The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) was founded in September 2007.
It is a nonprofit run by and for fans.
Its mission is to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures.
Fanworks are items created by fans such as art, literature, films, short videos, and
The OTW carries out its mission primarily through five projects.
One of the OTW's founding principles is that it believes that fanworks are creative and
It's our position that noncommercial fanworks that add something new to the original, in
meaning or message, are fair use under US law.
When a use is fair, no permission from the copyright owner is required.
We are therefore proactive in protecting and defending fanworks from commercial exploitation
and legal challenge.
This help is not limited to those fans or projects directly connected with the OTW.
Our legal team has submitted amicus briefs in several cases and won a DMCA exemption
for non-commercial remix makers from the Copyright Office in 2009 and 2012.
To do this, we solicited help from fans to provide examples of transformative video work
which created new narratives from found footage, and which offered criticism of, or new insights
on, the original sources.
Our legal team successfully argued that these new works transformed the original content
in ways which followed the copyright act's fair use exemptions.
Aside from providing legal assistance in preserving fan cultures and the ability to create fanworks,
the OTW also maintains several project sites.
Fanlore is a wiki.
Fanlore enables fans to document their understandings of and experiences in fandom.
This encyclopedic resource is an archive of fandom history and terminology for fans.
It also gives context for outside media, academics, and people new to fandom in a format wherein
fans are in control of their own representation.
Fanlore promotes a Plural Point of View, meaning that it documents a variety of views and experiences
without attempting to create a single definitive history of events.
Fanlore has over 30,000 articles and is open to additions by anyone who creates an account.
The Archive of Our Own (AO3) is an open-source digital archive for fanworks in text, visual,
video, audio and other formats.
It has over a million fanworks and continues to add thousands more each day.
The archive is a site for both the preservation of fanworks and fannish engagement.
As a site created by and for fans, the AO3 allows a variety of fan expression without
limiting works to particular genres or content.
Although at present only text formats can be hosted directly on the site, future plans
include direct archiving of fan art, audio works, and multimedia formats.
The AO3 also allows fans to host challenges and festivals, and to create specific collections
within the archive.
Open Doors offers shelter to at-risk fannish content by archiving and preserving fanworks
and artifacts of fan culture.
Physical format items are preserved through our partnership with the University of Iowa
Special Collections department.
Digital formats are hosted either within the Open Doors website, or entire archives may
be imported into the AO3.
Many websites and entire domains have disappeared from the Internet in past decades. These sites
often took thousands of fanworks with them when they closed.
Dedicated fan archives are also at risk when their owners no longer have the time or resources
to keep them going. In such cases, Open Doors will work with owners
and users to keep their collection intact and to find them a new home.
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is a peer-reviewed academic journal that promotes
scholarship on fanworks and fan practices.
Publishing 2 to 3 issues annually, TWC provides a forum where both academic work and fan work
TWC provides a space for both noted media and fan scholars, and new scholars, to write
about their research, and to guest edit issues on both fandom-wide and fandom-specific topics.
The OTW also maintains a blog, Fanhackers, which encourages contributions from fans writing
meta pieces about their fannish experiences.
Like the rest of the OTW, the TWC strongly supports open source content. It is a Gold
Open Access publication and its contents can be found in all major academic databases,
open access directories, and services such as Google Scholar.
The OTW demonstrates the talent, skills, and passion of fandom worldwide.
We are staffed by around 400 fans internationally, representing a variety of fan experiences
Our projects are supported solely by donations and with that help, we hope to engage and
support more fans over the coming decades.