal representatives argued that the creation of new copyright-type rights and enforcement mechanisms would create uncertainty, unfairness, and harm to creators and consumers of internet content.

In January, Legal helped make a public statement supporting fan film makers in the wake of a Paramount/CBS lawsuit against the makers of Axanar, a Star Trek fan film. In February, Legal invited fans to “Ask Us Anything” about fair use and fair dealing law for Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week.

Legal worked throughout the year with the U.S. Copyright Office. In February, they submitted comments in response to a U.S. Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry regarding the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the triennial rulemaking process associated with those rules. Legal argued that the process of seeking exemptions is unnecessarily chilling on non-infringing activities like fair use, and is unduly burdensome for parties, like the OTW, who have to obtain exemptions. In April, Legal submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office about the notice-and-takedown provisions in Section 512 of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They argued that the law is far from perfect, but that it helps allow online creativity to thrive. The committee followed up on those comments in person in May, when Legal’s Rebecca Tushnet participated on behalf of the OTW in two Copyright Office roundtables. The first took place in New York, and it explored the notice-and-takedown framework in section 512 of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The second took place in Washington, D.C., and it explored the process for obtaining exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions, like the “vidders’ exemption” that allows vidders to rip video from DVDs and Blu-Rays to make fanvids.

Legal filed a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel a trademark registration for the word “Fandom,” citing scores of examples that the word is a generic description of fans and fan activities and should not be owned exclusively by any single corporation or other entity. The petition was successful!

In March, Legal committee chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented on the panel “Copyright and Creators: 2026” at South by Southwest Interactive about the future of copyright law, while staffer Heidi Tandy hosted a Fair Use and Transformative Works Meetup at the festival. Betsy also gave a presentation in May at Whedonopolis in Southern California about the OTW, fanworks, and law. She then participated in a panel discussion on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., discussing the Internet’s role in new creative cultures and economies, and what technological advances mean for copyright law. In July, Betsy presented on a panel at San Diego Comic Con entitled “Comic Book Law School 303: New Revelations.” The panel discussed fair use, fan films, fanart, and other “hot” topics.

Legal partnered with our ally Public Knowledge to file an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of Lenz v. Universal in September. This continued Legal’s work on the long-running case, which concerns the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown system.

Legal joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Professor Eric Goldman to submit comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The proposed rule would require websites that rely on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Safe Harbor — like the Archive of Our Own — to renew their DMCA eligibility status every three years. In Legal’s response, it was argued that this proposed requirement could harm small service providers and expose providers to risk for small oversights.

In July, Legal worked with several allies to file an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands and wrote about CBS/Paramount’s new “Fan Film Guidelines.”

In October, Legal submitted a comment to the Singaporean government in response to the nation’s Public Consultation on proposed changes to its copyright regime. Finally, in December, Legal created an educational and advocacy post about two fan-unfriendly lawmaking developments in the EU and UK, along with what fans can do to oppose them.

The Archive of Our Own has a notice-and-takedown policy under 17 U.S. Code section 512, posted at https://archiveofourown.org/dmca. In 2016, the Archive received 2 takedown requests that complied or substantially complied with this policy regarding works hosted on its servers.
In the year 2016, none of the OTW’s services received requests for information under section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Open Doors

In carrying out Open Doors’ mission to preserve at-risk fannish content, the Open Doors committee imported 9 online fanwork archives into the OTW’s Archive of Our Own during 2016. Open Doors also assisted in handling Support tickets relating to those imports. The committee also worked with Tag Wrangling to ensure that tags from imported archives would be mapped correctly.

In September, Open Doors collaborated with the Communications committee to hold an interview with Versaphile (moderator of several imported archives), as well as an interview with Open Doors staffer Alison Watson, plus a live chat with panelists from the three biggest academic fandom collections: University of Iowa (our partner in the Fan Culture Preservation Project), Texas A&M University, and Bowling Green University.

Transformative Works and Cultures

Transformative Works and Cultures, the OTW’s international peer-reviewed online academic fan studies journal, released two issues during 2016. The first issue, released in March, was Vol. 21, a special issue called “The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work,” which was guest edited by Ika Willis, University of Wollongong. The second issue, released in June, was Vol. 22, a general issue edited by the TWC committee (formerly Journal committee). In June, Transformative Works and Cultures was accepted into the Directory of Open Access Journals, and committee members attended the Fan Studies Network conference in the UK. In January, the TWC committee also took on the Fan Studies Bibliography project, following the dissolution of the Fanhackers Committee.

Fundraising and Outreach

The Development & Membership Committee held two successful membership drives in 2016. The April drive raised US$97,155.54 from 4095 individual donations. The October drive raised US$139,159.45 from 5518 individual donations. For both drives, Development & Membership worked with Communications to produce three news posts, which the Translation committee translated into a total of 22 languages.

Communications and Public Relations

The Communications committee published 150 posts during 2016. In January, communications took on the Fanhackers project, a blog and social media accounts which contain academically-oriented fannish meta content. This followed the dissolution of the Fanhackers committee at the end of 2015. Communications celebrated International Fanworks Day in February with a variety of activities including a mini fanworks fest. and also celebrated the OTW’s 9th anniversary in September, hosting a public chat featuring three experts in curation and preservation of fannish history. In April, Communications’ Media Outreach team introduced a new series, “Five Things an OTW Staffer/Volunteer Said,” replacing the “Spotlight” series to showcase the tasks and responsibilities associated with various OTW roles.

The Translation committee added three new languages in 2016: Hindi, Romanian, and Welsh.

In April, the Webs committee completed the large task of migrating the OTW’s home website, as well as the Elections and Open Doors subdomains, to their new home on WordPress.

People and Planning

The Volunteers & Recruiting committee recruited for more than 20 OTW roles in 2016, processing close to 200 inductions and removals throughout the year.

The Elections committee worked throughout the year to keep OTW members and the public informed about the organization’s annual Board of Directors elections. The committee revised the election timeline and proposed two new organization bylaws, both of which were approved by the Board: sitting Board members will need to wait until the year after their term expires before standing for election again, and new changes to the bylaws will only impact elections taking place at least 90 days in the future. Elections also opened an official Tumblr account. Following the 2016 OTW election, the committee compiled and released statistical information demonstrating increased voter turnout.

The OTW’s Board of Directors began the year by publishing the 2016 budget and beginning to rebuild the Finance committee. In July, Board approved the new bylaws relating to OTW elections as well as the purchase of new servers. The Board also approved premiums for the mini-drive and October membership drive, and an emergency purchase for Systems. In September, long-time OTW volunteers Kristina Busse and Priscilla Del Cima were elected to the Board. They were formally inducted in November.

TIMELINE 2016

January

  • Abuse received 400 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology made performance improvements, Gem updates, and additions to the automated testing suite. The committee also announced and deployed layout improvements for different screen sizes.
  • Archive of Our Own reached the 2 million fanworks mark. It took over four years to reach 1 million fanworks, and less than two years to add the second million.
  • Fanhackers was restructured for better efficiency. The Fanhackers blog (and Tumblr) were made part of the Communications committee, and the Fan Studies Bibliography made part of Journal.
  • Legal submitted a comment in response to the European Commission’s request for comments regarding online platforms, online intermediaries, and cloud computing. The OTW’s comments emphasized the dangers of regulating based on the false assumption that all online platforms and intermediaries are large commercial entities like Google and eBay.
  • Legal also helped make a public statement supporting fan film makers in the wake of a Paramount/CBS lawsuit against the makers of Axanar, a Star Trek fan film.
  • Support received 824 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling canonized AO3’s 20,000th fandom.

February

  • Abuse received 320 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed eight releases.
  • Board worked on sorting out various transition issues, published the 2016 budget and started rebuilding the Finance committee.
  • Legal invited fans to “Ask Us Anything” about fair use and fair dealing law for Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week.
  • Legal submitted comments in response to a U.S. Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry regarding the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the triennial rulemaking process associated with those rules. Legal argued that the process of seeking exemptions is unnecessarily chilling on noninfringing activities like fair use, and is unduly burdensome for parties, like the OTW, who have to obtain exemptions.
  • OTW celebrated International Fanworks Day with a range of events, reported here.
  • Support received 774 tickets.

March

  • Abuse received 465 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology reported that the Archive reached 800,000 registered users.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology put out four releases. Of particular interest was an overhaul of the Skin Wizard, and the ability for gift exchange moderators to search sign-ups.
  • Board published the prospective budget for 2016.
  • Journal released a special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures. Volume 21,” The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work,” was guest edited by Ika Willis, University of Wollongong.
  • Legal committee chair Betsy Rosenblatt presented on the panel “Copyright and Creators: 2026” at South by Southwest Interactive about the future of copyright law. Legal staffer Heidi Tandy hosted a Fair Use and Transformative Works Meetup at the festival.
  • Open Doors manually imported the Hornblowerfic.com archive.
  • Support received 848 tickets.
  • Web Strategy, Design & Development got the new OTW site up and running, moving the website to its final hosting place.

April

  • Abuse received 385 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology announced an upcoming Archive functionality that allows collection owners to invite works to their collections.
  • Board filed taxes for 2015.
  • Communications’ Media Outreach team posted the first of a new Five Things an OTW Staffer/Volunteer Said series, which replaced the old Spotlight series as a way to showcase what OTW personnel do.
  • Development & Membership held the OTW’s April 2016 membership drive, raising just under US$100,000.
  • Legal submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office about the notice-and-takedown provisions in Section 512 of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The OTW argued that the law is far from perfect, but that it helps allow online creativity to thrive.
  • Legal Committee member Rebecca met in person with the European Union delegation in the U.S., and in mid-April, Legal submitted comments to the European Commission regarding the EU’s Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
  • Support received 875 tickets.
  • Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee announced that the move to the new transformativeworks.org site was finished, and that the Open Doors and Elections sites had also been moved.
  • Wiki Committee upgraded Fanlore’s MediaWiki software to version 1.26.2. This version included new features and allowed Fanlore to take advantage of upcoming security releases.

May

  • Abuse received 470 tickets.
  • Abuse proposed changes to the AO3 abuse reporting system which would require anyone submitting a complaint to provide contact details.
  • Legal continued its work at the U.S. Copyright Office, helping shape U.S. Copyright policy. In previous months, the committee submitted comments as part of the Copyright Office’s inquiry into various elements of the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This month, they followed up on those comments in person.
  • Legal’s Rebecca Tushnet participated on behalf of the OTW in two Copyright Office roundtables. The first took place in New York, and explored the notice-and-takedown framework in section 512 of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The second took place in Washington, D.C., and explored the process for obtaining exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions, like the “vidder’s exemption” that allows vidders to rip video from DVDs and Blu-Rays to make fanvids.
  • Legal filed a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel a trademark registration for the word “Fandom”, citing scores of examples that the word is a generic description of fans and fan activities and should not be owned exclusively by any single corporation or other entity.
  • Legal Chair Betsy gave a presentation at Whedonopolis in Southern California about the OTW, fanworks, and law.
  • Support received 751 tickets.

June

  • Abuse received 415 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology posted the change log for the last 11 releases, four of which were deployed in June.
  • Journal team members attended the Fan Studies Network conference in the UK, where they also did some promotional work on TWC’s behalf.
  • Legal submitted comments to the European Union in response to its Public Consultation on the Role of Publishers in the Copyright Value Chain and the Panorama Exception. The OTW argued that the creation of new copyright-type rights and enforcement mechanisms would create uncertainty, unfairness, and harm to creators and consumers of Internet content.
  • Legal joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Professor Eric Goldman to submit comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The proposed rule would require sites that rely on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Safe Harbor—like the Archive of Our Own—to renew their DMCA eligibility status every three years. In Legal’s response, it was argued that this proposed requirement could harm small service providers and expose providers to risk for small oversights.
  • Legal Chair Betsy participated in a panel discussion on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. discussing the Internet’s role in new creative cultures and economies, and what technological advances mean for copyright law.
  • Open Doors completed the imports of three archives: Wesleyfanfiction.Net, The Prydonian, and Human Nature.
  • Support received 980 tickets.
  • Translation welcomed 26 new volunteers, including three new languages: Hindi, Romanian and Welsh.

July

  • Abuse received 480 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed 4 releases, addressing a wide range of issues. While a number of these fixes were invisible and behind the scenes, they also made some fixes to challenges and tackled a caching bug.
  • AO3 Documentation uploaded two documents—a revised Your Account FAQ and the Unofficial Browser Tools which replaces the old Cool Stuff FAQ. They also added a new question to the Pseuds FAQ.
  • Board amended the bylaws to make Elections’ job for the forthcoming elections easier and the election process harder to be abused.
  • Board approved new server purchases.
  • Elections put a new timeline and place and announced candidates on the 31st of the month.
  • Elections opened an Elections Committee Tumblr account for announcements and explanations for how the election works.
  • Finance was rebooted as a committee.
  • Legal worked with several allies to file an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands.
  • Legal wrote about CBS/Paramount’s new “Fan Film Guidelines.”
  • Legal Chair Betsy presented on a panel at San Diego Comic Con entitled “Comic Book Law School 303: New Revelations.” The panel discussed fair use, fan films, fanart, and other “hot” topics.
  • Legal successfully petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel trademark registration of the word “fandom” for entertainment services.
  • Open Doors announced the import of two archives: Dave & Ken’s Diner, a Starsky & Hutch archive, and Warp 5 Complex, a Star Trek: Enterprise archive.
  • OTW bylaws were updated with two requests from Elections: sitting Board members will need to wait until the year after their term expires before standing for election again, and new changes to the bylaws will only impact elections that are at least 90 days away.
  • Support received 900 tickets.
  • Tag Wrangling compiled and posted the First Principles of Wrangling, with the goal of having these principles easily accessible so as to both help wranglers understand how to implement edge cases in the guidelines, and also let AO3 users see what the general ideas underpinning the Wrangling Guidelines are.
  • Tag Wrangling worked with Open Doors to handle tag mapping requests for six incoming archives, and requested two minor changes to the wrangling interface from Accessibility, Design & Technology, which have been implemented.
  • Transformative Works and Cultures was accepted into the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • Translation helped AO3 Support answer a total of 37 tickets.

August

  • Abuse received 465 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed nine releases. Most of these were behind the scenes, but they also tackled a few issues relating to buttons, emails, URLs, and drives, and upgraded the version of Ruby.
  • AO3 Documentation uploaded an updated Bookmarks FAQ.
  • Board approved staff and chairs for a number of committees, premiums for the mini-Drive and the next membership Drive and an emergency purchase for Systems.
  • Communications collaborated with Development and Membership on a mini voter drive ahead of the elections.
  • Communications also sent out a call for an article by Inverse magazine, looking for fan creators to interview about “the role and importance of fanworks in fandom, particularly for communities that often don’t get what they want or need from media in terms of representation and story.”
  • Open Doors announced the upcoming import for two Harry Potter archives, HP Fandom and The Hex Files, worked on the announcement and import preparation for 4 other archives, and assisted with importing works on several other archives in progress.
  • Support received 795 tickets.
  • Webs significantly cut down their response time for feature requests and bug reports and implemented an on-call rotation, to will help reduce response time even more, and ensure that site updates can be run as soon as they are released.

September

October

November

  • Abuse received 390 tickets.
  • Accessibility, Design & Technology worked to fix bugs and increase automated test coverage ahead of updating Rails. They also debuted a release including tools that allowed tag wranglers and Support staffers to fix some common issues without help from a database admin
  • AO3 Documentation uploaded a new Profile FAQ, which also replaced the old Icons FAQ.
  • Board welcomed the two newly elected members as full Board members on November 1. In order to help familiarize them with all committees and their chairs, check-in chats were held with several chairs throughout this month.
  • Elections posted statistics about the election on the website, showing the increased voter turnout this year. They also collected feedback from the candidates and several of the committees.
  • Journal had several team members volunteer to do metadata entry for TWC at the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • Open Doors completed two imports: Warp 5 Complex and Dave & Ken’s Diner.
  • Support received 941 tickets.
  • Systems worked with Journal on getting a second iteration of OJS installed, and with Open Doors on several projects, including transferring five domains to the AO3.
  • Tag Wrangling worked closely with Open Doors on the tags for a very large and complicated archive import, and a group of wrangling volunteers were specially trained to work with and assist Open Doors on the import process.

December

  • Abuse received 360 tickets.
  • Legal created an educational and advocacy post about two fan-unfriendly lawmaking developments in the EU and UK, along with what fans can do to oppose them.
  • Strategic Planning finalized and announced the Strategic Plan.
  • Support received 840 tickets.
  • Volunteers & Recruiting disbanded the Fan Video & Multimedia committee and renamed the Journal committee to TWC committee.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Statement of Financial Position

As of Dec 31 2016 As of Dec 31 2015
ASSETS
Cash & Cash Equivalent 589,376.55 426,347.97
Accounts Receivable
Investments 10,144.58 10,081.82
Interest Receivable 10.05 62.76
Fixed Assets, Net of Accumulated Depreciation 89,447.31 96,938.01
Total Assets $688,978.49 $533,430.56
LIABILITIES
Accounts Payable
Total Liabilities
NET ASSETS
Unrestricted 688,978.49 533,430.56
Temporarily Restricted
Permanently Restricted
Total Net Assets $688,978.49 $533,430.56
Total Liabilities & Net Assets $688,978.49 $533,430.56

Statement of Activities

As of Dec 31 2016 As of Dec 31 2015
REVENUE
Direct Contributions 303,607.89 342,468.69
Donations from Matching Programs 3573.79 695.09
Net Gains on Investments 10.05 62.76
Total Revenue $307,191.73 $343,226.54
EXPENSES
Program Services
Archive of Our Own 102,754.22 112,977.89
Open Doors 1,060.69 434.69
Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC) 2,043.22 3,167.02
Fanlore 4,427.42 5,699.26
Legal Advocacy 2,196.76
Convention Outreach 943.42
Total Program Services Expenses $112,482.31 $123,222.27
Supporting Services
Fundraising & Membership Development 19,473.62 26,298.16
Management & Administrative 19,687.87 36,095.08
Total Supporting Services Expenses $39,161.49 $62,393.24
Total Expenses $151,643.80 $185,615.51
Change in Net Assets $155,547.93 $157,611.03
Net Assets, Beginning of the Year $533,430.56 $375,819.53
Net Assets, End of the Year $688,978.49 $533,430.56

Function Expenses

Archive of Our Own Open Doors Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC) Fanlore Legal Advocacy Convention Outreach Fundraising & Membership Development Management & Administrative Total
Server Hardware 520.97 11.58 28.94 17.37 578.85
Server Hosting 34,708.11 754.42 1,886.04 1,637.88 38,986.45
Hosted Provider 1,039.40 1,039.40
Licenses & Support 98.00 98.00
Website Domains 76.00 633.47 41.38 76.00 826.85
Website Monitoring 6,395.00 6,395.00
Website Hosting 295.55 4,328.89 4,624.44
Firewall 89.10 1.98 4.95 2.97 99.00
Contractor Expenses 15,709.98 15,709.98
Professional Expenses
Training 328.89 5.25 13.12 7.87 355.13
Travel 1896.76 1,896.76
Administration & Management 2,536.45 99.00 2,646.65 5,282.10
Plug-ins 328.00 1,775.80 2,103.80
Professional Services 300.00 300.00
Filing Fees
Registration Fees
Printing
Premium Merchandise 2,134.72 2,134.72
Transaction Fees 11,779.72 11,779.72
Bank Fees 12.72 12.72
Postage & Shipping 1,922.46 2,197.34 4,119.80
Membership Tracking Software 3,200.00 3,200.00
Ticketing Software 424.00 424.00
Project Management
Trademarks
Insurance 3,007.75 3,007.75
Banking Fees 609.38 609.38
Tax Filing Fees
Accounting Software 861.25 861.25
Depreciation Expense 42389.73 941.99 2,354.99 1,412.99 47,099.70
Total $102,754.22 $1,060.69 $2,043.22 $4,427.42 $2,196.76 $19,473.62 $19,687.87 $151,643.80

Program Expenses

2016 2015
PROGRAM EXPENSES
Archive of Our Own
Server Hardware 520.97 908.10
Server Hosting 34,708.11 33,425.67
Licenses & Domains 31,327.87
Website Domains 76.00 114.00
Website Monitoring 6,395.00 5,400.00
Firewall 89.10
Contractor Expenses 15,709.98 99.00
Professional Expenses
Training 328.89
Travel
Depreciation 42,389.73 36,669.25
Administration & Management 2,536.45 5,034.00
Total $102,754.22 $112,977.89
Open Doors
Website Domains 633.47 185.18
Website Hosting 295.55 150.512
Plug-Ins 32.67
Administration & Management 99.00 99.00
Total $1,060.69 $434.69
Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC)
Server Hardware 11.58 20.18
Server Hosting 754.42 732.51
Licenses & Support 696.17
Firewall 1.98
Contractor Expenses
Training 5.25
Travel 577.28
Depreciation 941.99 814.87
Professional Services 328.00 326.00
Total $2,043.22 $3,167.02
Fanlore
Server Hardware 28.94 50.45
Server Hosting 1,886.04 1,831.28
Licenses & Support 98.00 1,740.44
Firewall 4.95
Contractor Expenses
Professional Services
Training 13.12
Depreciation 2,354.99 2,037.18
Website Domains 41.38 39.91
Total $4,427.42 $5,699.26
Legal Advocacy
Filing Fees 300.00
Travel 1,896.76
Training
Administration & Management
Total $2,196.76
Convention Outreach
Travel 943.42
Registration Fees
Printing
Premium Merchandise
Total $943.42
Program Services Total $112,482.31 $123,222.27
FUNDRAISING
Donation-Related Expenses
Transaction Fees 11,779.72 12,557.05
Banking Fees 12.72
Total $11,792.44 $12,557.05
Premiums
Premium Merchandise 2,134.72 4,395.78
Postage & Shipping 1,922.46 3,945.33
Total $4,057.18 $8,341.11
Membership
Membership Tracking Software 3,200.00 5,400.00
Ticketing Software 424.00
Total $3,624.00 $5,400.00
Fundraising Total $19,473.62 $26,298.16
INTERNAL MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATION
OTW Website & Subpages
Server Hardware 17.37 30.27
Server Hosting 1,637.88 1,407.20
Hosted Provider 1,039.4o 1,521.38
Website Domains 76.00 2,161.21
Website Hosting 4,328.89 841.94
Contractor Expenses
Firewall 2.97
Licenses & Support 1,044.26
Plug-ins 66.33
Depreciation 1,412.99 1,222.31
Training 7.87
Total $8,589.70 $8,228.57
Other
Professional Services 1,775.80
Project Management
Trademarks
Insurance 3,007.75 2,981.25
Banking Fees 609.38 1,103.49
Tax Filing Fees 60.00
Accounting Software 861.25 522.00
Postage &amp” Shipping 2,197.34 439.06
Travel 20,687.71
Administration & Management 2,646.65 2,073.oo
Total $11,098.17 $27,866.51
Internal Management & Administration Total $19,687.87 $36,095.08
Total Expenses $151,643.8 $185,615.51

NOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Note 1 – Nature of Activities and Significant Accounting Policies

Organization

The Organization for Transformative Works (the OTW) was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Delaware on September 5, 2007, and has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status under the Internal Revenue Code. The OTW was established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. The OTW is a collaborative effort initiated and driven by fans for fans. Over 500 volunteers contribute to the OTW’s five major projects (Archive of our Own; Open Doors; Fanlore; Legal Advocacy; Transformative Works & Cultures) as well as fundraising, membership development, and internal management and administration.

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as required for not-for-profit organizations. They are stated on the modified cash basis of accounting whereby expenses are recorded when paid and donations are recorded when received, with exceptions for depreciation expense.

Financial Statement Presentation

The OTW reports information regarding its financial position and activities according to three classes of net assets: unrestricted net assets, temporarily restricted net assets, and permanently restricted net assets. Currently, all assets are categorized as unrestricted.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and their reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period.

Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

For the purposes of the financial statements, the OTW considers all highly liquid investments purchased with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. The OTW currently has no cash equivalents.

Investments

Investments consist of certificates of deposit with original maturities of 18 months.

Property and Equipment

Equipment and upgrades are recorded on the basis of the cost of purchase or fair market value at the donation date. The OTW capitalizes all acquisitions with a cost threshold of $500. Depreciation is recorded using the 200% Double-Declining Balance method.

Contributions

All contributions received are recorded as unrestricted, temporarily restricted, or permanently restricted depending on the existence and/or nature of any donor restrictions. The OTW currently has no temporarily restricted or permanently restricted contributions.

In-Kind Services

The OTW currently does not assign value to volunteer activity in the Statement of Activities.

Program Services

Archive of Our Own: Includes all activities associated with running and maintaining the archiveofourown.org website.

Open Doors: Includes all activities associated with importing at-risk fanfiction archives, website domain expenses, and server costs attributed to the Open Doors subpage.

Fanlore: Includes all activities associated with running and maintaining the fanlore.org website.

Transformative Works & Culture: Includes all activities associated with producing and hosting articles for periodic issues of the academic journal.

Legal Advocacy: Includes all activities associated with filing petitions and expanding awareness of U.S. copyright and fair use laws.

Convention Outreach: Includes all activities associated with expanding the OTW’s presence at fan gatherings.

The costs of providing the OTW’s programs and supporting services have been summarized on a functional basis in the Statement of Functional Expenses. Accordingly, certain costs have been allocated among programs and services benefited.

See Figure 1 – Program Expenses for a comparison to last year’s expenses.

Income Taxes

The OTW is a 501c3 organization exempt from Federal income and State franchise taxes under provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 1902(b)(6), Title 30 of the Delaware State Taxation Code respectively. As such, no provision for income taxes has been provided in these financial statements.

Note 2 – Equipment

As of December 31, 2016, the cost of equipment was as follows:

2016 2015
Servers 224,531.31 186,244.31
Server-Related Equipment 14,377.73 13,055.73
Firewall 3,405.35 3,405.35
Total $242,314.39 $202,705.39
Accumulated Depreciation (152,867.08) (105,767.38)
Net Total $89,447.31 $96,938.01

ABOUT THE OTW: OUR MISSION, VISION & VALUES

OUR MISSION

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate.

The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture. The OTW will preserve the record of that history as we pursue our mission while encouraging new and non-mainstream expressions of cultural identity within fandom.

OUR VISION

We envision a future in which all fannish works are recognized as legal and transformative and are accepted as a legitimate creative activity. We are proactive and innovative in protecting and defending our work from commercial exploitation and legal challenge. We preserve our fannish economy, values, and creative expression by protecting and nurturing our fellow fans, our work, our commentary, our history, and our identity while providing the broadest possible access to fannish activity for all fans.

OUR VALUES

  • We value transformative fanworks and the innovative communities from which they have arisen, including media, real person fiction, anime, comics, music, and vidding.
  • We value our identity as a predominantly female community with a rich history of creativity and commentary.
  • We value our volunteer-based infrastructure and the fannish gift economy that recognizes and celebrates worth in myriad and diverse activities.
  • We value making fannish activities as accessible as possible to all those who wish to participate.
  • We value infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We value all fans engaged in transformative work: fans of any race, gender, culture, sexual identity, or ability. We value the unhindered cross-pollination and exchange of fannish ideas and cultures while seeking to avoid the homogenization or centralization of fandom.

ABOUT THE OTW: WHO WE ARE

The Organization for Transformative Works is run for fans by fans. The directors of OTW’s Board are all active in fandom, as are the more than 500 other staffers and volunteers.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Matty Bowers first stumbled upon fandom back in May of 1998; however, she didn’t truly get involved until 2001. Her first fandoms were Highlander and Buffy, however she quickly fell into a variety of other fandoms. These days she is very much a fan of fandom; she’ll read pretty much any epic length work in any fandom! Matty mainly lurked the first few years, but eventually started contributing to fannish projects such as newsletters and rec communities. She was fascinated and intrigued when she first heard rumblings about building a place where fandom owned the servers, and joined the OTW as a tag wrangler when the call for volunteers was made in 2009. Since then she has worked on the Support, AO3 Docs, and Abuse committees. Matty graduated with a degree in Education and spent over ten years teaching before moving on to a job in the tech field. She is currently working as a manager for a local business, and in her spare time works as tech support for her many friends and family.

Kristina Busse is founding co-editor of OTW’s academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures and has been working for the OTW for 8 years. She has co-edited several academic books on fan fiction and fan cultures, and continues to publish in the field. Her books include Framing Fan Fiction (2017) as well as the co-edited essay collections Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom, and The Fan Fiction Studies Reader. All proceeds of the reader go, in fact, to the OTW. Kristina joined organized fandom as a Buffy/Angel shipper in the late 90s and has been in more fandoms since than she dares admit, with a Dragon Age, MCU, and Vorkosigan obsession at the moment. She has a PhD in English from Tulane University and teaches in the Department of Philosophy and in the Gender Studies Department at the University of South Alabama. She teaches everything from logic and mythology to fan studies and LGBT history. Kristina is a transplanted German, living in the Southern United States with her family of tabletop role-playing gamers.

Aline Carrão (President) has worked in consumer protection and civil law and is currently continuing her education to work as a civil servant. Aline discovered fandom back when Harry Potter was taking over the world and never left. She joined the OTW in 2013 as a tag wrangler and slowly got involved in other parts of the organization; she’s now staff in Support and Translation. In Support, she’s addressed concerns, questions and feedback from users; in Translation, she manages over 150 volunteers and has completed projects with strict timelines in an atmosphere of constant and productive team-wide communication.

Priscilla Del Cima has a Law degree and an MBA in Project Management. She first joined the OTW in 2009 and has worked on various committees since then, including Development & Membership and AO3 Documentation. She has been serving as chair of the Translation committee since working to restructure the team in late 2013, and is also working to rebuild the Finance and Fanlore teams.

Atiya Hakeem (Treasurer) received her undergraduate degree in biology from the California Institute of Technology, then went to the University of Hawaii for a PhD in biomedical sciences. After working at Caltech as a neurobiologist studying autism and social cognition for many years, she has recently returned to Hawaii, and currently hangs out with aardvarks as a volunteer at the Honolulu Zoo. She has always turned to fandom as an escape and a creative outlet, with interests including Star Trek, baseball, the age of sail, Hawaii Five-O, and anime, which last led to serving as con staff at Anime Expo and AX New York. She joined the OTW as a volunteer in 2012 with AO3 Support and has since answered some 5,000 user inquiries. Motivated by a desire to be directly involved in keeping the Archive running, she joined AD&T (the Archive’s coding and design committee) as a tester, and is now the Quality Assurance & Testing subcommittee lead. She also has served on the Category Change and Survey workgroups.

Katarina Harju is a Swedish-speaking Finn currently working towards a degree in Information Technology. Prior to this, she worked in accountancy for many years. She went searching for fandom in 2000 after reading about it in a magazine (and is eternally grateful that she happened to pick up that particular one in a moment of boredom). She has created fanworks for a variety of fandoms, many of which can be found at her AO3 userpage. Somewhere along the line, she fell in love with podfics, and she still writes fic, records podfic and even makes some fannish crafts now and then, though not as often as she’d like. Katarina followed the OTW’s work closely from the beginning, getting involved herself in 2013 as a member of the Translation committee, where she is currently a translator and staffer. She spent time as a tag wrangler in 2014, and currently also serves on the AO3 Abuse committee.

Alex Tischer (Secretary), DrMedVet: Is an ECC veterinarian. Grew up in Germany and currently lives in the UK. Has been in fandom since before the millennium and has migrated through more fandoms than can be listed here. The most current ones include Rivers of London, Person of Interest and Mad Max: Fury Road. Has been a member of the OTW pretty much continuously since 2008, volunteering in some capacity for the same amount of time. Apart from media fandom has also somehow ended up in the weird and wonderful world of sports – which are very niche groups that resemble fandoms in surprising ways. When not dealing with sick pets, Alex can be found doing assault courses, climbing and trail running nearly as often as consuming media.

EMERITA DIRECTORS

2015

  • Eylul Dogruel
  • Soledad Griffin
  • Andrea Horbinski
  • M.J. MacRae
  • Cat Meier
  • Jessica Steiner

2014

  • Franzeska Dickson
  • Anna Genoese
  • Nikisha Sanders

2013

  • Julia Beck
  • Maia Bobrowicz
  • Ira Gladkova
  • Kristen Murphy

2012

  • Francesca Coppa, PhD
  • Naomi Novik
  • Jenny Scott-Thompson

2011

  • Rachel Barenblat
  • Hele Braunstein
  • Sheila Lane
  • Allison Morris

2010

  • Naomi Novik
  • Rebecca Tushnet, JD
  • Elizabeth Yalkut

2009

  • KellyAnn Bessa
  • Susan Gibel, JD

2008

  • Cathy Cupitt, DCA
  • Michele Tepper, PhD

Read more about our former directors
Read about our current committees

COMMITTEES

Abuse
Accessibility, Design, & Technology
AO3 Documentation
Communications
Development & Membership
Elections
Fanlore
Finance
Internationalization & Outreach
Legal
Open Doors
Strategic Planning
Support
Systems
Tag Wrangling
Translation
TWC
Volunteers & Recruiting
Web Strategy, Design & Development

WORKGROUPS

Content Policy