OTW Celebrates International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day 2017

Today, December 5th, has been designated as International Volunteer Day by the United Nations since 1985. We would like to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers that make the OTW’s work possible.

The OTW’s 714 volunteers, working on the Board and in eighteen additional committees, keep AO3 and its more than 3 millions fanworks up and available to readers. They edit and produce Transformative Works and Cultures, advancing the academic study of fandom and fanworks, and manage Fanlore for when you need to look up a trope or learn about what really happened with DashCon. They preserve fanworks that might otherwise be lost through the Open Doors project, protect fans from legal challenges, and perform all the invisible, behind-the-scenes work required to keep these projects and more up and running. (more…)

Banner by Erin of a spotlight shining the OTW logo behind the text spotlight on legal issues

Are You Concerned About Net Neutrality?

In recent weeks, OTW Legal has gotten some questions about net neutrality in the United States. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all data on the Internet the same way, without discriminating or charging differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. There’s been some recent activity surrounding net neutrality regulations that fans may want to know about.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a proposal that would severely reduce net neutrality requirements in the United States. The FCC is currently in charge of regulating broadband internet access services in the U.S., and FCC rules currently forbid ISPs from, for example, blocking or “throttling” access to lawful content, prioritizing access to content based on payment, or requiring consumers to pay more for access to certain content or services. The new FCC proposal would retain existing transparency rules, but would roll back prohibitions–effectively permitting ISPs to engage in blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, and other interfering behaviors. (more…)