September 2017 Newsletter, Volume 117


On September 5th, the OTW celebrated ten years of successfully achieving our mission to support the creation and distribution of fanworks and preserve their past. During the month of September, our Communications Committee hosted online chats with authors Lev Grossman, Martha Wells, Seanan McGuire, Christina Lauren, and Tessa Gratton, along with Young Adult Library Services Association board member Kate McNair, and romance writer and professor of cultural and gender studies, Catherine Roach. We also hosted several open house chats with OTW volunteers, a trivia contest with prizes donated by author Tamora Pierce and First Second Books, a guest post from media scholar Henry Jenkins, and a retrospective post by OTW co-founder and author Naomi Novik.

A big thank you to all of our wonderful guests, staff, and volunteers who helped make our celebration (and the last decade) a success! We hope everyone enjoyed the events and posts this month. If you missed any of September’s events, we have links and transcripts to many of the posts and chats available.


In September, Accessibility, Design & Technology completed the move of AO3 to Rails 5.1 and Ruby 2.3.4, capping off a long process. They also grappled with login issues, rewrote several bits of code to speed up tag sets and wrangling pages, and fixed a bunch of lingering bugs, as summed up in their most recent release notes.

In recent months, Open Doors has made a great deal of progress working through a large queue of archives to import to the AO3, with a new archive import announced nearly every two weeks! Open Doors was excited to complete the imports of The Brian/Justin Fanfiction Archive, and Hammer to Fall, and Bang and Blame in September and to publicly announce the upcoming imports of The Alpha Gate, and a little piece of gundam wing, and soul circuit. Special thanks to Communications, Translation, and Tag Wrangling for their help in this process.

Tag Wranglers assisted Open Doors’ import of new archives by searching the AO3 for existing copies of works–a manual and time-intensive process–and helping with tag mapping for several new archive imports. In addition, Tag Wrangling volunteers assisted Accessibility, Design & Technology in testing the wrangling functions for the code upgrade to Rails 5.1. Wranglers continued to handle over 500,000 tags per month.

Lastly, Abuse received over 600 tickets, and Support received over 1,300 tickets in September.


In September, Legal joined allies to submit two petitions to the Copyright Office seeking exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions. These petitions follow and expand upon our petition to renew the vidders’ exemption, which allows people to rip DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital files for the purpose of using clips in noncommercial fanvids. One of the new petitions seeks a more inclusive exemption that would permit ripping audiovisual works to use short portions for criticism or comment (not limited to vids). The other seeks an exemption that would permit ripping audiovisual works to include short portions in multimedia e-books.

As part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations, Legal also held two open house chats on and fielded questions about law, fanworks, and the OTW’s legal advocacy mission. Thanks to everyone who came and chatted!

In addition, Legal is also addressing some issues with app makers who are confusing people into believing that they are affiliated with the OTW. A reminder: OTW and AO3 have not authorized any apps.


In a public meeting on September 1, Board elected the following officers for the next year: Yuechiang Luo, the current Finance chair and Treasurer, as Treasurer; Priscilla Del Cima as the new President; and Jessie Camboulives as the new Secretary. All board meeting minutes can be found here on our website.

Board has also had a busy September integrating the new Board members prior to the changeover on October 1st.


Volunteers & Recruiting:
As of the 27th of September, the OTW has 697 volunteers. Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Directors: Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, Jessie Camboulives.
New Committee Staff: SarkaS and 1 other Translation staff, 1 Fanlore, 1 Support.
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Adie, AkaKarasu, cali, Charlotte Im, Desipio, Diana Horton, Ellie Burrell, falsteloj, Fevrier, FurryVille, Goodwin, Hando, hmweasley, Icey, idiosincrasy, Jeniouis, Jenny Lynne, lemoncave, Marta Cardoso, Millip, Natalia Gruber, NirCele, NovaNica, Okaykay, patron, Qkat, rdv, Ron Geromy, Ruby Davis, Sang Yun Kim, SavannahM, Shotenchu, SoVeryAverageMe, Tatapioca, Tsukiko, Zoë Renee.
New Translator Volunteers: Marika

Departing Committee Staff: Kellyn (Support) and RoseJackson (Abuse).
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: IShouldBeWriting, Andy D, 1 other volunteer
Departing Translation Volunteers: ayerenne, Rana Kamal, Ha Thi Ngoc Huyen and 5 other Translation Volunteers

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

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.


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