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Archive of Our Own

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE FANFICTION. I started reading and writing fanfiction in middle school, and even participated in a massive role playing/fanfiction message board for years. (Shoutout to my VH peeps!) I still read and write fanfiction on, livejournal, and most recently A03.

I am strongly of the opinion that fanfiction, fanart, etc are transformative works; they take what was published and transform them into a new work, and also that fanfiction is an essential way for consumers to respond to our culutre. Fanworks are social commentary, they are community building, and they are legitimate art. Some fanworks have gone viral and for good reason--someone's imagining of the Disney Princesses as real life women says a lot about how we view women in our society and the changes that we wish to enact.

I also believe that once a creation has been released to the world, it belongs to the world. Not like, literally, but that people will respond to it and react to it in their own way which is not in the control of the original creator at all. And that's a good thing. What we call fanwork used to just be normal reinvention. Shakespeare didn't come up with the plot of Hamlet out of thin air, but his is the one we remember because his was the BEST.

I was excited to find Archive of Our Own (AO3 for short) is a part of an organization called the Organization for Transformative Works. Here's what they do:

"The OTW believes that fanworks are creative and transformative, core fair uses, and will therefore be proactive in protecting and defending fanworks from commercial exploitation and legal challenge."

How awesome is it that fans finally have an organization to stand up for them? I'm pumped! I can't wait to support them going forward! At the very least, check out A03 and the work that the OTW is doing!