The OTW supports a number of issues surrounding users’ digital rights as part of our commitment to the right of fans to create and share fanworks. While our efforts focus primarily on copyright law, the ability to access works can be affected by a variety of different laws and regulations by governments around the world.
Given the history of the Internet’s development, decisions in the United States tend to have a broad impact on access even for non-U.S. residents. Any law affecting internet access may also have an impact on works hosted by AO3, information available on Fanlore, and our day-to-day work of preserving fan works and supporting fan culture. That is why the OTW feels that the current battle to preserve net neutrality is an important one for both our organization and individual fans to be involved in.
Tomorrow, September 10th, a number of organizations and online sites will be showing their support for net neutrality by displaying a banner with a symbolic “loading” image in order to promote a call to action. Participating organizations are asking their users in the U.S. to send comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House, saying that they don’t support the effort by cable and telecom companies to treat internet content differently depending on where it’s coming from or going to.
The Internet Slowdown starts at 04:00 UTC on September 10th and runs until 03:59 September 11th (what time is that in my timezone?) When you see the “loading” banners, please be aware that we are not affecting site performance as part of this protest. However, we do still have existing issues with site indexing which may cause works or bookmarks to temporarily disappear from listings.
If you have questions, please leave them as comments here so that we may be able to share those replies with other users. And if you are a U.S. resident, please contact your representatives and let them know you want them to support net neutrality.