October 2012 Newsletter, Volume 64

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

I. WALKING THE WALK

This was a big month for our Legal Committee who, along with staffers from Vidding, successfully upheld and expanded the DMCA exemption for vidders! This exemption allows people to obtain high-quality copies of a source (for example by ripping a DVD) for transformative purposes. Our team faced some strong opposition this year from industry, so we’re extra pleased that all their hard work paid off. Thanks to everyone who helped the OTW with this, especially the vidders whose testimony formed a central part of our case. We’d also like to give particular thanks to Rachael Vaughn, who worked closely on this, and to Tisha Turk, Rebecca Tushnet, and Francesca Coppa, who testified.

Development & Membership would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the October membership drive, which raised more than $18,600.

II. TALKING THE TALK

Journal is pushing through the last few manuscripts for the two special issues of early 2013 (comics and boys’ love). Kristina Busse gave a keynote address entitled “Fifty Shades of Fandom: Repetition and Originality in Transformative Fanworks” at the Borders and Beyond: Considering Communities conference, Oct 11-13, 2012, in Gainesville, FL.

Open Doors has recently compiled feedback from the 852 Prospect import testing and sent it to Accessibility, Design & Technology (AD&T) in preparation for a larger test, and if all goes well, the long-awaited import itself. They will also be working with AD&T on the import of a small German slash archive and be assisting another mod with the manual import of two memorial archives.

Support has been maintaining a speedy turnaround for tickets. Most tickets now receive an initial response within 48 hours – they answer all tickets, so if you don’t hear back within a week then it’s worth submitting a new ticket just in case something went awry (for example, a couple of times recently Support tried to respond to a ticket and the email has been bounced). Support is also still seeing quite a few reports of invitations or activation emails not arriving. Coders recently did some work to try and improve this problem, but emails from the Archive do sometimes get flagged as spam. If you are expecting an email from the AO3 and it doesn’t arrive, please get in touch with Support!

All of Tag Wrangling‘s guidelines are now publicly accessible as AO3 FAQs. Huge thanks to Sam for his hard work on that project! Wranglers have also been assisting in doing testing for the return of the filters.

Content Policy hopes to release some proposed housekeeping (non-substantive) changes to the archive’s Terms of Service and its FAQ shortly and is in the process of soliciting internal comments for that. Meanwhile the Category Change workgroup has issued a call to all users of the AO3 to tell us how you go about finding fanworks and how you use the media categories page.

III. UPGRADES

Webmasters are still working on upgrading the content management system used on transformativeworks.org, elections.transformativeworks.org, and opendoors.transformativeworks.org from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. The sites will be going offline again for further maintenance, which will be announced when dates and times have been determined.

Accessibility, Design & Technology’s major focus has been on their upcoming deploy, which will include the return of the long-awaited tag filters! Everyone has been working hard: coding, testing, revising documentation for the new filters, and generally preparing everything. They have also been really happy to see lots of new coders getting involed; the next thing they want to do is build up the testing team.

The Wiki Committee is close to finishing the mediawiki upgrade for Fanlore. Their Twitter account was also briefly hacked to send spam messages to people. The committee apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks everyone who alerted them to the problem.

Systems‘ James has been doing lots of work on the Archive of our Own, including setting up an alternative test server for use testing specific types of issues. He’s also been taking care of the main Archive servers, tweaking settings to ensure they run smoothly, and liaising with the colocation host to resolve a problem on their end.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board is in its overlap period, when incoming Board members shadow the current Board to learn about their new roles. The new members will take office on November 1. Elections Workgroup is working on the final bits of documentation in preparation to shut down this year and start preparing for next year.

Finance has been busy preparing quarterly reports – which they’re hoping to release soon – and handling the October drive, as well as buying more new computer bits for the servers. Grants took a hiatus over the summer, but is now contacting other committees to consider projects they want to do (and wish list items) that may be on the back burner for financial reasons. Their first task is working with Journal to finalize a grant proposal.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting has progressed through their project for revising and documenting Induction & Removal. They’re also gearing up for the annual Still Willing To Serve project, in which current OTW staff indicate if they will be staying on for another term and in which positions. They are also preparing to submit the Code of Conduct and Constructive Corrective Action Procedure to Board.

New Chairs: Tara Keezer (Grants)
New Tag Wranglers: julzbullard
Departing Staffers: Cinco (Grants), Natacha Guyot (I&O), Hadrien Asbury (Grants), Rachel Barenblat (Open Doors), Shannon (Wiki), Tuulia (Wiki)
Departing Testers: Cinco