AO3 Original Works and Self-Pub Wrangling Debacle

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Event
Event:
Participants: fail_fandomanon, Archive of our Own tag wranglers, and others
Date(s): August 26th, 2017 - ongoing
Type:
Fandom: The Course of Honour and Erin A. Bisson
URL:
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The AO3 Original Works and Self-Pub Wrangling Debacle is one way of referring to the deliberate miswrangling of fanfiction for Erin A. Bisson's novels and the original slash novel The Course of Honour (TCoH) by Avoliot. They're both often brought up at the same time because both fandoms have had their Archive of Our Own fandom tags synned with the "Original Works" fandom tag. Erin A. Bisson's works are most often just referred to by the name of her first novel, King of Bones (KoB), although all of her works have been affected in the past and most still are.

The multifandom Dreamwidth anon meme fail_fandomanon (FFA) usually brings up the miswrangling of one where the other is brought up because the miswrangling of both fandoms happened more or less concurrently, although the canon sources have nothing to do with each other and the fandoms have little to no overlap except on FFA/in exchange fandom.

General Background

Fail_FandomAnon

See also: AO3 Tagging Policy Debate

fail_fandomanon has had many long and enthusiastic threads about what they both like and don't like about the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW, AO3's parent organization) in general and Archive of Our Own's tag system in specific. They also track and sleuth fandom wank.[note 1]

Original Fiction on AO3

See also: Original Fiction

Around 2010 there was a debate about whether to allow original fiction on Archive of Our Own.[1] In some corners of fandom, the line between original fiction and fanfiction is clear, but in others (especially in Spanish[2], German-speaking[3], and Japanese-speaking fandom communities; in Original Slash, Original Yaoi, and furry communities; and in the Jane Austen fandom[4]) original fiction is considered a fannish activity. AO3 chose to include original fiction in the Archive, under the fandom tag "Original Works," but the wording on what kinds of original fiction are allowed is vague.

The AO3 Terms of Service FAQ says:

Can I archive original fiction?

Yes and no. Although some users may want a place for all their creative work, our current vision of the Archive is of a place dedicated to fanworks in particular. The Archive was designed to serve the mission of the Organization for Transformative Works(OTW), which was "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."

Because our long-term plans include hosting fanworks of all kinds, not just fan fiction, we concluded that it was better to draw a line between fanworks and non-fanworks and only host the former, in order to avoid becoming a general repository for all sorts of creative works. In addition, we will enforce the noncommercialization policy strictly, including a ban on works posted to promote the sale of the author's other works, even if those are not hosted on the site.

However, there are a number of varieties of works produced by fans that do not fit comfortably into a narrow definition of fanfiction, fanart, vids, or other types of fanworks. Some of these do fall within our mission. In particular, original fiction that is part of an Open Doors project is allowed, as are types of original fiction and quasi-original fiction produced within a fandom context. Examples include such things as anthropomorfic, original fiction that is produced as part of a fandom challenge, exchange, or charity event, and genres such as Original Slash, Original BL, and Regency romances produced in Jane Austen fandom.

[...]

We presume that, by posting the work to the Archive, the creator is making a statement that they believe it's a fanwork. As such, unless the work doesn't meet some other criterion, it will be allowed to remain.[5]

How will you draw the line between fanworks and non-fanworks?

The presumption is that a work is a fanwork, but if it's clear from context—tags, author's notes, etc.—that it's not, it may be removed for violating the Content Policy. Please note that alternate universes/alternate realities or fanworks set in the distant past/future of a particular canon are still fanworks. Original works that are not based on a specific media source (canon) may also count as fanworks so long as they are fannish in nature. Please see "Can I archive original fiction?" above for more detail.[5]

"Synning" and "Canonical" Tags

More information: Additional Tag Wrangling Vocabulary

Some background on how AO3 and its tag wrangling works is necessary to understand the problems discussed below.

"Synning" is the act of linking (wrangling) two separate tags together so that AO3's search engine considers them synonymous. Unsynning (removing the link) is "the easiest thing in the world."[6]

  • For example, a wrangler might syn "puppies" and "puppers" under the assumption that anyone searching for one would be looking for works tagged with the other.
  • Anyone who wants to view just works tagged "puppers" and not works tagged with "puppies" (and everything synned with "puppies") will have to use the text search function.

A "canonical" tag is a tag that can be used to filter works and that will show up in autocompletes when a user is tagging a work. Non-canonical tags can still be viewed, but you can only see works that match exactly and you can't filter the tagged works.

  • If the tag "puppers" isn't canonized and isn't synned to a canonical tag, then:
  • Folks who misspell it are out of luck, as "pupppers" will never be synned to "puppers."
  • Anyone who wants to browse works tagged "puppers" will have to do so from most-recent to oldest, with no ability to exclude anything, or use the text search function.

Being non-canonical is different from being synned. Synned tags cannot be viewed — attempting to do so redirects you to the canonical tag they've been synned to.

The text search function searches titles, authors, tags, summaries, author's notes, and the entire text of the fic.

The Course of Honour by Avoliot

Background

See also: The Course of Honour

The Course of Honour was posted on AO3 by Avoliot starting in February 2017 and ending in May 2017. Its fandom tag is "Original Work." In the first author's note for the work Avoliot thanks emilyenrose for her beta work:

This would not exist without emilyenrose, beta, cheerleader and writer extraordinaire. If you like this, you might like pretty much everything she's ever written. There were so many links in here Ao3 keeps eating them, but thanks are also due to gixininja, aeromachia and thelioninmybed (on tumblr), as well as everyone who left a comment on the first draft![7]

Avoliot linked to emilyenrose's tumblr, but emilyenrose has the same username on AO3. This easily establishes emilyenrose and Avoliot as friends to anyone who opens The Course of Honour, including tag wranglers who might google "The Course of Honor" to find out how to wrangle a new fandom tag.

In May of 2017, just after the novel ended, emilyenrose posted the TCoH fanfiction And Indeed There Will Be Time, which she had been working on before Avoliot finished TCoH. In July of 2017, emilyenrose posted Is The New Prince K Here To Stay?. Both fics have the fandom tag "The Course of Honor - Avoliot" and the appropriate character and relationship tags.

The Miswrangling

By August of 2017, emilyenrose's two fics were the only TCoH fanworks on the Archive.[8] An anon on FFA complained in July:

Why does the fandom tag for Avoliot's Course of Honour fics redirect to Original Work? Who the hell thought this was a good idea? How are you expected to find anything in there?[9]

One anon thought that people should just use the "inspired by" function on AO3.[9]

They tend to be weird about canonizing any fandoms that are seen as "fanworks" instead of their own separate fandom. See: the fact that the Campaign Podcast is synned to Star Wars - All Media Types and they threw all the characters into Original Works. Although, in the case of the Course of Honour, even the "fanworks" reasoning is flimsy, since it's an original story in and of itself. If the original story is in original works, then they should be able to canonize the fandom as its own separate thing if people are creating works for it.

If you want a work around, you can select filter when you're on the original works page and search withing results for "The Course of Honour". It's not flawless and it sucks to have to do, but in case you want at least some possible way to maybe be able to find stuff, that's probably your best bet. Unless they decide to make the fanomd a canonical, and [in my experience] if one of the wranglers or staff members has decided to syn it, it's very unlikely that you're going to get it changed.[9]

In mid-August, another anon appeared to complain about the synning of the TCoH tag to "Original Works". In a subthread for "Unwrangled Tag Lamentation", they wrote:

I've already sent in a support request, but I'm furious that AO3 has synned 'The Course of Honour - Avoliot' to Original Works. TCoH is an original work, but fanworks of it are not! They're fanworks! And I want to be able to find them, damnit! I have one in progress that there's no point in finishing if no one's going to be able to find it! >:([10]

The anon from July arrived up to commiserate with Mid-August Anon:

You and me are the same, nonnie. I even complained about it on meme one time. It's like...the fact that it's published on AO3 doesn't change the fact that it's a freaking novel. The fanworks for TCOH are not, in fact, original work! It's fanfic for an original novel, not an in-universe tie-in (like the Star Wars books or whatever). Literally the only reason they synned it that way was because the canon was published on AO3 as well, and it pisses me off.[10]

One anon suggests that the Wranglers might be waiting for more than one author to write TCoH fic before they canonize the fandom (even though Mid-August Anon is complaining that the tag is synned, not non-canonical) and Mid-August Anon replies that they aren't emilyenrose, but they hadn't considered that more works might help get the miswrangling fixed.

Yet another anon said:

I had them do that with an actual novel I bought off amazon and had to fight to get it changed. I know the author is in fandom in general and while I don't think they google themselves daily, I still felt super awkward and afraid they'd see it.[10]

FAA complained more at the end of August that the TCoH tag was still synned with Original Works.[11] They also worried about of The Course of Honor would be allowed for Yuletide and if they should risk wasting their nominations on it.[12] (It was nominated and accepted for Yuletide 2017 — three works in the Yuletide 2017 collection are TCoH fics.[13]

First AO3 Support Contact

On August 26th, 2017, an anonymous user posted to fail_fandomanon's AO3 thread asking for advice on what to say to AO3 Support to convince them to unsynn the fandom tag "The Course of Honour - Avoliot" from "Original Works." Possibly this anon was Mid-August Anon, but it's equally likely that it was a separate person who had also experienced frustration and confusion over this miswrangling.

Late August Anon said:

I wrote to AO3 support because the Course of Honour fanfics (Is The New Prince K Here To Stay?: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11410209 & And Indeed There Will Be Time: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11026398) were synned to original works two weeks age, and today I got their reply.

"Hi:

Thanks for asking about this fandom. I passed this question on to the wranglers. After considering the tag and reviewing the works and the lack of a clearly published source material, the Wranglers don't feel that the fandom tag should be canonized at this time. They note that they very very rarely canonize a fandom that is not based on a published pre-existing canon. Even then, it requires a significant number of discrete creators. As these are not fanworks of an existing canon, but a cooperative attempt to build a canon, that it is better sorted under "Original Works". They recommend using a common Additional Tag to simplify searching.

Best,

AO3 Support"
I think the rationale is a bit unconvincing, because afaik 17776 is published on Internet only and hardly qualifies as published pre-existing canon under the same standard, but it still has its own fandom tag. I also doesn't see any proof that the two fanfics are "a cooperative attempt to build a canon" instead of "fanworks of an existing canon". However, I'm not very good at formulating convincing arguments. What do you think, nonnies?[14]

FFA Reacts and Helps Draft a Reply

Anons at the top of the thread had a short discussion about why this was a problem.

[Anon A]

Sorry what's supposed to be the problem here?[15]

[Anon B] DA [Meaning that this anon is a different anon from the original poster of the subthread, Late August Anon]

Someone published an original work on AO3, and now fanfics based on that original work are being classified as "original works" in themselves and not as fanfiction, and AO3 is not going to change that.[16]

[Anon A (probably)]

I can see how that... idk, makes it awkward to find fanfic for it?[17]

[Anon B]

The specific argument that AO3 is using also says that the first work is not actually solely the property of its own author, and instead claims that all the works are collaborative efforts to build a canon together. It's explicitly denying that there is one original creator and pretending that it's a group project. That's... to be honest, as an author (although not the author in question) I find that extremely worrying. It's refusing to acknowledge the original author's intellectual property rights.[18]

Other anons elaborate on why the "lack of a clearly published source material"/"not based on a published pre-existing canon"/"not fanworks of an existing canon, but a cooperative attempt to build a canon" reasoning presented by Support on behalf of the Wranglers is flawed and upsetting.

[Anon C]

I don't think it's a good argument, because I'm certain that if The Course of Honour had been published anywhere other than AO3 it would be considered a fandom. If it had been uploaded to the author's tumblr instead, there's no way that fic for it would be listed as "original works".

I think that this is a very bad decision from AO3's perspective, because it's proving that AO3 is a very bad place to put your original fiction. This puts all fanfics of an original work on the same canonicity level, and that's misleading and frustrating for creators and readers alike. If this verdict is final, then I suspect that authors considering posting their original works to AO3 will reconsider - it's certainly moved AO3 very far down my list of places to share origfic.[19]

[Anon D]

How is that bad? AO3 was never meant to house original fic; the whole point was to be a safe place for fanfic. People obviously have been posting their own stuff there but that's on them. I won't put my stuff up because that is not what it's for.[20]

[Anon C]

If AO3 isn't willing to host original work, then they should ban it. But they don't - there is a specific, canonical tag for Original Works, and therefore AO3 is stating that they allow original works to be posted there. They have an obligation to respect the rights of authors to be acknowledged as the creator of their works, and they are explicitly refusing to do that in this instance.

It's a bad decision from AO3's perspective because it leaves them at a legal and moral disadvantage and because it is going to impact the trust that writers posting on AO3 have of the OTW as a responsible organisation with the knowledge and ability to manage fanfiction legally.[21]

Or, to put it another way, it's a bad decision on AO3's part because it calls into question their ability to be a "safe space for fanfic" if they're going to pull shit like this re: who is the author of a work. It's showing a serious lack of good judgement regarding intellectual property rights, of course that's a bad thing for an organisation that is devoted to legal fanfic.[22]
...the fact that it's an original work written and posted in a fannish context doesn't change the fact that it's a single-author canon whose sole ownership resides with Aviolot and stating that emilyenrose writing fic for it is instead a "collaborative attempt to build a canon" is really bad precedent legally and has horrible implications for any copyright dispute involving the archive. And that's true no matter where Course of Honor was posted, whether or not AO3 (and Aviolot) consider it a fanwork, or that emilyenrose was Aviolot's beta for the original work. She's not a co-author, she doesn't have intellectual property rights to the work, and she describes it as fic rather than a tie-in or an authorized missing scene or whatever. Calling something a fanwork doesn't involve relinquishing all rights to it, and it's still its own canon while simultaneously being a fanwork. The two facts coexist.[23]

Okay, I give up. Riddle me this: what is the difference (except for the fact that one of them was published on AO3, and the other one was published elsewhere) between CoH and, I don't know, the Magpie Lord trilogy? They're both tropey original M/M fiction. So what is the difference here, really? Would you argue that the Magpie Lord trilogy could be regarded as a fanwork? A fanwork of what?

I'm not arguing that this isn't what their TOS says. It's clearly what it says, and I'm not disputing that. I'm arguing it's a shitty TOS and a shitty argument because it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. And how is Original M/M (or F/F for that matter) a nebulous genre that defies definition and could potentially be classified as a fanwork? What sort of alien fucking logic is that?[24]
The argument for it being a fanwork is that there's a longstanding tradition in some fannish circles of original works being written and consumed alongside fanfic, which is the product of when original m/m wasn't really a genre and original BL was difficult to find in English translation so fans would write their own. The original works use the same tropes as the fic and are understood and interpreted in the same context. Asking writers to split that off is ignoring a significant part of fannish history, and it's okay that AO3 doesn't want to do that and also wants to limit itself only to original work that is meant to be understood in a fannish context. That part has no bearing on the issue of canonicity that's causing everyone stress right now.[25]
That reasoning has some actual bullshit in it. Those are fics of a self-contained original m/m romance that was published on AO3, which is an existing canon. And you're right that they aren't "a cooperative attempt to build a canon." I can't believe that's even an argument we have to refute because it's such an utterly nonsensical claim about works that the authors have explicitly described as fanfic. The argument to refute that is that The Course of Honour is a self-contained, single-author canon and not a collaborative work. Any stories using the characters or setting from it authored by others are thus fanfiction and not additions to the canon itself no matter how much the fic writer may have discussed the canon with the author. Any argument to the contrary actually sets a distressing number of bad precedents.[26]

Some anons hoped that this would be handled easily once it was kicked up the chain.[27]

Reply to AO3 Support

Late August Anon, posts what they planned to write back to AO3 support:

sub-thread OP:[note 2] Thanks for all your responses! I have drafted a reply that I apologized for basically copying and pasting your arguments from this sub-thread. Any opinions?

I find the argument unsatisfactory and worrying.

The Course of Honour is a self-contained, single-author canon and not a collaborative work. Any stories using the characters or setting from it authored by others are thus fanfiction and not additions to the canon itself no matter how much the fic writer may have discussed the canon with the author. Any argument to the contrary actually sets a distressing number of bad precedents because it's purporting to give ownership of the canon to people other than the original creator. By denying that there is one original creator and pretending that it's a group project, AO3 fails to acknowledge the original author's intellectual property rights.

As the original creator has never listed these other people as their co-writers or stating that it's a deliberate group project, it is wrong to list the works in question as "a cooperative attempt to build a canon." as even the writer of the works in question explicitly list them as fanfic. This decision puts all fanfics of an original work on the same canonicity level, and that's misleading and frustrating for creators and readers alike.

I would like AO3 to reconsider this decision based on the above reasons.

Thanks and Best Regards,[14]

Second AO3 Support Contact

On September 2nd, 2017, Late August Anon returned with a reply from AO3 Support:

I've received the newest reply from them, which told me that all the reasons in the last email are irrelevant to the decision (but the decision will remain unchanged). I feel that this lack of clarity is a bit worrying.[28]

The text of the reply:

"Hi again

I apologize for the lack of clarity in my response. The wranglers' concern is not whether a work is "collaborative" or not, and my inclusion of that word was a mistake on my part.

Their evaluation was based on the fact that the creator's source canon is posted on an inherently fannish site. As such, they consider it to be an original fannish work. I have passed on your additional feedback, but they are not changing the wrangling at this time."[29]

FFA Reaction

This makes me really angry. So what if it's an original fannish work. That has nothing to do with the status of works based on it.[30]

God how I wish AO3 was better at tag trees. There are so many cases when synning should not be used for the smaller parts of a thing with many parts. It should be possible to click on "X" and go to all works for "X" with the option to go for "all works for X's larger parent". For so many things that are currently synned instead. :(

I wouldn't even mind if Course of Honour - Avoliot, distinct fandom tag, was marked as belonging to a wider set of Original Works, as long as you could click on the tag and have it work.

But since AO3 doesn't understand this, their decision in this case is predictable.[31]

I admit my ignorance about copyright law, but shouldn't copyright and ip apply wherever something is publicized including a "inherently fannish site"? Besides, how do you draw a line for "original fannish work"? Do my hypothetical Twisted Disney Princess fics qualify me as a co-creator of the Twisted Disney Princess art? I don't get how the argument can work legally, which's worrying because AO3 is supposed to fight for fandom legally.

[32]

Anons on the thread bring up Fae Tales[33] and Paris Burning[34], both original fiction works posted to AO3 that have their own canonized fandom tags. Fae Tales had its fandom tag ("Fae Tales - not_poignant") canonized because an anon on FFA said they wanted a canonized tag for Fae Tales and a tag wrangler reading the meme made it happen for them.[35]

At least one other complaint was sent in to AO3 support:

Here's what I've sent:

Incorrect synning of fandom tags for The Course of Honour fanfiction:

Two fanfics on the archive, http://archiveofourown.org/works/11410209 and http://archiveofourown.org/works/11026398, have their fandom tag "The Course of Honour - Avoliot" incorrectly synned to "Original Work". These two works are explicitly fanfiction for a work by another author and not original works themselves. While The Course of Honour is indeed an original fannish work on the archive, these fanfics for it are not. The categorisation of these as "original works" is both inaccurate and potentially damaging for AO3, as it is denying the intellectual property of the individual known as Avoliot by incorrectly categorising works derivative of their writing as "original".

As AO3 and the OTW is supposed to be a home for legal fanfiction and concerned with the rights of the creator and fan both, this is an extremely worrying decision. It casts into doubt AO3's ability to discern whether a work is original or not and could be used in support of a legal challenge against the archive by a different invested creator - if someone wished to argue in court that AO3 does not respect the rights of a work's original creator, then a decision on the part of AO3 staff to ignore a work's inherent derivative status and present it as a standalone original work would certainly be extremely pertinent to that argument.

There is precedent for original works published on AO3 receiving their own fandom tags for derivative works by other authors:

https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Fae%20Tales%20-%20not_poignant/works

I would strongly encourage tag wranglers to follow this example and make "The Course of Honour - Avoliot" a fandom tag in itself and remove the redirect towards "Original Works", in the interest of protecting AO3 from future legal action - and, of course, in the interest of fans who wish to seek out transformative works for The Course of Honour, and of the author themselves and their right to be acknowledged as the sole original creator. I also suggest that this issue be brought to the attention of AO3's legal team, so that an official policy can be established for future reference.[36]

Third AO3 Support Contact

On September 13th, Late August Anon returns with more news:

This OEA[note 3] anon has just received the newest reply from AO3 supprt. At this point I feel exhausted navigating this rabbit hole of the mysterious AO3 wrangling standard.

The reply:

"Hi again:

Thanks for the additional feedback. I've passed your thoughts on to the Wranglers. If they have a reply, I will relay it to you!"

I'm more confused and worried at this point, as AO3 doesn't seem to have any written guideline/standards to rely on for similar situations and the issue will solely fall to individual tag wranglers' sole discretion. Not only does it confuse the users, but also it puts unfair burden on tag wranglers to make the call without anything concrete to rely on. I'm of opinion that even a written stupid rule is still better than no written rules, because at least people can point to the stupid rules and try to propose changes/warn the others.

For AO3 and its users' sake, I hope my concern is overreaching. However, the whole correspondence chain doesn't exactly give me a lot of confidence.[37]

FFA Reaction

[Anon E] As a technical writer, I'm tempted to go to AO3 and ask if they need a volunteer to research best practices (including interviews with current - and past, if possible - volunteers) to document internal procedure and policy. That kind of stuff drives me nuts.[38]
[Anon F] There's actually a lot more internal procedure and policy stuff behind a login firewall for wranglers. My understanding is that this is just the first time something like this has happened - it doesn't fall under existing guidelines.[39]
[Anon E] But if something doesn't fall under existing guidelines, shouldn't there be a policy about who to pass the question to so that someone knowledgeable makes the decision and can provide support for it?[40]
[Anon F] There is - tag wrangling staff (the volunteer leadership; they're not paid) step in, and if things are controversial/complex enough they'll be put up for all-wrangler discussion. It's all very consensus-based (read: it takes forever).[41]
[Anon E] Oh god. Going by past events, we'll get an answer in two years and it'll look like something they could have cribbed off another site in ten minutes.[42]

It's likely there's still no rule. The problem was Support relying you decisions that haven't been made yet.

As some people have mentioned here, getting AO3 to accept Original Works was a long, long process. It kinda ended up in a weird place where it was accepted, but no thought was spared to it.[43]

Gundam nonny here! This sounds a lot like the last responses I got about the Gundam tags - 'we've passed on your feedback, the wranglers will discuss it' and it's been a year and a half and I've never heard back and the tags are still a hot mess. (and I was busy finishing school and didn't have that sort of fight in me - I should really get back to it!)

I've been avidly tracking your own efforts, because, well, been there done that little success.[44]

King of Bones and Erin A. Bisson's Other Works

Background

See also: Erin A. Bisson

AO3 Support Contact

In a post on Dreamwidth in early November, 2017, kalloway wrote out a report of her recent communications with AO3 Support regarding the synning of the "King of Bones - Erin A. Bisson" fandom tag with the "Original Works" fandom tag. After some back-and-forth, the reply she got from AO3 Support detailing the wranglers' decision to synn the two tags was as follows:

Hi again, Kalloway:

The Wranglers did review their decision. Because the works posted were written either by an individual who has self-identified as Erin Bisson, or are gifted to Mx. Bisson, the Wranglers feel their is not enough of a fannish usage to canonize the tag at this time. If the fandom does eventually grow, as with all tag decisions, they will review the new data. At this time, however, they are leaving the tag as a synonym of "Original Work", with the other fandom-of-fanwork Fandom tags.

If you have any questions, we'll pass them on.[45]

Kalloway replied:

The only works gifted to anyone that are tagged King of Bones are gifted to me. I am not Erin Bisson. As for the self-identification, I would like to know how the wranglers arrived at that conclusion. What evidence did they use and how did they obtain it? I would like to know if these steps are taken before canonizing all new-to-the-archive fandoms to determine the provenance of the work, or if this is some bizarre special circumstance. If it is, I would like to know why it's a special circumstance.

There are admitted other creators who write fanwork of their own, published work and post it on the archive. Why is this a different situation? Is there a number of different creators required for a fandom to exist now?

That goes against the wrangling guidelines here: http://archiveofourown.org/wrangling_guidelines/4

Which states: Note: A fandom (regardless of size or origin) is considered a Fandom (rather than an Original Work) if fanworks exist for it.

Fanworks exist for King of Bones. Even the works not written by myself are fanworks according to the author of those fanworks.

I remind you, and the wranglers, again, that King of Bones is a published novel. It is not posted on AO3 or any other website aside from ones where it can be purchased.

And since then, I've noticed that every single fandom for Erin A. Bisson's works has been de-canonized, including Machine City Knights, which I received gifts in several Yuletides ago by a user named 'misura'.

[...]

This makes no sense, because King of Bones, and the other novels of Erin Bisson, are not fanworks. They are published novels. Multiple people have created fanwork for these novels and I would like them to be recognized as such. These novels are not posted to AO3 and no canonical material related to these novels exists on AO3.[45]

The author confirmed on her own Dreamwidth account that she had never linked her professional publishing name with her fannish identity on AO3.[46]

An anonymous wrangler on fail_fandomanon dug into the wrangling notes for the King of Bones fandom tag. There were two fandom tags, one without the middle name initial and one with the middle initial and both had notes linking the author's fannish AO3 and Dreamwidth identity with her publishing identity. The tag without the middle initial had its note written in April, 2017, while the tag with the middle initial had its note written in September, 2017. This is likely when they were respectively synned.[47]

By March, 2018, the "Machine City Knights - Erin A. Bisson" tag was re-canonized,[48] and although it was suggested that the reason was because a third author wrote something for the tag, that's also true of Triskelion which has not has its fandom tag re-canonized.

FFA Reaction

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Notes and References

Notes

  1. FFA's wank-sleuthing: For example, in mid-November of 2017, FFA discussed and eventually debunked an author's claim that one of their works of original fiction had been deleted for TOS violations — an anon discovered that the "fic" that was actually deleted was comprised of blog-style updates from the author about his life. (Re: AO3 Thread - Tumblr post about the Original Works deletion BINGO. Posted 12 November 2017. Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  2. sub-thread OP: "OP" stands for "Original Poster." On fail_fandomanon, users use a Dreamwidth journaling community to host their discussion: a mod makes a journal post and anonymous users talk in the threaded comments. Popular topics have "subthreads" where the top-level comment of the thread sets the general topic of the thread — in this case, anything to do with Archive of Our Own — and second-level comments bring up specific subjects — in this case the most-recent reply to The Course of Honour's miswrangling.
  3. OEA: Overly Earnest Anon.

References

  1. melannen, On original fic and fanfic, posted 10 April 2010. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  2. The livejournal community recs_ftw accepts recs on any fandom and original fiction, as it says in the rules ("Fanfic y RPF, RPS, y los queridos originales. ¡Todo es bueno a la hora de recomendar!" or "Fanfic, RPF, RPS, and beloved originals. When you're rec'ing, it's all good!").
  3. The Freie Arbeiten category in fanfiktion.de, which includes subcategories for prose and poetry.
  4. The Original Stories subforum at the A Happy Assembly fanfiction board.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Archive of Our Own Terms of Service FAQ". Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  6. Anonymous, identifying as a former wrangler. Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original. Posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  7. "The Couse of Honor on AO3". Retrieved 31 July 2017. 
  8. "...It looks like so far there are only two works by one user..." - Anonymous in Re: AO3 THREAD - Unwrangled Tags Lamentations, posted 11 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Various anons on Re: AO3, posted 12 July 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Anonymous in Re: AO3 THREAD - Unwrangled Tags Lamentations, posted 11 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  11. Anonymous in Re: Recommended Original Works on Ao3, posted 23 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  12. Anonymous in Re: Yuletide - Book canons, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  13. ""Original Works" fandom section". Retrieved 2018-08-01. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original posted by anonymous on fail_fandomanon on 26 August 2018. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  15. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  16. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  17. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  18. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  19. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  20. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  21. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  22. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  23. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  24. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 27 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  25. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 27 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  26. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  27. Anonymous in Re: Archive of Our Own [AO3 thread] - The Course Of Honour fic synned to Original, posted 26 August 2017. (Accessed 01 August 2018.)
  28. anonymous on fail_fandomanon on 02 Septemper 2018. "New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn". Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  29. anonymous on fail_fandomanon on 02 Septemper 2018. "New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn". Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  30. Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 02 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  31. Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 02 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  32. Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 03 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  33. Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 02 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  34. Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 02 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  35. "The Fae Tales tag! I remember how that happened - I talked about wanting one on meme, and a nonnie wrangled it for me, thank you. :D" - Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 02 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  36. Anonymous in Re: New reply from AO3 support on The Course of Honour fanfic tag syn, posted 02 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  37. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 13 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  38. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 13 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  39. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 13 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  40. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 13 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  41. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 14 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  42. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 15 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  43. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 13 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  44. Anonymous in Re: AO3 Thread - The Course of Honour fandom tag update, posted 13 September 2017. (Accessed 02 August 2018.)
  45. 45.0 45.1 kalloway on 08 November 2017. "A Central Post For Keeping Track of AO3 Communication". Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  46. taichara (Erin A. Bisson) in her post AO3, near-doxxing, and arbitrary definition of "fanworks" as applied to Yours Truly. Posted 09 November 2017. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  47. Anonymous posting to fail_fandomanon on 02 December 2017. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)
  48. Anonymous posting to fail_fandomanon on 11 March 2018. (Accessed 31 July 2018.)