Below is the note I sent to them just now, for the record. I will say up front that I don't currently have the resources to explain what I mean or elaborate regarding cultural shifts and the way they relate to the demise of old publishing models. So if you ask me, I'm not even going to try, haha.
Hi, hi! I've been a contributing member of the OTW for the last 2 years, and I feel very strongly that the OTW *should* allow original fiction to be posted at the Archive. To me, the main engaging characteristic of fan work is not the what, aka its relationship to canon, but the how: a mode of distribution and access by which *collective* ownership and dissemination of ideas is experienced. I believe in and support the OTW not only because I believe in its support of protection of works produced under the fair use clause, but also because I believe the OTW is dedicated to promoting new forms of access and ways of exploring collective and community culture.
There are people all over the web who are writing and distributing original works free of charge, under Creative Commons licenses and other access models. I do not believe that the model of collective access and free distribution that the Archive allows should only be limited to fan work. For one thing, there is already an ever-blurrier overlap between the people who create fanwork and the people who create original work; for another, in general I believe in the spirit of "more is better" when it comes to who can access to cool stuff like books and stories and art and technology and fiction archives.
And the main reason, which is complex but crucial, is that I firmly believe, and have for years, that the OTW is part of a major ongoing cultural shift in ways of looking at, and thinking about, how content of all forms is distributed and who has access to it. The old publishing models are falling apart daily, and the idea of what it means to be a "creator" of original work is becoming more and more flexible and multi-faceted. The guarantee of a community of support for creators is a huge part of what fandom is about; but it does not necessarily mean that *only* through fan-produced works can that community be enervated and enriched. I believe that there is a definite place in the Archive for original fiction; and in fact it is naive not to realize and understand that a huge part of what already exists in the Archive, under, for example, the Yuletide "fairy tales" category, is not in fact original fiction clinging to its fannish roots by virtue of modesty.
In short, more is better; more is awesome; and I hope very much that the OTW will choose to embrace an open-door policy with regard to original content on the A03.
Thank you guys as always for all that you do. I'm very proud to call myself a member.
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