Organization for Transformative Works
|Name:||The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW)|
|Country based in:||USA|
|Focus:||Protecting and fostering transformative works|
|External Links:||transformativeworks .org
Subpages for Organization for Transformative Works:
Abuse · Accessibility, Design & Technology · Board · Communications · Content Policy · Development & Membership · Elections · Fan Video & Multimedia · Finance · Internationalization & Outreach · Journal · Legal · Open Doors · Strategic Planning · Support · Systems · Translation · Volunteers & Recruiting · Webmasters
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Note: Fanlore (this wiki) is a project of the OTW.
About the OTW
The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms.
The OTW — by virtue of the fact that many of its founders and volunteers are aca-fans, and its related journal Transformative Works and Cultures — is also considered to be a movement toward increasing fannish exposure and toward the study of fandom as a concept. This giant project by fans from all walks of fandom is a new 21st century approach to fan behavior and fandom's place in the world of cultural and critical studies.
The OTW is run by an elected board, members of which have three-year terms. For a history of those who have served on the board, see Organization for Transformative Works/Board. To be eligible to run for Board, a fan must have committee experience and be a current paid OTW member. Committee members are chosen by the previous Board from those who have volunteered via the website. As of 2011, the OTW has over 200 volunteers, and around 50 committee members.
History of the OTW
In May 2007, Astolat suggested that fans needed An Archive of Our Own. This was the impetus for the creation of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). Originally known as the FanArchive project, the OTW was renamed to better reflect the argument that transformative works are legitimate under current US copyright law (see Campbell v. Acuff-Rose).
The OTW is a fan-run nonprofit organization established to provide free services to fans, such as the Archive of Our Own and Fanlore, and to advocate for fans who need assistance when faced with legal issues or media interest due to their fannish pursuits.
Current OTW projects include:
- The Archive of Our Own offers a noncommercial and nonprofit central hosting place for fanfiction and other transformative fanworks, using open-source archiving software.
- Transformative Works and Cultures is a peer-reviewed academic journal that seeks to promote scholarship on fanworks and practices.
- Fanlore, a fandom wiki, is devoted to preserving the history of transformative fanworks and the fandoms from which they have arisen.
- Open Doors offers shelter to at-risk fannish projects.
- Legal Advocacy
- Fan Video and Multimedia
- The Oral History Project
The OTW is an all-volunteer organization. The org volunteers are divided up according to committees that oversee projects or provide expertise for multiple projects. Committee members are also called "staff" and are a special class of volunteer that have more responsibility and serve yearly terms. Some committees also oversee "volunteers", a different class of volunteers, who can sign up at any point in the year and generally do not have as much responsibility. These include Archive of Our Own coders, testers and tag wranglers, and Translation volunteers. See Volunteering, Roles, and Involvement Levels! OTW Willing to Serve Drive 2012 and Committee Descriptions for 2012 for more information. It is not necessary for a volunteer or staff member to be a paid OTW member; indeed many fans choose to support OTW by donating their time rather than the annual US$10 membership fee.
- Accessibility, Design & Technology
- Development and Membership
- Fan Video & Multimedia
- Internationalization and Outreach
- Journal Committee: Transformative Works and Cultures, the Symposium blog, and Fanhackers
- Open Doors
- Strategic Planning
- Tag Wrangling
- Volunteers & Recruiting
- Webmasters (Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee)
- Wiki Committee: Fanlore
- AO3 Documentation
- Content Policy
Former Committees & Workgroups
Controversy & Debate
Some of the many points on which the OTW has been criticised include, but are not limited to:
- Bringing fanworks to the attention of the Powers That Be, making litigation more likely, thus destroying fandom in the process. And One More Thing by ethrosdemon
- Undermining the legitimacy of copyright. The Organization for Transformative Works and Its Bid to Protect Fan Fiction: Are Its Proposed Changes to Copyright Law, Creating Immunity for Suits Against FanFic, a Good Idea? by Julie Hilden
- A lack of transparency, especially with regard to not publicly linking board members' names and fannish pseuds. Ah ok by ethrosdemon
- Being sexist. No One Has Any Pants by dumas1 and Why I Don't Care for OTW by beckyh2112
- Doing nothing. Math is Slow by randomsome1
- Excluding some segments of fandom, diversity The OTW Server Poll and Fannish Diversity by ira_gladkova
- Excluding some segments of fandom, fannish platfroms FanLib, OTW, and learning to not care..., Jane Carnall, January 15, 2010 
Some of the many counter-arguments include, but are not limited to:
- The Powers That Be already know about fanworks, being prepared for lawsuits is only sensible, and in twenty years there will still be porn. Um. Okay by elynross and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Polar Bears by cofax7
- That's not how copyright law works. Article III, section 2, tentacles, and you by harriet-spy
- The presence of weirdos makes separating identities understandable. Ah ok by ethrosdemon
- Being pro-women is not the same as being anti-men. Quick thought on "female space" of fandom by elekdragon and In which we talk about definitions and paths and all the stuff in between by amireal
- Training volunteers. The True Difference by queenzulu
- People are trying to change Some thoughts on OTW by Elz
The OTW 2011 Board Election generated a large amount of discussion on various topics including volunteer management and retention, the importance of the Archive of Our Own in relation to other OTW projects, and the role of the founders in the running of the organization. See also Fail Fandom Anon's wiki entry on the OTW for a summary of OTW-related wanks.