Posts in Legal Advocacy

KOSA and Other Bad Internet Bills

The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) has been much in the news lately, and OTW Legal has been receiving inquiries from understandably concerned users. We thought it would be worthwhile to provide some information on KOSA and also a rash of other bad internet bills that have been proposed around the U.S. It’s been, unfortunately, a busy summer – and now that Congress is back in session it’s time to take action! The tl;dr is that the OTW and AO3 are not currently implicated by KOSA and many of the other bills because of our nonprofit status (most of the proposed laws only apply to… Read more

Tell the Copyright Office About AI

With ChatGPT’s rapid growth since its launch in late 2022 and many other text, graphic and video AI generative services gaining popularity, AI and copyright has become a heatedly debated topic. The U.S. Copyright Office is now seeking public comment to assess the need for legislative or regulatory steps in copyright law issues raised by the rapid development of AI. Four main areas surrounding the use of AI systems are currently for public comment, some of these are more closely connected to fannish activities and have a direct impact on AO3 users. Using copyrighted materials in training AI models, specifically, whether permission from copyright owner… Read more

Three U.S. Legal Issues To Watch

OTW Legal is tracking and participating in three current developments in U.S. law that could affect fans: (1) Fan-unfriendly proposals to change trademark law; (2) Attacks on LGBTQ+ expression online; and (3) Proposals to mandate technological copyright filtering on the Internet. We will keep advocating for fans in these areas, and in some cases, there are things you can do if you’re in the U.S.! If you want to know more, read on. (1) Fan-Unfriendly Proposals to Change Trademark Law The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill with the misleading name of “SHOP SAFE” that would place barriers and restrictions on online marketplaces,… Read more

Help OTW Advocate for Fan-Friendly Law In Hong Kong

Right now, Hong Kong is in the process of reviewing and proposing changes to its copyright law, and has put out a public call for consultation. OTW Legal will be submitting a comment in response to this request, recommending that Hong Kong’s copyright law be made more flexible to allow more freedom for fans to create and share fanworks. Here’s where you come in! As we’ve done in many countries, including Canada, Australia, the U.S., South Africa, and New Zealand, we’d like our Hong Kong submission to include first-hand accounts from Hongkongers about the benefits of laws that promote the creation and sharing of transformative… Read more

Tumblr Post+ and You

We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about tumblr’s recent announcement that it would be beta testing a feature it is calling “Post+,” which allows users to monetize posts by locking them to subscribers. How does this interact with AO3 policies? Don’t worry, nothing’s changing. As always, AO3 is dedicated to noncommercial fanworks, and has a policy against using the AO3 for commercial solicitation. So, linking to your blog or other social media from AO3 is fine. But linking to your Patreon, Ko-fi, Amazon sales page, or other commercial/fundraising site isn’t. Letting people know how to learn more about you is fine, but soliciting financial… Read more