The Axanar copyright lawsuit has just claimed its first casualty: Not Axanar itself (yet), but the sequel to the recently released — and well-received — Star Trek – Horizon. Does this signal the end of all Star Trek fan films?
The Horizon sequel, Federation Rising, was due to begin a crowdfunding campaign on Saturday, April 23, but a call from CBS to creator Tommy Kraft has ended that. And it appears to be Axanar’s fault.
In a lengthy post to the Star Trek – Horizon Facebook page, Kraft wrote:
Executives from CBS reached out to me and advised me that their legal team strongly suggested that we do not move forward with plans to create a sequel to Horizon. While this is a sign of the current climate that we find ourselves in with Star Trek fan films, I want to personally thank CBS for reaching out to me, rather than including us in their ongoing lawsuit against Axanar.
At the heart of that lawsuit, of course, are the Star Trek copyrights owned by CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures, under dispute while the studios litigate against Axanar Productions and its owner, Alec Peters.
Tommy Kraft on the set of his first fan film, the well-received Star Trek–Horizon.
The typical course of action in Kraft’s situation, would have been for CBS to issue a cease-and-desist (or C&D) letter, advising him to stop the offending action or face formal legal action. But Kraft appeared to get surprisingly kinder, gentler treatment. He said:
It was conveyed that the reason CBS was reaching out to me was due to the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case. Again, CBS did not have to reach out personally. The message I received felt more like they were giving me a heads up before we got too involved in another project, rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.
The rest of Kraft’s Facebook post goes on to describe an alternate, original science fiction project he will instead develop for its own crowdfunding effort.
What it Doesn’t Mean
Perhaps the best way to figure out what CBS’ move means is to examine what it doesn’t mean. For example, CBS didn’t issue a C&D or threaten further litigation. They instead framed the notice as coming, not from CBS executives themselves, but on the ‘strong suggestion’ of their legal team at Loeb & Loeb.
Parsing CBS’ Suggestion
Breaking down what Kraft said CBS told him may illuminate the implications of this move.
CBS ‘reached out to advise’
Corporations usually demand. The kid gloves — especially since the move was prompted by lawyers — mean something. This is not the way executives (or lawyers, for that matter) act when they want to destroy something. It’s the way they act when they’re trying to keep matters from getting out of hand. This comports with Kraft’s comment that the message “felt more like they were giving me a heads up … rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.”
Loeb & Loeb’s lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Jonathan Zavin, has defended Star Trek’s copyrights before.
‘Their legal team strongly suggested’
While there have been murmurings that some executives within CBS want to do away with fan films because now they’re consuming valuable resources without returning much to the studios, the impetus for Horizon’s shutdown isn’t coming from them, it’s coming from their lawyers. And not corporate counsel but the legal team fighting Axanar. We know this because…
CBS was reaching out because of ‘the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case’
CBS and Paramount haven’t been relying on their in-house lawyers. They went for powerhouse intellectual property attorneys at Loeb, led by Jonathan Zavin, who has tried cases like this before, including defending Star Trek’s copyrights.
What Might it Actually Mean?
A bit more challenging is sussing out what CBS is actually trying to accomplish by “suggesting” to Kraft that he shut down his sequel before he “got too involved in another [Star Trek] project.”
An important part of Axanar’s narrative in response to the lawsuit has been its insistence that the case:
- Isn’t about money.
- Is only about copyright.
To that end, Axanar has, since the onset of the suit, sought to liken itself to other fan films, but emphasizing that it’s more original, using fewer Star Trek copyrighted elements than the others. Director Robert Meyer Burnett said:
The problem with [other] Star Trek fan films is they’re trying to recreate Star Trek. As good as their productions might be … you’re still watching actors that aren’t Kirk, Spock and McCoy. While they painstakingly recreate the bridge or the props and everything, you know you’re not watching real Star Trek.
The more unique Axanar is, the more reasonable a lawsuit against it might seem. The more alike to other fan films, the more they’re all threatened by the outcome of the case. This move by CBS seems to move in the direction of the latter — except the timing of CBS’ intervention with Kraft’s production may be significant.
Parsing CBS’ Goals
‘The message felt more like a heads up before we got too involved in another project’
Kraft was literally a couple days away from beginning the Kickstarter campaign for Federation Rising. If CBS’ objective was truly to shut down all fan films, why not simply C&D all of them? No. They chose one, the one about to embark on a quarter-million-dollar crowdfunding effort, and they asked — they suggested — he stop.
Almost by definition, all fan films infringe. Intellectual property lawyer Mary Ellen Tomazic calls it “tolerated use,” in which copyright holders turn a blind eye so long as the project doesn’t commercialize their intellectual property. This has been going on for decades, tolerated with few problems.
Suddenly, fan producers had access to what has become millions of dollars for their productions. “Sometimes a good thing can’t last,” writes Jonathan Bailey in an article, “How Money and Fame Have Changed Fan Fiction,” on his website, Plagiarism Today:
The truth is that Axanar may be a turning point in the relationship between rightsholders and fan fiction creators, a relationship that’s about to get a lot more complex. … The battle lines were being redrawn and the reason was because the Internet was, slowly, turning fan fiction and fan art into big business.
Tomazic, writing in her blog, “Intellectual Property Law: Fan Films – Breaking the Unwritten Rules and Defining Profit,” states that fan works like Axanar can’t avoid money issues:
The case revolves around what “profiting” from a fan film includes — can a filmmaker hire actors, set designers and build out a studio with crowdfunded money to make a “fan” film? Can he pay himself a salary from the funds? Paramount and CBS say no, deciding that this Axanar movie is no fan film but a competing product made from their copyrights and trademarks. The lawsuit is their way of reining in their previous tolerance of unlicensed use of their intellectual property, and protecting their legal rights under federal law.
Rules for the Future
The eventual impact of this case, according to Tomazic, may well limit what true fan productions can do in the future:
The Axanar lawsuit should serve as a cautionary tale for all fan film makers, as it will most likely result in strongly stated and probably strict parameters being set by other rights holders for future tolerated use of their intellectual property. Peters, by going too far in making a film that was no longer a fan film but a low-budget film with paid professionals competing with Star Trek works, crossed that line. He may have made it more difficult for fans to pay homage to their favorite movies with a lovingly crafted but still unauthorized work.
Indeed, Axanar producer Alec Peters had asked CBS and Paramount to more rigidly define what fan productions can and cannot do. Bailey, however, believes that is not likely to happen:
A fan creation [may] comply with the letter of the law but still be undesirable or even harmful to the original creation. … Rightsholders, almost universally, want flexibility when it comes to dealing with fan creations and, with that flexibility, comes uncertainty. We’re not likely to see many rightsholders laying down hard rules, save in specific areas, and that is going to create a great deal more fan-creator conflicts in the near future.
So what new restrictions may lie within Bailey’s “specific areas” that may overlap with Tomazic’s new “strict parameters”?
The End of Crowdfunding
“The love of money,” the Bible tells us, “is the root of all evil.” This may end up as the precept behind what CBS and Paramount impose on fan productions. Crowdfunding presents the studios with difficult problems for them to get over:
- Relative ease — it’s as easy as having a good idea and a well-planned campaign.
- Lack of accountability — as Axanar and other crowdfunded projects have demonstrated, crowdfunding success can transmogrify into mission creep, ballooning costs and questionable spending.
- Others earning profits — it’s not just productions themselves (like Axanar’s putative movie studio and extensive merchandise sales), but the crowdfunding platforms (e.g., Indiegogo and Kickstarter) who earn a percentage from funds raised by projects using unlicensed intellectual property.
The crowdfunding platforms have policies in place that supposedly prohibit projects that use intellectual property to which they don’t have rights, but both Kickstarter and Indiegogo appear to have ignored their own rules. They both wooed Axanar because it had proven it could raise big money; they turned a blind eye to Axanar’s explicit admission that it did not have the backing of the copyright holders in producing its Star Trek film.
In the long term, by focusing on the crowdfunding platforms, the studios can continue to keep their hands-off policy with fan films. By threatening Indiegogo and Kickstarter with legal action if they don’t police unlicensed use of their intellectual property on their platforms, the studios choke off the most problematic aspects of fan films, the ones that stem from unrestricted crowdfunding.
This action, if it is indeed the studios’ goal, resets fan films to a simpler time, when costs prohibited them from threatening Star Trek’s copyrights in any meaningful way that can’t be handled with C&Ds. Axanar’s fundraising success had put it in a new category: A fan film with lots of cash on hand. No C&D could, by itself, deal with the reality of that money. A lawsuit provided the only instrument to address the hundreds of thousands of dollars Axanar still had on hand while its film continued to be postponed, as well as the way hundreds of thousands more had already been spent as seed funding for the company’s commercial ventures.
Where do other fan films go from here? Their territory remains uncharted.
This article is a special by AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza and is cross posted on axamonitor.com
Why don’t the fans turn to Galaxy Quest as an outlet for creativity
Because fans want to tell Star Trek stories, not Galaxy Quest stories.
I’m inclined to believe that the better solution is for CBS/ Paramount to adopt the same approach to fan fiction that Lucasfilm/ Disney has.
But Lucasfilm’s blessing came directly from George Lucas, even taking the extra step of providing a sound library for fans to pull from (he also didn’t have a problem with fans recutting his movies). With Lucasfilm now operating under Disney time may be running out for Star Wars fan films as well.
Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams, the showrunners of Star Wars, both not only support Star Wars fan films, but encourage them. Both JJ and Kathleen have gone on record to say this multiple times. Kennedy even continues to run the Star Wars Fan Film Awards.
Disney is even allowing film makers to use Star Wars fan films they’ve worked on as part of their portfolios when they apply to Disney.
Time isn’t running out anytime soon for Star Wars fan films. Not even close.
Lucasfilm runs an annual contest. Entries must be short short (5 mins). You can only use the sound effects they preauthorize. You have to sign over all IP of your creation to them. Is this really what you want for the future of fan films?
That is Lucas films right ,you would want the same if it was your product. Come on this is business and business is business . You can’t use someones else’s product to make a film for free. Sure fans make these films for the pure love of Trek ( so they say) but again you can’t do it for free, you have to pay something to the owners to use it.That is why we have copyright laws, in case someone out there decides to make a film for profit like AXANAR .
In reply to comment:
Because Paramount owns GALAXY QUEST too.
I think DreamWorks owns Galaxy Quest. Paramount Television is reportedly developing a new TV series based on the property, however.
What bad sports.
They’ll be banning trek uniforms at comicon next.
Something tells me the people organising this abuse of the fandom have absolutely no idea what they are doing beyond the bow of their desk.
Xander, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Paramount is doing the right thing.
Since when? Who exactly do you think is putting the money in their pockets in the first place?
This may be the abuse of the smallest base of CORE fans. We make up a very small percentage of who will attend new movie. In fact, if CBS or Par reads this board they are probably scratching their heads.
They see us disagree and bicker about “What real Star Trek is”
They turn to the demographic people at this point and ask for something the movie going public or TV viewing audience is likely to watch.
You or I don’t have to like it but that’s “show biness” get bums in the theater seats or in front of their TVs
They’ll be doing no such thing. Stop embellishing!
LOL — Paramount owns Galaxy Quest.
No big surprise.
I think it is. This project was obviously a fan film, so why this project and not others?
I think that was adequately explained above.
Id wager the lawyers are being careful. They can’t allow a defence of selective enforcement,
Yeah, but there are other productions out there… ST Continues, Phase 2… Both very popular and no doubt known to CBS/ Paramount.
From the start Phase 2 knew which lines they couldn’t cross and always operated in good faith.
ST Continues is in deep trouble. Phase 2/NV has also slowed down production and hasn’t had a kickstarter in quite some time because of the lawsuit. Renegades is also on hold, if not cancelled, because of it.
This lawsuit has more far-reaching consequences that aren’t even being considered. The whole “They’re not going after them” excuse doesn’t hold water when they’re taking damage just the same.
“ST Continues is in deep trouble.”
No they aren’t. I regularly message with people involved with Star Trek Continues. They’re getting ready to release Episode 6 in just a few weeks!
Where did you get all of this wrong info?
In reply to comment:
Under copyright law, the only one being litigated at the moment, “selective enforcement” is NO defense.
Yep, Axanar’s malpractices may have dire consequences to other fan productions that didn’t do anything wrong. Nice one.
Except they did something wrong. Copyright infringement
According to Newsweek, Peters took money from the donations and paid himself over $30,000. If that is wrong, Peters needs to address the issue. If that is correct, Peters needs to respond with contrition and compliance, not initiation of litigation defense and counter arguments.
as if the other guys didn’t pay themselves out of the Kickstarters
Star Trek Continues seems to be doing just fine though so I don’t know.
They’re on the verge of self-cancellation as no one is donating because of Axanar. They’re not “doing just fine,” not by any means.
If you are talking about ST:Continues, you are wrong. Continues is going strong and finishing a very successful fund raising campaign.
very successful? they are failing to meet their goals and hopelessly behind due to all this fallout.
If you think the Axanar team did nothing wrong, you have no understanding of the situation. This is a very clear case of copyright infringement and IP theft.
They’re paying the professionals… which is about 95% of their staff including the actors. Some actors’ agents wouldn’t even let them set foot on set unless they were compensated. Axanar’s copyright infringement stems from the fact that it’s not fan produced. While the producers who are making it ARE fans, they are professionals and marketing Axanar professionally. That’s where they crossed the line.
Sorry to say it, as a former supporter of Axanar, with a cool head, taking a hard look at what they did. Y’know, just because Prelude and the small Vulcan scene they released was absolutely awesome and we wanted more, the way Axanar conducted its own business, the fact that it “conducts business” at all, is infringement on copyright.
What Vulcan Scene?
No what they did was create a product that both worried and threatened the big boys at the studios. Rightfully so given the schlock they’ve put out in the last two decades.
Or…and this is just off the top of my head…with the rumored serialization series coming up, anything fictionalized on screen outside the bounds of any shows is off limits. This leads to less confusion.
I’m hoping that STC and NV keeps going because they’re working in the confines of a point in the Star Trek timeline, and with characters, that won’t be touched by the new series.
After talking with Vic, I’d really like to see STC finish out.
Also, while I do understand that copyright has to be protected, I don’t see STC and NV doing any damage to Star Trek. Anything mucking with the lore of the series, might.
I hope CBS/Paramount realize how many
fans they’ll be losing as a result of ‘the fans don’t matter’ tactics like this… Probably a much higher percentage than they think…
They won’t lose any fans since most feel that Paramount/CBS is doing the right thing. Only a vocal but small group of fans who don’t understand the situation are complaining about it. And anyone who claims they’ll boycott official Star Trek about this is being dishonest and melodramatic. Fan boycotts almost NEVER have any impact–and in this case, there won’t even be one.
CBS/Paramount really don’t give a flying frak about the fans in any event. They have what they want: a mainstream audience. The day of Trek fans being any significant factor in Trek died with Roddenberry, and have been buried by Abrams.
I’m pretty sure that although the Millions Paramout payed for marketing attracted some more general audiance members it was not the numbers they expected & payed for otherwise the movies would be making $500 Million-1 Billion dollars & treated with more respect but they aren’t are they? Most of the viewers are still Star Trek fans or Sci-Fi fans who returned for something new & made repeat viewings not new viewers or non-fans. IMHO Thats why Into Darkness declined in the U.S. dispite all the marketing, this was because fan’s were not happy.
Upvoted your comment before I finished reading. Then I downvoted your comment when I did.
“Fan boycotts almost NEVER have any impact…”
Wow… the countless fan boycotts of Enterprise don’t come to mind? They’re the ones that got Enterprise cancelled and Star Trek killed for 4 years!
I do agree with how you started it off though. People will watch the new Trek especially with the talent that’s onboard to produce it. They’ll watch. Guaranteed!
Judging by the comments and the number of vote downs your comments have I guessing you’re most likely in a minority.
So arrogant. I assume you have done extensive research & done studies of viewers of the movies & established the percentage of returning “fans” vs general movie gowers & asked if they feel Paramount is doing the right thing? No you haven’t.
Axanar fans are, even before becoming aware of the wildly excessive diversion of donations into a long term non-Trek business investment that appears to have happened here, a tiny fraction of a percent of Trek fans.
Axanar by way of its released script is a pewpew story about a Gary Stu invincible all wise character calling out dozens of orders at a time to tech tech the pewpew tech tech until the enemy sulks off declaiming “curse you, foiled again”. Not something anything except the smallest fraction of Trek fans would miss, once they knew what was planned.
In all likelihood, the high percentage of fans that will emerge around Axanar will be those angry with losing all fan films because of the appetite for profit shown by Axanar’s business plan.
Damn greedy lawyers, instead of helping bringing down Colombian druglords, or german pharmaceutical companies, they take aim to little kids playing in their backyards with cameras and their toy spaceships.
No, they are not. Nothing is stopping you from making a fan film. Raising money through crowdfunding is likely over for the foreseeable future, though for anything under a protected IP.
Animated or live action fan productions will always be embraced when the filmmakers are the sole funders AND nothing of that production can be seen as competitive/or able to earn money.
If anything, Axanar was exceptionally greedy (t-shirts, badges, model kits, costumes, props, cd’s & DVD’s – oh and coffee) and pushed the boundaries too far and forcing the issue. Alex Peters should be banned from anything remotely Star Trek for the remainder of his natural life.
In reply to comment:
“Raising money through crowdfunding is likely over for the foreseeable future, though for anything under a protected IP.” — Lootcritter
No it doesn’t. It just means Trek fans and their unsanctioned fan activities will just have to use that organ between their ears, like they’ve always done since Paramount took over in 1967 and subsequently issued their first Cease and Desists, and be more creative in getting from point A to point B.
They’ll just have to be more creative and break a project up into to smaller more manageable pieces. Also, take a page out of political fundraising 101 and stop directly raising funds in bulk.
In other words, you know nothing whatsoever about the law.
IP lawyers don’t “bring down Colombian druglords or German pharmaceutical companies.” It’s not their area of expertise, nor is it the same field. That’s like complaining that veterinarians are wasting time helping animals when they could be curing cancer in humans.
In addition, your characterization of the Axanar team as “little kids playing in their backyards with cameras and their toy spaceships” is laughably inaccurate, and is the kind of thing only someone associated with Axanar would say.
I´m a graphic humourist, not a lawgiver, it just seem to me that Paramount is killing mosquitos with a bazooka.
Paramount is going after a guy who pocketed nearly $40,000 of the donations for his personal use, based on their IP.
Where is your proof? Do you have accounting records or anything beyond opinion to back up your claims?
No… it’s the kind of thing fan film hating “Hollywood Only-ists” have been saying since New Voyages and Hidden Frontier started to appear. It’s close-minded and stupid to say but they’ve been saying it nonetheless….
Sorry, but the likes of Alec Peters aren’t ‘little kids playing with camera’s and spaceships’. They are frequently industry professionals and insiders, with access to talent, skill, and capital, and they skated to close to the legal edge of ownership. While Peters deserves whatever scorn gets heaped on him for dragging down other fan productions – it was only a matter of time before some fan production, somewhere was going to get nailed.
Rest easy…if you want to put on a gold tunic, grab your toy phaser, and run around in your backyard shooting Klingons while your girlfriend records you, CBS won’t care. As a matter of fact, have fun doing it.
In reply to:
“Rest easy…if you want to put on a gold tunic, grab your toy phaser, and run around in your backyard shooting Klingons while your girlfriend records you, CBS won’t care. As a matter of fact, have fun doing it.” — Phil
I wouldn’t rest easy, but then I remember when Paramount had “THE FAN EXPERIENCE”, I believe it was called, where they costumed and made one up to produce a STAR TREK scene with you “starring” in it which you could take a copy home on VHS for a hefty price. If they don’t still have that going on in some form somewhere, it’ll probably be resurrected for that theme park they’re building.
Disinvited – Yeah, I remember that, it was open for about four years at Universal Studios. One of my wife’s cousins was a developer of that project. I still don’t think that CBS is going to care if Victor is shooting Klingons in his backyard, though…..
Im sure I have a copy of a Fan Experience VHS from many many years ago where my sister was in it. It was based around the idea of the Enterprise’ birthday with William Shatner doing the narration. It was suitably amusing.
@Victor Hugo Carballo
“Kill all the laywers”. – Shakespeare
These are not kids. They are adults.
I think you’re confusing prosecutors with civil lawyers.
In repl to comment:
Capt JW Amick,
Be that as it may, prosecutors are not the only means by which criminal proceedings can be instigated in court.
its not criminal its civil
In reply to comment:
I wasn’t addressing that in regards to the article’s lawsuit but rather Capt JW Amick’s mistaken belief that in the U.S. only prosecutors can intitiate criminal proceedings. While generally true, it isn’t ALWAYS true.
Actually, it’s both. Watch those blurbs at the beginning of dvds more closely. You can be jailed and fined for IP theft.
It’s stuff like this is why Star Wars is prospering and Star Trek is in the position is in.
That’s a ridiculous statement, on pretty much every level.
Up to now, Lucasfilm had encouraged fan films and exploration of the Star Wars universe. Trek has pulled back on that. I predict that Disney will yank the chain on SW fan films, as well, citing Axanar as precedent.
They only allow 5 minute fan films for their contest and nice you submit to you license it to them and they own it Star Wars does Jr. allow feature length fan films anymore than Star Trek or any other property.
Also false. The Darth Maul fan film that was created earlier this year was 18 minutes long.
There’s also several contenders on YouTube you can see, like the Darth Riven (sp?) saga that was produced, that was in contention. Feature length.
A lot of fans on both sides of the Wars vs Trek debate pretending they aren’t fans of the other.
I have always preferred Trek. But Wars has been a much stronger effort since both properties ramped up again. However, lets wait for Disney to shoot out 2 or 3 Wars before we truly compare.
The big difference was the film makers behind Star Wars loved it and wanted to respect it while making it great. Those behind Trek didn’t like it and wanted to fix it.
Here are the rules http://cdnvideo.dolimg.com/cdn_assets/3a519829d95bfb651c3e3a0140d46b8faaa409fc.pdf
check the submission section it states only 5 minutes is allowed those ones that are feature length are copyright infringement and not eligible in the Star Wars Fan Film Contest that is being run by Lucasfilm the creators are not encouraged or protected when they make feature length films they also state the 5 minutes only again in the Do’s and don’ts
Here is the Link for the Official Star Wars Fan Film contest rules http://cdnvideo.dolimg.com/cdn_assets/3a519829d95bfb651c3e3a0140d46b8faaa409fc.pdf
You will see that in the submission phase it states that films can only be 5 minutes long and may only use the sounds that Disney provides the Darth Maul film was 18 minutes long and is not in contention and not licensed by Lucasfilm and could be sued if Disney chose to
It will likely be all types of fan films, especially the superhero ones.
False. Lucasfilm encourages fan films with their fan film contests that they host every year. Lucasfilm is doing it right.
In reply to comment:
Capt JW Amick,
Not only that, Moonves of CBS, himself, encouraged fan films performed on the virtual stage of the now defunct eSheep Enterprise.
The Star Wars fan film contest’s deadline is this week.
If it’s 5 minutes long as posted in the Do’s and Don’ts of their fan film rules and in the submission phase guidelines nothing longer is considered legal and sanctioned by Lucasfilm see the rules below
What Star Trek movie has grossed nearly $2B internationally at the box office? None.
I’d say that blows away your assertion with one fell swoop.
Star Wars is not successful because of fan films. That is ridiculous.
In reply to comment:
Maybe not so ridiculous if you consider that JJ Abrams was making Super 8 films from the age of 7 and what help he may have given his good friend Matt Reeves help on his 8mm STAR WARS/PLANET OF THE APES mashup, GALACTIC BATTLES…
Given the quality of his work he may want to head back to those super 8 days.
Actually no Wrath of Khan grossed 8x (that’s EIGHT TIMES) what it cost to make. Given the price of my ticket then was $2.50 I’d say that’s more successful than anything recent. Could be that’s why they tried to rip it off.
Sounds ridiculous yes but it’s 100% accurate. CBS/Paramount can do whatever it wants with Star Trek and while yes I think Axanar broke the law, it’s affecting the other purely fan, non-professionally produced works out there. CBS needs to make up their minds – either let all or let none.
Star Wars has let all and continues to do so, even promoting the production of fan films with Disney-sanctioned awards shows hosted by Kathleen Kennedy herself, and promoted by JJ Abrams – both showrunners of Star Wars.
So while you may not like the wording of Van Bannovong’s statement, it’s 100% truth. That’s reality. Sorry your feelings were hurt.
Here are the rules again about fanfilms for Star Wars
Star Wars prospers more because Star Wars is a vastly superior IP to Star Trek.
Um, the complete collection of Star Trek movies and TV series (not counting animation) amounts to 39 times the amount of content in the Star Trek line of movies. You might like Star Wars more but the level of IP involved in making 546 hours of film/TV versus 13 hours of film has to be superior at least in volume. But in this case Star Trek has an edge in the intellect department in that at least some basis in science is used carry the story. The superior intellect involved with Star Trek show in that they at least try to have a scientific basis behind the technology we see in the show. Science fiction vs Fantasy.
Star Wars does have way better toys though.
Star Wars is drawn from the study of anthropology and classical mythology. They also use it to have fist fights and space battles. Star Trek is drawn from the study of science and classical mythology. They also use it to have fist fights and space battles.
I’d say the two are about even.
And quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. ;)
If by superior you mean high concept enough to appeal to childeren & the religoius masses alien to Science or Science Fiction, then yes.
I mean superior in every way, shape, and form. Don’t break a leg falling off your high horse – Trek isn’t the intellectual utopia you high brow wannabes think it is. It was a dead IP until JJ came along and made Trek the way GR meant it to be – fun. Trek hasn’t been fun for a very very long time before that. it would still be dead now if it wasn’t for JJ. The last two Next Gen movies SUCKED. The last two Star Trek series SUCKED. This is fact.
This is your opinion. The fact that you do not know the difference has discredited you.
The only TNG movies that did well were Generations and First Contact, but they don’t match the movies with the original series cast.
Voyager was okay with the Borg stuff, but Enterprise I didn’t care much for.
You obviously don’t know much about Trek if you think GR had nothing to say with it. The entire weight of Trek history is against you there.
Star Trek *is* an intellectual utopia. Star Wars on the other hand is an intellectual wasteland akin to planet Tattoine.
Actually, there’s a good deal of intellect used in both. It’s just that Star Trek fans are snottier about it than Wars fans.
Many Star Trek fans seem to be of a type who would drink 20-year-old single malt while wearing smoking jackets, even if they don’t like whisky, just to prove they’re ‘intellectual.’ Star Wars fans would drink some beer and have a laugh.
Star Wars fans have nothing to prove and don’t bother to attempt to do so. Star Trek fans always seem desperate to prove their superiority.
End of the day, there’s no conflict, because Wars fans aren’t interested in a fight. That makes Trek fans act twitchy and desperate. Star Wars is the guy who effortlessly gets the girls. Star Trek is the nerdy kid who talks to the hot girl all evening… but she still goes home with Star Wars at the end of the night!
I like both franchises equally, so I don’t care if I don’t get to go home with the hot girl!
At least, that’s my excuse!! ;)
In reply to comment:
For me, the more telling of the difference between the two is that STAR WARS’ creator, himself, acknowledges that you can’t have the one, STAR WARS, without the other, STAR TREK:
“There would have been no Star Wars without Star Trek.” — George Lucas
And, indeed, I doubt we’d have had the Trek movies or sequel TV shows without Star Wars. That’s partly why I like both!
There’s more of the piritual and mystical stuff in Star Wars, granted, but when it comes to intelligent sci-fi, Star Wars is light years behind Star Trek. I think that’s a fact, not an opinion. But I never compare those two, anyway, it’s usually those infatuated with Star Wars who do that. I don’t feel that those two franchises need to compete at all, they are so different, but some people (mostly the Star Wars fan(atic)s think they do. See the comment above about the “superiority” of Star Wars. By the way, your comparisons of fans seems more like stereotypes.
Well, strictly speaking, it’s opinion, but I agree with you! ;)
JJ was the film maker hired. But to suggest if JJ had declined, Trek would be dead is silly.
I guess JJ saved Star Wars too. Thank God for JJ.
In reply to comment:
This is just so much BS. The first STAR TREK copyrights were awarded to Desilu for the two pilot movies. Under the copyright laws as they were at that time of STAR TREK’s creation, it was supposed to be in the public domain by now. People act like if that had happened STAR TREK would have been abandoned and STAR TREk would die.
And yet they can’t explain this:
“Our project [ELEMENTARY] is a contemporary take on Sherlock Homes that will be based on Holmes, Watson and other characters in the public domain, as well as original characters. We are, of course, respectful of all copyright laws and will not infringe on any stories or works that may still be protected.” — CBS
Who owned the property and was ultimately responsible for the products released. Seems to me if you wanna throw blame for a dead IP look to the ones truly responsible and then remember they’re the same ones who did the reboots that people are already forgetting.
This comment is why people hate you and Trekkies like you. Smug, arrogant and think you’re better than everyone else. The reality is… You’re 300lbs, you have Cheetos stains on your t-shirt and you still live at your mum’s house.
When people can’t argue the point, they attack the person. Your feeble attempt at personal attacks proves my point is correct. And on your point about hating certain kinds of “Trekkies” I agree since I can’t stand the kind that just want to relive the 60’s over and over again. Boring Trek will never be made again, this is the reason these fan films resonate with the original Trek fans. And by the way, deep philosophical ideas can also be the crux of fun action movies. Next month’s “Civil War” will do just that.
Were you looking in the mirror when you said that? You Warsies are the ones that started slinging crap. Don’t start what you can’t finish.
When you grow up, you’ll realize that Star Trek is superior to Star Wars.
I wouldn’t say superior… I’d say better managed.
More marketable? Absolutely. I’m sure Roddenberry would’ve loved to be able to market Trek on a Star Wars level.
“The position Star Trek is in” actually seems very healthy.
There is an ongoing mega-budget movie series and a forthcoming television series. There were long periods where Star Wars was dormant (most of the 1980s and 1990s) and Star Trek was booming. Soon both will be simultaneously, and that’s good for all of us.
Is it? The Star Trek series will be on CBS’ All-Access digital subscription with only the pilot airing on CBS. As for Star Trek Beyond, how well is Paramount promoting it?
indeed, the only things about Star Trek Beyond i see is small “behind the sets” videos.
Yeah I don’t see any substantial push with Star Trek Beyond. They need to show more pics, trailers, and behind the scenes stuff.
try to raise a million on Kickstarter to make a Darth Vader fanfilm. Good luck!
It’s the Axanar effect…. I just really hope Axanar and Alec Peters gets what’s coming to them this is totally unacceptable and not fair on others who haven’t used Trek as their own personal theif dom
Thief. And no, copyright infringement is not the same as stealing. Learn the difference. Also, learn to spell. Go back to school!
Actually, I believe the two of you mean “Fiefdom” :P
It’s not “theif” OR “thief”. The word you both are looking for is “fiefdom”. As in a feudal estate.
Axanar has nothing to do with this. CBS is just putting it’s thumb down. I see, however, that you like to wish ill upon others. That is very much in keeping with the Trek ethos, isn’t it? But, at least you got some attention by utilizing faux outrage! So…that’s good, I guess.
Dude, CBS SAID that it was because of Axanar and the lawsuit. Deal with reality.
So CBS have taken pre-emptive action, albeit in a softly, softly manner, to avoid the rather awkward position of being in the middle of legal action with one fan film while others merrily go about their copyright-infringing fundraising efforts.
That said, I still don’t understand why it’s only Axanar being sued by CBS/Paramount when on the surface they appear to be one of the lesser-infringing fan productions?
Just to make one comparison, Star Trek: Renegades:
– Two highly successful Kickstarter campaigns under the belt worth over $600k, with a third as-yet unfunded episode planned. Together those will easily be comparable with Axanar’s $1m+.
– Written as a direct continuation of the Trek Prime universe with at least EIGHT actors reprising their character roles from three separate Star Trek TV series (TOS, VOY and DS9).
– A production which still uses Star Trek in the title (unlike Axanar) and was originally pitched (both to fans and eventually directly to CBS) as having potential the to be developed into a new and official TV show.
Axanar stepped over a rather wide line.
They began construction on Ares Studios with money raised from the Axanar kickstarter, then announced that after Axanar wraps they’ll be renting the studio out to other productions – for profit.
Axanar prepared merchandise, even going so far as setting up a fulfillment company to ship the merchandise. There was Axanar Coffee. They did t-shirts, model kids (they licensed the design to a model kit company, the design is so similar to other Star Trek ships that it certainly infringes on the IP’s copyright), and so on.
Peters paid himself and others a salary, meaning he was profiting on the production.
The other productions by and large are put together by people who volunteer their time, either out of their love for Star Trek or because they’re getting in the business and want a production or two to give them experience and put on their resume.
Peters and Axanar appear to have been more interested in profit than love of Star Trek, and that’s why the lawsuit came.
Peters is arrogant beyond belief. I refuse to believe that CBS did not warn them to stop, did not send a single C&D, prior to filing the lawsuit.
Even after the lawsuit was filed, until his attorneys reigned him in, he was constantly talking about how they were going to beat the lawsuit and how great his production is, and that Star Trek belongs to the fans.
He really put the nail in his own coffin, and now it seems that yes, he’s burying others in his wake, too.
Renegades wasn’t trying to build a business out of it, either.
Although, I would’ve thought CBS/Paramount would respond when one of our local news programs here in Los Angeles did a sorry about the new series and showed footage from Renegades.
Looks like the makers of Axanar have messed it up for all the other fan films, To be fair CBS has been very lenient up to this point when a lot of other studios would have shut them down straight away. You can sure bet the mouse house would have if it was Star Wars.
I’ve been saying for a while now that the Axanar team would end up poisoning the well for others. And now it’s happening. Lovely.
Yeah, I recall that a few people foresaw this coming. While I’m generally not a proponent of fan productions, it is a shame that one bad apple seems to be ruining it for all those other productions that respected the boundaries, and their supporters.
Don’t you think that this has rather something to do with the upcoming Star Trek series? I wouldn’t automatically blame Peters for everything. Fow all we know, those moves by CBS may have something to do with the fact that a) the new Star Trek series is coming and b) that it will be an anthology series [b) still has to be confirmed officially]. Considering the fact (?) that it will be an anthology series, the numerous fan films with their various time periods and concepts may pose a distraction or affect the new series in some other undesirable way. That may be one of the reasons why CBS is saying, ‘folks, party’s over’, the leading star is back in town. Other Trek-related creative efforts, no matter how well-meant and harmless they are, may not be desirable nor necessary from their point of view now.
I became concerned when the Kickstarter funding drives started. That takes everything to a different level. I was enthusiastic about the STC drive, but I wondered where it would all end if everybody started doing it. Axanar’s perhaps pushed it too far, but if not them, it’s inevitable someone, somewhere would do so eventually.
The fan industry has kind of just happened out of the blue, unplanned, but it is probably, for all that I enjoy many productions, a bad thing. Big corporations, to an extent, can handle the existence of a few fan films, but smaller companies, less able to protect their IP, could be damaged if so many unlicensed productions going unchallenged are allowed to set a precedent.
Axanar was pretty much the biggest offender.
They attempted to make a profit or at least it appears Alec Peters tried to IMO.
I am sorry about Horizon, I never saw the original, but I heard good
good things , heard good things about Horizon.
Sad but inevitable .
Axanar is the victim of stupid corporate greed! There was no profit for anyone at Axanar. They made the best Trek since First Contact! Horizon was really not that good. Nice try, though.
I agree. Paramount/CBS were obviously threatened/worried at a product that put anything they’ve produced in the last 20 years to shame. Really says something that enough fans were enthused enough to give $1,000,000 of their money to back a project done by fans. Maybe the lesson for them to learn from this is to listen to what we want and expect from Trek. Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, Undiscovered Country and First Contact were pure Trek yet they appealed to the general audience as well.
I am beginning to get really aggravated and annoyed with CBS and their whole “stop making Trek films because its hurting our chances to make more crappy films and tv series, and we are not getting any money from it” ordeal.
I think they are honestly “threatened” by the fact that there are more talented writers, producers, directors and GCI/Animated Graphic designers out there than CBS has in their arsenal of yahoo’s working for them.
The whole notion of people making these “fan films” is doing it for the love, passion and homage to Gene Roddenberry’s vision of our future. Its a creative outlet to tell stories to “entertain” people. No one is out to make any money from these fan films… but I supposed CBS doesn’t see it that way, because they are a bunch of cry-baby’s and realize that more than half of these fan films and series are damn better than anything they have put out since DS9. And they don’t like being trumped by a bunch of amateurs.
So they are going to stop these films and series because their egos are at stake and have been bitch-slapped hard in the last 10 years or so.
CBS is going to keep pushing and pissing people off to the point, where fans are going to get fed up, start rebelling, and begin to boycotting any new Trek related products…just because CBS has disrespected them. There is already an initial boycott with the new Trek series because its going to be on CBS’s new paid-subscription service “All Access”.
I understand your frustration, but in the interest of being fair, CBS has been really forthcoming when it comes to fan films/series. In the last ten years there have been a dozen such creative efforts and homages by fans, for fans, and all of them were allowed to exist and develop themselves freely. We currently live in the golden age of Star Trek fan films. It’s only fairly recently that they have decided to restrict such efforts. I wonder if that has to do something with the upcoming Star Trek series.
its absolute nonsense to let these grifters raise a million dollars on properties they don’t own. They can either make fan films for free or try to raise a million on their OWN properties.
Here’s a Bravo Zulu to Mr. Pedraza, this is a pretty well written commentary on what this development is, and isn’t. Keep them coming.
The thing is: if Series 6 is successful on CBS All Access, the very need for fan fiction is no longer existent. New Voyages, Continues, Of Gods and Men, Renegates, Horizon and Axanar are all projects that became necessary when Paramount / CBS refused to give us any good official Trek on TV / the internet. At best, those productions were semi-canonical in the eyes of the avid fan but none of them could ever replace real, official Star Trek. Full stop.
With Series 6 on the Horizon (pun intended), all of this has changed. CBS is acting because they don’t want their own official internet-based webseries to be confused with medium-budget fan fiction. On the long run, they might want to go these places themselves, giving us similar settings and time periods… Post-ENT, Pre-TOS, more TOS (Years 4+5), Post-TMP, Post-TUC/Pre-TNG, Post-VOY etc… all officially, canonically, coherently… The least thing they want is illegal fan competition to any of those endeavours… and who could blame them…
I definitely would hate them for suing the fandom as long as they didn’t do their job: giving us new Trek. But now that they do exactly that, it’s their prerogative to get a clean online slate.
It was fun having those projects around for the time being but they are simply no longer needed. Real Trek takes over as of now and who knows… with guys like Rod Roddenberry, Nick Meyer and Brian Fuller in charge, we might actually get some of these fan projects fully condoned by CBS shortly… on a much higher budget, incorporated into the saga.
On CBS All Access, a fourth and fifth Season of TOS is definitely not beyond our imagination. They do want as many subscribers as they can get and New Voyages / Continues has proven there is an audience. Imagine an actual, offical continuation of the Original Series with reasonable production values, better balanced scripting, pacing and acting, involving people like Chris Doohan and Rod Roddenberry… Now THAT would be a lot more awesome than any fan-based web series could ever be…
I couldn’t disagree more. Fan films allow fans of certain eras of Trek to enjoy adventures in their favourite chapter of the franchise, regardless of what is in vogue and what some stupid money making studio exec thinks people want. Trek fictional history spans hundreds of years, according to you, fans should bow humbly to the latest studio offering and keep their imaginations in check. There should ALWAYS be freedom to celebrate something you love, even use somebody else’s ‘IP’ if you are not making money and are making it clear it’s a homage and not pretending to be official or canon. The Axanar people were greedy, thoughtless shmucks, but that poor dude who created Horizon… I’m gutted for him. And god forbid they go after Star Trek Continues or Phase 2… I would be devastated. I am very excited about the new series (though I would have been more excited if it was prime universe post-nemesis) but my excitement aside, CBS should allow fans to honor the franchise, or they risk upsetting a great many people who might stop paying hand-over-fist for their products. There is always a place and NEED for fan creations. But there are ruthless money making monsters lurking in the shadows, on both sides.
(though I would have been more excited if it was prime universe post-nemesis)
No, Nemesis is the Bermanverse, NOT the prime universe.
Fan films were never necessary. There’s hundreds of hours of legally produced Star Trek. How that’s not enough is beyond me. An IP owner has the right and responsibility to say when a subject has run dry. The low quality of fan films pretty much proves this well is empty.
This is the seventh Star Trek TV series, not the sixth.
Renegates sounds interesting.
“Renegates [sic] sounds interesting.”
But it’s not, believe me.
Hopefully Continues is next. Their filing for nonprofit status is extremely unethical and making a quarter million is no better than the money Axanar made. Fan films should be self funded hobbies. This crowdsourced BS? I say this being a problem years ago. But greed is greed.
Then Phase II/New Voyages should go as well, based on that logic of yours.
They shouldnt want any fan films out there. However, if the studio has any concern about appearances, they could hold their own fan film contest, set the conditions (budgets etc) and make it a big deal with the top fan films getting studio promotion on a DVD or something (and ofcourse, the studio would control all copywrites).
If the motivation of the fan filmmakers is truly just to do something they love they would jump all over that.
I call BS on that and give you 50 downvotes.
I would think that CBS would want higher quality fan films out there. Hardly anyone outside us hardcore fans even know about them. When normal fans find out about them, the poorer quality ones don’t really leave a good impression. CBS are not really thinking this through.
Its exactly the same. Fans try to pretend it’s different, but it isn’t. Vic is raising hundreds of thousands for his private empire on the back of CBS’ property – he wouldn’t raise a dime on his own. That will be stopped next… they can make a fan film for free all they want to, but the minute they try raising these amounts of $ they should be slapped down HARD.
@Big Jim Slade:
The kind of budgets some ST fanfilms are working with makes them anything but hobby projects, and when they use ANY of the equipment or facilities purchased with crowd-sourced funds to make for-profit projects, the line has to be drawn and the legal crackdown is wholly justified.
I regret donating to fanfilms, and even to a few pro-films, especially those that never bothered to follow up on the promised progress reports, perks, shout-outs, screen and/or IMDb credits. I could use that blown $500 back right about now… :P
That said, I donated to one odd project that I DON’T regret: to restore and re-release an old and generally disliked sci-fi/horror grindhouse/drive-in film from the ’50s; the folks doing this have been completely above-board, going out of their way to keep donors updated in emails and on the web at every stage of their progress. THAT is the kind of transparency and respect ALL donors to these projects deserve, instead of the usual “take the money and run” treatment.
“If CBS’ objective was truly to shut down all fan films, why not simply C&D all of them? No. They chose one, the one about to embark on a quarter-million-dollar crowdfunding effort, and they asked — they suggested — he stop.”
“Star Trek: Continues” is in the middle of their campaign to raise $350K, should they expect a friendly suggestion from CBS to pack it up?
In reply to:
And lets not forget that for neither Axanar nor Horizon were C&Ds sent.
As I mention in the article, a C&D to Axanar simply wouldn’t have accomplished anything other than stopping production. And that’s assuming Axanar would’ve abided by the C&D, which is not an actual legal document; it has no force, it’s basically just a threat.
Axanar would still be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank that CBS/P would argue they aren’t entitled to since it was raised using intellectual property Axanar doesn’t own. The only legal instrument that allows the money to be accounted for and dealt with is a lawsuit, with either a settlement or judgment to resolve the dispute.
No, lawyers like to file lawsuits rather than issue C&D letters when they want to create a precedent. A C&D would have accomplished precisely what CBS and Paramount claim to want, which is preventing the creation of something they feel infringes on their IP. CBS isn’t entitled to one penny of the funding Axanar raised — if anything, the donors are entitled to a pro-rata refund of what’s left if the film isn’t made.
Star Trek has been damaged and rebuilt over the years due to varying levels of attention being paid to the IP. Star Trek 5 would still have suffered from an inadequate premise but it wouldn’t have sucked nearly as bad if it had the budget offered to the TNG or JJ movies. Fandom wouldn’t feel the need for STNVP2, Horizons, or Axanar if CBS/Paramount were producing quality stories instead of the drek we got from Berman and Braga or Abrams and Orci. STNVP2 and Axanar try to build on the things that made ST something we love — the newer productions feed new creator egos by “reinventing” or “reimagining” ST and adding their own little twists.
I suspect a very large contributing factor, beyond the large amounts of funds raised through IGG and KS, was the increasing tendency toward expanding the fundraising through merchandise: books (based on the “new” IP), resin models, props, etc. LucasFilms might also rethink their level of support for fan films if the fundraising for them spreads into selling merchandise.
Axanar was the first on the block to get to this level of concern but not the only one. Peters claimed for quite a long time that he talked extensively with corporate reps to try to ensure he wasn’t doing anything they would object to. IMO, this step was inevitable under the circumstances. What I’d like to see is some kind of limited license for fan film productions that spells out what they can or can’t do and then incorporates the better fan productions into their anthology plans but we will see what we will see.
In reply to your comment:
I am curious as to how you account for the same law firm’s use of multiple C&Ds progressing to filings in the case of STAR TREK plays?
Maybe if CBS made more new Trek shows for TV there would be less fan films.
In all seriousness, some of the fan made stuff is better than the ‘copyrighted’ Trek. What the hell does CBS have against fan made products? It’s not being sold to TV studios or being shown in cinemas….it’s all for our entertainment and only on Youtube. Get a life CBS.
None of the fan-made films are better than official Star Trek. Nearly all of it, despite high production values, is poorly acted and scripted.
In reply to comment:
“None of the fan-made films are better than official Star Trek.” — Dandru
Now THAT’S an interesting posit to ponder:
Are any of the fan films better than the worst acted and scripted of the 100s of “official” Trek episodes and films produced?
For me, as I have never been able to sit through the entirety of STAR TREK: NEMESIS, I would have to say, yes.
I’ve seen a couple that met that challenge in whole or in part. There are some really talented people out there.
Or Spock’s Brain. I can easily turn the channel on that one
I’d argue that I’ve enjoyed most Star Trek Continues episodes (except The White Iris) more than the majority of TV Trek that’s been made since Turnabout Intruder.
I’ll take amateurish acting on good story ideas that are consistent with the Star Trek laid out by Coons, Fontana, Sturgeon, etc. over professional acting/directing on poor scripts that are simply paeans to the director’s/producer’s ego. Frankly, a lot of the fan film scripts are better than the the “professional” and “official” scripts for the past 10-15 years.
Enterprise flat out ignored and rewrote canon — heck, ST:TNG couldn’t even stay consistent within itself when portraying the Ferengi — and the JJ-verse just makes NO sense.
IMO, Paramount would have been better off booting Berman and hiring Cawley years ago and they’d still be better off with Cawley or Peters than Orci/Abrams.
hire him as what? An Elvis impersonator for a company party? He’s a talentless clown feeding off fans.
“In a lengthy post to the Star Trek – Horizon Facebook page, Kraft wrote” it was like 10% the size of this article..?
LOL, perhaps the author is a lawyer!
Fair point :)
Nice little studio you’re puttin’ together there. Be a shame to see anything… happen… to it, you know what I mean?
So we’d like to… advise ya… purely as a COURTESY… to stop irritating our lawyers, see?
Axanar irritated our lawyers once…..
I love me a good Johnny Dangerously reference, ya fargin’ icehole.
I don’t know why Axamonitor thinks JOY OF TREK is so interesting when Loeb heralds “Paramount Pictures, et al. v. Bedore, et al.”:
”Paramount Pictures, the owner of “Star Trek,” has more than a Federation Starship to fight its battle with Salt Lake playwright Bob Bedore.
Its cargo bays, so to speak, are full of cash. But Bedore and Eric Jensen, owners of the Off Broadway Theatre, promise to vanquish the multimillion-dollar company in its attempts to vaporize production of his popular “Star Twek” plays.
Paramount Pictures is suing Bedore for allegedly infringing on trademark and copyright laws by producing two “Star Trek” parodies at his Off Broadway Theatre in Salt Lake City. Paramount created and distributes all of the television episodes and spin-off movies [This is a misnomer that’s constantly spread. The fact is DesiLu created STAR TREK via two pilot movies and every episode of its first ever televised season ever. — Disinvited].
“This is not a battle of size; it’s a battle of the law. If anything, I feel bigger because I know the law is on our side,” said Bedore, who plays Mr. Schlock in the parody.
The lawsuit, the second one in Off Broadway’s year and a half existence, alleges Bedore’s plays freely copy the plots, characters, set, costumes and music of the original productions and therefore are intended to trade upon the works.
Bedore responds that his “Star Twek: The Search for Spoof” and two subsequent comedies are protected forms of parody that jab not only the TV series but also celebrities and Utah’s culture.
“I can’t see how a huge player in the entertainment business can prove that a 200-seat theater in Salt Lake City has damaged them in any way.”
Bedore said he was not told the lawsuit was coming, although he received a letter asking him to stop performances. He believes the company went so far as to send one or more investigators to his productions for research to support the action.
…” — `STAR TWEK’ WRITER HAS A STAR-CLASS FIGHT ON DECK; By Chip Parkinson, Staff Writer; DESERET NEWS;
Published: Saturday, March 2 1996 12:00 a.m. MST
The Bedore case is interesting as a fair use/parody case. However, as it was settled rather than tried it doesn’t provide much insight into the case at hand (Axanar). Also, since Axanar doesn’t appear to be building a parody-based fair use defense (although, who knows, right?), Bedore doesn’t really seem to offer much to aid in analyzing Axanar.
I don’t know the particulars of the case but it sounds like Loeb may have argued Bedore was not really producing a true parody of Star Trek but instead a satire in which he employed Star Trek elements. The courts concede parody — criticism directed at the source material — as an affirmative defense against copyright infringement. But satire has been far less successful in case law as a protection against an infringement suit.
Finally, while the Joy of Trek case also never made it to trial, it did make it as far as a judge who ruled its chances in open court weren’t very good, and went ahead and issued a preliminary injunction against defense arguments that sound a lot like some asserted by Axanar’s attorney, which is why I cited it.
In reply to:
Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
I just found a theater with a stage, sets, props and costumes and that they continued putting on plays while making a parody assertion under notice very analogous — not to mention actually selling tickets which points to a definite financial benefit. And I also found the settling out of court by the same law firm an indication of where this might be heading based on this track record..
And, of course, found it interesting that 1996 Paramount went with pursuing Trademark as well.
Here’s the local spin on the settlement:
Bedore said last week that, regardless of the outcome of Paramount Pictures’ lawsuit over the theater’s popular “Star Twek” parodies, the local theater is getting tired of the “Star Trek” genre and simply no longer cares for the show.
“Nor do we want to do anything that we feel will help their product,” he says in OBT’s recent newsletter, noting that the studio’s attorneys are now focusing on Internet web sites.
…” — 2 PRODUCTIONS WILL TAKE CENTER STAGE IN S.L., OREM; By Staff; DESERET NEWS;
Published: Sunday, Jan. 19 1997 12:00 a.m. MST
I think the way to resolve this is to give CBS/Paramount script approval & agree to pay a reasonable “Copyright fee”. Say a small % of whatever is raised for the production. Just a thought.
The whole reason CBS/Paramount are suing is so they aren’t constrained by any outside control of their own property, so it’s unlikely a solution like yours is what they’d be seeking. Star Trek is a billion-dollar property; they’re not going to reward who they view as thieves by giving them license to just go on.
In reply to comment:
You might find it interesting to know that back in 2007 CBS’ Les Moonves DID express an idea contrary to what you suggest:
“eSheep is currently building out our very own StarshipEnterprise to allow the Second Life community to mash-up a slough of StarTrek episodes. It’s a great way to give back to the fans who make the show as successful as it is. Who knows, maybe some day we can even broadcast one of their virtual works on one of our television networks.” — Les Moonves, CBS
It seems to suggest that CBS doesn’t have a problem with accomodating fan works performed on “virtual” built stages.The physicality of the stage is a line that they don’t seem to like crossed?
“I think the way to resolve this is to give CBS/Paramount script approval & agree to pay a reasonable “Copyright fee”. Say a small % of whatever is raised for the production. Just a thought.”
That’s an entirely unworkable solution, and is the kind of thing only someone unaware of how any of this works would suggest.
I would ask if you flame much, but after reading all of your posts in this thread it’s pretty obvious that that’s all you do. You do have valid points at times, but instead of simply explaining why someone is wrong you attack them for being wrong. There’s a word for someone like you…TROLL! Have fun with your flamethrower, it’s probably the only friend you have!
In reply to comment:
“That’s an entirely unworkable solution, and is the kind of thing only someone unaware of how any of this works would suggest.” — Dandru
If this is in fact so, then how do you explain Moonves’ willingness to consider airing fan works performed on virtual stages such as Second Life’s eSheep which did pay copyright fees to CBS?
Uh, no, it isn’t. If the case leads to the plaintiff’s favor, then the plaintiff can set the rules as to how fan film projects are allowed, if at all. It may be that everything BUT crowdfunding is approved, thus forcing fan film production to scale back to something that is clearly a “fan film”, and not a professionally produced product.
In reply to comment:
Crowdfunding isn’t being litigated only copyright infringement.
The only thing liable to come out of this in crowdfunding regards is Fan projects will become wary of drawing attention to themselves by raising record breaking amounts.
Fan film projects will have to resort to breaking themselves down into smaller isolated parts much as when a software company wants to develop competing software that delivers the same functionality as an existing product on the market. Break the crowdfunding down along similar lines. And once broken down take a page out of political fundraising 101 on how to keep the main project’s funding under a ceiling.
Why. It would bring a swift end to a dark chapter and maybe put Paramount/CBS in a favorable light with disenchanted fans.
That will never happen for the same reason, that paramount ended the spec script submission program of the 90s
Could be they don’t want a fan production of the sort they are suing proceeding while the lawsuit is active, to avoid any possibility of me too-ism on the part of Peters.
They may let thing resume after the Axanar issue is settled as long as nobody repeats Peters’ mistakes.
OR it could be ALL fan productions are now taboo.
But I’m thinking it’s option 1.
Tolerating a similar production while there’s an active lawsuit permits Peters to complain that if they are doing it, so should he be able to.
In reply to commment:
Except this lawsuit is proceeding solely under copyright law, under which Peter’s complaint offers no defense.
Its only value might be in the court of public opinion where Peters seems to have some savy.
So much for their plans to buy dehumidifiers and implement non-smoking rules for second one.
I was joking — the first one had a silly “foggy look” to it, like a 70’s Penthouse magazine spread.
Bad CG sets/set extensions and compositing.
I think it might well be that the Axanar case will be one to set legal precedents about fan films.
While the case is ongoing, I guess it’s being suggested that it might be unwise for fan groups to run funding drives until things are settled. It’s fair enough: CBS owns Star Trek. The original ‘inch’ of a tolerant attitude towards enthusiasts putting amateur videos together has been taken to a ‘mile’ of professionals fundraising seven-figure sums for major unsanctioned productions.
This isn’t Conan Doyle or Charles Dickens or Jane Austen, where the copyrights are long expired; Star Trek is an active franchise still being made by its owners. While many of the fan productions have been the equivalent of children hopping over a farm wall to steal a couple of apples – and thus gently tolerated – a new, brasher attitude of effectively breaking into the farmhouse and people helping themselves to the 20-year-old single malt is developing.
There are thin lines in cases such as fan films and people are starting to press their luck. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the excellent Star Trek Continues, but I accept that it treads that thin line with the fundraising and stays on the side of enthusiastic uber-fan production: a bunch of pros doing something on the side for fun, not profit.
But Axanar is clearly one of the cases where the tolerance of the owners is being pushed. And in Star Trek’s 50th anniversary year, with a new film and TV show on the way, the owners will want to control ‘the narrative.’
Any trademark and copyright owner will understandably want their official product to be top of the list on, say, a YouTube search, not a pile of productions that are made by fans that could confuse newbies. After all, Star Trek is a profit making product, not a charity.
Good points. Ongoing litigation is not the time when a rights holder wants to let anything go on that could be used against it in a lawsuit.
In reply to comment:
But haven’t your yourself pointed out several times that this is currently only being pursued under copyright law and as such their not going after “everyone” CAN’T be used against Paramount & CBS in the current lawsuit?
The only way this could be used against them in a lawsuit is if you have some indication that they are on the precipice of leaping into filing a Trademark violation complaint which, to date, has not manifested itself.
Strictly speaking, you are correct, Disinvited. But since CBS/P have asked for a jury trial in this case it makes sense for them to minimize any activity whose appearance might compromise their case as heard by the non-lawyers who sit on a jury.
Also, it’s entirely possible CBS/P may call representatives from other fanfilms — especially those, like Horizon’s Tommy Kraft, who also worked on Axanar — as witnesses. Tommy’s testimony would’ve been a lot easier for Axanar’s attorney to impeach if CBS had let his crowdfunding campaign proceed.
“Star Trek is a profit making product, not a charity.”
Star Trek is an idea. Without the idea, there is no product. The product exists thanks to the idea of one man, or several men. The owners may be protecting the product, but you can’t really protect the idea. Throughout its history, Star Trek itself has been richly borrowing ideas, stories, concepts, etc. from other movies and series; The Forbidden Planet or The Twighlight Zone, to name just a few. The creative people of “Star Trek” were inspired by those very ideas. Did they “steal” somebody else’s “product”? No, they were simply inspired by it. But Star Trek did make profit, though. Similarly, the fans are inspired by the idea of Star Trek. As long as “Star Trek” is used as an idea, not as a product to make make money off of it, it’s allowed to be used freely.
All very cute and sentimental, but unfortunately irrelevant. Star Trek is owned by an entity. It’s there to make money; nothing else. It’s lovely if people draw inspiration in life from it, but it’s still a product and when people who don’t own it try to benefit from an association with that product when it’s not theirs, that’s theft. Not to mention, ‘borrowing’ a product without permission can ultimately damage that product. End of the day, it’s a franchise, not art. Arty things can be done with the franchise, but only in the act of making money. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with profiting from your property.
“…when people who don’t own it try to benefit from an association with that product when it’s not theirs, that’s theft.”
This can’t be viewed as theft, because no one is benefiting from it. It’s solely used as an idea. Yes, in an aristic sense. As a means of education and entertainment, Movies/TV shows are art, after all. But in the case of fan films money may be involved for the purpose of its production, but it’s not made, i.e. used for profit.
No, it was decided in court almost a century ago that film is a business and not art. It’s a business in which arty things can be done, but it’s not art. If you use a company’s intellectual property without permission, that’s theft. Use the philosophical ideas, by all means, but don’t call it Star Trek, don’t include starships, UFPs and Starfleet or associated technology.
Filmmaking is art, an artistic expression. Art can be business, but in itself it’s not business. You can make art just for the sake of making it. It’s not uncommon that a particular idea or piece of art becomes an inspiration for others. People should be flattered by that. I’m sure Gene Roddenberry would be flattered that people keep his idea alive through their own creative efforts. It’s not like anyone is trying to “steal” the intellectual property, like you ridiculously imply. It’s paying homage to an idea, not taking anything, on the contrary, adding to it. No one does that for profit. If someone does it for profit without having the copyrights, he or she should of course be held accountable. But I believe that all the filmmakers of Trek fan films have done their works out of genuine love and respect for a certain idea, that idea being Star Trek.
Using something someone else owns without their permission is stealing. If someone took your baseball bat from your house without permission and went downtown for the day to play with it, they stole it and I’m sure you wouldn’t be happy. I’m sure you’d be even less happy if it was then used in an assault.
If you use another’s property for your own purposes, whether or not you personally profit from it, you are, strictly speaking, stealing it. Moreover, if you put the thing you’ve made through theft in an easily accessible place in the public domain, you’re also harming people who pay money to licence spin-offs legitimately: book publishers and comic book publishers, for example. After all, why should people spend money on licensed products when your free stuff is being dumped on YouTube? For that matter, it can put YouTube and Vimeo in a difficult position as they can potentially be accused of distributing stolen intellectual property.
On top of that, if someone goes searching for something about the new Star Trek show on YouTube and comes across a fan production, mistakes it for the real thing and is offended by it, a legal case could still land at CBS/Paramount’s door, with the rights owners being asked why they failed to stop the release of the offensive material carrying their brand. Also, people might watch one of these films and just plain be put off Star Trek and lose CBS/P potential viewers and thus revenue.
Fortunately or unfortunately film was legally defined as business, not art, in the early days. When I studied film many years ago, one of the discussions we had was about the ramifications of that judgement on the history of cinema in general. I know you’re into this thing about Star Trek being a floaty ‘idea,’ but it isn’t; it’s property and someone owns it. The people who own it don’t want other people nicking it and messing around with it, especially not making money off it.
I’m sorry it obviously upsets you so much when I point out that you can’t just take something that belongs to someone else and do what you want with it, but that’s life. No one’s stopping you drawing a picture of the Starship Enterprise and showing it to your neighbourhood playmates or writing a Star Trek short story you can email to a few buddies. But when you’re effectively making a movie using someone else’s copyrighted, trademarked intellectual property, you’re stepping into a different arena and possibly damaging other people, such as makers of licensed products.
And, for what it’s worth, while a creator of a commercial property such as Gene Roddenberry might have been charmed by fans going out and using his idea for some fun films to play among themselves (indeed, I’ve read Rod Roddenberry saying very nice things about Star Trek Continues) I’m quite sure he’d have been furious if it started impacting the official productions and potentially costing his estate money.
I’m actually very glad to see an owner as big as CBS standing up for their product; it’s a moral thing to do. With something as big as Star Trek, the fan films industry can potentially be tolerated like the buzzing of flies without too much damage. But apathy from bigger companies over protecting their property can knock downwards and threaten the intellectual property of smaller concerns who can’t afford to fight legal cases. By taking a stand over this CBS is actually helping ordinary people protect their creations and define what is and isn’t acceptable in a multimedia age where ordinary people can make extraordinary things with limited means.
For what it’s worth, I was looking forward to Axanar, but I totally understand and respect CBS drawing a line. If you read the Newsweek article upthread, James Cawley has been an utter gentleman about the possibility of CBS calling time on fan films too.
Fans can develop an overblown sense of entitlement and act like a studio owes them something, when actually CBS owes Trek fans nothing at all. CBS/Paramount control a Star Trek. They say what goes. And if they’re being brutal about it, they finish of by saying ‘So there!’
Dom – An excellent summation.
In reply to comment:
And a century ago copyright only extended a small window of time within which to conduct such business and had not been perverted to the extent that people now actually believe such nonsense as that copyrights were introduced in the U.S. Constitution so that people and organizations can “own” “ideas” in perpetuity and beyond.
Such perversion is not a true Conservative belief but merely acquiescing to avarice at the expense of a nation founded on the freedom of expression which the Constitution’s limited copyright was always meant to encourage and NOT prevent.
I wont be buying anything Trek until they resolve this to the fan’s satisfaction. And that includes boycotting the new film.
Just for that, I’m going to buy more Trek stuff, and see the movie an extra time to compensate. So there!
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Daoud, The Sinfonian,
JJ can only wonder where were you when he needed someone to buy his Pine Kirk dolls?
I bought one… were’s the Problem?
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ONE? There’s the problem right there. He needed you to buy dolls, plural – something on the level of all the Shatner Kirks that sold while your “one” was being purchased.
“I wont be buying anything Trek until they resolve this to the fan’s satisfaction. And that includes boycotting the new film.”
It’s very clear that most fans agree with the powers that be, not the Axanar team.
And you won’t be boycotting the film, so you can drop the melodrama.
“Drop the melodrama”
Kettle meet black. As for me I will be boycotting the next film. You can choose to believe that or not, whatever gets you through the night.
I’m going to see Beyond multiple times. I love Trek, the whiny fans – not so much. Lets see how many down votes this mother gets!
If by “whiny” you mean using critical judgement, then so be it.
So you already know you’re going to watch it multiple times despite not knowing you’re going to like it?
If someone here said “Beyond sucks and Im not going to watch it”, the usual suspects would rip that person to shreds. But saying you’re going to see it multiple times when you have no idea if its any good? That’s a stark revelation of your bias.
I know Ill see it at least twice. Once in theatre and once on Blu Ray, even if its awful. So they get two guaranteed viewings out of me. Anything above and beyond that is up to the quality of the film.
How would you define ‘fans’ satisfaction?’ Who do you think owns Star Trek? As fans, we perhaps can feel proprietorial towards it because we care, but staging large-scale productions by raising large amounts of funds on crowdfunding sites is poking the studio ‘bear’ with a stick. CBS have been **incredibly** tolerant when you look at how much fan Trek they’ve allowed to proliferate in recent years. Sooner or later, though, it was inevitable that CBS and Paramount would crank up movie and TV productions again, so of course they’re going to tell the kiddies that it’s time to pack up their toys and go home for the night! It’s been a good run for the fan productions, but from what I can see, most fans are on the rights owners’ side with all this.
They say video piracy costs the industry billions of dollars. Well, isn’t someone raising money to make their own Star Treks engaging in just another form of piracy or at least theft of intellectual property? People putting Star Trek productions on YouTube for free threaten the livelihoods of people who pay to license products, for example. Why would someone pick up a licensed Trek audio play, comic or novel, which has cost the licensee a good deal of money before publication, when there’s actual live action Star Trek content being dumped on video sites free of charge?
That’s why this legal case is going to be extremely important; fan films are now a cottage industry that could grow substantially. The question is: are fan films flowers or weeds? Do they attract new customers to the legit product or do they distract, thereby lessening proper Star Trek’s value?
As it stands, we’ve got an official, possibly anthology-based, series heading our way and an official big budget movie, with another promised. I’ll bet the Paramount bosses are working out whether they can jump on the connected movie universe bandwagon pioneered by Disney/Marvel too. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead in a Suicide Squad-type Trek spin-off sooner or later! ;)
With big things happening around the time of the 50th anniversary, even if the movie back catalogue deserves more attention, I think there’ll be plenty to satisfy fans.
“The question is: are fan films flowers or weeds?”
Flowers. Some of those flowers smell and look nice. They need more water.
I’d argue they’re weeds. They might look pretty, but they ultimately strangle the real flower, which is the official films and TV shows. The fans who make these films should put their undoubted talents into their own creations.
I love a lot of these productions, but, morally, they’re wrong.
I am NOT surprised that CBS wants CONTROL of any future Trek production. Its a damn shame that Trek Continues might end prematurely, it was so well done… :(
CBS and Paramount own Star Trek. They HAVE control of it–as they should, since they’re the owners.
Odd. Does the way that this article moves (that the legal folks advised with a pillow as opposed with a hammer) make you think that maybe TPTB at CBS might invite the Horizon folks to hawk their story to the proposed ST TV anthology series? That is, if I’m understanding this correctly of course…
The Axanar lawsuit could’ve happened for a number of different reasons, but now, after this, I think both of these all but confirm the Birth Movies Death rumor for the new TV show.
With part of that rumor being that it might be an anthology show with each season set during any time period of the original timeline, it makes sense to get rid of both of these productions so that, if they elect to set one season during the Romulan War or another during the Axanar time. Doing that if both of these are out in the ether would definitely confuse the marketplace.
I think that New Voyages and Continues are safe because there’s no way they would do something on that Enterprise again. It’ll be interesting if they go after Renegades now, though.
So now the fanfilm makers can try to come up with something original, or at least adaptations of *public domain* science fiction lit? I’ve said this for years; instead of making fanfilms, make something wholly original, or at least base it on non-copyright material (gutenberg.org is your friend!). While I’ve enjoyed some fanfilms, and foolishly donated to a few, if the people making them want any respect as filmmakers, they all need to move on.
Yes. Why not? No one owns starships, federations, etc…!
As far as I know, the term ‘starship’ is owned by the Star Trek franchise, as is the ‘United Federation of Planets’ and Starfleet (the Japanese TV puppet show was called ‘Star Fleet,’ two words, IIRC.) ‘Starship Enterprise,’ I believe, is a registered trademark.
However, they’d be hard pressed to stop you making a series about the crew of a space ship with a federation as government. Indeed Blake’s Seven basically was the ‘evil’ version of Star Trek, where Star Trek is the propaganda version of life in the Federation and Blakes Seven the exposé of mass murder in the Federation!
Even the original Blake’s a Seven logo looks like a distorted Starfleet logo.
True about Blake’s 7 – its creator said as much – that it was basically Trek fanfic – even said Servalan was a descendant of Kirk’s!
In reply to comment:
If you will look at the following chart showing the occurrences of the word “starship” in Google Books through the years of their publications:
and hover around 1858, you’ll find didn’t go or know far enough.
Disinvited. Doesn’t matter if the term was used before. As far as I know, they’ve now got the rights to the term, the same as the term ‘Battlestar’ has owners. I might be wrong. It really is irrelevant. People should make up their own terms.
The term ‘Starship Enterprise,’ even when used on the cover blurbs of books, gets the (R) symbol beside it. Another example of something switching hands would be the classic British Police Box design. The BBC eventually got ownership of the design in a legal case, because people now associate it with Doctor Who.
Disinvited, you seem to be stalking me based on some communistic beliefs that you have the right to do what you want with Star Trek because you typed up some fanzine stories almost 50 years ago and wrote a letter or two to Star Trek’s owners.
It’s quite a simple Occam’s Razor situation: someone owns Star Trek and they don’t want other people messing with their property.
In reply to comment:
How does what you “know” account for 1997’s STARSHIP TROOPERS, its spinoffs, and merchandising?:
Starship Troopers – I’m not sure what your point is, but it’s a last minute rewrite of an unrelated screenplay that now uses Heinlein character names. As I said, I might have been mistaken about the usage of starship specifically, but ‘Starship Enterprise’ is a registered trademark. The use of ‘as far as I know’ and ‘I might be wrong’ are a teeny weeny, subtle hint that I wasn’t 100 per cent sure on that subject.
Out of interest, why are you so keen for people to be allowed to use other people’s work without permission and profit from that theft?
Also, forcing items into the public domain when there are active estates curating an author’s work is disgusting. Do you really want a situation where Lord of the Rings with Zombies is allowed? Is it fair, when the Tolkien estate takes an active role in looking after the the works, that they’re ripped away by the state to allow them to be vandalised?
Estates should be able to hold on to works the same way companies and corporations should. CBS/Paramount have the rights to Star Trek and therefore should have every right to smash down on people who take the mickey. They’ve been pretty nice most of the time. If it was me, I’d sue so hard that their great great grandchildren would be living in cardboard boxes under a bridge.
I’m not keen for anything of the kind. I am however keen for stopping your continual mischaracterization of U.S. laws and their intent, which is to grant limited monopolies to creators with which to profit from their original creations as those ideas enter into the public domain and NOT this ownership fantasy that you keep harping about.
You mentioned being educated about the film industry; here’s how Howard Besser, Professor of Cinema Studies and Director of New York University’s Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program (MIAP), as well as Senior Scientist for Digital Library Initiatives for NYU’s Library, teaches it:
Though many copyright holders view copyright as an “economic right” that protects their ability to make money off content, US copyright law was actually established to promote the “public good” by encouraging the production and distribution of content. Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution states:
The Congress shall have power …to provide for the … general welfare of the United States TO PROMOTE THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE AND USEFUL ARTS, BY SECURING FOR LIMITED TIMES TO AUTHORS AND INVENTORS THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE WRITINGS AND DISCOVERIES; [emphasis added]
The goal of copyright is to “provide for the general welfare” and “promote the progress of science and useful arts” by encouraging further creation. The rationale behind copyright is that granting creators temporary monopoly rights over their creations will encourage them to create more. The real goal of copyright is to ensure that new knowledge will be developed and circulated through society.
Underpinning much of the recent rhetoric by the “content industry” is a view of copyright as an unlimited economic right. This logic is misguided since the economic rights granted by copyright are just a byproduct of attempts to fulfill the societal need to increase creativity. Though it granted Congress the power to give creators monopoly control over their creations, the Constitution was careful to set controls on that monopoly by stating that it could only endure for “limited times”. After these time limits expire, a work enters the public domain where anyone can use it for any purpose they see fit.
Prior to the “digital age” a delicate balance had emerged between copyright holders on the one hand, and the general public on the other hand. Copyright holders had certain exclusive rights over their material, but those rights were tempered by access rights held by the public. The two most important public rights were fair use and first sale.
Fair Use (a common practice which was codified into law in Section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Law) limits a copyright holder’s monopoly over the use of his/her work by permitting copying under a limited set of circumstances for uses such as education, private study, and satire. The fair use doctrine assumes that these types of uses constitute a compelling enough social good that even if a copyright holder wanted to prevent such uses of their material, the law would not support them. It is fair use that allows students to photocopy copyrighted articles for personal use, teachers to read excerpts from copyrighted works in class, reviewers to quote from copyrighted works in their published reviews, and satirists to incorporate portions of copyrighted works into their satires.
The First Sale doctrine limits a rightsholder’s control over a copy of a work to the very first time that copy is sold. According to first sale, anyone who purchases a work can then do what they want with that copy, even if the rightsholder opposes that use. First sale allows the purchaser of a work to resell it, lend it, share it, or destroy it — without ever consulting the rightsholder. Among other social benefits, the first sale doctrine has permitted libraries, used bookstores, and used record stores to operate without having to consult with a rightsholder each time they lend or sell a work.
In reply to comment:
In re: communistic stalking
Nothing could be further from the truth. I just know the difference between intellectual property laws granting limited monopolies and your quaint notion of “ownership” which they do not grant and never were intended to so do.
This may come as a shock to you, but in the United States of America “ownership” of intellectual property is unconstitutional.
I typed ‘talking to’ not ‘stalking’ and the wretched iPad rewrote it. I would apologise, but I didn’t deliberately type that word. Embarrassing. I’ve buzzed off and been doing some reading up. While I still tend towards Ayn Rand’s vigorous defence of IP, I think I understand where you’re coming from.
However, morally, I feel it’s wrong to make something without the rights owner’s permission and market it under the rights owner’s name. The rights owner has its own reputation to consider and a substandard product by a fan could damage the rights owner’s reputation.
What I can’t understand is why Team Axanar can’t just make a good space film without using the name Star Trek. The talent is clearly there. Why steal from someone else’s work to promote your own?
To all, FWIW, re: the term “starship”:
In watching a classic OUTER LIMITS story last week (“The Inheritors” 2-parter from 1964, starring Robert Duvall), the word “starship” is used at least 2 or 3 times by Duvall’s FBI-ish character, regarding a mystery craft created under alien influence by four men he’s investigating. Superb story, told sans rubber monsters, and directed by James Goldstone.
Agreed. Some of the fan films are fantastic, but I would be more impressed and committed to them if they were wholly original.
I don’t think they would get the support a known franchise would get.
They only allow 5 minute fan films for their contest and nice you submit to you license it to them and they own it Star Wars does Jr. allow feature length fan films anymore than Star Trek or any other property.
The debate in the Comments section regarding the CBS/Axanar lawsuit at times seems almost as heated as national politics.
I don’t know all of the details regarding the lawsuit, but I think that the crack down on the fan productions isn’t necessarily due to Axanar but with CBS wanting to clear the playing field in preparation for its own Trek series. Although, what seems to be a somewhat aggressive posture on the Axanar front likely hasn’t helped the situation.
Understandably disappointing for fans. I’ve seen a few and thoroughly enjoy the productions. However, it makes sense from a business standpoint. Obviously, CBS wants people focused on its own product.
Sort of a two-edged sword. Finally getting a new Trek program, but at the cost of a potential number of other entertaining versions.
In reply to comment:
Les is on record that nuParamount had a no compete agreement that prevented even CBS from producing a legitimate STAR TREK TV series which CBS has a right to do. So I think it far MORE likely that the preventer of these fan film projects is indeed, Paramount who first manifest this controlling the narrative concern with that agreement and in scuttling CBS’ adult novels based on the JJverse.
If you think about it, how often have people online said stuff like: ‘I’d rather watch Star Trek: New Voyages than JJ Trek?’
Paramount have people who read these forums. If just one person makes the statement above and sticks to it, then that’s their cinema ticket gone, possibly the tickets of friends who would go to see the film at the same time as well. So one person who isn’t paying, say, $10 for a cinema ticket doesn’t end up seeing the film with four casual fan friends, who might go along just to see a movie. That’s $50. Multiply that a few times and there’s a huge amount of money going out the window.
Had that fan not got the outlet of an unofficial, unlicensed production, they might have bitten the bullet and gone to see the film, because they’re a fan, and taken their friends with them. So, potentially, the fan films are costing the official films money.
It might not be the case at all, and I’m not saying whether these clampdowns are right or wrong, but with so much money riding on a tentpole film, no risks can afford to be taken.
Dis, I’m sorry, I failed to understand: has Paramount scuttled plans for adult novels based in the AltVerse?
If so, they are being stupid. stupid. stupid.
If CBS intends to fully utilize their license, then they shouldn’t be interested in novels taking place in the AltUniverse. Leave well enough alone and be thankful the three film experiment is shortly coming to an end.
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Don’t you recall?:
”One thing conspicuously missing from Pocket’s 2009 schedule is any kind of tie in related to the May 2009 Star Trek movie (prequel, adaptation, making-of, etc). When asked if she had any comment about this or any plans for tie-ins, Clark demurred saying “not at the present time.” With the film less than five months away, ‘time’ appears to be running out for an announcement.” — A Pascal, PREVIEW OF STAR TREK BOOKS FOR 2009 (AND 2010), TrekMovie, 12/30/2009
”Last summer Simon & Schuster announced four novels for the Summer of 2010 that would be tied into the 2009 Star Trek movie. Pocket announced titles and authors for each. All four were set in the new timeline after the events of the film, but were to be ‘stand-alone’ books that were not tied to each other. Last week we reported on summaries of those books from the S&S summer sales brochure, and all four have been available for pre-order at Amazon and other retailers for months. The first of these books, “Star Trek: Refugees”, written by Alan Dean Foster (who wrote the 2009 Star Trek movie novelization in 2009), was due to be released in May of this year. Here is the full list:
* Star Trek: Refugees, by Alan Dean Foster (May)
* Star Trek: Seek A Newer World, by Christopher L. Bennett (June)
* Star Trek: More Beautiful than Death, by David Mack (July)
* Star Trek: The Hazard of Concealing, by Greg Cox (August)” — A Pascal, POCKET BOOKS ‘HOLDING OFF’ ON STAR TREK MOVIE TIE-INS – 4 NOVELS PULLED FROM SUMMER 2010, TrekMovie, 1/14/2010
“With last summer’s blockbuster STAR TREK movie, JJ Abrams created a new vibrant, layered version of the Star Trek universe. After careful consideration, we decided to hold off on telling new stories while JJ and his team continue to develop his vision.” — Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books [a division of CBS], 1/14/2010
And then nothing but YA to date where we now know there was/is a no compete that’s been delaying the TV series as well.
And at the cost of countless amounts of fan loyalty. Erasing 50 years of goodwill because they want a monopoly. what they don’t realize is what theirs doing is also an assault on fans right to free expression and to creativity. Many, many fans, outraged over this, will boycott Star Trek over this. Especially since many fan productions affected, actually star or have guest starred, actual former Star Trek casts. What next? Will CBS/Paramount sue those stars for having participated in the productions? The donors for having contributed? CBS/Paramount really don’t want ANY fans left do they?
They don’t want a monopoly: they own the product, the copyright and the trademark. It’s theirs and they have every right to stop people thieving their intellectual property. Fans have every right to free expression and creativity, just not with someone else’s property.
And, to be honest, the fan films appeal mainly to a hard core group of fans. Most fans, let alone the public, probably don’t know that fan films exist!
In reply to comment:
You are confused. Copyrights in the U.S. were always created to be a monopoly. Now Redstone created a screwy situation for STAR TREK’s decades old copyrights which were inconveniently unbundled in 2006.
Also there’s a tremendous retcon of history being done here. When Bludhorn announced his plans to dump STAR TREK in his Paramount executives’ laps, they wanted absolutely nothing to do with it as they failed to perceive any value in it. They complained loudly about it. It was a money pit to them.
Immediately after the series had its NBC run in the 60s Paramount did absolutely nothing to further develop its filmed value back then. In the 60s, they didn’t even consider syndicating it in reruns worth the bother. What value Paramount later was able to exploit was grown by the fans just not giving up. And to liberally apply hyperbole, 99.9% of those activities that was tilling and causing Paramount’s “property” to increase in value, while Paramount negligently slumlorded their Trek i.p., were copyright infringing activities that if Paramount had succeeding in shutting each and every one of them down back then, in the decade of the 60s, as many now loudly tout their copyrights still give them a right to do, there wouldn’t BE any STAR TREK around for us to be passionate about here and NOW.
There. I said it. STAR TREK only exists today for us to passionately discuss its current legal fate BECAUSE of dirty thieving illegal unsanctioned unauthorized copyright infringing fan activities of the 1960s and early few years of the1970s.
Sorry, you misunderstood. ShadowIconian said Paramount and CBS want a monopoly. I said they don’t want one, because they already have one, perfectly legally, because it’s their property. And the 1970s has no bearing on the 2010s; Star Trek is a massive multi-media franchise now. If CBS/Paramount want to treat it ‘badly,’ that’s their right.
The world was different in the 1970s. People could make their little fanzines and post them around. We’re now talking websites that can whiz substantial-budget productions round the world at the speed of light. Fanzines, at best, circulated around a few hundred people. The reach of unsanctioned productions and publications is now limitless.
In reply to comment:
Thank you for clarifying what you meant. But the confusion still seems to stem from you being unclear on how the copyright that CBS/Paramount has came to be.
In the 1960s, copyright existed but those that would seek to enjoy its monopoly status actually had to take certain steps to enjoy protection of said status under Federal statute, i.e. unlike how the law was later modified where the copyright is nigh on automatically granted on creation, to get the monopoly back then that wasn’t granted Paramount til the late1970s, they had to WANT it as certain active steps had to be taken under old copyright law to cause that Federally protected monopoly to be.
Another mistake you are making is confusing the speed and efficiency with which things are done today as equating to nothing analogous existing back then despite the fact that you ARE aware that non-internet network of fans DID exist and somehow were able to communicate effectively and historically turn asunder NBC’s cancellation not once but twice.
You are correct that the world was different, but the more things changed, the more they stayed somewhat analogously the same. The studios didn’t move at internet speeds back then either.
I can assure you that we didn’t just use that show saving network we created back then solely to turn aside two cancellations.
The numbers are bigger now but so are the number of humans on the planet.
Besides, Paramount’s been going after the fans in court since the 1960s. This nuParamount doesn’t need any weebly wobly fluctuating amorphous technological line crossing excuse to do it anymore than old Paramount did.
And I do find it interesting that CBS and Paramount acting in consort went back to an old Paramount i.p. law firm to pursue this which makes me wonder if what’s being argued is something older rather than something new fangled?
Then I think we’ve been talking at cross purposes! ;)
The idea of Trek for Trek fans died a long time ago. Paramount buried it when they closed the “Trek office”, sold off all the inventory, and fired everyone who knew anything about making good Trek.
Star Trek was created as a mainstream network series. It should never be just for the fans.
In reply to comment:
It most definitely was entered into as such by three parties involved in its creation. But the facts of history are for a myriad of reasons, they failed. And left to Desilu and NBC’s devices back then with no countervailing fan movement against their standard business practices, that first season would have been all she wrote.
I can definitely see your point that it shouldn’t have been that way, but nevertheless that’s the way it was, and the fan actions whether they had a right to take them or not is what grew STAR TREK’s value when Desilu/Paramount could, for whatever reason, not.
You seem to think the fan movement is owed something. They’re not.
Why not? Who do you think is buying the merchandise and such. Seems to me that means they owe us something if they expect us to fork out our money.
In reply to your comment:
Exactly, supply and demand is a dance. As Dom recognized in regards to STAR TREK and STAR WARS, the same applies to a valuable movie franchise and its fans: You can’t have one without the other.
As Prince observed: It doesn’t matter how much might the law gives you; nothing is gained by alienating your fans, i.e. nobody sues their fans.
They give you a TV show and films and hope you like them. You pay to watch them and buy spinoff merchandise. Transaction done. What right do you have to turn around and demand to use their IP and not pay for it as well? You use what they provide and you pay for it. They owe you nothing more.
It doesn’t really matter how they said it. The end result is still, that they forbid the sequel to Star Trek Horizon. I guess other fan films will follow.
Well, thanks a frikkin’ lot, Alec Peters.
I have loved fanfiction for many years. Fan films are fun too, a really nice expansion of the creative fanfiction universe.
What a shame if Peters brings down the whole thing.
Course I come from the days of privately-printed fanzines, sold through the mail (sold only to cover costs), written and beautifully illustrated purely for the love of it. So I guess we can go back to that way of things :-)
Crowdfunding may have to go back to sending our favorite productions a check in the mail ….
In reply to comment:
As much as I’d enjoy Peters getting his comeuppance for the abrasive way he responds when challenged on his lack of logic in some of his fiscal fund raising moves and expenditures, you and I have been at this a long time as fans. Paramount even launched these legal actions against fan fiction from day one of their being forced to be responsible for STAR TREK back in the day.
To be fair, as much as the man can inspire me to not to so be, this lawsuit was coming with or without Peters.
I believe it’s CBS’ ALL ACCESS STAR TREK that forced Paramount’s “control the narrative” logic to bring a lawsuit against someone. As the media buzz fills with what CBS’ Trek is doing Paramount is seeking to create a counterbalancing narrative void to compensate. Personally, I think it’s all marketing voodoo nonsense, but Paramount’s been consistent in acting on it. And they have the legal right to pursue such moves.
I just hope that all three chest thumpers involved come out of it with surprises that they hadn’t anticipated.
not just Peters – all these greedy fanfilm makers brought it down by demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for projects that should be made out of love for FREE or on their own dime.
Glad CBS took the gentle option with “Horizon.”
It doesn’t mean it’s all gone. I suspect it’s a ‘hold your fire for now until the legal case is settled’ situation.
Comes down to competition. Paramount nor CBS do not want anything that will compete with the movies or the forth coming TV show. It is the monopoly nature of IP that our government gives these companies. Under the original US copyright law. Star Trek would have already been placed under public domain, but they keep extending it. Soon there wont be any public domain.
I hope the public domain, as it currently stands, is abolished. Estates of authors still commonly run things related to the deceased relative’s works only to have their ownership snatched away after a certain period. How is that moral?
The Conan Doyles have to watch huge amounts of money being made out of Canan Doyle’s works and don’t get a penny, even though they run his estate.
In time, do we want Lord of the Rings to be something that someone can muck about with and the Tolkien family, who have gone to such great efforts over the decades since his death to curate his work, effectively be told ‘Sorry mate! Them’s the rules! Now I’m going to change a few words and turn it into “Fifty Shades of the Lord of the Rings with Zombies” and make money for myself off it!’?
I can understand the public domain coming from an era when there was a limit to how much a book, for example, could be exploited, but that’s no longer the case. If it’s clear that there’s no one with legitimate claim to an author’s work, showing no active curation, then it’s fine to let it drift into the public domain.
But the Conan Doyles? The Tolkiens? Why should these people not have the control of their estate’s property for as long as they actively curate it?
The world’s changed.
Fanfic will never die!
As usual a large number of wizards of smart posting comments can’t seem to wrap their heads around copyrights and property. To them it’s just always those big greedy mean mustache twirling corporations.
It’s those big greedy mean mustache-twirling corporations with the law on their side.
Let’s not lionize CBS/Paramount (or any corporation).
I don’t lionise everything people do, but what CBS/Paramount are doing here is decent and moral. It will also help smaller businesses and individuals who could suffer far worse if a culture prospers where casual usage of other people’s IP is tolerated.
I just sent a message to CBS saying instead of attacking, and I do mean attack, fan-made productions, give them permission under the 2 conditions that they are to not make any money off of their productions, and that Star Trek is owned by CBS.
Simple solution. Copyright laws remain intact and us fans can continue to allow creativity to flow.
I’m a fan myself, and I do tonnes of Star Trek art. And this BS makes me concerned that art itself is under attack. And I have visions of one episode of The Crusade where an alien was rescued by the Excalibur because the tyrannical government arbitrarily decided that art was hampering progress and needed to be destroyed.
And is your art licensed? Do you sell it for a profit? If you do it for fun, good for you, but if you’re selling it as ‘Star Trek art,’ you’re violating countless laws. An owner protecting their intellectual property is hardly ‘BS’; it’s actually moral, just the same way as you stopping someone from copying and profiting from a non-Trek piece of art you’ve created is moral.
CBS Star Trek All Access:
Season 1: Post-Undiscovered Country
Season 2: Axanar
Season 3: Horizon
Season n: other “ceased” fan film efforts?
Well it would be a cheap way of going about it! ;)
I guess theoretically they could do something like this. Allow fan films, but under the condition, that the finished product completely belongs to CBS and they can do whatever they want with it, including putting it on their own streaming site and forbidding it to stream them somewhere else. Of course they likely wouldn’t want this, because they are afraid some see these fan films on their site and mistook them for the official products and think bad about Star Trek. Fan films are nice, but not quite at the same standard as the official productions obviously.
This was exactly what I asked about a couple days ago, to no one’s interest.
The bible actually says “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10
I only say this because the inclusion of the word “kinds” between “all” and “of evil” changes the meaning of the entire sentence. Instead of saying money is the root of all evil, “kinds” says that there is much evil that has it’s root in money, but not all evil has it’s roots in money.
That’s too deep for this thread.
In reply to coment:
Capt JW Amick,
And you are aware, are you not, sir, that no one spoke or wrote English during Biblical times, and what you are quoting is a translation? You are making too big a deal out of a single English word that a mere mortal translator chose because he or she thought it best brought to light an idea represented in a foreign tongue, i.e. a different manner of thinking, to the English speaking.
In which case the Bible has nothing relevant to say on the subject and, frankly, the ridiculous remark that ‘money is the root of all evil’ should be stricken from the record!
Abuse of money is certainly a root of evil, but money itself is a tool and, used correctly, a civilised way to trade peacefully for goods and services between individuals, rather than to use force to attain those goods or services.
It doesn’t say that money itself is evil, it says the LOVE OF money is evil. Because it drives you to place material riches and possessions above higher values.
exactly. so these “fans” should stop asking for half a million dollars or whatever and do stuff for free or else come up with something original.
Star Trek is dead; why don’t these fan films turn to creating some original stories free of a the rather boring canon post Star Trek VI? Do some new universe where Earth has primitive tech and has just made first contact, something far more entertaining than Enterprise. And the Earth can be, shudder, not perfect. And the aliens don’t need to be all in a race to be human, some can be downright evil and out to kill us. I bet ID4 Part 2 will do a better job at showing a post apocalyptic Earth facing an alien threat with all the dilemmas that creates and they will probably be allowed to use guns, missiles and not have a single transporter. Maybe they can even screw up an alien race or to leading to a non interference directive that isn’t distorted by the need to pretend the future is a bland utopia that is everything Trek after Star Trek VI (exception DS9).
Axanar tried to resurrect Trek with the far more entertaining FASA-verse and a return to TOS/Movie era type stories; better would be a NEW setting.
And you know what, no one will care if it makes money because it’s your IP.
Exactly! People should take what they consider to be the essence of, say, Star Trek and apply it to their own project. In their minds, it can be a continuation of a Star Trek – indeed, they can probably get away, in an amateur context, with saying ‘Inspired by the philosophy of Star Trek’ – but not include the terms.
One of my major issues with TNG has always been that I don’t think, philosophically, it has much in common with the original Star Trek. What the franchise has often been reduced to is obvious, tangible things like a basic spaceship silhouette, a type of uniform, some names and terminologies.
It’s the ideas that are the key and they don’t need the name ‘Star Trek’ or ‘starships’ or ‘Federations’ or ‘tricorders.
Don’t we have enough crapsack, grimmdark franchises out there? Trek was always a more optimistic, hopeful look at the future, which is in large part what made it stand out from the crowd.
Bear in mind, Star Trek is set in a post-apocalypse future, after nuclear wars and wars against genetically-engineered supermen, where a substantial chunk of the human race was wiped out. Star Trek points to things getting somewhat better after some, frankly, very nasty times.
This ‘optimistic future’ religion that many fans have is based on a false reading of the show. Star Trek (the proper, original one, anyway) is about the surviving post-apocalypse humans *trying* to put aside old enmities after billions of them have died in relatively recent history and go exploring to learn more about themselves and the universe. Chances are that there are far fewer humans living in the 23rd century than there are on Earth now.
It’s clear in TOS, though, that the likes of Kodos and Dr Adams can still exist and humans still get a lot wrong. TNG is where there’s a lurch to humans being perfected, Nietzschean uber-menschen, rather than a relatively primitive people, in cosmic terms who have just struck out to explore the universe.
Star Trek is dead? $466M says you are wrong. (See http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/Star-Trek#tab=summary)
We’re talking about a healthy business that has movies, conventions, books and … well, fan sites where a lot of activity happens.
I don’t think it’s dead, Jim.
Disinvited, I wasn’t aware of Paramount’s no compete agreement. You’ve likely got a valid point there.
As far as the “mean, mustache twirling corporations,” I don’t think it’s so much that the posters don’t understand copyrights, I think it’s more that we just don’t want to see the fan productions eliminated.
A naive wish? Perhaps. But now that the “higher ups” seem to be paying more attention to their property, a lot of the fans are understandably disgruntled.
Hoping this doesn’t deter Star Trek Continues from its May release, which I saw was recently announced.
In reply to comment:
Oh I think the BIG problem has always been the nonsense that the lawmakers and courts have held that corporations are identical to actual flesh and blood humans and entitled to identical rights as real people.
And yet, no one gets prosecuted for murder when a corporation is killed in bankruptcy. Or slavery, when a corporation is aquired in a hostile takeover.
And no corporation is executed when IT kills people either.
No, but I’m sure a few of us want to kill IT workers when our computers go wrong!! ;)
A question for Mr. Pedraza…on Princes passing yesterday, a portion of the conversation turned to his vigorous defense of this IP rights. I have no idea if he was pilloried for that like CBS has been here, but it does beg the question, how, if any, was his approach different then CBS, beyond that CBS seemed content to allow fan films/fiction some wiggle room prior to Axanar?
My kingdom for an edit function…..
A question for Mr. Pedraza…on Princes passing yesterday, a portion of the conversation on NPR turned to Prince’s vigorous defense of his IP rights….
Oh come on now, NPR has a decent journalistic enterprise, and you know darn well that if he HAD been pilloried that you would have heard about it in that report
You are just rather transparently and disingenuously trying to gain sympathy for your views by equating a talentless faceless corporation to a talented much loved famous Oscar winning artist that recently passed away and who actually created something.
Shame on you.
Something for you and Prodigal Son, who contends no one can prevail against a Big Corporate’s DMCA takedown notice, to chew on:
”Back in February 2007, a mother of a young boy posted a short, grainy video of her baby “dancing” around the kitchen while a Prince song plays, barely audibly, in the background. In the eight years since, the video has received nearly 1.3 million views on YouTube — not because it’s a particularly interesting clip, but due to its role in a copyright lawsuit that won’t go away.
While most copyright claims on YouTube are now performed by automated systems that compare sounds and images with databases of copyrighted content, at the time the dancing baby video was uploaded, many record and movie companies had actual humans monitoring YouTube.
Thus, in the summer of 2007 a real person at Universal Music saw the above video and was somehow able to discern above the distorted audio and screaming children that the song blaring in the background is “Let’s Go Crazy” from the 1984 Prince and The Revolution album Purple Rain.
Additionally, that presumably living and breathing sentient being also came to the conclusion that this 29-second non-commercial home video was a valid case of copyright infringement and had it included on a list of Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices sent to YouTube.
The video was initially removed by YouTube and remained down for about six weeks, but after retaining an attorney, the mom was able to convince the Google-owned site that her video constituted a “fair use” of the song and it was reinstated.
For many YouTubers, that would have been the end, but the mom decided in July 2007 to take a more lasting stand against frivolous copyright claims. She sued, with assistance from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the publisher in federal court [PDF], claiming Universal had violated the DMCA by failing to consider the video might constitute “fair use” before demanding a takedown.
…” — ‘8 Years Later, Universal Music Still Defending Takedown Of “Dancing Baby” YouTube Video’; By Chris Morran; CONSUMERIST; July 6, 2015
Wow, man, you really read something into that post that wasn’t there. The question is to compare and contrast how two entitles pursued their IP protections, nothing more. If you see something else there, you’re free to arrive at your own conclusions, but I didn’t offer up an opinion, here, either pro or con. That’s on you.
In reply to:
You are the one who chose to introduce being pilloried which suggests a type of extreme physical humiliation that is impossible for a corporation such as CBS to be submitted to.
That’s not even open for debate. Pillory is a good choice of words. A corporation can, indeed, be ridiculed publically. CBS has been pilloried plenty on this site. Agreeing or disagreeing if they deserve it is a different debate, not one I was looking to engage with my original question to Mr. Pedraza. Another time, perhaps.
In reply to comment:
No Phil, it very much IS open to debate. Pillorying is meant to imply a form of EXTREME humiliation that CBS has, in fact NOT endured here. You are simply purposely over exaggerating the criticisms of CBS on the one hand, while on the other hand routinely minimizing the very same people’s opinions as carrying no weight with CBS on the other. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t pillory an entity unless you can force it to endure it. And CBS can’t be forced to endure it if they aren’t even aware of it in the first place as you routinely suggest..
And in an attempt to further enlighten you: I KNOW first hand the type of extreme humiliation a pillorying entails as I was tied to a rather large tree by the school bully with multiple extension cords and submitted to it. And brother, what criticism CBS has been submitted to in this MODERATED forum, even if they were aware of it, that ain’t it!
The only enlightening that’s needed is the understanding that you endured a trauma in the past, that the use of a particular word reopened an old wound. Whatever distress the use of that word caused, please understand that it was not possible to know those implications, and I regret any slight that occurred.
Regarding the conversation, clearly we disagree on the semantics, and to what extent CBS is aware of the broader fan base reaction to their IP defense. It should be safe to say, moving forward, that the decision CBS made to defend their IP, has been met with some ridicule. Lets leave it at that.
“Nobody sues their fans … I have some bootlegs of Lianne [La Havas] but I wouldn’t sell them. But fans sharing music with each other, that’s cool.” — Prince
The Star Trek Continues people are in the middle of a funding campaign right now, and CBS hasn’t stopped them. The STC folks have been really scrupulous about using every penny of the collected money on the expenses of the production — Vic isn’t paying himself a salary — and it looks as if that makes all the difference.
I agree with you Corylea – they even passed scrutiny by accounting, legal, and IRS non-profit status was granted.
Vic isn’t paying himself a salary but he’s gotten chumps to fund his life for YEARS
Thanks!! I had a lot of fun in Toronto. I was on Entertainment Tonight as well
I hope this does not mean the end of Star Trek Continues.
Here’s a really cool animated parody that just hit Youtube on the whole “Axanar” issue: https://youtu.be/_cnHe0oIJIs
STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES/PHASE 2 have taken down their Facebook page. “Temporarily” according to James Cawley who posted on a fan board. The reason he stated was “personal reasons”
Make what you will of that.
Might be worth noting it happened just as the NEWSWEEK article hit the web…
You know the studio handled this really well. The only bad guy is Alec Peters who overstepped bounds. Not the studio defending their IP.
There’s a difference in what New Voyages/Phase 2 and Continues do – and what Peters attempted.
The continued existence of both those productions – who continue to be in production and raising funds is interesting – we KNOW they both have excellent relationships with CBS and “New Voyages” wrote the book, so to speak, on fan films and studio relations
There is a difference between a “fan film” with talented folks from in and outside media and what Axanar was doing – an independent film with professionals.
My goodness, he not only admits it over and over in interviews, but is proud of it.
“Horizons” is collateral damage.
Yeah. CBS have quietly stepped in before to deliver a quiet word, such as when ST:NV were planning on adapting a Norman Spinrad script. CBS are really very generous about all these productions. Real ‘moustache-twirling villains’ would have stamped on all the fan productions hard.
In reply to:
That’s not quite the way it went down, at least not quite as “genteel”. In that case, unlike this one, Cease and Desist letters were sent to both the author Norman Spinrad, with whom CBS had the main legal beef and reached a legal settlement, and Cawley:
“I don’t understand CBS’s thinking on this at all. They didn’t care then [When his unused BLOOD AND FIRE script was directed by him in an other Phase II production.]. Why do they care now?
‘Star Trek’ fans are not a sleeping dragon that you want to poke.” — David Gerrold, 3/29/2012
And this is what Spinrad could say about the legal battle on his end, et al:
”I and CBS have agreed to resolve our disputes concerning the ownership of the Work [HE WALKS AMONG US]; as part of the settlement between the Parties, the Parties have agree that there will be no further comment; and CBS is considering opportunities to offer licensed copies of the Work.
Because of the above, I can no longer comment on the He Walked Among Us screenplay myself. But I can still respond to general questions about screenwriting and si(sic) forth on this page.
This screenplay was commissioned by Gene Roddenberry as a vehicle for Milton Berle as a serious actor and he also sent me to an overgrown backlot village set he wanted to to try to write into the script too.
It was written in 1967 and lost for 45 years.
This original version was rewritten into an unfunny comedy by the line producer Gene Coon apparently unaware that Uncle Miltie was also a serious dramatic actor and a good one. It t was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry.
“This is so lousy, Gene, that you should kill it!” I told him. “You can’t, you shouldn’t, shoot this thing! Read it and weep!”
Gene did, and he agreed with me. I killed my second Star Trek, which, down through the years has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost residuals.
I thought the text of my original version–written on a typewriter!–was lost forever until recently a fan asked me to autograph a faded copy he had bought somewhere. I did, and in return he sent me a pdf off a scan, and that’s what I’ve put on Amazon, not a great copy maybe, but the only one that exists or probably can exist.” — Norman Spinrad, 2/23/2012
Yes, because a line was crossed. I suspect plans were beginning for the TV show even then and material commissioned for the old show thus became verboten.
Whole lotta beating up on Axanar… anyone notice what Axanar said?
“While we’re disappointed Tommy’s plans for FEDERATION RISING have come to a stop, we were pleased to hear CBS’s approach was direct and businesslike and not a lawsuit requesting potentially millions of dollars in damages, pre-emptively announced through the industry trade press. By providing a “head’s up” to Tommy, Ryan and the rest of the cast and crew at Horizon, CBS can avert the legal mess they’ve created with Axanar Productions.”
“We understand that the production team behind STAR TREK: HORIZON still plans on producing great stories in the future. We wish them well and will support them in their future endeavors in whatever way we can.”
That’s a lot more civility & support than what people here seem to be extending Axanar. I don’t know the nature of the relationship between Alec Peters and Tommy, but it sounds like they at least are on speaking terms, and Axanar has been nothing if not publicly supportive of Horizon even before this development.
The lawsuit didn’t come out of nowhere…that’s just Alec blowing smoke (as usual).