official logo of fair use and fair dealing week

Fanworks, Fair Use, and Fair Dealing

It’s Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week!

We here at the OTW talk a lot about how most fanworks are legal under copyright law, but we know that most people find copyright law a little bit mysterious. One reason for that is that the answer to most legal questions is “maybe.” This is particularly true for questions about the copyright doctrines of fair use and fair dealing, which are the doctrines that make (most) fanworks legal as a matter of copyright law.

So to celebrate Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, we wanted to provide some answers to one of the questions we get most often: Why are Fanworks (Usually) Fair Use?

U.S. (and several other countries’) copyright law is limited by the doctrine of “fair use,” which protects free expression by giving people the right to use copyrighted material in certain ways without getting permission or paying. The doctrine of “fair dealing” does the same thing in Canada, the UK, and a number of other countries. Courts in the U.S. have held that fair use is “not merely excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law.”

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The OTW is Recruiting Abuse, Communications, and Systems Committee Staffers and Tag Wrangling Volunteers!

Do you have experience with Linux system administration, or personnel and project management? Or would you like to help wrangle tags or assist AO3 users by resolving complaints? The Organisation for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Wrangling Volunteers, Fanlore Gardeners, and Communications: News Report Writer Staff.

Today, we’re excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Abuse Committee Staff – closing Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC
  • Communications Committee Chair-Track Staff – closing Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC
  • Systems Committee Staff – closing Wednesday 13 September 23:59 UTC
  • Tag Wrangling Volunteers – closing after 60 applications, or Wednesday 13 September 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 volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org 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.

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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages.

July 2017 Newsletter, Volume 115

I. The Election is Coming

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here! The Board of Directors Election will take place August 11-14. By now, all members should have received voting instructions by email. If you are a paid member and didn’t receive an email with instructions, please contact the Elections Committee.

Elections has spent the past month preparing for the election and providing the public with plenty of information about our six candidates’ platforms and goals. Elections worked closely with Communications to advertise three candidate chats on July 26, 29, and 30 and the publication of candidates’ Q&A responses on five topics, including OTW Changes, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Positions, Personal Interview, and Communication and Outreach. Check out those answers, and be sure to stay tuned to the OTW Elections site, AO3, Twitter, and Tumblr for more Elections news!

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