April 2018 Newsletter, Volume 123

I. Membership Drive Success!

This April, 4,799 donors from 80 countries contributed to the OTW’s April Membership Drive. The final total of US$130,084.00 in donations exceeded our goal by over US$30,000. Kudos to Development & Membership for running the drive, and thanks to Communications, Translation, and everyone else in the OTW who worked hard to ensure everything went smoothly. Thank you also to everyone who donated, signal boosted, or otherwise helped out! Your support helps the OTW carry out its mission of preserving and promoting fanworks and fannish culture.

If you’d like to learn more about how the donations will be used, Finance released the OTW’s 2018 Budget in early April. They also hosted an open chat on April 21 where members of the public could ask questions. Thanks to everyone who attended that and made it a success!


Legal secured an important victory for AO3 in April. The World Intellectual Property Office ruled in favour of the OTW’s petition against a phishing site imitating the Archive of Our Own. The WIPO voided the infringer’s domain name registration and transferred it to the OTW, and soon it will redirect to archiveofourown.org.

This serves an an important reminder for all AO3 users: Before you log into AO3, be sure to confirm that you are on the correct site by checking that the URL is archiveofourown.org. If you suspect that your AO3 account has been compromised, you should change your password.

Accessibility, Design & Technology made a major announcement this month about the Archive of Our Own. Upgrades are coming to Elasticsearch, AO3’s search engine. These upgrades bring Elasticsearch from version 0.90 to version 6.2. Accessibility, Design & Technology is currently testing the new engine, and they plan to start switching users over to it in batches once everything’s ready. For real-time updates on AO3, follow @AO3_Status on Twitter.

Open Doors completed the import of Unknowable Room, a Harry Potter fanfiction and fan art archive. They would like to thank their special project volunteers for their hard work this month, as well as Tag Wrangling for helping with multiple tag mappings, and Systems for setting up redirects to imported works from several archives.

Both Policy & Abuse and Support received fewer tickets in April than in March. Policy & Abuse received over 700 tickets, down from 900 tickets the previous month. Support received roughly 1,300 tickets, down from March’s count of 1,600.

III. April Showers Bring Fandom Flowers!

Fanlore’s annual month-long April Showers event was also a success, growing not flowers, but fannish histories, as fans expanded and edited Fanlore to earn special badges. You can learn more about the event and Fanlore itself on its homepage, its Dreamwidth community, or its Tumblr account.

IV. Legal Advocacy

In April, Legal worked with Communications to issue a news post that responded to fan questions and concerns about recent U.S. legislation known as FOSTA/SESTA. In short, the law as it currently exists does not apply to fiction and only applies to commercial endeavours, therefore it should have no impact on the Archive of Our Own.

In other legal advocacy news, Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Legal staffer Heidi Tandy, joined by vidder (and OTW Legal staffer) Tisha Turk and other allies, testified to the U.S. Copyright Office in support of their petition to streamline and expand exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention rules. This petition is part of Legal’s fight for fans’ rights to gain access to and use DVDs, Blu-Rays, and online content that they already own for Fair Use purposes. Thanks to all of the fans whose information and stories contributed to their testimony!

Also in April, Legal finalized and filed a comment to the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Authority opposing a proposal that would allow Canadian telecom providers to block access to websites without a court order.


As of April 26, the OTW has 662 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Megan Diane (Policy & Abuse), Bella Irvine (Policy & Abuse), waywardtrekkie (Policy & Abuse), Nile (Policy & Abuse), Astrid Clemons (Policy & Abuse), and 1 other Policy & Abuse staff
Development & Membership: Amy2 and 1 other volunteer
New Translator Volunteers: buse_sivri and 1 other volunteer
New TWC Volunteers: 1 volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: Boheme (Policy & Abuse), cyrilcee (AO3 Documentation)
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: 1 volunteer
Departing Fanlore Volunteers: 1 volunteer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Charlottec1, Cyn, and 4 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: 2 volunteers

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.


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