April 2016 Newsletter, Volume 101


Development & Membership held the OTW’s April 2016 membership drive this month, raising just under US$100,000! Kudos to them, as well as to Communications, Translation, Web Strategy, Design & Development, and everyone else who worked on the drive.

And a big thank you to everyone who donated, signal boosted, and supported the drive. We couldn’t have done it without you!


Board has filed taxes for 2015 and worked with the Strategic Planning Committee to finish the revision of the Strategic Plan.

Communications‘ Media Outreach team posted the first of a new Five Things an OTW Staffer/Volunteer Said series, which is replacing the old Spotlight series as a way to showcase what OTW personnel do. Stay tuned for more posts like this in the future.

The Wiki Committee upgraded Fanlore’s MediaWiki software to version 1.26.2. This version includes new features and allows Fanlore to take advantage of upcoming security releases.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is happy to announce that the move to the new transformativeworks.org site is finally finished, and that the Open Doors and Elections sites have also been moved. Elections has been working to make sure navigation works smoothly on their new site, and Web Strategy, Design & Development is reviewing the main sitemap to make sure all content is up-to-date.


At the very end of March, the ever-busy Legal team 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. The committee reminded the Copyright Office that many entities that rely on the DMCA, like the OTW’s Archive of Our Own, are small and lack the resources to monitor user-provided content for infringement. They also highlighted the importance of preventing and punishing improper takedown notices, and discussed how the current system of counter-notification doesn’t do enough to protect fair use and free expression.

Early in the month, 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. They discussed the pros and cons of notice-and-takedown systems and the importance of making sure those systems don’t chill non-infringing speech. They also urged the Commission to recognize that significant innovation and creativity can come from the non-commercial sector, and not to make rules that only large businesses will be able to follow.

Later in the month, Legal joined allies in a letter to the U.S. Senate regarding the appointment of Dr. Carla Hayden as U.S. Librarian of Congress. They continue to work with allies to monitor and provide input to the Senate confirmation process.

Legal also responded to several law-related queries from fans. Internally, Legal is monitoring trademark activity concerning parties’ attempts to obtain exclusive trademark rights over the word “fandom,” and laying groundwork to oppose those attempts.


Accessibility, Design & Technology have announced an upcoming Archive functionality that will allow collection owners to invite works to their collections. They successfully deployed releases 0.9.129-0.9.131 and began testing for release 0.9.132. The deploys included an emergency fix for an issue where work and bookmark listings weren’t updating, as well as some much-needed changes to help Support and Abuse manage comments from logged-out users.

Open Doors began importing works from the WesleyFanfiction archive with the assistance of the site’s moderator.

AO3’s Tag Wranglers have been seeing a strong increase in newly canonized or renamed tags not updating properly in the filters, which can mean that some works do not appear properly under the tag. Coders are aware of the situation and are working towards a solution, but users are the best resource for finding these tags. Please submit a support ticket if you come across one!


Legal bids a fond farewell to long-time committee member Iona. They look forward to the possibility of her returning to the committee when time allows.

Strategic Planning is very sad to see their staffer, Seamus, leave the committee, but they wish him well in all his future endeavors in Systems and in life!

Systems is very excited to welcome a new Project Manager, Puckling!

This month, Tag Wranglers inducted five new staff members.

Volunteers & Recruiting opened recruitment for 2 Elections staff positions, and worked with Strategic Planning and Board on revisions to the Strategic Plan.

New Committee Staff: Patrycja Zarzecka (Elections), Gesundheit (Tag Wrangling), Cryllia (Tag Wrangling), Schuyler (Tag Wrangling), alamerysl (Tag Wrangling), ChelseaIBelieve (Tag Wrangling), puckling (Systems), 1 Journal
New Coder Volunteers: 1
New Translator Volunteers: 1

Departing Committee Staff: dizmo (Tag Wrangling), cinnamonandtea (Support), Ilona van der Vegt (Abuse), Ehryn (Abuse) and 1 other Abuse staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: PineTreePerson and 6 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: 2, Mierke

  1. Alessnox commented:

    Good job!