Fanfic Pocket Archive app - scraping stories from AO3

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So, a good friend alerted me to this app, available from the Apple App Store. (The Google Play link returns as a 404, so Google may have taken this app down.)

But, from the developer’s own words:



This app is an UNOFFICIAL fanfiction Reader for the Archive Of Our Own (AO3) site. I created it because I am a fan of fanfiction, and I wanted to help people access the stories they love. No subscription is needed to use this app. Downloading and using this app is not a substitute for getting an Invitation to post stories on AO3; nobody needs an Invitation to read stories on AO3, or give kudos. Archive Of Our Own is created, hosted and maintained by a team of volunteers, and they do not ask anyone to pay to share or read stories on the site. If you are kind enough to give me a "tip" that money goes to me, not to The Organization for Transformative Works or AO3.


Link to the app:

The friend who alerted me says AO3 isn’t willing to do anything, but they have requested a takedown for their stories that were scraped and published in the app’s library. Let’s see how that goes.

Now, here’s my little rant. The app provides for an optional monthly subscription service, and as we all know, the idea of making money IN ANY FASHION from fan fiction violates copyright law, vis-a-vis the Fair Use Act provisions by which we all get to write our fan fictions. The developer asking for “tips” is also a clear violation of Fair Use, in my opinion. It’s why we don’t allow Patreon or other self-funding services to be linked on AFF’s archive. (Obviously, AO3 has a more generous interpretation of the law than I do, but then again, they have a deep-pocket not-for-profit backing them, and a legal team for when issues arise, so take that for what you will.)

I took my stories off AO3 some time ago because I find their moderation uneven and biased, so I might not have a dog in this particular fight, but it’s worth sharing, I think, in case any of our authors want to check for their works posted on AO3, and scraped by this app.

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It looks like the Google Play Store axed it, probably due to complaints. But, yeah, it’s amazing how many people will download something like this. How hard is it to just go to AO3? They must have a mobile version by now. Even we do at AFF, and ours works, based on the number of “butt-dial” reports I get in the staff email. :lol: 

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As of March 21st, when everyone is home and bored, my stories have not been pulled down! (the about page is no longer clickable either)

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