Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 11:54 pm
Fanlore will be adopting a DMCA policy similar to Wikipedia's. This policy does not significantly change Fanlore's existing policies, but simply protects Fanlore from money damages and presents copyright holders with an additional recourse if they believe their work is being infringed.

What is the DMCA?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is part of US copyright law, 17 U.S.C. §512. Compliance with the DMCA protects us from money damages in any case where someone posted infringing content on Fanlore or AO3, as long as we took down that content when properly notified about it.

What changes?

The DMCA provides an alternative option for a copyright holder who believes their work is being infringed on Fanlore. It does not change our policies regarding the use of copyrighted material on Fanlore (see Fanlore:Copyright). We will still decline to remove noninfringing, transformative or fair use content. We already ban copyright infringement, and may permanently suspend a user who repeatedly posts infringing materials on Fanlore.

Copyright holders do not need to file a formal DMCA takedown notice to contest the use of their material on Fanlore, and are encouraged to seek resolution by sending an informal request to the Fanlore Committee.

Why would Fanlore want to do this, if it is going to continue looking at fair use?

To put it briefly, having a DMCA policy makes it easier to shake off trolls. For copyright owners/businesses just interested in demanding thousands of dollars, it's not worth sending us threatening letters if we have a DMCA policy, since we are protected against money damages.

Doesn't the DMCA require websites to take down content regardless of fair use?

That's how most providers, most of the time, implement it, because that's the cheapest way to do it, and most providers don't have ideological commitments to fair use that outweigh their desires to save money. Wikipedia, however, has a DMCA policy and a commitment to fair use, and follows the policy we are adopting. We believe that we can remain committed to fair use while providing a streamlined way to address true infringements.

The Policy: http://fanlore.org/wiki/Fanlore:DMCA_Policy

The policy will go into effect in two weeks. During this time you are invited to voice any concerns you have with the wording of the policy, e.g. if something is unclear. Note that we will not change the content of the policy.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 09:45 pm
So, a while back the Wiki Committee posted drafts of additional policy bits (to use the technical term). Since then, we updated the wiki itself with item #2, the proposed addition to the Identity Protection page. (See the change to the Identity Protection page.) Still remaining to be added are the Image Policy and Editorial Procedures additions. (I don't think there were any issues with the Editorial Procedures revision, which represented only a change in phrasing, not in policy, so we will try to get that on the wiki pronto.)

See below for the second draft of the addition to the Image Policy FAQ. This will be a numbered addition following question 8. It is intended to complement the change to the Identity Protection page.
I am a fanartist, and I don't want to have my name displayed on my fanart.

If you are/were active in fandom under your legal name, but feel uncomfortable with some or all of your art being associated with this name, we can offer you two options (per our identity protection and pre-1995 name policies): we can either edit the artwork's information so that it is associated with whatever pseud you choose, or we can "orphan" the artwork. If a piece of fanart is orphaned, it can still be shown on the wiki (as it is still part of our fannish history), but no name will be attached to it, and we can also blur or remove any signature which appears in the image itself.

Questions? Concerns? Let us know what you think!

ETA November 24: Revisions are now live on the wiki. Thanks!
Editorial Procedures
Image Policy
Monday, October 3rd, 2011 07:58 pm
The wiki committee has been working on some additions and clarifications to our FAQ materials and policy pages. We present all three of them below, for your perusal and commentary. We look forward to your feedback; if there are no objections, we'll make these changes within the next few days.

Proposed image policy addition: I am a fanartist, and I object to some of my work being displayed on Fanlore. What can be done about it? )

Proposed addition to the Identity Protection page )

Proposed changes to Editorial Procedures page )
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 10:59 am
There have been some questions lately about our image templates and about what constitutes an "explicit" image (see our previous post on Image Policy FAQ revisions.)

Just to be clear: use of the image template is not optional! If someone posts an image without the template, we will edit the image page to use the template (if it's brought to our attention.) Please feel free to let us know if you see such an image posted, and/or feel free to edit the page to include the template yourself.

We've answered the question "What kind of images can I expect to have warnings on Fanlore?" with the response "Images that are sexually explicit, depict rape or sexual assault, or depict people or characters who are underage engaging in sexual activity should have warnings on Fanlore." After some discussion, we've come to the conclusion that we define “explicit” as “sexual activity with visible genitalia.” (We borrowed that definition from the Archive of Our Own TOS.) We have edited the image policy to make that clear.

If you have concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to let us know!
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 12:36 pm
Hi all. Many thanks to everyone who commented on our previous draft of the image policy FAQ! Here's a new version of that FAQ. Note both the revisions to preexisting questions, and also the brand-new question and answer about Fanlore's Creative Commons license and whether it applies to fanart.

As before, we welcome your responses; Wiki committee members, Board members, and members of the Legal committee will be keeping an eye on this post so we can answer questions to the best of our abilities.

Revised FAQ under the cut )
Thursday, October 21st, 2010 09:19 am
Hi everyone! We've been hard at work on refining our proposed Image Policy FAQ, and at long last, here it is -- below the cut. We hope that it answers your questions about images on Fanlore (ranging from "How do I add an image to a Fanlore page?" to "What kinds of images on Fanlore can I expect to have warnings?") Along with this FAQ, we're debuting a set of image templates which we hope will make the uploading of images (along with their meta-data) easier.

We welcome questions, comments, and feedback on the FAQ and on the image templates. Members of the wiki committee and members of the Board will be keeping an eye on this post and we'll do our best to answer questions in a timely way. RL does occasionally keep one or another of us offline; thanks in advance for bearing with us.

With no further ado...

Image Policy FAQ )
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 06:35 pm
A few days ago the wiki committee posted an Intro to Fanlore FAQ draft for comments. In response to some of the feedback received on that post, the committee and the Board collaborated on revising one of the extant questions into two. (What was formerly question 10 is now Q10 and Q11; the previous question 11 will now become Q12, and so on.) Here's the revised material; let us know what you think!

10. I just discovered that there’s something about me on Fanlore and I feel ambivalent about it. Help?

First of all, we want you to know that everything on Fanlore is there because someone thought it was awesome, interesting, and worth mentioning. If someone wrote something about you, or about something you participated in, that’s generally a compliment.

It may feel strange to see your fannish name or your fannish history chronicled in this way. Many of us first came to fandom in an era when it was customary to “fly under the radar” — we’re used to a certain presumption of invisibility. But on today’s internet, fandom is no longer invisible. The history of fandom is already being written — often by outsiders to our communities. Our goal is to make sure that our version of our history is preserved. We believe that telling our story together is the best way to celebrate who we are and the awesome things we’ve created.

If an article has your legal name or something else that outs you or puts you into any danger, let us know immediately and we’ll fix it.

If you’d like to talk about any of this, drop us a line — we’re happy to chat with anyone about this any time, and we hope we can help you feel more at-ease. We’re here to serve both the fans who passionately want to preserve our history, and also the fans who may be startled by the idea of creating this multi-authored fannish history in a publicly-visible way.

11. There’s an article about me (or something I participated in) on Fanlore and it’s wrong! / biased! / incomplete! Can I delete it?

You can’t delete it, but you can edit it. Wikis improve through collaboration, so the way to deal with an inaccurate or incomplete entry is to add more details and perspectives to it.

If the information is just factually wrong—e.g. someone said you started writing Highlander in 1997 and it was actually 1998—you can go in and fix it. (Let us know if you need help creating an account on Fanlore; once you have an account, you can edit the page in question, and you’re welcome to also add other material to the wiki as well!)

If the information seems biased or written from a perspective you don’t agree with, you can add a countering viewpoint. Bracket the information you don’t agree with with a phrase like, “Some fans say,” and then add something like, “But others say,” or “But MY_NAME argues,” and make your own point or add a different perspective.

Remember, most people create pages on Fanlore about people and works they think are interesting and important. If you or your work show up, it’s typically a compliment.

And remember, too, that if an article outs you or puts you in any danger, you can let us know and we’ll take care of it right away.
Saturday, September 18th, 2010 02:39 pm
By request, we've updated the Capitalization policy for page titles to reflect actual usage on the wiki:

In general, Fanlore follows "title case" for article titles, meaning prepositions and conjunctions are not capitalized. For example, see Letter of Comment and Jeeves and Wooster. There are two exceptions to this rule:

* Names (of persons, organizations, or works) with an established pattern of capitalization, such as bell hooks or due South.
* Disambiguation phrases. Some page titles are disambiguated with parenthetical phrases, such as Alexander (film) or The Horse-Tamer's Daughter (filk zine), that should not be capitalized unless they are proper nouns (e.g. Sherlock (BBC)).

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the new rule.

Although it looks like most articles already conform to the rule, there are some articles that will need to be moved. [shameless plug] If any regular users are interested in doing cleanup on this, you are encouraged to sign up to be a gardener! [/shameless plug]
Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 04:50 pm
Hi everyone! The Wiki Committee is in the process of revising our policy documents to put them in a more user-friendly FAQ form. We've got several of these in the works right now and will be sharing them here as each one is completed. Here's what we've been calling the "Intro to Fanlore FAQ." It represents a summary of some existing policies that (we hope) allows new editors to quickly get a sense of how Fanlore works. We offer it for public comment below; please feel free to ask questions or make comments, and we'll do our best to answer you in a timely way!

Please note that we may not be able to respond to your questions this weekend, because some of us (me included) will be offline for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Thanks for bearing with us.

With no further ado...

Intro to Fanlore FAQ

1. What is this Fanlore thing all about?

Fanlore is a wiki with a mission -- to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations -- WAIT, we'll come in again!

Our mission is to record the histories, experiences, traditions, and transformative works of a wide variety of fan communities. Anyone can contribute. This and our other FAQs will (we hope) answer some of the questions that may arise as you read around the wiki and ponder what you want to add to it.

2. Who can make or edit a new Fanlore page?

Anyone can do it! \o/ All you need is to register for an account (it's easy and automatic, we do this mostly to protect against spam), and then you will see "Edit" links on existing pages, and if you search for a page about a topic and find it doesn't exist, you'll be invited to create a new one.

3. I'm not a great writer. I'm worried I'll mess up someone's nicely written page.

Don't let that stop you! Wikis like Fanlore depend on multiple people adding their thoughts and experiences to existing articles and we understand that people have different writing styles. It doesn't have to be a perfectly smooth insertion. And keep in mind, too, that there are people out there who just enjoy copy editing, and that's a way to contribute to the wiki too (so don't worry about the page being uneven or about typos — someone else will enjoy fixing those.)

4. But I don't have time to write and format an entire dissertation on X event!

You don't have to write a formal paper of any kind in order to add to the wiki. Every memory, link, fact or description you add, no matter how large or small, helps to build a better picture of a fannish experience. You can add a detail or an example: e.g. adding a story to a list of notable Snape/Draco stories, or adding your recollections of a panel to a page about a con. You can even add your experience as a quote, like: YOUR_NAME remembers it this way: "[Your experience in your own words here!]"

5. I want to tell a story about something that happened at the con I went to, but I don't want to write an entire article about the whole con. Is that worth posting?

If you think it's worth remembering, then it's worth posting! Again, you don't have to write any more than you are comfortable with. Remember that someone else can come along and add their own experiences as well.

6. Do I have to write only about well known stories/vids/artworks?

There is no "notability" requirement on Fanlore: the only requirement is that a person cares enough to create a page for a fan/work/event. If you think the story/vid/artwork/fan deserves a page, then she does or it does!

7. I don't code. Coding scares the kittens out of me.

You're not alone! One of the most useful pages for a quick reference is the Cheatsheet which has simple directions on how to do headers and links and such using the wiki coding. Many people keep this page open in another window while they write. But again, it's more important that you make your contribution than you make your contribution, edited perfectly. We can always clean up and format the page later.

8. Hey! I posted an article on that thing that happened and someone's gone and changed what I wrote.

Remember that although you wrote the article (even if the article is about you), nobody "owns" a wiki article. By contributing to the wiki, you agree to let other users edit your work. We hope that each edit will improve, amend, correct, or just diversify the viewpoints on a particular subject, which again, will help to build a better picture of a fannish experience. However, if a later editor has changed what you wrote and made it inaccurate, you can edit it again to present both points of view. A good formulation is, "Some fans say... "But other fans say..."

8. There's an article on Fanlore that says X happened because of Y and that's totally not how I saw it at the time. What makes them the authority?

If someone has posted an article on Fanlore that you believe is inaccurate, incomplete, or one-sided, we encourage you to add to the article and help it to reflect a Plural Point of View.

9. What do you mean by Plural Point of View?

While there are some bare facts associated with any event (names, dates, etc.) we believe that the history of fandom is a collection of personal experiences and interpretations, many of them passed along as part of an oral tradition.

In a nutshell, the Plural Point of View policy contends that all the interpretations or experiences are of interest and should be recorded, so when you're writing your article for the wiki, avoid making sweeping generalizations ("All fans believe...") and use qualifiers and non-judgmental language. For example, "To some fans, X event was the best thing ever," leaves open the opportunity for other fans to come in and explain that they didn't think it was the best thing ever. But in a non-judgmental way. "Fan group A, who thought this was the best thing ever, are clearly crazy-cakes," does not allow for a plural point of view.

10. OMG, there's an article about me /something on Fanlore and it's wrong! / biased! / incomplete! Can I delete it?

Someone is wrong on the internet? Impossible! But no, you can't delete it, because that's not how wikis work. Wikis improve through collaboration, so the way to deal with an inaccurate or incomplete entry is to add more details and perspectives to it.

If the information is just factually wrong--e.g. someone said you started writing Highlander in 1997 and it was actually 1998--you can just go in and fix it.

If the information seems biased or written from a perspective you don't agree with, you can add a countering viewpoint. Bracket the information you don't agree with with a phrase like, "Some fans say," and then add something like, "But others say," or "But MY_NAME argues," and make your own point or add a different perspective.

All that being said, if an article has your legal name or something else that outs you or puts you into any danger, let us know immediately and we'll fix it. And remember, most people create pages on Fanlore about people and works they think are interesting and important. If you or your work show up, it's typically a compliment.

11. I've got the real scoop on X event from a friend's journal, but she locked it, so not everyone got to see it. It's all totally true, though. Can I post that?

If the post has always been locked, then you can't post or link to it. However, if it was unlocked (ie public) at some point (and is now locked) then you can quote from it or link to a saved screencap of it.

12. What is fair use?

Fair use is a provision of U.S. copyright law that says that we can use copyrighted material without permission in appropriate circumstances. Fair use favors commentary, quotation, and critical analysis, as well as preservation of the historical record. Images, for example, can be part of an article to illustrate a point in the article.

13. It sounds kind of like anything goes around here. What is just plain not okay on the wiki?

Sockpuppets (each user may have only one account on the wiki). Also vandalism (any additions made in an attempt to damage the wiki) and spam (advertising which invades our fannish space). These are not a few of our favorite things, and we will delete them with abandon.

The other thing that's not permitted is "outing" another fan. We know that many fans are careful to keep their pseudonymous fan identities separate from their real names, and we want to respect that. If we discover that someone's identity has been exposed, the page will be reverted and the history removed, and we reserve the right to ban anyone who outs another fan.

14. But what if someone's comfortable linking their two identities?

If you can point to a statement made by that fan, on an account that they control, where they've publicly expressed that they're fine with linking their two identities, then you can link those identities on a wiki page.

If you want to link your own realname and pseudonymous identities, you can log in to the wiki using OpenID, demonstrating that you own the identity you're exposing.

But our general assumption is that identity exposure is unwanted. Please respect your fellow fans.

15. What if I disagree with another user's assertion about something?

You can always edit a page to include more points of view. If you disagree with someone's edits, you can use that article's Talk page to chat with the page's other editors. If you can't come to an agreement that way, you can contact a Gardener or Administrator for help.

16. I have a specific concern that isn't addressed here.

Please contact us! Our goal is to make Fanlore a fantastic resource and fun to use and contribute to, and we want to help if you are having issues. Contact the gardeners Contact the wiki committee

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 12:16 pm
We've got a few policy updates ready to see the light of day (alas, the image policy draft is not one of them, due in part to recent legal developments -- see the board post). First up is an overhaul of the Administrators page. Administrators were a separate category of users that was described on a page back in the beginning of the wiki, but somehow never got implemented. The Administrators' role is to manage users and help implement the policies set by the Wiki Committee. In practice, the Committee has taken on some of these responsibilities, but there are still gaps between what the Gardeners and the Committee have been doing. (The committee's main tasks are setting policy and working with Systems on technical issues. The Gardeners' main tasks are watering, weeding, pruning, and sometimes replanting the many species of articles that grow in our beautiful wiki garden.)

So! We have compiled a list of tasks that outline what admins can and should do to help the wiki run smoothly. However, nothing is set in stone! Please take a look and let us know if these tasks make sense or if there are still gaps in who is responsible for what. Or if you have questions. Or something else.

At this point, the difference between admins and the committee is still a bit theoretical since the only people acting as admins at present are on the committee. So this post is also a call for volunteers. To qualify for Administrator, you'll need experience as a gardener. But anyone able to regularly visit and monitor the wiki is welcome to become a Gardener.

Who wants to be a gardener or an admin? You can send an email to wiki@transformativeworks.org or gardeners@fanlore.org to sign up.
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 09:07 pm
The wiki committee has decided to drop the previous policy of adding a page to not just the most specific category, but to every parent category in the hierarchy above that child category. Previously, a page on fanfiction would have been categorized under "Fan Activities" as well as "Fiction Writing". However, as users have pointed out, adding pages to their parent and grandparent categories has resulted in top-level categories that are too heavily populated to be useful for browsing. The new procedure is to add pages only to the most specific categories that fit and not to their parent categories. For example, a fanzine page would get the "Fanworks," "Zines," and "Fiction Writing" categories, but not the "Fan Activities" or "Print Media" categories.

Because categories are automatically included with some templates, the templates will be checked to make sure they comply with the changes. Feel free to add a comment here if you see a template that needs its categories fixed.

An exception to the new rule: We want to keep main fandom pages in the "Fandom by Source Text" category (where they are now) until we've finished the fandom category project.
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 08:26 pm
I'm posting this here before adding this to the policy.

There are some smaller decisions the wiki committee has made:

  1. Sorting the Fandom Categories - We will sort by the default letter sort. Except where the category is a non-fandom category: Books & Literature, Movies, Real People, etc…

  2. We will create a zine (or fanworks, or communities) sub-category if there are more then 15 pages in the fandom category.

  3. RPF categories. We are going to go with Real People as the main category and then Actor RPF, Music RPF, Historical FPR, and then by fandom (person) categories.

  4. If there is a list of zines that is a subpage of the main category, it will become a top-level page under the category and if there are more than 15 zines on that page, a subcategory will be created.

Some examples:

  • Harry Potter/List of Challenges becomes List of Harry Potter Challenges and is put into the Harry Potter Category.

    Since it has more than 15 challenges listed on the page, the separate challenge pages will only appear in the Harry Potter Challenges Category and not in the main category.

  • For Star Trek, a main category will be created and then subsequent subcategories with Star Trek TOS, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek AOS, etc.

  • For each of the Star Trek subcategories, there will be subcategories such as zines, challenges, communities, etc.

  • The same rules apply, if there are more than 15 pages for any subcategory then they should not be listed on the main subcategory (Star Trek TOS). They should be listed on the secondary subcategory (Star Trek TOS fanzines).

If there are more questions about how to do things, ask them in comments, and I'll either answer or take them back to the committee.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 08:33 pm
As Meri commented in an earlier post, we've been working on several projects in committee, and we're far enough along now to ask for your input on a few things. Today, I wanted to ask you to read and comment on a draft of our new Image Policy, which we've posted for discussion on Fanlore.

and the longer explanation is under the cut, of course )
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 04:51 pm
We have posted the revised version of the Fandom as Category policy change Here to the Fanlore wiki. We invite discussion on it. Please post your comments here on Dreamwidth. If there are no problems or issues that require a change, the policy will become final in seven days after posting (4/28/2010).

At that time, we'll start adding the fandom categories and we'll put out a call for help with moving and changing the pages the need it.
Friday, March 19th, 2010 06:30 pm
We've posted the Fandoms as Category policy change to the policies section of Fanlore. We'd like to open it up for comment. You can find it here.

We, the wiki committee, don't work in a vacuum and would like your input on this. If possible, We'd like to have the discussion here on Dreamwidth. It's easy to answer questions and respond to comments. If discussion becomes unwieldy, we can schedule a chat in the Fanlore chat room.

This is only the first of several policies we're working on and are planning to put out for comment in the next few months. So, let us know what you think.
Sunday, October 4th, 2009 06:48 am
Having discussed the concerns [personal profile] ratcreature and Mrs. Potato Head voiced in this post, and given the excellent points they made regarding searching, artists, and authors' name changes, the Fanlore committee agreed to change our policy on fanwork articles' titles: Story Title - Author will be changed to Story Title, with disambiguation pages created as needed.

I'll be going though the wiki myself over the next few days and moving all the pages; if anyone wants to give a hand—especially with changing mentions to fanworks in other pages to each article's new title—your help would be much appreciated! :D