OTW Signal, April 2024

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

Many fans have been following the discussion surrounding the proposed legislation known as KOSA, the Kids Online Safety Act. An article which examined changes to the language in the bill, mentioned the coalition of groups continuing to oppose passage in favor of a different bill, the Invest in Child Safety Act.

NetChoice, Chamber of Progress, the Software & Information Industry Association, and Internet Works were among the groups that sent a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday, urging them to pass the Invest in Child Safety Act. The bill, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), is primarily aimed at directing more funding to law enforcement to investigate child predators, rather than focusing on tech companies. The letter was also signed by the nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology as well as the Organization for Transformative Works, which operates popular noncommercial fanfiction site AO3.

The OTW’s Legal team also posted about KOSA as well as other concerning legislation last year. At that time they mentioned that the OTW and AO3 are not currently implicated by KOSA and many of the other bills because of our nonprofit status. Nevertheless it is a matter of concern for our organization, and OTW Legal will continue to monitor activity regarding this and other legislation.

A recent article about the French soap opera ‘Ici tout commence’ noted the importance of the fannish translation community.

The international dimension of this fandom is evident. On X, fans post about the couple in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean. On fanfiction sites like Archive of Our Own, writers upload works in both French and English, with some fics translated from one language to the other…The kind of fan labor inherent to this fandom does a lot to bring people together. There is a sense of gratitude towards the fans doing the work of editing and translation, which creates connections across language and culture.

AO3 is set up to host works in 136 languages. Fans can also encourage translations or other uses of their fanworks by creating Blanket Statements in their Author’s Notes or Profiles.

OTW Tips

Transformative Works and Cultures announced this year the launch of the Fans of Color Research Prize. This is a cash prize of $500 to the author of a peer-reviewed article about fans and/or fandoms of color published in TWC in the preceding 3 years (for 2024, no earlier than 2021) Submissions are due by May 1, 2024. Authors may self-nominate, or articles may be nominated by someone else. Authors nominated by third parties will be asked whether they consent to participate. Visit the link for more information.

We want your suggestions for the next OTW Signal post! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or news story you think we should know about, send us a link. We are looking for content in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in an OTW post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Signal

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