Spotlight on Legal Issues

U.S. Copyright News, OTW Legal, and You

Since we began in 2007, the Organization for Transformative Works’ core mission has included working to promote fan-friendly copyright law. For years, we’ve submitted testimony and comments to governments, filed briefs in court, and helped mobilize fans to have their voices heard by lawmakers around the world. Recently, one of our big legal advocacy projects has been testifying and submitting comments to the U.S. Senate about the way U.S. Copyright works online under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis has released proposed legislation that would be bad for the AO3 and bad for fans. OTW Legal will fight for fans against this proposal, and you can help.

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This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 149

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. This week and last, events in fandom have largely centred on the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests and demonstrations taking place within America and around the world against racial injustice and police brutality. Racism and particularly anti-Black racism is a problem in fandoms and in fan studies as in other cultural spaces, so in the latter part of this roundup we wanted to share with you some of the links and resources that we’ve come across over the past week or so which provide ways to think about how these dynamics operate – as well as related content on the ways in which fandom can provide a space or a launchpad for activism.


First, a host of actors from fan-favourite media properties have been protesting for Black Lives Matter over the past two weeks and speaking out about their experiences: Kendrick Sampson (of How to Get Away with Murder and Insecure) wrote for Variety about police violence at the protests in LA; Halsey made a lengthy Instagram post about her experience protesting in the same city; and John Boyega’s appearance at the London Black Lives Matter protest prompted a cavalcade of Twitter responses to his statement that he ‘didn’t know if he’d have a career after this’. We also saw pop culture informing protestors’ activities, as Spiderman dropped in on protests on the Manhattan Bridge, and graffiti declaring that ‘Matter Black Lives Do’ appeared on a statue of Yoda outside Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco. Read More

This Week in Fandom banner by Katek

This Week in Fandom, Volume 77

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, The Shape of Water just won four categories at the Academy Awards, including the award for Best Picture—the first sci-fi/fantasy film to do so since 2004. Tell us your reaction in the comments!


The Anchorage Museum in Alaska is currently running a fandom-themed exhibit. “The Art of Fandom,” according to a press release by the museum, “explores the things people like in our mass and global culture through collectables, contemporary art and design, fan art, and fandom sub-culture.” The release goes on to list examples of the wide range of fandoms included, which range from book and TV fandoms to comics, anime and manga, bandom, furry fandom, and real person fiction. Read More