Fan Video Roadmap

This Roadmap lists the various features and services that we hope to be able to offer fan video makers. Our priorities are stability and sustainability — we want to build services that will work long-term with our resources, and that will help protect fan videos in a changing legal and economic climate.

Our Roadmap includes:

1. Resources for Fan Video creators

The OTW will host a collection of information and resources we hope will be useful to the larger community of fan video makers.

Resources will include:

  • instructions on How To Stream Video From Your Own Site
  • instructions on how to dispute a YouTube takedown or file a DMCA counternotice; note: this will not be legal advice, but procedural information
  • a bibliography of all academic and legal articles on vidding
  • a library of vids discussed in scholarly articles: we will also provide a point of contact for scholars who plan to publish so that future articles and books have stable references and footnotes.
  • the existing Vidding History project, the Test Suite, etc.

When This Can Happen: Available now! (If you have suggestions for additional information we ought to host, or are willing to help us write or maintain any of these pages, please contact the vidding committee via their webform.)

2. A Dark Archive

The goal of the dark archive is to store and protect fan videos: a sort of communal video vault. The dark archive will not be online or generally accessible: the goal is for people whose videos might otherwise be lost to have a copy stored in a secure and responsible place come vidapocalypse. If vidders place copies of their videos with us, we could restore copies to them in case of TOSing or computer failure. We will be asking video makers who want to deposit copies of their videos to fill out a form telling us what we can and can’t do with them; it is possible that the Dark Archive could at some point be used to form the core of a torrent seeding drive (see #3, #5 below).

We would ideally partner with conventions that have vid shows to preserve their collections as well.

When This Can Happen: In progress.

Resources Needed: Either external hard drives and back up drives or large, static server space in the cloud; space is cheap but drives can fill up with video very quickly. People power: catalogers, maintainers, administrators. Librarians experienced with dark archives a plus.

3. A Torrent of Our Own (TO3)

A bittorrent tracker open to registered users to post torrents for fair-use transformative fanworks, including: vids, fic trailers, fan art, zine pdfs, AMVs, political remix, machinima, and other transformative digital fanworks. Users will be able to download without a password. Before posting, uploaders will have to read about fair use standards and agree that what they’re uploading is a transformative fanwork. TO3 users will be able to add torrent urls to the AO3 work template alongside embeds from streaming sites, if any (see #4); this will allow vidders to have all their works in one place, take advantage of the AO3’s tagging system, provide a stable home for comments, etc.

Note 1: Sharing transformative works over peer-to-peer networks is LEGAL: however, we will have a zero tolerance policy for piracy, and abusers will be banned.

Note 2: The more people use the TO3, the stronger the TO3 swarm will become, and the better for the our eventual plan to stream torrents, (feature #5, below.)

Note 3: We hope that the AO3 will be eventually be able to seed copies of videos and fan art for the TO3; this will however require significant additional resources and will not be part of the initial stage of the TO3.

When This Can Happen: In Progress.

Resources Needed: Technical personnel to select, implement, and brand the tracker and uploader registration system; dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to promote the swarm among fans far and wide (tell your friends!); users with the ability to seed video.

4. AO3 Embed Code

The OTW’s Accessibility, Design, and Technology Committee (AD&T) will work on the code for embedding fanart and fan video in the AO3. When this is coded, we will be able to host embeds from YouTube or other streaming sites, including a fan’s own site (see #1), alongside torrent urls (#3) or other pertinent information. Fan video makers will be able to change the source of a video’s embed without losing meta-information, tags, and comments.

When This Can Happen: Available Now!

5. Integration of the TO3 into the AO3

Our hope is to eventually be able to stream video from torrents in the TO3 within the AO3, so that each AO3 vid would offer both a stream and a torrent for downloading.

Ideally, the OTW would be able to convert the Dark Archive (#2) into the core of a vid-seeding drive, either from the cloud or from hard drives spread over the computers of an organized group of volunteers, each of whom would take a sub-section of the total archive.

Note that successful implementation of this integration involves several challenges: 1) the TO3 will have to be fairly robust; 2) we will have to implement the Swarmplayer or similar technology for streaming from torrents; 3) if the OTW has to seed a significant number of vids to maintain availability and/or performance, this will require a significant ongoing financial commitment; 4) stabilization of best practices for fair use video.

When This Can Happen: This is a long-term plan which would require a high level of stability on the Archive of Our Own as well as a significant amount of resources. This will happen after Release 1.0 of the Archive of Our Own — assuming the Dark Archive, TO3, and AO3 continue to develop as planned, we’d start work on this full integration in about two years.

Resources Needed: Additional financial resources to ensure ongoing stability; lots of people power needed to code, test, administer and support the AO3 and TO3.