July 2018 Newsletter, Volume 126


On 20 July, The Archive of Our Own reached four million fanworks! AO3 continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate; previous fanworks milestones: 3 million fanworks on April 28, 2017, 2 million fanworks on December 20th, 2015, 1 million fanworks on February 15th, 2014.

Another milestone this month was the release of the major AO3 search engine upgrade! New features like tag exclusion and better search-by date will make searching those 4 million fanworks much easier. Also helpful: the updated hidden search operators cheatsheet.

Cheers to Accessibility, Design and Technology for reaching the end of this very long process!


The Election for the OTW Board of Directors will take place August 10-13.

The Development & Membership Committee has finished the task of compiling the voter rolls and, by now, all members should have received voting instructions by email. The Elections committee worked closely with Communications to hold and advertise two candidate chats on July 22 and July 28 and the publication of candidates’ Q & A responses. For all the Elections information, visit the OTW Elections site, follow @OTWElections on Twitter, and otwelections on Tumblr.


Good news from the European Union! In early July, the EU Parliament voted against automatic approval of a “Proposal for a Directive on Copyrights in the Digital Single Market”. The European Parliament will revisit the proposal with amendments in September. The OTW Legal Committee updated their June post with these new developments in these potentially fan-unfriendly changes to EU copyright law.

In Australia, Legal submitted a response to the Australian Government’s call for stakeholder input into its copyright modernization process. The OTW comment argued that Australia should adopt a flexible fair use standard that leaves room for fan creativity, in place of its current fair dealing law. Thanks to all the Australian users and members who submitted their stories!

Also in July, OTW Legal joined with allies at the Suffolk Law Clinic to oppose registration of the term “Rapunzel” as a trademark for dolls and toys. They argued that Rapunzel is a folklore and popular-media character used in many fanworks including fanfiction, fanart, and fan dolls and toys, so the word cannot act as a brand for any particular maker of dolls or toys.


Open Doors announced the import of FictionAlley, a Harry Potter fanfiction, fanart and essay archive, on July 19th. Open Doors is also pleased to announce the completed imports of Artifact Storage Room 3, a Sentinel fanfiction and fanart archive, and the National Library portion of the West Wing Fanfiction Central. Open Doors would like to thank their special project volunteers, who completed the AO3 search of TER/MA, an X-Files slash fanfiction archive, marking substantial progress in the duplicate search queue.

Head’s up: have you been using the Stylish browser extension to style websites? AO3 Documentation wants to alert users that the extension is malware, stealing internet history data. Stylish has been removed from the Chrome, Firefox, and Mozilla extension stores. AO3 Docs has removed it from their Unofficial Browser Tools FAQ; look for replacement options soon.

Finally, Support received approximately 1,500 tickets in July, up from 1,100 in June; however, a higher percentage of those than usual have been ~praise~! Users are very excited about the new search features :) Policy & Abuse received 982 tickets this month, and Tag Wrangling handled ~171,000 tags in June.


As of 25 July the OTW has 656 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Cyn (Support), Ellen (Support), Jeniouis (Support), JR (Support), Sable (Support) and 8 other Support Staffers, 1 new Open Doors Staffer.
New Fanlore Volunteers: 1 volunteer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Rachel Marie, Zorya
New Translator Volunteers: LapsedPacifist, Beyza G., Marina81, Keeni, wermea, Ula, and 7 other volunteers
New TWC Volunteers: 1 volunteer

Departing Committee Staff: 1 Elections staff, 1 Policy and Abuse staff
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: NirCele and Ron Geromy and 2 other Tag Wrangler Volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: alive, Diya Basu

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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