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Published:
2021-05-12 12:46:43 -0400
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OTW recruitment banner by Blair

Can you copyedit or proofread for Transformative Works & Cultures? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • TWC Volunteer Copyeditor - closing 19 May 2021 at 23:59 UTC
  • TWC Volunteer Proofreader - closing 19 May 2021 at 23:59 UTC

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

TWC Volunteer Copyeditor

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics that seeks to promote dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Copyeditors professionally copyedit submissions for TWC according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Editorial standards are those of a university press. Applicants are required to pass a brief test. All returned tests will be assessed and the applicant provided with feedback.

Applications are due 19 May 2021 

TWC Volunteer Proofreader

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an international peer-reviewed Gold Open Access online publication about fan-related topics that seeks to promote dialogue between the academic community and fan communities. Proofreaders carefully proofread the final online HTML-tagged manuscripts for online publication according to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17, Merriam-Webster online, and the TWC style guide. Editorial standards are those of a university press. Applicants are required to pass a brief test. All returned tests will be assessed and the applicant provided with feedback.

Applications are due 19 May 2021 

Apply at the volunteering page!

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Banner of a paper airplane emerging from an envelope with the words 'OTW Newsletter: Organization for Transformative Works

I. OPEN DOORS ANNOUNCEMENTS

Open Doors released two announcements for the upcoming imports of two Lord of the Rings archives, West of the Moon and Lord of the Rings Fanfiction. Thanks to Communications and Translation for their assistance publishing these posts! These mark the eleventh and twelfth archives whose imports have been announced in 2021, with more to come soon.

Open Doors' import assistant team has also been hard at work compiling creators/works tracking spreadsheets and tags mapping spreadsheets for three archives: Land of Dreams, Weaver of Dreams, and The BuffyGiles Fanfiction Archive. These spreadsheets help us keep track of honoring requests from creators about their works, systematically search the Archive of Our Own for existing copies of works that would otherwise be imported as part of an archive import, and (with help from Tag Wrangling) map the tags used on an archive to the appropriate Archive of Our Own canonicals for use during the import process.

Finally, Open Doors' technical staff and volunteers have been making significant progress improving our eFiction processing code and applying it to several archive imports! Stay tuned for more imports to come.

II. AT THE AO3

AO3 Documentation is pleased to release an updated Skins and Archive Interface FAQ, which is now live on AO3.

In March, Tag Wrangling wrangled approximately 480,000 new tags - that's around 1,100 tags per wrangler - across approximately 43,000 fandoms. Support received approximately 1400 tickets in March and, at the time of this writing, had received approximately 850 tickets in April, while Policy & Abuse had received about 2,000 tickets to date.

III. ELECTIONS ARE COMING!

In anticipation of the Board of Directors election to take place this August, Elections has been hard at work finalizing the Elections Timeline and releasing additional details about membership and elections. Communications assisted with publishing these posts, and Translation translated both posts into 25 additional languages.

The last date to become a member of the OTW in order to vote in the upcoming election is June 30th! Keep following along for more information about the election and its candidates soon.

IV. ELSEWHERE AT THE OTW

Development & Membership coordinated the OTW's April 2021 Membership Drive, Kudos to You, with support from Communications. Translation also translated the Drive posts into 35 languages. The Drive far exceeded our target goal of US$50,000, raising US$264,918.85 from 9110 donors in 84 countries. We also increased our membership to 16,842 members total. Thanks so much to everyone who donated and signal boosted!

Fanlore has been working on some edits to Help pages, including creating "templates" that will make the creation of new pages easier. One existing template, Vid Pages, has been updated, while three new templates have been created, including Fan Pages, People Pages, and Fanfiction Pages.

TWC is finishing up the work on the September 2021 issue and is reviewing three pitches for guest-edited issues for 2022 and 2023. In addition, TWC will be recruiting again for production roles, so check our volunteering page from time to time or follow our news posts through your social media accounts.

In April, Legal testified at hearings before the U.S. Copyright Office regarding section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This hearing was part of the every-three-year process of renewing and clarifying the “vidders’ exemption” that allows vidders to decrypt DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital sources to make fair uses of video clips. We’ll keep you informed as the exemption renewal and clarification process continues!

Finance also released a budget for 2021 and held a live chat where anyone wanting to stop by and ask questions about the report could talk to members of the committee.

V. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

From 25 March to 25 April, Volunteers & Recruiting received 120 new requests, and completed 112, leaving us with 47 open requests (including induction and removal tasks listed below).

As of 25 April 2021, the OTW has 988 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: jmathieson (Tag Wrangling), May K (Support), Joy_Z (Support), Steph S (Support), Lucy Longman (Support), Aque (Support), JKLM (Support), Alyssandra Maglanque (Support), keluoyi (Support), KehkashanB (Support), stillreading (Support), tova (Support) & 17 other Support staff
New Communications Volunteers: 2 volunteers
Departing Committee Staff: Nerine Luna Cyran (Policy & Abuse), Zoey (Support), C. Ryan Smith (Open Doors), JoJo (Tag Wrangling), & 1 AO3 Documentation Staffer

Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Anne Apocalypse, bre, jeansprout, tread-softly, Wadeye & 5 other volunteers
Departing Translation Volunteers: Harold Liu, Lunabreaker, Mimozka, Paiyan and 2 other volunteers

For more information about the purview of our committees, please access the committee listing on our website.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2021-05-07 11:10:19 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Zixin, who volunteers as a staffer in the Communications Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I first joined the OTW as a Tag Wrangler. Our duty is to categorize user-created tags on the AO3, making it more convenient for readers to search for tags and fics. When the first Chinese wrangling recruits finished their training, I also helped other wranglers translate Chinese tags into English, participated in the Chinese fandom tag project, and discussed proper tag translation with other Chinese volunteers.

Later on, I joined the Policy and Abuse Committee, whose main duty is to deal with user complaints according to AO3’s Terms of Service and its FAQ. We also assist users with their Fannish Next of Kin requests. Of course, as one of the few Chinese staff in the committee, my work also includes helping with tickets about Chinese works. I also translate English emails into Chinese so Chinese users could better understand them.

Last year, I joined the Communications Committee and became one of the Weibo moderators for our OTW account. As a Weibo mod, I interact with users and answer their inquiries via Direct Messages and other channels; I post OTW-related news; and I follow updates about Chinese fandom.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

Mostly, I do volunteer work during the small gaps in my day: translating Chinese tags while queuing, answering Weibo messages before sleep, or checking the complaint updates while in the company of Josie (my beloved kitty). I also often use large blocks of time during weekends and holidays for some "serious business" like cleaning up unwrangled tags, which may require more research and discussion.

Of course, not every week is a typical week! When Chinese fannish platforms tighten up their censorship, we always receive more Chinese tags than usual, and when disputes emerge over certain work(s) in a fandom, Policy & Abuse tends to get more tickets. Last spring, AO3’s connectivity issue in China brought an unimaginable workload for Weibo mods. But in general, I do enjoy the sense of satisfaction and realization of personal value my work brings me.

What made you decide to volunteer?

Though I had been an AO3 user for years, I didn’t know about the existence of OTW from the very beginning. But then I accidentally clicked the “About Us” menu link on AO3 and learned so much about the OTW and its projects, its founding history and development. It amazed me that there can be such an open and friendly place for all fan communities, all run by volunteers who devote their time and effort because of their love for fandoms and fan communities.

When I learned about the volunteering opportunity for the OTW Weibo account, I applied without a second thought. After joining the OTW as a Chinese volunteer, I realized that AO3 and other OTW projects mean so much more than what I thought to the Chinese fandom. I hope that I can widen the bridge between the OTW and Chinese fandom with my own effort. That’s the reason why I joined Policy & Abuse and the Weibo Team.

What's are the biggest challenges you face?

The biggest one is definitely the series of incidents caused by the cutoff of AO3’s connection to Mainland China, which happened in late February last year. During the first few days, I devoted all my time (except eating, attending lectures and a bare minimum amount of sleep) to my OTW work. I checked and replied to tens of thousands of Weibo Direct Messages; assisted our AD&T Committee by checking website connectivity; introduced the Government Firewall to non-Chinese volunteers; discussed work arrangements for Mainland Chinese volunteers with committee chairs; learned suicide intervention techniques; and located professional resources for suicidal users contacting us. I would like to thank my chairs, my fellow Chinese coworkers, and every volunteer and user who went through the hardship with us. Without your encouragement and support, I don’t think I could have overcome such mental pressures.

While the crisis has mostly died down now, the mission to widen the bridge between OTW and Chinese fandom is ongoing. Offering service to fans all over the world has been OTW’s mission, and to realize it non-English speaking fans are always needed.

What fannish things do you like to do?

Reading fics, reading fics, and reading fics! I would be an entirely different person had I not read the piles of fanfiction I devoured over the years. Besides, I occasionally translate my favorite fics from English to Chinese or write some short fics and drabbles that I’ll probably just keep to myself. Recently I’ve been diving into the good ol’ DMBJ (The Grave Robbers' Chronicles) fandom and crying about Pingxie (my OTP).


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Published:
2021-04-30 13:03:22 -0400
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Spotlight on Legal Issues

Of special interest to German fans, as well as other fans in the EU.

Germany is working on implementing Article 17, which makes significant changes in European copyright law. This has created an exciting opportunity to clarify that fan fiction is legal under German copyright law.

The German government has sent a draft bill to the two houses of Parliament. The final vote is planned for the beginning of May. The government proposal makes clear that nonprofit websites like the Archive of Our Own should not be required to get licenses from copyright owners, as commercial websites like Facebook and YouTube will have to do. The draft bill also proposes to explicitly legalize fan fiction, fan art, and many other transformative works, as part of the EU exception for “caricature, parody and pastiche”.

There is one problem, and one risk. The problem is that the proposal includes language that is not required by Article 17 and that could be confusing and unduly restrictive of the ability to engage in caricature, parody and pastiche. This language restricts caricature, parody and pastiche “to the extent required by the specific purpose,” which would invite second-guessing of an artist’s purpose by courts and copyright claimants. Fan fiction, like caricature, parody and pastiche in general, has its own artistic existence and courts should not ask whether a work of fan fiction takes “too much” of the characters.

The risk is that some lobbyists are asking for a remuneration requirement for caricature, parody and pastiche—including fan fiction and fan art—even if they are not posted on commercial websites. The consequences of a payment requirement would be perverse: it would favor commercial platforms over nonprofits such as the Archive of Our Own and Wikipedia. This is because users could freely upload fan fiction, fan art, memes etc. to YouTube or Facebook, because the commercial platform would already be paying a collecting society through the implementation of Article 17, but the same users would have to pay a collecting society if they wanted to upload the same fan fiction, fan art or memes to their personal website or to a nonprofit website such as Archive of Our Own. In practice, the law would strengthen the big commercial platforms by creating an incentive for internet users to close down their private websites, leave nonprofit platforms such as AO3, and move their activities to a Facebook group instead.

We suggest that German fans should (1) ask Members of the German Parliament (Mitglied des Bundestags) to remove the restriction on the caricature, parody & pastiche exception “to the extent required by the specific purpose” and (2) explain how important it is that this exception should not be subject to remuneration. One easy way to do that is to use the portal abgeordnetenwatch.de, whose page on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection shows those members of parliament who will be in charge of this proposal.

We believe that the law should not add an additional condition, not part of Article 17, to the exception for parody, caricature and pastiche, saying that uses should only be allowed “to the extent required by the specific purpose”. This wording only serves to muddy the waters, because it is very difficult for a user to determine the extent of the use of a work that is “required” for the purpose of fan fiction, fan art, and other transformative uses. Likewise, we believe that the law should protect individual fans and noncommercial websites, and fight against the dominance of Facebook and YouTube, by rejecting a compensation requirement for the exception for parody, caricature and pastiche.

Update 5 May 2021: Based on fan response to this post about Germany's impending copyright reforms, we have created a Change.org petition for fans to use, which may provide an easier way to reach the legislator than submitting individual comments in the form of a question to the website (as suggested in the original post). 


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Black and white banner image with Buffy and Giles in formal wear on the left and text reading The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive to their right with a leafy scroll underneath

The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive, a Buffy/Giles fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

Founded in 2007 by Solo84, the Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive initially archived fic from the "New Buffy/Giles Relationshippers" site, but grew substantially larger through later submissions! Eventually, it passed into the hands of Rainne, the current mod. Due to substantially decreased fandom engagement and continued costs of hosting, Rainne decided to close the archive while preserving its works with the assistance of Open Doors.

The purpose of the Open Doors Committee’s Online Archive Rescue Project is to assist moderators of archives to incorporate the fanworks from those archives into the Archive of Our Own. Open Doors works with moderators to import their archives when the moderators lack the funds, time, or other resources to continue to maintain their archives independently. It is extremely important to Open Doors that we work in collaboration with moderators who want to import their archives and that we fully credit creators, giving them as much control as possible over their fanworks. Open Doors will be working with Rainne to import The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all images currently in the Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages.

We will begin importing works from The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive to the AO3 after May.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. The site will then be permanently closed.

Please contact Open Doors with your Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on:

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve The Buffy/Giles Fanfiction Archive!

- The Open Doors team and Rainne

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Published:
2021-04-19 13:09:03 -0400
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Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Kate Sanders, who volunteers as a staffer for the Strategic Planning Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I have volunteered for several years with the Strategic Planning Committee. Our work has been to synthesize the needs of the OTW as best possible into the first strategic plan to guide some internal improvements, then to help implement the goals from that plan by working with committees across the OTW, and now to draft a second strategic plan to continue setting goals for the OTW to aspire to and achieve collectively.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

As a volunteer, I will have a to-do (or a few) assigned during the week to accomplish and our meeting each Saturday. These to-dos could be simple updates to wiki pages or drafting goals or somewhere in-between.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I have been an avid reader of fanfic since college, and several years back, I found myself between school and jobs, needing an outlet for my time and wanting to give back to the fanfic community I lurked in. I applied for the Strategic Planning Committee and found both people and a mission that I have enjoyed supporting since.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

Perhaps a challenge for me has been remembering that everyone volunteers differently: people have different amounts of time to contribute, varied interests and commitments, different ways of participating especially in a chat-based medium, etc. It is wonderful that so much is accomplished with everyone contributing in different ways.

What fannish things do you like to do?

While I enjoy perusing Transformative Works and Cultures, my first and deepest love is burying my nose in a wide swath of fanfics on AO3. I read whatever appeals to me and the well never runs dry. I truly appreciate all the wonderful authors out there!


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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Lotrfanfiction archive banner. View of the Shire at twilight, overlaid text reads 'Lord of the Rings fanfiction'.

Lord of the Rings Fanfiction, a Lord of the Rings fanfiction archive, is being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

The wonderful stories of lotrfanfiction.com once again belong to the Tolkien fan community!

Open Doors will be working with Queen Mab to import Lord of the Rings Fanfiction into a separate, searchable collection on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all fanfic currently in the Lord of the Rings Fanfiction will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from Lord of the Rings Fanfiction to the AO3 after April.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on Lord of the Rings Fanfiction?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. We will then permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Lord of the Rings Fanfiction pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. You have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Lord of the Rings Fanfiction account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the Lord of the Rings Fanfiction mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, or contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Lord of the Rings Fanfiction on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Lord of the Rings Fanfiction!

- The Open Doors team and Queen Mab

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Organization for Transformative Works: Elections News

The OTW Elections committee is pleased to announce that the timeline for the 2021 election for new members of the Board of Directors has been posted!

This year's election will be held on August 13-16. This means that the deadline for staff to declare their candidacy is June 18.

As usual, the election membership deadline is June 30. If you're interested in voting, please make sure your membership is active as of that date. Please note that your donation receipt will be dated in US Eastern Time, so if your donation is listed after 19:59 on June 30, 2021 on the receipt, you won't be eligible to vote. If you are unsure whether your donation was made before the deadline, please contact our Development and Membership Committee by using the contact form on our website and selecting "Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?".

You can find out how to become a member on the Elections website, or if you're familiar with the process, you can donate here!

If you want to know more about the election process in general, you can check out the Elections Policies.

We're looking forward to an active election season with ample communication between candidates and voters, and we hope you'll be a part of it. Don't forget to follow the Elections committee on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news!

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact Elections.


The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.

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