I. OTW IN PERSON
May brought two opportunities for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) staff to interact with OTW members offline! Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Communications staffer Claudia Rebaza presented “Celebrating 10 Years of Serving Fans: Meet the OTW” at WhedonCon in Southern California. Thanks to the convention organizers and everyone who came out to chat!
Additionally, Legal staffer Casey gave a TedX talk at Colorado University about fair use and remix, entitled “How the Internet and Copyright Fuel Creativity.” You can check out a video of the talk on YouTube and learn about how fanworks fit into US copyright laws.
II. AT THE AO3
During May, Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed releases 0.9.191 – 0.9.193. These releases included updates and bug fixes for managing co-creators on works, resolving some common issues that would result in an error 500 message, and various other improvements. There is now a code freeze (brr!) to ensure a smooth behind-the-scenes update from Rails 3.2 to Rails 5.
Tag Wrangling worked hard this month, continuing on from a busy April where they wrangled approximately 497,000 tags! \o/ At the request of Open Doors, wranglers assisted with tag mapping for several archive imports and searched to find metadata for over 1,000 works in the Stargate SG-1 fandom. Wranglers also continued to work on disambiguating single-name characters and relationships to bring them into compliance with guidelines on ambiguous tags.
Lastly, Support received over 1167 tickets, and Abuse received roughly 500.
III. LEGAL ADVOCACY
May was an active month for Legal. They submitted reply comments to the U.S. Copyright Office regarding the Copyright Office’s inquiry into the “moral rights” of attribution and integrity. These reply comments followed up on their submission in March, corrected some other participants’ assertions about fanworks and fan cultures, emphasized the complexity and effectiveness of fans’ attribution norms, and pointed out that if converted into law, an attribution right may be more likely to be used against noncommercial creators than it is to be used by them.
They also joined with several allies to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Georgia v. Public Resource. The case is about ensuring that the public has free access to the official versions of laws and related government information. Among other things, the OTW’s brief argued that making something available for free cannot be “commercial use” for purposes of analyzing copyright fair use.
Lastly, Legal worked on two public posts about legal developments. For the first one, they worked with Communications to inform and mobilize fans in the European Union with regards to pending legislative proposals that would promote censorship and Internet filtering. For the second, they explained some recent U.S. legal developments about what internet service providers can do with user data, and discussed what impact those legal developments might have on fans in the U.S. They also responded to a number of individual queries about fanworks and law.
Board has announced a change in Treasurer: Finance chair Yuechiang Luo has replaced Atiya Hakeem (Lady Oscar) as OTW Treasurer.
Elections has continued to prepare for the upcoming election. As a reminder, some dates from the election timeline: This year’s election will be held August 11-14, and the membership deadline for being eligible to vote is June 30. Candidates running for the Board of Directors will be announced on June 21. Check out Elections’ Twitter and Tumblr for updates throughout the election season.
V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS
As of the 28th of May, the OTW has 638 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.
New Committee Staff: Rachel Bussert (Volunteers & Recruiting), Connie Pini (Volunteers & Recruiting), Judy Wen (Elections), Hazel Seanor (Elections), 1 other Election staffer and 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting staffer.
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Alex Garner, BooksAreLife, Christina L Simpson, fykan, gracethebookworm, Helena, hthesecond, I-Mushi, Ingi, Iridium, Ironweed, Jackie, KamW, Lianne, Mieun, Mikayla, Miniwave, Miranda Parker, mmmdraco, Nis, Nissi, oncomingtragedy, Parker, Paula, Rimb, savannaharcana, scm.sarah.miller, squallina, TajarGirl, tallcoins, The Calamity, Thewordlover, Tildy, Trixxster103 and Victoria M.
New Translation Volunteers: Anhaita, redsummernight and 12 others.
Departing Committee Chairs: Kiri Van Santen (Communications) and Atiya Hakeem (Finance).
Departing Committee Staff: Astrid Clemons (Abuse), Rachel Pearl Bracker (Communications), Pip Janssen (Communications), Elanya (Tag Wrangling), Michele Carter (Open Doors), 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer and 1 Strategic Planning staffer.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: saraolives.
Departing Communications Volunteers: ElenaWho and 1 other.
Departing Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: 1 volunteer.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3 volunteers.
Departing Translation Volunteers: Mareen Fischer, Andita, Roser Agnés, Zsuzsa Gábor and 1 other.
For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.