5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Solovei 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 Solovei, who volunteers as a staffer in our Tag Wrangling Committee.

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

Tag Wrangling volunteers make sure that readers can find the works they’re looking for, while also being able to tag their works however they want! We’ve seen just about every variation of a ship name you can think of. Usually with tagging systems, it’s either a free-for-all or a strict set of allowed tags, and Ao3 has somehow managed to find a very interesting medium in between those two! I think the tagging system on Ao3 is amazing – I have yet to see something like this work anywhere else.

On top of my regular wrangling work, I am also a Tag Wrangling staffer, which means I do a lot of the administrative tasks that are required for other wranglers to do their work: everything from looking at incoming applications, scheduling and conducting training and regular check-ins, to processing hiatus and retirement requests.

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Banner by Erin of a spotlight shining the OTW logo behind the text spotlight on legal issues

Copyright Week and Good News About Article 13

On the last day of Copyright Week, the EU nations’ Councils have voted on their positions on Article 13, and the majority have decided not to support it in its current form. This is good news for fans!

Article 13, as it was drafted, would have held many websites liable for user-created content, and in many cases would have required the use of filters that could have limited the availability of fanworks and other legitimate, non-infringing uses of copyrighted material. Although the proposal would not have affected nonprofits like the OTW–that is, AO3 would not have been affected–it still could have had a significant impact on other popular fan sites.

This result is powerful. It means that you can still continue to create fanworks and share them not only on AO3, but also on sites that would have been affected by Article 13, such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. (more…)

Banner by Erin of a spotlight shining the OTW logo behind the text spotlight on legal issues

Copyright Week and Public Domain

It’s Copyright Week, and in honour of this event, OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt is answering some questions about the public domain.


What is Copyright Week and why is it important?

Copyright Week is a time for websites, libraries, and advocacy groups to bring attention to copyright law and policy–to get people excited about copyright law and keep people aware of legal developments. It takes place in the third week of January to commemorate the 2012 victory of Internet users over proposed laws called SOPA and PIPA. By speaking out, contacting Congress, and engaging in website blackouts, Internet users stopped overreaching copyright laws that would have put a lot of popular sites at risk. This year, we’re celebrating, because for the first time in many years, some works are entering the public domain in the United States! (more…)