April, 2009 Newsletter, Vol 28

Welcome to our second April newsletter! Progress reports from all your favorite committees and OTW projects are right under the cut!


We’re busy designing our process of receiving complaints from users and responding to them and have been putting together a way to handle the non-English-language users of the Archive with Translation — who are deserving of SO MANY kudos — which we’re looking forward to releasing soon!


Accessibility, Design, & Technology are in the process of preparing for another code update on the Beta Archive of Our Own and are currently poking the changes on our Test Archive. We should be deploying the new changes on the first weekend of May. Changes include:

  • The new Translations interface which Elz and Cal have been slaving over.
  • Being able to filter by Pseuds which is Enigel’s baby.
  • Changes to the way works display by the beautiful Zooey – we’re pulling ‘Warnings’ out and making them more visible.
  • We’re also pulling the default Archive font we’re using as not enough people’s systems default load Candara as pretty as they should 🙁

Jennifew is heading up the MASSIVE task of regression testing the ENTIRE Archive after the Rails upgrade – every page is subtly affected. We’re looking forward to inflicting all this on our faithful Beta testers so we can pick up the next round of (inevitable) bugs.

Finally, Our beautiful Amelia has been contacting people about co-location, we don’t have anything firm back yet but we have three different proposals we’re waiting on details for.


As a whole, the Board has continued to work on large org-wide issues of structure and personnel, as well as supporting and shepherding along forthcoming projects like server colocation, the Fan Culture Preservation Project, and our Elections subsite. Board member Rebecca Tushnet also gave the keynote speech at the Female Fan Culture and Intellectual Property Symposium at American University School of Law co-sponsored by the OTW.


The Communications team continues to strategize outreach. We recently added a Where To Find Us page to the “About The OTW” section of transformativeworks.org, so please come and join us on Facebook, MySpace and other venues. We have also been working to support the OTW at cons.

Content Policy:

Content Policy is preparing the additions to the ToS for posting on the AO3 website at the next scheduled code update in early May, at which point there will be a further two-week comment period before the ToS additions become effective.


After the March membership drive, members of DevMem took a few days off to bask in the knowledge that nearly 400 people donated during the drive and that we now have members in 17 nations around the world! (See our recent blog post for more information about that.) Since then, we’ve been working on generating documentation for civicrm, the open-source software we’re now using to keep track of members and donations. We also sent a delegation to Muskrat Jamboree, a fan con in Boston in early April, where we hosted an informational panel about the org.


The Documentation committee has been working on our formatting for minutes and other internal documentation. We’ve continued to set up infrastructure and line ducks up in a row, setting up liaisons with more committees to streamline the documentation process and provide more direct support.


Elections is considering options for vote tabulation, both entertaining bids for outsourcing and consulting with Webmasters about the logistics of running the voting ourselves.

Finance Update:

The Finance Committee has been running the numbers for our 2008 Annual Report: stay tuned!


Karen Hellekson represented the Academic Journal group at the OTW informational panel held at Muskrat Jamboree on April 3, 2009. She spoke about the fan connection and urged fans and acafans to consider submitting, and she handed out the journal’s most recent general call for papers (available here: http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/announcement/view/8).

Catherine Tosenberger, the guest editor of forthcoming TWC No. 4, special Supernatural issue, was interviewed by Sequential Tart. The interview was published on April 6, 2009 (available here: http://www.sequentialtart.com/article.php?id=1364). She spoke not only about SPN but also put in a great plug for TWC!

TWC has been accepted for inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (http://www.doaj.org/). We will be inputting article metadata to facilitate dissemination of content.


OTW staffers Kristina Busse, Francesca Coppa, Casey Fiesler, Karen Hellekson, Tisha Turk, and Rebecca Tushnet all presented papers at the IP/Gender Conference at the American University School of Law on April 23-24, 2009. The event was co-sponsored by the Women in the Law Program, the Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, the Program on Information and Intellectual Property, and the Organization For Transformative Works.

The Legal Committee continues to provide advice and support to other Committees and the Board as needed, consulting recently on the issue of a possible legacy to the OTW. As always, we welcome queries from the public, and we attempt to respond to them promptly, as they arise.

Open Doors:

The Open Doors committee continues to work on setting up the Fan Culture Preservation Project website; we are also working on a gameplan to help preserve fan sites which will be destroyed when GeoCities goes down later this year.


No report at this time.


Apart from our usual translating gig we were figuring out how to restructure our teams this month, and we’re also trying to streamline our translation procedure a bit. We hope this will make both our administrative work and the translators’ experience a lot smoother.

We have also been staring over Elz’s shoulder in fascination as she continues to code the Archive’s translation interface for us; we’re very excited to get to testing it soon-ish (in fact, we’re in the process of setting it up! whooo!)

Last but not least a shout-out to our fabulous translators: in addition to our Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, French, German, Czech, Finnish and Italian teams we could also welcome Japanese and Danish to the fold this month! <3 Vidding History:

Francesca Coppa, Tisha Turk, and Rebecca Tushnet will be heading to Washington DC on May 7th to testify at the Copyright Office in support of the EFF’s petition for a DMCA exemption for fair use remix artists, including vidders. More information about the upcoming hearing is here: http://www.copyright.gov/1201/hearings/2009/#may7.

Vidding History members Coppa and Turk also presented vidding-related academic work at IP/Gender on April 23-24, 2009.


No report at this time.


We’ve posted the full text of OTW’s reply comment in support of the EFF’s proposed DMCA exemption for vidders. It’s accessible in PDF or HTML format from the Test Suite of Fair Use Vids page.

More recently, we’ve been in discussion with Elections and Systems as we take the first steps toward setting up an Elections subsite. This will be our main project for the next few months.


We’re still at work cleaning out policies and bugs, as well as trying to fruitfully incorporate new feedback received on the workings and content of Fanlore. Outreach is still a main goal of ours for this year, with new links forming with the RPG and filking communities recently (Francesca, thank you for the help!)


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