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?”

Copyright and Fandom: An Update on EU Article 17

This post is guest-authored for OTW Legal by Julia Reda, a German researcher and politician who represented her country as a Member of the European Parliament between July 2014 and July 2019. She was a member of the Pirate Party Germany, part of the Greens-European Free Alliance, until 27 March 2019. You can find her on Twitter as @Senficon.


Article 17 is a new EU copyright rule that will make some for-profit online platforms directly liable for copyright infringements by their users from June 2021. In order to protect themselves from liability, those platforms will need to filter new uploads for potential copyright infringements in works that have been registered with them by rightsholders. These automated filters are notoriously bad at recognizing the difference between blatant copyright infringement and fan art, which is often legal under the copyright exceptions that apply in Europe instead of US fair use – such as caricature, parody, or pastiche (the use of existing materials and creatively combining them into something new). The likely result will be more frequent blocking of fan art and other forms of everyday Internet culture such as memes, reaction gifs or lipsyncs. Experts such as the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression have warned about the danger of Article 17 for our fundamental rights.

Thankfully, fully non-profit platforms such as Archive of Our Own will be excluded from the upload filter provision. Still, Article 17 poses a huge threat to the broader online culture ecosystem. It’s unclear whether small forums that generate some advertising revenue but are commercially insignificant when compared to YouTube or Facebook will still be considered for-profit platforms that have to apply the onerous new rules. Additionally, EU countries have a lot of freedom to adopt national rules that would help prevent the automated blocking of legal content such as fan art. Read More

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

Election Candidate Chats and Q&A Roundup 2020

The Elections season is in full swing! This post has links to the candidates’ answers to your questions.

Chats

There will be two public chats, both of which will last 90 minutes. Each of them will have three candidates in attendance. Chats will take place in our public chatroom.
They are scheduled for:

During these chats, chat attendees will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their platforms, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. New questions will only be accepted for the first hour of the scheduled chat time to make sure candidates have time to finish them all.

We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats! Read More