OTW Signal

OTW Signal, August 2020

Welcome to the first of our new OTW Signal series posts! Every month we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

OTW’s Legal Advocacy project has been at work in 2020 giving testimony and submitting comments to the U.S. government about copyright issues, including testifying and providing comments to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and meeting with the U.S. Copyright Office about section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which provides safe harbors for online service providers and allows sites like the AO3 to operate without being liable for user activities. In these sessions, Legal has highlighted the importance of considering user interests along with the interests of Internet Service Providers and copyright owners. Some of this work centered around a study released this Spring by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Read More

OTW Celebrates

Celebrating SysAdmin Day 2020

Today is SysAdmin Day, on which systems administrators everywhere are feted as they truly deserve. Here at the OTW we are delighted to take the opportunity to celebrate our own Systems committee, who carry out essential work supporting all of our projects. Most notably, they maintain the servers and the infrastructure on which OTW projects such as the Archive of Our Own and Fanlore runs. One of the fundamental ideas behind the foundation of the OTW was that fandom would ‘own the servers’ for the first time: we wouldn’t be able to do that without them.

Systems also helps to keep things running behind the scenes, maintaining servers for internal services such as our internal wiki pages (which carry a huge amount of essential information). But that’s not all! The OTW’s Systems staffers work around-the-clock to make sure that everything is running smoothly and they also do an incredible job of keeping us all updated about any problems that do arise. You might have read updates on the ao3_status Twitter or the AO3 news stream, letting our users know about scheduled (and unscheduled!) downtime and maintenance work which our team has been coordinating or carrying out.

Systems administrators carry out a demanding job that largely takes place behind the scenes. Today, we’re glad to shine a spotlight on their incredible work. Thank you, Systems!

Organization for Transformative Works: Elections News: Cast Your Vote!

OTW Members – Check Your Email for Voting Instructions

At this time, all members of the OTW who are eligible to vote should have received an email linking to the voting instructions for 2020. The subject line was “Voting Instructions for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) Board Election”. Please note that anyone who didn’t receive this email is not on the voter rolls this year and will not receive a ballot.

The voting instructions email contains a link to a test version of the ballot. Please follow that link to make sure that the page displays correctly and the candidates are visible. If not, please ensure you are not blocking JavaScript from ajax.googleapis.com, bootstrapcdn.com, and/or opavote.com.

If you are an OTW member and didn’t receive this email, please do the following:

  1. Check your spam folder.
    • If you use Gmail, check your Social tab.
    • If the email is marked as spam, unmark it. Otherwise, you will not receive your ballot, as it will end up in spam as well.
  2. If no email is present, open your donation receipt and check the date.
    • To vote in this election, your receipt must be dated between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020 UTC, inclusive of both dates. Receipts are dated in EDT time zone but the cutoff is in UTC; your receipt may list June 30, 2020 but you won’t be eligible if the donation was after midnight UTC on July 1.
    • If you paid by check, your membership is measured by the arrival date of the check.
  3. If your donation was made during the eligible time period, make sure you checked the box to become a member. Membership is voluntary for those who donate at least $10; only members can vote.
  4. If you did become a member, make sure you neither marked any email from the OTW as spam nor opted out of OTW emails or last year’s ballot. If you did so and would like to vote this year, you’ll need to follow step 5 below.
  5. If you donated at least $10 during the eligible period and you checked the box to become a member, please fill out the Elections Contact Form and select the topic “Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?” Make sure to include the email you used when donating.
    • Membership has no connection to being a user of AO3 or Fanlore. Please don’t give us your AO3 or Fanlore username – we have no way of knowing who that name belongs to, and we don’t want to know.

Most importantly, if your voting instructions email bounces, gets marked as spam, or you opt out, you will not receive a ballot for this year’s election, and you may not receive a ballot next year. Similarly, if any of those things happened to last year’s election emails, you will not receive a ballot this year. Therefore, if you previously opted out of OTW emails or marked them as spam and would like to vote, fill out the Elections Contact Form and select the topic “Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?”