CBS/Paramount Ordered To Turn Over Documents To Defense

In a decision issued just hours after a hearing, Federal Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick ordered CBS and Paramount to give Axanar’s attorneys documents the studios had so far resisted turning over in discovery.

In his order issued October 21 Eick told the studios’ attorneys they must accede to a number of the requests for documents made by the defendants in a recent Motion to Compel Discovery. He gave the studios an October 28 deadline to comply; the deadline for completing discovery was November 2.

On Twitter, Axanar producer Alec Peters, a named defendant, called the order “a big win in court today.” His surrogate’s blog, Fan Film Factor, summed it up like this:

Axanar got pretty much everything they wanted and the studios are going to have a very busy week ahead. … [It’s] a big win for Axanar during the discovery phase. The actual trial is completely separate, but for right now, the defense is going to have a very happy weekend.

However, with the exceptions in discovery requests listed below, the order officially denied the defense motion to compel discovery.

Withdrawals and Exemptions

The judge’s order formally noted what was reported last week that Axanar’s attorneys had withdrawn the part of the motion challenging the studios’ chain of title to the ownership of Star Trek’s copyrights, as well as the defense’s complaint that plaintiffs’ attorneys had mischaracterized when the parties had met to confer about discovery.

The order exempted the required studio documents covered under attorney-client privilege but rejected the plaintiffs’ general objection that the defense requests were “overbroad, unduly burdensome” and that the records being sought “are not relevant to any party’s claim or defense.”

Privilege Log

Even though their attorneys may claim that many studio documents fall under the protection of attorney-client privilege, Eick ordered the plaintiffs to produce a privilege log specifically identifying all documents withheld under claim of attorney- client privilege. The defense would then be able to challenge withholding of any particular document.

What the Plaintiffs Must Turn Over

The judge’s order goes on to specify what documents, communications or witnesses plaintiffs must produce that had been requested by the defense in the following areas:

Axanar’s Commercial Impact

Specifically, the court ordered the plaintiffs to supply:

  • All records the studios may have relating to the commercial impact of fan films on the studios’ Star Trek property.
  • The defense originally sought records regarding all fan films, not just ones inspired by Star Trek, but Eick limited the request only to infringed Star Trek works specified in the studios’ legal complaint.
  • Documents and communications demonstrating how both the market for Star Trek has been affected by Axanar, and its actual financial impact (“or lack thereof”) on the studios’ business.
  • A limited summary showing only the studios’ revenues and profitability related to Star Trek since 2009. The defense had wanted every document related to Star Trek’s profitability, revenue, ticket sales and product sales.

Fan Films

Eick also required CBS and Paramount to produce the following documents, but only affecting the time period since 2009.

  • Fan Films Since 2009 All non-privileged documents relating to Star Trek fan films, but only since 2009, the year the rebooted Star Trek motion picture, produced by J.J. Abrams, was released. Defendants had sought documents prior to 2009.
  • Legal Action Against Fan Films Documents referring to the studios’ decision whether to pursue legal action against fan productions, including takedown notices on platforms like YouTube, cease and desist letters (C&Ds), and legal complaints with respect to a long list of fan films enumerated in the motion. Eick’s order limited the required documents to only those since 2009 not covered by privilege.
  • Axanar Takedown Notices Documents and communications about whether the studios contemplated sending a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube or other online hosts regarding the short film, Prelude to Axanar or the so-called “Vulcan Scene.” Eick’s order limiting the documents to those not covered by attorney-client privilege would apply to these documents as well.
  • Fan Film Guidelines Documents related to any fan film guidelines considered by the studios, including research, analysis, or communications. To the extent such documents involved legal issues, attorney-client privilege could well apply here, too.

J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin

Notably, the judge allowed the defense request for records regarding the May 20, 2016, statements made by Star Trek producer J.J. Abrams and director Justin Lin at a publicity event for Star Trek Beyond, specifically relating to Abrams’ comments supporting Axanar as a fan production and claiming that “within the next few weeks, it will be announced this [lawsuit] is going away” so that “fans would be able to continue working on their project.”

‘Common Interest’ Privilege

However, as with the other documents, the court order exempted documents covered by attorney-client privilege, which is what the plaintiffs largely claimed explained their refusal to provide the documents in the first place. Given the plaintiffs’ assertion that documents on this topic were privileged under the ”common interest“ doctrine, this part of the discovery motion could continue to be disputed.

Harm and Injury

Eick also ordered the plaintiffs to provide written responses to questions posed by the defendants regarding:

  • HARM The injury the studios claim to have suffered as a result of Axanar’s actions.
  • DAMAGES A computation of the damages claimed for each cause of action in the lawsuit.

Actual vs. Statutory Damages

Under copyright law, however, the studios can elect to specify the basis on which they want to calculate damages against Axanar. Plaintiffs can opt for either actual damages caused by the alleged infringement, which would be supported by the kinds of records the defense was seeking in discovery, or statutory damages of $150,000 per instance of infringement.

Producing Witnesses

The judge granted the defense request for the studios to produce witnesses for deposition who could discuss communications between the studios, J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin regarding fan films generally, the lawsuit, and Axanar. Those witnesses could well include Abrams and Lin themselves.
At such depositions, however, it is likely the plaintiffs will object to specific questions requiring information protected by attorney-client privilege.

Willful Infringement

Defendants claim communications with Abrams and Lin are directly related to the studios’ allegation that Axanar and Peters willfully infringed on Star Trek copyrights, and that access to those communications would support the defense claim that Axanar was being produced under copyright law’s fair use exemptions, that the studios had somehow waived their copyright.

Other Promised Records

Finally, Eick ordered the plaintiffs to comply with all discovery-related promises previously made to defendants.

What the Judge Denied

Despite what the defense successfully gained by the order, the judge turned down several of their requests:

  • FINANCIAL INFORMATION The defense lost its request for records of expenditures related to promotion or production of any Star Trek copyrighted works, including salaries paid to directors, producers, actors, and all others involved in the promotion or production the works.
  • STAR WARS The defense wanted any CBS or Paramount records referring to Star Wars fan films and Lucasfilm’s stance toward fan films.
  • TAKEDOWN POLICY While the defense won documents related specifically to contemplated takedown notices for Prelude to Axanar and the Vulcan Scene, the court order did not grant the request for documents about the studios’ general policies regarding sending DMCA takedown notices, even beyond Star Trek.
  • FAIR USE TAKEDOWNS The defense had sought documents regarding the studios’ policies toward works for which they might issue a takedown notice that may have constituted fair use. The plaintiffs had previously stated it promised non-privileged materials regarding DMCA takedown policies for fan films, “which should be sufficient for defendants.”

Stance Toward Other Fan Films

In resisting the broader requests regarding their takedown policies, CBS and Paramount had argued that Axanar had “failed to establish how [the studios’] pursuit or lack of pursuit of legal action against other potentially infringing works is relevant, and have not provided any authority that supports their position.

This article was originally posted at Axamonitor.

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My head hurts. I’m rather glad not to be a lawyer

If you *were* a lawyer, it wouldn’t hurt (that much) ;)

So what does this all mean (other than VICTORY! LOLZ)?

~Pensive’s Wetness

I wish someone would explain to me what exactly Peters did that was so different from what had been done before? Especially note the section, “Early Vidding”: https://fanlore.org/wiki/Film_Clip_Fandom And while he might have talked about repurposing his studio for other projects, what are we to make of these NEW VOYAGES’ 2015 actions where they actually repurposed their new studio and its sets into a convention center for ticket sales to a still copyright infringing unlicensed activity: a STAR TREK Convention complete with an unlicensed set tour draw as documented then on their own web site [ | = i ]?: https://web.arch|ve.org/web/20160420184022/http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/2015/09/11/upcoming-adventures-from-new-voyages “If you have been following our facebook page, you’ll know that we recently had our First Annual TREKonderga convention at the studio. It was a big success. The first annual Trekonderoga Star Trek convention on September 4-6 was a great success! We had a target figure of 200 attendees and went well over 300. The response that we got from those who came was very positive. We heard praise for the small and intimate style of the convention, the chance to interact with our stars in a relaxed atmosphere, and the variety of presentations. The chance to tour the studio sets was definitely a big hit, and people were impressed at the new opportunity to be beamed out from our Transporter Room.” — ‘Upcoming Adventures from New Voyages’; By Jaime “Fez” Sanchez;STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES; September 11, 2015 And please note those sets had, at that time, recently been… Read more »

Alec bought tires for his car with donor money. He traveled around the country and DIDN’T make his movie. You like funding his vacations with his girlfriend? Paying himself and her a salary out of donor money? I sure don’t.

CBS actually granted them a license to open up the set recreations for tours and fan events.
nice try though.
http://trekonderoga.com/cbs-press-release/

Well, that went nowhere fast. Thank you, starwalk.

star walk and Dennis C.,

Note the dates. The license you cite was for July of 2016. The tour I cited took place unlicensed, just as all their CBS & Paramount copyright infringing conventions and their filmed episodes to date, in September of 2015.

Nice try though.

And NV/P2 took my $50 donation and ran (a nice piece of change from me). To hell with ALL fanfilms!

Vokar Today 1:44 pm

Oh, don’t be daft.

@ Cygnus

Oh, you mean “daft” as in I might want to see something for my money “daft?”

@Vokar,
What perk is outstanding to you?
I’ll see what I can do.

@dennycranium

I just want to see “Torment of Destiny”…

First of all, full disclosure, I’m a huge Axanar supporter and don’t have a problem with any of the people involved. No secret to anyone here who reads these Axanar articles. I live on the other side of the continent, in another country. I’m just a fan of what Alec Peters and his friends are doing. I will never have a chance to meet these people. And, I’m a donor to all of their crowdfunding efforts and will be again if it helps get Axanar made.
This decision by the Judge to make CBS and Paramount do something that they didn’t want to is not a sign that Axanar will win this case. It does, however, give them some more ammunition and puts the plaintiffs on their heels. I find that encouraging. Hopeful, even. Will Axanar and its fans prevail? Only time will tell. I hope to see Axanar made some day.

My Two Cents, In slogging through CBS’ Copyright records, something rather interesting emerges. The first published copyrights for all but four of the scripts of the various 1960s’ aired episodes originated in 1967 when Desilu followed by Paramount sent each of the series episodes’ scripts to James Blish for publication as the eleven Bantam printed works STAR TREK 1 through STAR TREK 11, terminating in 1975 at his death. In Paramount Pictures Corp. vs Leslie Rubinowitz, et al USDC E.D.NY (6-26-1981) ¤ 217 USPQ 48, Paramount successfully argued that the film prints of the aired episodes were unpublished works but what they neglected to inform the court at that time was that they had published copyrights for those episodes’ scripts in the Bantam Blish works. Those published copyrights needed protecting and proper demarcation in their public performances on NBC and in their various syndicated rerun outlets thereafter. Many of the “unpublished” television episodes were nevertheless performances, over very the very public airwaves, of the eleven published STAR TREK books quoting entire sections of dialogue, expositions of settings and depictions featured in the Blish works. The copyright principle here is simple and my familiarity with it dates back to the history of Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain). To wit: I cannot read the Paramount copyrighted work STAR TREK 5 aloud in public without violating CBS’ published copyright of the work. For my public reading of STAR TREK 5 to be legal, I must get Paramount’s permission and Paramount’s published copyright must… Read more »
From VARIETY, July 18, 2006: http://variety.com/2006/scene/markets-festivals/fans-trek-into-future-on-net-1200339592/ “We greatly admire and respect the passion which fans have for ‘Star Trek,’ but CBS Paramount’s trademark rights and the intellectual properties related to ‘Star Trek’ must always be protected from unauthorized use. Our policy is to pursue our legal options when those rights are determined to be violated by anyone.” — John Wentworth, exec VP of communications for CBS Paramount TV ”Fans feel safe as long as they don’t charge auds to view their films, but as long as the threat of legal action obstructs any way of recouping their investment, those making underground “Star Trek” pics will abandon ship as they run out of funds. This is the seventh and final season of “Hidden Frontier.” “Sprint PCS is trying to talk to Paramount right now to see if they can license this for their phones,” says Caves. After nearly 50 episodes, each costing roughly $500, Caves hopes the “Hidden Frontier” fans will follow him to his next project, an original sci-fi story. In Finland, the team behind the feature-length parody “Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning” gave the movie away for free (more than 4 million downloads) but made enough selling T-shirts and other tie-ins to finance an original sci-fi feature, “Iron Sky.” … Doug Drexler, a veteran “Star Trek” designer who creates visual effects for “New Voyages,” views the project as an ideal training ground for filmmaking talent. “From show to show, you can see the quantum leap in the quality of… Read more »

Axamonitor is innuendo and attempted lawyering. It is a sad little blog that people take too seriously.

Obvious sock puppet is obvious

Hi Alec. Or is it Britto, perhaps maybe Lane? Mike? You guys all sound the same to me.

If that was the case then why did TrekMovie have him write this article?

Sandy Greenberg,

Re:why did TrekMovie have him write this article?

I’m not sure what you are getting at with that question? It’s almost as if you are unaware that the owner of TrekMovie.com has said several times in creating it and after that this is a PRO Paramount STAR TREK movie site?

Axamonitor is a great resource. PERIOD. Every fact …yes, fact….has a source.

Why would CBS or Paramount have any records pertaining to Star WARS fan productions?

It’s possible they may have referenced Star Wars fan films in emails and/or memos. How they discuss those films may inform a possible defense for Axanar to minimize damages or, possibly, be allowed to make their film!

Because Star Wars fan films are better than anything they’ve done with Star Trek professionally

Bad-headed thinking, HP. Doubt that Par would create a paper trail debating the relative merits of another franchise’s fanfilms when fanfilms have no bearing on what they do OR how they do it. That isn’t just apples and oranges, it is more like comparing one man’s dysentery with a whole race’s genocide. Plus you’re plain-out wrong. TROOPS was probably the last Lucas-related fan film that was really good, and saying nothing good has been done with TREK professionally by Par ever is … well, it’s as absurd as any other thing you’ve coughed up in the last couple days.

This seems strictly to go to damages. If I read this right, Axanar has completely given up on any copyright claims, and these actions are designed to minimize the damages CBS/Paramount will demand, and preserve as much as they can from their investment in settlement.

Yup. Pretty much.

I wonder why the Judge is limiting fanfilm discovery to new Paramount’s release of its first Trek movie in 2009? Is this some indication that new Paramount and not CBS is the main instigator of this lawsuit? Or I wonder if has something to do with that research Bob Orci kept going on about fans being STAR TREK’s worst enemy?

I’ve said since the beginning that Paramount is likely driving this lawsuit as the official theatrical licensee with a non-compete clause against any other productions. Axanar was essentially turning out to be a professional production, and turning out a product that had potentially more appeal to the fan base than Paramount’s own. CBS might have let it go, despite their own forthcoming project, or at least handled it differently. Or not.

Axanar should cease production. It’s evident by now that CBS/Paramount are suing most likely because this fan film will cover a part of the timeline that Star Trek Discovery (and probably other projects will explore. Axanar pushed CBS/Paramount to create those new fan-film guidelines that will seriously hurt many other projects, like Star Trek Continues. They are using fan’s money to fund their studio, that later will be used to create for-profit content of their own.

Axanar ceased production as soon as they became aware of this lawsuit. I hope they can get their movie made, someday.

He is the Khan of our universe.

I’m glad to see that someone has actually done an accurate article on the Axanar debacle. Some things that you pointed out that the AxaFans usually miss are: that Lane and his FFF blog are surrogates for Axanar, that the text of the motion said it is denied except for the exceptions, and that the studios really do own Trek and the defendants have acknowledged this.

Sure, the defendants got some of the documents they requested, there’s still a lot they didn’t get. It’s a win for both sides and the docs they did get are unlikely to help their fair use defence. If I was them I’d be much more worried about the deposition of Terry McIntosh next week.

Sandy Greenberg,

I have been to Lane’s site and he’s up front about his pro Axanar bias.

However, please note the IMDB lists 27 episodes of STAR TREK fan films associated with this article’s author, Carlos Pedraza. At least seven of them fan films out of what is known as the Retro Film Studio which encompasses the sets used in the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES/PHASE II fan films:

http://www.imdb.com/filmosearch?sort=moviemeter&explore=genres&role=nm1408672&
ref_=nmexst_ql_flmg_5

Using your reasoning, some things that should be pointed out are that Pedraza and his AxaMonitor blog could just as easily be labelled surrogates for the HIDDEN FRONTIER and Peters antagonistic STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES/PHASE II fan film productions.

However, rather than favor one over the other, I think articles from both Lane and Pedraza on Axanar are needed to cause anything close to an unbiased accurate opinion to coalesce in readers’ minds.

But, yes, it would be nice as a nod to an attempt at professional journalism, if all article authors took care to note their possible conflicts of interests in their coverage of events upfront.

The About page on AxaMonitor states my fan film background up front, and one of my most recent articles about this motion to compel has an info box with a full disclosure of the fan productions in which I’ve worked since they’re specified in the defense’s filing.

And it’s been a decade since I worked on Hidden Frontier and more than seven years since I left New Voyages to start my own production company. Those time periods I believe are sufficient to obviate ant conflict of interest; at any rate they’re also fully disclosed on my bio on AxaMonitor, which is linked to from every byline on the site.

Carlos Pedraza,

Please, don’t mistake my poking holes in hers and yours “surrogate” reasoning with my actually embracing it.

And as for the upfront, I was speaking generally about being upfront on conflicts of interest on all articles contributed to TrekMovie.com, not just yours.

However, I do believe that if you are going call another blogger a “surrogate” on a site other than the one you own, i.e. where your “Bio” resides, that your interests are better served by immediately acknowledging that you have had a past with Retro Studios and they have had conflicts with Peters in the interest of full disclosure.

And I’m not sure I get this seven years expiration on all that you learned in regards to seeing things from the RETRO pov as writer, director, and producer.

And pointing to your Imdb entry is far from being “fully disclosed” to others about the possible appearance of a conflict of interest in topics on which you report, even if you yourself believe you have none.

You’re drawing a false equivalency between me and Jonathan Lane. His association with Axanar is current. Mine with the fan films I worked on was a decade in the past. Whatever conflict of interest you may imagine is not eternal. And I don’t merely point to my IMDB. I explicitly stated my former fan film connections in my article about the motion to compel discovery: “FULL DISCLOSURE AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza was a writer-producer for Star Trek: Hidden Frontier (2003-2006) and Star Trek: New Voyages (2006-2009), and script supervisor for StarTrek: Of Gods and Men (2007),” as well as in my bio: “Carlos got his start in the film industry as a writer and producer for two fan productions, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier and Star Trek: New Voyages.”

You’ll note from those dates that I left fan films before Alec Peters showed up at New Voyages, and I haven’t been active in the fan film community since. If you feel my coverage shows some kind of pro-NV slant you are welcome to point it out and I’m happy to account for it. But casting unspecific aspersions based on long-since severed associations is disingenuous and intellectually lazy.

Carlos Pedraza,

Re:You’re drawing a false equivalency between me and Jonathan Lane.

No, I’m pretty sure I’m just randomly using some kind statements on your part in regards to Retro Studios’ owner to try to open some eyes to the fact that your calling Jonathan Lane an Axanar “surrogate” is equally disingenuous and intellectually lazy.

Lane is merely the Fan Film equivalent of trekmovie’s owner who said his mission is to encourage and promote Paramount made STAR TREK films. Lane says his mission is to encourage and promote ALL fan films, which he does. It is unfair for you to imply by labeling him an “Axanar surrogate” that he is doing something different for them than he does for all the other fan films that he reports on, just because you don’t like the upfront pro bias he equally extends to Axanar for being regarded by him as a fan film.

But, if you must have an equivalency, how about this?:

You both formerly worked with Rob Caves and now are no longer active in Trek fan films after an extended absence, and now, you both devote an inordinate amount of your time covering various aspects of them in one way or another.

In other words, if you’ve got evidence that Lane is in Peters’ pocket, I wish you’d produce it and stop with the innuendo and name calling.

Dis,
While I admire the time you put into these posts, you’re just coming off so so wrongheaded that I’ve actually started skipping reading a lot of them.

And since I assume Carlos is eventually going to get a book deal about this whole mess (with the effort HE has put in, he certainly deserves the op), I would also think he is entitled to hold back a little detail-wise, so that the book isn’t just a rehash of what he has already served up for free on his site.

That Lane is in Peters’ pocket just seems obvious anyway.

Between this and Cushman (and the connection between them), I’ve actually lost a lot of my interest in Trek, outside of rewatching the shows and films I like.

I met an internet friend and writer in person for the first time yesterday, and he said he has become more of a trek archaeologist at this point, rather than a consummate reader/inhaler of all things, just because there is so much spin and omission and distortion and incompetence in what we get.

kmart,

I regret that I won’t get your feedback on those. I respect you. I even respect your throw the fanflim baby out with the Peters’ dirty bathwater approach. I disagree with it as there is a matter of greater historical legal principle of setting precedents on the table as to just what exactly are the limits to the constitutionally granted limited monopoly, but I respect it. As I’ve said, Alec is no prize, but that’s no reason to not treat him evenhandedly in this specific matter.

Jonathan Lane is no Nikki Finke who just rubber stamped every bullet point in the memos Brad Grey leaked to her.

He actually has disagreements with Peters.

Disinvited@dodgit.com

Carlos Pedraza,

Re: If you feel my coverage shows some kind of pro-NV slant you are welcome to point it out and I’m happy to account for it

Ok, Carlos, in this Wired article from December 13 of 2006:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060217065329/http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.12/startrek_pr.html

Chris Suellentrop reported that Jack Marshall, co-creator of STNV, insists that STNV is an “independent film.”

Why, even in your reply to me just now, do you keep referring to it as a “fan film” production when the criteria you applied to Axanar is if the studio creator calls it an “independent film” then it IS an independent film?

Carlos Pedraza,

Re: If you feel my coverage shows some kind of pro-NV slant you are welcome to point it out and I’m happy to account for it

Pardon my fumbly fingers

That archived Wired article

https://web.archive.org/web/20060217065329/http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.12/startrek_pr.html

was dated December 1 of 2005

Carlos Pedraza,

Re: script supervisor for StarTrek: Of Gods and Men (2007),

From this site owner’s own reporting:

http://trekmovie.com/2006/10/05/of-gods-and-menthe-other-trek-movie/

“Of course the producers don’t really use the term ‘fanfilm’ at all, referring to it as an ‘independent film.’ They have big dreams for Of Gods and Men…they want CBS to license it as an official Star Trek product. They point out how CBS have put together ‘fan fiction’ into official trek book compellations (the ‘Strange New Worlds series) and see fan films as just the next logical step. Other fan films like Star Trek New Voyages have the same goal, but it appears according to our sources in CBS that OGaM is the test case.” — ” ‘Of Gods And Men’…The Other ‘Trek Movie’” | By: Anthony Pascale | October 5, 2006 | TrekMovie

Hold on…what does Star Wars have to do with any of this?

Star Wars has everything to do with everything.

My guess (and I *am* just guessing here) is that the defense is looking at everything they can to mitigate damage claims if they don’t lose. While fans often take a pure win/lose view, attorneys tend to take a more layered approach, preparing for various levels of win/lose, and building multiple walls and fallback positions.

Star Wars is a competing product, and quite possibly the subject of internal discussions at Paramount/CBS concerning copyright and other issues of overlap. (For example, “Wrath of Khan” instead of “Revenge of Khan” as a title, because SW was planning “Revenge of the Jedi”.) I suspect that the attorneys were interested in finding stuff such as something that they could use to show that Paramount/CBS had a lower estimation of their potential losses from competing products and fan productions than is portrayed in the suit. Or possibly even indications that Paramount/CBS themselves had knowingly crossed lines of copyright protection.

“Discovery” isn’t quite the process of saying “give me these things that will prove my case” so much as “give me these things which I want to search for ways to build a case.” (When it’s not being used as a blunt instrument.)

[Not a lawyer – I just play one in my own mind sometimes.]

[Without Objection, request permission to revise and extend my remarks…] That should have read “…if they lose.” or “…if they don’t win”. Started to rework that phrase and fumbled.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

If C.B.S was Smart. They would drop the suit. Get Behind Axanar and Lic the show. Then play it on new Star Trek Series.

Go get em Axanar. Screw CBS/Paramount. They want people to pay a fee to watch Star Trek Discovery. Um No way.

Apples & Oranges. Just because DISCOVERY is a pay event doesn’t mean CBS/Par isn’t completely within their rights to utterly bury Peters and AXANAR, which looked like crap to begin with back when there was STILL good talent involved in it. Really hope Feds look at Peters’ history with an eye toward prosecution.

kmart
Everything you say here loses credibility with all the venomous, hateful, hyperbolic language you use. But, at least it’s good for a chuckle.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but that won’t stop you from tryin’, will it?

By the way, that language is English, and it is supposed to be quite popular in these parts.

Peters got much less than meets the eye. The judge is essentially saying that there’s no reason for CBS not to turn over the documents in question. That’s pretty much it.

I appreciate the clarification.
It is nice to know that my initial instinct that Alec Peters was blowing smoke (as usual) was correct.

I used to come to this site because it seemed like it was by and for pro-TOS fans who were excited at the thought of reboots that could go back to TOS – the Trek that was timeliness to so many people. The odd article selection now however leads me to believe that this site is now paid for directly or indirectly by CBS, Paramount (?), I’m not sure, not do I really care. The site is a good analogy for the Reboot movies. My thought is that the site was originally purchased to connect with fans, that whoever purchased it was upset that the “new Trek” basically is worthless in the eyes of the long TOS fanbase that they so want / need to bring back and that, surprised at the marketing survey results, has come up with a reactionary (dumb?) plan to “bully the fans back” through media, manipulating fan films and looking back going so far as to attack their own film(???) – whatever it takes to getting back to being able to put out mediocre new Trek and make cash. You got 20-30 years of being able to put out mediocre product and make cash, good enough no? Relax already. Take a break, look underneath the hood of Beyond. You lucked out and recaptured some of the original TOS Wagon Train to the Stars. That movie plot could have been done for half the cost- boom, winner. $$$$ See, you can make $$. You own the… Read more »

“You got 20-30 years of being able to put out mediocre product and make cash, good enough no? Relax already.”

Imagine if this standard were applied in other industries.

“Sorry, Chevrolet, you got 20-30 years of turning out mediocre product and make cash, good enough no? I’m going to design and sell my own car and call it a Camaro.”

“Sorry, Apple, you got 20-30 years of turning out mediocre product and make cash, good enough no? I’m going to design and sell my own computer and call it a Mac.”

“Sorry, U2, you got 20-30 years of turning out mediocre product and make cash, good enough no? I’m going to form my own rock group and sell my own records under the name U2.”

Thorny,

Re:Imagine if this standard were applied in other industries.

I don’t know what world you live in, but no imagining is necessary. Those are precisely the limitations patents put on industry, and why you buy can buy identical generic products after such spans of time for far less than the Brands would have the price set if there were a lack of the competition that the expiration of a patent’s monopoly create.

Thorny,

Re:Imagine if this standard were applied in other industries.

And prior to 1976, that’s the way copyrights worked and performers managed to muddle through with such a imitation just fine. It’s the reason that I can sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU free and clear.

And a lot of recording industry contracts had riders where the record company took ownership of the name of the group signed or that members of a band split with each claiming rights to the original band name resulting in more than one band performing under the same identical iconic name while things got hashed out in and out of court. It’s not as unusual as you try to paint it.

“imitation” should be “limitation”.

Axanar would actually get away with it if it were imitation. But they are using the Star Trek name and an (obscure) character established in Star Trek. If they change the names are remove all references to Star Trek’s universe and Captain Garth, they could probably get away with it.

That’s how those awful “Fifty Shades” books got published. They were originally “Twilight” fan fiction. All references to the Twilight universe were removed and everybody was happy.

Disinvited…”I don’t know what world you live in”

The real one. Show me another computer company that makes a computer called a Mac. Or another car company that makes a car called a Camaro. Or another rock band that calls itself U2. We’re not talking about “generic products” at all (nice straw man argument, though) we’re talking about someone calling themselves “Star Trek”.

Those recording industry contracts you talk about actually support my point. The studio owned the name, someone else can’t go an record under that name. John Forgerty was not allowed to call his more recent material Credence Clearwater Revival after he left the group. The studio still owned the group and its copyrights, not him. There are several other late ’60s / early ’70s groups where the lead singer went solo and later tried to call his new band the name of the old band. They lost.

So will Star Trek: Axanar.

Thorny,

It seems the message that STAR TREK imparted in the episode BY ANY OTHER NAME by way of the Bard’s “that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” was lost on you? Which reminds me, the ROMEO AND JULIET brand has been shared ad infinitum and the business of making money using it still chugs right along despite the lack of exclusivity.

The American Red Cross and Johnson&Johnson two completely separate unconnected operations both use The Red Cross trademark and offer identical brands of products that neither manufactures for the other bearing it.

CBS, a plaintiff in this case, has a series, ELEMENTARY, wholly separate and independent from the BBC ONE series, SHERLOCK, and BOTH series feature the same characters in the setting of our contemporary times. While WB shepherds its own SHERLOCK HOLMES film franchise. All use the SHERLOCK HOLMES brand and both TV series currently air new episodes on US airwaves.

Re:Those recording industry contracts you talk about actually support my point.

No, it supports mine as when a record company takes the name they have a long industry practice of licensing it out to more than one band, at the same time. That is, the corporatization of a band name often results in duplicates, to wit:

http://glennmillerorchestra.com/licensed-territories/

It can happen to U2 too, if U are young at heart 2, too.

Disinvited… “CBS, a plaintiff in this case, has a series, ELEMENTARY, wholly separate and independent from the BBC ONE series, SHERLOCK, and BOTH series feature the same characters in the setting of our contemporary times. While WB shepherds its own SHERLOCK HOLMES film franchise. All use the SHERLOCK HOLMES brand and both TV series currently air new episodes on US airwaves.”

You understand that BBC and CBS both pay license fees to the estate (current copyright holders) of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, right? Both (as well as those bad Robert Downey Jr. movies) are paying to use the character. When ST:TNG used Holmes without permission in “Elementary, Dear Data” they were sued. That’s why it was years before “Ship in a Bottle” returned to Holmes, after they’d settled the dispute.

Your Glenn Miller Orchestra citation is another straw man argument. Axanar is _not_ a case of a studio licensing a brand name to a third party. It is a case of a third party using a brand name without permission, or at least outside of the established boundaries (the court case is to determine exactly where those boundaries lie.)

Thorny,

Re:You understand that BBC and CBS both pay license fees to the estate (current copyright holders) of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, right?

You understand that SHERLOCK HOMLES is NOW in the public domain and NO, they do not? Neither does Vintage Roadshow/WB:

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-sherlock-holmes-belongs-to-us-all-20141103-story.html

You are wrong and my point’s been further made by your citations of when the estate was able to so do in the past, but now that’s over – exactly as I said: the way these things work.

Re: Glenn Miller Orchestra citation is another straw man argument

Axanar is not a case of a band cashing in on STAR TREK, either – even though such things exist in its fandom. And U2 was your strawman — not mine.

Cmd.Bremmon
Well said, I agree 100%!

BOOM! I’m surprised Trekmovie is even letting this post stay up. You’ve nailed it Cmd. Bremmon. I work in P.R for a large media firm and they will create forums for data gathering, it’s pretty common – and yet, as frustrated as I’ve been with this site and it’s bias articles… It had never dawned on me that this could be a Paramount sponsored site. The penny has just dropped. I love what you said about looking “under the hood of Beyond.” It really is that simple. I love what you said about everyone attacking the Peter guy who’s come up with Axanar, and yet him being the person who’s actually coming up with something fans of Trek would want to see. I’m so curious to see how Discovery is NOT going to be an Axanar clone. The JJ-verse is revolting. They are raping our ‘fanhoods’ and those first two JJ gave zero fan service to fans of the Prime Universe. I wish Nimoy had never agreed to appearing. What a pile of soulless crap. They created Star Wars Force Awakens with no CGI to appease Wars fans who wanted something authentic. God forbid the same respect and authenticity was paid to fans of Star Trek. Paramount you are a JOKE. You own this IP and yet you are apologising for what it is. A JOKE. There’s a vocal minority on this site who keep shaming fans of the Prime Universe who wanted are emotionally connected to 50 years of… Read more »

Ralph Daay Today 12:45 pm

The new films are an insult to everything we are invested in.

Yup. They’re literally the antithesis of what “Star Trek” was meant to be from the very beginning.

I think the site started out with everyone on the same page – we are doing a ST reboot and want the old fans back. Star Trek 2009 kind of delivered and everyone was happy. Then came Star Trek: Into Darkness where the marketing reports on this site came back that we all went to see it but were disappointed in the product to the point would not necessarily go see another one. Ironically I think Paramount used the marketing data but some were upset with the message and then tried to go out and shoot the messengers on this site. The confusing message and the anti-fan editorials came out of that “civil war” – you have three factions now – CBS (Discovery) mad that Axanar has a better received product then pretty much everything but their TOS DVD box set, Bad Robot (ex-employees??) who were mad that they were onto something with the Reboot but went off track with into darkness and pretty much were removed from the centre seat and are going with a scorched earth policy (screw you Beyond!!! you didn’t make any $$$$ even though fans loved your product more), Bad Robot proper who has moved onto Star Wars (thanks Trek for setting that up, we are busy trying to discover that maybe if we have more than an X-Wing a movie we can sell more model kits), and Paramount (hey, if we do Beyond but reduce the budget by half, we can make $$$. Get… Read more »
Cmd.Bremmon Today 6:11 am An important part that you left out is Paramount’s re-branding strategy for Star Trek. They actively and openly dismissed the long-time fans in an effort to appeal to new fans who didn’t like old Trek or its fans. This site and Bob Orci’s regular fan outreach appearances here were an effort for Paramount and Bad Robot to have it both ways. In public, JJ Abrams (at the behest of Paramount) would dismiss the long-time fans by repeatedly stating that ST09 and STID were not made for the fans; while, largely out of sight of the mainstream and those new fans that Paramount was after, Bob Orci would come here to attract the old fanbase to the new movies. The idea was that Bob’s Trek cred would appeal to the long-time fans, while JJ’s anti-Trek statements and attitude would appeal to people that never liked “[their] father’s Star Trek.” The problem with this strategy was that too many of us long-time fans realized that Bad Robot Trek movies were pretty much the antithesis of what we liked about Star Trek and what Star Trek was meant to be from the beginning. Where TOS was thoughtful, contemplative, philosophical, meaningful and drama-oriented, ST09 and STID were too reliant upon action sequences to spend much time developing meaningful, Trek-like themes and dramatic character arcs. We liked ST09 and STID in the theater, because they were cut together at such a break-neck pace that we didn’t have time to ask questions… Read more »
Cmd.Bremmon Today 12:25 am This site actually used to be a lot more blatantly pro-Bad Robot Trek when AP was running it. Though, I do find it odd that one of the regular writers here (I’m sure you can figure out who) refuses to even entertain the possibility that the cause of BEYOND not getting good (enough) word of mouth is because it’s not that good (enough) of a movie. I mean, he traverses the Earth, searching high and low for indirect causes of BEYOND’s failure, just to avoid acknowledging the possibility that it’s the actual quality of the actual movie, itself, that was the main problem. As you say, if BEYOND had cost much less to make, and still earned what it earned, then it could have been a financial success. The problem with this reasoning is that it’s the SFX and action scenes that likely attracted a substantial portion of the ticket sales that BEYOND did get. And you can’t have all of that SFX and action if you slash the budget. I still haven’t seen BEYOND, so I can’t comment in detail on the merits of the film. But, if it’s in keeping with the formula of its two BR predecessors, then Paramount didn’t have much of a choice in terms of budgeting. To make a less costly movie that sells enough tickets to be profitable, they’d need to completely change their thinking and artistic approach to making Star Trek movies. They’d have to do something crazy—treat… Read more »

Cmd.Bremmon Today 12:25 am

Why not embrace the TOS atmosphere in Axanar that quite frankly achieves what your multi-million dollars cannot seem to figure out??

Exactly. CBS/Paramount could have turned Axanar into a win/win/win scenario by licensing it. They could have earned profit and done right by the fans and the fan-film community. But, instead of cultivating the creative effort known as Axanar, they decided to kill it and thereby render it a complete waste. By their lawsuit, CBS/Paramount have opted for a zero-sum strategy in which someone (fans and fan-film community) has to lose in order for them to win. And, with the bad will that they’ve engendered by killing the golden age of fan-films, it’s questionable that they’ll really come out a winner. They’ll claim in court that Axanar has cost them so much money in terms of direct competition, but that’s all speculative. Alec Peters took too much candy from the bowl, and demonstrated an unmistakable hubris in all of his plans to exploit the Star Trek property. I totally understand why people are angry at him. But, CBS/Paramount did not have to kill all of the fan films. That was, by no means, the only viable or even prudent response available to them. So, instead of a win/win/win scenario, it’s most likely going to be a lose/lose/lose scenario. Hate for CBS/Paramount, hate for Alec Peters, and the demise of the fantastically creative, satisfying and artistically rewarding golden age of fan-films. It’s really quite a tragedy.

Forget even paying $0.01 for an Axanar license; like they said it is their IP. Why not just take the Axanar idea, offer Peter’s a cameo, offer the 3d modeller a job to show they aren’t totally insensitive and do it yourself? People are complaining that Discovery will be a rip off of Axanar – I’d LOVE an official Axanar. You think they will do it, no! I say they will instead pay writers millions of dollars to come up with 3d models that don’t even come close to generating the excitement of Axanar with a script that doesn’t even come close to the excitement of Axanar (a Connie and a D7 face off in something paid for by Paramount, not going to happen!) – and then when it all doesn’t make any coin they will complain the whole thing cost too much and didn’t attract any fan interest!!!!! Look at Enterprise – it was peace with the Klingons from day one, they sure laid the ground work for some drama and conflict there, eh? I see from the posts that they want to portray Peter’s as a scamster, fine, but how $#@$ing incompetent are you that the scamster was able to read more FASA Trek books FOR FREE from a time fans would pay for those manuals while your paid writers continue to put out progressively boring bland Trek? TOS fans can take some solace in the fact that CBS can only make cash on reissuing TOS DVDs for… Read more »

Cmd.Bremmon October 24, 2016 5:45 am

the fact that CBS can only make cash on reissuing TOS DVDs for so long while losing all that cash probably by trying to peddle all those TNG/VOY DVDs to try to build some kind of lasting market for them.

You make some valid points, but a point of order is needed with respect to this bit about TNG. With an average weekly viewership of about 11 million people, TNG was the most popular of all Trek series during its initial run. It had broad appeal, pulling in both mainstream audiences and long-time fans. Memes from the show, such as the Picard face-slap and “make it so,” have become nearly as mainstream-iconic as TOS’s “beam me up” and Spock’s various catch-phrases. CBS doesn’t need to “build” a lasting market for the DVDs; they have a lasting market by virtue of the popularity of the show.

There’s NO visible evidence that AXANAR would have been remotely watchable given what we’ve seen and the histories of the players. In fact, the script reviews make it seem like it would have been well-nigh unwatchable, assuming it could have even been completed at all by these people who still remained with Peters before everything shut down.

You don’t license a turd; you throw it away, and if you’re nice, you do so before nobody steps on it. Now if the dog is doing this deliberately, you might consider retraining or disciplining the dog.

Disagree, you have clear visible evidence with Prelude to Axanar was more exciting to me as a TOS fan than all of TNG, the pilot of ENT, all of the TNG movies and pretty much all of VOY. It ironically fit into canon way better than the pilot of Enterprise (peace with the Klingons, transporters). How much $$$ did Paramount pay those writers??

Look I’m no fan of TNG, and I downright despise VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE. I place JJ’s two even below those. But the AXANAR clips were just amateur-hoursville, plain and simple. No demonstration of mastery or competence regarding cinematic language, just talking heads and ships all moving at one dull velocity. So I understand what you DON’T like about those later projects, but that’s no reason to cheer on somebody doing a crappy job with original uniforms. GALAXY QUEST is a lot truer to TOS feel than this mess ever had a chance of being.

kmart Today 7:00 am

There’s NO visible evidence that AXANAR would have been remotely watchable given what we’ve seen and the histories of the players.

There’s no evidence that a movie which hasn’t been movie would be watchable if it were made? I agree! There’s no evidence of things that don’t exist!

I wasn’t all that impressed story-wise by the PRELUDE, but it was enough to pique my interest in the full-length feature. And quite a lot of people were very excited about it. You have a special axe to grind with Alec Peters due to his association with your arch nemesis, Marc Cushman. But, even if there were major story problems with the full-length AXANAR film, there’s no denying the high level of interest in it. CBS licenses fan novels. And they license bad Trek movies, like NEMESIS and STID. There’s no reason they shouldn’t license a movie with as much of a loyal fan-base as AXANAR. They could even take an active role in changing the script as a condition of licensing it. Or, they could purchase it outright and revise the script. There are several options that could have turned out win/win/win and been productive instead of destructive.

Bah. Damned typos. There’s no evidence that a movie which hasn’t been *MADE*

Cyg, this loyal fan base you reference is pretty tiny relative to the real world (which makes sense given how lousy AXANAR seems), so it makes no sense for a real studio to acknowledge it, unless there is a violation happening. Licensing it? Sure and LucasFilm could have ‘licensed’ my parody FOOD WARS a year after Eon and United Artists licensed my YOU ONLY DIE THRICE parody. Why would they bother? Why would they care? (though Eon has shut down amateur Bond movies with cease&desists going back to the 90s, so they do find them actionable.)

Do you honestly think I’d even be in this thread if not to weigh in on AXANAR’s actual merits? Take Cushman out of the equation, and you STILL have the propworx scams and the huge history of virtual Trump-of-Trek behavior, PLUS the visible evidence of not-much-going-on-here. This is a tiny subniche of fandom (which is fractured enough already) so desperate for characters in primary colors who DON’T wind up blinded by lens flares that they have apparently surrendered their critical faculties to Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

kmart Today 5:52 am

All I know is that the movie hasn’t even been made, so there’s no way to rightly gauge its merits as a dramatic or Trek-like work.

With respect to the loyal Axanar fan base, it donated $1 million to see the movie get made. That’s impressive any way you slice it. As I recall, the massive Axanar fundraising is one of the motivations for the CBS/Paramount lawsuit. So, if those companies believe that Axanar was cutting into their take, then that suggests that Axanar might be worth licensing. And, remember that Axanar was never widely promoted in the mainstream. So, of course its fan-base was limited. And look at what it managed to achieve with just an underground fan-base.

If you’re not putting your best foot forward with your sample scenes, you’re not doing it right. Why? Cuz people will dismiss it on the basis of what you DO show, like I”m doing.

kmart,

Re::If you’re not putting your best foot forward with your sample scenes, you’re not doing it right

But didn’t Fuller just do that with his ST:DISCOVERY making that a current STAR TREK production acceptible practice possibly even a standard but I’m not sure who put the cart before the horse first in this, i.e. who’s following who?

Absolutely right, the tease on DISCOVERY was godawful bad. Then again, that wasn’t so much a selling tool as a placemat for the eventual meal. Also, DISCOVERY wasn’t seeking investors with its terrible lil CG promo, and in fact I think that was a much worse call than they could have imagined for folks who were already eager to see something that validated their interest.

kmart,

Re: that wasn’t so much a selling tool

Well as its end result turned out, I’d agree, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t release it hoping to repel subscribers.

Cygnus-X1, Re: the massive Axanar fundraising is one of the motivations for the CBS/Paramount lawsuit I don’t think the “massiveness” of the amount in isolation is what got Paramount’s panties in a bunch. I think it was the speed and the fact that it far exceeded its target that was more troubling to them. For lack of a better word, call it the surprising economic “enthusiasm” for a Trek project that resulted in having its far more modest goals both rapidly and excessively exceeded that concerned them. Also, recall their legal filing harping on Axanar being called an “independent film” by Peters – as if Peters could pass muster on the witness stand as an expert witness able to identify for the court just what exactly an “independent film” is? Understand hIs only experience in something close to “independent film” making was working on STAR TREK:NEW VOYAGES, whose productions its co-creator, Jack Marshall, insisted were not “fan films” but “independent films”. This being worthy of note here only because this is the same Paramount that claimed a $15,000 independent film, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, saved its bacon in the year of its release. I believe Paramount spruced that up to the tune of $350,000 and that is what I think became their primary concern, I.E. that now someone else who already expressed intent to hire industry professionals in other aspects of his planned fan film project could possibly now hire some industry talent to spruce up their “$15,000” [note to others unfamiliar… Read more »

Statutory damages are not $150,000, but UP TO $150,000! Could be as low as 1$. Big difference!

The real reason the studio/CBS have resisted handing over documents in this absurd Axanar case is that Star Trek Discovery is likely a direct ripe off of the Axanar story line and the studio/CBS know it. Thats why they started this entire thing of shutting down, limiting and setting extreme standards of fan base films, skits and short features of any kind.

STD is doomed.

You mean except for how Fuller said it has nothing to do with Axanar?

Of course, “Star Trek Into Darkness” had nothing to do with Khan either.

(BTW, *not* an Axanar supporter in this conflict – just pointing out that public statements by creative types may be neither definitive or reliable.)

Plus, if Discovery were connected to Axanar, there would be no reason to lie about it because it would come out eventually.

Star Trek Discovery is set around the same time as the Axanar story. I can believe Simon Fuller when he says ‘It’s not going to be about Axanar’ but at the same time, I agree with ‘I Khan Believe It Ain’t Butter’ that the attention to detail, production values and fan-service by the Axanar team SPOOKED THE HELL out of Paramount/CBS. Instead of trying to come up with something as good, or better, they sue Axanar. I know very little about this Peter guy and why he gets so much poison spat at him, but let’s face it – he came up with something a lot more respectful and authentic than the soulless JJ reboot. If he stuck a Star Trek Axanar sticker on a packet of coffee beans or wanted to hire out a studio he built with money from fans, then WHO CARES. Let’s crucify a fellow fan who wanted Trek to live on. This site is RIGGED and this site is sponsored by the studio. The articles on this site are not representive of what most fans of a 50 year franchise want. 50 years of a prime universe. We want it back.

*reads the post, glances down at the huge black banner at the bottom of my screen that says they -don’t- work for Paramount Pictures, etc.*

Hmm, proof or your comment is BS, Citizen Daay.

~Pensive’s Wetness

Oh Lord, not another post by someone who proclaims his opinion is the one true opinion ‘of most fans’ and anyone who disagrees is either ‘rigged’ or ‘sponsored by the studio.’

I hate everything Abrams did with Trek (though I’m sorta okay with LIn’s take), but AXANAR is in no way respectful of what came before, unless you’re trying to honor the overCGIification of modern cinema. The talking heads approach is considerably less cinematic than TOS (sure don’t see any sign of Jerry Finnerman appreciation in PRELUDE) too.

You’re a perfect example of what I said above.

I’d only classify myself as an excellent example of anything, as perfection is something I can only aspire to. But if your claim were true, then I wouldn’t have DS9 so high up in my SF pantheon, would I? That’s much more mature storytelling, often superior to TOS despite lacking some of the alchemy/magic of TOS. Now tell me again about how being a trek purist damns me, especially since I’m not one? (btw, I’ve seen these same kinds of comments on Bond forums where I get knocked for proclaiming the excellence of early Connery movies, even though I mention that I rank the Dalton films only slightly below them (and miles ahead of everybody else.)

Ralph Daay Today 12:52 pm I know very little about this Peter guy and why he gets so much poison spat at him, but let’s face it – he came up with something a lot more respectful and authentic than the soulless JJ reboot. There are two basic reasons that people hate Alec Peters. One reason, which consider valid, is Peters’ avaricious approach to exploiting the Star Trek property. He didn’t just set out to make a labor-of-love homage to TOS; he openly promoted his plans to make an eventually profitable cottage industry out of the unlicensed exploitation Star Trek. In fact, he even paid himself around $37,000 for producing the PRELUDE. He used the fan donations to build a studio, which would be used not just for creating Axanar fan films, but ultimately leased out to other productions commercially. And, perhaps worst of all, he went around boasting that his Trek fan-film was “a professionally made Star Trek movie.” Simply put, Alec Peters didn’t seem to have any sense of propriety or ability to place limits on his own unlicensed exploitation of an intellectual property owned by another party. The other fan-films, for the most part, stayed in their place. They knew not to cross certain lines. They played by the unwritten rules, so CBS/Paramount agreed to look the other way. Peters upset that whole balance, and there’s every appearance that he did so for his own benefit, pecuniary and otherwise. The other reason that people hate Alec Peters… Read more »

Your pulling out the “I HATE JJ ABRAMS BECAUSE HE RUINED TREK!” card has long since gone stale. Anymore dead horses to beat? And the AXANAR case has nothing to do with Abrams; it has everything to do with CBS/Paramount for not taking care of the franchise, and then going after the fan film community for biting into their money making opportunity with STD/DSC/etc. And while I think that Peters was playing face and loose with his project, it is clear that he is being singled out. The fact that the new show’s backdrop is close to the events of the AXANAR movie setting is highly suspect at this point.

When I speak about a vocal minority who will shoot anyone down who critises the JJ-verse films, Dswynne’s post is exactly what I mean. Writing in caps lock, and basically saying “shut up. What you’re saying is stale”. Peters tried to serve the majority of Star Trek fans tastes. The ‘Prelude’ film is a shot in a documentary style, which I found fresh and clever (and little like DS9’s In The Pale Moonlight) but from what we saw with the scene on Vulcan, available on YouTube, the actual film would of been like a regular film with scenes. People keep saying ‘Why bring up JJ. This has nothing to do with JJ.” This has everything to do with the new films, and the lame use of the IP and brand Star Trek. The reboot movies don’t work for fans. The reboot movies are designed to make money from the popcorn munching mainstream audience not serve us. We waited three movies for a bit of fan service, and in perfect Stockholm Syndrome fashion all wet ourselves with the 2 seconds of the photograph with the original TOS crew. It’s pathetic how little we get and even more pathetic how we’re falling for the Paramount sponsored articles and bias on this very website. Peters made some horrendous legal mistakes, but ultimately, had been left to finish his bloody film – we would have something cool to watch. He paid staff a minimum wage from his millions, so what? Had I been the… Read more »

The “fans” are Star Treks biggest problem and the reason it doesn’t succeed and never will succeed at this rate. Horribly acted fan films are all you’ll get and all you deserve. The old cast is dead (or soon will be) and old Trek is dead. Move on with your life. The worst thing that ever happened to Star Trek was Star Trek fans. Clinging to the carcass of a long dead show and screaming about Paramount/CBS/JJ is so stupid and counterproductive. You TOS purists are your own worst enemies and you deserve your fate which will eventually be NO Trek at all.

Ripping off Axanar would imply that Paramount/CBS writers would give fans what they want…. what in the last 20-30 years would lead you to believe they are that intelligent?!?!? The only hope for Star Trek Discovery is that they hired Nicholas Meyer; I refuse to believe he would put in a battle of starships that lasts less than 2 minutes and removes hints of Horatio Hornblower unless he has gone senile. That being said what probably will happen – ST: Discovery will walk all over any excitement that could be generated by a ST:TOS prequel (war with the Klingons, etc) in a rush to return to the familiar TNG bland Trek that it’s all forgotten in five years leaving us all wondering why did they NOT do an Axanar mini-series. Could have been a whole season of Five Years War / exploration during the war / trying to keep the Federation together – leading up to Axanar……… and they could have just taken it instead of spending millions of dollars. Then shareholders will complain why did the whole Star Trek: Discovery cost so much to come up with something while Axanar’s super cool TOS scenes will still be looping on the website. Sad, really, it’s all quite sad. Hopefully we will have some Kelvin movies with the Enterprise-A by some TOS fans; use the same Beyond writing team but lower their budget by half and I think you’ll have some good “Wagon Train to the Stars” Trek.

This means nothing. Bottom line is Peters raised over a million $’s by using someone elses’s intellectual property as the draw, built a business upon someone else’s property, paid wages from that money, used the money for his own support, pulled in assets including a building from that money, etc. His scummy lawyers are now just reaching for loopholes when in the end, Peters should have the hell sued out of him and locked away in jail. Paramount and CBS will crush him…and they should.

He’s a man who tried to give Star Trek back to the fans. He was over-ambitious, he shouldn’t have stuck stickers with the phrase Star Trek on packets of coffee, he shouldn’t of hired professionals he had to pay a wage to, he should of been a lot more careful as not to wake the sleeping 2 headed monster of Paramount/CBS – He stretched his luck, before he finally snapped and broke. However, ultimately, bottom line, he had a vision to tell the Axanar story, and the small efforts we’ve seen be it the ‘prelude’ or the scene on Vulcan (featuring the dude from Enterprise) are MILES AHEAD of any efforts made by any other creative teams, including the Tim Russ efforts and pilot. Peters made a big mistake pushing the limit of what is considered a fan production but I believe the way Paramount/CBS is dealing with this is ugly, they can totally crush him with the amount of money they have, and their behaviour draws more attention to their own success with their own IP and brand. The JJ-verse films have upset a vast majority of their fanbase. 99% of fans do want to return to their beloved Prime Universe, no matter what bias websites like this one would have you believe. Peters made mistakes, but we would of had a great film to enjoy. Instead, we’re left with 3 crappy Guardian Of The Galaxy clones, and a new series which wants to ‘reinvision’ aliens and technology. Peters… Read more »

It’s not HIS to give (not that he could manage such a feat anyway, no sign of functional creativity except in the loophole/exploitation categories.)

how can STO9 And STID be clones of Guardians of The Galaxy when they both made before Guardians was released?

Gary 8.5,

Re: how can STO9 And STID be clones of Guardians of The Galaxy when they both made before Guardians was released?

First: the science behind the concept

You are aware that in natural identical twinning of embryos that the twins are, in fact, clones and that this twining occurs, naturally, even in in iv fertilized egg created embryos? Now if those iv clone embryos are frozen but only one of the pair is thawed and later implanted resulting in a fine birthed baby 9 months later, and 5 years after that the second twin embryo is thawed, implanted, yadda-yadda, that baby is still the clone of the 5yo even though it was “made” before the other.

Second: Partners in Crime

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is a Marvel comic book property that prior to December 31st, 2009, they had been working with Paramount on the preliminaries to launch as a film with Nicole Perlman eventually attached to write the screenplay in 2009 under the then Paramount partnership which Disney would subsume by that year’s end.

And now you know, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

Just an FYI, Guardians of the Galaxy is better than Star Trek.

Harry Plinkett,

Re:Just an FYI, Guardians of the Galaxy is better than Star Trek.

I concur, better than the 2009 effort.

But it should be noted that most attemtps to artificially produce clones result in unviable embryos.

So is it not sad then that Peter’s could use the Star Trek IP more effectively to whatever his ends are then an ENTIRE MOVIE STUDIO WITH MILLION DOLLAR BUDGETS?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!? Look at the products that Peter’s wanted to put out as donation rewards – Starfleet FASA derived badges, technical manuals of the Four Years War, model kits of ships of that era – that is stuff in the 80s I would have worked all summer to purchase!!!! Instead I go to the book store and find – bland Trek The Next Generation novel 54354. I’ll pass on that thank you very much.

FASA-derived. Right there, you see he is again taking from stuff that is not his to use. If you want this stuff so bad, then commission somebody to build it for you, don’t support IP thievery!

I have no doubt that FASA, if it still had a license, would have been all over benefiting from this. I will never understand why Peter’s went so “official” with his production since that even gave him an out – that the Axanar project is one big role playing. FASA was an example of how Trek could legally be run and put out good material. It’s too bad TNG screwed that all up.

Gary Seven October 23, 2016 6:23 pm

Peters should have the hell sued out of him and locked away in jail.

Let’s not get carried away, shall we. It’s not a crime to be a hubristic a**hole. And unless you’re an attorney, I’d spare everyone your evaluation of his counsels’ strategy.

Legal mumbo jumbo aside, Viacom owns Star Trek. Peters tried to benefit financially from making his own version of Star Trek. Sorry, Peters, but you should lose. If things were reversed and some small time writer created a work that a big studio ripped off, everyone would be falling all over themselves to defend “the little guy”. it works both ways.

Agreed.

Ironically I agree. Moving past this however I think the bigger issue is why is it that Alec Peters with no capital (and as some have put it a scamster) was able to put out some exciting Trek content and hint at a project which is something Trek fans have been waiting decades for and utilize the TOS “Wagon Train to the Stars” concept more effectively than writers, producers and directors with multi million dollar budgets. Is it not sad that Peter’s was able to show a D7 in combat that fit the era where Enterprise could not?!? Is it not sad that the battle scenes in Axanar seemed more TOS than the 20 seconds of combat we saw in Star Trek Into Darkness with a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars?!? They are going to win the law suit just in time to completely destroy any value their IP has save some TOS box sets.

You keep restating this opinon as if it’s fact. I don’t agree with you at all. I wasn’t impressed with Axanar at all, other than what an independent producer can accomplish with special effects. And certainly wasn’t interested in seeing his take on Trek. I find the overall state of Trek sad, Axanar included. If he wanted to make a professional Star Trek production, he should have sought a license from Paramount. If he wanted to make a fan film, he should have gone about it another way.

Agreed about AXANAR, except I wasn’t that thrilled with the VFX either, which are all very one-note one-speed. There’s no energy to the work.

I completely disagree with that. Axanar gave us slower moving starships similar to Star Trek II, ship classes that fit in pre-TOS, D6 and D7 type battlecrusiers and the hint that these starship battles would involve some actual tactics and strategy apart from 20 second blasts which seem to cripple starships. There could have been scenes with ships using terrain (asteroids, gas giants, black holes, etc), dealing with damage control, shields, hull, differing weapon types, ranges. etc. This is actually the stuff that energizes fan bases and makes the show exciting!!! I often argue that the best TOS movie was “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” where the battle between two ships decides the fate of an entire ocean. I’d take poor SFX that imply an exciting hour over million dollar SFX that leave you bored. But then again, I am a real TOS fan.

TUP,

Viacom doe NOT own STAR TREK. CBS does. Both are own by Redstone’s holding corporation, but each are separate..

Stand corrected but my point is still the same.

essentially by the time this is done. fan films will be a thing of the past. and you cant blame CBS/paramount for it.

Captin George October 24, 2016 10:16 am

essentially by the time this is done. fan films will be a thing of the past. and you cant blame CBS/paramount for it.

Sure you can. They sat on the property and didn’t produce Trek that was satisfying to a substantial constituency of the fab-base, to the point that non-profit entities started filling the void with free product. It’s a fair and fairly pathetic indictment of a company (such as Paramount) that sues non-profits as competitors—destroying creativity, productivity and human dreams in the process—and still refuses to meet the demand that the non-profits had stepped in to satisfy.

See?

*fan-base* ffs

I disagree. Star Trek belongs to the studio. if they want to sit on it, thats their business. Most studios dont sit on things that make them lots of money. Star Trek films/TV werent doing that. And Beyond shows us their concerns had merit. Sure, we can blame them for their terrible creative choices, but the studio realising it sucks and cant produce a money maker is still a relevant position.

Regardless, they own it. Peters is a thief.

” Sure, we can blame them for their terrible creative choices, but the studio realising it sucks and cant produce a money maker is still a relevant position.” Bingo, agreed. That’s totally separate than the IP dispute. That’s where Paramount/CBS are going to win the battle, but lose the war.

TUP October 26, 2016 7:08 am

Star Trek belongs to the studio. if they want to sit on it, thats their business. … Sure, we can blame them for their terrible creative choices,

Which is what I’m doing.

P.S. And I’m also blaming them for their business choices and their moral choices. Of course, they have the legal right to shelve Star Trek indefinitely, and have only their shareholders to answer to about it by law.

The intellectual property of Star Trek doesn’t belong to the nonprofits. It belongs to CBS/Paramount. Those nonprofits aren’t in any position to demand anything of an IP they don’t own. Once those nonprofits begin violating the Fair Use doctrine concerning another person’s work, then those nonprofits deserve to be sued, and rightly so.

I never said that CBS/Paramount don’t have legal standing to sue for copyright infringement. My point has nothing to do with the law.

Roberta Lincoln October 27, 2016 11:38 am

I’m pretty sure that everybody here knows all that.

It’s amazing how delusional people is about the whole “Paramount was afraid Axanar was going to be better than their own movies”. Seriously, I can’t help but laugh at such nosense.

That seems to be the new strategy in some of these posts; that TOS fans can be bullied into liking TNG bore Trek. “How delusional are those TOS fans that they want to see a Constitution class starship take on a D-7 battle crusier, nerds, etc”. Let me tell you something, most of us TOS fans have been bullied far worse than this, that no matter how “delusional” you think it is generic bland Trek will remain generic bland Trek and if your strategy works; it’s going to be that next time we are at the book store we are not only ignoring generic TNG Trek novel #4324, but when it’s should we buy our kids a TOS box set to into them to or a new Star Wars movie it will eventually end up the Star Wars movie at this rate. I’m sure Disney won’t mind.

My strategy? Sir, I don’t have any stake, strategy or interest whatsoever in bulling anyone in this whole affair. I’ve been a pretty die hard Trekkie for 30 years and counting and I’ve never felt bullied to like Trek. I love some, I dislike some, I even hate some episodes here and there, all in my own will, and including the new movies. I just say that It’s ridiculous to think that a company with more than 100 years of making movie classics have something to fear a fan movie, and I frankly can’t help but find laughable that people are using that as an explanation of why Paramount has shut down Axanar, when the explanation seems to be fairly simple. It all seems too conspiracy theory for me.

Yet you think it’s delusional for a TOS fan to see a D6 battle cruiser that looks like a D6 raiding a colony out of TOS and think that one scene isn’t better than the last ten years of bland Trek? What do you think of those that do?

It looks like a slow-moving CGI version of a vessel. How does that scream out TOS to you exactly, unless you are embracing 21st century revisionism to TOS?

Uh… what TOS episode did you see the 1701 zipping around the screen in?!?!? Lol I’ll throw in ST:TMP, II, III, IV, V and VI with that. Slow moving kind of like massive starships in a naval analog (however unrealistic)??

Hell, all you have to do is look at the opening credits. But that’s not my point. When you have shot after shot of ships in motion (something you never saw on TOS), you need to mix up the angles and velocities or the whole thing loses scale very quickly. Everything runs at pretty much the same speed in 2001 due to the limitations of their systems, but the angles and lighting and scale kept everything looking dynamic (even at slow speeds) and compelling, while the AXANAR stuff just looked like somebody’s previz BEFORE a director got hold of it and shaped it.

Since you didn’t reply to my 10/27 post, I’ll add that the shot of the E-a going to impulse for Khitomer orbit in TUC is another fast zip by, and there is a (bad) at-warp shot a scene or two earlier of the E ripping into camera too (I think it may be an unused shot from TVH, going by the old AC mag descrip on TVH of a warp shot that doesn’t resemble the final shot in that film … a shot that by the way, has the Enterprise going from here to GONE very very FAST. If that ain’t zipping, what is?

You don’t want to know what I think of them. But it ain’t pretty.

Adama, Re: I just say that It’s ridiculous to think that a company with more than 100 years of making movie classics have something to fear a fan movie First, this Paramount didn’t come into existence until 2005, and whatever vestige of those 100 years that had perfected the art of making money from movies no matter how badly they bombed were immediately purged by its new and still current CEO, Brad Grey. The current Paramount and its parent corporation Viacom have gotten themselves so badly into debt that they had to make a Trumpian deal with a major communist country’s business concern just to get the money to make the last Trek flick, and you think it is ridiculous to suggest that such a financially struggling movie business might overreact, maybe a little, to how historically fast someone that they would regard as a nobody was able to drum up a cool mil in the name of a Trek film? I ask you to remember that this is the same Paramount that took a $15,000 film, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, spruced it up with $350,000 of polish, and turned it into biggest ROI that they supposedly ever had and also said saved their backside because of the failing returns on investment of their other films where they spent more than half a thousand times that only to get the same BO. And you claim that it is absolutely absurd to suggest that they could be concerned that someone with that kind… Read more »

Is Axanar still in the news? Thought we were finished with that sad, manipulative mess. Oh well, I’ll pay it just as much attention as I did when they was shoveling out that piss-poor trailer. Nothing for me to see here…moving along.

Lol Are you getting paid to make sure the last comment is some personal insult against TOS fans? I am willing to bet by posting this well get a bot response below.

Cmd.Bremmon Today 3:02 pm

Aren’t you glad that he checked in to let us know that he doesn’t care about the topic of this thread?

So glad. If it wasn’t for him letting us know about how much he doesn’t care, people may take the valid, interesting and worthwhile messages people put up here for granted. But fortunately people are not all as pointless as jonboc :D

I think he is gone until his 9 to 5 job starts. More and more I think we are seeing a narrative of bullying to try to make it appear the fan base is happier with the new Trek compared to TOS and like a poor marksman they keep missing the target. No amount of posting will change the fact that the last twenty minutes of Star Trek II engaged fans more than 30 years of new Trek. When we are popping in the DVDs with our kids – it’s Trek II and not TNG. TOS is still alive as long as we remember!

Funny how one of the big knocks against the last few movies is that they’re “villain of the week” revenge flicks when the ultimate in revered Trek cinema is a simple revenge flick. The whales in IV are more interesting. Don’t get me started on how poor 80% of TOS is. Horrible tripe.

Harry Plinkett,

FWIW, millenials in my rather extensive family tree revere STAR TREK IV the most.

And given that, an actively uninterested in making STAR TREK, Paramount was responible for the bulk of the episodes produced and that only by order of Bludhorn, that’s not saying much. I certainly wouldn’t rate 80% of the Desilu produced episodes as horrible, but I wouldn’t even blink at ageeing with you on the Paramount’s.

Cmd Bremmon October 25, 2016 7:01 pm

You’re lumping TNG, which is nearly 30-years-old, and the Trek TV series that came after it, all in with the Bad Robot movies and labeling it all “new Trek”? As though they’re basically the same in terms of creative approach and faithfulness to the spirit and values of TOS?

My bad – taking shots at the trolls trying to understand them. Full disclosure – the reboots are the reason why I am here still talking Trek. Even STID was infinitely more exciting and not fair to lump in with TNG. My apologies.

Cmd Bremmon Today 12:29 pm

You’re all over the map with your positions here. I honestly have no idea what you are advocating.

The way you check into threads about the new movie, just to let everyone know how you hate them and how poor the box office is? Please, check your hypocrisy at the door.

@Harry – checking in to let people know the box office isnt a relevant thing? Ofcourse it is. We get it, you drool at the mere mention of JJ Abrams. Not everyone does. And that’s okay.

If directed at me, I thought Beyond (as stated numerous times) was a good Trek movie and I was happy with the 2009 reboot. That’s why TPTB should keep the Beyond/reboot track going, just cut their budget by half to two thirds and your back to making cash. I would argue that Beyond would have made cash if it wasn’t for STID which I think was a disaster (how can you screw up the return of Kahn?!?!?! Still blows my mind. Poor Kahn, they took his crew. The Enterprise lasted what, twenty seconds in combat?). Whatever they do, regardless of STID, the lesson has to be DO NOT HAND THE KEYS BACK TO THE TNG CROWD!!!! Beyond was way better than say Insurrection. It is something to build upon. Find new people, but do not go back to bland Trek The Next Generation (ooohh, but now we are set in holodecks in Andromeda!!).

Hey…what if we made a fan film about the Axanar legal dispute?

I’d wait for the book. Nobody but Trump (or maybe a particular Baldwin Bro) could play Alec Peters anyway.kmart

@ kmart

Stephen Baldwin? lol

Vokar,
Now that you made me think about it, prob’ly Billy. Only somebody who has had to share stage with a bad actor like Cindy Crawford could probably capture all the horror that is Trump. As good as Alec is when he is ‘on’ … I’m afraid seeing MATCH GAME with him has forever reduced my opinion of him as a performer (just 10min of that show made me only remember Alec’s tantrums instead of his talent, which ws very disconcerting.)

Maltz Today 2:21 am

Hey…what if we made a fan film about the Axanar legal dispute?

And what if Alec Peters sued you for copyright infringement to recoup his losses from the CBS/Paramount copyright infringement lawsuit. Wouldn’t that just beat all?

Ironically that fan film (Axanar fan film) would have more action and drama with less technobabble than most TNG episodes and some potential starship combat scenes longer than 20 seconds with ships that actually look and feel pre-TOS. Would probably make $$$ too.

Ack, spell check, that should read in brackets (fan film about Axanar legal dispute).

I don’t recall the exact order of events, and I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that CBS did not express its grievance to Axanar until well into Axanar’s endeavor—the Prelude already having been released and production on the full-length film having begun (the Soval/Vulcan scene having been released). Speculation here has been about Paramount being the impetus of the lawsuit. But, it could also be that CBS intentionally waited for Axanar to go too far. Given how often and how immodestly Peters was yapping his mouth about his great “professional Star Trek” movie, CBS could have decided to let Peters break enough of the unwritten rules to make a lawsuit appear justified in terms of public perception, so that they could then appear to “have no choice” but to bring the hammer down on the entire fan-film “industry,” which was their aim from the outset. Obviously there’s no way to know, short of a juicy leak from CBS or Paramount. I’m just saying it seems a plausible strategy on the part of CBS.

Wasnt the final straw when he released some documents showing the financials…?

TUP Today 7:04 am

The two events were close in time, but there’s no way to know if or how causally related they were. Could be, though. It also could be Paramount pushing it. And it also could be that CBS had designs on killing the Golden Age of Fan Films.

I think they were just upset when Axanar was getting coverage like “Trek fans are getting the movie they’ve always wanted” etc. Paramount/CBS and all had no problem with the other fan films. Now that you see how the other fan films are acting I actually some were involved in indirect discussions with studios who thought they could use them to get TOS fans buying TNG stuff (was never going to work) and get them in on the reboots (good plan). Ironically looking at posts from the past I think those that were leading that charge are now ex-Trek employees which is why nothing seems to make sense from any perspective anymore with it comes to the Trek brand. I really do think some wanted ST: Beyond now to spectacularly fail that they could get the keys back to the car.. while at the same time the old TNG crowd wanted to get the keys back from those who just lost the keys.. that everyone a positions of power right now is mad that Beyond proved that “Wagon Train to the Stars” actually got some positive fan reaction (and thus the calculated fan slander you see on the board!)!!!

Bottom line: CBS/Paramount own the Star Trek IP. Axanar uses the IP without authorization, to the point where it falls sufficiently outside the legal realm of “fair use”. Saying “other people are doing it” isn’t a defense. You can talk about how evil CBS is, but the fact is, it’s their property, and they can enforce their legal rights concerning their property as they see fit.

Roberta Lincoln,

Re: they can enforce their legal rights concerning their property as they see fit.

No, their legal rights are not an absolute monopoly but a limited one, and as such they are constrained from seeing fit to violate laws of antitrust, civil rights, forming a paramilitary attack force etc. in the pursuit of protecting said monopoly. They can not do as they see fit to “enforce” it. That’s why there’s a judge that tells them they don’t get to see fit NOT to give the documents to the defendant.

@Disinvited – The argument “you’re hogging it, therefore I can use it” isn’t a valid legal argument. Owning an IP and enforcing rights of ownership does not constitute a monopoly. The fact that CBS/Paramount are sole owners of the Star Trek IP does not in any way give anyone else the right to use that IP without authorization.

@Cmd.Bremmon – Whether shareholders of CBS or Viacom are upset or not does not in any way give Axanar legal authority to use their IP without authorization.

Roberta Lincoln.

Re: Owning an IP and enforcing rights of ownership

Owning an IP and enforcing rights of ownership are not a valid legal copyright arguments but a quaint new business philosophy that’s doesn’t applied to copyright law, which the U.S. constittution makes clear ONLY conveys a limited opportunity for economic exploitation of a work on its way to the public domain “To promote the progress of science and useful arts” and neither promotes the wrongheaded abstract notions of ip ownership, nor the nonsensical concept that intellectual property is identical to real property and therefore subject to the same legal precedents.

The phrase “To promote the progress of science and useful arts” comes from Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution. But that clause refers to Congress being given the power to legislate copyrights of IP owners (which it does via the granting and enforcing of patents and copyrights). The Article does not, in any way, grant individuals the right to use another person’s IP. Axanar’s only valid defense is that of the Fair Use doctrine, but it is clear that their use of the Star Trek IP exceeds Fair Use. The question before the court will be not so much whether Axanar violated copyright law, but to what extend the law was violated, and what the damages for the violation should be.

Roberta Lincoln, Re: The Article does not, in any way, grant individuals the right to use another person’s IP. Oh yes it does, because it establishes that copyrights and patents exist to transfer ideas into the public domain “To promote the progress of science and useful arts” by granting all individuals access. The constitution is clear. Copyrights do not exist to secure ownership of novel ideas in arts and sciences for the individual but secure it for the public domain, i.e. the many individuals of the public, progress in the arts and sciences cannot occur otherwise. The real issue if this gets to court should be whether bankrupt Desilu properly shepherded its published copyrights to the episodes’ scripts in the the Bantam books STAR TREK 1 through 11. The fact that the author Harlan Ellison still retains a published copyright to his script of THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER and that old Paramount which is now known as new CBS keeps settling with him out of court in spite of their Bantam published work copyright to it, is a strong indication that one or more of those copyrights in regards to the other script authors may be candidates for restoration to said authors, or may have entered into the public domain under the pre-1976 law. It certainly would explain the plaintiffs’ resistance to producing documents that the court has ordered. At the very least, it is an indication that copyright law does not reduce to the phony oversimplified… Read more »

Disinvited, Re: “Oh yes it does, because it establishes that copyrights and patents exist to transfer ideas into the public domain”. Great. When the Star Trek IP falls into public domain, Axanar can have its way with it. Until then, it cannot.

Regarding Harlan Ellison, that actually supports my position and negates Axanar’s. It’s clear that Ellison owns the rights to the “Guardian of Forever” concept, it’s not in public domain for anyone such as Axanar to use as it sees fit. Likewise, the Star Trek property is not in the public domain for anyone such as Axanar to use as it sees fit. Now, if Axanar and company try to use pre-1976 copyright laws as its defense, they’re going to lose, since the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act effectively protects Star Trek’s IP owners from their property falling into public domain at the present time.

Roberta Lincoln, Re: Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act effectively protects Star Trek’s IP owners from their property falling into public domain at the present time. Not in this case. In Paramount Pictures Corp. vs Leslie Rubinowitz, et al, USDC E.D.NY (6-26-1981) ¤ 217 USPQ 48 The 1981 court ruled Bono only would apply if the scripted episodes were unpublished works because the film prints were never published, ergo because Paramount swore to the court that they had no published copyrights in the scripted works prior to 1976 to protect. But that wasn’t true as Ellison (1975) and the Bantam Books published works STAR TREK 1 through STAR TREK 11 established published copyrights for 73 of those 77 works, for each year from 1967 to 1975. When Ellison sought to publish his script in 1975 he asked the Copyright Office to identify in a search the party holding copyright so that he could negotiate publication rights. They told him no one had them, and that Desilu hadn’t even done the standard industry practice of registering with their office that the episode had ever been broadcast. They offered the copyright to him and he, being no fool, registered it. Despite Paramount’s STAR TREK 2 1968 published copyright to the COTEOF work, Ellison got his copyright and that is ample evidence Desilu and Paramount were definitely not properly shepherding STAR TREK’S then existing published copyrights as the pre-1976 law required. There are indications of a lack of copyright diligence in other Desilu… Read more »

Bottom Line: Regardless of the Axanar outcome, TPTB put out some pretty bland Trek with the exception of Star Trek 2009 and Beyond. How sad Peter’s was able to out TOS the actual IP owners and release something that actually looked exciting. Shareholders should be upset.

Geez, you deride post TOS stuff but LIKE the 09? Man, wish there was an ignore user button to skip your posts, just based on that alone.

Fair enough, ST 2009 wasn’t that great… but it did set up a return to TOS and I feel they got the casting, McCoy for example, down perfectly.

By the way, regardless of IP, isn’t it sad that Prelude to Axanar had more strategic TOS style starship combat than all of TNG and VOY despite all that cash spent on writers, producers, etc??? Roberta Lincoln, Maltz, Adama, I wonder what character is next on the list???

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