Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Zixin 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 Zixin, who volunteers as a staffer in the Communications Committee.

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

I first joined the OTW as a Tag Wrangler. Our duty is to categorize user-created tags on the AO3, making it more convenient for readers to search for tags and fics. When the first Chinese wrangling recruits finished their training, I also helped other wranglers translate Chinese tags into English, participated in the Chinese fandom tag project, and discussed proper tag translation with other Chinese volunteers.

Later on, I joined the Policy and Abuse Committee, whose main duty is to deal with user complaints according to AO3’s Terms of Service and its FAQ. We also assist users with their Fannish Next of Kin requests. Of course, as one of the few Chinese staff in the committee, my work also includes helping with tickets about Chinese works. I also translate English emails into Chinese so Chinese users could better understand them.

Last year, I joined the Communications Committee and became one of the Weibo moderators for our OTW account. As a Weibo mod, I interact with users and answer their inquiries via Direct Messages and other channels; I post OTW-related news; and I follow updates about Chinese fandom.

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OTW Signal

OTW Signal, May 2021

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

Several stories in the news lately have been about developments in U.S. copyright law that have implications for fans. This month we focus on two of them in particular: Warhol v. Goldsmith and Google v. Oracle.

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Spotlight on Legal Issues

(Updated) German Copyright Law: Action Needed!

Of special interest to German fans, as well as other fans in the EU.

Germany is working on implementing Article 17, which makes significant changes in European copyright law. This has created an exciting opportunity to clarify that fan fiction is legal under German copyright law.

The German government has sent a draft bill to the two houses of Parliament. The final vote is planned for the beginning of May. The government proposal makes clear that nonprofit websites like the Archive of Our Own should not be required to get licenses from copyright owners, as commercial websites like Facebook and YouTube will have to do. The draft bill also proposes to explicitly legalize fan fiction, fan art, and many other transformative works, as part of the EU exception for “caricature, parody and pastiche”. Read More