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Published:
2021-01-21 10:36:05 -0500
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. As part of our celebration of Copyright Week, today's post is with Casey Fiesler, who volunteers in our Legal Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I am part of the OTW Legal Committee. We provide guidance for other parts of the OTW when legal issues come up, provide information for fans when they have questions, and do advocacy work to give a policy voice for the interests of fan creators. This last part especially I think is critical to the mission of OTW, which has always been to serve the interests of fans, and copyright-related advocacy is a huge part of that.

As it says in our vision statement, "We envision a future in which all fannish works are recognized as legal and transformative and are accepted as a legitimate creative activity." I'd love to help us get there! For example, when I first joined the team in 2009 (!) as I was finishing up at law school, I helped with the very first DMCA exemption for noncommercial remix videos. We often partner with organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but I think it’s wonderful to be able to advocate for the specific interests of fan creators.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

The work that I do with OTW is so highly variable! Some weeks it might be nothing outside of reading some emails, and others there might be a lot to do depending on what we're up to and what my particular role in it is. For example, I recently worked on a Terms of Service revision for AO3, which also included some lengthy conversations with volunteers across the OTW. There are also a lot of fun one-offs; recently I was on a panel about DMCA abuses with representatives from Public Knowledge and EFF, along with video essayist Lindsay Ellis.

What benefits can celebrating Copyright Week bring?

I think that it’s great for fans to both advocate for themselves when it comes to copyright policies that might be less than ideal and to celebrate the parts of copyright law that allow for transformative works! It’s easy to think of copyright as being a form of restricting creativity, but it should also encourage it. Drawing attention to the awesomeness that fair use cultivates (especially fanworks!) serves as a reminder for how important it is to have copyright policies that support remix. I also think that the more you understand about copyright law, and especially fair use, the more confident you can be about the legitimacy of your fanworks.

How does your day job relate to your work for the OTW?

The other academics on the Legal Committee are all law professors, but I'm actually faculty in an information science department. Not all of my research these days is about fandom, but some of my favorite work I've done was about the design of Archive of Our Own, and most recently, about platform migration in fandom. I also really love public scholarship--writing and talking about my research outside of academia! This is one reason I have a YouTube channel, and the most fun thing I've done so far was about fair use and the omegaverse lawsuit. Though this video had nothing to do with my role on OTW Legal, it sparked some great questions and conversations about fandom and fair use! I also taught an Online Fandom class for one semester, which was super fun.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I confess, I’m not as fannish as I used to be -- though I just checked my AO3 stats and I wrote 503,409 words of fanfiction between 2002 and 2012! So I am definitely a fanfiction writer at heart, even though I don’t write as much anymore. As much as I love AO3, I’m very nostalgic for the glory days of LiveJournal. But some of the fannish friends I made during that time are still some of my very best friends! Fandom has been such a positive and important part of my life for decades.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

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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Published:
2021-01-18 14:36:28 -0500
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Fanlore: 1 Million Edits

Fanlore, the Organization for Transformative Works' collaborative wiki about all things fandom, is celebrating a huge milestone: one million edits!

Fanlore is a multi-fandom, free and open wiki that was designed to be a living, evolving record of fandom’s past and present. Like AO3, it was created by fans in 2008 and, since then, fans have built an ever-expanding record of our shared history.

To celebrate this momentous event, we're inviting you to take part in a scavenger hunt across Fanlore for the chance to win a Citrus Scale sticker set, as well as commemorative badges that you can add to your Fanlore User page – or anywhere you want!

Want to know more about fannish history or learn about commonly-used terms? Fanlore has pages on everything from the origins of A/B/O to Destiel becoming canon; from the Citrus Scale and Vulcan genitalia to the infamous badfic My Immortal. You never know what you might discover!

Want to add some of your own knowledge or experiences? Fanlore can be edited by anyone and everyone – all you need to do is create an account. You don’t need to be an expert, or have been in fandom for a long time, to contribute. Any edits, big or small, are welcome! If you aren’t sure where to start, our New Visitor Portal has a bunch of handy tips and links, while our newly-updated FAQ can answer any questions you might have.

We hope you'll come and join our scavenger hunt! A big thank you to all those who have contributed to Fanlore thus far; every single edit helps Fanlore to preserve the amazing creativity and passion of fandoms old and new. So here’s to our awesome community – this is all thanks to you!


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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International Fanworks Day

It's almost that time again: International Fanworks Day is coming up fast! Held annually on February 15th, we have a lot planned out and hope you will join us to celebrate!

What is International Fanworks Day?

Founded by the OTW in 2014 and first celebrated in 2015, International Fanworks Day is a day of celebration for all forms of fanworks in their infinite diversity and incredible creativity from around the world. Whether it be fanfiction, podfic, animation, fanvids, podcasts, fanart, or anything else you can think of, we want to take this opportunity to spend time with creators and fans alike.

Fanworks Challenge: share your favourite lesser known fandoms/fanworks!

This year, given that AO3 recently passed 40,000 fandoms, we want to celebrate all things lesser-known, whether it's a microfandom you want new folks to join, a work or fandom that deserves more exposure, or a work in a huge fandom that you think deserves more love - and anything in between! From now until #IFD2021 we would like to invite you to share with us your favourite lesser known works or fandoms on social media using the #IFDChallenge2021 hashtag, and we will reblog some of our favourites on our social media channels from the 8th - 15th February.

We would also love to see fanwork creators seeking out small fandoms, minor characters, lesser-known pairings, and so on, and creating works for them! Between now and February 15th we challenge creators to find a smaller fandom, pairing, character, etc that is new to them and create a fanwork for it, using the tag 'International Fanworks Day 2021' so we can all enjoy them!

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Published:
2021-01-13 12:18:14 -0500
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OTW recruitment banner by Erin'

Are you interested in social media, community management or outreach? Would you like to wrangle AO3 tags? Can you read and translate from Russian to English? Are you good at administrative tasks or working with people? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Fanlore Social Media & Outreach staff - closing Wednesday 20 January 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • Tag Wrangling volunteers - closing Wednesday 20 January 2021 at 23:59 UTC or after 85 applications
  • Tag Wrangling (Russian) volunteers - closing Wednesday 20 January 2021 at 23:59 UTC or after 40 applications
  • Volunteers & Recruiting staff - closing Wednesday 20 January 2021 at 23:59 UTC or after 30 applications

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Fanlore Social Media & Outreach staff

Do you have an interest in fandom history, or in fannish culture and the different tropes, ships, communities and viewpoints that make up fandom? Are you interested in social media, community management or outreach? The Fanlore committee is recruiting for Social Media & Outreach volunteers!

Fanlore Social Media & Outreach volunteers are responsible for managing Fanlore’s social media outlets and planning their content, brainstorming ways to reach new editors and promote fandom history, and running Fanlore’s various editing challenges.

No extensive experience required—only reliability, teamwork, good communication skills, and an interest in fandom and Fanlore in particular. Join us!

Applications are due 20 January 2021

Tag Wrangling Volunteer

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that’s Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán with ABO Dynamics, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you’re an experienced AO3 user who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling!

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. For this role, we’re currently looking for wranglers for specific fandoms only, which will change each recruitment round. Please see the application for which fandoms are in need.

While all wranglers need to be fluent in English, we welcome applicants who are also fluent in other languages, especially Afrikaans, Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), Chinuk Wawa, Čeština (Czech), Español (Spanish), Filipino (Filipino), Italiano (Italian), Português brasileiro (Brazilian Portuguese), Suomi (Finnish), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), Русский (Russian), فارسی (Persian), हिन्दी (Hindi), ไทย (Thai), 中文 (Chinese), 日本語 (Japanese) and 한국어 (Korean).

Applications are due 20 January 2021 or before 85 applications

Tag Wrangling Volunteer - Russian

The Tag Wranglers are responsible for helping to connect and sort the tags on AO3! Wranglers follow internal guidelines to choose the tags that appear in the filters and auto-complete, which link related works together. (This makes it easier to browse and search on the archive, whether that's Roque Alva/Richard Oakdell romance, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark with angst, g-rated Rose Lalonde/Kanaya Maryam fluff, or Jeon Jungkook & Kim Taehyung | V Are Childhood Friends.)

If you're a fluent Russian speaker who likes organizing, working in teams, or excuses to fact-check your favorite fandoms, you might enjoy tag wrangling!

Please note: You must be 18+ in order to apply for this role. We’re currently looking for applicants who are fluent in both English and Russian. The work will involve both regular Tag Wrangling work and translating tags from Russian into English.

Applications are due 20 January 2021 or before 40 applications

Volunteers & Recruiting staff

Volunteers & Recruiting staff guide and manage services, policies, recruitment and volunteer management for the entire organization; compose and maintain organization policy and training documentation; and communicate with other committees and workgroups in the Organization for Transformation Works on matters related to organization tools and staffing needs. Volunteers & Recruiting staff also serve as a neutral party for personnel-related issues.

Applications are due 20 January 2021 or before 30 applications

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Spotlight Open Doors header

The works of Frodo Baggins of Bag End are being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

Background explanation

At the time of the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies, Frodo-Baggins-Of-Bag-End (Febobe) became known in fanfic circles for creating Frodo-centric hurt/comfort fic. So invested was she in the genre that she even set up a Yahoo Group, “Frodo Healers”, in which she not only shared her work, but welcomed that of other writers. Sadly, due to her chronic illness and later, death, many of her works were never completed, but it seems wrong to let what there was simply fade into obscurity. So, to protect them, we will be transferring them to this archive, something that she often spoke of doing herself one day.

Open Doors will be working with Elwen of the Hidden Valley to import Febobe’s works into a searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving these works in their entirety, all of her fics will be hosted on the OTW's servers and embedded in their own AO3 work pages.

We'd appreciate it if fans could help us preserve the story of Frodo Baggins of Bag End on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're honored to be able to help preserve the works of Frodo Baggins of Bag End, and while we mourn the loss of Febobe, we also realize that we are fortunate that Febobe had a friend who was given permission to collect and preserve her works on the AO3 so that they will not be lost. Thinking about the death of a fandom friend may be difficult, but it can also be an opportunity to consider what will happen to your fanworks and accounts and those of your friends after your deaths. The Archive of Our Own has an option to name a Fannish Next of Kin, someone who would be able to gain access to your accounts in the case of your death or incapacitation. By naming someone who can act on your behalf, you can decide ahead of time how you want your AO3 accounts handled going into the future.

- The Open Doors team and Elwen of the Hidden Valley

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春日泽 (SpringFen), a Prince of Tennis fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The original site of 春日泽 is in danger of closing down, and in order to preserve the works hosted there, the moderators decided to import the archive to the AO3.

Open Doors will be working with the 春日泽 moderators to import 春日泽 into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all fic and art currently in the 春日泽 archive (versions 1 and 2) will be hosted on the OTW's servers and embedded in their own AO3 work pages. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from 春日泽 to the AO3 after January.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on 春日泽?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

Please contact Open Doors with your 春日泽 pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your 春日泽 account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the 春日泽 mods to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of 春日泽SpringFen on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve 春日泽 (SpringFen)!

- The Open Doors team and the 春日泽 Moderators

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Published:
2020-12-31 08:06:48 -0500
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The OTW is thrilled to announce that AO3 has reached seven million fanworks! That averages out to around 1700 fanworks a day since AO3 first went online on November 14, 2009. AO3 hit its first million fanworks only seven years ago, on February 15, 2014, and since then it’s grown exponentially, hitting three million fanworks on April 28, 2017, and five million fanworks on July 20, 2019.

AO3 also recently hit three million registered users on November 26, 2020.

We could not be more grateful for all the users and creators who make this possible. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful fanworks with us!

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Adobe is ending support for the Flash plugin next year. As a result, the AO3 will no longer be supporting the Dewplayer MP3 player to present audio playback. In the near future, we will convert the code in existing works to use the HTML5 <audio> tag.

While we can automatically make this change for works using Dewplayer, other works may also be affected by the end of Flash. If you have works with audio or video content, we strongly encourage you to change your existing works to use the <audio> or <video> tags as well, or to use updated code from your audio or video hosting site.

What is "Flash" and when does support end?

Flash is an Adobe program that was used to play audio and video on websites across many platforms since the late 1990s. However, it has a history of security vulnerabilities, and technology has provided new ways to do many things that once required Flash.

Many mobile browsers have not supported Flash for several years now, and Adobe has announced they will stop updating and distributing the software after December 31, 2020. They will also block it from playing any content after January 12, 2021.

For more information, please refer to Adobe's Flash Player End-of-Life Information Page.

How does that affect the AO3?

The Dewplayer plugin, a Flash-based mp3 player that we have used for podfic and other audio fanworks, will no longer function. Some older embed codes provided by other audio or video hosting sites will also stop working. For example, YouTube videos embedded before they switched to <iframe> tags in 2017 may stop working.

If you have any works with embedded audio or video, we recommend checking to make sure the audio or video still plays after January 12, 2021. If it doesn't, please make sure you are using the latest embed code from your hosting site, or consider switching to the audio or video HTML tags.

What happens to existing works using Dewplayer?

We will in the near future run a process on the AO3 to find works posted using the Dewplayer plugin and automatically convert the relevant HTML to use the <audio> tag.

Can I still use Dewplayer after December 31?

No, Adobe expects that major browsers will disable Flash after this date, so Dewplayer will be non-functional. We will eventually be removing our copy of the Dewplayer code entirely. We are also developing a change to the HTML sanitizer that will strip out any new attempts to use Dewplayer and replace it with HTML <audio> tags.

Can I fix my works myself?

You can manually edit the code yourself.

  1. Navigate to the work and select Edit.
  2. In the HTML view, look for the section of code that says
    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashvars="mp3=AUDIO_URL" src="https://projectstardust.org/system/dewplayer/dewplayer.swf" width="200" height="27" allowscriptaccess="never" allownetworking="internal"></embed>
  3. Copy the AUDIO_URL part. This will be a full URL that ends in ".mp3".
  4. Delete the code and paste in
    <audio src="AUDIO_URL"></audio>
  5. Replace the AUDIO_URL with the link you copied in step 3.
  6. Repeat this for any other embedded audio tracks in the work and select Update at the bottom of the page.

You can also use more complicated attributes and settings that are listed in the Embedding with the Audio and Video Tags news post.

How do I post new audio or video content now?

If you are using embed code from your video or audio hosting site, you should be able to paste it in using the HTML editor. If your embed code comes from a site not listed at "What sites can I use for hosting multimedia files?", please contact Support regarding getting your site added to the permitted list.

If you would like to use HTML <audio> or <video> tags, you can do so using the information and settings listed in the Embedding with the Audio and Video Tags news post.

If I have any questions?

You can get more information on using these elements and their attributes in these articles from Mozilla Developer's Network:

If you need more help, please submit a Support request.

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