2019 Hugo Awards Clarification

We would like to clarify that the winner of the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work is Archive Of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works.

This category of the Hugo Awards is one which recognizes works that are non-fiction or which are notable primarily for aspects other than fiction. Thus, the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work recognizes AO3 as a project and a platform; the fiction hosted on that site is not the award recipient, nor are the authors of fiction hosted on that site the award recipients.

Further, the only officially recognized 2019 Hugo Award Winner for Best Related Work is Archive Of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works. No natural persons can claim to be a Hugo Award Winner, Finalist, or Nominee for this award on behalf of AO3.

Individual works of fiction on AO3 are eligible for the Hugo Awards in the fiction categories of the corresponding length, for the award year in which they are first published. In addition, the Hugo Awards have Fan Writer, Fan Artist, Fanzine, and Fancast categories which recognize contributions that fans give freely to fandom.

Members of AO3 are welcome and encouraged to promote themselves as “participant in the Hugo Award-Winning project Archive Of Our Own” or “contributor to the Hugo Award-Winning AO3 website”.

The WSFS Mark Protection Committee, which manages the protection of the intellectual property of the World Science Fiction Society, including the mark “Hugo Award,” has issued this statement regarding commercial use of “Hugo Award” by individual contributors to Archive of Our Own, winner of the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work. Examples of commercial use include selling unauthorized merchandise that uses “Hugo Award,” the Hugo Award logo, or any other service mark owned by WSFS, or including claims to being a “Hugo Award winning author” or “Hugo Award nominated author” in a professional resume or on a professional web site.

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5 Responses to 2019 Hugo Awards Clarification

  1. Xenacryst says:

    Look, I haven’t even followed this kerfuffle very closely, and this reads to me as beating a horse that has fled the wide open barn doors, led a long and hard life, and is very, very, very dead by this point. Are you able, for once, to stop being such megalomaniacal gatekeepers and maybe, just maybe, let this go?

    • Kevin says:

      As we understand it, the Mark Protection Committee — which is responsible for protecting the intellectual property of the World Science Fiction Society — is mostly concerned with people making improper commercial use of WSFS service marks, such as selling merchandise with WSFS-owned service marks and making commercial or professional claims about being a Hugo Award winning author. In effect, the MPC is concerned about persons attempting to monetize things to which they are not entitled commercial use. Trade and service marks have to be defended or they lose their effectiveness.

  2. Rivine says:

    In the first sentence of the added clarification paragraph, AO3 is referred to as Archive of Their Own. Even as a hastily-written mistake, given the situation, it’s not a particularly nice error to come across and I hope it can be fixed quickly.

    • Kevin says:

      Thank you for pointing out the error. The first member of the Hugo Awards web site maintenance team who saw this comment corrected it at the earliest opportunity.

  3. Rivine says:

    Thank you (and thanks for correcting my html tag failure as well).

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