OTW Signal, May 2023

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

The OTW was one of 38 groups and organizations which contacted the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law to express their support for the protections that Section 230 offers to hosts of user-generated content online. Chair Betsy Rosenblatt explained:

Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act is the law that makes it possible for websites like the AO3 that host user-generated content to exist. Section 230 protects websites from being liable for user-posted material, and allows websites to make and enforce their own rules about what kind of content they host (as the AO3 does with its Terms of Service) without having to monitor everything that happens on the website. The OTW continues to watch U.S. lawmakers and courts closely and will continue to oppose efforts to make it harder for people to post content online or otherwise threaten the survival of small websites.

[An element of this newsletter has been removed; please see our update post of 12 May 2023 for more information.]

OTW Tips

Contributing to Fanlore is now easier than ever. Last year Fanlore gained a new visual editor and anyone can give it a try! As their help page says: “The number one rule of wiki editing is to be bold. Dive in and make changes. Other people can correct mistakes later, so have confidence, and give it a try! There are all kinds of editing conventions and philosophies governing the editing of wiki pages, but the “be bold” rule is the most important!
In general try to write clearly and concisely and be sure you always aim to improve the wiki with your edits. A valuable edit might contribute whole pages of information, or it might simply fix a typo.”

We want your suggestions! 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
  1. Ada commented: AI fanfics are a Trojan Horse.
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  3. shadowmaat commented: If "training" computer algorithms to use modernized thinking/language is so important, why not use modern traditionally-published works instead? If the answer is "because copyright law protects them" then maybe you should stop and think about that. While AI as a /concept/ is interesting, it's the /execution/ that matters. Until true artificial intelligence emerges I don't care about what's "good" for datamining programs. I do care very much about what's good for fic authors and other human artists.
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    • SLWalker commented: I'm absolutely in agreement with shadowmaat. I don't want my works used to make an AI that can just turn around and write something competent but soulless in two minutes when some of my works have taken me years of effort and skill-building. Humans matter way more than some imaginary AI -- and I say this as a fan of a number of AI characters! -- because at the end of the day, these AIs aren't here for our benefit. They're here as a capitalistic power grab over some of the last creative expression we humans, many of us poor, still have control of.
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      • Nope commented: Hard agree. I don’t think AI generated material has any place on a platform the purpose of which is to support creativity.
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      • Choco commented: Absolutely!!! With all the ways that algorithmically generated content (it's not "intelligent") have already been used to attempt to squeeze intellectual property and profit by excluding actual creators, I absolutely DO NOT consent to training AI on my work and have NO INTEREST in "taking up the challenge" of allowing the people behind these AI scrapers to commodify others' work.
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        • justheretoread commented: Same! I'm outraged that a rep of OTW (and thus AO3) would even support this!
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        • Emily commented: I agree that I do NOT want my writing used in AI training anymore than I would want that to happen to my artwork! It's our creative property and should not be used like that without the creator's explicit consent. Art belongs to people, not to AI training databases! Deviantart made the huge mistake of allowing AI scrapers to go through everyone's work without our consent, only later adding an opt-out mode that a creator had to turn on FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL WORK. I just ended up deleting my account. AO3 would be wise to learn from that and not allow AI scraping at all unless a creator very specifically requests that their work be used for AI training. Otherwise, everyone's work deserves to be automatically protected and untouched from AI.
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    • omgtabby commented: This this this
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    • Someone commented: The AIs are being trained on BOTH fan fiction and traditionally published work. For example, ChatGPT was evidently trained on harry Potter.
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    • 27fanficlilies commented: This^^^^^
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    • hexoteric commented: >>> If "training" computer algorithms to use modernized thinking/language is so important, why not use modern traditionally-published works instead? If the answer is "because copyright law protects them" then maybe you should stop and think about that. I genuinely don't understand what you mean by this - that you'd want fic to be copyrighted for further protection? That the fact that it's based on copyrighted work means it's illegal to use it for training material? This is a genuine question. Also traditionally-published material *is* being used for training. I doubt a professor of Law volunteering at AO3 hasn't put a lot of thought into copyright laws, also. The legal situation
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  5. Mina commented: Team, you can't just drop this kind of AI commentary from your legal chair and walk away without addressing the valid concerns that users and donors have been raising for months. Questions of whether scraping is ethical or not is understandably something OTW may not want to comment on, but that does not mean you can stand idle and refrain from letting users know the OTW's next steps on the topic. Some topics you NEED to address and explain for the typical user: - Whether the OTW's legal team believe that AI generated works are legally transformative - and therefore officially acceptable on AO3. - Whether AI generated works are considered plagiarism under AO3's TOS. - Whether the OTW are enquiring with OpenAI or other companies suspected to be scraping the archive to confirm whether this happened. - Some brief points on what this might mean (in practical terms as well as legal) for AI tools, for OTW/AO3, for IP holders who may have transformative versions of their works now incorporated into a tool which has a profit attached to it, and for fans who were scraped. Then and only then can you set off on a flight of fancy about how scraping fan content might lead to more diverse datasets (which certainly is NOT guaranteed or even likely, especially when it comes to fandom issues of racial discrimination or even simply the perpetuation of all sorts of stereotypes). Looking forward to more on this topic soon, I hope.
  6. Reply
    • Hope commented: I absolutely think AI-generated fanfic is plagiarism under AO3's TOS and any reasonable interpretation of that word.
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      • hexoteric commented: Why?
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      • b3nsn0w commented: I'm curious how you would differentiate AI-generated plagarism (which you seem to posit as inevitable in the output of any AI) from human-written plagarism, which arguably encompasses all fanworks. This is a very dangerous argument to make.
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        • Cel commented: I could write a longer answer, but I'm on my phone so I'll go straight to the point: one contains actual creativity. The other does not.
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    • Impy commented: I agree with this comment entirely. I will add only that I would sooner remove my works from the archive than allow them to train a dataset. If my consent doesn't matter and there are no plans to protect it, then I need to know that sooner rather than later. And if everyone feels the same way about training datasets, and no longer feels safe to include their work in the archive, then AO3 will have failed in its first and most important mission.
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      • rar commented: agreed. I love AO3 and would hate to move from it, but I absolutely do not want my works to be used to train AI. I hope the OTW reconsiders its stance on the matter, or at least makes it clear there's an option to opt out. I'd hate to be forced to remove my work from the only archive that hosts it becuase they are without my consent using it to train AI. Ugh.
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      • Shrewreadings commented: What they said. Ms Rosenblatt, you have badly misjudged the opinion of your clients’ membership.
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      • Nicole commented: AO3 has already been used by every machine learning program under the sun. The same tech that scrapes all images on the internet for facial recognition scraped text on the internet for chatgpt and others. No one can "let" them do it or stop it.
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  7. Lizonka commented: Your stance on AI is very disappointing. I DO NOT CONSENT to AI scraping my fanfics.
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    • l commented: THIS!!! there is practically nowhere else that's safe for writers such as myself with the content i create and if yall start letting these folks use our works as training then i will not hesitate to remove everything i have up off the archive. i do not consent to my work being used like this and its honestly disheartening to hear this. its awful.
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      • Corvin commented: Machine created stories are a regurgitation of real creativity. The fact that the chair of one of the biggest bastions fan creations and transformative works is celebrating and uwu-ing it is terrifying.
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    • Marie commented: Seconded. I joined AO3 just recently and it's a great place for publishing fanworks with a wonderful community. However, let it be clear that us authors put a lot of time and effort into our creative works and I believe this speaks for almost everyone here when I say, We would not consent to our content being scrapped. Fanfic or not, they are still our stories, ones we put a lot in, and allowing them to just be used by ai would be plagiarism and a violation of creative rights. If this stance turns out to be confirmed and applied, rest assured that numerous authors here would either remove their works or leave this site altogether.
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      • Calvin commented: Training AI on AO3 works is in no way beneficial to artists, it's just a way to dress up pushing artists out of their own field as a suitable substitute. It's not. AI is a piss-poor ripoff and no replacement for the hard work and care put in by real people. Using AO3 fics for training is an insult to author's ability to revoke consent to be used as training data as well as an insult to the effort it took for them to become the writers they are.
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  9. D commented: If this is anywhere close to the OTW's official stance on AIs scraping your site for material, you're going to see a lot fewer donations next time the drive rolls around. What an absurd head-in-the-clouds response to an issue AO3 users have found horrifying to the point of archive-locking their works and losing both readership and community. I'm actually insulted as a longtime writer that the OTW's legal chair thinks because I'm a minority, I should be excited that my "broad, inclusive, and diverse" thoughts are going to be eaten, mashed up and extruded by the soulless machine that people will happily use to replace me. People have been waiting for the OTW to formulate a position on this, and most of them think the site is going to take action to protect them and their creative works. I sincerely hope more thought will be put into this matter.
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    • shadowmaat commented: Seconded. If the Legal Chair's stance reflects how the Board as a whole feels- that content scraping is a good thing (for the scrapers, anyway)- then I'll be reconsidering any future donations. I'll also have to look into more ways to protect my content from being harvested, since I'm rapidly losing faith that the OTW will do anything to stop it from happening. This is a bad, bad road to take, team.
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      • Paying Member commented: I firmly agree. And I will also be speaking with everyone I know in fandom and urging them to do the same.
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      • no regrets commented: I’ve already decided withhold the donation I was considering to see what comes out of this. I gave concerns about the AI, I’ve seen one of the bots coming out with a paragraph that was almost a copy of my own response to a similar question and kind it AI can’t he copyrighted. (Imagine implications: AI can plagiarize you (and there are already cases where AI put through the plagiarism checking apps fail the test spectacularly, but then as it can’t be plagiarized because created by the AI). I think we need better legislation before anything. And yep. Let AI learn from published works.
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        • conspiringangel commented: On top of these issues, there is no way to protect from mass misinformation being spread through scraping because AI can’t differentiate fact from fiction. If there is scraping from fanfiction, especially RPF, this could lead to major legal issues for real people and authors. I expected the OTW to protect its writers, and I’m very disappointed in the stance they have taken. I am also withholding a donation because I will not support this path of action.
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    • Sparky commented: I agree fully. I am not excited about the possibility of my work being stolen from me only to be blended and regurgitated by a program. I’d sooner nuke my creative works entirely than allow that to happen and I believe *strongly* in the preservation that the archive supposedly stands for. But if their “preservation” is going to entail letting a machine violate artist’s works to make others money then to hell with it.
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  11. Kazutoes commented: Are you serious? Like, genuinely, are you serious? Do you care about your userbase whatsoever? It’s absolutely horrifying that I now have to worry about my own works getting scraped by AI— which, fyi, I don’t consent to, and I’m going to bet you thousands of other users do not either— when I thought this was supposed to be a safe haven. AI is a plague on this world, and you’re going to let it kill people AND creativity if you keep going on this way in terms of your support of AI.
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  13. Elena commented: What an ideologically troubling and intellectually vacuous survey of issues with LLMs using fanfiction! Let's run down the list, shall we? 1. "...machine learning is turning to broader sources from across the internet, including fan works. That means that machines will learn how to describe and express a much more contemporary, broad, inclusive, and diverse set of ideas." LLM training on data scraped from the internet has to be manually reviewed by human beings who are paid very low wages to expose themselves to content which may harm them. This is true even of fanfic. Coverage of recent LLM training, in fact, has specifically called out fanfic as a vector for trauma for humans training the model. Additionally, the assumption that a LLM's dataset would be inherently less bigoted simply because fan writers are producing work while female, POC, gay, etc., borders on the absurd. There are plenty of fics on AO3 where gay doctors get slapped around sexily and called slutty bitches. And long may they diagnose! But a LLM could easily be taught that "omega slut" is the most probable clause after "do you like that", using AO3 data, because a LLM cannot think or reason. 2. Does the OTW Legal chair read fanfiction? People already write about robots fucking and falling in love. Please be serious. 3. "We call it machine “learning” for a reason. A well-trained machine won’t generate an infringing work, but it needs as large a pool of data to work from as possible to do that." This is factually inaccurate and a simple Google produces people describing the process to get a LLM to reproduce training material, e.g. https://medium.com/@neonforge/chatgpt-copyright-concerns-and-potential-legal-consequences-for-openai-56feb6974c27 . If the OTW's argument is that a best-in-class modern LLM is insufficiently trained, I'd suggest that be made clear! Otherwise, one would be forgiven for assuming OTW Legal is in the habit of making easily disproven statements about technology they lack the domain knowledge to appropriately evaluate. 4. "Consider the classic Sony v. Betamax case: The VCR can be used to infringe, but it has noninfringing (fair) uses, and therefore the VCR does not inherently infringe. I recognize that the analogy isn’t perfect, but I find it persuasive." The key decision in the Sony v Betamax case was that the act of recording a video does not constitute infringement. In this case, the correct analogy might be the existence of web scraping technology or even the act of a nonprofit scraping AO3 data for analysis purposes. Upon using that data to train a LLM, however, many are arguing infringement occurs, because a LLM is not a thinking being; it cannot create new phrases absent a pool of data points to draw upon. Because of this, LLMs being used in production have been documented duplicating passages of training data verbatim. I find it profoundly alarming that the OTW thinks a fan's work is fair use to be chopped up, remixed, and resold to a third party. What precisely is the difference between that position and Fanlib's attempts to commercialize fic? Why has OTW Legal decided that a pro-commercialization argument is "persuasive"? 5. "[Google v Oracle] case highlighted that we shouldn’t be locked into one definition of “transformative” work, and that copying for the purpose of engaging in a different technological use can be transformative copying". I would personally be alarmed if judges took seriously an argument that Google v Oracle and infringement cases against LLMs are remotely comparable. Google v Oracle was focused on whether or not reimplementation of an application programming interface constituted copyright infringement. It had nothing to do with the data used for advanced statistical analysis nor was it related to the output of that analysis (language generation). The inputs of a system are extremely different from the code used to manipulate those inputs. Shameful, embarrassing, condescending, and flat-out wrong. The OTW owes its stakeholders an apology.
  14. Reply
    • NN commented: I appreciate this excellent breakdown of both the faulty logic here and some actual fact checking into cases carelessly mentioned. Thank you Elena. I think sentiment is extremely clear that writers want to be able to opt out of letting AI scrape fic for “content”. How can OTW make it happen?
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    • Emily commented: brilliant, thorough response. they owe us answers for all of the questions you raised.
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    • aaaaaa commented: open-source and non-commercial models exist, you know
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      • Anti-AI commented: Yeah, and? Consent is irrelevant because transformative works are free-to-chum? I'll pull my works if AO3 permits scrapers.
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  15. Deep Disappointment commented: Jesus Christ, is the AI article linked here the actual expressed position of the OTW? Has this org really fallen so completely from the days of fanlib, that its leaders have gone from opposing corporate commercialization of fanfic to "Actually, it's great if the billionaire corp scrapes fanfic to improve its for-profit product because... uh, diversity! Inclusion!" (And, just for the record, if these ultra-capitalist companies really do need to rely on *nonprofit fanfiction labor* to make their product non-bigoted, then that is a good argument for why these companies absolutely should not exist, not a good argument for why the OTW should just let them sit back and do their thing and profit off of fanfic scraping.) Other creative works sites are already working with creators to help keep their works out of the hands of corporations as much as possible. It's tremendously disappointing that this organization, which has long prided itself on being the most pro-fan, pro-creative org., has seemingly chosen to abandon those principles and go the corporation-worshiping route instead. Hopefully there will be a course-correction coming soon, because I can guarantee that the AO3's userbase at large does not want leadership who would approve of and publish an article like this.
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  17. Clarity Jones commented: This is a pretty tone-deaf response from the legal committee. I don't believe anyone on AO3 is concerned with anthropomorfic (a genre that long predates ChatGPT and will be around long after we're all dust). The Legal Chair's personal taste in fic is neither here nor there. The major concerns I and other AO3 users/OTW members have are: 1. The proliferation of AI-written content on AO3, and the limited tools AO3 provides to at least let us filter it out. 2. Companies scraping our noncommercial fanworks without our consent and using them to train large language models that will be used for commercial purposes, such as Hollywood studios attempting to union-bust by using AI "scabs" to replace striking writers. The OTW has been remarkably quiet on the first part. On the second part, we now have a statement from the OTW Legal Chair, advertised on the official OTW site, that she agrees with this use of our fanworks! (It would be useful for the OTW to consider the difference between "can" and "should," as well as between "legal" and "moral.') Absent any other statements to the contrary, that looks like an official and appalling OTW endorsement.
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  19. SkarlettSkwrl commented: AI has been of great controversy as of late. Writing certainly isn't the only creative industry to be impacted. We are in the age of data, control over information every and is quite lucrative. If this is the stance that's being taken. I can't say I'm all that suprised, just disappointed. It goes against why I respected this site. However, one middle ground method that should be taken is having a opt in setting on the writer's profile and or works blacklisting that user's data from being mined. This way users that don't wish to endorse AI data mining with works can choose not to. While those that do can.
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  21. I DO NOT CONSENT TO AI commented: I hadn't had time to make my annual OTW donation yet, and after seeing this horrible stance on AI, I'm rethinking ever donating again. This goes against all of AO3's policies. I do not consent to my work being scraped for AI. I seriously suggest you take a step back, rethink this article, and retract and apologize for treating your userbase - people who trusted OTW and AO3 - this way.
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  23. S commented: I don't think many users would be in agreement with your stance. Of course you wait to announce your position until AFTER you surpassed your recent donation goal. It's clear you don't have our best interests at heart. Overall very disappointed. I will never donate to your organization.
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  25. mikkimouse commented: The use of AI is literally one of the reasons the WGA is striking now--in fact, a Twitter thread on the subject says "plagiarism is a feature of the AI process." The way AI is trained and used right now is astoundingly unethical, and I don't want my fic being used to train programs like this, for many of the reasons stated above. I really hope you all reconsider your stance on this.
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  27. L commented: Absolutely not. There needs to at least be a tool for us to decline AI scraping our fics. This is beyond tone deaf and doesn’t account for the very real dangers artists and writers are facing with AI.
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  29. L commented: Absolutely not. There needs to at least be a tool for us to decline AI scraping our fics. This is beyond tone deaf and doesn’t account for the very real dangers artists and writers are facing with AI. This is absurd
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  31. An AO3 writer commented: Fuck you. What a shitty take.
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  33. Former Donor commented: Really great way to get a significant chunk of work removed from your site, thereby defeating the entire purpose for which the archive was created. This explains why I've also recently seen one of my fandoms inundated with several ChatGPT "written" works, but when I reported them I was told they don't violate the TOS. AO3 coming down in favor of this trash over the real expression of fans' creativity
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  35. AO3 writer commented: Supporting AI is an insult to real creators and the effort put in to populate a site lauded as being "for fans". There is no happy or just outcome to allowing AI to scrape data from the hard work of fans.
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    • l commented: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ai "writers" have no place on this site. their "work" is derived from actual writers without those writers' consent and its absolutely abhorrent that you guys (otw) would be fine with this.
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  37. disappointed AO3 user commented: What? Unbelievably disappointing. Please at least let us opt out. This seems completely at odds with the OTW. AI is the antithesis of transformative and completely out of step with the spirit of fandom. I will not be donating in the future if this isn't changed or addressed.
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  39. drosera commented: This is shockingly horrible and is going to be a huge blow to fan communities when people take their works down. Please, please reconsider. At the very least it MUST be set to "opt out" by default. Please don't be part of the evil default here. I cannot believe this is being taken as a stance. This will destroy the archive and all it stands for. I've been such a strong Ao3 supporter for so long, so this is such a horrible blow. Please, please reconsider.
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  41. VP commented: I’m beyond appalled by your legal chair's statement. The writing community as a whole —both published authors and fanfic authors alike— is united on its against AI stance. No, I do not think AI is exciting when it comes to the arts. At best it'll lead to further devaluation of artistic work, at worst it'll attempt to substitute actual artists altogether. This is shameful and frankly embarrassing, the polar opposite of what writers everywhere want. No, I do not want my works to be used to train AI. And no, I don’t think this would lead to more "inclusivity". The only challenge I’ll raise to is trying to get a clarification from you on what’s OTW's official stance on the subject and what is it doing to protect its users (throwing them under the bus, looks like). I thought the OTW would be the one organisation I could trust blindly to protect the interests of its userbase against AI, especially regarding works stored on the archive. I guess I was wrong.
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  43. Lesley Yates commented: This a horrifically terrible idea. I truly hope that you reconsider this. Please, please think of the writers.
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  45. Iwantthatcoat commented: “Will fans will take up this challenge?” I have supported AO3 through thick and thin. I have been a member and contributed for over a decade. If our fics are used by companies monetizing AI, I will leave the platform. Let them write their own materials to train their bots.
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    • Discouraged with OTW commented: Exactly. If AO3 and OTW allow/promote AI scraping, I will remove my works, cease posting new ones, cease reading/accessing the site altogether, and actively discourage others from utilizing it. I’m pretty sure a good majority of writers will feel the same. AO3 is touted as a safe space from many of the abuses writers have experienced on other public archive sites. If that will no longer be the case, users will leave in droves. Also, I feel like we need to highlight the notice at the bottom of this site: “The OTW is a fan-run nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of fanworks. We're sustained entirely by donations from our users.” Also, 2023 board elections are coming up. 1. OTW is a fan-run non-profit. Why are they considering allowing this to happen without, at the very least, a survey of the fans/users to see if they even want to allow this to happen? 2. OTW is sustained by donations. If they start allowing this, donations are going to dry up to probably less than a trickle. Good luck getting four times the goal within the first twenty-four hours. 3. The entire board can get replaced if they make a big enough mistake, and I believe allowing AI to train with AO3 content will most likely be considered by members to be that sort of mistake.
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  47. omgtabby commented: "Will fans take up this challenge" is such a despicable way to try and make creators feel bad for not playing with your pet favorite technology fad that has proven time and time again on social media it is used to steal the hard work of creatives.
  48. Reply
    • I'll take my fics down if this stance gets official commented: Like. Just be honest and say you want money and free commodities.
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  49. Worried writer commented: There is no challenge but the one AO3 will find itself having to face if something as AI training becomes the norm in the platform. It's such a callous disregard for the rights of the majority of writers who post and share their creativity in the archive to suddenly be forced to turn into content farms which take absolutely no consideration of the original authorship of these works. Did the archive not see an increase of locked works months ago when AI scrapping became a thing on the shite? How come this suddenly becomes something to be desired?
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  51. N. commented: What in the actual goddam hell is wrong with you to even suggest we would want AI access or involvement in anything on AO3. If this is an archive of our own—our being the damn users—then maybe AI, who is not a user nor a donor, nor a member of the OTW, should not be getting a seat at the table? I am genuinely horrified. How dare you.
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  53. Vaynglory commented: Hey, this is fucking terrible. As a writer, an artist, and a former donator to the Archive, I don't consent to my works being scraped for corporations to plagiarize and profit off, and I imagine a huge amount of Ao3's userbase will feel the same way. There's a difference between transformative works and AI plagiarism. If this goes ahead, I'll be deleting all my works from the Archive and encouraging as many others to do the same as possible. Fuck AI, whatever happened to basic human consideration and ethics?
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  55. aef commented: This is awful. AO3 is an archive site, for works written by ARTISTS. PEOPLE. It's no place for training AI on works by people who aren't consenting to it. What about works written by authors who are now deceased? Reconsider it. What you'll actually get is people scrubbing their works off the website and not posting there again.
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  57. Concerned commented: This is a terrible take and I'm really concerned about what it means for fandom and the fanworks hosted on AO3. I don't want my fanworks used to educate AI. Ever.
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  59. AO3 Author commented: This is an exceptionally disappointing stance to have in regards to the way that AI interacts with creative works. The idea of masking the theft of other people's hard work and effort as some kind of morally neutral transmutation into "data" is disingenuous as well as patently incorrect. It is also incredibly disconnected with the community of creators that the OTW is supposed to represent. As it currently stands AI "learning" on artistic models is theft, and it is patently unethical. I don't know if there's ever going to be a way for AI of this nature to not be unethical. Whatever arguments can be made for the utility of AI stand in a similar box as arguments for automation; where the technology can replace a burden on humanity, then perhaps it can be argued to be worthwhile. When the technology replaces human work and human effort to the detriment of those people, then the technology is a harmful tool for capital to benefit itself. AI writing and art tools are currently being used INSTEAD of artists, INSTEAD of the real human creative minds required for art. The legal chair's statement, while likely legally correct, is appalling, and frankly ghoulish. It represents a lack of understanding about the way that these systems currently operate and how they negatively affect creators. I hope this stance is reevaluated and given far more consideration, considering the response that the community seems to be having. Otherwise, we're at risk of simply losing millions of words of creative work as people pull them from the archives, and we return to not sharing our with people who would allow and encourage it to be scrubbed for a predictive text machine to learn how to spit out something with a bare resemblance of meaning. Do some reflection.
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  61. Concerned commented: What a terrible idea. Extremely disappointing. Consistently fans have been against AI getting access to their written works, some even locking their accounts to prevent scraping. Now you turn around and give us this? Going forward with this idea will only irreparably harm the trust the community has in AO3. Many will easily delete their works and leave the Archive if this goes forward. The fact that works from the deceased will not be protected, as they cannot consent to this, is also a horrible thought. AO3 is for human artists and their work, and we are NOT excited about the possibility of AI. Maybe your Legal Chair is curious, but the rest of us aren't. If this proceeds, it would pain me to do so, but I'd have to delete all my works from the site. Do better.
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  63. Myranda Sarro/Nagaina commented: This AI stance is deeply fucking disappointing and, no, fanwriters will not take up this challenge. None of us want our work scraped so a massive corporate entity can extrude product for sale. "For diversity and inclusion!" Be fucking real. That this is being advanced as an argument *in favor* of AI is deeply unserious and, frankly, deeply concerning. I strongly suggest your *Legal Chair* either adjust their opinion in accord with the *vast majority of OTW members and supporters* or else *resign their position.*
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  65. Disgusted commented: This is so incredibly disgusting. We are in the middle of writers strikes and one of the reasons is AI usage and this is the stance you’ve chosen to take? I don’t want my fics used to educate AI, it feels like a violation of everything I stand for as a creator. I can’t imagine the number of people who will pull their works from the sight because of this. There’s no care for the people who use AO3 and have supported it through everything. This needs to be reevaluated.
  66. Reply
  67. Disappointed User commented: This is very disappointing. AI learns by stealing. Allowing AI to use the works that the users of this site produce is horrendous. The works on this site are done with love and compassion, whereas AI just steals and copies. If this is AO3's official stance on the matter then it is incredibly disappointing and is a big indication that the Board is losing touch with its user base. I DO NOT consent to my fanfics being used to train AI. I will never be okay with it with a machine taking my hard work and it being used by corporations for money making purposes (because that's what it will be used for)
  68. Reply
  69. kae_karo commented: going on my 5th year of otw support and membership and have nearly 3M words published to ao3 and this right here? this is what would make me drop my support and remove all my fics from the archive...the idea that there is not only support from otw for AI-generated content but that there is desire to use fic possibly without consent (unclear on whether authors are able to opt out) for training is just...abhorrent and frankly the polar opposite of what i believed that otw and ao3 stood for. this is actively jarring and i will be researching alternative ways to host and share my fics. i hope otw reconsiders.
  70. Reply
  71. Da hellll commented: Absolutely not, AI is a terrible and I refuse to have anything to do with it.
  72. Reply
  73. Longtime AO3 user commented: It is more than a little concerning to see how flippantly Ms Rosenblatt seems to speak on the subject of AI scraping fanworks, with little to no consideration of the experience of the writers of AO3. Yes, most writers write for the love of writing, but a not insignificant part of the motivation for many is also the sharing with and the response from fellow fans. But if that engagement goes down because either everything is overrun with AI-produced pieces, or people are preferring to have AI create them pieces instead of visiting the site, then that motivation for many will take a hit. Additionally, there is the fact that most writers, including myself, are very unhappy with the idea that a machine would be allowed to scrape our work without our knowledge or permission and then process it and regurgitate on the command of some person writing a prompt into a textbox.
  74. Reply
  75. Kalira commented: This is deeply disheartening to hear from an organisation so many of us have always looked to and trusted to protect our interests; built by our own, as you say. We are on the whole as a community not excited about AI, we're unhappy, frightened, angry - we know, because it is already happening (in fan circles and professional writing circles, such as some of the driving force behind the current WGA strike), that AI is being pushed to replace creative human spirit. We have not been shy about voicing these feelings, and to hear someone speaking for the OTW speak like this is an unpleasant, painful shock. AI training and the works AI produces are deeply unethical in their current incarnations, and that is a feature not a bug. And if it's so important that they train their machines meant to replace us with broader, 'more inclusive' datasets? Perhaps they should pay for writers for that purpose, and not steal their fuel from us. It is not our responsibility (as writers or as fannish community) to contribute to that, much less without any control or consent over our own works being gutted and fed into the mill. I do not want my works being crunched for AI datasets, in any sense, ever, and I vehemently do not want the option for my consent stolen from me along with my work; being told it's exciting and I should support this new tool does not make me feel anything other than sick and disappointed.
  76. Reply
  77. AO3 Author commented: This statement is incredibly worrysome. I don't want my stories to be used as fodder to "train" an AI. AO3 is our archive, not an archive for an AI to use it as it wishes.
  78. Reply
  79. naru commented: Here to express my disappointment with this stance. Absolutely terrible. What the hell is wrong with you that you would think allowing big tech companies to harvest and steal data should be condoned for ANY REASON. The people funding the theft of data do not care about inclusivity, they care about getting as big a data set as possible. They don't care where that data comes from as long as it makes their word calculators seem more competent at ganarating a sentence so they can sell it as a solution for problems that do not exists and that it cannot fix. Creators, artists and writers, are being taken advantage of, being stolen from, and having their work and their lives devalued by billionaires who only care about the price of their stocks. What the hell is going on with you. You are supposed to be protecting us, do that.
  80. Reply
  81. Tehri commented: I haven't heard a single person who writes or reads fanfiction expressing anything else than outright fear and anger when it comes to AI, be it anything regarding visual art or written stories. In what world could you consider this a good stance to take? We do not want our stories used to train AIs, we do not want our works touched by AIs in any way, shape, or form. Hearing this from someone affiliated with OTW is horrifying and painful. I would prefer to see OTW backpedalling on this one, and fast. More specifically, I want this retracted, and I want this erased from existence. Ms Rosenblatt is speaking very flippantly about the subject, and I would like her to understand that this is the worst idea she could possibly have decided to throw up. We do not want to be taken advantage of like this, and we do not support anyone who thinks that this is okay. I do not consent to any fanfiction that I have written being used to train AI. Not now, not ever.
  82. Reply
  83. How Dare You commented: You all have got to be out of your damn minds if you think this is something anyone in your userbase will be excited about. Literally half of my friends archive-locked their fics in the past few months because of AI scraping and now you all are saying that you condone this? Way to absolutely butcher all of the good-will you all have built up these past few years with Ao3. Like how absolutely fucking tone deaf can you be? We are in the middle of a writer’s strike right now for god’s sake! I am so angry and I feel so betrayed by this. Maybe the angry teenagers crusading against this site have the right idea, because if this take is representative of the staff’s feelings as a whole, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the Ao3 team does not care about anyone but themselves and their own interests.
  84. Reply
  85. L commented: Who even are you trying to appeal to? Archive of /Our Own/, with emphasis on Our. Not Archive of A Stolen Machine's Vomit. This is insulting and so out of touch with fandom both current and past. That you would eagerly plea for members and their money and then piss on the time and effort they put into creating their works FOR FREE by saying "uwu it can train AIs to spit out a similar product" is disgusting and disheartening.
  86. Reply
  87. A Reader and Writer commented: This is hands down the most devastating and disheartening thing I've ever seen come from the OTW. I won't even bother trying to appeal to the care for the writers and fans that you as an organization claim to have, because even posting this as a SUGGESTION much less a plan proves beyond words and into directly harmful action that you take that less than seriously. So I'll say this, stone cold. AO3 is the place where readers and writers flocked expressly because it was what we wanted, and what we needed. AO3 was a safe haven for us where we didn't have to fear the whims of the board, because we knew you had our best interests in mind. There was danger posting elsewhere, so AO3 was created to be the ideal. Now, you have put doubt and fear into the minds of your users, supporters, and donors. If you follow down this path, disregarding the voices of those who actually use your platform, the OTW will become a danger, and we will run. We will create a new site. AO3 is open source. We will scrap you for parts, because our bond with each other and the idea of a safe space is a million times stronger than you as an organization. And this isn't an empty threat. I'll make a new site my goddamn self if I have to.
  88. Reply
  89. long-time AO3 user commented: Actually, no one wants this! I know this article is only reporting Betsy's stance, but if the OTW makes this part of their official policy, a lot of authors will no longer be comfortable sharing their work on this website. AI is completely contrary to the goals of AO3, and OTW needs to listen to many, many fans voicing their displeasure over this development.
  90. Reply
  91. We did not consent to this commented: How dare you even consider something as unethical and disgusting as this? I've been using and donating to Ao3 for over a decade and this is what we get? Please listen to your users: NO ONE WANTS THEIR WORK STOLEN! Because that is what you are talking about here, that is what AI does. They steal! I am so disappointed and angry right now and I have no idea how anyone could have thought this was a good idea. Good job ruining our trust! If you have any respect or care for your users you will rethink this and not let AI's ruin our safe space. What would even be the point of fanfics if they aren't even written by fans anymore!? And like so many others are saying: WE DID NOT CONSENT TO THIS! NOR DO WE WANT THIS!!!
  92. Reply
  93. veryroundbird @ ao3 commented: 100% with everyone here being confused about this stance on AI when it's incredibly unpopular with fanauthors. This was a poorly-thought-out statement to make in the current climate. I'd like to see the OTW address concerns by fans about the harms of language-learning models, considering that most fans appreciate fanfic for its basis in passion rather than commodification. Furthermore, in addition to legal concerns regarding the status of works derived from generative models, generative modeling software requires an *immense* amount of power usage that is a distinct climate concern. This is incredibly irresponsible and as an OTW donor I'd like to see the topic readdressed from a perspective that incorporates the needs of AO3's userbase.
  94. Reply
  95. Do not use our works as cannon fodder for machine works :) commented: As much as you think ai generated things help, they do not. Nothing will ever match up to genuine creativity and yall need to recognize that ai generated fics will ruining the reputation of your site permanently. I love using this site but if you do this, you will lose a large base of people who come to OTW for artistic freedom. There is no freedom in welcoming ai generated works that will destroy the safety of creatives. This isn't a fun silly machine for a lot of us. Betsy and company, ai generated ideas run the risk of this legacy of a company being open for suing. Yall better heed that warning 100000000x because no matter what, ai generated things are inherently unethical and human users deserve better than a chairwoman who thinks ai generated things isn't a concern to all the fancontent creators out there. There's also so many other forms than just regular fanfiction, what abt original fiction and the artists who use ao3? We need you guys to get a grip and to understand why we are angry about this lackadaisical comment on ai and to learn to care more in response.
  96. Reply
  97. Slashseeker commented: What the fuck is this AI shit? That is the most tone deaf, End-Stage-Capitalist Hellhole take I've seen out of OTW. I definitely DO NOT CONSENT to my works being scraped by LLM AI, and I am not against taking down every piece of work I solo-wrote, plus advocating for any piece I co-wrote to be removed from the site as well, should this come to be.
  98. Reply
  99. a concerned writer commented: If you’re going to allow AI to pull from stories posted to Ao3 you need to automatically OPT OUT every account and let the property owners opt in if they so choose. DO NOT automatically assume everyone is okay with this as most ARE NOT and do not consent!
  100. Reply
  101. Starfish commented: WOW, BETSY, NO The difference between fic written (by a person) *about* AIs and fic "written" by AI is enormous; I really don't see how you can talk about them in that paragraph like they're the same This is bad for fandom and bad for AO3.
  102. Reply
  104. Reply
  105. Knight commented: This blue-skying of AI is incredibly tone deaf, given recent events such as the WGA strike. AI is antithetical to the ethos of OTW. So if you're really going to go down this road, expect to lose a lot of support. At the VERY least, y'all need to give us authors a way to opt in/out and you need to make opting out the default option. If not, you're going to have authors pulling their works, not just withdrawing their support. This is just so freaking disappointing.
  106. Reply
  107. JetravenEx commented: How lovely 'fanfiction can finally be appreciated alongside classical and mainstream works of fiction' all so machines can help displace creatives and drown out their work I don't want to see people spamming the archive with tons of AI created fanfics. they're soulless and devoid of the time and effort people have poured into their works. I want the works of people struggling, the first timers, the ones who are going through stuff using it to get it out. To create for a pairing that's never been done before. What I don't want is for 'content' to be shot out and massproduced. I also don't consent to my fics to be used for AI training. Has AO3 been allowing this to happen to our works? There needs to be either be clarification or backpedaling because this is a terrible, flippant and dismissive take. Especially during the time of the Writer's Guild Strike. Feeding and helping the AI improve right as the writers guild is struggling to shore up protections and the ability to feed themselves with their hard work that often inspires fanfiction. This is an awful take, and there needs to be clarification and assurances that this Betsy Rosenblatt's 'opinion' doesn't speak for all of OTW, and won't result in AO3 going down the route of stealing fanwriters works for AI learning, or allowing AI fics to clog up the archive. Otherwise AO3 has moved FAR from what it promoted itself as. Also how convenient that this comes out after your donation drive.
  108. Reply
  109. Against LLM Exploitation of Fan Authors commented: This is DEEPLY disappointing that someone with power in OTW is so out of touch with actual fans and authors' fears about our works and artistic expression being exploited for corporate gain. I locked all my works specifically to prevent LLM scraping, so to hear that someone in OTW is considering that possibility in a positive light is like ice water down my spine. If this becomes an official OTW position, thus demonstrating contempt for the feelings of the fans, users, donors who are the lifeblood of the organization, I certainly will be part of the exodus off Ao3. I am a regular donor and unless OTW reaffirms in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that they will protect us from having our works scraped and exploited, OTW will never get a single cent more out of me.
  110. Reply
  111. Disappointed commented: I do NOT consent to allowing my work to be scraped by tools like ChatGPT, regardless of whether you are "intrigued" by the uses of AI. The Writer's Guild of America is currently striking AT THIS MOMENT to prevent, among other things, their hard work from being supplanted by that of AI. It is completely unethical to sanction the use of AI. You should not be offering public support for it at this time. What are you thinking?
  112. Reply
  113. EatthePen commented: absolutely unacceptable and shameful for an OTW representative to even appear to endorse AI scraping of work hosted on AO3 in an official capacity. Nobody who cares about creative work of any kind should welcome scraping of any body of preexisting text and the default assumption should be that any text written before the advent of chatGPT is off the table for scraping unless its author(s) specifically and actively give permission.
  114. Reply
  115. FeralNemo commented: Betsy, did your mother drop you on your head as a baby?? Incorporating AI into this site is a TERRIBLE idea. Multiple writers have already said that if A03 is used to train AI, they will pull all their works as well as their donations to OTW. I am mostly a reader and have only written one fic on this site, but goddammit I put heart into it and I DO NOT CONSENT to it being used to train a hackneyed, soulless, capitalist cash-grab machine for lazy, cheapskate, limp-dick MBAs who don't want to pay writers. Betsy's ass needs thrown out YESTERDAY and the rest of the board needs to ban any and all uses of AI on AO3 NOW.
  116. Reply
  117. Someone who won't donate again commented: I didn't have time to donate yet and definitely won't do it now. I DO NOT WANT THIS
  118. Reply
  119. please stop commented: Nobody wants this. It’s horrible. This is supposed to be an archive of OUR own and the above responses make it extremely fucking obvious that the actual users of the site are not being listened to. Given that AO3 bills itself as a safe haven for writers, it’s extremely ironic and disappointing that said writers are going to be taken advantage of. Fanfic is written out of passion and shared for human connection and allowing those works to be scraped by AI is the antithesis of that and I hope the board/legal team reconsiders this stance.
  120. Reply
  121. Anon commented: Genuinely terrible idea. I understand the difficulties associated with preventing scraping, but I'm floored to hear pro-AI sentiment. I expected better of OTW.
  122. Reply
  123. Levy commented: I will say this horrible decision. Considering there is a writer's strike going on who are fighting for better wages and the use of NO A.I. How is fair you expect writers who put their soul into their works for free? How is this legal when people are using A.I. to write books and make money? When Fanfiction is considered not legal to make money. Do we do the work for someone else to get paid? What about the original content? Does that not belong to the writers? This is horrible and we did not just pay for this.
  124. Reply
  125. river commented: I don't consent to AI scraping of my fanfiction, and frankly, considering how many authors who have passed away also can't consent, it better not be an automatic opt-in if it's implemented at all. Which it really shouldn't be. This is extremely disappointing coming from the OTW Legal Chair.
  126. Reply
  127. Mako commented: I came to Ao3 for PROTECTION against this kind of bull crap. If I learn they’re enabling or even simply not fighting it, I’m gone, bye. Do better.
  128. Reply
  129. nina commented: This is highly disappointing if the quoted interview reflects the official stance of OTW. If this is the truth, I regret donating in this recent campaign and will refrain from doing so in the future. This utilization of AI on AO3 is completely antithetical to the principles of the site.
  130. Reply
  131. Kat commented: I do not consent to AI whatsoever. It’s blatant plagiarism. I put all of my love and hard work into the Fanfiction I write. If this ends up happening, I will no longer be donating to the OTW and I will remove my works from AO3. This is beyond upsetting and I urge you to please reconsider.
  132. Reply
  133. Robin commented: Why would you think writers would ever want their works to be scraped, stolen and re-packaged as bland reproductions made by a machine? I want to read works written with love, by people who love those characters and franchises so dearly it inspires them. Taking that joy with non-consentual AI scraping is horrific, and if you want us all replaced by heartless AI - who is AO3 even for by this point? Please rethink this stance, it is disgusting and an insult to those who use and love this site as a haven to express themselves- or are you also not worried your position can be automated as well one day, should you allow it to snowball?
  134. Reply
  135. Disappointed Supporter commented: This thought is appalling. I have been using and supporting AO3 for years - if this is enabled/encouraged, I will pull my fics, future funding and simply stop using the site. This feels like it should go against everything that AO3 stands for and it genuinely breaks my heart.
  136. Reply
  137. RedLurker commented: I want a total AI ban and at least attempts at protecting the work of all AO3 writers. Lots of authors have said that they'll leave AO3 if the OTW supports any sort of AI scrapping or things along those lines. So many authors fear the possibility of their work getting scrapped by AI without even being able to give their consent. Lots of people have already locked their fic because a while ago, there was an article about Elon Musk supposedly AO3, among other sites, to train his own AI. I strongly urge the OTW to take a strong anti-AI stance.
  138. Reply
  139. Ablueberry commented: Please rethink this if that is your actual stance on AI. Other people have said it far better than I can, but no one wants AI scraping works that we've all put so much time and effort into. It makes a mockery of that effort. Just. No.
  140. Reply
  141. r. commented: Even if it's just Betsy's opinion, you literally cannot just drop this with no elaboration on the OTW's stance on AI. The ratio here and on twitter is enough evidence that NO fans want AI scraping their fics, but I want to add my voice to the chorus too. If it's your intention to explicitly allow this, you will lose a majority of your writer-base. If it's not your intention, then you've created panic over nothing. Do better.
  142. Reply
  143. essie commented: This is literally the dumbest thing those associated with your organization have ever done. You better come up with a fucking response, and quick, or the unwavering faith many of us had in this organization will be completely destroyed. Honestly, the content of that interview was MINDBLOWINGLY STUPID. Apologize. Take it back. Now.
  144. Reply
  145. Cerisebio commented: I’m sorry but no, I’m really pissed reading this and now I regret supporting the OTW this year I refuse to have my work be used by AI in any way, shape or form! End of story! AO3 is the ONE last safe haven online, DO NOT FUCK IT UP FOR FUCK’S SAKE
  146. Reply
  147. RadiatorfromSpace commented: Quite a few Ao3 users are mad about the possibility of AI being trained on their fanfics. Several stated that they were particularly upset because this was only voiced after the donation drive. I think the implication is that they would no longer donate to support Ao3 if/when AI starts training on fic. Personally, my donations to Ao3, which have thus far been a given with 0 hesitation, would become a matter of great debate in my head each time the donation drive comes around. But yes, AI is fascinating in an abstract way.
  148. Reply
  149. Maiden commented: So let me get this straight: you won't let fic writers advertise commissions for our work because the source material is under copyright, but you DO support AI companies training on fics based on copyrighted works? That's asinine! I don't consent to my work being used to train AI! That's my intellectual copyright being used without my permission! Let me be paid for MY work if you're going to let for-profit companies scrape it! Hypocrites!
  150. Reply
  151. Jaz commented: Let's ignore for a moment the horrendousness of allowing AI access to user work seemingly without giving us any say in this. Let's ignore the soulless vacuum of AI that steals and scrapes genuine creativity and innovation. OpenAI has just been outed for paying Kenyan workers less than $2 and you are happy to support this evil and oppressive co. and from the tone of your post just think this is a fun, silly thing everyone will go along with? For shame.
  152. Reply
  153. imogenbynight commented: Utterly disgusted by what appears to be the OTW encouraging the use & training of AI being done through fan works. It’s bad enough seeing fics “written” by AI start to pop up in search results, but at least I could just mute/block the accounts posting them and move on. This is just antithetical to everything I believed the OTW and Ao3 stood for. I’ve always l supported the OTW and love Ao3, but I cannot and will not continue to support or use these sites if AI scraping is welcome. I’ll be especially sad to pull all my fics from Ao3, along with the challenge I’ve run for nearly a decade, but the thought of anything I’ve created being willingly provided to a technology that represents nothing but the devaluation and destruction of creativity is so abhorrent that I will have no real choice. Nothing less than an outright ban on the use of Ao3 for AI training and data scraping is acceptable. Please pay attention to the vast majority of the comments here which echo the same sentiment.
  154. Reply
  155. R commented: Combined with the hesitance/reluctance to take a stance against AI-generated text being hosted or at least marked as such on AO3 despite it inherently being plagiarism, this interview with the Legal Chair has me very worried for the future of AO3. Using diversity as a reason for wanting AI to train on fanfiction speaks of a deep disregard and lack of respect for fanfiction writers. How will this alleged diversity improve ultimately soulless, stitched-together machine text? Implying that fanfiction written by humans will always be preferred by readers is also disregarding just how many readers will readily ditch human writers in favour of a well of content that never runs dry, is generated to their taste and bypasses the inconvenience of both having a creator with an agency to respect and being faced with a work that contains (traces of) human mess. It's frankly shocking and disgusting that someone who is embedded in fandom would speak out in favour of AI-generated text, and letting AI steal from the very writers whose works she enjoyed, and the thought of her having this much power over AO3's approach to this topic and eventual policies is a beyond unpleasant one. We deserve someone who is at our side, and not working against us and more worried about bigoted AIs than writers' creative rights and feelings.
  156. Reply
    • H commented: I concur with many of the objections to this response from the head of your legal division. Do you not understand that this goes against the very reason that this site was created in the first place? It’s difficult enough to be able to find a fan safe site for writers. I am aghast and appalled by this news and to have little or no response from the board is outrageous. How would anyone think that this would be acceptable to writers who are limited in having safe places to post their creative works?
    • Reply
  157. Stel commented: Bro the writers of fanfics have been shafted for years that people have blue pilled themselves into thinking having their works used in AI is completely fine and not a gross violation. Ao3 should be offering protections to their community and the people who keep this site running through donations or just use alone.
  158. Reply
  159. muse commented: Other people have expressed their disappointment and anger more eloquently than I am able to in this moment, so I'll just add this: if AI-generated fic is greenlit for preservation on AO3 alongside human-made fanworks, I will no longer be donating toward AO3's hosting costs.
  160. Reply
  161. Gina commented: I’m going to join the chorus as well and say that OTW supporting AI learning from fanfic is wild and not at all what many of us believed ao3 was about. Fans of everything under the sun go to bat for OTW when money needs to be raised and understand the restrictions on making money from fanfiction. But AI tools can scrape fanworks and make money? OTW as an org needs to stand against this in whatever capacity they can. This is not supportive of fan communities and the creators who pour hours of free labor into something they love.
  162. Reply
  163. Long-time donor commented: I have a been donor to AO3 since 2016. I donated in the last membership drive. It is unbelievably scummy you wait until after the drive to drop an interview with the head of your legal division, on the AI issue that I refuse to believe you haven't noticed your userbase and donor-base finds highly contentious, disagreeable and worrisome. Going forward, unless OTW takes a hard stance against AI non-consensually scraping fanwork, I refuse to donate to the site's donation drives any longer. I'm considering moving all my work to personal websites and Pixiv after this.
  164. Reply
  165. an ao3 user commented: if ao3 thinks supporting AI scraping of fan generated work is a good idea then all i can say is that some archives are meant to be destroyed
  166. Reply
  167. b commented: Awfully clever to post this after the donation drive ended... I would take back my donation if I could. I don't give a damn about how intriguing it is that AI exists, and quite frankly if AO3 starts allowing AI to train on its archives, I will take my works down. It's already disheartening to see "written with AI" in the archives, we shouldn't have to see our works getting scraped too.
  168. Reply
  169. MotherKat commented: I do not consent to AI scraping my work
  170. Reply
  171. SB commented: I do not want AI on ao3 AT ALL. It has no place learning from us. It has no business making money off of fanfic authors’ works. Allowing AI onto AO3 will KILL the platform because literally everyone will pull their works and delete. No idea where we’ll go, but AO3 will no longer be a safe place for our creative outputs.
  172. Reply
  173. wee commented: go fuck yourself betsy. it’s impossible to acknowledge how our work is ‘irreplaceable’ and in the same breath gush over how utterly excited you are at the thought of AI using our work to scrape for its lacklustre, shitty, incoherent ‘writing’. and in the middle of a fucking writers strike? the irony would be delicious if it wasn’t plainly insulting. fuck you
  174. Reply
  175. Jadeduo commented: Allowing anyone to scrape my hard work I provide for free is not what I want. WE need to be able to opt out of allowing this.
  176. Reply
  177. SN (AO3 user and donor) commented: Other people have expressed their concern and frustration with this information much more eloquently than I could. I think it's suspicious, without suggesting that it was done on purpose, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that this information is disclosed after having carried out the last donation drive. The user base wants clarification and a clear stance from AO3 regarding the use of works hosted on their site as training material for AI platforms. Personally, I'm opposed to the scrapping of my work and that of other creatives for the development of technologies whose only interest is to parasitize the human creation of content. My confidence in the AO3 board and its teams is in doubt until we get an official statement on the matter. If the board supports the use of AO3-hosted works for AI training and fail to ensure that users posting AI-generated works can be filtered effectively, I will not continue my financial support of the organization and I'll remove soon after my works from the site.
  178. Reply
  179. AO3 LoveIsStrong commented: I support WGA strike! Our free labor of love (fanfics) should NOT be allowed to train AI so that they can displace humans. I am seriously considering deleting my fics from AO3. I am not a big time writer but I'll do what I can. NO AI Training without the AUTHOR's EXPLICIT PERMISSION. I DO NOT GIVE AO3 PERMISSION To share my free labor to train an AI Bot.
  180. Reply
  181. Fanfic writers deserve better commented: Loudly echoing the objections of my fellow writers and readers. Creators deserve a say in whether their work is used for training AI, for which there are no ethical guarantees of use, whatever forward-thinking "input" we give it. The people profiting off these systems have no regard for creative labor; how can we expect their products to be anything but destructive? This is an incredibly disappointing stance (and frankly, embarrassing--AI/AI fanfiction, really?) for someone with a key leadership role in the OTW. I would especially like this topic to be included in the OTW elections this summer, so we can support candidates who will listen to users and have our best interests at heart, because that's seriously in question following this oblivious response.
  182. Reply
  183. Disappointed writer commented: I don't want AI anywhere near my fanfic what the hell? Glad I didn't donate this year
  184. Reply
  185. Chamber commented: Disgusting to call this a "challenge" for writers to take up. Get a new chair that's actually invested in the people behind the work you archive; I'd sooner call on Betsy Rosenblatt to resign than see the whole project crumble. AI doesn't deserve an inch.
  186. Reply
  187. How much more loudly anti-AI do we need to be commented: Not fucking happy about that interview. That bull about "let's not blame this new 'transformative' technology for stealing how else is it gonna learn?" And then comparing it to a VHS tape?? The hell? That's garbage. That interview was 9 levels of tone-deaf. Writers and artists are already taken advantage of on the daily. WE VERY LOUDLY AND VERY CLEARLY DO NOT SUPPORT AI CAPITAIST FUCKERY. If these giant rich companies want more diversity they can damn well do the leg work themselves. The government wants to control what we do online AND wants to steal from us. I'm actually pissed off by that interview. Extremely. I'd like to reiterate a point I saw in comments. Writers can't link to commissions or advertise to make money because it's not their property but y'all think AI can take theirs???? Fucking bullshit.
  188. Reply
  189. Angry User commented: The purpose of this website is for FANMADE CONTENT ai content IS NOT FANMADE!!! Scrub it and ban it from the site or WE WILL LEAVE
  190. Reply
  191. DarkAcey commented: I really hope I misunderstood the news about AI writing bots being training on fanfic writers’ hard work. We write *for free,* for other fans, and expect AO3 to protect our right to share *and not profit* from our love for fan works. Allowing AI programs is directly breaking the promise you made to all writers on this site. It isn’t right for AI companies to profit off of our work, and we can’t.
  192. Reply
  193. Eru commented: Mm. Fuck off Betsy. :) Go back to wattpad. Unless you've been living under a rock you should know just how much we creatives DESPISE AI. We create fic and art out of love and enjoyment not to have some shitty AI scrape off our hard work to make money for someone else. I hope ao3 puts a stop to this shitty direction and that you are booted out immediately.
  194. Reply
  195. SirLadySketch commented: Really disheartened to see that this is the stance of anyone making decisions on the behalf of AO3 (and subsequently, all of us who use the platform to share our creative works.) AI content is not creative, it's generative. AI fanwork -- especially using a tool that's been using source materials without permission -- is generative, not creative. How can AO3 us the "of our own" phrase if they host works that strips away the human imagination? Very disappointed with the brevity of this post, the fact that it's been posted during the writer's strike, AND the fact that it was posted after the donation drive. Elections are coming, but I will definitely be looking for petitions to sign/movements to join against this stance, which is downright offensive and a slap in the face for all of us who spend hours on our craft.
  196. Reply
  197. Screenwriter, AO3 donor and fanfiction author commented: As a donator, fanfic author and screenwriter, this is very frustrating and disappointing, especially in the light of the struggle going on for my WGA colleges related to the attempts to use AI to relegate them to the role of editors. I know a fair number of people working in the industry who also use AO3 for fanworks and this is a disgusting take. Some program using our work to also put us out of jobs is the opposite of what an archive promoting fanfiction should be, since we can never earn money on our fanworks but some cheap ass big studio certainly can by using the work we created for fun. Rest assured, I'll never donate or post on the site again if this becomes the official policy toward AI.
  198. Reply
  199. anonymous commented: I am seriously rethinking any future donations to OTW, and the silence from any other board members on these, quite frankly, baffling, takes on using AI to scrape user-generated content without the user's active consent, is only solidifying my position that I shouldn't ever donate to OTW ever again. I'd rather delete my account and all my works from Archive of our Own, live in a wooded cabin without power or electricity, and burn all the merch I've gotten from donation drives, than EVER have my fan works used to train programs used by executives to bust unions and further underpay workers. This is appalling, and the Organization's radio silence isn't going unheard.
  200. Reply
    • ffs commented: the absolute dead silence is also what's confusing me. so disappointing and disgusting. it's been 5 days and the only thing they've posted since is more fluff about their idiot legal head sitting in on some bullshit AI talk, no doubt to gush about how she just can't WAIT to read anthropomorphized AI fic, and a vague note that 'the OTW will be looking into AI more'. it's a total joke.
    • Reply
  201. reclamation commented: What a disappointing stance and statement. Ao3 should be true to its mission of protecting authors--not advocating scraping their work without consent so AI can advance (or, worse, profit) off our labor. If Ao3 continues on this path, I will not be continuing my annual donations.
  202. Reply
  203. appalled apolina commented: This is a shocking take from such a senior person at the OTW and I am amazed how any editors or otherwise thought this was appropriate to post. It’s quite clear, before even reading these comments, that fan communities do not support AI at all. Are you all living under rocks and not paying attention? Fans do not support AI art. Fans do not support AI fic. Fans do not support AI scraping or training or AI anything. Listen to the fandom and protect this community and protect human creativity!! This is really disappointing and also really scary to hear from you. I’d very much like to see a newsletter confirming your stance and position on AI and how you agree it has nothing no place in fandom and you will protect your users by not encouraging the use of it. If you don’t clarify this you are going to lose faith of the fandom community.
  204. Reply
  205. Concerned Member commented: What an utterly concerning and tone deaf viewpoint. AI has no place in an archive that many consider a bastion of human generated work. Totally lost my trust on this one. I was even thinking this organization was worthy of a bequest. Not any more.
  206. Reply
  207. Tarashima commented: I'm at loss of words with how deeply disappointed I am with this stance. How you can go from saving fandom spaces to support ruining them is beyond appalling. I can only hope you'll reconsider. This is disrespectful and disgusting.
  208. Reply
  209. tsukinofaerii commented: I think it's very clear that prior to this interview Betsy hadn't given substantial thought to the social, financial or indeed legal repercussions of AI being trained on copyright-protected works as a stepping stone to AI being used to create "new" works. There are both amazing and terrible potential results of AI used in this fashion (mostly terrible in the current legal grey-zone that considers AI-produced content uncopyrightable), and she failed to mention any of them. Neither the things we can learn about human communication development nor the risks of permanently altering that communication development made an appearance. I would have at least expected a comment on the potential legal ramifications of AI producing content "similar" to trademark- or copyright-protected materials and how that might affect fanfic, which isn't in a completely dissimilar position. Alas, no. I realize that as matters currently stand AO3 isn't capable of preventing AI from scraping publicly posted fic, and they're obviously not about to make a deal to deliberately allow AI to train on the Archive. Anyone concerned about scraping should change the availability of their fics so they can be read by logged-in users only. Users are worried and rumors are spreading. The number of comments assuming that AO3 is already actively using content to train AI speak for themselves. I would appreciate public acknowledgement from AO3 about these concerns and any mitigation efforts AO3 has made, even if they're only about limiting high levels of traffic on the servers. Finally, I strongly recommend that everyone who represents AO3 and the OTW learn the phrase "I'm afraid I can't comment on that" and use it on any and all hot button current events. Frequently. Alternately, hire a (better?) public relations person. It's getting exhausting going to bat for y'all on the regular because someone stuck their foot in it again.
  210. Reply
  211. choke commented: i politely offer betsy a SUCK MY DICK i will never consent to my fics being used for ai. this is setting a bullshit precedent that it’s fine to plagiarize
  212. Reply
  213. Valentined commented: Okay, uh, how dare you? How DARE you. There's literally a huge writers' strike going on right now related in large part to the devaluation of writers via AI, and you're out here supporting it? Openly? What is wrong with you? I've been a supporter of the OTW since its inception, I was on LJ when AO3 was first conceptualized, I was there for the server naming competitions, I've been here from the start. If you don't make a statement that this doesn't reflect the opinions of the OTW and AO3 as a whole as soon as humanly possible, I'm done. This is disgusting. This is reprehensible. How tone-deaf and out of touch are you people?
  214. Reply
  215. Victoria commented: As a paying member, I will be voting for people on the board that take a clear stance against AI generated fanfic and AI scraping of existing fanfic. Anyone running with that platform this year, please make it known so the community can support you.
  216. Reply
  217. Linky commented: I do not and will never consent my fics for being scraped for AI. I also feel hosting AI made fanworks on the site can easily get fans into legal trouble from unsavory parties, given how fanfic and fanworks as a whole are in a legal gray area as it is I can only foresee disaster coming from allowing works to be scraped by AI and allowing AI hosted works on the archive. Given how the Ao3 was made *by fans for fans*, this feels like a slap in the face to us. Especially given how creative spaces online are feeling less and less welcome for us as more platforms either become complacent or even full on embracing AI. Fanworks are made by love and passion by people, not AI. If fanworks are left allowed to be scraped and AI fics and fanworks are allowed to stay in the archive I will no longer be donating and take my work elsewhere. Please listen to and reconsider this.
  218. Reply
  219. Jack commented: If you go through with allowing AI to scrape content from ao3, I will purge my account, delete, and never look back. I am appalled.
  220. Reply
  221. Lili commented: What the hell?? How tone-deaf can you get? This is such a spit in the face of your entire userbase. Why is this person a member of the organization? Please, I know nothing good lasts forever, but OTW has been on the side of creatives for it's entire existence up until this point. If it goes ahead with being 'pro-AI' or even ""neutral"", this is the beginning of the end. Extremely disgusted and disappointed by this.
  222. Reply
  223. outraged commented: absolutely fucking not, this is a terrible idea and many AO3 writers will remove their works before they let shitty AI copy their hard work. Don't you fucking dare do this bullshit.
  224. Reply
  225. notjustmom commented: Adding my voice to those who have already replied. AI does not belong on Ao3, and I will not allow my work since 2015 to be used in such a way. Shame. I want to see an official stance by OTW on AI before I ever donate again.
  226. Reply
  227. Merle P commented: What the absolute fuck? What AO3 users need is legal advice on how to deal with the threat of having their work read and used by AI software. Tell us if we can protect our work by locking it. Can the archive do anything to protect our work? Is our only choice deleting our fics? Those are the questions we need answers to. Instead AO3's legal chair is giving embarrassing interviews where she squees like a drunk teenager about romance fic between chat bots. Is Betsy actually a lawy prof or is she a just chatbot that got fed with the complete scripts of Ally McBeal? How utterly brazen and callous this is. Yikes freaking yikes. Congrats on finally selling out, I guess.
  228. Reply
  229. A very angry AO3 user commented: Extremely disappointed about the points of view expressed in this article. Supporting the use of fanfic to train AI is a betrayal to all fanfiction authors. Our fics are born from the love and appreciation we feel for a certain piece of media and its characters, and the thought that they could be used to help a machine replace the same writers who created the media we love feels abhorrent. I DON’T consent to have my works fed into an AI
  230. Reply
  231. Nonnon commented: If this stance on AI is officially the stand of OTW as a whole, I will not be renewing my financial support to the organisation. It is utterly ridiculous that authors' works should be scrapped so that bots can learn (and eventually down the road, profit from it). If for-profit companies want to make their bots learn language, they can use the thousands of books that are now available for free because they fell out of copyright protection. I will actively vote and campaign against anyone supporting AI in future elections.
  232. Reply
  233. bee commented: Extremely disappointed hearing this. I write for PEOPLE. I write to share my stories with the lovely people in my community. I do NOT write for AI. I don’t consent to AI scraping with my works! Yes, I write fanfic, but it took years and years of practice to get to where I am with my skills. I do not want an AI scraping my work and just ripping off of it. AO3 is one of the last true bastions of the internet where you don’t have to pander to advertisers and can share your creative works with no restrictions and without worrying about being punished by an algorithm. AO3 is meant for human communities, not AI.
  234. Reply
  235. Nick commented: Have you lost your goddamn minds? WHY would you think any author would be okay with this? This is disgusting.
  236. Reply
  237. tired of AI can we stop pretending it's no plagiarism yet?? commented: i thought the point of writing fic was passion for the characters or series, if someone can't even muster the passion necessary to write fic, what's the point?? i don't want to replace the spectrum of human emotion with a robot that doesn't actually feel them but merely mimicks them... soulless.
  238. Reply
  239. Taenith @ AO3 commented: Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt's conduct is beyond unacceptable. It disgraces the anti-corporate, pro-fan creativity values that the OTW has sworn to uphold. I have donated hundreds of dollars to OTW over the years. This ABSOLUTELY will change if y'all continue down this path. I have entrusted my fanfic to AO3. It may be only two fics, but they are MY fics that a wrote with my human brain and human hands and human heart full of love for my OTP! That's what a transformative creative work MEANS. Software programs cannot do that. They cannot create transformative works. I vote in Board elections. After the fiasco of last Board election fiasco where a pro-censorship candidate (who, by their own admission, considered themself an outsider to fandom!) was allowed to run on a platform of restricting what users can post to AO3--- you decide to FURTHER erode your donors' trust with this garbage?!?!?! An OTW representative joyfully advocating for automated scraping of our fanfic by AI disgusts me on a visceral level. The technology and large scale use of AI is controlled by big tech companies. Media conglomerates are trying to use it to enrich their own stockholders. Both of those are inarguably commercial, profit-generating activities. It's so bizarre and inappropriate that Chair Rosenblatt ignores all this and instead talked about shipping anthropomorphic versions of these AI software generators. In nearly any other context, advocating for shipping-- one of the proudest, strongest, and most beloved traditions of our people-- would advance the mission of the OTW. But in this instance? It's a sick joke. Yes, it is sadly true that AI scraping of the Archive has almost certainly happened without the OTW's knowledge or consent. But why haven't you used all the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations we give you every year to implement solutions to combat this? Instead, Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt represented the OTW's stance on matters of AI as lighthearted and utopian rather than the truth: AI software programs are extractive tools of big tech and media conglomerates. Betsy Rosenblatt needs to resign, OTW must implement clear policy stances against AI, and we as donors/members of OTW deserve a full and complete apology.
  240. Reply
  241. disappointed commented: This is completely unacceptable. I don't consent to AI scraping with any of my works and my peers as well. Fanfiction is meant to be written by people, not a machine. It is inappropriate for you to let AI scrape off our works and plagiarize, especially during the WGA strike, which is deeply against using ChatGPT and AI stealing from human labor.
  242. Reply
  243. amarisllis commented: This stance on AI is deeply concerning to hear from a representative of OTW which prides itself on supporting and protecting fans’ creative expression. AI is actively exploiting human creatives and erasing human creativity from the corporate art and media world, and now you’re praising the very tech that is built on the backs of stolen works that is hurting the media fans love? And celebrating the possibility of AI replacing human-created fanworks borne of nothing but love and joy? That is deeply disappointing and disturbing, and not at all what the fans who support OTW want. This does not reflect the values of your community, and we should not be celebrating this exploitative technology.
  244. Reply
  245. M commented: Yikes. Incredibly disappointed as a donor to see you defending AI creation of art (and AI streaming art)
  246. Reply
  247. Medusa commented: Startled and displeased to see a stance on AI datamining that effectively boils down to "don't worry about it" from the head of Legal. I don't think anyone is worrying about anthrofic here. I do not want my fic to be used to train AI and I don't want AI fic on the archive. If we are not allowed to monetize fic, I do not want companies monetizing my work as part of machine-learning, and I do not think that machine work properly fullfils the requirements of actual transformational work that is required to be posted to the archive. If this is the official stance of the OTW, I am regretting donating.
  248. Reply
    • Not so fast commented: If you donated and became an OTW member, don't regret it just yet as you have voting power. Everyone needs to push for AI related questions to be asked at the election Q&As for answers about all of this.
    • Reply
  249. blythe commented: Hey, umm, how about a HARD NO ON AI TRAINING ON FANFIC CONTENT. Seriously, what is the thinking here??? Also, you can't just drop that decision in the OTW newsletter and consider your user base "informed" on this policy. This needs to be discussed thoroughly with your users, open to input from them, and across several channels to ensure transparency. *IF* you persist with this as policy moving forward, you need to tell the users immediately, so we can decide whether to continue using ao3 or close our accounts. THIS IS NOT OKAY - DO BETTER.
  250. Reply
  251. AvidBeader commented: There seems to be quite the consensus in the replies so far, but I will add my voice as someone who reads and writes fic and supports the OTW with donations. The board needs to take a very thorough look at the entire concept of AI and how (1) its output is not transformative in the sense that the OTW fought long and hard in court to define and protect, and (2) it is theft of the work of human beings. If Ms. Rosenblatt thinks that AI developers deserve access to fan fiction for training purposes, let them go to Fanfiction.net or Wattpad, places where those who share their work don't have a say in the running of the site. AO3 should be off-limits to any data scraping (whether we lock our fics to registered users or not) and if the OTW does decide that they have to allow words produced by a machine as "transformative works", there should be a required tag on the level of the other archive warnings that allows readers to filter all of it out. Our words are our words. We share them freely because we love the fictional worlds and characters we explore. We do not consent to have anyone take our words and mix them up just to see what comes out of a computer. I hope to hear a clear stance on this issue from the OTW board soon and opinions on this will most definitely inform my choices in voting in the next elections. AO3 was created to be a space that supports writers. Allowing AI anywhere near it does the exact opposite.
  252. Reply
  253. Wesley commented: I want a clearer response on whether the OTW is pro-scraping! Not this cutesy snippet about whether people will write DALL·E and ChatGPT fanfiction. It makes Betsy Rosenblatt sounds out of touch with what we want from the OTW. The people who wrote tongue-in-cheek fanfic about anthropomorphised websites like Tumblr, are not the same people as the techbros who delight in taking the artist out of artistry. How can Betsy Rosenblatt not realise this? I want a clear answer on whether the OTW supports AI scraping, so I can remove my work if needed, and put a halt to my financial contributions to the OTW.
  254. Reply
  255. Rene commented: This is incredibly tone deaf, especially in light of writer's strikes that are currently happening that have ties to making sure AI can't become the norm in the industry. There are so many artists and writers yelling about how abhorrent AI scraping is, hell, you can even see the creator of the program that they're all built on talking about how he never wanted it to be used this way. This is embarrassing and so incredibly disappointing.
  256. Reply
  257. outeremissary commented: I have never been as disappointed in the OTW and AO3 as I have been reading this. The allowance of AI generated fanworks is tantamount to plagiarism and clearly antithetical to AO3's stated mission (as well as being incredibly legally questionable), so I had always assumed that the OTW's team would be on the side of creators and fans in believing that our efforts and our original thoughts mattered. The OTW has always wanted to champion individual expression (to the point of conflict in the past with requests for additional moderation) but with this statement has betrayed that completely. Additionally, creators are not permitted to monetize their own works on AO3 and the culture surrounding the site has actively worked to shut down even euphemism on the site for fan creators being paid for creating fan work, but now scraping of works for profit churning machines is being endorsed? How is it unacceptable in your eyes for fans to receive compensation for what they create, but acceptable for a third party to plagiarize and remix without consent for profit? Why is theft more legally defensible than creation? And even putting aside the legal questions of AI, how can you find this anything but ethically contemptible? I have no ability to see anything but blind and malicious intent in this endorsement and it saddens me to see the OTW, which positions itself as a defender of fan communities, offer them up to be cannibalized. I have turned this over in my mind and cannot find any good faith way to see this. I urge you to retract this statement and spend some real time in reflection about your impact on the communities you claim to serve.
  258. Reply
  259. deeply, dearly disappointed commented: This is such an outrageous thing to come from OTW. Incredibly regretful that I have donated to you guys this last drive. I wonder how little the recent fundraising would have pulled in if you had expressed this opinion beforehand. Shitty, shady, and utterly reprehensible.
  260. Reply
  261. bgtea commented: Agreed with the comments posted here about Betsy Rosenblatt sounding incredibly tone deaf in the wake of a writer's strike. I too would like to hear whether this means AO3 supports AI scraping because this would definitely be a deciding factor on whether I will donate ever again as well as whether I should be nuking my work.
  262. Reply
  263. SAY NO TO AI IN FANWORK commented: As everyone else has already said, this is an absurd and honestly criminal stance to take. You talk about respecting copyright, about creative freedom, about protecting and archiving fan works in a safe space. But now you want Big Corp to come in, rob us of our love and blood, sweat and tears, and make it their's? So they can chop it all up and shit it back out for profit? I really hope this article is misleading in its stance and that this is not the case. Otherwise, I can already see another chaos era of people looking for alternative sites, blogs, and forums to post their fanworks on. It's taken many years for so many fanfic writers to finally gather and create and support a large representative platform. It will be a shame to need to scatter again to search for another stable place.
  264. Reply
  265. Ao3 author and user commented: Literally no-one commenting here is happy about this. I'm already worried as it is about the bleak future of my writing career and the internet as a whole, and now this? Et tu, Brute? I don't care about how "interesting" the technology is, I care about the OTW protecting our fanworks from these AI scrapers who might take our hours of hard work that we did FOR FREE and resell it!! I won't say anything that hasn't been said before but I will join my voice to the chorus: BIG NOPE! Do what you said you'd do and DEFEND us!!
  266. Reply
  267. Claire Fey the AI Accelerationist commented: I am very glad someone working for the OTW has taken this stance. AI is only going to improve the number and quality of works as it advances, and enhance my ability to write them as an editor and co-pilot. Any attempts to use copyright to suppress it, given our position as derivative work makers, is obviously hypocritical. Not to mention futile - the data is already out there, people can train these things at home with consumer hardware, and as transistor density increases we'll only be able to make larger models. Amount of data isn't so much a challenge as the quality and tagging of data - and I'd vastly prefer my LLMs benefit from the creativity of fan works than being ignorant.
  268. Reply
    • lmao commented: sounds like something an ai would say
    • Reply
    • Wesley commented: Ew.
    • Reply
    • Claire Fey the AI Accelerationist commented: Dread it. Run from it. AI arrives all the same.
    • Reply
      • Wesley commented: I know you think you sound ominous and cool right now, but you just sound callous.
      • Reply
        • Claire Fey the AI Accelerationist commented: I mean I was going for "funny memeing on the purple raisin man" but, I'll take callous.
        • Reply
          • Wesley commented: Glad you were quick to admit you're only here because this is all a big joke to you, and there's actually zero people in this comment section who are genuinely in favour of AI writing. Are you reading this, Betsy? The OTW receives its financial support from genuine artists, and these people who support you on the surface are actually just slippery little techbros who love playing devil's advocate because they have nothing real to lose, because they've never put genuine work and heart into anything. You can build a lasting nor respected platform with people like this. I don't care if there's "interesting legal precedent" and you want to read fanfiction about AI bots. Do your job honourably and actually advocate on behalf of the people who placed you in your position.
          • Reply
          • Claire Fey the AI Accelerationists commented: Lmao, just because I can make a joke doesn't mean I'm not a writer or that I don't donate a few hundred a year (+employer matching) to the OTW. I love my creations and I also love AI. The fact that your dogma precludes the existence of people like me and forces you to accuse me of being some kind of tech shill is a you issue.
          • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: @Wesley (since we're getting deep into this thread and it might not show properly) Honestly, your stance on who is or isn't a "genuine artist" is deeply concerning. I understand that you're spooked. By your usage of the word "techbro" (more on this later) I also understand that you might not have a deep understanding of the technology, and therefore vastly overestimate its capabilities, and following that, you might fear for the continued significance of your works and your skillset. But how you handle that fear is very important. If we are going to start gatekeeping who is a "genuine artist" and who isn't, this is going to get out of hand real fast. As fanfic writers, we're already on the fringes, copyright as a whole already questions our mere existence, and if there's a distinction to be made for who counts as a "genuine artist", people who work from "original" material would be an obvious qualifier. (Even if they merely hide their influences, because all culture is based on prior culture) And I'm sure that's not a qualifier you want to introduce, but if you make a precedent that we can ostracize others from the community just for doing things that you don't like, don't be surprised if you eventually find yourself on the other end of that spear. You don't know who put work into what. You're hella quick to be dismissive about the efforts of everyone else, making the rather arrogant assumption that you worked hard and they didn't. And again, the complete baselessness of your claim sets up a precedent that's extremely dangerous for all of us. As for your use of the word "techbro" (on someone named Claire, no less), that's just immature. It's the adult version of picking on nerds, which is even more inexcusable than it was back in high school, for two reasons: you should have developed empathy by now; and you had every chance to develop a tech skillset. Or what, you don't think tech people worked hard on their skills? The fact that you discount their hard work but prop up yours is just selfish, arrogant, and exclusionary, and being exclusionary out of fear and a perceived sense of personal superiority is historically a horrible idea. At the end of the day, we're talking about a technology that will democratize fiction and empower fandoms. It's not the first of such technologies -- if the internet hasn't already done much of that we wouldn't be talking here -- and it's not the last either. I find it deeply concerning how a supposed supporter of a site with the primary function of democratizing creativity despite arbitrary limitations is now setting arbitrary limitations, building the same fence behind themselves that would have locked them out, had it been built ahead. I commend AO3 on their stance on AI and I find it very dangerous to oppose it, as the same rhetoric to lock out AI could be used to lock out fanfiction writers too.
          • Reply
          • An Actual Human Writer commented: If you think human fanfiction writers and AI-generated aggregators are remotely the same thing, then you need a serious reality check. Like how the hell is suppressing AI or whatever remotely similar to marginalizing real, living, breathing people who use this platform? No, AI and by extension AI users are not “artists” just because they can plug-and-play a 6 word prompt into a fucking machine. Truly embarrassing, shill of a take in favor of an increasingly embarrassing platform. If this is the kind of shit Ao3 staff wants to support, then I’m fucking gone, and it’s clear that I’m not alone.
          • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: There is no AI on the market right now, and probably won't be for quite a while, that can take a 6-word prompt and output good quality art, be that prose or something visual. It's a tool to enhance your expression, not one to replace it, and it's an extremely ignorant take to suggest that AI users don't work on their creations. Stop trying to paint your person as superior to them just because you use different tooling. The mere fact that you recognize you're marginalizing people and have to come up with a justification for why it's not a bad thing, why THOSE people are inferior and deserve to be marginalized, should be the wake-up call you need about what sort of measures you're resorting to here out of fear.
          • Reply
          • alan commented: Applying a social justice/equity framework to a system like a neural net doesn't make "AI" any less of a product designed to boost the portfolio of people who work to build their own wealth in ways that really don't feel ethical to me. Idk about everyone else, but this argument feels to me like a marketing strategy — one that I'm just not buying into
          • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: I'm not talking about the neural net, I'm talking about its users. For writing, currently OpenAI (who ironically stopped making open AIs) has a lead, but open-source research is taking place at such a speed that Microsoft and Google are more concerned about it than about each other. For image generation, Stable Diffusion, an open source AI and the toolchains around it already far surpass any proprietary alternative. AI is not something that only rich people and megacorps use, it's something that communities use, communities just like us, and they're developing the tooling to make it easy for all of us to use said AIs, without the need for technical knowledge or expensive hardware. (You can already download open source tools like GPT4All to run LLMs on your own computer that are no more complex to use than MS Word or Discord, they're just not on par with ChatGPT yet.) I'm talking about the practice of labeling these people as "techbros" and "not real artists", discounting them as undesirables, and locking them and everyone who engages with them out of fandom spaces because of being spooked by the (often only imagined) capabilities of AI. I don't see why social justice shouldn't apply specifically to these people, and I don't see why we should let fear tactics get the better of us here.
          • Reply
          • alan commented: That argument feels disingenuous to me. If these tools are so valuable for communities, those developing them should hire a stable, well paid, and regulated/unionized workforce to create input — a workforce that will continue being paid when the AI products are used commercially. But nah. This stuff feels like yet another a wealth extraction scheme that's being hyped up with language of equity and empowerment — the way things like Uber were. Then it erodes labor standards and worker safety like Uber did with the taxicab industry. I've seen these fantastical promises turn sour enough to believe by now that it's all sophistry in the service of wealth and power
          • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: And they often do, that's how Dolly2 was trained. But you're really showing your bias here when you presume tech people are malicious by default and attempt to shift the burden of proof to them with the "wealth extraction schemes" you're positing. People who work on open source projects often get paid exactly as much as fanfiction writers do -- as in, not at all. But it seems like you're still in the mindset that AI is something "they" use, for the purposes of wealth, and not something "we" use, for whatever purpose we might have with it, when the reality of the situation doesn't match that.
          • Reply
          • alan commented: Among my biases is the fact that I live in the U.S. and I think we have an economic system in which a small group of extremely wealthy people continue to accumulate wealth and power by disenfranchising other people and advocating for policies and technologies that lead to continued disenfranchisement, poverty, and desperation. I'm just tired of it. And I don't want to see stuff I've written for free become training fodder for programs that will eventually be used for profit and wealth accumulation, because I'm convinced they will be used that way. And I am thoroughly convinced that equity-based arguments about these programs are little more than sophistry and sleight of hand. I have seen these arguments crop up before, and I have seen the paths down which they eventually lead. So, yup, those are a few of my biases. Also, I write for free because I love it and it gives me some mental escape from the drudgery and soul-crushing difficulty of having a job. My opinion, based on these experiences and attitudes is that I don't want anyone to derive monetary gains from the free fandom work I do. So, yeah, I'd like to be able to opt out of machine learning "opportunities."
          • Reply
          • Eyeroll commented: I never said I was marginalizing people, I said I was suppressing AI. Are you positing that AI are people????? Absolutely insane take, please get a grip lol. Go write your AI fanfics somewhere else because it’s clear that’s your bottom line here.
          • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: Stop putting words in my mouth that were never there. You're not even the first person in this thread alone who intentionally misunderstands my comment and tells me I'm treating AI as if it was a person. No, I'm talking about the people using that AI, and the people working on open-source AI projects in their free time. The people you call "techbros" and treat as undesirables and safe targets for all your vitriol. It's quite telling you have to resort to borderline trolling to continue picking on them. Grow up and stop acting like this was high school.
          • Reply
    • Good to hear commented: Thank you for saying this. I absolutely agree.
    • Reply
    • kiyaar commented: using AI doesn't make you a co-pilot. it makes you a thief.
    • Reply
      • Claire Fey the AI Accelerationist commented: Would I download a car? Yes, I would. And as a matter of fact, I did. At the first opportunity.
      • Reply
      • b3nsn0w commented: fanfiction directly uses characters "stolen" from other people, sometimes even including scenes others have written verbatim, just from a different PoV, and in rare cases even "stealing" direct quotes. i would be hella curious if you can find a sensible and reasonable justification for how that's not "theft" but AI somehow is. chatgpt is not cleverbot, it's not just copying and pasting text. the way it learns is for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from how a human does -- albeit someone with a low IQ. but does that mean that people with mental deficiencies cannot write? or is it theft if they read your story with the intent from learning from it? you're positing pretty heavily when you accuse someone of being a thief, you need to back that thing up.
      • Reply
  269. Tumbleweed commented: In light of this post, we AO3 contributors and OTW donors need an official AO3 policy update regarding AI. It would be incredibly unethical to allow commerical AI tools to train on fandom creations because generative AI IS used in for-profit projects. When we contribute to OTW and AO3, we do so accepting that we cannot be compensated or the OTW could risk its nonprofit status. As a result, I would not agree with any use of fanfic by for-profit tools, even if those tools don't generate word-for-word copies. If tech companies want training sets they can hire authors to write material instead of laying off tens of thousands of us.
  270. Reply
  271. extremely disappointed fan writer commented: This is, frankly, a gross disappointment. Why contribute financially to AO3 and the OTW when I can, when even board members suggest such tone deaf, exploitative measures as though they do not know the havoc it has already done to those who obtain the financial resources to live by their art or words? Nowhere in the world are people so fortunate as to entirely escape capitalism and the struggle to find something with which to afford necessities. And that is before we even get into the nonconsensual scraping of the internet to create algorithms and machine models that can imperfectly reproduce some jumbled up mix of the words and actions of others, which is already being used by corporations to justify reducing human staff. To justify profiting off the commons of the collective conversation and creativity of the world. All this, after over in America your own people, your own writers, have had to STRIKE, over the use of 'AI' to replace human writing, among other things. Truly, a disappointment.
  272. Reply
  273. A commented: Amazing, so will we get any warning before you start training AI without our consent, or should we just remove our works now?
  274. Reply
  275. BoStarsky commented: I DO NOT CONSENT AI has no business stealing the work I’ve put hours upon hours of effort and careful thought into just because I chose to use characters not my own. If AI starts scraping our skilled works of art you’re betraying your entire user base as well as every other writer in the world by stealing out work, our creativity, and our humanity. Fuck this. I DO NOT CONSENT TO MY WORK BEING STOLEN FROM ME! If you stab us in the back, we’ll stab you right back
  276. Reply
  277. Janne commented: AI does not belong in AO3 - the works are made by and for humans, not machines. The FANS -creators and artists (and readers by association) should have the final say about protecting their own works, not Betsy.
  278. Reply
  279. MM commented: AO3 did not turn off Common Crawl scraping until 2023. Everyone please know your works have already been scraped. At this point locking the accounts and fics is locking the barn door after the horse was already stolen and sold off to another farm. It may discourage future abuses, but it's too late for any of us who have been using the site for a decade+. I would like to add how deeply frustrated this knowledge makes me, and that AO3 and its organizational leadership took no action to protect or preserve its userbase's work - or even notify all users with a simple mass e-mail that scraping was beginning to happen. This shows a shocking lack of care when the same organization will quickly stomp on someone including a ko-fi link. So it's fine to do nothing when commercial interests scrape us, but if we want to have a small amount of income (likely a few dollars a month or less) from our creations it's completely verboten and reactions are swift to punish. This lack of care has made me lock all my fics - although I acknowledge its too late - and I will not be using the site again in the future for any new publications.
  280. Reply
  281. Nope commented: I've just immediately lost any trust I had in AO3's legal team to have my back in protecting any of my works when it comes to AI using them without my consent, and honestly makes me pretty leery about whether I can trust them in other situations as well. I hope that this is not AO3's official stance on AI, but even if it's not, I do not support keeping Betsy Rosenblatt in her current position if she can't recognise and respect my own rights and protections over my works. The fact this article came out AFTER the donation drive even tho the interview took place months ago sure.... ain't doing favors either.
  282. Reply
  283. bonita applebum commented: I am so sad about this. If this is how the culture shifts against ao3 and we finally lose centralized fanfic the way modern internet has already lost centralized fanart, I’ll be devastated. :( Already locked my account. Idk if that is enough.
  284. Reply
  285. Anonymous commented: I'd rather choke in crap than let an "AI" (which they are not) have a chance to plagiarise my work. I will truly lose all faith in OTW if they used this crap.
  286. Reply
  287. CM commented: It's flat out unacceptable to allow AI training using OTW. Period. This isn't up for debate.
  288. Reply
  289. @incestify commented: I would literally stop contributing to fandom spaces in any way and form if you allow anything AI near OTW.
  290. Reply
  291. Ryellee commented: While I somewhat understand (even if I don't think I agree with it) your opinion on AI-generated content being transformative and therefore the training process falling under fair use, if we apply this logic it means AI-generated content cannot be used for commercial purposes, because it then breaks the rules of fair use. And while the concept of making AI learnint databases more diverse and respective of sentiments outside the mainstream that fanfic often provides -- AI is here to stay whether we like it or not, and we have to approach this issue wisely -- is long-sighted and noble, I don't think you can reasonably assure no commercial works will come out of AI trained on copyrighted material. Which, again, violates fair use, and the whole concept of this legal approach collapses. I would like to know what AO3's *official policy* is going to be. Are you going to openly endorse AI scraping works hosted on the site without the authors' knowledge? Will there be some kind of site-wide protection against it? An opt-in toggle? I feel like this post has caused a wildfire but the actual facts are scarce, so people are running around yelling in mad panic and have nothing substantial to grasp at either way.
  292. Reply
  293. Su commented: so instead of a proper addressing or solution to our works being scraped without our consent by GPT3, we get... this? expect no more support from me and many fandom creators if this is your stance.
  294. Reply
  295. a long time ao3 user and contributor commented: No. Just No. I thought you were good people. But clearly you are also slaves to money. AI should be kept out of creative spaces. We don’t need to train AI to be human like. It will generate soulless content and will eat up jobs and will result in the downfall of literature and creativity as a whole.
  296. Reply
  297. Kai commented: This is so viscerally disheartening and disgusting. Betsy needs to step down, and AI should never, under any circumstance or context, EVER be allowed near the archive. This is the last safe place on the internet for fics and authors. Please do not take food from a starving mouth. Please do not poison it when you feed us.
  298. Reply
  299. Aravis commented: This is a genuinely *ghoulish* and out of touch remark from the person meant to act in advocacy for the OTW & AO3 community. We are currently struggling with a massive societal devaluing of creative works (WGA strike & the poverty wages offered, publishing industry author payment practices, etc)-- this is not the time for a light-hearted joke about bots kissing when people are having their livelihoods scraped for AI thieves and corporations to make another (million) buck(s). In this one place that posits itself as a haven for creators, this is the comment the OTW wants to make in regards to AI? Please, *please*-- reconsider the societal/creative context Chairperson Rosenblatt's comments are landing in, and take a firm stance *alongside* your supporters and fan community. We do not want to shift en masse to another site, but if staying on AO3 means our works will be quietly and nonconsensually scraped, stolen, and sold by AI (while we ourselves are forbidden from ever mentioning payment/donations/commissions of any sort), the choice is obvious.
  300. Reply
  301. 9 commented: The fact that AO3 supports AI and is theft is disgusting. While AI might one day be a great tool to help creators, as of now it's theft. Disgusting, souless theft. I refuse to give another cent to AO3 until this is corrected, and all fics are at the very least given a choice to be part of this.
  302. Reply
  303. Ouzel commented: We know AI cannot be stopped, it will keep growing and learning. The only thing we ask is please to protect our works, or at least let authors chose to put their works up for AI learning and by doing so they get payed for it regularly, or not. I know a lot of scrappers look at us like some whining babies crying over works that aren't even "original" per se, but we put time, effort and practice in what we do, cause we want to do it for FREE, at some point what we do with these already existing material is original and unique because everyone thinks differently, and that must count. So please, reconsider that stance towards AI.
  304. Reply
  305. Elsa commented: Please, don't do that. Please.
  306. Reply
  307. Really?! commented: I am very much against having AI using my work for "training." This is supposed to be the one aspect that AI can't do, the ability to create something from human imagination. I don't want machines writing stories that inspire. Please give us authors an option to opt out of this thing.
  308. Reply
  309. Disapointment Train commented: This is one of the worst ideas that came out right out of bad idea city. AO3 is only a hosting site and shouldn't be allowed to use the works of the users in AI training since it's not AO3's works.
  310. Reply
  312. Reply
  313. Ring commented: As a 3D artist, one of the most profoundly discouraging developments has been the use of "virtual models" and "virtual influencers" like Lil Miquela and The Diigitals. The latter's white founder first created a persona he named "Shudu," and he posted 3D renders of a stunning Black model on Instagram under that name, edited to look like fashion photographs. He didn't disclose that she wasn't a real person, and he roleplayed as though she was--networking, accepting support, and never seeming to realize that what he was doing wasn't a harmless exploration of how people interact with virtual identities. He thought--and still thinks, by all appearances--that virtual models are increasing diversity in the industry. I talked to him when he got a company I formerly trusted into NFTs. He's a very sweet guy. Endlessly optimistic. Totally baffled--over and over--as to why anyone is mad at him. I am not comparing LLM output to blackface, but it should take no more than two neurons rubbing together to compute that representation is fucking meaningless if it doesn't include or benefit the people it claims to represent, and that it's actively harmful if it replaces them. That your legal chair does not seem to realize that she just told a group of largely marginalized writers that she's excited to see us train our own replacement is alarming. It's more alarming that she's doing it with the confidence of every cryptopilled true believer whose returns on investments depend on whatever they're relentlessly pushing into the mainstream having no downsides that would warrant caution and regulatory oversight. The absolute kindest interpretation here is that no one involved in giving, publishing, or promoting this interview listened to a single thing their users had to say about the subject beforehand and didn't anticipate this level of backlash, which is still pretty damning since this is the exact approach every crypto, Web3, and LLM maximalist has taken in the past three years. Somehow everyone is always completely ignorant of how much people hate this shit while also being all-in on it defining humanity's future. You basically have to do it this way if you have a soul at all. The alternative is to be one of the people calmly telling artists our work is done here, and we should find another way to make ourselves useful. To acknowledge good faith criticism, you have to have good answers for it, and there are no good answers. We expect this brute-force optimism from for-profit companies because they've consistently discovered that if their customers aren't willing to pay them, they can find investors to pay them as long as they're sunny enough on the dystopian tech trend of the day to catch their attention. Seeing it in range of an org that has no purpose other than to protect fan writers is some real body snatcher shit.
  314. Reply
    • alan commented: Yes to all of this and thank you ^
    • Reply
  315. NO!!!!!!! commented: If you must use AI then fine, but you better protect our works and make it and option to where we can NOT let AI use our works, PROTECT DONT SCRAP! Protect dont scrap! Protect dont scrap! You say you care about your fans will now’s them time to show it and OWN it. We are telling you to NOT do this! If you’re listening then listen and hear us!!!
  316. Reply
  317. red commented: This is incredibly disappointing and tone deaf considering the ongoing writing strike. Never been so frustrated and upset with OTW before. Your userbase wants NOTHING to do with AI.
  318. Reply
  319. Nef commented: If AI gets to train on our stories, I will pull every fic I've ever published and I will never give AO3 another cent. I've been a user of AO3 for almost 6 years and donated every year, and AI involvement would be such a betrayal. There are other platforms I can post on. I'm not going to pay people who allow my work to be STOLEN, nor will I hand over my creativity for a corporation to profit off. Hell, I'll just write it for myself and never post it anywhere at all if that's what it comes to. Absolutely disgraceful that AI training is even a consideration. Shame on you.
  320. Reply
  321. Incredibly Disappointed commented: At what point in time did this ever seem like a good idea? I sincerely hope that this is the stance of just one and not the entire board and that Betsy will be removed from her position.
  322. Reply
  323. Don't use AI commented: AI has absolutely no place in transformative works. It's already been ruled that AI works have no protection because they were not made by people. Using people's fanfic to train an AI is unethical and I highly urge OTW to reconsider. Even if people are not being paid for fanfic, training an AI using their works is still art theft. Absolutely unacceptable.
  324. Reply
  325. No AI, what the heck commented: There is no way I would ever want the work I have made with my own effort to be used to go into a tool that someone would use to make some bullshit story that they could claim is just as good or sold on Amazon or whatever for a profit. It's infuriating to think about mine or my friend's work taken advantage of this way when this should be a fun and collective hobby. I know if AI is ever implemented or allowed into AO3 I would move my fic elsewhere forever.
  326. Reply
  327. skee commented: Please do not endorse AI. Ao3 is one of the last bastions of freedom of expression when it comes to transformative works and to be so blase about those who would exploit it for financial gain is extremely tone deaf, not to mention absolutely *not* what your userbase wants. This isn't cute or funny. Please take a stance against AI exploitation of creatives, we are begging you.
  328. Reply
  329. Not so fast commented: Everyone in the comments keep raising your voices and if you donated, don't regret it just yet if you became an OTW member. Use that voting power to your full advantage. Push for questions to be asked regarding AI. See where everyone to be elected stands. And remember Ao3 was never meant to be the sole archive on the internet. As sad as the possibility of worst case, we will prevail again if need.
  330. Reply
  331. FeatheredSchist commented: This is going to sound incredibly harsh, but it needs to be said. If AO3 and OTW decide that AI generated fic is ok to be posted, I will pull my account and stop supporting OTW. Like, I don’t even need to look to know that there are Tony Stark/JARVIS fics, and GLADDoS/Chell fics, and whatever other AI to human relationships there are. But that’s one thing. AI generated writing is a whole other ball of wax, and it shouldn’t even be considered as user generated content. (Also I’m sure I messed up the letters for the gladdos thing. Not my fandom, please be kind) Please reconsider ANY thought of allowing users to use AI to write their fics.
  332. Reply
  333. Don't do this commented: I do not consent to having my work scraped by AI for profit, no matter how it's phrased, and for the most part neither do most writers and artists using the platform. This is more important than simply what AI can do.
  334. Reply
  335. edibleflowers commented: Another disappointed user here who's sad to see the comments about AI from someone who should know better. Don't reduce machine learning to a cutesy thing we'll write fic about. We're already desperately concerned about the issue of people using AI-generation to "write", both for paid entertainment (see the FREAKING WGA STRIKE GOING ON RIGHT NOW) and in fanfic. We need a strong statement against machine learning AND policy to back it up. This isn't just fearmongering. This is happening and will continue to happen unless every avenue allowing AI is blocked. This is a terrible take. I urge you to reconsider this stance, as your userbase is cleary against it.
  336. Reply
  337. JUST SAY NO TO AI commented: AO3 and the OTW are wonderful and vital services, but AI should absolutely NOT be supported by them. Or any creatives, honestly. If an individual wants to allow an AI to train on their works, then that's fine for them, but just like we've seen with visual art, it should ABSOLUTELY NOT be allowed to train on anyone's work of any description without the creator's express permission. (This applies even beyond fanworks; if a published author does not want AI to train on their works, it should not be allowed to do so.) It's one thing to be entertained by people writing fics *about* AI (that's just another kind of fanfic!) but it's entirely another to want to use it to make fanfic- or train it on fanfic and then *allow it to create "original" works based on that training material.* Fanfic writers already get little enough appreciation for the labor they pour into their works; allowing AI to copy any of them the programmer feels like cheapens the soul of fanworks and fandom. AI does not "create," it merely regurgitates. As charming and "intelligently human" as some may find it, it is *just software.* There is no creativity there, just a facsimile, created by copying. Using AI as it is now is like tracing another artist's work without their permission and claiming it as your own, creating a photo manipulation using someone's else's photos that aren't licensed for that use, or copying paragraphs from the essays of others and pasting them together then claiming it as your own work. If (and only if) AI manages to become more ethical in its training material, then AO3 MUST allow users who don't wish to see or interact with it to do so. Users must be able to not allow their work to be used to train AIs, and this *must be enforced.* Anyone posting AI-generated material must be tagged as such, and easily able to be filtered out. AO3 has framework in place for this, with the main Warnings and Ratings system it has; there is no excuse to not do so if you make the unfortunate choice to allow it. That said, if the OTW continues to endorse the use of AI in fandom, I will no longer be a proud supporter and member of it.
  338. Reply
  339. bruh moment commented: I've never even entertained the idea of an A03 competitor due to the great respect I have for the staff here. This has made me rethink that stance entirely. This statement combined with "I HOPE PEOPLE WRITE SLASH FANFIC ABOUT CHAT GPT AND DALL E UWU" are you serious
  340. Reply
  341. Kira commented: Would love if you and ms rosenblatt parted ways, but if you don't i will vote against her the first opportunity i get. I hope you also release a statement soon about your stance on ai, as an organisation. We as readers and writers alike do not agree with ms rosenblatt's thoughts on this and i hope you don't share her opinions.
  342. Reply
  343. moosefeels commented: i have put one million sixty-eight thousand eight hundred and seventy words on ao3 in the past eleven years, and if the archive uses it as an AI training set ever, i will delete every single one.
  344. Reply
  345. Support Writers not AI commented: I refuse to consent to AI scraping fics that I have spent hours, weeks, *months* crafting. This is such a disrespectful take and incredibly tone deaf in the midst of the writer's strike, as other comments have already noted. If this is the OTW and AO3's official stance, I urge you to reconsider. It is detrimental to writers and fan communities to subject their hard work to data mining they didn't consent to and that will profit off their time, effort, and love for the craft. Writing is a skill that has been carefully honed by so many here. To treat it as just a tool to help machines learn to replicate human emotion in writing is abhorrent and not transformative in the slightest. It's theft. It is not the same as a human writer taking characters from a show/book/game and creating their own story with their own narrative voice. It's a manufactured tool of corporate greed taking our voices from us.
  346. Reply
  347. bewinsome commented: I suggest a vote be held immediately about whether or not Betsy Rosenblatt should remain legal chair. This is an absolutely horrifying statement from someone who is supposed to be defending fanworks and transformative art. This is not someone I want anywhere near the work I produce as it completely disrespects the amount of time and effort myself and other authors put into their craft. I’m so disappointed in AO3 for this.
  348. Reply
    • Marie J commented: Amen! Need to get this person OUT immediately.
    • Reply
  349. 27fanficlliles commented: Why bother training algorithms with our works when we have modern, published gems at our disposal? Oh right, copyright law.*Eye roll* Let's take a moment to reflect on that, shall we? AI may be fascinating in theory, but it's all about the execution my friends. Until real artificial intelligence emerges, I couldn't care less about appeasing data-mining programs. What truly matters is us, the fic authors and human artists, creating something extraordinary. We pour our souls into our work and the last thing we want is to feel replaced by lines of code so, let's keep our focus on what's good for us, not some algorithm's quest for efficiency. And to post this after the donations crowd fund is just dirty af. -27fanficlilies-tumblr
  350. Reply
  351. No no no and no commented: I don't want the fics that I've spent literal months working on to be use to train an AI. If there is no option to opt out of this, I will delete every single one of my works. It's a lose-lose situation for the community and AO3.
  352. Reply
  353. squireofgeekdom commented: Archive of Our Own is of *Our Own*. This site exists due to the hard work of volunteers who wanted a place to preserve fanwork that *wasn't* at the mercy of and for the profit of corporate interests - a place where fanworks could be *archived* as something worth preserving, without fear that swathes of fanworks would disappear en masse. Suggesting that encouraging corporations to train their large language models on *our* fanworks on AO3 - profiting off of *our* fannish creativity, is entirely against the intent of AO3 that I have always supported. And, while anyone can delete their own fanworks off of AO3 at any time, and that is of course an important recourse, and many writers will not choose to archive their fics on AO3 for their own reasons regardless -- I am still very concerned that if this continues to be the representation of AO3's stance, given the mass unpopularity of this opinion, this may discourage fan writers and creators en masse from adding or keeping their works on AO3, which could significantly harm its legacy as a preserve for all fanworks by and for fannish creators. This is a tone deaf and shortsighted response that does not take into consideration our concerns about plagiarism and the long term stability and legality of our fanwork archive. While I understand that one person's remarks in an interview does not necessarily reflect the OTW's position, this coming from the Legal Director, without other clarity, is alarming, particularly considering many documented and ongoing issues with plagiarism from large language models and writers' concerns at large. I realize that fully exploring the Archive's options and articulating an official stance in a rapidly moving landscape is difficult, but frankly, that effort should have started well before now, and I would expect to see a clearer position soon, and at the very least, the userbase would benefit from clarification that this opinion is not representative and that the OTW at large is not encouraging 'scraping' of user's works would be useful. I expect this is an issue that will come up in the elections in August and as an OTW member it will significantly shape my vote.
  354. Reply
  355. Gamzooky commented: Please do not make this. Please do not allow this type of ai. Nobody wants this except the most unaware people.
  356. Reply
  357. Marie J. commented: I've used Chat AI and alot of them (if not all) are not good enough and repetitive. AI is not advanced to stuff as detail as you describ to give deep work. Also where are your guys priorities at AO3? Can't even post a link on the site to get paid for our works but you want to scrape our work for a computer generator? Also, no matter how advanced AI becomes its not going to be good enough. And find it not only as plagiarism to literally use an AI from AO3 as a whole but disrespectful go your users. I do not write my stuff so someone can take it. How about making the website LOOK better on a UI front. Build a better branding. You haven't even made an app. AO3 hasn't thought about Google authenticator or extra protection on a password. Your website has been in BETA for over a decade now. Get some priorities in order with all the money you guys swarm in and then some for donations, you could atleast afford some high quality web developers and designers (even myself) for an updated look. Despite it, it's still a minimal easy to use site than all the others. But hey, if you can't afford to get your own site of BETA and give it a more updated look and better security then why spend money for some AI training? Do this and consider alot of us leaving AO3 and deleting works for good.
  358. Reply
  359. nonisland commented: Adding my voice to the many, many people who do not want this. I do not consent to AI scraping my writing, and I trusted the AO3 more than just about any other web-based platform to care about writers as individuals AND to care about our consent for what is done with our writing. I am really hoping to see a statement tomorrow from the OTW clarifying that this is not and will not be organization policy.
  360. Reply
  361. NO commented: ?????????? Wow. I just want to say, how can you approve this and expect we will continue to donate to you guys? I would never hear this from AO3 so many years ago and now this is sad. Hopefully this does not become reality.
  362. Reply
  363. Unicron commented: This is absolutely disgusting. I have been donating to AO3 my entire adult life and even unintentionally met my fiance on the website, but I refuse to donate another cent until the legal chair is removed for this nonsense
  364. Reply
  365. Concerned AO3 User commented: The statement from the Legal Director is alarming. OTW was founded to protect fans from censorship and commercial exploitation. And we don't want our works to be fed to AI as a training material. But why does the Legal Director give that kind of statement? Isn't OTW supposed to protect fans, legally and technologically? WGA is currently on strike. And I strongly suspect the AI will be used as scabs. Allowing AI to scrape AO3 is unethical to say the least.
  366. Reply
  367. longtime writer and disappointment commented: Sit and wonder how many stories from other websites deep archive are being moved in MASS amounts to AO3. Considering that's what AO3 was standing for, correct? Saving and archiving fandom works...AND think about so many of those writers are not active or in Fandom anymore on AO3 or other sources. So how does someone in the "so called" legal chair comes up with an idea for an AI addition? Get real. No one wants this and you would need to be voted out.
  368. Reply
  369. Deeply Disappointed Member commented: AI has no place in fanworks. If part of OTW's efforts is to protect authors and creators from IP and legal issues, AI is merely a LEGAL MESS waiting to happen. It is deeply ignorant and irresponsible to suggest that AI (which is a false, misleading name for it, by the way--it's not intelligence, it is a machine that recreates patterns that are fed into it) should be REMOTELY involved with fanworks. The fact that Betsy agrees with the ignorant, short-sighted, and selfish people creating "AI" and STEALING from artists WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT re: these legal issues is appalling. I don't want someone like Betsy being responsible for representing fans and their legal rights and safety. It has already been of MAJOR concern among fanwriters when there was the suggestion going around that an "AI" model was scanning and ripping information off of fanworks online. Everyone hated it. We were all scared and wanted to do everything we could to protect fanworks from having this happen. It is now inevitably happening without the consent of fans. No, this is not a "good" thing for "AI" to be trained on more diverse content without the consent of those creators. The problem with "AI" is who's creating it and for what purposes--not JUST that it regurgitates whatever nonsense is fed into it. It's bad enough when public figures drag fanworks into the light without consideration for the fan culture they represent. Allowing "AI" to do that is a LEGAL MESS and DEEPLY DISRESPECTFUL to the fan creators, themselves. If AO3 and OTW decide to SUPPORT allowing "AI" machines learn off of fanworks, I can no longer support OTW by being a member. I just recently renewed my membership--and I will cancel it and never renew again if you all follow through with this nonsense. AO3 and OTW are meant to stand FOR fans, to protect them FROM things like this. It is egregiously irresponsible to suggest that including them is okay. What's more, while that interview is a couple months old, drawing attention to it DURING THE WGA STRIKE where "AI" is of concern (only one of MANY MAJOR CONCERNS), and central is this disrespect and disregard of the HUMAN CRAFT OF WRITING, is DEEPLY ignorant. Speaking of the WGA Strike--I would highly recommend Adam Conover's video about "AI". He disproves the fact that that's what it is, brings attention to the underpaid, exploited, and traumatized workers (who now hope to unionize!) who are responsible for making these "AI" machines work the way they do, and how it is ultimately doomed to fail--as all things made by ignorant, short-sighted, profit-driven "tech bros" are. Does AI as a concept have a compelling future of possibilities and bring up a lot of questions about humanity? Yes. Is this technology itself impressive, though what it does is ingest and then regurgitate patterns it is given? Yes. Are AI and this current technology the same? NO. And are we at a point where either thing can be SAFELY tested out in the public, when government law can't even keep up with the internet as it has existed for two decades? NOT EVEN CLOSE. This is not something to encourage. We have to be careful and put protections in place NOW, not allow this to run rampant. The AO3 has been the ONLY refuge for so many people. It is a system for archiving and saving fanworks, preserving our efforts, community, and culture, and protecting us from legal attacks. Abandoning your users and those you were meant to protect by leaving us/them up for nonconsensual use in "AI", that is today at best a pattern recognition and regurgitation machine, and therefore, simply stealing and recreating without credit? That is awful and appalling. I cannot support that.
  370. Reply
  371. No consent to AI commented: Horrific stance by what very much seems like a person in ao3 leadership. I would remove my stories and support, and it seems most authors would as well.
  372. Reply
  373. Shai_Gege commented: Please don't do this! Think about all the effort and time writers put into their writing. The literal soul and originality of each person is what makes fanfics so damn unique. To have our rights and time trampled over is absolutely foul. This may look appealing at first, but think about all the writers and pushback. Who wants something with no soul to write and replace our writers who have emotions and feelings?
  374. Reply
  375. alan commented: Nope. Not this "AI" shit making $$$ for unethical billionaire tech a-holes after being trained on my free work
  376. Reply
  377. ObscuredTempest commented: My work is not permitted to be used for AI training. I do not consent to this. I will not be a resource for plagiarism. I think pretty much every writer here would agree, judging by the responses. It is unprofessional and *incredibly* suspicious to just post up "lol AI" and run. I hope this means everyone involved is aware how much the communities contributing object to it. I hope that's *shame*. AI has already been shown to simply regurgitate data, not create. There are already legal issues surrounding the use of AI, and universities are being trained to recognize AI-written essays and include them when considering plagiarism cases. If you want to invite that kind of thing (because frankly fuck AI) alongside an unethical scraper into your projects (which AO3 users have already been complaining about from outside sources), then you are agreeing to lose traffic, donations, and our work. I will pull everything I have written. I will advise other authors to do the same. Please do not introduce AI. Not when we are already trying to fight them as it is. Not when all it is, is a vehicle for plagiarism with a fancy name.
  378. Reply
  379. Yulan commented: I also definitely need clarification on Ao3's AI stance before I can donate anything. This is such an insanely out of touch comment.
  380. Reply
  381. orici commented: If your legal chair is pro AI and you feel it necessary to proudly put that on a podium for us all to see, then I can only assume that this organization is pro-AI. Amidst a writers strike, unauthorized AI scrapes on various sites, and the tumultuous mess that AI "writing" is making in academic and professional circles... It feels like you don't support actual writers at all. You cannot post this and think the writers here will sit quietly and be ok with it. You cannot support a threat to your userbase and think we'll just sit back and take it. We are survivors of countless sunken sites and won't hesitate to purge ourselves from this one to, no matter how much we've come to call it home. I refuse to support an organization that would cannibalize my hard work, and the work of others, for fun or profit. To support AI is to support plagiarism, and if this is the path you pursue then I'll gladly remove every trace of myself from the anathema you become.
  382. Reply
  383. Gurophilia commented: The issue of allowing AI training and submission thereof transformative works from transformative works completely circumvents the entire premise of 'Archive of Our Own': "established by fans [...], to serve the interest of fans." The inclusion of AI generated works of fiction implies an inherit interest in the contents of the work submitted on a 'fan'-like level, which is a dubious distinction in and of itself, and much more so when the 'creator' of such a work isn't a human at all and therefore has no interest beyond the accumulation and assimilation of data. Transformative works require a basic knowledge of source material, and then the creativity required to modify that into something removed from source material that it is considered a transformative work out of interest, instead of function; which, arguably, the very nature of AI is the acquisition of data through the very function of their existence as opposed to any quantifiable interest. It could be said, that AI cannot provide transformative works in and of itself. The generated contented might be modified by a human with knowledge and interest of a source to create content enhanced by AI, but AI of itself lacks the complexities of 'interest' to supply data and transform it into a format with true knowledge and interest in the source material.
  384. Reply
  385. Ready to put my $ and fic elsewhere commented: If AO3’s stance as an organization (not the opinion of one member from Legal) isn’t clarified very soon I will be removing my autopay donation status and leaving the platform.
  386. Reply
  387. SexWithStrahd commented: Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.
  388. Reply
  389. Dont Feed the AI with fanfics commented: Here's the thing: scraping data online obviously cannot be avoided. But what Can and Should be avoided is saying that scraped data is perfectly okay to use for AI purposes without the explicit consent of writers. It clearly isn't. Don't get me wrong: there's a lot of interesting things one can do with scraped data - most of which won't harm writers in the way neural networks already have. Things like analysing word usage, or popularity of certain tags, and so on - actual sociolinguistic analysis, if you will. But AI databases/neural networks? They won't contribute anything good to fanculture. They're statistical tools you can't use for statistics, spitting out content based solely on guesstimations and copying. Please reconsider.
  390. Reply
  391. ParadoxInsanity commented: Fuck no. My hard work is not for thieves to earn money off of. If this goes through, I am immediately pulling my works, and I suspect thousands of other writers will too.
  392. Reply
  393. ParadoxInsanity commented: Fuck no. My hard work is not for thieves to earn money off of. If this goes through, I am immediately pulling my works, and I suspect thousands of other writers will too. Truly shocked that you all would even consider this.
  394. Reply
  395. Sincerely Concerned commented: Please keep our works away from AI. This is insult to the craft, especially in the midst of a massive WGA strike. Feeding our works to AI would do nothing but train a machine to replace hard working writers that already write for free. It would be a huge slap in the face.
  396. Reply
  397. Taylor Says You Need To Calm Down commented: Jfc did any of you actually read the entire interview? Because I did and I didn't see anything about AO3 opening its doors to scrapers.
  398. Reply
    • You need to read between the lines commented: I did. Betsy didn't specifically say that no, but she did say AI scraping fic is beneficial and a step forward. If this is the general sentiment of otw, which I suspect it is given her blog is being promoted here, then what this means is nothing will be done to prevent ao3 scraping, not even changing the wording of the terms of service. They'll just sit back and let it happen.
    • Reply
      • tired commented: They did sit back and let it happen. It's already happened. Common Crawl was allowed to access the site until January, when the site admins finally decided to take the minimal step of disallowing it. That means anything before January 2023 is in Common Crawl, which means it's in the AI training data sets. We already lost this fight before we even knew there was one to fight.
      • Reply
    • BiblicallyAccurateGremlin commented: Considering she a actively participates in the congressional court hearings regarding AI and it usage, yeah she early is actively perusing something whether it's been made puic or not.
    • Reply
    • Ring commented: There are a lot of people who have misunderstood this as an imminent change and/or are assuming that it's being brought up as a trial balloon, but that is completely fucking predictable given that people now expect this kind of happy-go-lucky, can't-see-the-haters attitude toward unethical tech to be a sign that yelling as loud as they can is the only way to stop it from getting shoveled into services they use whether they want it or not. I am not personally worried that Ao3 is going to implement LLM functionality; I'm worried that they have people in positions of influence who are so out-of-touch and terminally techbrained that they somehow missed the backlash to AI among independent creatives. Or worse, that they knew there would be backlash and held the interview until after the donation drive (although I know how easy it is for shitty coincidences to happen). It usually isn't a fantastic sign when a non-profit has people in higher-level positions who get to influence policy, speak for the org, and have decided their favorite iteration of the Torment Nexus neatly dovetails with the cause. Setting aside any disaster AI-integration scenario, it often just means they're very bad at having priorities that actually serve the people they're supposed to!
    • Reply
  399. Stacy commented: Eagerly awaiting an official stace from otw. If you will agree to let fanworks be used for ai purposes I am out. Taking down my works. Everyone, we can build a new site. One with a single easy capcha that says "are not you a robot?" And has you check a box to prove you're human. That's it. It's as easy as implementing that to prevent (some) scraping. For now I'm locking my 100+ first. This might be the death of ao3.
  400. Reply
  401. Are you actually fucking kidding me? commented: Absolutely not. In the middle of a writer’s strike, you throw in your support for AI? This platform was created to PROTECT our passion projects and now you want to exploit them? If ao3 lets AI scrape and steal our works then I and every single author I know will remove them in a second. This site will be dead and whatever money you hoped to earn from this will be gone.
  402. Reply
  403. meia commented: this is definitely unethical.
  404. Reply
  405. BiblicallyAccurateGremlin commented: How could you possibly think fanfic writers would be okay with you using their data without their consent and essentially allowing their content to be plaverized through digitally created algorithm media. You constantly compare fanfiction to art when defending it from legal copyright laws but then blatantly ignore that AI steals from artists without credit. How much did they pay you under the table to post agree to this and do you understand the implications of a data mining lawsuit?
  406. Reply
  407. ch commented: AI has amazing potential, however the nonconsensual data mining practices used to train many AI is problematic to say the absolute least. We are already seeing the gross misuse of scraped personal "consumer data" by companies worldwide. While many people are beginning to realize how problematic many of those practices and their informed marketing tactics are, AI as an emergent technology is blinding many to the inherent risks and issues involved in the, in all actuality, theft of intellectual property of artists and writers worldwide. Historically both of these groups have relied on their talent to make their way, with many not even seeing "proper" success before their deaths. There is a reason for the stereotype of a "starving artist" to exist. Creating art or written works, including fanfiction, is a labor of love and the nonconsensual scraping of creative works to train AI systems on is an affront to creatives everywhere. I am hopeful for the possibilities of AI, but solidly as something of the future when this technology is not at the mercy of capitalist ideology that prioritizes profit margins at the expense of people. AI as it currently stands, in a creative capacity, carries the potential for far more harm than good and has no place in creative spaces. Hopefully more people realize this so proper protections and safeguards can be implemented to protect individual users' intellectual property before the creative community wakes up with an unwelcome hand wrapped around their throat in the form of AI programs trained on stolen works starving creatives of their voices and opportunities.
  408. Reply
  409. Rune commented: As a long-time user of the Archive and a donor to OTW, I'm very disappointed to see Betsy Rosenblatt's comments regarding the use of transformative work hosted on the archive as training data for machine-learning systems. It is unethical for AI companies to train on user data that the Archive hosts for free with the intention of selling the outputs for profit. I hope to see an official stance from the OTW in the coming days about machine-learning, as it will affect my future contributions to OTW and the Archive.
  410. Reply
  411. are you fucking kidding me commented: No. I did not spend hundreds of hours, and pour my very precious time and energy into millions of words of fanfic so a corporation could use it for AI grist. Do you really not know what a condescending slap in the face this is to your user base? We need OTW leadership to demonstrate that THEY KNOW that is is an existential fucking threat to writers and artists and that it is unacceptable to build these models on our fucking backs without consent or compensation. And for fuck's sake. "Will writers rise to this challenge?" Are you fucking for real. Don't hand me shit rolled in sugar and call it a doughnut.
  412. Reply
  413. I swear to God, this better be a joke. The audacity! AI has no place in fanfiction commented: Y'all better not. No one wants this. No one approves this. This goes against everything the archive was founded on. You guys survive out of the donations of thousands of people that believe in incentivising creativity and talent of human beings. Why is this even in question? Cut it out.
  414. Reply
  415. May commented: AO3 is no place for AI. For years this had been a platform for people to interact with other people who share their interests and passions. It’s not a place where those who already pour hours/months/years of time and mental investment into their work without being paid a single cent, should be used and picked over so that corporations can profit off of their efforts. AI data mining is expanding into fanworks because other written sources are protected by law. If this technology and the companies behind it need to jump through hoops and scrape unprotected fanworks for training purposes, then their actions are unethical to begin with. It doesn’t become okay simply because the creators are writing fanworks. Additionally, AO3 is not only a site for fanfiction—it hosts completely original works and characters as well, so to use the intellectual property of those creators is unacceptable. Posting this after the completion of the donation drive is underhanded. If OTW has to postpone publishing an interview from months ago because it fears the contenat will reduce the donations it can gather, it’s clear that you’re aware this view will be upsetting and disheartening to users of the platform, yet you still chose to be evasive. To then share a statement that sugarcoats and sidesteps the clear issues at hand is infantilizing to your user base, and does nothing to garner support for OTW. This is extremely disappointing. Please clarify your stance on AI and provide explicit details on how it will be used, as well as how users of the platform can protect themselves. I, along with many other creators, do not want works that took significant effort and are meaningful to me to be used for machine learning.
  416. Reply
  417. For crying out loud commented: I agree with (and love) every other person who is complaining about this stance on AI. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but to frame writer's works being used without their consent to train AI as an 'opportunity' for writers to 'rise to' is condescending and thoughtless. The OTW exists specifically for writers to have their space to explore their medium without the restrictions of other platforms. If it starts hearing corporate cash over the voices of their users (who categorically DO NOT WANT THIS, especially not wholesale), I know that I (and many others) will leave and not look back.
  418. Reply
  419. Hi. No. commented: AI legality is still in the muds, this is incredibly risky and as posted by the statements above, a lot of users are against this. whether this goes through or not, the fact that the team even entertained this thought is upsetting. this year will be my last in becoming a donator.
  420. Reply
  421. Stop While You’re Ahead commented: Nobody wants this. I and many others do not consent to having our labors of love turned into cogs in a machine. The fact that you are even entertaining this idea goes against everything your team have stood for. Listen to your community. WE DO NOT WANT THIS. All further donations will be ceased coming from me and many others. Shady as fuck that you guys announced this after your yearly donations too…would’ve never contributed if I knew this was coming. At least try and amend this before such an archive is emptied of so many works.
  422. Reply
  423. Good to hear commented: I agree with Rosenblatt's stance on AI; I think it's very reasonable and aligns with Ao3's overall philosophy about the legality of transformative works. I can't imagine a good argument against machine learning that wouldn't also encapsulate large swaths of fanfiction.
  424. Reply
    • Ring commented: The good argument against LLMs is that they're a multi-billion dollar business aggressively being pushed by people rich beyond the dreams of avarice, just so a few of them can make All the Money before regulations land or the bubble bursts. They see creatives losing their jobs as collateral damage, because it's actually very good for them if a lot of big companies decide the salary they're paying writers and artists can just go into an AI pivot instead. None of that is true of fanfiction!
    • Reply
  425. Jane commented: Your front page literally says this: "We are proactive and innovative in protecting and defending our work from commercial exploitation." Betsy seems to have missed the memo. AI is nothing BUT commercial exploitation to creatives. I don't consent to my work being used for AI, and since I can't vote Betsy out, I don't think I'll be renewing my OTW membership for a seventh year. This statement is tone-deaf techbro mentality, and it's jarring to hear it come from someone who holds an important position in an organization that's supposed to go to bat for creatives. I'm disgusted - I trusted AO3 after Strikethrough, and in an instant, that trust is teetering on a cliff. Betsy needs to go.
  426. Reply
  427. ratprt commented: You can't be serious with this AI take. This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Fucking boggling this was posted, nobody wants this shit.
  428. Reply
  429. elfin commented: May need a rethink...! This is one of the most precious and unique places on the internet - please don't destroy that. Listen to the people you're representing - I hear an emphatic NO to the AI.
  430. Reply
  431. Please Listen!!! commented: I do NOT consent to my fics being used to train AI! Can AI possibly be used as a tool that could help aid artists? Sure, maybe one day. But as it stands right now, it's too unethical and too many artists and writers are being exploited by having their hard work stolen and used without their consent. There is absolutely no way I can support AI until we KNOW WITH 110% CERTAINTY that creatives will be protected, and I can't see that happening for a long, long time, if ever. WE DO NOT WANT THIS. Listen to your users, Ao3!
  432. Reply
  433. Fck this sh1t commented: AO3 has been the gold standard for an archive of fan AND original writing. This site is nothing without the users. Get Betsy and anyone else willing to shill AI off the board right now. AI is antithetical to fandom, fanworks, and the fan experience AO3 supports. Or watch AO3 crumble overnight i guess
  434. Reply
  435. DW commented: If AO3 supports allowing AI to scrape fics, then I will no longer support AO3. I know that realistically there is nothing I can do to stop AI, but I sure as hell won't support the active devaluation of human artistic expression.
  436. Reply
  437. eldrai commented: Ridiculous and completely out of touch with the user base.
  438. Reply
  439. mittensmorgul commented: I joined Ao3 and have chosen to post my writing here because the archive was created as the bastion of defense for fanfic authors. It has been the place where our stories could be posted without fear of censorship or the threat of being sued. We can create and share our writing, in this haven for authors and readers. I think that AI has no place within those walls. AI-"written" works are not fan-created works. They're generated by machines, not fans. Artists are now struggling against the same sort of content theft that "trains" AI platforms to blend up and regurgitate "original" works based on entirely stolen input. I didn't consent for my works-- when I posted them on Ao3-- to be used to train machines to spit out stories based on my human words. Fans creating stories out of love for the characters and the worlds they originated in is in no way the same as a soulless machine cobbling words together to fill a prompt. For the (very) few commenters above who attempted to imply otherwise, writing fanfic is in no way similar to an AI generating a story, and if you can't understand why, then I don't think any human being (and especially not an actual writer) can explain it to you. A story is more than the prompt that generated it, and the human labor that goes into creating it is worth more than the idea that sparked it. There has already been a legal push to declare works generated by AI uncopyrightable due to the fact they were not authored/generated by a human being. Just based on that supposition, it makes me deeply uncomfortable that Ao3 is even allowing AI-generated works to be posted on the site at all. One of the main platforms of the current WGA strike is a strongly worded item regarding their absolute rejection of AI being used at any phase of the creation of new television programs and films. It feels as if Ao3 and the OTW should be able to take at least as decisive a stand against AI as the WGA has. Especially when so many fanfic authors write our stores based on their IP. I certainly hope a statement is forthcoming to that effect, followed up by concrete policies defending the human writers who have found a refuge and sanctuary on Ao3 and limiting or otherwise restricting the posting of non-human-created works to the archive as well as strongly condemning machine "scraping" of the site for AI fodder. If the archive is unable to make that sort of declaration, I would be hesitant to continue financially supporting it, and even more hesitant (as many of the above comments have already said in so many words) to keep the 2 million plus words I've posted to Ao3. I post my works here to share my human-created works with other humans. Maybe there is a place for AI in the world, but it should NEVER have a place on AO3.
  440. Reply
  441. Nonamee commented: This is not what I signed up for. I would take my fics down from my AO3 page, but it's probably too late anyway (the general rule of any stored data is "if it's on the internet, it will stay on the internet, even though the user clicked to have it removed", IIRC). On the other hand, I'm still in time to switch back to simply sending fics and stories to my friends on doc/notepad files through alternative means. P.S.: "Will DALL·E or ChatGPT become characters in fan fiction? Surely they will." Not sure if delusional or just trolling.
  442. Reply
  443. Minnichan doesn't want AI here commented: The OTW has been very disappointing as of late. If y'all keep going like this I and many more will not renew our memberships in the future.
  444. Reply
  445. Emery G commented: I would have loved to hear about protections against AI, not… whatever garbage this is. I share *my* writing so other fans can read it. Not for a computer to scrape and process it into nonsense plagiarized mush for the profit of their devs. I feel like the legal chair’s views go against the mission statement of Ao3; this is deeply disappointing. Get serious
  446. Reply
  447. Always Anti-AI commented: Genuinely can't believe Legal's stance here. AI is the antithesis of fanfiction. If OTW integrates AI like this I will be taking down my works and deleting my account, which would be a great shame as AO3 is the best of its kind.
  448. Reply
  449. appalling commented: This isn't a policy proposal. This is the opinion on the legality and validity of AI expressed by someone who volunteers for the org but it doesn't mean AO3 will "implement" AI, whatever you think that may mean, and if you expect them to single-handedly find a way to prevent their website from being scraped you know nothing about how scraping works from a technical POV.
  450. Reply
  451. GrandGobboBarb commented: This idea is unconsciable. Especially in the wake of the writer's strike. If this moves forward I know that I, at least, will cease using your services or providing donations. "AI" is the antithesis of the expression of human souls that drives art. The job of a platform promoting art and writing should be to do what it can to defend the works it holds from being exploited by cynical corporate tools that undermin their art form: not to serve them up on a silver platter. Shameful position.
  452. Reply
  453. syzara commented: No. Absolutely not. Apart from it being an ethical and a legal minefield, I do not understand why anyone at OTW would want their hosted materials being fed to an environmentally disastrous techbro toy who don't think ethics is actually a thing. There is absolutely nothing intelligent about ChatGPT. It's just a ton of random texts fed to it, and the only thing it learns from it is 'making sentences that more or less seem human made'. Feeding it more random texts does not make it any better or even remotely intelligent. Aside, the same goes for picture generation. Also literally no one here asked for this. This toy is already throwing out so much crap that people have difficulty fact checking any source. Why the hell does anyone at OTW, especially legally, think it is a good idea to feed it OTW-hosted texts. How can you even state this shit is beyond me.
  454. Reply
  455. TiroTiro commented: Leave AI out of Ao3 or you will lose a ton of people for sure. How could you even think that 11 million works, tens of thousands of writers, would be ok with their work being used in AI?
  456. Reply
  457. Topaz commented: I'd like the ability to report obviously AI-generated fics. Sometimes authors will even tag that they just ran a chat bot as a joke but the repercussions aren't very funny. Also, as an spring author who uses fanfiction as a test ground for my work, I'd be devastated to find my writing style generated by ChatGPT or whatever the best AI du jour is.
  458. Reply
  459. alice commented: thanks to this i'm deleting my own works from ao3. why on earth would i want my own creativity to be regurgitated through a machine for profit? sincerely, go to hell.
  460. Reply
  461. Rico commented: I am a software engineer, so let me say this. AI cannot "understand". It never will "understand". AI is a fancy autocomplete, as it simply outputs what the most likely thing to come next is. Look up the Chinese room thought experiment, and the weak AI idea in that experiment explains current AI. AI will regurgitate all the biases that are fed into it. Fandom is very racist, and BIPOC will be (and already are) the most negatively affected by the present and real harms of AI. Being in favor of LLMs being trained on AO3 hosted works is the wrong stance. The current hype surrounding AI seeks to automate and eliminate human creativity so we can spend more time and labor on the boring menial parts of life. AO3's lawyers should be seeking to fight against the awful future techbros have envisioned for us. Many BIPOC scholars in the AI ethics field have been sounding the alarm about LLMs for years now. The genie is already out of the bottle in that current LLMs have been trained on fics that existed when their data was being collected. But that doesn't make it the time to throw our hands up and let our minds get stolen and puppeted by the techbros that control these machines. Techbros are having these things built, and are hyping them up, because this is their ticket to forever perpetuate today's biases and hide behind their toys when someone gets hurt. A machine cannot understand. A machine cannot be held accountable. A machine should not be trained on the free creative work of the millions of ao3 users. You've got some serious backpedaling to do.
  462. Reply
  463. A commented: Even after reading the interview with Rosenblatt, I'm perplexed as to why inviting AI into fannish spaces would be a "good" thing. Let alone trying to teach it...for what purpose? So that the scammers behind it can plagiarize people's fics and sell them elsewhere? Rosenblatt must be living in some kind of dream world to have approached an extremely dangerous and anti-fandom situation with such enthusiasm. It's pretty telling of where the OTW's values might actually lie. I'm disgusted yet relieved that I haven't donated to the organization for a few years now.
  464. Reply
  465. Shannon commented: Giving AO3 money in support and this is the slap in the face we get? Why the fuck would training AI on fanworks be anything turn into anything but stealing ideas? We're not even allowed to make money off our work, which is fine, but AI can now? I really hope you see all the negative comments and leave this idea in the trash.
  466. Reply
  467. alan commented: Personally, I think neural networks are interesting for sure. I enjoyed learning about rudimentary ones a bunch of years ago. But now I'm just really tired of the general assumption that people like me are all just passive resources for whose data and time can be extracted for profit. I write for free. I do that on purpose because I want fellow fans to enjoy it and be in community with me. I don't want some program to come along, take what's free, and incorporate it as a small piece of an eventual money-making schema. I'm so done with this mindset and I just want to opt out. I make transformative work for free on purpose. I don't want my own identity, attributes, or work being extracted to generate wealth for anyone else
  468. Reply
    • we were rooting for you becky commented: "I'm just really tired of the general assumption that people like me are all just passive resources for whose data and time can be extracted for profit." this this this!
    • Reply
      • alan commented: Thanks, yeah, it's a big mood. (And now I see the "for whose" typo after posting, of course, lol.)
      • Reply
  469. Disappointed commented: I fundamentally disagree with this stance on allowing AI access to AO3. We donate our hard-earned money with the understanding that AO3 is a non-profit that hosts works that scores of fans write for each other *for free*. Fanfiction - and AO3 as a whole - is a crucial cornerstone of fan culture and the communities it fosters. Nothing is more human than storytelling, creating, and community-building: AI flies in the face of that tenet. This has unfortunately dealt a significant blow to my trust in AO3’s ability to protect my work. If you are going to continue to ask for our contributions year on year, whether by donating or hosting our works here, you need to listen to the response this proposition has elicited and either change your position or scrap this line of thinking altogether. At the very least, you need to listen to the feedback the majority of the community has given you. There is no logical reason why AI should be allowed to access fanfiction, especially when it’s written by humans for other humans without charge and purely for the love of fandom, something that AI could never hope to understand because it wouldn’t be able to understand the context in which fan works are written. I sincerely hope that OTW listens carefully to what fic writers, readers, and fans the world over have to say about this sorry state of affairs.
  470. Reply
  471. Angry OTW member commented: I am an OTW member and SO incredibly disappointed and angry about the decision to let AI scrape work without the fic writer's consent. At least let us opt out!
  472. Reply
  473. Katy L. Wood commented: "that is, copying isn’t infringement when it occurs inside a machine and does not, itself, make copyrighted works perceptible to people" What kinda legalese bullshit is this? PEOPLE created the machine. PEOPLE put data in that machine. PEOPLE put in a prompt to generate something from that machine. This is like say a pottery wheel is responsible for making the damn pot. ChatGTP didn't just spring up out of the damn ether. It was created and it was created using content it had zero permission to use. This whole damn site was made to protect creators whose rights have historically been trampled all over. Betsy needs to be immediately removed from any position involved in this website and a serious apology needs to be issued. Respect your damn authors that just raised you a record amount of money, that provide every ounce of content for this website. And yeah, at the end of the day I will always be better than a damn ML machine. So will every other author. But that doesn't make this theft acceptable. If you owned a business, good old brick and mortar book store, would you let your neighbor who owned a computer repair shop come over and take money out of your register just because your business was doing better than theirs? No, you wouldn't. So why the hell should authors be expected to do that with our works?
  474. Reply
  475. So effing done commented: I thought the archive was made to PROTECT WRITERS. Why do the people in suits refuse to accept that an AI "scraping" is a euphemism for stealing other people's work. Why? Why does she want a machine to steal our works? I have never, and will never consent to my work being fed into a machine. You're ruining the last safe space we fanfic writers have. LISTEN TO YOUR USERS FOR GOD'S SAKE
  476. Reply
  477. Dreamin commented: This is a betrayal of fic writers' faith in this site's claim to protect them. How can you misunderstand fic writers so completely? We do not want our writings stolen by other writers or by AI. Betsy should resign, as well as any other board member who thinks AI is a good idea. This site can only exist because of the goodwill of its donors. The donations will dry up quickly once word of this gets around if something is not done.
  478. Reply
  479. Nicole commented: ai is not legally plagiarism, nor is it ethically plagiarism. at the basic level, it learns to produce text like a brain does; by consuming other text and finding patterns. none of us are completely original. the entire public internet had been open for various scraping this whole time too. how do you think research on fandom is done??? academics scrape ao3 and Twitter and tumblr using programs and coding and tech stuff I don't understand. closing ao3 to scraping would hurt research, I'm afraid. all these proposed solutions to the boogeyman of ai suck and will hurt more people
  480. Reply
    • It isn't a hard concept commented: It is technically and ethically plagiarism. A single person could never consume the entirety of Ao3 and everything else on the internet and then use it to spit out a crappily cobbled together amalgamation of what it found there. Machines are not people. They are not LEARNING. They are doing what they were programed to do by PEOPLE, and those people got the data to create those machines by stealing it.
    • Reply
  481. Tomes commented: Ah, right, "diversity and inclusiveness", famously best enacted by exploiting BIPOC and queer creatives and feeding their work into a mass-production machine which removes their bothersome experiences and interpretations from the quite-literal equation. "AI" is a misnomer. It can't do what its proponents claim it can do, nor what people with misguided ideas about what it is think it can do. It can't infer, make judgment calls, it can't reason, it can't interpret, it can't adjust for the unexpected, can't act beyond the boundaries set for it, it can't *think.* Excited about these verbal chop shops, are ya? Let me introduce you to a handful of AI-abuzz botmakers on social media who can't keep things like a ComplimentBot from doing a new phrenology or ableism every week despite it being trained exclusively on the most bland, innocuous material hand-selected by its creator. Ask one of its visual counterparts to "draw salmon in a river" and enjoy the fillets awkwardly blended and situated in running water. Even setting aside all the ethical stuff others have brought up (and those things are sound, but sure, let's set it all aside for funsies here), even the highest-end version of this software sucks shit. The best possible outcome of letting it get a foothold here is clogging up searches with a relentless torrent of "fic" riddled with badly-disguised plagiarism and oopsie-daisies-did-a-little-racism-there!-s. I'm not misguided enough to believe there's a chance you're not going to (if not already) let/ting AI scrape people's fics. Companies are doing the same thing with greater frequency - commit to a course of action, then throw a feeler out to gauge community response and then use that information to decide whether to do the thing openly or quietly. This sucks. I'm out.
  482. Reply
  483. pixelscream commented: I and many others all disprove of our works being used for AI training. A blatant endorsement of AI's using AO3 works is absolutely not what I expected from the OTW. Please listen to your users and donators.
  484. Reply
  485. Sam commented: How would using AO3 fanfic for training AI be okay on any level?? Allowing training off of works that writers have put their faith in AO3 to protect would be a betrayal from one of the last safe places for fanfiction on the internet. I find AI as fascinating as the next person but the way that training is operating right now, using works from people who have not consented to that use, is unethical and horrible. I expected better from AO3.
  486. Reply
  487. Rain Emery commented: The next elections are going to be a shitstorm if the staff do not come down on machine generation and provide some sort of opt out mechanism, if not outright banning using Ao3 to train language models. This is unacceptable.
  488. Reply
  489. Allison commented: I have an account and published works on AO3. I don't want an AI to learn from my work and make money from it when I can't even legally ask for tips. How is that fair? If AI companies want written works to train their programs on then they should hire writers and pay them to write. If an AI is going to use my writing I want compensation.
  490. Reply
  491. Josie commented: Just want to make it known some people are supportive! For sure there must be things to review about writer's demands but otherwise I think this change can bring some good. AI os not yet capable of simulating human writing perfectly so I would like to see it evolve greatly.
  492. Reply
    • TiroTiro commented: In that case they need to make an opt-out system, which based on the response to this will be 99% of their writers because they don't want their work used for ML training. Also if they're doing this then they should also allow writers to post links to their commissions and tip jars since its their free work that's been used to make other people money.
    • Reply
  493. kitsunealyc commented: Fanworks are products of love. Love for the original text, love for our fellow fans, love for ridiculous plotbunnies and telling our own stories to the best of our ability. They're a conversation with the text, with the community, and with all the derivative works that have come before. And if you don't get that, enough that you think training AI so that our works of love can be commodified without our consent... I don't know that you should be speaking for the board of an organization like this. I sincerely hope that AO3 makes an official statement soon condemning this perspective.
  494. Reply
  495. NO. WHY. BAD. commented: I DON'T EVEN GO HERE (i.e. fanfiction in general) AND EVEN I CAN TELL YOU AI GENERATED FANFIC IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. Fanworks are MADE by fans! That's their whole point! How is teaching a robot to mash together STOLEN fanworks any good for the community? This does nothing to protect the actual creators that are the heart and soul of the archive.
  496. Reply
  497. Concerned person commented: I do not consent to having my fics combed through my AI. There better be AT LEAST an opt in, or better yet - don't bring this to this website.
  498. Reply
  499. Will commented: Training AI on fanworks is unethic, immoral, and dubiously legal. This flies in the face of everything I thought the OTW stood for. This absolutely needs an opt out at the very least, but a total cessation of this practice would be better.
  500. Reply
  501. LW commented: Link to the update post of 12 May 2023 that is referenced in the text: www.transformativeworks.org/update-to-otw-signal-may-2023/
  502. Reply
    • BiblicallyAccurateGremlin commented: Oh where they throw their legal chair u Der the bus as not representing our values despite the fact that it's her job to represent our values in court, and that several people had to edit the articles prior to publishing? They need to try harder.
    • Reply
  503. A commented: I will not agree to have my fics be stolen by AI. Most people will not agree to have their fics stolen by AI. We post our fics to be read by humans. We did not agree to this. People will leave AO3 before they let their works be stolen by AU. People will stop donating to prevent their works from being stolen by AI. This is not what the community wants. This isn’t even about arguments of plagiarism or intellectual property or rights to words. This is that everyone who posted on AO3 up to this point did not give permission for you to do this. We signed up for the humanness of sharing interests and ideas. We did not consent to the morally ambiguous use of AI to consume and regurgitate our words. Because I did not agree to this change, I will leave AO3 and look for another place to share my work. Because other people did not agree to this change, they will leave AO3 and look for another place to share their work. These are not terms of service I can agree to.
  504. Reply
  505. Maya commented: People just spend weeks defending the fundraise you ran. You're coming out with this incredibly tone deaf take on the heels of THAT and in the midst of a WGA strike against AI?! Are you actually able to read the room? AT ALL? Because it does not seem to me like you do. You've become arrogant, entitled and stupid, you've repeatedly disregarded the community that actually makes this site what it is - don't think we've forgotten the anti you nominated for the ruling body so recently - and you think you can get away with it without consequences. If you keep this up, AO3 will not survive, because this is not why people are joining and staying.
  506. Reply
  507. Catherine Howel commented: If I had know that when I made a donation the other week and subsequently renewed my Ao3 membership that this was going to happen, I would have seriously reconsidered. Is there a way to request a refund?
  508. Reply
  509. you gotta be kidding me, this better be a joke. commented: If the legal chair go through with this, I'm going to take all my works down and never publish anything else on ao3, I'm not sorry but these stories that take me weeks, months or even a year or so to plan and write won't be stolen by AI. How is that supposed to protect us, writers, when we're already struggling so much to protect our works?
  510. Reply
  511. Annie commented: I am very disappointed in my fellow AO3 authors and readers for the huge number of knee-jerk, incoherent, poorly argued responses on this article. If you're demanding action from OTW on AI issues, it helps if you can clearly articulate actionable changes, and it is also important to understand the issue at hand. It's clear that most people here have zero background in AI, law, or copyright, and yet they seem confident in asserting that Betsy has no idea what she's talking about. Have any of you considered that she probably knows more than you and has a more informed position on these topics? If you have questions like why AI generated content can be used for commercial purposes while fanfic cannot, you should ask her or someone knowledgeable on the issue without screaming and name-calling, rather than getting all your opinions from misinformed twitter threads and Tumblr posts. That being said, I agree that people posting unedited ChatGPT outputs under their own AO3 names should be scrutinized on some level. But if you want action from AO3 on this, you need to be realistic on how it will be implemented and the consequences. Should it be banned outright? If so, how will you tell what is AI generated and what isn't? What if someone heavily edits a ChatGPT output; where is the line? What if they decide to use an AI checker software and your fic that isn't AI gets flagged as AI? How will you be able to prove that? If you can't answer these questions and clearly articulate what you want from AO3, you really can't demand things from them. The WGA strike has nothing to do with this topic. Their strike is not about the existence of AI and to act like it is, which has been most of the social media posts I've seen on the strike, is frankly insulting and takes attention away from their actual goals, which is labor protections at their jobs. They are looking to update existing regulations to account for AI in order to assure that their bosses cannot exploit them via loopholes in the old laws. The AI is not exploiting them by existing, their bosses and the companies that hire them are. None of us have a job making fanfic and this doesn't apply to us. We don't have bosses that won't pay us if we don't write fanfic for them. The philosophical debate around creative expression and AI is an entirely different topic that seems to be distracting all of you from actual labor issues in the writing industry. This article is about OTW's Legal chair, not their ethics philosopher. She's concerned with legal challenges to our ability to share fanfics with one another on a public platform. Some of you seem very confused as to what you think IP protections should be like. Ask yourself what an expanded copyright law that classifies ChatGPT outputs as equivalent to plagiarism would look like. What parameters would it use to define that? If you've seen ChatGPT outputs, you know that it doesn't create passages of content that are clearly 1:1 with an identifiable source (unless you've specifically told it to do so in order to make a misleading post about it to make people believe that's how AI works, of course.) Do you actually want the law deciding that something as vague as "maybe using vaguely similar tropes and phrasing sometimes" counts as plagiarism? I know you're all on YouTube, and you've seen how videos will get taken down for music copyright claims based on "this audio was vaguely similar to a copyrighted song"- is that what you want creative writing world to look like too? I don't want to live in a world where no one makes creative work anymore and books and movies are all AI generated either. However, I think it's important to be realistic, not give in to mass hysteria, and realize how unlikely it is that such a world will come to exist. Photography didn't stop landscape painters from making art, CGI didn't stop traditional animators and prop makers from making art, and AI writing won't stop writers from making art. But the technology isn't going away, and if you want tighter regulations on it, you need to be able to articulate your points and arguments coherently. And stop insulting Betsy, for the love of God. She's doing way more to make sure that fan work isn't negatively impacted than any of you keyboard warriors are.
  512. Reply
    • dead commented: What a condescending, vapid take to writers rightfully demanding that OTW disavow AI outputs as being transformative. Here's an actionable take for you- We want OTW's statement on AI. So we can stop supporting them if they're going to legally campaign for AI outputs as 'fanwork'. That's it. And even if some of the arguments here aren't coherent enough for you- so what? A- There's been plenty of people asking OTW to make a clear statement which they haven't done. B- It's understandable that people are impassioned when their entire community is threatened. The copyright law doesn't need to be more stringent for OTW to campaign against our *transformative* work being used in for-profit models which goes against OTW's fair use ethos anyway.
    • Reply
      • b3nsn0w commented: Can you cut out the doomer rhetoric, and stop insulting people simply for disagreeing with you? AI is not going to destroy fanworks, but this gatekeeping around it just might. I don't know where this mass fear is coming from, but if you ever interacted with ChatGPT you'd know what it can do, or more precisely, what it cannot -- and justifying very real exclusionary action with its imagined present and future capabilities is not exactly a good look. Honestly though, I second your proposal about OTW doubling down about the clear stance they did make in this post already. Just like DeviantArt did. They also had a tiny but extremely loud minority of artists leave with a ton of fanfare when DA made some pro-AI moves, and the platform survived just fine. (Although I hold no delusions about you actually leaving, because then no one would stay back to harass people about their creations you perceive as AI-assisted, like it is the case with visual arts literally everywhere.)
      • Reply
        • dead commented: Please show me the doomer rhetoric or harassment anywhere in my reply. Optimism about technological abilities should not come before consent, and the very real, human cost to such unethical technology. The OTW legal chair saying that they are on the side of Stability AI- a company that is known for doing data laundering to get around the pesky 'non-profit' thing in their title- and that what they did was fair use, when using artists work to replace them is the most unfair thing fathomable- well, if OTW does come out to be on this side of the debate, then yes, I will leave, as will many other authors. I have been a staunch supporter of ao3 since 2011 and have always, always boosted their fundraising efforts, but I can not, in good conscience, support them if they think a machine controlled by billionaires replacing human workers is something to celebrate. You might not think it's much if we leave, but it'd be a huge cultural loss nonetheless. Oh, and deviantart is a cesspool of AI spam that very few legit artists use anymore.
        • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: Seriously? You literally started your comment by dismissing Annie's excellent analysis of the subject as a "condescending, vapid take" (which of course you then don't have to consider, and others shouldn't, either), and then went on to speculate that "the entire community is threatened". By whom, a new wave of writers empowered by AI? If that's a "threat" to you you're far more concerned with keeping up your own status in the community than with fostering that community. (Also, you have to live in one hell of an echo chamber to consider DeviantArt a dead platform, lmao.) Your entire logic is flawed because you are hyperfocusing on the companies creating the initial AI, intentionally steering away from the communities building upon it and using it, but that's akin to calling out everyone who writes on Mac or draws in Photoshop because of Apple's and Adobe's issues.
          • Reply
    • Claire Fey the AI Accelerationist commented: This is the most unfathomably based thing I've read all week.
    • Reply
  513. done here commented: "However, I think it's important to be realistic, not give in to mass hysteria, and realize how unlikely it is that such a world will come to exist." I mean I got told that about Roe v. Wade never going away at the Supreme Court level, too, so forgive me for not having a lot of faith left in this take. Turns out the "hysteria" in that case was justified, and now look where we're at with that. I think maybe a lot of us are channeling our longstanding rage at being dismissed and told to settle down cause we're overreacting and we're not the experts. It feels exploitative. We are creative people doing things for free and we live in systems that are fucking designed to exploit at every opportunity
  514. Reply
  515. Cannary in the coal mine commented: Many people here have already pointed out that this is grossly concerning (removed portion of the statement and lip-service apology without addressing any concerns or not), but I also wanted to add my two-cents to this as well, in the hopes that maybe all of our voices together could make it clear that we are in fact Here Together. Even if this wasn't strictly just about AO3, the fact that it is supposed to be an Archive of OUR OWN, means that there is–built into its very core–a responsibility of the parent organization to its users. We, the users, have demonstrated here quite clearly our disapproval and collective disgust with this stance and would like the organization to reevaluate its endorsement of this stance and the "representative" who posited it. Regarding the "apology" statement, Chair Betsy Rosenblatt (emphasis on Chair) is not simply "a volunteer" among the rest. She was a representative for this endeavor. She was supposed to embody the collective of those that voted and trusted her in her position to speak for them. This clearly wasn't that. And, despite growing disappointment, this can't even be considered a surprise in the greater political landscape of the United States. However, in a space that has always been on our side and provided a safe haven for fans, having this come from inside one of our last bastions of trusted space, is heartbreaking. Above, someone commented that AI is a Trojan horse, and as far as warnings go, that seems apt. Additionally, because I feel mentioning the elephant in the room is important: I find it quite interesting–and almost amusing if it wasn't a harbinger of undesired change–that this statement occurred after the most recent donation drive where the numbers were lower than recent years, and likely meant less members contributed enough to qualify for membership to vote in the coming months. However, by that same logic, I hope that by garnering enough attention to this, there will be a big enough backlash of collective fandom pride to make it clear when it comes time for those of us who care to cast our votes. Lastly, I'd like to draw attention to related current events, namely the WGA strike that began this year over similar concerns to ours voiced here. To be frank, nothing is standing in the way of another huge fandom shift like the one that began AO3 from happening again. We have all of the tools, up to and including the website building blocks that AO3 uses and published. If there is enough support, actions with dubious moral foundations taken by someone who should represent the community and a lack of clear stance by the parent organization itself, could be that tipping point. So, as a long time member and advocate for the cause that OTW Should stand for and champion, please consider the gamble you're making by engaging in any way–other than to staunchly disavow interacting–with AI.
  516. Reply
    • Emily commented: Perfectly and eloquently said! AO3 HAS to heed our warnings that this will not go down well... This is OUR space, and our input matters
    • Reply
  517. lostozian commented: I would be devastated and consider it a betrayal of my trust and my creativity if my works were allowed to train AIs. AO3 is a massive part of my life and my community and as AI enters the cultural mainstream, I am terrified of what value my work will even have. Please preserve the love and passion of fanworks and do not allow AI fics or any training to be based on AO3's works.
  518. Reply
  519. elecktrum commented: I don't pour my heart and soul into writing fic for my work to be stolen by a machine.
  520. Reply
  521. JJ commented: The allowance of AI-learning on user-written fiction shows an abhorrent disregard for user privacy, as well as a blatant disrespect for our autonomy as writers and as people. I do not consent to AI using my writing to learn how to better emulate myself and others like me. I do not consent to, or support, AI learning how to more convincingly plagiarize. I will delete my account, along with all published writing, stop donating, and urge my friends and followers to do the same if OTW decides to allow AI-learning based on the writing of its users.
  522. Reply
  523. faye commented: Keep your grimy AI paws off my and anyone else’s fan works without express and active consent. If this does get included and there is no way to opt out of this, every work I have posted will be pulled from the boat form and I will never touch it again.
  524. Reply
  525. PDV commented: I am very disappointed in you for retracting the true, good, and important statements in the interview about AI. LLMs using fanfic is *reading them*, which is the entire point. The masses here are uninformed and speculating baselessly.
  526. Reply
    • Whatever commented: Um, no? Machines are not people. They do not "read" or react; they process data. No one writes to train programs, they write to creatively collaborate and connect with other creative people. Equating machines to humans is dystopian and dishonest. It's "the business is legally an individual and has human rights" all over again; it blurs the difference between creativity and data processing so that industrialists are praised for "cracking the code" to human expression. People without creativity, who consider themselves more machine than human, blur these lines so they can convince other humans they're not broken or petty criminals. It's the last frontier they're trying to brute-force their way into, not just by stealing from other creatives but by misrepresenting thievery as "creative labor." Scraping is theft. It's not learning. Humans are not machines; we do not "process" in a mechanical context.
    • Reply
      • b3nsn0w commented: On the other hand, machines are used by people. If a person uses AI to assist with their writing and you lock that AI out of fanfics, rendering it completely unaware of fandom subjects, you are impairing that person's ability to create. Your idea would make sense if AI was only used by billionaire CEOs for profit, but that doesn't reflect the reality of the situation, that AI is used by large communities. And painting them as "people without creativity", or in any way inferior, just betrays your arrogance around the subject, where you justify exclusionary action against them by positing you are superior to your fellow people. This is an ideology of ableist supremacy, nothing more.
      • Reply
        • dead commented: TIL it is ableist to want consent as to how your data is used. It is ableist to not want commercial models exploit your fanwork. /s
        • Reply
          • b3nsn0w commented: No, the ableist part is discounting others as unworthy of creativity and intentionally impeding their ability to create. If AI is just a machine, if it cannot read because only people can read, then it logically follows that some people read, research, and brainstorm using the AI. The rhetoric here is these are Bad People™ who deserve to be locked out and blinded to your works, and the main qualifying trait of these Bad People™ -- and this is the explicitly ableist part -- is that (you think) they can't do what you can do. But you could have understood that from the previous comment, you just didn't want to.
          • Reply
  527. Vase commented: If you endorse "AI", I will take down my fics, I will cease my donations and I will do everything in my power to see AO3 ruined, this is theft, this is disgusting and this is a betrayal of everything AO3 stands for, fuck this!
  528. Reply
  529. Raising anchor... commented: I will delete all my works if you allow AI-anything. But maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it's just the spur the horse needs to jump and kick-start an entirely new archive. It'd suck but hey, it's better than the alternative.
  530. Reply
    • Yods commented: Do we have any say in this? Becaus4 hell no!!
    • Reply
  531. DrNeverland commented: I do not want my works used to train AI datasets. None of us do, apparently. If AO3 were to allow AI training on its site, I would take down my works entirely, and figure out how to put them on neocities with the body of every fic replaced with an appropriate redirect URL. Your legal chair is going to get voted out for this.
  532. Reply
  533. Tanis_Zed commented: No one wants this. They don’t want it so hard they’re willing to burn down the beautiful thing ao3 has built just to make sure it DOESN’T happen! I’m begging, don’t give in to the marketer’s lies. Don’t give into ai.
  534. Reply
  535. CadenFar commented: I am terribly against the idea of an AI using AO3 as a dataset, I've had a hard enough time being willing to continue writing and posting my stories here, the entire idea makes my skin crawl, and if it went through, I don't feel certain that I would be able to keep using and supporting AO3, even with how much I love the site
  536. Reply
  537. You F*ed up commented: At the end of the day it does not matter what anyone's stance on AI is. The comments on this post have made it incredibly clear that this is not what your userbase will support. If you want this archive to survive Betsy's incredibly shortsighted, cruel, disrespectful attitude, you need to remove her and take a clear, strong stance against AI.
  538. Reply
  539. TLiz8 commented: I will not consent to data scraping for ai. I will not use or visit this site any longer should data scraping occur. What a shame, because I have used and donated to this site for years. I will cease all support until further notice. This cannot be the future, and we can not be so complacent as to allow it to be. The line is drawn here.
  540. Reply
  541. Mikey commented: How could you possibly be so out of tube with your userbase?
  542. Reply
  543. HailDorothy commented: If this is the point of view of the Legal Chair and the wider OTW board then new representatives with a better understanding of the implications of datascraping and AI need to be elected. I personally will avoid further donations, and advise others to do the same until the OTW reverses it's stance in regards to AI generated content. This is not an issue where parties can agree to disagree, AI generated content and data scraping is theft and should be treated as such.
  544. Reply

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