I. LEGAL ADVOCACY
In March, Legal has been busy working for fans! They submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee opposing proposed changes to online copyright law, they submitted comments to the U.S. Copyright Office arguing for renewal and clarification of the vidders’ exemption to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anticircumvention provisions, and they joined allies in sending a letter to the newly-appointed U.S. Trade Representative supporting international copyright treaties that incorporate limitations and exceptions to copyright exclusivity.
Legal staffer Casey Fiesler also participated in a Town Hall for Internet Creators, where she and others discussed what the CASE Act means for Internet Creators. The CASE Act will go into effect in about a year and will create a “small claims” tribunal in the U.S. Copyright Office for allegations of copyright infringement. The U.S. Copyright Office is currently in the process of planning how the tribunal will work, and OTW Legal will have a voice in that process. Regardless of how the tribunal ends up working, users accused of copyright infringement under the CASE Act will be able to opt out of the procedure.
Legal also prepared to testify before the U.S. Copyright Office in April regarding the vidders’ exemption.
II. AT THE AO3
Accessibility, Design, & Technology reviewed, tested, and deployed some new code, and they shared some data about tag use.
At the time of this writing, in March, Policy & Abuse had received about 2000 tickets, while Support had received 1000 tickets. In February, Tag Wrangling wrangled a massive volume of new tags — over 480,000 in total, more than a thousand tags per wrangler — while working closely with the Policy & Abuse team to deal with an influx of spam tags.
III. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW
On March 15, Transformative Works and Cultures released No. 35, Fan Studies Pedagogies, edited by Paul Booth and Regina Yung Lee.
The OTW has been getting ready for its next Board of Directors election, which is scheduled to take place August 13-16. Elections has been finalizing the election timeline, which will be available in mid-April, and the Board of Directors held a public meeting educating fans about what the Board does; this was also the Board’s first ever public meeting to take place on Discord.
Systems are working on a number of networking projects: configuring new firewalls and segmenting their internal network more so that a problem in one area is less likely to cause issues elsewhere. They also have been working on upgrading the software behind Fanlore, including migrating to a newer version of Mediawiki, migrating from SphinxSearch to ElasticSearch as a search backend, and more.
IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS
From 24 February to 24 March, Volunteers & Recruiting received 137 new requests, and completed 123, leaving us with 43 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).
As of 24 March 2021, the OTW has 977 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.
New Committee Chairs: Dre (Tag Wrangling)
New Committee Staff: cinnamonandtea (Translation); peaandsea (Volunteers & Recruiting) and 2 other Volunteers & Recruiting staff; AlexMartin, alsaurus, Anna Rose, Blake N, Cheyenne Bingham, kentucka, Neymat Raboobee, silverinerivers, Srosh Hassan & Taylor Brianne (all AO3 Documentation) and 4 other AO3 Documentation staff; Alex Johnson, Natalie Semczuk (both Strategic Planning) and 1 other Strategic Planning staff; Cath S, Jared, Quietborderline, Sophia Zhai, vinndetta (all Policy & Abuse) and 4 other Policy & Abuse staffers; GloriaRoies, hmweasley, Isis C (all Tag Wrangling) and 2 other Tag Wrangling Supervisors
New Translation Volunteers: Alisé, Anastasiia Malaia, Celine Lean, Eirian Llwyd, Fedorak Zhanna, Glowsval, Kockožder, Lulu, Manasi Kendurkar, Masturah, Mirissa, Nicola, Paiyan, petals_sunwards, TanMoh, tmninja and 7 other volunteers
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Tag Wrangling Supervisor & 1 Policy & Abuse Staffer
Departing Open Doors Volunteers: Rodolphe Courtier
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: cinnamonandtea, Kaelin & 1 other volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: smauglocki & 4 other volunteer
For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.