July 2019 Newsletter, Volume 137


In July, the Archive of Our Own celebrated two big milestones: 2 million registered users and 5 million fanworks! Coincidentally, this milestone comes a year to the day after AO3 hit 4,000,000 fanworks on 20 July, 2018 — the fastest growth in AO3’s ten-year history.

The OTW marked these milestones with festivities including AO3 Fanwork Bingo (#AO3Bingo), a cross between regular bingo, a fanworks rec list, and a scavenger hunt. Prizes were cool badges for the winning players and lists of fanwork recs for the rest of us! Thanks to Communications and Translation for getting the word out; and, as always, many many thanks to all the creators, writers, readers, and volunteers who make this community what it is today!


July saw the OTW Board of Directors Election season in full swing. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for the candidates and took part in the live chat. The election is now closed and the results have been announced. Thanks to everyone who voted, and congratulations to our new Directors! Their terms begin on October 1st.


In July, the Legal committee joined allies for an active month of advocacy. They collaborated with others to file an amicus brief about the fair use doctrine in the case of Smith v. Drake, which concerned the musician Drake’s use of a sample from a spoken word piece in a rap song. The brief argued that fair use should apply to uses of substantial amounts of a work when those uses have a different meaning, message, or purpose from the underlying work.

Legal also joined allies and experts to make a joint statement of principles about Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency act, which provides protections for Internet platforms; and joined allies to submit a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing the CASE Act, which would create a Copyright small-claims tribunal that could impose penalties of up to $30,000 on alleged infringers without due process.


In July, Open Doors completed the import of the yaoi and shounen ai fanfiction archive soul circuit and finished searching the AO3 for existing copies of works from the Vin Diesel archive, VinXperience, and a Star Trek archive, Side By Side, marking substantial progress in the duplicate search queue. Open Doors would like to thank their special project volunteers for all their help!

Finally, Support tickets are holding steady, thanks to the hard work of the Documentation and the Coding teams, at approximately 1,500 tickets in July. A substantial number were very positive, due to a Tumblr post that welcomed positive feedback. Policy and Abuse also received approximately 1,500 tickets this month, and Tag Wrangling handled approximately 225,000 tags.


As of 26 July the OTW has 718 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Sammie Louise (Support), 1 other Support staffer, Cayce Stevenson (Strategic Planning) and 2 other Strategic Planning staffers
Development & Membership: amy2, Injo Davi, Rachel “Metallic_Sweet” and 4 other staffers
New Translation Volunteers: Deeksha Devik, and 3 other volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: Annamarie, C. Ryan Smith and JessicaLovesSocks2658 (Policy & Abuse), galvelociraptor (Support) and 5 other Support staffers
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: BruceWayne, JessicaLovesSocks2658, Saloni and 3 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Cynassa, firey and 1 other volunteer

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


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