I heard back from AO3 Support. Cesperanza was correct - the reason we cannot use the WayBack Machine/Internet Archives for embedded videos on A03 is because they have not been white listed.
Support Message: “Thanks for asking about video embeds from archive.org. Cesperanza is correct: it’s currently not on the whitelist. Until it is, the video embed will not work. I’ve filed a request for the Coders to consider adding the site to the whitelist, but they have to carefully consider the site security for each whitelisted site. I don’t know when or if they’ll be able to add archive.org. If you have any questions, let us know.“
Since I don’t know when (or if) the OTW will whitelist the WayBack Machine (and I also don’t know whether they will let us know when/if they whitelist), here is my thinking:
1. If your vid is blocked at YT or Vimeo, using WBM as a clickable link to a streaming video is still a workable alternative for your AO3 vid posts. Remember the main advantage to using AO3 for fanvids is to create a single stable link so that when the actual video URL changes you only have to update it in one place (at AO3).
2. Consider uploading your vids to the WBM after you upload them to YT/Vimeo as a free backup because - as we all know our vids can be removed, your accounts deleted and/or the streaming service can go under at any time.
- As a final note, right now AO3 supports video embeds from: Youtube, Vimeo, and BAM Video Vault. BAM will be shutting down in a few days for an unspecified period of time until they can transition to a new host (after they resume service, will they have to petition again to be whitelisted for embedding on AO3???). That only leaves two commercial, for profit services that have a track record of taking down fanvids and deleting vidder accounts without warning. I hope we can get more video streaming services that are friendly to vidding whitelisted on A03. Until then, embedded vidding unfriendly services and clickable links to friendly services is all we have. (BAM Video Vault, please come back soon).
- edited to add: AO3 also supports embeds from Critical Commons. Instructions on how to get an account.