November 2015 Newsletter, Volume 97

Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

I. NEW BOARD MEMBERS ELECTED

The 2015 election is over! After a slight technical hiccup with the voting software, the election went off without a hitch, and voters chose two new Board Members from a choice of an unprecedented six candidates on the ballot! Congratulations to our new Directors, Atiya Hakeem and Matty Bowers, who began their terms on December 1st! Their victory was originally announced in a public post, 2015 Election Results. We wish them the best in their upcoming terms.

Our Elections Committee received much interest in the data resulting from this election. In response to that, we produced the Elections Statistics for 2015 post. This post briefly elaborates some numbers involved, as well as our process for electing an equal cohort of Board members and our policy regarding the privacy of voters.

With a historic election season behind us, the committee would like to thank everyone who made the 2015 election possible. Candidates and committees, volunteers and voters, this Organization would not be possible without your participation and support. The future of the OTW belongs to you.

II. AT THE AO3

Our Accessibility, Design & Technology Committee is pleased to announce that the Archive of Our Own now has comment moderation. You can read more about this new feature in this post, which includes instructions for how to us it.

Some big milestones are also approaching. AO3 will soon reach 2 million fanworks! We’re excited to celebrate this milestone with our users. When the Archive reached 1 million fanworks on February 15th, 2013, we decided to celebrate by declaring that day International Fanworks Day, an annual tradition we’ll be celebrating again in 2016. Be sure to plan your own celebrations early so that we can spread the word about them in the new year.

III. OTW LEGAL AROUND THE WORLD

Our Legal Committee was busy with international copyright issues this month. We produced an educational post discussing What the Trans Pacific Partnership Means for Fans, covering a recent international trade treaty’s intellectual property provisions and what impact they could have on fanworks in the countries that sign on to it. Special thanks to our Translation Committee for translating the post into many languages! We also promoted the Save the Link Coalition’s Internet Voice Tool, which is collecting feedback for the European Commission regarding proposed European legislation that could restrict the ability of online platforms to contain links to copyrighted material, or could even make those platforms legally liable for content posted by their users.

Legal also filed two amicus briefs in cases that we’ve been following for years. Following up on September’s fair use win in the case of Lenz v. Universal, we asked the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to strengthen its holding in that case that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing a DMCA takedown notice. And in the case of Davis v. EA Games, we joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to settle a disagreement among U.S. courts about when the First Amendment protects people’s free speech rights to use someone’s name, likeness, or identity without violating their rights of publicity.

IV. GOVERNANCE

On November 22nd, the six sitting members of 2015 the Board of Directors announced their resignation effective December 15th. The newly elected Board members are currently working on making the transition as seamless as possible. There’s no need to worry–the OTW and all of our projects (including AO3) aren’t going anywhere. We’d like to thank everybody for your patience and understanding as things get sorted out.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Our Volunteers & Recruiting Committee has now finished recruitment for 2015. Recruitment will resume again in 2016.

New Committee Staff: RoseJackson (Abuse), SoyAlex (Volunteers & Recruiting), 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting, Solovei (AO3 Docs), ncastro (I&O), 1 other I&O, Matthew Vernon (Systems), 1 other Systems, ashleyhasahat (Communications), Cameron Salisbury (Journal) & 1 other Journal
New Journal Volunteers: Carmen Montopoli, Christine Mains, and 4 others
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Amy Hoffman, Andrandiriel, Anna S., Aro, BiancaMay, Cecil, Charlene Te, Cortney, ebjameston, Elijah, Fallowsthorn, Firen, hammysammy, Jesse, kadnarim, Kits, L1n, Laura Groeneveld, Lillian S, Luin, lydiacatfish, Noémie Barbet, Paige Hanson, Panda, phantomdoodler, Rania, Suzan Miller, SwaggyOrc, Tori Flot, track_04, Trasyn Lennon, Wes, Weston Richey, 1 other Tag Wrangling volunteer.
New Translator Volunteers: 1
Departing Committee Chairs: Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Documentation)
Departing Committee Staff: Lommy (Abuse), & 1 other Abuse, Priscilla Del Cima (AO3 Documentation), Claire W (AO3 Documentation) & 1 other AO3 Documentation
Departing AO3 Documentation Volunteers: 1
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Sammie Jarrett, Merchant, 11 others.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: openendings, 16 others
Departing Translator Volunteers: Dutchie848, HannahB, 4 Translator volunteers

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