AO3 News

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The Sarek and Amanda Archive header

Sarek and Amanda Archive, a Star Trek: The Original Series fanfiction archive, has been imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The original archive, formerly located at shaw.ca, was dissolved, so the archive was moved to AO3 in its entirety with the authors' permissions.

Open Doors has been working with Selek to formalise the import of Sarek and Amanda Archive into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on Sarek and Amanda Archive?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for any duplicated copies of the imported works. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will remove the duplicate copy attached to the archivist account. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

Please contact Open Doors with your Sarek and Amanda Archive pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  2. You would like your imported works removed from the AO3.
  3. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  4. 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 Sarek and Amanda Archive 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 Sarek and Amanda Archive mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on adding your works to the new collection Sarek and Amanda Archive Maintainer.

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 Sarek and Amanda Archive 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 Sarek and Amanda Archive!

- The Open Doors team and Selek

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Published:
2021-06-09 12:21:54 -0400
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OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? Can you copyedit or proofread for Transformative Works & Cultures? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • Translation News Volunteer - closing Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • TWC Volunteer Copyeditor - closing Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • TWC Volunteer Proofreader - closing Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 23:59 UTC

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.

Translation News Volunteer

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? We are looking for volunteers of native or near-native fluency in their target languages, who can translate or beta news posts within five-day deadlines. If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, if you're passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We particularly need people for Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Kyrgyz, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Welsh —but help with other languages would be much appreciated.

(Please note that our Catalan, Chinese, Danish, German, Italian, Malay, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Vietnamese teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process. More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications are due Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 23:59 UTC

TWC Volunteer Copyeditor

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics that seeks to promote dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Copyeditors professionally copyedit submissions for TWC according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Editorial standards are those of a university press. Applicants are required to pass a brief test. All returned tests will be assessed and the applicant provided with feedback.

Applications are due Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 23:59 UTC

TWC Volunteer Proofreader

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics that seeks to promote dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Proofreaders carefully proofread the final online HTML-tagged manuscripts for online publication according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Editorial standards are those of a university press. Applicants are required to pass a brief test. All returned tests will be assessed and the applicant provided with feedback.

Applications are due Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 23:59 UTC

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Published:
2021-06-04 12:44:45 -0400
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Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works

I. FANLORE EVENTS

In May, Fanlore started gearing up to run their ever-popular Bingo Challenge during the first two weeks of June. The challenge is going on now, so be sure to check it out!

On social media, Fanlore celebrated a month of Bandom-themed posts in May and published the first post in a new series, Meet the Team, which introduces people to the volunteers working behind the scenes at Fanlore. Their first post featured longtime Policy & Admin staffer WhatAreFrogs?!

Fanlore also changed their Tumblr and Twitter handles to match one another - they are now fanlore-wiki on Tumblr and @fanlore_wiki on Twitter.

Finally, Systems has been working to upgrade the version of MediaWiki that Fanlore uses. The new upgrade is currently undergoing testing behind the scenes, and they hope to release the updated site soon.

II. AT THE AO3

Open Doors announced the upcoming import of The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive, with thanks to Communications and Translation.

Tag Wrangling wrangled almost 420,000 new tags across more than 42,500 fandoms, and Support received over 1,200 tickets in April. At the time of this writing, Support had received over 1,000 tickets and Policy & Abuse had received about 2,000 tickets in May.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

At the end of April, OTW Legal joined allies to submit comments to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to a Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry regarding implementation of the CASE Act. The CASE Act created a tribunal called the “Copyright Claims Board” (CCB) within the Copyright Office for handling copyright “small claims,” and gave the Copyright Office discretion regarding many aspects of the CCB and its operation. Our submission gave specific recommendations regarding how the Copyright Office should limit the scope of the CCB’s power, should make it clear and easy for people to opt out of participation in CCB proceedings, and should be impartial in communications regarding the CCB.

Also at the end of April and through May, Legal informed users about copyright-law developments in Germany and helped users share their opinions with German legislators with a Change.org petition. This petition was organized by Legal, the Board of Directors, TWC volunteer Kristina Busse, and activist Julia Reda to oppose restrictions on parody, caricature and pastiche in Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive that would have impacted transformative works. We're delighted to say that the petition was successful - thank you to everyone who co-ordinated and campaigned on this issue!

In May, Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt conducted a briefing with U.S. legislative staffers about fair use. A recording of that briefing, introduced by Re:Create Coalition Executive Director Josh Lamel and followed by a round-table discussion with fair use experts from other nonprofits, is available to the public -- check it out if you’ve ever wanted a 20-minute introduction to fair use law!

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 26 April to 23 May, Volunteers & Recruiting received 120 new requests, and completed 149, leaving us with 16 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 23 May 2021, the OTW has 1024 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Eonni and ScarlettLecter (both Support) and 1 other Support staffer, Hanna Hacker (TWC) and 1 other TWC staffer
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: aliteralcat, AmberW, Asas Carmesins, Babbling Eccentric, Beatriz Tomaz, Bibliotango, Carochinha, Carpfish, Dessie, Elle, Emma M, Hawke, Helli, Hexverse, hollyleaf, Intyalote, Katlou, LadyCake, Mikinaak, MoonPsii, Nini, Nowali, Oliver, Ollie, Patrícia Ferreira, pimpinella, Pinky G Rocket, pitytheviolins, Poisson, Reaxeons, remiwolf, Rio, Rui, Sammy G, Satie, Sobriquett, Sonoma, Susie, temis, TheCrystalRing, Tor, Vincent, Vinoro, Zoey and Zozo
New Translation Volunteers: Anastasia Dumarque, Arahime, Noy Robin, Saša V., Shivani Kadam, spoilthevines, Su Sakarya, Ula and 2 other volunteers

Departing Committee Staff: Kyrstin (Support) and 1 other Support staffer, 1 Strategic Planning staffer, and 1 Fanlore staffer
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: englishsummerrain, lemoncave, roguewords, and 5 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Lora and 3 other 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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The Oded Fehr Weaver of Dreams Archive header
The Land of Dreams Archive header

Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams, both Oded Fehr fanfiction archives, are being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The Weaver Of Dreams and Land Of Dreams archives are being imported to the AO3 to preserve the stories for the future because the hosting software, eFiction, is no longer supported.

Open Doors will be working with Ariane to import Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. Eventually the links going to the old site will redirect to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams to the AO3 after May.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams?

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. We will then permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Weaver of Dreams or Land of Dreams 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 archives
  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 Weaver of Dreams or Land of Dreams 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 Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams mod 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 Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams 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 Weaver of Dreams and Land of Dreams!

- The Open Doors team and Ariane

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Published:
2021-05-12 12:46:43 -0400
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OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Can you copyedit or proofread for Transformative Works & Cultures? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

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

  • TWC Volunteer Copyeditor - closing 19 May 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • TWC Volunteer Proofreader - closing 19 May 2021 at 23:59 UTC

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.

TWC Volunteer Copyeditor

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics that seeks to promote dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Copyeditors professionally copyedit submissions for TWC according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Editorial standards are those of a university press. Applicants are required to pass a brief test. All returned tests will be assessed and the applicant provided with feedback.

Applications are due 19 May 2021 

TWC Volunteer Proofreader

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics that seeks to promote dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Proofreaders carefully proofread the final online HTML-tagged manuscripts for online publication according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Editorial standards are those of a university press. Applicants are required to pass a brief test. All returned tests will be assessed and the applicant provided with feedback.

Applications are due 19 May 2021 

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works

I. OPEN DOORS ANNOUNCEMENTS

Open Doors released two announcements for the upcoming imports of two Lord of the Rings archives, West of the Moon and Lord of the Rings Fanfiction. Thanks to Communications and Translation for their assistance publishing these posts! These mark the eleventh and twelfth archives whose imports have been announced in 2021, with more to come soon.

Open Doors' import assistant team has also been hard at work compiling creators/works tracking spreadsheets and tags mapping spreadsheets for three archives: Land of Dreams, Weaver of Dreams, and The BuffyGiles Fanfiction Archive. These spreadsheets help us keep track of honoring requests from creators about their works, systematically search the Archive of Our Own for existing copies of works that would otherwise be imported as part of an archive import, and (with help from Tag Wrangling) map the tags used on an archive to the appropriate Archive of Our Own canonicals for use during the import process.

Finally, Open Doors' technical staff and volunteers have been making significant progress improving our eFiction processing code and applying it to several archive imports! Stay tuned for more imports to come.

II. AT THE AO3

AO3 Documentation is pleased to release an updated Skins and Archive Interface FAQ, which is now live on AO3.

In March, Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 480,000 new tags - that's around 1,100 tags per wrangler - across approximately 43,000 fandoms. Support received approximately 1400 tickets in March and, at the time of this writing, had received approximately 850 tickets in April, while Policy & Abuse had received about 2,000 tickets to date.

III. ELECTIONS ARE COMING!

In anticipation of the Board of Directors election to take place this August, Elections has been hard at work finalizing the Elections Timeline and releasing additional details about membership and elections. Communications assisted with publishing these posts, and Translation translated both posts into 25 additional languages.

The last date to become a member of the OTW in order to vote in the upcoming election is June 30th! Keep following along for more information about the election and its candidates soon.

IV. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Development & Membership coordinated the OTW's April 2021 Membership Drive, Kudos to You, with support from Communications. Translation also translated the Drive posts into 35 languages. The Drive far exceeded our target goal of US$50,000, raising US$264,918.85 from 9110 donors in 84 countries. We also increased our membership to 16,842 members total. Thanks so much to everyone who donated and signal boosted!

Fanlore has been working on some edits to Help pages, including creating "templates" that will make the creation of new pages easier. One existing template, Vid Pages, has been updated, while three new templates have been created, including Fan Pages, People Pages, and Fanfiction Pages.

TWC is finishing up the work on the September 2021 issue and is reviewing three pitches for guest-edited issues for 2022 and 2023. In addition, TWC will be recruiting again for production roles, so check our volunteering page from time to time or follow our news posts through your social media accounts.

In April, Legal testified at hearings before the U.S. Copyright Office regarding section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This hearing was part of the every-three-year process of renewing and clarifying the “vidders’ exemption” that allows vidders to decrypt DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital sources to make fair uses of video clips. We’ll keep you informed as the exemption renewal and clarification process continues!

Finance also released a budget for 2021 and held a live chat where anyone wanting to stop by and ask questions about the report could talk to members of the committee.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 25 March to 25 April, Volunteers & Recruiting received 120 new requests, and completed 112, leaving us with 47 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 25 April 2021, the OTW has 988 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: jmathieson (Tag Wrangling), May K (Support), Joy_Z (Support), Steph S (Support), Lucy Longman (Support), Aque (Support), JKLM (Support), Alyssandra Maglanque (Support), keluoyi (Support), KehkashanB (Support), stillreading (Support), tova (Support) & 17 other Support staff
New Communications Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Committee Staff: Nerine Luna Cyran (Policy & Abuse), Zoey (Support), C. Ryan Smith (Open Doors), JoJo (Tag Wrangling), & 1 AO3 Documentation Staffer

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Anne Apocalypse, bre, jeansprout, tread-softly, Wadeye & 5 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Harold Liu, Lunabreaker, Mimozka, Paiyan and 2 other 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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Published:
2021-05-07 11:10:19 -0400
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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. Today's post is with Zixin, who volunteers as a staffer in the Communications Committee.

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

I first joined the OTW as a Tag Wrangler. Our duty is to categorize user-created tags on the AO3, making it more convenient for readers to search for tags and fics. When the first Chinese wrangling recruits finished their training, I also helped other wranglers translate Chinese tags into English, participated in the Chinese fandom tag project, and discussed proper tag translation with other Chinese volunteers.

Later on, I joined the Policy and Abuse Committee, whose main duty is to deal with user complaints according to AO3’s Terms of Service and its FAQ. We also assist users with their Fannish Next of Kin requests. Of course, as one of the few Chinese staff in the committee, my work also includes helping with tickets about Chinese works. I also translate English emails into Chinese so Chinese users could better understand them.

Last year, I joined the Communications Committee and became one of the Weibo moderators for our OTW account. As a Weibo mod, I interact with users and answer their inquiries via Direct Messages and other channels; I post OTW-related news; and I follow updates about Chinese fandom.

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

Mostly, I do volunteer work during the small gaps in my day: translating Chinese tags while queuing, answering Weibo messages before sleep, or checking the complaint updates while in the company of Josie (my beloved kitty). I also often use large blocks of time during weekends and holidays for some "serious business" like cleaning up unwrangled tags, which may require more research and discussion.

Of course, not every week is a typical week! When Chinese fannish platforms tighten up their censorship, we always receive more Chinese tags than usual, and when disputes emerge over certain work(s) in a fandom, Policy & Abuse tends to get more tickets. Last spring, AO3’s connectivity issue in China brought an unimaginable workload for Weibo mods. But in general, I do enjoy the sense of satisfaction and realization of personal value my work brings me.

What made you decide to volunteer?

Though I had been an AO3 user for years, I didn’t know about the existence of OTW from the very beginning. But then I accidentally clicked the “About Us” menu link on AO3 and learned so much about the OTW and its projects, its founding history and development. It amazed me that there can be such an open and friendly place for all fan communities, all run by volunteers who devote their time and effort because of their love for fandoms and fan communities.

When I learned about the volunteering opportunity for the OTW Weibo account, I applied without a second thought. After joining the OTW as a Chinese volunteer, I realized that AO3 and other OTW projects mean so much more than what I thought to the Chinese fandom. I hope that I can widen the bridge between the OTW and Chinese fandom with my own effort. That’s the reason why I joined Policy & Abuse and the Weibo Team.

What's are the biggest challenges you face?

The biggest one is definitely the series of incidents caused by the cutoff of AO3’s connection to Mainland China, which happened in late February last year. During the first few days, I devoted all my time (except eating, attending lectures and a bare minimum amount of sleep) to my OTW work. I checked and replied to tens of thousands of Weibo Direct Messages; assisted our AD&T Committee by checking website connectivity; introduced the Government Firewall to non-Chinese volunteers; discussed work arrangements for Mainland Chinese volunteers with committee chairs; learned suicide intervention techniques; and located professional resources for suicidal users contacting us. I would like to thank my chairs, my fellow Chinese coworkers, and every volunteer and user who went through the hardship with us. Without your encouragement and support, I don’t think I could have overcome such mental pressures.

While the crisis has mostly died down now, the mission to widen the bridge between OTW and Chinese fandom is ongoing. Offering service to fans all over the world has been OTW’s mission, and to realize it non-English speaking fans are always needed.

What fannish things do you like to do?

Reading fics, reading fics, and reading fics! I would be an entirely different person had I not read the piles of fanfiction I devoured over the years. Besides, I occasionally translate my favorite fics from English to Chinese or write some short fics and drabbles that I’ll probably just keep to myself. Recently I’ve been diving into the good ol’ DMBJ (The Grave Robbers' Chronicles) fandom and crying about Pingxie (my OTP).


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:
2021-04-30 13:03:22 -0400
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Spotlight on Legal Issues

Of special interest to German fans, as well as other fans in the EU.

Germany is working on implementing Article 17, which makes significant changes in European copyright law. This has created an exciting opportunity to clarify that fan fiction is legal under German copyright law.

The German government has sent a draft bill to the two houses of Parliament. The final vote is planned for the beginning of May. The government proposal makes clear that nonprofit websites like the Archive of Our Own should not be required to get licenses from copyright owners, as commercial websites like Facebook and YouTube will have to do. The draft bill also proposes to explicitly legalize fan fiction, fan art, and many other transformative works, as part of the EU exception for “caricature, parody and pastiche”.

There is one problem, and one risk. The problem is that the proposal includes language that is not required by Article 17 and that could be confusing and unduly restrictive of the ability to engage in caricature, parody and pastiche. This language restricts caricature, parody and pastiche “to the extent required by the specific purpose,” which would invite second-guessing of an artist’s purpose by courts and copyright claimants. Fan fiction, like caricature, parody and pastiche in general, has its own artistic existence and courts should not ask whether a work of fan fiction takes “too much” of the characters.

The risk is that some lobbyists are asking for a remuneration requirement for caricature, parody and pastiche—including fan fiction and fan art—even if they are not posted on commercial websites. The consequences of a payment requirement would be perverse: it would favor commercial platforms over nonprofits such as the Archive of Our Own and Wikipedia. This is because users could freely upload fan fiction, fan art, memes etc. to YouTube or Facebook, because the commercial platform would already be paying a collecting society through the implementation of Article 17, but the same users would have to pay a collecting society if they wanted to upload the same fan fiction, fan art or memes to their personal website or to a nonprofit website such as Archive of Our Own. In practice, the law would strengthen the big commercial platforms by creating an incentive for internet users to close down their private websites, leave nonprofit platforms such as AO3, and move their activities to a Facebook group instead.

We suggest that German fans should (1) ask Members of the German Parliament (Mitglied des Bundestags) to remove the restriction on the caricature, parody & pastiche exception “to the extent required by the specific purpose” and (2) explain how important it is that this exception should not be subject to remuneration. One easy way to do that is to use the portal abgeordnetenwatch.de, whose page on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection shows those members of parliament who will be in charge of this proposal.

We believe that the law should not add an additional condition, not part of Article 17, to the exception for parody, caricature and pastiche, saying that uses should only be allowed “to the extent required by the specific purpose”. This wording only serves to muddy the waters, because it is very difficult for a user to determine the extent of the use of a work that is “required” for the purpose of fan fiction, fan art, and other transformative uses. Likewise, we believe that the law should protect individual fans and noncommercial websites, and fight against the dominance of Facebook and YouTube, by rejecting a compensation requirement for the exception for parody, caricature and pastiche.

Update 5 May 2021: Based on fan response to this post about Germany's impending copyright reforms, we have created a Change.org petition for fans to use, which may provide an easier way to reach the legislator than submitting individual comments in the form of a question to the website (as suggested in the original post). 


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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