Axanar Files Another Motion to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Axanar Productions and producer Alec Peters have filed yet another motion to dismiss in the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios.

Second time is the charm?

The motion, filed on Monday,  is a response to the studios’ amended filing, and claims that Paramount and CBS have still not provided enough clarity regarding which copyrights have been infringed, and they continue to insist no infringement has taken place since the film, Axanar, hasn’t been produced yet.

They also go on the offensive, questioning what rights the studios have to elements like the pointy ears of Vulcans, pointing out that many fictional characters have had pointy ears, “including, but not limited to, vampires, elves, fairies, and werewolves, as well as in many animals in nature.”

They go further, questioning whether elements such as the color of a uniform(like a gold one), geometric shapes (like the Starfleet insignia) and phrases (such as “Vulcan” or “Starship Enterprise”) even fall under copyright.

It is this line of reasoning which leads them to request another dismissal –

Plaintiffs implausibly claim infringement as to elements not protected by copyright, have failed to put Defendants on fair notice of their claims, and seek premature relief.

The stakes for Axanar are big: the studios are seeking up to $150,000 for each potential infringement.  If they were to be found guilty of multiple instances of infringement, the damages could run into the millions of dollars.

Axanar and its legal team, the law firm of Winston and Strawn, have requested a hearing on their request for dismissal on May 9. The entire 31-page motion can be read here.

What does this mean?

To help sort out this out, we spoke to TrekMovie’s very own legal counsel, Susan Kayler.  Kayler, who founded the Artists and Writers Legal Resource Center, explains the rationale behind this new motion:

The motion that was just filed is commonly known as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion which is actually a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. What that means is, if EVERYTHING factual in the complaint is treated as if it is true, there is still no cause of action, i.e., no claim.

So presuming the Plaintiffs own the copyright and presuming the defendants used copyrighted material, is there a claim or cause of action? (Example: I sue you because my tv is black and white. You file a 12(b)(6) motion saying assuming as true that the tv is black and white, so what? There is nothing to sue over.)

What the motion does, however, is argue the facts, again, arguing whether the Plaintiffs had a copyright and whether what they are alleging was copyrightable. Rule 12(b)(6) motions require the presumption that Plaintiffs facts are true (they did have copyrights). This motion (see page 6 etc.) goes on and on about the facts. Determination of the facts is done by the trier of fact at a trial (i.e. the judge or jury) and is not proper argument for a motion like this.

On page 13 of the motion, which discusses “The Star Trek Copyrighted Works”, the Axanar team continues to push for more specificity regarding which studio owns which copyrights as well as more detail regarding the numerous copyright elements from all the television shows and movies:

These arguments seem to be that since there are so many copyrights it’s not Axanar’s fault they infringed them because how can anybody look up that many copyrights? So if you have so many copyrights you can’t sue because the defendant could not have figured out what they were infringing ahead of time because it’s just too complicated???

But here is what is probably really going on. The Federal Law, aka US Code §504(c) provides:

“In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200. The court shall remit statutory damages in any case where an infringer believed and had reasonable grounds for believing that his or her use of the copyrighted work was a fair use under section 107, if the infringer was: (i) an employee or agent of a nonprofit educational institution, library, or archives acting within the scope of his or her employment who, or such institution, library, or archives itself, which infringed by reproducing the work in copies or phonorecords; or (ii) a public broadcasting entity which or a person who, as a regular part of the nonprofit activities of a public broadcasting entity (as defined in section 118(f)) infringed by performing a published nondramatic literary work or by reproducing a transmission program embodying a performance of such a work.”

The motion, in part, is defendant’s attempt to claim ignorance and therefore avoid “willfulness” and higher damages. This seems to be the song they intend to sing. “We didn’t know and couldn’t possibly know” is their defense. Even if there is a copyright violation, we didn’t know. They even suggest that it is too complicated for the Plaintiffs to know which copyrights so how could Axanar have known?

She thinks that ultimately it’s worth filing the motion because “once in a blue moon it actually works.”

To learn more about the lawsuit and the stakes involved, we recommend checking out Carlos Pedraza’s very thorough wiki about the case, AxaMonitor.  He also wrote up an overview of the case for us just last week, which can be viewed here.

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This sort of strikes me as along the lines of, “Tires aren’t a car; an engine isn’t a car; seats aren’t a car… So even is we took all those things, we didn’t take your car.”

Yep – that sounds about right!

We are the independent professional Naval Criminal Investgative Service show the fans really want. And CBS can’t sue us, because the letters N, C, and I, and S don’t, in isolation, prove anything.

Honestly, it’s kind of sad how desperate Alec Peters and crew are at this point. They obviously crossed the line that the other fan productions hadn’t crossed, paying themselves a salary and building for profit assets, and now they are paying the price.

The funny thing is, I was actually a fan of the project. But Alec’s arrogant and rotten attitude to anyone who even slightly questions this situation has pushed me away, and I have heard that same thing from a lot of people. He has ruined a lot of goodwill people had with his bad attitude alone.

That’s the way you see it. I think they’re putting up a really good defense. Also CBS would be better to find some amicable solution as this isn’t the sort of thing you want going on in the 50th anniversary year of Star Trek. That’s if you really care about the franchise and not just your bottom line.

I don’t really understand this argument – which Peters is making too. It’s the 50th anniversary so we should all get along? (ie the studio should back off).

I don’t understand how Axanar is good for the franchise – or how this lawsuit is bad for it.

Jack,

That’s just because you are ignorant of when Paramount decided to take “Star Trek Continuum” out of MSN exclusivity and onto startrek.com, and preceded that with hundreds of Cease And Desist letters from their legal beagles to apparently any fan web site that they crawled mentioning “Star Trek”.

This resulted in the biggest corporate backpedal in history, that I am aware of, as Paramount of then suddenly realized that creating a massive fan backlash might negatively affect their bottom line and promptly let those legal matters fizzle.

How its good? It free advertisement for Star Trek.

Axanar management behavior is free advertisement for Trek, you bet…

…if by that, you mean the idea of Trek fans as being everything every stereotype could project onto “lives-in-basement-fanboys” giving excuses for their hands being caught in a million dollar cookie jar.

Its really the fans, not so much CBS/Paramount, who should put an end to this, by roundly and in vast majority calling out the questionable conduct and disowning it.

Donald Trump is free advertising for the GOP, too. Your point?

Its bad advertising, so it isn’t a good freebie to celebrate, as suggest by #OphidianJaguar.

It’s bad for the anniversary and the franchise as it puts a bad spin on it and a negative face toward the fans. Axanar is free advertising for the franchise and as a labor of love as it shows how much the fans love it. Easy to see. That’s it in a nutshell.

How is Star Trek Beyond good for the 50th Anniversary? I would rather see Anaxar than that piece of crap of a trailer advertised as a Trek film.

What I find interesting is the fact that writers can write books about Star Trek characters, no one cares, even though they make money off their stories. People recreate the ships in graphics programs. Some have even created models of ships and sold them, no one cares. Others have been making shows for the internet, even original cast members have starred in these production, again no one cared. But now Axanar is being sued because they raised over a million dollars from donations made by fans. And because CBS and Paramount didn’t get a piece of that money they are suing. What a bunch of greedy SOB’s.

Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster) has had a license to publish Star Trek books since the 1970s, through agreement with Gulf + Western, which then owned Paramount. That license is still valid with the current owners of the Star Trek trademarks.

Thorny,

What license is needed? Simon and Schuster is OWNED by CBS.

Ugh! Corporate buy-outs and mergers: Pocket Books to Simon & Schuster to Gulf + Western to Viacom to CBS…

Anyway, the point is that the copyright holders are not letting writers publish Star Trek books for free.

Thorny,

You must be young and never heard of fan publishing, fanzines, etc.

And people claiming CBS/Paramount would NEVER buy out an unauthorized fan production to make money off of it are forgetting that the STAR TREK CONCORDANCE was originally an UNAUTHORIZED UNLICENSED fan publication published in a fanzine style two separate volumes with updates which Paramount then later licensed for publication which included many unauthorized pieces of drawn Trek art too.

I’m 52. The first fanzine was Spockanalia, published during the run of TOS. Roddenberry loved it (anything that built up an audience was fine with him). But clearly, no one was making money off it or any of the other xeroxed fan fiction that was mailed around. The Concordance was the first “serious” independent Star Trek publication from a major publisher (the Blish “Log” books and “Spock Must Die!” had been officially sanctioned earlier and published by Bantam) which is when Paramount took back control of the franchise.

It actually sounds like very much the same thing may be happening now with the fan-made productions and CBS. As long as they weren’t making money, CBS was fine with it, but now they clearly are on the precipice of turning a profit. When the dust settles, will CBS begin officially licensing fan productions?

At this point they’d be smart to. As many have pointed out it’s free advertising for the product and a win, win for both sides.

All the Star Trek novels you can buy are real bookstores or at Amazon are licensed, as most of the material you mentions. Sorry, but you are badly mistaken with your argument here.

With the exception of fan films. Everything else is done with the permission of CBS/Paramount.

The other fan films have not being paying everyone working on their projects like Axanar has been doing, nor have they claimed the were making a better version of Star Trek than the studio.

Admiral Baxter,her fan productions pay

You are obfuscating with your broad brush strokes. Axanar doesn’t pay EVERYONE. It has its volunteers too.

And other fan productions pay name actors and other union laborers too.

Actually Disinvited Axanar is the only one paying all of it’s set builders. it’s producer & his GF among others. Other fan films only pay SAG Actors and Directors who are in the union.

Admiral Baxter, “Other fan films only pay SAG Actors and Directors who are in the union.” — Admiral Baxter That’s NOT what this Non-profit app from Continues says and it refutes others’ assertions about sets: http://www.startrekcontinues.com/NonProfitApp.pdf ”In the interest of full disclosure, some of the professional “guest stars,” episode directors (but not if a board member), stage managers, cinematographers, video editors, special effects experts, etc. have been compensated in sums approaching $4000 per year – about $500-$2500 per episode, depending on the skill level.” ”Vic, with the permission of the Board, approves all the compensation arrangements, few though they are, with the actors, directors, camera people et al. who are paid small sums. ” ” Duffy [counsel] obviously has some conflicts being compensated for some of his services. ” “The initial episode cost about $41,500. At first, this debt was “carried” on FFH’s books as an account payable to Vic …. The accountant did not realize $15,500 of the funds came from Steve Dengler. The correct payable should read $26,000 to Vic and $15,500 to Steve.” — I note this solely because it was on the books while donations of time and money were being received and indicative of the problems for donors when the books aren’t open. The two parties owed eventually nullified the debt with no payments to either party. ”However, because both FFH and TCI are both on the accrual system of accounting, there were certain unpaid, but payable (definitely <$10,000 and probably <$1000), obligations for post-production… Read more »

I don’t believe Axanar has claimed they are making a better product. It has been speculated however that CBS may be afraid that they are making what will be perceived as a better product. But I really don’t think Mr. Peters or anyone connected has come out and claimed that.

Wrong. They have. Repeatedly. They’ve also repeatedly said that this isn’t a fan production at all but a professional production – and a launching pad for a new studio to make non-Trek, for-profit professional productions. Their first film was a Trek film because that’s the only way they’d get crowd-funded (Peters has said this), and they thought they could use Paramount’s IP because a) they let fan films exist as there’s not a profit on paper and b) fans would rebel/it would be a PR disaster for the studio if they stopped it. He’s pulled back from this a bit lately, but yeah.

Tiberius,

That’s a subjective target, but it is CLEAR that for a lot of people supporting these efforts including the ones motivated to make these films the superior story IS the superior product, with weaknesses in acting, sets, editing, etc. a lesser consideration because of budget limitations as it was with the original.

Yes, writers do write about Star Trek characters and sell them, but how do you know that they have not sought permission and paid the owners a royalty. That is usually what happens.

I don’t think that some people quite understand what the issues are about, no matter how often many have tried to explain them.

The difference is the people who write Star Trek books have not only permission from the copyright owners, but said copyright owners are making money off the books since they’re officially licensed products. Axanar is not officially licensed.

The one interesting fact here is if this lawsuit really is about copyright infringement, why aren’t they going after Star Trek: New Voyages, Continues, and Farragut? These fan productions blatantly use actual characters, images, symbols, alien races, etc. from the original series to a much greater degree than Axanar. So my question is… What is this lawsuit REALLY about, and why is Paramount/CBS not just coming out ant suing for the REAL reasons? Everybody likes to talk about how Axanar is actually profiting from all of this, but that argument is not found anywhere in the lawsuit. WTF?????? This lawsuit makes no logical sense.,

It’s possible they see Axanar as the easier target (or the largest target or most egregious violator). Once they get a ruling in their favour it would be easier for Paramount/CBS to send C&D letters to anyone else they choose… And they might do that.

Sci-Fi junkie

The suit makes perfect sense.

In the United States the IP holder can sue whoever they want for violating their IP. Their is no regulation within the law that says they have to go after every IP violator.

So they can pick and choose, who they sue.

There is a greater issue than IP infringement IMO which consists of but not limited to:

Star Trek Axanar on multiple occasions claimed to be a “Sanctioned” production according to it’s producers.

Made various claims about having the best Star Trek script ever written.

Made claims that they can make better Star Trek than the studio is able to.

Claimed in August 2015 that they had a meeting with CBS and were given permission to make the movie.

Lastly the openly disrespected the studio by doing all of these while thinking that the studio wouldn’t do anything to them because they haven’t bothered other fan films.

I’ve said the same thing fro the start.

Tommie, your response is idiotic and shows an appallingly poor grasp of how licensing works. Read a book, kid.

Good point. If they went after everyone who’s done this they’d be in a full time job. So what are they afraid of with Axanar?

Im sure Its the quality and the actors involved that are making CBS sweat.

Tiberious- they’re not “afraid” of anything other than setting a dangerous slippery slope precedent. Axanar is earning its creator a salary. Its helped them establish a for-profit studio. It’s licensed its own merchandise and attempted to secure its own trademarks. These and other reasons are what separate Axanar from fan-produced films like “Continues” that are just making it for fun. Axanar is turning it into a business, and that’s where they drew a line.

Torchwood

That unproven assertion, that they made a profit, keeps being thrown around but it is not an issue before the court in the case that was filed by the claimants. In the United States one is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty in a court of law.

What IS known is that another fan production, Farragut, sold sets to Continues, and Continues characterized the deal as Farragut “having them over a barrel” when they raised their asking price. People concerned about unproven profits have just as much reason to ponder if Farragut got more than just the cost of the materials in THAT deal, as well.

Funny how so many of you are blindly rooting for the ‘underdog’ to ‘stick it to the man’ without understanding or even caring to understand what the issues are. CBS and Paramount aren’t afraid of Axanar. And they’re not randomly picking on them either. Axanar broke the rules which other fan productions have not.

Ashley,

Ultimately, Corporate fear is irrelevant as its presence or lack thereof does not indicate the merits of claims one way or the other.

As Paramount continually demonstrated in Buchwald vs. Paramount Pictures, they were and remained brazen and fearless in the face of the court finding them and their practices “unconscionable”. Even tried to paint their loss as a “win” despite the fact that their methods of doing business made public surely cost them.

The issue is that companies pay large amounts of money to licence the right to release books, toys, comics, and so on based on an existing brand. What’s the point if people are crowdfunding insane amounts of money to produce fanfic films to a near-professional standard?

Why bother buying an audiobook read by an original series castmember when you can watch for free a 50-minute episode that looks and sounds like an original TV episode?

End of the day, Star Trek belongs to CBS/Paramoun and it’s their baby, even if some fans think it’s being abused. CBS have been massively generous to these fan productions but, as always happens, someone inevitably has taken things too far and all the fan films are now threatened.

A more ruthless organisation would have shut down all the fan films by now, as is their right, especially with a new film and show on the way.

And, for what it’s worth, I’d love to see Axanar and I love Star Trek Continues, but I accept they’re treading in a grey area. But I tend to side with CBS/Paramount on the issue of their right to shut down people who overstep the mark.

Dom,

BRAND is trademark law which is NOT being litigated.

And this is most definitely NOT the FIRST or only legal action Paramount has taken against the fans, as in more than this one singular action multiply against fans, plural, simultaneously.

Copyright infringement leads to brand confusion so it’s a massive part of the issue. CBS/Paramount along with Pocket Books, IDW and anyone else has the right to kick off when someone is profiting off their copyrighted material or brand.

This isn’t CBS versus ‘the fans.’ This is CBS/Paramount alleging that a bunch of people calling themselves ‘fans’ are profiteering at CBS/Paramount ‘s expense. The owners have been extremely generous with the fan film situation. Given the circumstances, at this rate I wouldn’t blame them for putting out cease and desist orders on all fan productions.

Dom,

In THIS particular case, Peters not only identifies himself as a fan but CBS does identify him, as well:

http://trekmovie.com/2016/03/30/axanar-files-another-motion-to-dismiss-copyright-infringement-lawsuit/#comment-5299177

Thank you !!! Some people on this board do have intelligence.

“These arguments seem to be that since there are so many copyrights it’s not Axanar’s fault they infringed them because how can anybody look up that many copyrights”

Jesus this sounds like a lame defense….

Almost sounds like Alec Peters is defending himself in court ;)

Gads…I’m not a copyright expert, but rather a Trek-content starved fan who would love to see Axanar produced and released. The preview looked so good, so Trek, and had a terrific cast with some very familiar faces. Paramount/CBS has so much money and so many resources from other properties they own. For crumb sakes, let this fan film go forward and let it be an ambassador for the brand.

There have been so many negative comments about other fan films–lousy acting, poor special effects. We finally have one that looks really good. It’s still amateurs, it’s being distributed absolutely free, and it’s a labor of love (with some fan funding to help raise the quality). Heck, other fan films duplicate the original TOS sets in exact detail, use the TOS characters by name, use the same title sequence, the same font, the same music…and silence from the big studio. We get one that looks fresh and original and suddenly, it’s infringing. I don’t care if they raised a lot of money or that some of the folks paid themselves a nominal salary. They are about as much of a competitive threat to Paramount/CBS as a fly is to a lion.

Lousy way for Paramount to celebrate Trek’s 50th Anniversary with its loyal franchise fans…

Hmm. To me the preview looked like a twisted war-like version of Star Trek, which doesn’t fit with Roddenberry’s vision. I’m glad to see that it’s probably not going to happen now.

Good point, but the past two Star Trek movies? Hardly a reflection of Gene’s vision. And judging by the trailer for the next one, it doesn’t even look like it’s in Gene’s ballpark…

I want good Trek, I frankly couldn’t care less about “Genes Vision”.

Well STID certainly deviated from Gene’s vision — agreed. ST09 though I think fits squarely right into TOS Trek.

Who knows about Beyond…we can’t say yet.

Steven,

They lived up to Gene’s vision. It’s just that the fans don’t like change.

Hence they continue to beg for another TNG spin-off…

I really wish thses tired old memes would die already. Gene’s Trek had it’s share of wars, battles, and skirmishes. And fans of Prime Trek are perfectly entitled to ask for what they want: intelligent stories that raise issues and questions to consider rather than Kirk hiding under a woman’s bed, bobbie shots, and MINDLESS run-and-jump that is only there to appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator.

Greg no one is entitled. The trek you wish for doesn’t exist anymore, it’s a different world now and Hollywood goes along with it. And let’s remember a show called the twilight zone asked many of the same questions.

“It’s just that the fans don’t like change.

Hence they continue to beg for another TNG spin-off…” – Admiral Baxter

Illogical, TNG itself was change. How could the FANS who don’t like change, like it?

When TNG first aired there were TONES of protests against it. People pissed off it was not Kirk and Spock. Look it up, Large number of Star Trek fans did accept TNG when it began. The TOS diehards are the opposite of what Star Trek is. Me..I love all the series and all the movies, including the reboot as well as Axanar.

Oh come on with the Roddenberry vision. There were many things in all the tv series that were not the Roddenberry vision. DS9 was a dark series on a space station with people that didn’t get along, yet it was a hit with the public. Nobody cares about that anymore.

Thomas,

Roddenberry was involved with the creation of DS9 (most fans don’t know, accept or realize that).

What I do find ironic is that the reboot’s are closer to GR’s vision than any of the spin-offs.

Maybe so but even in DS9 the underlying meaning, morality, the right thing to do was always present, and THAT is what matters. That was his vision. No matter how dark it got, if there was morality there and people did the right thing…THAT was the bright future, THAT was the golden age. Also Roddenberry’s visions was about peace on Earth between humans first and foremost. There will always be an adversary out there.

GENE’S vision of Trek was the first two seasons of TNG. He created it, but he didn’t make it what it became. The TOS movies were so good because they booted him out and Harve Bennet took over.

So I don’t mind when Trek stays out of Genes ballpark.

Joe,

TNG was Gene’s vision 2.0 but not of Trek. It was him using TREK as he had used WAGON TRAIN to get his GENESIS II and QUESTOR TAPES stories and concepts on the air. I found the machinations behind the scenes fascinating as an intellectual exercise but always felt the Trek aspects of it suffered because of it.

It was a mixed bag for me. It evolved and entertained me, but ultimately never slaked my thirst for Trek storytelling.

Prodigal Son,

Since it takes place in the Roddenberry vision’s past, by definition it HAS to be a more primitive form of what it evolves into later. It CAN’T be the same.

When THE VOYAGE HOME went back to 1980’s Earth it was a twisted war-like version of STAR TREK’S Earth which did fit Roddenberry’s vision nonetheless as it did when they visited it even earlier in TOMORROW IS YESTERDAY and ASSIGNMENT EARTH in the series.

All that I can remember of the preview was of the head of Starfleet or Federation with a booming voice pompously sermonising about peace or something. Meanwhile, it seemed that Starfleet were building an armada (correct usage of the word here) which would make Admiral Marcus’s efforts in building the USS Vengeance warrant that Marcus wear a “sissy” badge.

I was embarrassed to watch the blatant warmongering and hypocrisy inherent in the preview and more so in the explanations from the makers of this preview. YUCK!

Star Trek dealt with war on a regular basis. It fit in fine with Roddenberry’s vision. And, Axanar is simply telling the tale of why Garth is one of Kirks heroes. Garth’s exploits during the 4 Years War is required reading at Starfleet Academy! TOS…pretty sure that was Roddenberry’s vision. I don’t know if Axanar will be made, but I sure hope it is!

I hope it is made as well! :D

Yes it does fit. The story is part of star trek canon. It 8s just been told visually for the first time. Any true trek fan know of Garth. I for one loved the prequel to Anaxar. What is wrong with war ? Deep Space Nine did it tremendously ( best trek in my opinion) i hope these guys can come to an agreement. Why not let peters produce the film and cbs all access can air it as a special movie.

Other fanfilms didn’t build an intended to be for-profit studio using crowdfunding. Peters did.

Yes they did – STC, NV and most other built standing sets with the help of crowdfunded money. They surely will rent their sets out if someone comes along that wants to use them – same as Axanar. So there really is no big difference. All this “future for profit” is just hot air at the moment.

Northstar,

Axanar itself points out the key differences between their crowdfunded studio and the other fan productions’. The AxaMonitor article, “Axanar Myths,” substantiates this with the annual report, the three crowdfunding campaigns and the official Axanar podcasts. http://axamonitor.com/doku.php?id=axanar_myths#myth_2axanar_built_a_for-profit_studio

As I said, that was and is all hot air and wishful thinking of the Axanar people. Fact is, they rented a warehouse and built their sets with crowdfunden money – exactly the same as most other fan productions do.

northstar,

Exactly, all the parties, plaintiffs and defendant, employ carnival barkery and puffery in their daily business. Peters public pronouncements aren’t the only ones that will be subject to court examination. If Peters’ team does their job well, those two corporate entities previously fused “unconscionable” sworn testimony in a previous precedent setting copyright case will be examined for inconsistencies in this court as well.

So far that’s one of the most intelligent responses I’ve read here. Having fan films that are well done will promote the product and in the end make more money for the franchise not less. The same type of argument came up during the early 80’s with the VCR. At that time Jack Valenti claimed in a testimony to congress ” I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone. ” The future would prove that home video didn’t kill the theater ( although their high prices are threatening it ) but actually made more money for the studios and did a lot to promote film producers. CBS and Paramount’s claims on the product are complicated by the fact that history of ownership of ST is convoluted as it’s changed hands ( and been split up ) over the years. Now CBS owns the TV rights and Paramount owns the movie rights and even they can’t agree on things. That’s why the TV show has to wait until 2017 as enough time has to go by after the new movie. Is this any way to run one of the biggest franchises ever? They should look for an agreement with Axanar for free promotion of their product. It is the 50th year after all if anyone involved cares that is.

@Tiberius, agreed!

It’s all about the money! Axanar Productions raised 1 Million dollars through fan donations. Even though other people are still creating new material doing just what Axanar P. did thay are not being molested ie sued. The old adage “Money talks, bullsh-t walks” is so true. CBS and Paramount want what they consider their rightful due. Which is a big piece of that million dollar pie. I hate to say it but they will win and the fans will lose once again.So sad.

That’s laughable. Axanar will go through whatever is left that million is now time with the legal costs from their ridiculous defense on this case…especially given I would bet that Peters is still paying himself.

Of course he is. Every cent of that money should be seized. His accounts should be frozen until the trial is over. If that puts him out on the street, that’s a good outcome.

He should be forced to return the money to the donors.

They don´t pay a dime on their legal defense. They got a pro bono representation.

I am talking about all the time Axanar staff are spending on this legal stuff — I doubt they are doing all that support week to the legal team voluntarily.

Pro-bono does NOT! Mean completely free at no cost to the party who they are representing.

This means the billable hours for the law firm have been waved but the other expenses such as court Filing costs, courts fees, third-party service fees, courier fees, travel expenses stuff like that. All they got is a free lawyer, everything else that costs have to come out of their pocket.

So what does that mean well tbh i am not totally sure as Alec himself may! Be paying for this out of his own pocket or this money may be coming from the nice amount of money that has been raised by donors.

SO the claim by Alec Peters of “no donor money will be used for legal costs” may or may not be true only Axanar knows this.

Either way this is not a good thing as unlike CBS/Paramount who have millions in a legal budget (at a guess it may be more or less but you can be certain they will not run out of money before Axanar do)Axanar do not have this thus meaning at some point the money that they are using will run out and mean the legal fight will become untenable to them which will leave them with only 3 options but to stop the fight, Hope W&S wave all costs or hope they can get free legal aid.

That’s what I’ve read. I guess a lot of people here haven’t been following what’s been going on before they comment..

Northstar,

Not quite true. Pro bono extends only to the hourly rates normally charged by the attorneys. Axanar still must pay for any non-personnel-related and third-party expenses. When the case moves to discovery, those costs will start to mount.

http://axamonitor.com/doku.php?id=winston_strawn

Interesting. I would guess – out of my own interactions with attorneys – that the hourly rates are probably 90% – 95% of the total sum. Can´t think of any non-personnel expenses they may have had until now. And I´m sure its in Peters own interest to keep that costs down to a minimum, in case there is an amicable solution to this and he gets the chance the produce anything with the remaining money.

And with their laughable motions to dismiss, he is getting what he paid for.

No, it’s not about the money. It’s about one self absorbed fan who stole a million from other fans under the guise “we’re making a better Star Trek movie than the studio” When asked to stop by CBS/P he gave them the finger and continued to do whatever he wanted thinking that they wouldn’t sue.

IP infringement is just icing on the cake….

This exactly. I want to see Peters living in a refrigerator box down by the river. He’s trying to destroy ALL fan productions and salt the earth because CBS/Paramount is taking away his gravy train that he stole.

Sorry I don’t see it that way at all. Peters has actually performed in other fan productions ( like New Voyages as Garth ) multiple times. So your comment there doesn’t make sense.

Once again can you show where they’ve said they are making a superior product? You’ve quoted so does that actually come from somewhere? If so where? Support your comment.

It’s all over the Internet. Look at every comments section on an Axanar story in the last couple of years. Look at Axanar’s blog. Look at Peters’ statements in interviews. He’s said it repeatedly and often – they’re scaring the studio because they’re making a superior product for less money.. . and Paramount has ruined Trek and disappointed fans with the Abrams movies.

I don´t know if he really said this. What he said was that Axanar would probably appeal more to the oldschool Star Trek fan – that was not satisfied with the Abrams movies. And I think it has that potential – and that with a tiniest fraction (under 0.5 %) of the budget of those movies.

Exactly.

Fans donated. He didnt put a phaser to anyone’s head. It is not stealing. Damn churches always asking for money, talking about needed for repair of the church and nothing ever gets done, while the pastor and his family live up. If a partichoner gives money freely, they cant get mad if the church decides to do something else with the money. I am all for peter’s version. Paramount and cbs are some greedy bastards. I hope beyond flops. I will not support it. I am not boycotting it, it just wont get my money at the box office.

I’m sure there is a financial element here: Axanar’s creator’s are profiting off of their IP. That is illegal. At the same time, I don’t see how fans lose. We are still getting new Trek movies and TV shows in the coming years, and other fan productions will continue as they always have.

To be fair, it seems that:

1) A number of the listed infringements would more properly fall under a trademark or a design patent rather than a copyright.

and 2) CBS and Paramount failed to state which claims are brought by which entity as requested.

I imagine it’s important to know which claims are brought by CBS and which are brought by Paramount; without that, there’s no way of assigning damages between them should Axanar go to trial and be found liable.

No, they are copyrighted so people can’t steal them. Some times items are also a trademark.

CBS and Paramount in their revised complaint explained exactly what they brought against the defendants.

The defendants are supposed to try and prove that they didn’t infringe, instead of saying:

“It’s not your property, so we can do whatever we want”

Which is exactly what the second MtD is saying.

Soem of the things they claimed copyright for were outright ridiculous – e.g the name “Terra” or “Scifi Action Movie”. Based on that, I think a good portion of the claims can very much put in question.

Makes not difference if some don’t stick, because a lot of them obviously will end up sticking.

The complaint did not indicate which claims are specifically brought by Paramount and which claims are specifically brought by CBS. It just listed all the claims without separating them by company as requested in Axanar’s previous defense.

This stuck out at me today as I re-read the defense’s Motion to Dismiss the copyright lawsuit against Axanar. They claim they’re putting together a fair use defense and cite three factors they believe weigh in their favor.

Unfortunately, the leave out the fourth factor in copyright law, which the Supreme Court has found to be the *most important* — commercial impact, especially upon a copyright holder’s right to create derivative works.

You can read more about it on AxaMonitor’s article on the Motion to Dismiss and Fair Use: http://axamonitor.com/doku.php?id=motion_to_dismiss#fair_use_defense

There is no Fair Use argument here. I hope those lawyers are just bilking Peters the way he bilked his supporters …

Is there any way the donators could launch a class action and regain their contributions?

I don’t think it’s about the money but about the competition. Here is some little team with a little budget that in the the Four Years War documentary hinted at the kind of “Wagon Train to the Stars” Trek that made the original series fun to watch in ways their million dollar productions have not. Axanar is a sad reminder for fans of how much more entertaining the series could have been. I am a relatively young hard core Trek fan but quite frankly I find everything they put out now boring, uninspiring, soap operish and generally nonsensical. CBS should be trying to finish Axanar and make some coin off of it, not shut it down.

It’s absolutely about the money. None of the other productions have done what the Axanar guys did. Building a studio on donated money, then using it to generate profit is way beyond what CBS considers acceptable. Guess what. CBS’s property. CBS’s call.

Axanar COULD have been entertaining, but it was really just a lure for fan cash to finance a living for a few corrupt d-holes. Now they want to try to argue that NO ONE should be allowed to do fan productions if they are not.

That is entirely unacceptable.

I do think you’re right on there.

love that arguments include deloberations on who owns my uncle’s name. Richard Robau. Maybe he should sue both!

https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-does-not-protect-the-klingon-language-court-hears-160330/

That’s Rich!

LOL

Surely what Axanar/Peters is trying to do with his counter suit is exactly why copyright was introduced in the first place. Basically what Peters seems to be saying is that nothing (or very little) actually belongs to the franchise owners. This can mean that anyone can do anything they want with the names, titles, characters, storylines etc and profit by it, without recourse to the actual owners, who presumably have paid for the right to own these works.

Peters did not create Star Trek, ie what is clearly associated with being part of Star Trek like Vulcan, Klingon, James T Kirk, Spock, Starship Enterprise, Starfleet, UFP, Prime Directive etc – other people did that and many of them did a good lot of hard work to make Star Trek what it is today.

The disrespect and arrogance he continues to show is beyond belief…

“is exactly why copyright was introduced in the first place.” — Keachick

History records copyrights were created so that royal rulers could tax publications by getting publishers to register them with the crown.

I did not know that. However, I think the meaning has changed over time and copyright use has become a way for a writer and/or other to have their own creative works legally protected. Legal protection, through copyright, allows for others to have to seek permission and/or pay a small sum if they wish to use any or all part of what the creator has conceived. The creator can also stipulate how their work may be used, if they grant permission. If there is no copyright in place, then anyone can use an idea etc not of their creation/effort and twist, pervert, perhaps even profit from it, with impunity.

It’s easy to do. One only has to see how TUP and IDIC perverted, twisted part of a story I shared on this site awhile back.

Peters is a con artist, a thief, a liar, and an arrogant a-hole.

“Peters is a con artist, a thief, a liar, and an arrogant a-hole.” — Dandru

Oddly enough, all appelations I’ve heard used to describe Grey and Moonves, as well.

boborci,

So what exactly are you saying? You had Paramount do the proper legal thing and license use of his unique one-of-a-kind name from him?

Just messing around. Wrote the character with my Uncle’s name. Thought nothing more of it. Legal probably went through names and concluded it did’t match any person biographically, meaning of my uncle also happened to be a starship captain, they might have to clear it with him or make me change the name. Just a guess.

boborci,

They’d probably broaden it to anyone with a rank of Captain starship or no.

I can’t be sure and no need to reply to me as any acknowledgement from you one way or the other may unnecessarily intrude upon his privacy and it’s just FYI, but as data flowed across my screen in the normal course of a day, I thought I saw a who’s who entry with middle initial of P. Likely, something initiated by your creative use lead to it.

Many find it an “interesting” experience to search for one’s self:

http://searchengineland.com/scroogles-gone-heres-who-still-offers-private-searching-112275

I may be slow. Don’t understand your post, Am I supposed to search for myself on one of these engines?

boborci,

That’s what I get for trying to be too circumspect.

No, I mean your uncle.

Shouldn’t you ve busy with writing crappy movies and arguing with fans?

Axanar’s defense of “they’re doing it too” is designed to be the a-hole in the school yard and shut down EVERY fan production if they lose. I hope those guys get PERSONALLY financially ruined for trying to turn something good into a personal cash machine for themselves, and then cynically trying to take productions like Continues and Phase II away from fans in a fit of petulance.

Why more fans aren’t going torch and pitchfork on the Axanar guys for trying to ruin it for everyone is a mystery to me.

Seeing as how they admit right on their own webpage that they are using copyrighted elements, I don’t see what this claim gets them.

And I can’t for the life of me figure out why a law firm would waste their time on this case…pro bono or discounted at that.

This is so bizarre to me. You’re making a fan film based on copyrighted characters in a global franchise and ranking in so much money, you are opening a studio to make your own profit off your own content. If I was Paramount, I’d see this is a using our product to make a profit without us seeing a dime. It’s like when folks try to persuade me to torrent movies. It’s theft and no argument changes the fact.

Peters is just an extreme from-hell version of the opportunists that sprung up after the first trek conventions. If you’ve ever read Joan Winston’s MAKING OF THE TREK CONVENTIONS you’ll know of how that Shuster guy split from the original group of fans and started putting on for-profit ones that began the ever-growing squeeze-the-soul-out-of-the-con experience. Look up the so-called ‘Con of Wrath’ from 1982 for another sterling example of what amounts to being a con of a con, salvaged only by the efforts of Bennett and attending cast members.

The dollar amount and the huge ego-greed grab of Peters is only worse by magnitude and because he has apparently been getting away with it on various ops for so long, but this type of activity is, unfortunately, human nature. If Q was going to pull up a representative example of humanity to support HIS allegations, hey, we’ve got a real contender here!

I just sincerely hope that most devotees start looking with better eyes at what they’re buying into in the future. Don’t accept stuff at face value, and don’t assume because a familiar face is on the product that means it is all it is purported to be. Otherwise you’re going to be just as clueless and suckered when it comes to real-world issues that’ll impact you a helluva more than whether the ship can turn left or right while still at warp.

“If Q was going to pull up a representative example of humanity to support HIS allegations, hey, we’ve got a real contender here!” — kmart

To be fair, Brad Grey would be right next to him with Moonves not far behind. But then Philippe Dauman increasing his salary and perks while riding the Viacom H-bomb budget Slim Pickens style as it spirals down Probably has them all beat.

Hopefully enough info will fall out in their court skirmish that Shari can give them all their walking papers.

Everyone who cares enough about this issue to be reading here should listen to the Axanar podcast number 31, of August 30, 2015. mp3: http://traffic.libsyn.com/axanar/ax-031.mp3 , here is the overview page: http://axanar.trekfm.libsynpro.com/axanar-31-the-state-of-axanar

It is an hour and 40 minutes, so if one wants to skip the parts about Axanar critics being trolls from the bottom ranks of noncreatives/wants things for free of society, listen mainly to the first 40 minutes, and the end, around 1:33 on.

a few choice excerpts from Mr. Peters:

you do not want to do things that are gonna piss off CBS. Now, we may well be the worst offender of that. So I may be a giant hypocrite here.

we have to be really smart about what we’re doing, considering that we are using their IP

The fact that the fans, so many fans consider this canon, and in their, in their little head canon, and love it to death and believe that we are carrying the flag of Star Trek, that’s been, you know, basically dropped, there’s no Star Trek on TV, and you know what Paramount’s putting out is more like Guardians of the Galaxy than Star Trek, so fans, you know, love us. And that’s what we’re going for. We want to continue to please the fans, and do as best we can to not offend CBS, and ah, and if they do [laughing] get offended by us, sorry, we’re trying our best, and I think, I really think that Axanar is nothing but good for CBS. They can, and you know, yes, we are using your IP, and you know, you may get upset that we’ve raised so much money, but you know what, we are doing more positive for the Star Trek franchise than anything CBS or Paramount is doing, outside of making a movie.

….and to think that Bob takes a mountain of s**t for disrespecting the fan base.

I think Bob takes sh!t for being a jerk many times and a weak writer.

right?

Reminds me of the old off color joke:

“you fix one toilet, do they call you a plumber? No.

You suck one d^#%…”

Same here. you tell one or two so called fans what to do with their mothers and suddenly I’m disrespectful to all of fandom. Like fans are somehow the Borg collective.

Uh…point of order, Bob.

It hasn’t been just telling Ahmed and whomever else to “f*ck off.” Your whole attitude since 2007, with regard to fans pointing out plot holes, logic problems and other mistakes and weak points in your writing, has been to make sarcastic retorts and dismiss what in many cases has been legitimate, substance-based criticism, with comments like “that’s why I get to make the movies and you don’t.”

And that’s not even getting into the petty sh*t, like popping in just to tell Harry that his script sucks and he’ll never be a writer. So, please don’t peddle the non est mea culpa line. You’ve sucked your fair share of d*cks, to continue your metaphor.

On a personal note, your being sarcastic and dismissive to fans doesn’t really bother me. I don’t take it personally. What bothers me, apart from your stubborn refusal to acknowledge the mountains of evidence presented to you in arguments pertaining to your Trek movies, is how shallow and superficial your writing is. That offends my sensibilities and my intelligence. But, so long as it’s no longer related to Star Trek, then I’m happy to live and let live. I don’t need to watch Scorpion or your other shows.

I was there. Since the movie didn’t come out until 09, you are already misrepresenting. And then, out of the thousands of posts, a handful to roughly the same four people amount to anything resembling what you are saying. Thats .01 percent, and it was always in response to someone as charming as you.

Maybe not since 2009, but certainly since STID came out in 2013. But, it hasn’t been to just the same four people. It’s been with anyone who has had criticism about your Trek movie writing. OF COURSE, you haven’t been sarcastic and dismissive to the people who butter you up! (Is that really your defense?) And, I’m more charming than you with people who raise legitimate issues. I give them the respect of addressing their concerns as though they might have merit. I don’t come here looking for sycophancy and brown-nosing.

Maybe Bob, like a few others here, do not find many of the issues you raise here as being so “legitimate”. You have also freely admitted that you basically ignore posts that don’t agree with your position, even when they point out, through actual examples from the movie you criticise, that what you say is simply not the case.

Just what is it that you do come here for, Cygnus? Is it to get Bob Orci, a well known Hollywood screenwriter/producer, to kowtow, grovel, as he confesses, apologises in order to allow you to feel important? Funny that you accuse Bob Orci of looking for sycophancy and brown-nosing. Projection much. I would have thought it was the other way around.

Cyg makes another great point. He (and others) here have been subjected to rudeness by people who disagree with their opinions. But I dont recall ever seeing Cyg react in the manner that Bob has many times.

Cygnus – I fully expect you to ignore my post but I hope, on this occasion that you won’t. You are so way off, as is TUP. Like Bob, I have been here as well. What you have done above is misrepresent what has actually gone done. Bob just didn’t “pop in”, as you phrase it, just to tell Harry Ballz what he thought of his script. Harry’s ego could not take the fact that Bob Orci had rejected his script (for whatever reason) and then chose to be utterly rude and totally dismissive of anything and everything that Bob (and others involved in the making of these new films) did. In fact, I wondered why Harry,who had been a fairly balanced and humorous individual, had suddenly become so antagonistic and negative. Harry’s sudden change, his rudeness and petulance were here for all to see. If you had been paying any attention, you will know this to be so. Bob may have used the “f” word on occasion, but here you are accusing him of sucking d*cks. TUP has related an *interesting* suggestion or two as well and not just involving Bob Orci…:( It is YOUR opinion that Orci’s writing is “shallow and superficial”. It is not an opinion necessarily shared by other people and there is no reason why Bob Orci should agree with your view. Why do you want him to admit to something that he (along with many others) does not believe to be, for the most… Read more »

Keachick owns again:)

I am typing while ads screen. TV series Scorpion just started 10 minutes ago. The protagonists are attempting to stop a runaway train.
I started watching this series and enjoy. Then I realised it was one of your series. Must go now – show’s back on.
Just saying…

Bob was on the right track with his remark about the plumber…

The only thing she owns is a naivete when it comes to your winking at her.

Wow, TUP, so way off! I do not write what I do, simply to receive a “wink” from Bob Orci on occasion. It is good that he may choose to respond to my posts, but then again, most people are pleased when they receive a positive response to something they have written. If you say I am naive, then so is EVERYBODY else.

Also, don’t some of you just hate it anytime Bob responds to me. One time, Bob shared a joke and other posters were trying to fathom what it meant, which made me think that his wording made use of American slang that I am not familiar with. However, I just went with what I immediately thought he meant and it turned out to be correct. The bitchiness and comments that bordered on jealousy that ensued was something else again. It seems that there is nothing I or Bob can say to each other does not guarantee that someone, usually TUP, will indulge use of the BS quotient.

Just saying…

No one cares Rose. Really.

Really who cares if Bob responds to anyone. I dont go to the movies for the writer….or director.I go for the visual effects.
I love eye candy, even when it is mindless. If there happens to be a good story in there…its a plus. Into darkness was visually stunning. The khan crap sucked major balls however.

At Rose – actually, Cyg’s opinion of Bob’s writing on Star Trek IS shared by MANY people. Regardless of YOUR opinion of STID, it is widely considered to be a poor film. Sure it made lots of money and thats why Bob gets to make films and we dont…but he doesnt get to make Star Trek films anymore, does he? And that’s not because he write a truly epic Trek movie…its the opposite. The thing is, Rose, you are very defensive of Bob because he winks at you once in awhile. Its cute and all and you’re very entitled to your opinion. But you can’t have it both ways. You cant tel Cygnus (and others) their opinion is wrong while maintaining you have a right to yours. Bob was rude to MANY people for no reason other than they didnt like the movie he wrote. We’ve rehashed this many times. He can play the victim card all he wants to now (you’ve done the same thing many times) but it doesnt change facts. If Cyg or me or many others think STID sucked, that’s our opinion. We’re entitled to it. And if Bob is rude or insulting to us for having that opinion, that reflects on him, not us. The fact most people here who have been critical of STID did so in detailed and thoughtful ways and Bob NEVER chose to respond to specific complaints, choosing instead to be rude, insulting or flippant…well, he hasnt generated a ton of… Read more »

Bob does not need to respond. Actually watching, listening, paying attention to the film does answer most people’s queries, as does exercising a degree of imagination and thinking outside the square sometimes.

Nobody has said that you are not entitled to your opinions. The real issue here is that you do not seem to acknowledge that Bob Orci is also entitled to his opinion, whether it be about a film written by someone else or by his own hand. This constant browbeating, often taking its form in “detailed and thoughtful ways” is just that – browbeating. I don’t like that anyone is subjected to that and never have.

I don’t care who Bob Orci is or how successful, wealthy or otherwise. That’s not the point and never has been. That’s what you guys don’t get and that is both scary and sad.

Bob is entitled to his opinion. I imagine he thought STID was great film. Even though JJ seems to disagree. He even has the right as a human being to be rude, unprofessional and disrespectful to fans. But that doesn’t change the fact that its poor behaviour for someone in his position. Why can he tell people to go F themselves but any time someone so much as disagrees with you, you go on a rant about how victimized you are?

I do love your white knighting for Bob though. I feel sorry for you over it, but I find it really hilarious!

“Cyg’s opinion of Bob’s writing on Star Trek IS shared by MANY people. Regardless of YOUR opinion of STID, it is widely considered to be a poor film.”

Not relevant, because they are merely opinions and it does not matter how few or many people share the same opinion. Bob does not have to explain, and certainly not apologise or anything else, if he does not agree with the opinions held by one person or everyone on the entire planet.

Ofcourse its relevant. BvS made a lot of money but has been critically panned and its numbers are dropping. And I know people that loved it. Is the critical opinion irrelevant?

Why is your opinion that STID was a good film relevant but everyone else’s is wrong? Thats what you aBoblogists don’t understand. You want everyone who disagrees with you to be quiet and you say their opinions don’t matter. But you assert your opinion does.

The truth is both opinions are relevant. But lets not pretend that there isn’t a significant amount of people who disliked STID. I imagine Paramount wouldn’t have suddenly did a 180 and changed directions if they weren’t concerned about critical reception.

The ones who didn’t like it are just as entitled to their opinions as you Rose. Why don’t you understand that?

But why was bob removed from the movie and his script thrown in the toilet? Was it that bad ? Can he ever post it online. Is that possible? But does bob even care ? After all, i am sure he was paid eventhough he was removed from the movie. The way i see it, bob still wins and if he plays his cards right, and stay away from the romulan ale, he may just get to work on the new series in future seasons.

Good questions Alec. Bob’s public melt down on here right before the news was about to leak of his dismissal was ill advised. But fortunately, no one likely cares about his conduct on a Star Trek fan forum and if they do, surely no one here made it clear to the public at large how he was behaving. It was the actions of a very hurt and angry guy. Which was understandable to a degree, though unprofessional and nasty nonetheless.

Its telling that he went from great heights of writing/producing STID, rewarded with writing, producing and directing STB only to have it all yanked away after two rejected scripts and then to not even be asked to work on the new TV show by his buddy. Seems he has been pushed to the edges…probably a lot more to the story too.

I hope Bob ends up writing some stories for the TV show. I think he talents would lend themselves to that format better than film, especially within a “writer’s room” environment where his ideas can be refined and expanded upon as needed. No doubt he likes Star Trek. Hopefully that gets put to good use eventually.

@Cyg – Very well said.

What a load of nonsense. That’s self-martyr revisionist history. Who’s saying you’re disrespectful to all of fandom? That’s a great way of dismissing legitimate criticism by saying “Oh look all the Star Trek fans blame me for everything, they are so ridiculous”.

The reality is, you’ve been critcised professionally for a lousy job on STID and personally for conduct towards fans.

Being rude or flippant a couple of times is one thing but you did it repeatedly and consistently. You apologized to ONE person and it didnt seem like a very sincere apology either though he accepted it. You insulted many other people without an apology. And Im sure most dont want or need one but it speaks to your sincerity.

You’ve been pretty pleasant for awhile (with the pressure off I guess) so thats cool. I dont hold a grudge and no one else should either. But it doesnt change the perception or the actions.

@Prodigal Son

If by Gene’s vision, one means gloriously under-dressed women in awe of the swashbuckling captain, then I’m all in. On the other hand, if one means the vision that brought us V’ger and, wait for it, “I’m sensing great pain, Captain,” then I’ll wait this one out!

“If by Gene’s vision, one means gloriously under-dressed women in awe of the swashbuckling captain, then I’m all in.”
Yep, me too. One cannot overlook Kirk’s ripped shirts either.

Gene’s vision was certainly not mini skirts and ripped shirts. Those were the 60s, while there’s certain nostalgia, Star Trek has no doubt evolved. I’m all for evolution. :)

quantum47,

Don’t kid yourself on this. Gene approved the female costumes. He even brought them with him with what are now called spokesmodels to show them off, at the first science-fiction convention that he attended before the series had even aired.

Arguing that the Vulcans in Axanar can be excused because other characters in the past as well as animals all have pointed ears is like a child trying to excuse their bad behavior because “everybody else did it”. Laughably ridiculous.

Don’t think to many people watch Trek and confuse it with LOTR’s…Why is Legolas is Star Trek Beyond???

Phil,

Not sure if there’s an angle for them to exploit now, but historically, before Trek first aired, TLOTR tomes were HUGELY popular. So back then, there most definitely were some of those wondering what elves were doing in space.

Phil,

Maybe the angle would be that over at the competition, LOST IN SPACE, they DID have elves in space in the Thor episode, THE SPACE VIKINGS:

comment image

Not to mention, in their THE HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE episode they had an alien, J-5, express the now supposedly non-prototypical Vulcan archetype look:

comment image

Also, he didnt generate a ton of money based off a concept call Space Trip featuring Elves from Mars. He generated that money on “Star Trek”. And I hope he has to turn over all that money to CBS (or better yet, return it to the donors).

@ Disinvited

That first photo — is that TUP and Cygnus at a Creation Con costume event?

(just kidding!!! lol)

And they ain’t calling them elves. They’re Vulcans – including one playing a character he played on Trek.

Jack,

Irwin Allen’s J-5 was NOT identified as an elf but an alien.

According to Copyright Office records, in the work where the Spock copyright was created, THE CAGE, they neither identified him as alien, nor Vulcan, and the second Desilu copyrighted pilot was equally lacking as well. Vulcan, that you mention, is derivative of Spock’s strong copyright in that first pilot movie, and while NOT non-existent, weaker. From what I have been reading on copyright, and there’s a lot of gray areas, any weaknesses that the, for lack of a better term, “parent” copyright can be demonstrated to have may further dilute the strength of the derivative ones or remove it altogether if found to be merely a prototype.

If the Peters team can demonstrate to the judge that the Spock character in the Desilu copyrighted pilot movie was as much a prototype as Irwin Allen’s J-5, or worse that Allen’s J-5 was more fully developed on its initial creation, which I deem extremely unlikely, the plaintiffs risk losing rights to a very lucrative creation.

People forget that Dr. Spock was a very famous real person which is why many got Mr. Spock’s name confused as Dr. Spock. That could be used to further argue the character was merely a prototype given an equally prototypical name in common usage.

The desperation is pathetic. Paramount/CBS is going to win the suit.

Being that the defendant (Alec Peters) is a lawyer, and that he sought out clarification from Paramount/CBS prior to he suit, he cannot claim ignorance.

Max M.,

Oh, he most definitely can argue that then, as he is doing now in two motions that the Judge saw fit to duly mull over and NOT dismiss out of hand, that CBS and Paramount’s responses made everything as clear as mud then as they do now..

I sure hope Axanar gets their tails handed to them. I realise this is just legal smoke & mirrors but it’s so disgustingly disingenuous that they truly deserve to lose.

Procedural nonsense. At some point the judge will tell them to knock it off.

These guys are dishonest clowns. The claim that they didn’t know they were infringing is laughable. I hope they lose every penny.

Enough negativity already. You sound like the same people who wanted Star Trek Continues to fail. Listen to the Axanar podcast. They are trying to do smething positive with a 50 year old IP. You either want quality Trek or you don’t. I don’t care how many eggs Axanar has to break to make their FREE Omlette. #istandwithaxanar

The Axanar folks are 100 percent in the wrong here. This is an open-shut case of copyright infringement.

And based on the preview film they made, they don’t really have a clue what would make good Star Trek anyway.

They are trying to make money and launch (or resurrect, in the case of Cody Banks producer Burnett) film careers/ a for profit studio. Nothing wrong with that, but companies tend not to like when you do that using their property (without permission).

I also don’t see any guarantee that Axanar will be good. There’s a lot of fan entitlement at play here.

There’s all sorts of ways Peters could have done this (raised the same amount of money, produced the same-quality product) without making it necessary for Paramount to sue. He was so over-the-too that I almost wonder whether he was doing it deliberately – for publicity.

Well i’m glad they got sued by CBS.
I love star trek, i love fan made projects…but taking money from fans in name of star trek and than spending that money on your personal projects ( a.k.a. Alec Peters studio for acting school…etc ) its scaming backers ( fan’s ) and its breaking copyright cuz you are using something that is not yours to promote and earn on that brand…so yea i’m glad they got sued.

This post should even make some stuff clear for guys that are saying mahh cbs is suing axanar cuz its popular and good looking, nop. cbs is suing them cuz they are using star trek for there personal interest, horizon is very popular and good looking movie and its not sued, its using vulcans, romulans, starfleet, nx class, even captain Archer and Enterprise in it and its not sued by CBS CUZ THEY DID NOT USE IT FOR PERSONAL INTEREST guys.

Here is a little tid bit of info for you all regarding the so called “free” probono lawyers.

Pro-bono does NOT! Mean completely free at no cost to the party who they are representing.

This means the billable hours for the law firm have been waved but the other expenses such as court Filing costs, courts fees, third-party service fees, courier fees, travel expenses stuff like that. All they got is a free lawyer, everything else that costs have to come out of their pocket.

So what does that mean well tbh i am not totally sure as Alec himself may! Be paying for this out of his own pocket or this money may be coming from the nice amount of money that has been raised by donors.

SO the claim by Alec Peters of “no donor money will be used for legal costs” may or may not be true only Axanar knows this.

Either way this is not a good thing as unlike CBS/Paramount who have millions in a legal budget (at a guess it may be more or less but you can be certain they will not run out of money before Axanar do)Axanar do not have this thus meaning at some point the money that they are using will run out and mean the legal fight will become untenable to them which will leave them with only 3 options but to stop the fight, Hope W&S wave all costs or hope they can get free legal aid.

Exactly.

I don’t think Northstar gets this?

“(at a guess it may be more or less but you can be certain they will not run out of money before Axanar do)” — AxaNinja

Before you can assess the depth of those legal pockets you have to come to terms with what’s playing behind the scenes,

For instance Viacom, which owns Paramount, is so cash poor that it has to sell off a piece of Paramount to stay in the game:

http://nypost.com/2016/03/29/21st-century-fox-eyes-minority-slice-of-paramount-pictures/

“Dauman finds himself under pressure to turn the company around after a period of poor performance and cost-cutting at the [Paramount Pictures] studio.

Paramount, run by Brad Grey, is known for movies like “The Godfather” and “Mission Impossible.” Its summer slate includes “Star Trek Beyond” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.”

Viacom is expected to use the proceeds from the Paramount stake sale to pay down debt, among other things [Like legal bills?].” — ’21st Century Fox eyes minority slice of Paramount Pictures’; By Claire Atkinson; NY POST; March 29, 2016 | 11:40pm

And to fully understand the plaintiffs and their legal bills, you have to fully digest this, preferably long after you’ve eaten:

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/03/sumner-redstone-legal-battle-final-days

Pro Bono loosely means ‘for the public good’. Firms that do this work usually represent the poor, and that representation is free. Firms that do pro bono work are either funded through grants, or endowed, so the client doesn’t bear (little or) any cost. While Peters attorneys are calling this pro bono work, in reality they have probably made some sort of contingency arrangement. There’s no noble cause here, and the notion that legal aid should come into play is just repulsive – some poor schmuck gets to sit in jail, a true victim of injustice, while limited free legal resources are siphoned off to support some rich guys fight to pry ownership of an IP from it’s owner. Sounds like something only a Republican could love.

Good synopsis of the motion and the component issues.

On the bright side, the season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels was incredible.

Im sorry I have to rant a bit, have to let it out. People who are calling out Alec as arrogant and Axanar a scam…don’t know their ass from their mouth. Alec is a kind and generous person and Axanar has delivered everything it said it would. I donated to the Prelude and received amazing quality perks, from posters to patches, to the beautiful blu-ray. Guess what? Not scammed, not let down. I donated, they delivered. So a movie might take a year longer than expected due to the budget, facility etc, regardless of it budget or its claim as a professional production, its a fan film. Even big budget hollywood movies hit bumps and for that reason people are pissed and believe they are being scammed. Like what goes through your mind to draw such conclusions, honestly. Axanar is free advertisement for the franchise, CBS and Paramount are afraid, mainly because of the fan support, the publicity (compared to other fan films), the actors involved and promoting it, and quality of Axanar is also a biggie. What if they do win, what will all you naysayers do? Continue to cross your arms making disgruntled noises and lying to yourself its all a scam? Prelude to Axanar is bold and beautiful, can’t wait to see the movie! #IStandWithAxanar

I assume OphidianJaguar posted this early and meant it as an April Fool’s joke. Either that or he/she needs to keep delusions to self.

this just underscores how truly sad these Axanar “producers” are, recognizing, and capitalizing, on their knowledge of just how easily so many in fandom can be manipulated…especially when it comes to feeding their passions. Reminds me of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker and the PTL fiasco…those old enough to remember will understand.

In what why is Axanar different than Horizon or Renegades? They delivered. What in world would make you think Axanar is different.

APRIL FOOLS !!!!

Better get some comfortable shoes, you’re going to be standing for a while.

I don’t know why my post disappeared, so I am going to repeat myself.

This entire matter is CBS/Paramount’s fault for not taking care of the ‘Trek franchise. I may agree with their right to protect their ‘Trek properties, but Axanar wouldn’t exist if the studios had addressed the demand for ‘Trek for the past ten+ years, even on a small scale (like a once-a-year special or a mini-series). I do hope that all parties involved settle this matter as quickly as possible, so that the focus can be on the 50th anniversary of the franchise (this reminds me of the spat between Sony and Prince, over the rights of “1999”, back in 1999.

I disagree. I dont think Axanar exists because CBS sat back and avoided making films and TV shows. Star Trek is unique in its something that has resulted in fan films of various quality over the years. Axanar is just the latest evolution of this. As film making gets easier for amateurs, it was bound to get more and more professional.

If anything, CBS is at fault for allowing fan films to exist for so long. Now they are learning what happens when you allow your fans to have fun…someone comes along and ruins it for everyone.

The fault here is this guy for thinking he can make a movie based on IP he has ZERO right to. What’s next, is he going to make a Batman film and claim WB cant claim ownership over “costumes” so he should be allowed to use Batman? Its absurd.

I hope he loses and is held accountable personally and has to write a big cheque to CBS and even better to all the donors he duped.

@dswynne

The argument that Axanar’s unique issues arise from fan discontent that drove it all into existence omits one crucial element.

Axanar management did not have to choose to divert a large amount of the money into salaries and infrastructure for a studio.

And having done that, Axanar did not advise the donors in the “infrastructure” Kickstarter, of the obvious *additional* risk of lawsuit that these *particular* actions, not part of the fan film undertsanding with CBS, would present.

These choices created the lawsuit situation, because Axanar was not *forced* by any state of Star Trek to pay themselves salaries, and to build themselves studio facilities for future non-Trek for profit productions.

Let me say that again. Axanar management was not *forced* by “bad/abandoned Trek” to go beyond making a shining example of a fan film. Axanar management *chose* to incur the additional risk with CBS/Paramount. And then Axanar failed to inform donors of the specific exceptional risks this choice created.

Axanar chose to create this situation.

“Axanar management did not have to choose to divert a large amount of the money into salaries and infrastructure for a studio.” — AxaWatcher

Aye, but that’s the rub: what constitutes “a large amount” in relation to the amount of funds raised?

Here:

http://www.startrekcontinues.com/NonProfitApp.pdf

We see Continues diverts more funds than originally planned [They were over a “barrel.”] to purchase sets which served two different and separate productions. Still does. Thus demonstrating the actuality of what is only being speculated upon for Axanar as to the possible functionality of its’ “studio.”

Also, if Peters’ possible future plans are part of this amorphous line that was somehow unambiguously crossed what are we to assume should be Paramount/CBS’ reaction to this?:

“We cannot imagine a shooting schedule of more than one episode per month. On such a schedule, the cost per episode would probably go up to at least to $100,000 – with the extra $25,000 for professional salaries. (Total payroll would be $300,000/yr.) The set may have to be moved to LA, for obvious reasons. There would be efficiencies too, but I assume any such savings would be consumed by higher rent.” — Trek Continues, Inc.

@Disinvited, The Continues application IS a nonprofit application, and lays out past and future finances, goals, etc. in many pages of detail. By contrast, so far after years of operation, Axanar only talks about making such a filing and provides an admittedly incomplete set of numbers in their ‘full disclosure’. Re the Continues ‘diversion of more funds for a set’ you reference, upon reading the referenced ‘over a barrel’ clause, one sees that the ‘diversion’ was $10,000 extra atop a handshake agreement to buy the Farragut permanent bridge set for $40,000, the overrun due to the price being raised on Continues at the last minute. This purchase and ‘overrun’ appears quite different in scale and purpose to Axanar’s green-screen generic studio for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Continues set does not seem to me to be an attempt to build a studio asset useable for future non-Trek, non fanfilm SF for profit productions, a stated goal of Axanar Productions. Re the paragraph you cite where the CFO/CLO’s commentary on the IRS application raises the possibility of paying professional salaries, well, I will not dispute that it appears they are saying (putting back the context you removed), that *if* they should ever contemplate going from a shooting schedule of 2 episodes per year to 12 episodes per year, they believe the only way they could achieve this would be to add some professional staff instead of relying on volunteers as they do under their submitted plan. I also would be… Read more »

AxaWatcher,

Thanks for your very thoughtful breakdown.

I would like to stress that “most” is not the same as “all”, i.e. some ARE compensated.

Also, you either unintentionally obfuscated, or either you or I misunderstood what they were saying about Director compensation. I read it to be that they were only talking about most Directors that were also on their staff in other capacities NOT accepting compensation. It seemed clear to me that they also hire and pay industry Directors outside of staff or intend to.

In regards to my compressing things, so that they could fit in my already overly extended comment space for the customary post size here, seeming out of context, it has been my understanding that all the hoopla with respect to Peters’ “profits” is based on plans not yet implemented, i.e. sets have not been broken down to make way for paying other productions. My purpose was to show that Continues has future not yet implemented “plans” too. And I believe both Axanar and Continues have and will asserted/assert that these plans were/will be set in motion to address “demand.”

Plans which for Continues includes stating that in response to “demand” it will move sets (Sets that you and others claim are not breakdownable.) to Los Angeles (the belly of the beast), for instance.

That’s just silly.

That was a ridiculous post.

So, over the course of 50 years, there have been six TV shows (a seventh in development),13 movies (#14 in post production), thousands of books, comics, toys, and all sorts of other merchandising, and in your estimation it’s not been taken care of??

And how many years has it been between the end of ENT and the upcoming ‘Trek television series? Or between NEM and ST09? Even if you want to include merchandising, that market was geared towards those who were already fans of the franchise, who, btw, were clamoring for more live ‘Trek. And least we forget JJ Abrams own criticism, as self-serving as they may be, that CBS/Paramount needed to get its act together where the franchise is concerned? Even barring a commitment from the studios to generate a regular series, why not the occasional television special or mini-series? Would it have been neat that there was such a special that had set up the ST09 movie, from a marketing standpoint? Clearly, the popularly of these fan films is an indication that there is an audience for more live ‘Trek. So, again, it is MY opinion that had CBS/Paramount had been more proactive in taking care of the franchise, Axanar would not be around (and neither would other fan film productions, I venture) to muddy the waters. And I am not even on Axanar’s side. But based upon the production values of “Prelude to Axanar”, there is no excuse as to why it has taken this long to notice that there is a market for more ‘Trek, especially when factoring in the Kickstarters, Patreon, etc. fund drives. But, whatever. It’s my opinion, after all.

Yup, agreed. Don’t listen to the people who say otherwise. Ignorant.

Well , then Paramount owes the U.S. Navy for using U.S.S. Enterprise.

A ships name isn’t necessarily an intellectual property.

No matter what happens, this is still CBS suing the fans…

No its CBS suing someone who is stealing their property.

Even if that were true, Peters is still a fan. So yes, CBS suing fans.

If a man who collects comics kills my wife and I, in turn, him… would you say this was a case of me killing comic book fans?

Well, if you want to use a grossly exaggerated example…

Then yes, regardless of that persons actions, he/she would still be a fan of whatever he/she was interested in. A Trek fan going on a murderous rampage, is still a Trek fan… and a homicidal mad man.

Meurik,

Well, none of their hypotheticals can claim an official CBS recognition of their being fans:

http://trekmovie.com/2016/03/30/axanar-files-another-motion-to-dismiss-copyright-infringement-lawsuit/#comment-5299177

And, indeed. you can imagine my relief at skirting another apparent official endorsement when Bob Orci recused himself as retired from the Supreme Court and then trumpeted the apparent fanhood of noted German cannibal, Armin Meiwes [His victim, Bernd Brandes, turned out to be the fan who asked Meiwes to read a TNG novel to him while he did him in.].

Exactly.

A property which belongs to all of us. Lin said it and Roddenberry said it years ago “Star Trek belongs to the fans” You people arguing over property and rights (although correct) are messed up. You really want to fight for a corporate entity over the little guy?

lol Star Trek does not belong to the fans. Thats a nice idea to appeal to fans. But it is owned by a corporation. That is simple fact. And I don’t side with corporations or little guys. Just right over wrong.

Incorrect. This is CBS suing people who copyright-infringed. Big difference.

Dandru,

Ridiculous assertion by you.

Infringing doesn’t cease one being a fan. And copyright infringing activities by fans as well as Roddenberry himself who Shatner reports used his policeman skills to break the lock securing the first Desilu copyrighted pilot that he “stole” for an unauthorized exhibition at the first science-fiction convention he ever attended prior to STAR TREK even airing on NBC.

Regardless of whether we feel sarcastically that this couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, this lawsuit is still just another in a long historic trail of Paramount legal actions against fans of STAR TREK, and Peters is presumed innocent until a determination is made at its conclusion. If the court finds him guilty, it won’t change his status as a fan of STAR TREK as credentialed by CBS hiring him to authenticate and catalog their own STAR TREK properties archive.

“Every fan does it.” is no defense in court, but it is most definitely a consideration that every headline will, indeed, read “STAR TREK FAN GUILTY!” if he is found so by said court.

Funny, I’m a fan and haven’t been served yet….

Phil,

Maybe getting official CBS acknowledgement of it would help?

Alec Peters’, CBS endorsed, fan credentials:

“http://www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-props-costumes-at-auction-on-ebay

”Alec Peters is …
A lifelong Star Trek fan…” — CBS Entertainment, STARTREK.com

As someone with a law degree, I think the lawyer’s analysis is spot on. The odds of this motion working are very small.

BringBackKirkPrime,

As does Petters who obviously disagrees with your analysis.

@ Disinvited

I very much doubt, no matter what he say in public, that Peters really thinks he can win this. He probably just wants to push the court decision back in time so that he spend the rest of the $1 million before the clock runs out. Then, when he loses the case, his corporation simply can declare bankruptcy, and he walks away from this essentially scott free, just liked the way he f’d up his suppliers (and left them holding the bag) on Propworks a few years back with that other Trek bankruptcy scheme of his.

“I very much doubt, no matter what he say in public, that Peters really thinks he can win this…” — Prodigal Son

That depends on how he defines “winning”. I believe, he believes, he can maneuver this to an out of court settlement which he can represent as a “win” for him.

People forget, that all these items that CBS lists where “authenticated” by Peters, who they hired and recognized as an expert in the field. The court, by dint of CBS going to him for that, has to give greater weight to his testimony about them than if they brought this action against you or I. And he was romping around their property archiving STAR TREK of all things. Peters enters into this privy to things that you or I would never have had access to.

I think he can keep this case “interesting” and the reason he attracted his pro bono lawyers is THEY think they can get some historic rulings and findings of fact out of it. I’m still uncertain as to whether they actually think they have a path to winning it outright

Mr. Peters certainly did not personally authenticate the thousands of Trek props sold of the last decade, The studio did. Mr. Peters resold some of them after that with his signature on the COA. He did contribute to authenticating some items but only a tiny fraction of what was sold.

But that is irrelevant anyway. It is silly to suggest that if he had some interactions with CBS about props, he somehow must be given more credibility by the court wrt/ the events or intentions of CBS over this intellectual property infringement case.

”Mr. Peters certainly did not personally authenticate the thousands of Trek props sold of the last decade, The studio did. … But that is irrelevant anyway.” — AxaWatcher I’ll say it’s irrelevant. Especially since I never asserted such a thing as he authenticated every Trek prop that exchanged hands over the past 10 years. However, I will admit you have extremely tempted me with this tangent as I would like to know how the newly formed CBS which didn’t get possession of those items until 2006 suddenly became STAR TREK authenticating experts? I mean, I know they “authenticated” retail merchandise that they licensed, but it amuses me to think that they went through their prop archives and produced the same “authenticating” paperwork as my Star Trek Watch for each and every prop they took possession of. But my point was Peters had access. Access that other fan productions would not have had if the suit had been brought against them. And I’m not sure what you are trying to categorize Peters’ work there as, but STARTREK.COM, which the court will recognize as CBS, said: http://www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-props-costumes-at-auction-on-ebay ”Alec Peters is probably the most well-known collector of Star Trek props and costumes in the country and writes http://startrekauction.blogspot.com/, the definitive blog on the subject. He founded Propworx, a company dedicated to auctioning off props and costumes for movie studios and assists CBS in managing the Star Trek archive. A lifelong Star Trek fan, he recently bought the original Galileo Shuttlecraft set with a… Read more »

In the end, Peters will lose because he has no case. I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows this.

“In the end, Peters will lose because he has no case.” – Dandru,

Interesting Freudian slip. Peters has no case because he brought none. The case is Paramount/CBS’. Your opinion to the contrary, his legal team IS making a defense.

There are a lot of people here who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Early concept art from the new Star Trek series.

comment image

And here are the first official images of the Captain & First Officer brought to you by Entertainment Weekly!

comment image

Filming in the corridor!

comment image

@ Ahmed

Sign me up for the one on the right.

Doesn’t look like Star Trek.

Keep it up!

What I still don’t understand is why it’s only Axanar being sued by CBS/Paramount? The lawsuit is nominally over copyright infringement (despite all the references to for-profit and studio building), yet Axanar appears to be one of the lesser-infringing fan productions.

Just to make one comparison, what about Star Trek: Renegades?

– Two highly successful Kickstarter campaigns under the belt worth over $600k, with a third as-yet unfunded episode planned. Together those will easily be comparable with Axanar’s $1m+.

– Written as a direct continuation of the Trek Prime universe with at least EIGHT actors reprising their character roles from three separate Star Trek TV series (TOS, VOY and DS9).

– A production which still uses Star Trek in the title (unlike Axanar) and was originally pitched (both to fans and eventually directly to CBS) as potential to be developed into a new and official TV show.

I have yet to see anyone but 1701 news report on the fact it was mentioned on the 16th March that Ares Studios (Axanar Production Studios) is going to be sold to a pvt investor if or when Axanar is ever made.

This makes me wonder if this is being ignored or not.

I worry for the donors who will end up not seeing any return on their donations apart from seeing a for sale sign hung over the door at Axanar.

AxaNinja,

AxaMonitor mentioned it. I’m not sure what exactly the issue of the sale is for you. Farragut sold their sets to Continues, so that precedent’s been set.

I thought the gimmick might be to “sell” the studio and then “rent” it back for production so as to get around the idea of Axanar using donations to build their own studio.

Given his obsession with Axanar, Michael Hinman should rename the site to 1650News!

Nothing is going to be sold to anyone until the litigation is settled. If the case does not go Peters way, all they’d be buying is whatever equipment is left over after assets were sold to satisfy the judgment….

“Nothing is going to be sold to anyone until the litigation is settled.” — Phil

Where are you coming up with this? No injunction has been issued. There was merely a mutually agreed 30 day suspension of Axanar production activity to gain Peters’ pro bono counsel time to respond to the claimants. That response was issued.

What are you claiming prevents this sale?

I agree with Wil Wheaton on this. The Axanar camp is not on the side of fans. They are not on the side of STAR TREK.

It’s also a shame that they seem to be taking the ‘if we can’t play, no one will’ when it comes to dragging other fan productions into this.

dswynne Today 4:51 am

This entire matter is CBS/Paramount’s fault for not taking care of the ‘Trek franchise. … I may agree with their right to protect their ‘Trek properties, but Axanar wouldn’t exist if the studios had addressed the demand for ‘Trek for the past ten+ years, even on a small scale (like a once-a-year special or a mini-series).

Reminds me of corporations buying up patents to technological fixes and then shelving them indefinitely so that they don’t have to improve their own products to compete with products that have the new technology. Like in the auto industry.

P.S. And henceforth, no other company is allowed to market that technological solution to that particular problem—even if it’s arrived at independently—because the first company “owns” the solution. So, everybody in the country goes on for decades with the problem unfixed.

P.P.S. …until the patent to the fix expires.

Are you having a nice debate with yourself?

Does this really seem like a debate to you, or are you just trying to be funny?

Trying to be funny, and obviously not succeeding. ;-)

Just a statement, PS. Planned obsolesce is a very real fact of life, though I don’t know that it’s as cut and dry as Cyg is implying. A friend of mine owns a garage in town that specializes in the repair of classic cars, and he’s the first to admit that todays vehicle is a technological marvel compared to what was rolling off the assembly lines in the 50’s. The flap over encryption is another example – there are numerous ways to encrypt, just because Apple holds the patent on their code won’t stop some small start up from writing their own. In an open market, innovation will find a way around obstruction….it may just take some time.

Also, it should be remembered that copyrights were created in the U.S. to encourage the exchange of ideas NOT be the preventer of ideas as has resulted from giving it “just like real physical property” aspects under the law has wrought in the current age.

@ Ahmed

Dude, how about Orlanda Bloom as Captain in the new series?

Prodigal Son,

Orlanda? You mean Orlando’s twin sister? Another female captain would be welcome. Seconded!

LOL

LOL^2

A good choice but I think he’s too busy with his movie career. I’d love to see someone from BSG like Tahmoh Penikett or Jamie Bamber. If not, then the amazing Tom Cavanagh.

In the end, what is most disappointing to me is that the same Axanar management that claims Trek exists, that it is sacred, that they are the true custodians of it, who spend years of their lives immersing themselves in it, turn around when challenged on a business matter and argue in essence, there is no such thing as Trek.

This is a complete waste of the time and energy of the courts and of all people who for one reason or another have been willing to give time to understand what is going on.

AxaWatcher,

This confusion on your part is wrought by your conflating the existence of copyrights as being the same as the existence of plays,art, publications, music et cetera.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Copyright is an intellectual concept and a Johnny-come-lately to the table of things coming to be. All those things were being created and enjoyed just fine before royalty hit upon the idea of copyrights to motivate authors and publishers to register with the crown so that those lucrative works made possible by the printing press could be properly taxed (and censored).

To make this clearer in your mind, Frank L. Baum’s OZ was and is immensely popular. It’s entry into the public domain did not result in every incarnation of it dissolving from shelves across the world. Nor did its fans and their fandom fall apart because it no longer enjoyed copyright protections.

I would also like you to be aware that when STAR TREK first aired in the 60s, I, as a young man back then, fully expected it to be in the public domain by now, as that was the extent of the law back then — and I had no plains to mourn it, nor was I planning to stop being a fan because of it.

So I hope you can understand why an argument that there is no STAR TREK copyright in the year 2016 comes as no surprise or shock to most of the original NBC broadcast viewers.

One can base one’s analysis of the behavior of Axanar management upon an analysis of what one wishes the laws could or could not be, upon situations which existed at other times but not while Axanar has existed, or other similar ‘alternate worlds’. But this is to step away from the situation as it stands.

Axanar has been operating within a known current state of copyright law, and known understandings of what the Star Trek copyright holder was willing to allow for fan films — at least known enough that every other fan film has been able to navigate the understandings.

Within those boundaries, Axanar had choices to make. Their choices are now challenged in court.

Further, Axanar’s defense by all appearances is an attempt to deny that at a certain level of amalgamation of small details, something covered by copyright and known to viewers as Star Trek exists.

It is incredibly disingenuous to make this assertion, while simultaneously justifying everything one does as being in defense of the existence of Star Trek. One cannot have it both ways, except when attorneys are permitted to say anything in a court document.

@AxaWatcher,
“This is a complete waste of the time and energy of the courts”

Yeah, too bad we have courts to settle disputes!

Totally agree. Either side *must* be allowed to blow smoke around as part of their judicial process rights. That doesn’t make smoke unrecognizable even from a distance.

here is another highly valuable review of the 2nd Motion to Dismiss, which anyone interested in this case would benefit from reading: http://www.gandtshow.com/axanar-second-defense-motion-dismiss/

This “highly valuable review” is written by someone who was never an intellectual property lawyer by her own admission! In fact most of the time she defended “ton of trips and falls and automobile accidents.”

Hate to say it, but she sounds like she’s fishing for a class action suit representing the donors. Doubt she has a leg to stand on with that, either.

The writer presents the analysis, among others, that the Axanar attempts to reduce a claims of copyright, for example on Vulcans, to a dispute over whether anyone can copyright the ears, name, etc. separately, is unsound.

It seems pretty obvious as an analysis, but it also seems pretty valuable that someone who is legally trained is going to the trouble to explain the matter in enough detail for casual readers to consider.

But if this writer’s legal credentials somehow preemptively invalidate the intellectual validity of the content of their arguments in your mind, are there IP attorneys who are publishing analyses of the Axanar response, to whom you would refer the reader? Are there IP attorneys presenting detailed analyses of the CBS filings on public websites? That would certainly be interesting.

@ Axawatcher

That was a very interesting post by an actual lawyer. While it may ruffle the feathers of the “amateur Trekmovie poster-lawyers” here like Ahmed and Disinvited, I certainly appreciate a cited knowledgeable opinion from a “real ID’d person” here for a change.

THANKS!!!

@Prodigal Son,

That’s like saying someone should seek medical advice concerning their dental problems from an ophthalmologist since he/she went to medical school!

Bottom line, this lady is an ins-urance defense lawyer, not an intellectual property lawyer.

Case Closed!

P.S. “Case Closed” is a trademark of RDR Inc!

What ever happened to RDR?

He was sentenced to Trekmovie’s Phantom Zone two years ago iirc!

Maybe General Zod will break out him and I am Not Herbert someday. LOL

Ahmed,

D@mn right.

And more to the point, she makes her own disclaimer throughly undermining Prodigal’s attempts to elevate her to intellectual property law “expert” witness status:

“In the interests of full disclosure and transparency, I will make it abundantly clear right now: I was never an intellectual property lawyer.

I repeat: I was never an intellectual property lawyer.” — Janet Gershen-Siegel (Jespah)

And in her field of expetise, insurance defense, she hasn’t practiced law for over a quarter of a century:

“I practiced between 1986 (once I was admitted of course) and June of 1990, when I felt unfulfilled and left the practice, retiring. I remain in good standing with the Bar. If I ever wanted to return to practice, I would have to make up for some lost pro bono work and pay back active dues (you don’t pay much in dues if you’re retired. And, yes, you can be retired from the practice of law at age 27, which I was at the time). But I don’t want to return. I am currently getting my Master’s degree in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

While practicing, I did insurance defense. My main concentrations were product liability and construction matters. I also defended a ton of trips and falls and automobile accidents, as those are the bread and butter of insurance defense. I was never an ‘ambulance chaser’ – that term actually describes plaintiffs’ attorneys. ” — Janet Gershen-Siegel (Jespah)

AxaWatcher,

If you’ve been following what I’ve said then you know I agree that contrary to Axanar’s wishes the courts DO allow those items to be copyrighted, IF sufficiently delineated on initial appearance:

https://h2o.law.harvard.edu/collages/40201

But what I’ve also pointed out as a problem for the plaintiffs, is they’ve given Peters credence in the past as an expert witness qualified to speak to the court as to how delineated or insufficiently delineated each item is with respect to similar items in the genre and the provenance of how they came to be.

That’s a powerful narrative his team get’s to control, if the defense gets him on the stand as an expert.

The last thing the extremely successful STAR TREK merchandiser CBS wants is a litany of Trek items that are found by the court to NOT enjoy the copyrightablity of The Batmobile. I fully expect that if such a ruling manifests against the plaintiffs that CBS will offer to settle with Axanar upon the first Trek item ruled as uncopyrightable . Upon such a settlement, I can’t predict Paramount’s chosen course with respect to the lawsuit — except to observe it’s going to get as interesting as hell in court.

She obviously had to study it in law school to pass the bar exam…hardly a neophyte.

“She obviously had to study it in law school….” — Prodigal Son

As likewise Peters with HIS law degree. So you hold HIS opinions on the matter in equal high regard?

AxaWatcher,

Not done with her but right off the bat I notice she’s confused about why Axanar would be concerned about STAR TREK BEYOND’s copyrights and conflating them to be the same as Axanar’s unripe free speech prior restraint concerns. TWO completely different things.

“Unpublished works” have copyrights. They are commonly referred as common law copyrights. Axanar most definitely has a right to be concerned as to the completeness of the claim when STAR TREK BEYOND’s very real common law copyrights are not addressed by it.

@ Disinvited

Let’s see, who is likely to be confused here, a blogger who is in fact a lawyer, or you, an anonymous poster here on Trekmovie.com (i.e. you). LOL

“..who is likely to be confused here…” — Prodigal Son,

I think the evidence is clear:

“I have a theory that Disinvited is a lawyer in real life.” — Prodigal Son

You are.

http://trekmovie.com/2015/12/04/this-week-in-star-trek-neil-degrasse-tyson-on-trek-vs-wars-lindelof-says-khan-secret-mistake-new-trek-merch/#comment-5288451

Ahmed, how did you post those pics?

A HTML link that end with .jpg, .gif or any other image format will appear as a picture within the comment rather than a link.

comment image

Fascinating.

Who is she?

dmduncan April 4, 2016 6:44 pm

She’s an Orion from ST: Enterprise. From the episode where three of them use their sex powers to manipulate the crew and take over the ship.

Sorry, but from day one, everything about Alec Peters just SCREAMS douchefulness and a nasty, undeserved sense of entitlement. And probably being the minority here, Axanar seems like an action-packed sum of nothing, with very little intelligence/emotional payload.

While not in love with huge, rich corporations, I hope the Axanar team falls flat on its face here.

Douchebags are some of the coolest people on earth. Trolls too. Cut them a break. They better than all of us. Bob is a douchebag…a clever douchebag. How can i be a douchebag? Anyone have any suggestions ?

Let’s for a minute assume you are the real Alec Peters. Let’s also for a minute assume that I, despite whatever you may happen to believe, am not actually trolling, but voicing my own free opinion (hint – I wasn’t trolling).

How exactly does engaging me on an even lower level than my comment may have happened to reflect improve your image, and make you out to be a non-douche?

Ugh.

I hate to say this but I am STILL going with my gut. Axanar crossed a legal boundary when they started paying themselves salary and building a PROFESSIONAL studios and offices. It went from fan film to copyright infringement. It sucks because the 20 minute fan film was really good. However, CBS is well within their legal rights to sue. I

@Mike Absolutely, I agree. Peters can use fancy lawyer talk to argue the fine points. But common sense and logic tells any lay person that ofcourse he stole their IP to make money. And you cant do that. He might find errors Paramount made in their legal filings but none of that changes that Peters is wrong and has generated a significant revenue stream off the creative works owned by someone else.

Resistance is futile, Peters-unit. You will be litigated.

@ DMD

Back from Antarctica?

Seriously, you seems to disappear for awhile there. :-)

Back from Antarctica!

Summer at McMurdo?

All you fans need to shut the hell up. I created star trek. In 2120, I built a time machine, went back and told my idea to gene. The bastard ripped me off, sabotaged my time machine and stranded me on primitative 1960s earth where i had to watch a series called star trek premiere in 1966. I was placed in a mental asylum where i was injected with primitive pharmaceuticals…eventually i escaped, was able to travel to 2016 after repairing the time machine. The only catch was…only one time travel left. Now i am stuck here reading about copyrights and a load of other crap. But do i get any credit…? No. Sucks being Trek’s true creator.

There ya go…

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