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August 27th, 2014next

August 27th, 2014: FUN FACT: My arms got poison ivy on them and they're covered in weeping itchy sores and this is definitely a reasonable punishment for touching a stupid plant.

– Ryan

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Posted by Claudia Rebaza

English

AO3 Support staffers are the people who receive your tickets through the Support and Feedback form and try to respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do their best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.

So Support will be holding an Open Chat session in our public chat room.

They'll be available on Saturday, August 30, 13:00 UTC to 19:00 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?). Volunteers will be available to answer inquiries in Chinese, English, Finnish, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. If you can't make it to this chat, keep an eye out for the next time as Support will be doing other chats later this year.

If you're having a problem using the Archive, want help trying something new, or would like an explanation of one of our features, please drop in and talk to us in person!

Some guidelines from Support, just to keep things running smoothly

We don't have a fancy presentation or material prepared--there are plenty of FAQs, tutorials, and admin posts for that. The point of live chat is to talk with you, not at you. We're happy for you to drop in and say "hi", but it's even better if you drop in and say, "Hi, what's up with my work that won't show as complete even though it is?!"

As Support, our function is to help users with bugs and issues, and pass reports on to our Coders and Systems team, who actually keep the place running. This means that policy questions are way over our pay grade. (Just kidding--none of us get paid!) So, if you have questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies, good or bad, Support Chat isn't the right place for them. If you do want to talk to someone about policy issues (meta on the Archive, philosophical issues with the tagging system, category change, etc.) we can direct you to the appropriate admin post or contact address so you can leave feedback directly for the people dealing with the area of your concern.

Additionally, if a question looks like it might violate a user's privacy to answer (if it needs an email address or other personal information, for example) we may not be willing to work with it in chat. In those cases, we'll redirect a user to the Support Form so we can communicate via email.

So, now that that's out of the way, what kind of things are we going to talk about?

Live chat is best for questions of a "How do I...?" or "Why does it...?" nature.

For example, you might have been wondering:

  • I'd like to run a challenge, but I'm not sure how to do what I want.
  • For that matter, where did my work submitted to an anonymous challenge go?!
  • I want to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won't give me. How do I do it using a work skin?
  • I want to add a lot of my older works to the AO3 -- what would be the easiest way to do that?

We'd be happy to help you with any of these questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive.

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Poor husband

Aug. 26th, 2014 06:00 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
18 hours until the thesis has to be handed in. And no, it's not done yet.

Poor husband. I hope he can sleep all afternoon tomorrow and then we'll go somewhere nice to celebrate.
kareila: (embarrassed)
[personal profile] kareila posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
There will not be a dev chat meeting today unless someone else shows up for me to talk to, because Mark and Fu are on vacation.

However, I will be around trying to hack on DW stuff for the next few hours, so come find me if you want to pick my brain about anything.

The next scheduled meeting time is on Saturday, September 6, at 12 pm EDT.

Fun with academic titles

Aug. 23rd, 2014 08:46 am
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
So, the husband found out that he doesn't have until Monday in a week to turn in his PhD thesis, but only until Friday, but, oh, the office that he needs to deliver the thesis to is only open Monday and Wednesday from 10 to 12.

Yeah, that was great news... He's pretty much working nonstop by now. The flat is in a state of chaos because I can't keep up with it and we have been mostly living off frozen food for what seems like months (well, I try to cook twice a week but that's more along the lines of "hot dogs" or "pasta with sauce" than what passes as cooking for other people).

I can't wait for this to be over...
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Jennifer Rose Hale

English

People engaged in tug of war. Text reads OTW Fannews Working For and Against Fans
  • In February 2014, OTW Legal submitted comments to the European Commission in regards to its copyright regulations review. Now a report is out summing up the responses. "The results are not entirely surprising and very clear: we have a strong divide among copyright stakeholders with end users and institutional users (e.g. libraries, archives, universities) strongly in favor of copyright reform and authors, collective management organizations, publishers and producers in favor of the current copyright system."
  • Australia is undergoing a similar process, and is requesting comments from "interested organisations and individuals on the questions outlined in the discussion paper and on other possible approaches to address this issue." Submissions close on Monday, 1 September 2014. The Australian government is taking a very pro-copyright holder stance emphasizing levels of piracy and saying "Everyone has a role to play in reducing online copyright infringement. Rights holders need to ensure that content can be accessed easily and at a reasonable price. Internet service providers (ISPs) can take reasonable steps to ensure their systems are not used to infringe copyright. Consumers can do the right thing and access content lawfully."
  • Internet Policy Review featured a discussion of copyright in the UK and focused on gaming content. "Valve uses the Steam Workshop as a space where player-created content can be bought. The proceeds then get split between Valve and the item creator....[a fan] began distributing the shirts through a print on demand e-commerce service until Valve sent a takedown request. 'I was kind of under the impression that because Valve is so open to the community profiting - they've got the whole Workshop - I thought maybe they would encourage that sort of thing but they want people to do it through their channels.'...Wild was later contacted by We Love Fine, a third-party which works with Valve to get the company's approval for selling fan-designed products. A couple of his designs are now on the We Love Fine site and his work will also be included in the official shop catalogue for Valve's upcoming multimillion dollar Dota 2 professional gaming tournament."
  • ClickZ told marketers they need to embrace fan content. "This week it was reported that TripAdvisor has created a page for the Grand Budapest Hotel...While the page comes with a disclaimer...the devotion with which fans have thrown themselves into crafting unique user-generated content is very real. To date, more than 120 TripAdvisor users from all over the world have taken the time to review their fictional experience at the fictional hotel, peppering their posts with inside jokes only those who have seen the film would understand. The response demonstrates an interest in the movie that goes beyond the standard consumer reaction to entertainment content. In the literary world, this behavior is most closely related to fan fiction."

What fandom copyright issues have you been seeing? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Posted by Kiri Van Santen

English

Banner by Ania of a manila file folder with the words 'OTW Report'

We are pleased to announce that the Volunteers & Recruiting Committee has published its 2013 Annual Report (PDF or HTML). This is the second annual report the committee has produced, and the first one available to non-OTW personnel. Our committee handles various tasks for the OTW, the main one being to assist our committees in finding volunteers, and to process individuals into and out of the organization.

We're excited to share our experiences from 2013 in this comprehensive report. We’ve included data on the number and variety of tasks we performed to support our fellow OTW volunteers, the number of volunteers who have joined and left the OTW during the 2013 period, as well as summaries of our efforts and successes on internal projects, challenges we faced, and the goals we have in place for 2014.

We encourage all interested parties to take a look at the report and, if you have questions, please feel free to contact us here or through our contact form.

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August 20th, 2014next

August 20th, 2014: SEXT: im a tree and ur another tree. we blow sex dust all over each other + ppl sneeze and get hayfever. ur so turned on rn with my sex dust

– Ryan

sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
I just updated LWPx::ParanoidAgent and Net::SSL on the Dreamhacks server - something that I've needed to do for some time. In the process about seventy bajillion other modules that they relied on needed to be updated, too (mainly to do with HTTP/SSL stuff) so the following modules (and any submodules included in their distribution) are now at their most recent (and the links given lead to the exact versions installed from CPAN):

23 different distributions in total )

As this is rather a lot of modules, some of which can be core to various things that the codebase does, you should restart your Apache if it's currently running; there may be errors otherwise. Also, it's possible that the update of these modules might somehow cause brokenness in some areas on the Dreamhacks server; please do comment here if that's the case (or open a GitHub issue).

(Please note: This only applies to brokenness on the Dreamhacks server. Nothing has changed on dreamwidth.org, so any issues there should be raised in a Support request as usual.)

OTW Fannews: Getting Along

Aug. 19th, 2014 04:50 pm
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Posted by Janita Burgess

English

OTW Fannews Getting Along

  • TIME's James Poniewozik examined why different media fandoms need to play nice. "Outlander the TV series is an adaptation, which Starz–like HBO or AMC or any other adapter–is making for an audience that, ideally, will be far larger than the readership alone. Can you not have a legitimate opinion on them unless you have read the source books–and unless you love the source books and are invested in a series you haven’t yet seen? Are the old fans the true fans, the authentic fans, the authoritative fans? Can you truly appreciate and understand an adaption without reading the source–or is it actually a handicap?"
  • Upworthy pointed to a video which mocked the 'fake geek girl' syndrome by deconstructing the arguments surrounding it. [No transcript available]
  • Adelaide's The Advertiser explored women's problems in comics fandom while also featuring a variety of cosplay pics which provided a good look at the variety of female characters on display. "'We need to realise that every fan has an equal right to be a fan, no matter how much or how little they’ve seen or read.' Ms Scott is confident the enlightenment of male fans is imminent. 'I feel like I’m seeing it already...as more and more girls come through, there’s a greater sense of things being inclusive and celebratory, more light and fun and exciting...Recently I saw someone cosplaying as a Snow White-themed Boba Fett from Star Wars — and when you have a fandom doing that, it’s amazing.' Ms Adams says angry male fans have missed the point. 'Fandom is for everyone, young or old, male or female, and the attitude toward it needs to change.'"
  • The New Statesman asked if 2014 was the year of the fan. "A few months back, I saw a post on Fyeahcopyright, a tumblr about fanworks and legal issues written and edited by lawyers Heidi Tandy and Hannah Lowe...[which] posited that all of this increased attention of and respect for fans could signal 'The Year of the Fan'...A quick google search revealed that there have been a few somewhat feeble-seeming attempts at years of fans in the past – a season-long promotion for an American baseball team, or a series of South Park full of winking in-jokes – but this is more about a collective feeling, some positive momentum, something that’s been gathering steam at an exponential rate recently."

What do you feel needs celebrating in fandom? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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August 19th, 2014next

August 19th, 2014: Hey you know how I wrote a comic called The Midas Flesh? Well GUESS WHAT there's a Boom! Studios Humble Bundle going on right now, and that means for just $15 you can get the entire series, as well as over ONE HUNDRED other comics, including Lumberjanes, Bee and Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Robocop, and tons more! CHECK IT OUT, Y'ALL

– Ryan

[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Kiri Van Santen

English

Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

The OTW's Legal Committee has been representing fans in a series of discussions dubbed "The Green Paper Roundtable", which are part of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)'s efforts to seek public comments on copyright policy issues.

The OTW's earlier participation led to our team having a seat in these ongoing discussions to advise the NTIA/PTO on a legal framework for the creation of remixes.

The USPTO has posted the video and transcript of its Los Angeles Green Paper roundtable which was held on July 29. Unfortunately, the transcript is not of the best quality though it may be helpful to some.

The remix panel, which the OTW participated in, is the second panel of the morning (starting at about 1:56:00 of the morning video).

Praise for the OTW and Fans' Participation

Mitch Stoltz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave a shoutout to the OTW's Green Paper submission linked above:

"I was moved by the passion of a lot of the advocates on this panel on all sides of this issue and I'm moved by art and creative work of all kinds. I want to ask everyone here and everyone watching online that if you too are moved by creative work and the passion of the people who create it is to take another look at the green paper comments submitted by the Organization for Transformative Works.

This was pages and pages of incredibly moving personal stories about people, and these are, for the most part, marginalised people. These are women, these are people of colour, these are new Americans, these are LGBT, using fanwork, using video and writing and music and other media and using mainstream creative work to talk back to popular culture, to participate in popular culture, to enrich it and maybe to change it, and I was moved to tears by some of these stories. These are folks who, most of them will never be able to afford the hourly rates of Dina [LaPolt] or Jay [Cooper] or even lesser attorneys. Some of them will, some of them will probably become mainstream artists and in so doing change our culture for the better. Most won't, certainly they don't right now.

I will encourage everyone, and I encourage the task force and the copyright office to take another look at those comments and once you have I think there is no way that anyone would be able to come back to the task force and say that these people are not creative, that they are not creators, that they don't contribute to our shared culture, that they don't deserve the same protection and the same freedom that our laws give to mainstream artists. Thank you."

You can view his comment at 3:35:25 of the afternoon video.

Standing Against Barriers to Speech

Betsy Rosenblatt of the OTW also said:

"I think we're looking at two very competing rights. One is the right to control what happens with your work. The other is the right of speech. And, as Jay pointed out, many people struggle for years to hone their crafts. Many of those people who are struggling for years to hone their crafts are doing so by playing cover songs, for example, or by making mash-ups through which they learn editing skills, video skills, that sort of thing. And licensing not only prices many of these struggling artists out of creation, but also breeds censorship, as I think the examples highlight. Naturally, Steven Tyler doesn't want people using his music, in that particular example, but that's exactly why we have fair use, to allow people to make commentary without getting his permission.

Legal uncertainty permits over-reaching by copyright holders, and, particularly in concert with the digital millennium copyright act notice and takedown procedure, can be used to suppress commentary or criticism by playing on the risk aversion—the rational risk aversion—of intermediaries who don't want their safe harbour taken away. And uncertainty also disproportionately chills speech by the smallest and least privileged speakers. Our fair use regime generally favours transformative non-commercial speech, so generally would favour—and we hear this all the time, this isn't just the Organization for Transformative Works saying it—generally favours the sort of remix embodied in, the sort of mash-up embodied in fanworks and fan cultures, but when paired with the burden-shifting regime of the DMCA, ends up being very chilling because it moves the burden of proving non-infringement to the remix artists and away from proving infringement to the copyright owners.

What that means is it harms those who already face financial or social barriers to speech, or having difficulty finding or paying for legal services. As an example, we at the OTW get e-mails and calls from men who say 'I got a takedown notice. I'm going to fight it. Help me.' We get calls and e-mails from women who say "'I'm afraid to post my 'My Little Pony' fiction because I'll get kicked off the internet.' Those are very different reactions to the same law based on the amount of privilege that they have going in. So I have some concrete suggestions for how to approach this. Remix creators need to know that they have a right to create without permission, and they don't just exist at the sufferance of copyright owners. And the law should expressly permit non-commercial remix through doctrines very much like what we have now—fair use, safe harbours. But—and these should be flexible—but not permit the sort of uncertainty we have now. For example, they shouldn't make remix illegal, as 1201 would, if not for the copyright office exemptions provided in 2010 and 2012. And we should seriously consider the possibility of a specific safe harbour for non-commercial remix as Canada has."

You can view Betsy's statement at 2:24:10 of the morning video.


OTW's Legal Committee works on behalf of fans and fandom to make sure our voices are represented in these important discussions, and we will continue to update you on these developments. As part of the Organization for Transformative Works, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, OTW Legal exists entirely on the generosity of our donors. If you appreciate their work, please consider donating today.

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August 18th, 2014next

August 18th, 2014: Hey you know how I wrote a comic called The Midas Flesh? Well GUESS WHAT there's a Boom! Studios Humble Bundle going on right now, and that means for just $15 you can get the entire series, as well as over ONE HUNDRED other comics, including Lumberjanes, Bee and Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Robocop, and tons more! CHECK IT OUT, Y'ALL

– Ryan

OTW Fannews: Enduring Effects

Aug. 17th, 2014 05:05 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Janita Burgess

English

OTW Fannews Enduring Effects

  • An Autostraddle post explored the influence of femslash. "I didn’t find femslash until I was 17. I can’t remember the exactly when but I do remember the exactly what: Ginny Weasley and Pansy Parkinson. I noticed that Ginny seemed a lot happier and more alive with Pansy than she ever did with Harry, kind of like how teenage me was noticing that I hated being around boys but was positively radiant in a girl’s presence. You can actually track the evolution of my sexuality with the fanfiction I read and wrote: the more comfortable I became with my hugely gay life, the more hugely gay my bookshelf was, fanfiction included."
  • The Week used tattoos to examine fandom. "As diverse as these tattoos are, they’re all rooted in the same thing: the powerful, deeply personal impact that mass culture can have on our private lives. Tattoos based on fandoms are rarely a simple tribute to the movies or TV shows we love; they’re muses, reminders of a friend, acts of rebellion, testaments to survival. Tattoos may begin with a fandom — but they end with the self."
  • The Celebrity Cafe claimed that Harry Potter fandom will endure. "Ever since Harry Potter 'ended' in 2007, the world has wondered what would happen after. Will the fandom die out? Will the magical world cease to exist? Ultimately, what happens when there are no more books and no more movies? Nothing. Nothing happened. We are alive and thriving just as we were back in 2007. Children are still discovering the stories; movie marathons courtesy of ABC Family are still rampant; and now we have a theme park. We are doing pretty decently if I say so myself. Naturally there have been losses as Mugglenet, one of the top Potter fan sites, did experience a 50 percent drop in viewership since the last film came out and the books have yet to crack a best-sellers list in years but that is no reason to assume the fandom is dissolving."

What has always stuck with you about fandom? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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OTW Fannews: Cons, Cons, Cons

Aug. 15th, 2014 06:12 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Claudia Rebaza

English

Banner by Robyn with the post title over a blurred photos of fans at a convention

  • As many cons are opening their doors this month, SDCC continues to draw a lot of media attention. Vox wrote about its evolution. "Please understand: I don't think anyone is wrong to love Hall H...But when the only pursuit our films have is awesomeness, and humanity is leeched out of so many of them, it's not hard to look at all of the marketing here and wonder whether it's time to stop asking for the 90th iteration of the same old thing and, instead, hope for something new...There's a beauty and purity to the expression of love that is fandom, but Hollywood has figured out a little too well how to channel that in events like Comic-Con. We are invited, over and over again, to keep paying homage at the same temples, to the same gods. We celebrate, and we celebrate, and we celebrate, but we forget all too often to create."
  • Early fanzine publisher Maggie Thompson spoke about cons and comics. "You get people who just huff and huff, but there are more comics dealers today, certainly, than there were in 1976! And the people putting on the convention have always made an effort to promote the comic books that are part of that outreach. At the Eisner Awards, I heard people commenting bitterly, ‘Ooh, they’ve got all these celebrities, the comics people aren’t good enough.' And I’m going, you know what? These guys are fans too! Samuel L. Jackson’s a comic book fan. Jonathan Ross is a London celebrity host of a talk show, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a fan. And it’s one of the things that I love, because it’s the common love that brings us all together. "
  • NPR's Monkey See blog discussed SDCC and anxiety. "And the first thing I learned — confirmed for myself, really — is that Comic-Con is much, much less weird than a lot of people who don't attend it make it out to be. I encountered so many contemptuous tweets about it in absentia, so many assumptions that this was, at best, some kind of Weirdo Dude Ranch where, for once, freaks have the opportunity to be among their own. And I'm not saying there's none of that, particularly if among freaks and weirdos you count those who would wryly attach that label to themselves. It is, quite clearly, a haven. But I dare you to watch and conclude that the extreme football fan tailgaters profiled therein — who tend to be tagged as extreme in their enthusiasms but not socially derided — are less weird than the people of Comic-Con."
  • The L.A. Times saw MTV's fandom awards at SDCC as the next step in marketing. "Despite all of its efforts, it's unclear whether Hollywood will ever figure out how to harness fan enthusiasm — be it through social media, Comic-Con, or any other avenues — in a way that consistently translates into profits. 'Veronica Mars' fans may have brought the long-canceled show to the big screen with their Kickstarter donations, but, despite all the talk of the revolutionary power of crowd-funding, the movie ultimately proved a box office dud, grossing just over $3 million. As former Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart wrote last week on Deadline.com, 'One studio chief told me recently that all social marketing represents is a road map for spending less money while still failing to find an audience.'"

What are your favorite cons? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Message: 
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August 14th, 2014next

August 14th, 2014: Hey you know how I wrote a comic called The Midas Flesh? Well GUESS WHAT there's a Boom! Studios Humble Bundle going on right now, and that means for just $15 you can get the entire series, as well as over ONE HUNDRED other comics, including Lumberjanes, Bee and Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Robocop, and tons more! CHECK IT OUT, Y'ALL

– Ryan

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