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July 2020 Newsletter, Volume 148


Elections has had a busy few weeks and is ready to receive OTW members’ ballots in a couple of weeks. Candidate Q&A posts were all posted by July 31 and voting instructions were emailed to all eligible members. Candidate Tyme LaDow withdrew her candidacy effective July 26. Elections also hosted two chats with candidates, and the transcripts were posted on their website in the days after the events.

If you have any queries, you can contact the Elections Committee through its website. The election will be held August 14-17, and your ballot will come via the email you gave when you donated.

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OTW Signal

OTW Signal, August 2020

Welcome to the first of our new OTW Signal series posts! Every month 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

OTW’s Legal Advocacy project has been at work in 2020 giving testimony and submitting comments to the U.S. government about copyright issues, including testifying and providing comments to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and meeting with the U.S. Copyright Office about section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which provides safe harbors for online service providers and allows sites like the AO3 to operate without being liable for user activities. In these sessions, Legal has highlighted the importance of considering user interests along with the interests of Internet Service Providers and copyright owners. Some of this work centered around a study released this Spring by the U.S. Copyright Office.

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OTW Celebrates

Celebrating SysAdmin Day 2020

Today is SysAdmin Day, on which systems administrators everywhere are feted as they truly deserve. Here at the OTW we are delighted to take the opportunity to celebrate our own Systems committee, who carry out essential work supporting all of our projects. Most notably, they maintain the servers and the infrastructure on which OTW projects such as the Archive of Our Own and Fanlore runs. One of the fundamental ideas behind the foundation of the OTW was that fandom would ‘own the servers’ for the first time: we wouldn’t be able to do that without them.

Systems also helps to keep things running behind the scenes, maintaining servers for internal services such as our internal wiki pages (which carry a huge amount of essential information). But that’s not all! The OTW’s Systems staffers work around-the-clock to make sure that everything is running smoothly and they also do an incredible job of keeping us all updated about any problems that do arise. You might have read updates on the ao3_status Twitter or the AO3 news stream, letting our users know about scheduled (and unscheduled!) downtime and maintenance work which our team has been coordinating or carrying out.

Systems administrators carry out a demanding job that largely takes place behind the scenes. Today, we’re glad to shine a spotlight on their incredible work. Thank you, Systems!