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This week's featured article

Filing off the serial numbers is a common fannish term for the act of taking a piece of existing fanfiction and removing any details that tie it to a copyrighted source. At the very least this involves renaming places and characters or replacing them with analogues.

Fans may decide to do this when they try to turn pro and sell the work as a piece of original fiction. Filing off the serial numbers is not always easy or successful, as fanfiction often depends a lot on the audience's shared knowledge of canon and thus elides a lot of information integral to plot and characterization.

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News and updates


June 7, 2018

Fanlore is recruiting graphic designers! If you're artistically inclined and would be interested in creating graphics for Fanlore's challenges and social media channels, as well as contributing new ideas for social media outreach and promotion, check out the position description on the OTW website!

We look forward to hearing from you!

May 24, 2018

Important notice: Fanlore's Terms of Service are changing.

You may have heard that the European Union's new regulation on data protection, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is coming into effect on May 25. It has effects on sites and organizations all around the world, including Fanlore.

The GDPR's primary focus is on data privacy and transparency, and on giving users more control over what their data is used for. The OTW and all our projects, including Fanlore, have been working hard to comply with all GDPR requirements, and to make more information available on how we use your data across the wiki. Here's what you need to know:

  • We've created a new Age Policy, with which everyone who uses or creates a Fanlore account must comply. The minimum age for Fanlore users will continue to be 13 years old in most places. However, some EU countries have set a different minimum age of consent for data processing. If you're in one of these countries, please comply with the age limits in your country to use Fanlore. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes any European users who will now be under the age of consent in their country. We'll be glad to welcome you back when you're of age to use Fanlore once again!
  • We've updated our Terms of Service (TOS). This update adds more detailed information to our TOS about what kind of data Fanlore stores and processes about visitors and users, and what it is used for. The most important element: we collect and store only what we need to in order to maintain the website, and we do not—and would never—sell your data to third parties. This TOS update also did some general tidying up of the page, so that it is a cohesive contract between you and us. Here's the page history detailing all the changes.
  • We will soon add a new site-wide banner highlighting the main points regarding Fanlore data processing and the new TOS. This banner will appear at the top of every page, and Fanlore users will be asked to dismiss it to show that they agree with the new Terms of Service. Please read the changes carefully, and remember to be mindful of your privacy when adding information about yourself on Fanlore—any information you publish in openly accessible spaces will be publicly available to everyone.

For more information on the GDPR, please check out The European Commission's Rights for Citizens or Wikipedia's information on the GDPR.

If you'd like to know more about how Fanlore and the nonprofit behind it, the Organization for Transformative Works, have prepared for GDPR, please contact the OTW Legal team. And as always, the Fanlore committee is happy to answer any of your questions as well!


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