CBS And Paramount Release Fan Film Guidelines

Amidst ongoing litigation against fan film Star Trek Axanar, today CBS and Paramount Pictures have issued guidelines to all current and would-be Star Trek fan productions.

The rules will be an adjustment for many fan projects, particularly ongoing longer-form shows like Star Trek ContinuesStar Trek New Voyages, and others.

From the press release:

CBS and Paramount Pictures are big believers in reasonable fan fiction and fan creativity, and, in particular, want amateur fan filmmakers to showcase their passion for Star Trek.  Therefore, CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

  1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.
  2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
  3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.
  4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
  5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.
  6. The fan production must be non-commercial:
    • CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.
    • The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.
    • The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
    • The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.
    • No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.
    • The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.
  7. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.
  8. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:

    Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

  9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.
  10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.


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Wow. This could really hurt my two Faves. Star Trek Continues and Star Trek New Voyages.

Well, this couldn’t suck more for them.

Hurt? You should start calling them Star Trek Discontinues and Star Trek No New Voyages.

It outright kills them. The guidelines specifically state that no one involved can A) be a professional actor(Vic Mignogna counts) and B) can have been involved in an official Star Trek project, past/present/future which would count Chris Doohan of Continues and James Cawley of New Voyages. These projects, unless they gain significant support to rally against some of these ridiculous guidelines, are dead in the water.

They can “rally” all they want, they will fail because the law is not on their side. This isn’t a movie with freedom fighters fighting to be able to dance at the prom. This is real life, Star Trek belongs to Paramount, and any fanboy stupid enough to push them, will get the crap sued out of them. The people that make fan films aren’t rolling in the kind of dough it would take to survive the kind of lawsuit Paramount would slap on them.


I’ve seen people saying “Lets fight this!” Dude… It’s a losing battle. CBS/Paramount OWN the rights to Star Trek, it is their property to do with as they please. It’s time to deal with it.

Lets all take a moment to thank Alec Peters for essentially killing Star Trek fan films.

The only time anything is a losing battle is when you’ve already given up before the fight begins

I agree, giving up isn’t an option. I am boycotting Star Trek until they learn to do what the series they own preaches. This should be a diplomatic thing rather than a “our rules, our way, leave if you don’t like it”. So you know what? I’m leaving it until CBS and Paramount grow the hell up. Star Wars holds yearly fan film awards. These guys don’t respect us, they just see us as piggy banks.

It’s also OUR money we give them. We all know what the message of Star Trek is. We know these fan movies only seek to improve a franchise. Honestly, given what they are doing, they aren’t getting any more money from me. CBS and Paramount are being hypocritical given what they own and the message it often preaches. Compassion, co-operation, exploration and development. I will not support companies who do this, even if it means I have to give up Star Trek. Because you know what? This isn’t Star Trek.

The Lensman,

Re: the law is not on their side.

Not necessarily so, the law in effect when STAR TREK was initially created in its first pilot movie, promised me as a member of the public that by this time it would have entered into my domain, public. That it didn’t had nothing to do with lawsuits and everything to do with questionable retroactive changes introduced by backdoor lobbyists shoveling money to make said law more amenable to the neopublishers’ new philosophy that ideas are exactly equivalent to physical objects. Their continual pushing of this fantasy that their limited monopolies have no limits will eventually result in a political backlash, and what was unjustly taken in defiance of the US Constitutional mandate “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts”, that which is ours, will be ours again.

“Not necessarily so”

WRONG. The law is completely, totally and utterly on their side.

” the law in effect when STAR TREK was initially created in its first pilot movie, promised me as a member of the public that by this time it would have entered into my domain, public.”

And then the law was changed and time moved on. Cry all you want about what was “supposed to happen”. It didn’t happen and you’re not changing anything.

The Lensman,

Re: the law was changed

Statutes were changed, The Constitution, which is the Supreme Law of the land was not.

The Lensman,

Re: the law was changed

Also, what you describe would be an ex post facto Law. Note the US Constitution Article 1, Section 9:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Well, that was to be expected… Thank you Mr. Peters for all your hard work in enabling this, you really have my gratitude!

Mine too, for making one of the coolest Star Trek Fan Films ever. I am sure Axanar will be awesome.

I hope you misunderstood me on purpose…

Or it may be yet another piece in a long line of substandard fan productions.

Axanar has ruined it for all fan films.

If it hadn’t been them it would have been someone else. Fan films have been increasing in quality for sometime now. Also costing more. If it hadn’t been Axanar it would have been someone that would have gotten CBS/Paramount’s attention so don’t just blame Axanar.

I don’t know, I think the issue was that they tried to make money off of it, and this caused the lawyers to jump in. Axanar’s people are just as loopy.

Let’s all render Peters a one-finger salute


Exactly the word I was about to use.

Well Peters keep pissing on about the Lucasfilm rules, well this is them in a nutshell. You shake the tree, you better to be ready for something to fall on your head.

Yeah — never pick a legal fight you can’t win.

True. But it is their property to set the rules with in the first place, so… Everyone… Look out the port windows and wave goodbye to Star Trek fan films.

Well geez. That just killed nearly all the groundbreaking Star Trek Fan films. Not just future ones, but the ones that have come before.

Way to go, Peters.


Doesn’t item #1 effectively *end* Star Trek Continues, Star Trek New Voyages, and others?

You can make a 30-minute story in two 15-minute parts, but it cannot be followed by any episode, sequel, season… That’s GAME OVER for all the fan series, unless I’m missing something.


Exactly my thinking. Well done, Axanar

That is correct. Each episode wold have to feature something that hadn’t been done before.

I think it would have been reasonable a length of 30 minutes, with a follow up of 30 minutes. Or two episodes of 30 minutes. They could have limited to when a sequel for a fan film could appear. Now they just says: only small videos on youtube basically. It also seems to be pointed at anything in the length of Anaxar and such, on purpose. I guess it’s to not contradict their actual lawsuit but it will stop any interesting fan film to be made, in my opinion.



No it isn’t. The industry already created the work around for this, the time compressor, so they can squeeze in more commercials. This restriction just means that fan films have to be distributed in time compressed two act form to 30 minutes. That doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy it at a more leasurely pace, if I choose to do otherwise.

Hell, now that I think of it there’s a lot of podcasts that I listen to via my system’s built in time compressing mechanism.

I feel like this is putting a pretty sizable choke-hold on fan films. The part about having to only use officially sanctioned costumes and props (guideline #4) could eat up large portions of the fan films budget. My take on this that this will only end up further straining relations between the fans and the Paramount/CBS.

4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.

To me, this would indicate that they cannot buy bootlegged items for use in production, but this does not stop them from creating their own.

Nevertheless, I agree with most people here in that CBS/Paramount really screwed up in setting these guidelines. If they were to drop the first guideline (length of episode and series), that would keep the majority of current productions alive.

I think #4 is more “you can’t make your own costumes or props, you *have* to buy them from a Paramount sanctioned retailer.” Pretty sure New Voyages and Continues had their own costume and props people. This kills this off pretty quickly. It’s a money grab.

Cosplay, in general, has been getting a lot of heat from IP holders lately; questions of legality and if it is or isn’t infringement. This was a clause likely requested by the licensing division as a by product of making a good-faith effort to protect the value of the merchandise their licensee’s create and sell.

J_Randomuser I think you’re misreading it as though the words “commercially available” were not there. It would mean you’re saying if those words were not there. It does not mean a non-commercial item is banned if an official version is available to purchase, it means IF you purchase items to use, they can’t be bootleg.

Fair enough.

Incorrect. The intent is to not provide support to bootleggers or the gray markets.

I think that “creating their own” would fall under the category of imitations. It’s a shame. Most of the commercially available Star Trek uniforms are more like Halloween costumes. They don’t look nearly as good as the stuff created by the Star Trek Continues crew. Very disappointing. And now, even if they shut down, they can’t sell off their costumes or sets. It’s a real dick-move by CBS.


You are totally misinterpretting the ramifications of that. You can still rent or buy used. It’s just the provenance has to be legit,

While the neopublishing industry tries to twist it otherwise, copyright case law is quite clear that once you purchase a copyrighted item the copyright holder can’t dictate to you how you use it or what you do to it for your personal use. So this just means fan production prop and costuming departments can buy the cheapest ass things that CBS licenses for their needs and then modify them in house to “enhance” their on screen look and feel to assist these legitimately purchased items to put their best foot forward in their production.

I live in SoCal and I had a commute companion that worked in the film costuming industry eons ago. As I recall it she said back then that Paramount had licensed costume sewing patterns so that’s another route to costuming legitimacy.

It’s done…it’s over. :( Who can we write to about this? It’s far too heavy handed.

You can write to Mr Peters and company. Turned Axanar into a money-making enterprise, created a studio out of Star Trek money, and forced CBS/Paramount’s hand on the matter. They picked this fight and poisoned the well for everybody.

Thats BS. They should just publish Axanar and finally bring out Trek again thats deserving of its name.

Axanar was NOT deserving of the name Star Trek!

Your opinion is yours regardless of its inaccuracy and arrogant presumption.

It’s not for Alec Peters to decide what’s worthy of the Trek name – and, that said, I’ve seen no evidence that Axanar would have been. Prelude was slick, hammy, empty and had two good actors.

More arrogant presumption. Who are YOU to decide whats worthy anymore than anyone else here including Alec Peters. Prelude was, IMHO, better written, produced and acted than ANY of the other fan productions. It also generated more buzz and attention because of its quality. I love all the haters with their personal grudges and petty jealousies looking for a chance to blame Axanar instead of CBS/Paramount…

Thank you Olsen

I need a good laugh, so tell me how Axanars little war movie is “Trek deserving of it’s name”. No, go ahead, tell me. Because aside from the crappy t.v. show level “Vulcan scene”, which encapsulated the same dull garbage typical of Voy / Ent, what do they have other than “PEW! PEW! PEW! SPLOSION!” After two years, a million dollars, a large crew of people, tell me what you have before you to say that Axanar is “Trek deserving of the name”. Jack shit, that’s what.

Oh wait, they had some “Cage” era uniforms or something, so that totally makes it “Trek deserving of it’s name”.

The Lensman,

Re:a good laugh

You can invite him to try but I don’t think he’ll elicit as big a laugh as I got seeing you dis Paramount’s “hard” work there.

This certainly isn’t Mr. Peters fault! It was more than just Axanar that brought this about, although it was the most successful of the lot so it was singled out. The Axanar team can’t do much about this. Maybe if the fans had been more united in supporting his vision, CBS and Paramount might not have been so emboldened to be such whiny jackasses…just like some of the fans.

If Axanar hadn’t existed, there’s no one out there really pushing Paramount’s buttons. Axanar, as I said, woke the sleeping giant– the giant that had turned a blind eye before. And why should fans have been united in supporting “his vision?” I was not a fan of his vision. Oh, because you liked it? No thanks!

Bingo, Torchwood. I agree and I’m really peeved about the effect this will have on ST Continues and Phase II/New Voyages. GRRR!

And again you’re going to say that you have no connection to Peters or Axanar?

And again youre going to say that YOU have no personal interest or agenda ‘Jack’?


Intellectual Property laws say it’s CBS/Paramount’s right to decide…….as it should be since it’s their property.

CBS/Paramount suck.

Oh, please. Paramount & CBS bothe inhereted Star Trek & never wanted it- they didn’t create it & don’t care about it they just have some vague idea that they could make money of of it & go from there.
Stare Trek belongs to the fans who have supported it over the last 50 years & keept it going at times when the studios abandoned it.

I wish there was an edit button.
Haters will resort to using bad spelling to dismiss a valid statement or argument & I have made it far too easy for them lol.

Irrelevant comment.

@Keachick, I saw what you did thar :-)

There’s a petition at for Star Trek Continues to … well, continue.

…not to mention the “episode” length rules. I have to agree with a lot of these poster: this is a game over for the fan films and, as I said above, only alienate the fans further. Pretty dissappointed on this one.

Do we all agree that this is solidly on the shoulders of Alec Peters and his Axanar nonsense? Anyone want to defend him? This just eradicated the vast majority of fan productions. If I read #4 correctly, every fan production now must buy officially released props and costumes instead of making their own. (Props and costumes cannot be “imitations of such commercially available products.”)

Thanks, Mr. Peters! SO much.

This has irradiated all existing fan productions…at least in any meaningful form.

I think Peters is too blame for a significant portion of this, but to put all the blame squarely on his shoulders is a bit much. Paramount/CBS get a good sized chunk of blame for this as well. They’ve handled this pretty badly and these guidelines effectively say “You can play in our sandbox, but we’re going to nickel-and-dime you every step of the way”. Like TJ Draper says below, there were lots of different ways this could have shaken out where *everybody* walks away happy. Paramount/CBS are choosing not to.

They haven’t handled it badly at all. They’ve done exactly what they have to do thanks to Alex Peters’ irresponsibility, arrogance and dishonesty.

Youre utterly clueless. Back up your statements and claims as to Mr Peters ‘dishonesty’ or back off. Right now youre just flapping your gums and defaming somebody publicly without anything to support your attacks on his character or business practices.

There’s no defaming involved. It’s been well-publicized that he pocketed $38,000 worth of donations that were supposed to go to the production, not his wallet. That is common knowledge.

Get real Dandru. They only had to but guidelines on the money side of things not the artistic/story telling.
Thay have essentually banned fan films & are trying to pretend they are supporting it to try to stop bad PR. Fail. we have eyes & the majority of
fans are stupid

J Randomuser: Well, of course CBS and Paramount are to blame for their overreaction. Who is to blame for causing that overreaction? Alec Peters and his Axanar shenanigans. Until his nonsense happened, they had allowed all of these productions with no issues. Peters/Axanar are the specific trigger of this reaction.

They might have been the trigger, but CBS/Paramount had an eye on other fan productions for quite some time – this would have happend with or without Axanar.

There’s no evidence of that at all. CBS / Paramount specifically went after Peters, not other fan productions. Other productions were impacted because of Peters’ actions on Axanar. CBS / Paramount can’t apply different sets of criteria for different productions and as a result Peter’s took everyone down with him.

Either way, Alec Peters is a boob.

Sorry, but Paramount / CBS looked the other way for years because the fan productions were just that: Star Trek produced by fans for other fans. Months were spent producing episodes of New Voyages because people were volunteering there time and effort as they were available. Paramount recognized this and, again, looked the other way. Peters went quite a bit further than that, raising over $1 million and then promising a feature length film. THAT caught CBS / Paramount’s eye and made them realize that Axanar was going quite a bit further than all other fan productions. It also didn’t help that Peters was challenging whether or not they actually owned and controlled all aspects of Star Trek.

“If the fan production uses commercially-available…”

Fan films can still make their own props/costumes. But if they purchase commercially available ones they have to be official and not bootleg. It’s probably to prevent fan films from setting up bootleg prop companies and then buying them from themselves to to make money that way.

Avi, I read it differently, but I see where I may be completely wrong. The part that changes it for me is the line about no “imitations of” commercial products. To me, that means no fan-made props or costumes. Those are, by definition, imitations of the official products.

There is no official Universal Translator (I think), so a fan-made prop would be okay. But phasers, tricorders, communicators, and costumes are all officially available, so anything made by the fan production would be “imitations of such commercially available products.”

They’re saying that if it’s available to be bought, you have to buy it if you want it in your production. Again, I could be wrong. It has happened at least once this decade. ;)

I couldn’t disagree more. Axanar did everything right in my opinion, with the goal of creating a ST film that ST fans could be proud of. They crowdfunded, didn’t rely on commercial sources of income, and still managed to produce an amazing film I could be excited about in an era of generally bad ST films.

I will continue to blame CBS/P for these draconian measures, and continue to argue that fan films like Axanar would only help their brand and the continued survival of Star Trek.

100% on the money!

IBScott is absolutely correct.

IBScott, seconded!

You are 1000% wrong. Even the worst of the Trek movies and tv shows is light years better than 99.9% of the fan films/fiction.

Take a look at the revised MST 3K. Shout Factory secured the copyright and now owns it. New episodes have been entirely funded by fans with the blessing of the copyright holder. This was not the case with Axanar which raised a ton of cash off of the back of an existing property they had no claims to. it went beyond a typical fan film effort and funds were not restricted to the actual production itself. it was a very slippery slope and they took a fall, dragging everyone down with them.

Absolutely. Agreed 100%. Listening to some of the uninformed ignorance on here sounds like a recess playground of the uninformed.

You defend Peters and claim that he didn’t pocket money, which everyone else knows that he did. The “uninformed ignorance” is on your end.

Right on, IBScott, The fan films are an organic reaction to the fact that CBS/P have NOT provided product that a segment of Star Trek fans craved – a return to the fundamentals, and TOS, in particular. Whether one believes Axanar is the catalyst or the cause of this, CBS/P have fallen down on the job, and have not provided the kind of Star Trek entertainment that they (or SOMEBODY) could have.

Axanar may have looked good & been historically acurate but it was still just War Trek.

I don’t completely agree that it was mainly Axanar that caused this. Most of the guidelines that were listed point more at “Renegade” than they do Axanar. Renegade’s production is more of a direct IP infringement by using the actual Trek actors portraying actual Trek characters. I know “Renegade” was shopped to CBS/Paramount as a new series but when they didn’t show interest, they basically told CBS/Paramount ‘screw you’ and released it themselves. I’m sure that didn’t set very well at CBS/Paramount. I truly think Axanar got caught in the middle of that conflict mainly because of the scope of the production, not the IP infringement.

He’s singlehandedly destroyed fan creativity. He should be shunned by the fan community.

Youre an apologist for Paramounts/CBS heavy handedness and THEIR treatment of the fans. Somebody tried to put forth a quality production for the fans and you blame them instead of the ones doing the bullying. So no we dont agree. These guidelines are ridiculous and show utter contempt and greed. Your anger is woefully misplaced. Axanar didnt do this PARAMOUNT and CBS did this. Get your story straight.

Star Trek is protected intellectual property. It is not anyone’s to do with as they please, especially the detestable Peters.

El Chup,

STAR TREK is a LIMITED monopoly and trademark. Calling it “protected intellectual property” is just the neopublishing industries’ newspeak attempt to try to justify twisting the law into something it was never intended to be: a force for preventing the exchange of ideas.

Paramount/CBS did not create Star Trek They just own the rights. Star Trek truely, more than any other franchise belongs to its fans who saved it from death & supported it when the studios abandoned it.

Trek Tech, the only apologist here is you, trying valiantly to make Axanar out as the good guys. Sorry, no. For over 45 years, fans have been able to make whatever they wanted with the Star Trek universe with no problems from CBS/Paramount until Axanar. Period. Axanar is the cause of this crackdown. Alec Peters is directly responsible. Until his greedy overreach, fan films had never received CBS/Paramount litigious ire like this. For more than FOUR DECADES, we were allowed to play with Star Trek for free with no limits–until Axanar went too far.

Bullying? There is no bullying here! Someone owns something, and they set out rules for other people to play with that something. That’s not bullying. It’s basic property rights.

Your lack of respect for Star Trek and for property rights reflects poorly on you, as does your ridiculously histrionic defenses of Axanar. We get it. You’re either part of the Axanar team or you’re one of those who paid for it. But stow your condescending “Get your story straight” nonsense, okay, kid?


Re:For over 45 years, fans have been able to make whatever they wanted with the Star Trek universe with no problems from CBS/Paramount until Axanar

Unmitigated BS. The minute Bludhorn forced Paramount, protesting kicking and screaming all the way, to take over running STAR TREK, Paramount has been siccing their lawyers on the fans.

”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 and a handful of second season eps. — 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.
Published: Saturday, March 2 1996 12:00 a.m. MST

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.
Published: Sunday, Jan. 19 1997 12:00 a.m. MST

Whatever you say, Trek Tech–I mean, Alex.

I do not put this on Peters’ shoulders. If it wasn’t Axanar, it would have been New Voyages or Continues.

Roger: Not true at all. Paramount and CBS never had a problem with fan films until Alex Peters pulled his crap.

Mr. Peters elevated what “fan film” means. He was, and hopefully will continue to, produce some of the best Trek since TOS! Clearly, New Voyages and Continues were targeted, as well. Otherwise, the rules wouldn’t prevent the from carrying on as normal. To say otherwise is petty, sour grapes.

“some of the best Trek since TOS”

Um…. no. Not even remotely.

Oh, well…since you put it that way. Check Mate, Me!

I do, although the return to the original canon with the new streaming series probably had a good deal to do with this.

I get it with Axanar, I truly do. It was a bit much. But neither side has handled it well. Arguable, CBS/Paramount has handled it much more poorly though. The rest of the fan productions are no threat at all and serve a very small segment of very devoted fans. It would behoove CBS/Paramount to please these devoted and loyal fans rather than piss them off. How much differently could this have gone if they would have a). released much less strict guidelines, b). offer fun help, tidbits, and general minor little things that would go a long way toward pleasing their most devoted fan base, c). for people really wanting to poor time, energy, and effort into big cool fan productions, offer some sort of deal.

There are so many ways this could have gone very differently so that everyone wins. I will never understand why studios and production companies choose the hostility road every. single. time.

I don’t think this has left them much choice. This is the only way to prevent a stunt like Peters’

And people can still pour time, energy and effort into cool fan productions. And maybe this will quell some of the delusions that these fan films would resurrect careers or turn into series of their own (ex. Renegades).

” offer fun help, tidbits, and general minor little things that would go a long way toward pleasing their most devoted fan base”

I’m so tired of fans trying to hold CBS/Paramount hostage – and demand special treatment for extra-special fans. Because they get ot all the time (Paramount let these films continue for years) and then they gripe that it’s not enough. Do Star Wars fans gripe this much about Lucasfilm?

What an idiot Peters is. But he’s probably happy. If he cant make fan films then no one can.

You call Alec an idiot and yet what have YOU accomplished? Hes run successful businesses and CBS even hired him to run an auction. He co-wrote and produced Prelude which was some of the best FAN Trek out there. He only attracted Paramounts attention because of the scope and quality at a time when Paramount was getting ready to release a film AND a series. Dont delude yourself, this was Paramount eliminating competitio at a point where theyve shown they have no desire for people enjoying what they see as OLD Trek when they are trying to reimagine the brand. No more and no less. I also love the arrogance of those of you talking smack about Axanar when Justin Lin himself is a fan of Axanar and openly stated as much. So seriously, what have YOU contributed from the sidelines?


You mean like his bankrupt Propworx

This wasn’t Paramount eliminating competition. This was Paramount putting thieves in their place. YOU don’t get to use someone elses property to compete with them. They own it, you don’t. You own exactly none of it, are entitled to exactly none of it. If Alec Peters is so successful, then let’s see him create his own successful IP and stop stealing someone elses. I’m guessing that’s never going to happen. Why create your own when you can leech off someone elses hard work.

The Lensman,

Re:Paramount’s Hard Work

You are peddling a total retcon of historical fact. In 1960s, the only hardwork being done by Paramount in regards to STAR TREK was challenging their new owner, Bludhorn, on every front, to NOT straddle them with it, as they could only see STAR TREK adding more negatives to their already distressed financial balance sheet. It was merely regarded as a losing proposition that got dumped in their laps by the rich dude that just bought them when they got into a deep financial crisis much as he took advantage of the Desilu fire sale for much of the same reasons that studio faced.

“Paramount in regards to STAR TREK was challenging their new owner, Bludhorn, on every front, to NOT straddle them with it”

And then went on to make 10 movies, another 625 episodes (not counting Classic Trek and TAS), and another 3 movies. Paramount didn’t want the kid. Then spent the next 40 years raising that kid up and building it into a juggernaut. That they didn’t originally want the kid means nothing and helps you in no way. Try again.

The Lensman,

Re: Then spent the next 40 years raising that kid.

More history rewriting BS. Paramount outright wrote it off, abandoned, and neglected it. They left the raising in its formative years to kindly members of the village who adored the kid.

”If shareholders of Gulf & Western had been privy to the financial records of Desilu Studios & Desilu Productions, they would have surely questioned the $17-million purchase. The only asset that would appear to have any recognizable value was the land…

Desilu’s three television series, however, were quite another matter. The good news was that their ownership gave the newly reorganized Paramount Television Division three ongoing network series [Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, & Mannix], which amounted to a marvelous base of operations. The bad news was that all three series were running in the red. Every time a new episode was broadcast, the studio lost money. But management could make a case for Mission: Impossible and Mannix. Both series had good ratings, and with an expectation of yearly renewals, sufficient episodes would be available for a syndication package. There could be some value there. (Each series did, in fact, remain on the air for seven years.)

Star Trek, however, was a far different matter. It was costly to produce and low-rated. And the Nielson ratings never indicated any major audience growth. So, with an expected early cancellation, before a sufficient number of episodes [79 were made] could be produced to at least make a syndication package, Star Trek had the honor of having been the most financially negative aspect of the Desilu purchase. Paramount considered it to be a total loss.” — INSIDE STAR TREK: THE REAL STORY by Robert Justman & Herbert Solow

Disinvited, Star Trek went into syndication and got popular because it was getting seen. In most markets Star Trek was airing five days a week and getting seen by the public in ways it never got seen in first run. THAT’S what kept Star Trek alive. Not fan fic, not fan films, not fotonovels. Syndication and the general public finally getting a stable schedule for the show, as well as getting the show daily instead of weekly. Star Wars made sci-fi even more popular, hence the movies which led to TNG which led to DS9, Voy and Ent.

This isn’t 1974, so bringing up Paramount’s mindset from the late 60’s early 70’s, or bringing up copyright law that has since changed makes you look foolish. Their attitude in that time period is totally irrelevant since they went on to make 13 movies in addition to 625 hours of television. It’s like you trying to dis a guy who raised a kid up to be a successful doctor and thinking you’re making a point by saying “he didn’t want the kid when he found out she was pregnant”. The intervening years spent raising and nurturing the child into adulthood negates whatever thoughts that guy had at the beginning. Most adults understand this. You don’t. If you thought that line of thought was going to help you, it doesn’t. Try again.

The Lensman,

No more foolish than your attempts to mis-characterize years of lack of investment or doing anything with STAR TREK as years of nourishing, caring for, and raising a child, who, in spite of the strike of years neglect against it, did well at university from which you draw the non sequitur that therefore no neglect took place. Most adults know that a child doing well later in adulthood in spite of years of neglected abandonment no way absolves or proves such charged with their care of not being guilty of it.

Roddenberry, who was a copyright partner with them at the time, was so frustrated with that marvelous “nurturing” you keep proselytizing about that:

”… a year after the series was canceled, Roddenberry approached Paramount with a simple proposal: Would Paramount give him control of the Star Trek rights, so he could attempt to do something with the property? {Note Lensman: contrary to your assertions otherwise, Roddenberry observed Paramount NOT nurturing STAR TREK.– Disinvited} After ana|yzing Star Trek’s domestic syndication sales potential, foreign television sales potential, the talent rerun costs, foreign dubbing costs, print, in$urance, shipping, and sales costs, Paramount saw little future potential in the property {Again, contrary to your assertions that they were actively investing in nurturing a valued child. — Disinvited}, and on an upper-management level there was even some talk of a counteroffer to Roddenberry. Theoretically, Paramount would sell all its Star Trek rights, title, and equity position to Roddenberry. The price discussed was reputed to be $150,000 {If I recall correctly that was the cost of producing a single STAR TREK episode. That’s Paramount’s OWN valuation of their nurturing from taking over STAR TREK’S care in the second season to the year after cancellation that impresses you so. — Disinvited}…[but Roddenberry] simply did not have $150,000.

…But now that Paramount had placed a value on the Star Trek rights, Roddenberry supposedly countered by offering to sell, for cash a portion of his own future profits. The discussions never went further…” — INSIDE STAR TREK: THE REAL STORY by Robert Justman & Herbert Solow

It’s specious and disingenuous of you to suggest that the reason Paramount did not immediately put STAR TREK into syndication was because they “knew” it would take years of its ripening on the shelf before it would be ready and that its active fans had absolutely no contribution to the market that they came to believe might be available when they finally got around to syndicating it. Likewise, in your attempts to paint PARAMOUNT’s first STAR TREK syndication as somehow being done by them in a novel manner, i.e. that other canceled series’ syndications were somehow not airing five days a week and not getting seen by the public in ways they never got seen in their first run.

You also have your facts wrong in regards to STAR WARS leading directly to the Trek movies. Paramount just plain never had that kind of foresight in regards to STAR TREK. They regarded STAR WARS as a fluke. It was the, later, additional success of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND that lead them to the thought that there might be something they could develop with STAR TREK in the cinema.

I can understand why you’d believe that. Many STAR TREK fans, myself included, at the time, thought that Lucas’ film doing well would force Paramount into doing something with STAR TREK and actively sought to contribute to STAR WARS success to that end. I most certainly did. Lucas made it easy. But the fact remains, in the 70s I actively promoted STAR WARS through my contributions via word of mouth for ulterior motives and it was for naught as Paramount still wasn’t convinced.


Disinvited – Perhaps there may have been little in the way of “Paramount’s hard work”, particularly in terms of what occurred soon after Paramount bought the series from Desilu, but that is not the issue and never has been in relation to the topic under discussion.

The ONLY RELEVANT factor is that Paramount and CBS own different parts of the Star Trek franchise, with much that would constitute joint ownership.

Another irrelevant post and rather odiously personal in nature. The thread is NOT about what TUP or anyone here may or may not have accomplished. The thread is about the usefulness/validity etc of the guidelines presented by CBS/Paramount.

Question is… Will “Star Trek: Renegades” stop all work on the current production with Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols?

It seems like it has to stop. Everyone involved has to be purely amateur and “cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.” Former Trek actors are now banned from Trek fan productions.

Who says it has to?

These are guidelines. If your production is not following the guidelines, it may not be safe from CBS/Par, but nothind is forcing their hand.

Unless they get a pass from Paramount to complete projects currently in production such shows will have to shut down.

Everyone complaining about the new rules, remember this: They could have said “No”

They could have shut-down every fan production, could have said no more fanfilms at all. Simply “No”. This rules are a lot more generous than CBS/Paramount had or need to be.


Exactly. These rules are fair. They encourage fans to not simply do huge seasons but to do stand alone fan films like Star Trek: Horizon.

And 30 minutes is plenty to tell an unofficial Star Trek story that the majority of Star Trek fans couldn’t care less about.

It allows those who wish to raise the cash to be more creative.

And yes, CBS could have simply told all fan films to cese production.

They HAVE effectively shut down the decent productions. No series? No story over 30 minutes? that’s idiotic.

It’s entirely Alec Peters’ fault, and karma will get him.

I agree that much of this is Alec Peters’ fault and I think that he, out of all the fans making their own ST productions, should have known better. If he was the great businessman that some say he is and also worked for the studio at one point, then surely he would/should? have been more au fait with the do’s and don’t’s when it comes to what constitutes genuine violation of copyright, trademarks etc. He went too far because he thought he was better than others and could get away with it.

My impression is that the people behind the other productions did their best with the resources available and tried to stay within whatever guidelines were set. No doubt both studios noted that some violations had occurred sometimes but turned a blind eye because they knew these were genuine amateur fans doing their thing the best they could. Not so with Alec Peters.

Now Paramount/CBS are playing hardball and have got a little too restrictive and even a bit nasty. No thanks to Alec Peters and his co-horts, many of whom should have, and likely, did know better.

Well, they have said NO… that’s what this is! It’s a NO to all meaningful, semi-professional story telling involving any previous Trel alumni, unfilmed scripts, professional costumes, make-up, CGI etc… This is the end of Star Trek fan productions the way they are suppposed to be.
15 minutes, not more than 50,000 $ budget, no Trek alumni… it’s back to garage productions. And sorry, after 10+ years of semi-professional grandure, I certainly don’t need any ” garage segments” submitting to these guidelines. Better do nothing anymore than stick to these “rules”…

Which is pretty much what they have done – only with more words.

While this is true, lets not beat around the bush here. Things were just fine until the arrogant Alec Peters decided he could make money off the Trek brand. But for that, New Voyages, Phase II and all the others would be continuing without compliant.

Come on, man. They DID say “no” — to all the coolest things that were happening in fan films. Don’t sugarcoat it.

At first blush, they de facto have said “no” to any serious fan films due to the length restrictions.

Neelix and Phlox are the Jar Jar Binks of Star Trek

That was entirely irrelevant to this discussion. Did you accidentally post on the wrong page?

I’m exercising free speech I could care less if you think it relevant or not.

To be frank, these restrictions are incredibly restrictive, given that there are fantastic fan films that go beyond the 15/30 minute limit, that many of them will use custom props, or re-creations of them, and have more substantial tales to tell. Point 8 on this list is a no-brainer, and I love that there is a way to acknowledge CBS / Paramount’s ownership.

But these are so restrictive it’s not even funny. :(

I think this pretty much kills New Voyages and Continues. With up to six different episodes in post production between the two, there is no easy way to cut their episodes down to 30 minutes or less. This pretty much stops them all unless they all go animated. :)

I think introducing guidelines is the right way to go but man have they messed it up!

Well, as an avid fan of fan made Star Trek productions (most specifically New Voyages & Continues), this seriously solidifies the end of every Star Trek fan film out there. I never post on here & have been lurking for years, but this warrants a reply from me. I am definitely a peon in the community for sure. Thanks to Mr. Peters for this amazing set of guidelines.

“amazing set of guidelines”?

I hope that’s irony.

Draconian BS – no money from me to CBS ever again, boycott on! Will not see beyond will not see the new series. Screw you CBS.

Have you ever heard the expression cutting of your nose to spite your face?

How many fans boycotted the last two nuTreks again? Those movies did just fine with them. Beyond will do just fine with you. And yeah, you’ll be watching the new series, you’re not fooling anybody.

Let’s try that again (seriously, no edit feature?): How many fans boycotted the last two nuTreks again? Those movies did just fine without them. Beyond will do just fine without you. And yeah, you’ll be watching the new series, you’re not fooling anybody.

I mean, fan films are cool, but you need to understand the side of the companies. They own the name and brand of Star Trek. If a Star Trek related product is put on sale in wherever place, they get money … anything that has de Star Trek name on it generates income or them.

But fan productions don’t, and that is the problem not only for Paramount and CBS, but for any company the own a big media franchise. I don’t blame them for trying to protect one of their most valueable brands.

Stop it! You’re being logical and understanding about the situation. It’s pitchforks and torches for those at these two evil companies.

This is straight garbage.

I’ve enjoyed fan films but as Q once said “All Good Things Must Come to an End.” I can’t think of any fan film I’ve seen in recent years that was not part of a series/season or more less than 30 minutes. This basically does signify the end of Continues, New Voyages, Renegade – I would rather see them end than try and continue and be less than what they were.

Will all the fan films currently online have to be removed since they don’t adhere to these new restrictions?

Nice job, Alex Peters. You’ve officially effed everything up for everyone else who WASN’T creating problems or pocketing donations for personal use.

Thank you, CBS and Paramount, for making it clear I’m allowed to spend an afternoon making a Star Trek video and putting it on YouTube–if I include a lot of text about how unofficial I am. Anyone wanting to put effort into something, guess you’re out of luck.

Well done. You’ve completely missed the entire point.

if by missed the entire point you mean hit the nail on the head then yes he did.

I’m not making fan films or anything, but upon readong these more closely, here are my thoughts on the guidelines:

1. This is restrictive, and I’m not sure of the reasoning behind it. Many fan productions tell stories far longer, and multi-episode arcs are common to existing fan films.
2. Understandable, as STAR TREK is a copyrighted term.
3. Slightly ambiguous, but if I’m reading this right, it means not recreating scenes from existing Star Trek productions. You can create a CGI model of a starship, but you cannot recreate the Battle in the Mutara Nebula.
4. I think this means use the official Star Trek uniforms/props, and not some nameless company in China. If I understand this correctly, creating your own replicas would be fine, but an illegally sold knock-off is not. If so, I agree with it.
5. I’d be fine with this, though the Actor involvement restriction is a little much.
6. These are fully expected, and I support these ones.
7. Understandable, as they want to keep Star Trek itself as family-friendly.
8. Absolutely support this one.
9. Absolutely understand and support this one.
10. And this one too.

On revisiting these, the only real issue I have is with item 1. Restricting the length of a fan production means ongoing series suffer greatly, and I cannot think of a reason for this rule to be in effect.

The rest, when read reasonably, actually make sense, and most fan films currently out there are likely in compliance already from what I can tell.

They are not as restrictive as they at first appeared to me, IMHO.

I think we can just call #1 the “Axanar Rule”…this is pretty much solely pointed at them. CBS/Paramount wants to prevent a feature length and multi episode story to be produced. Think about prelude…Axanar it would be a continuation of the story.

New Voyages has ongoing storylines for years.

Well that pretty much kills off half of the fan productions out there then including Renegades and anything else Tim Russ wants to do…

This is the difference between seriious people and the guidelines put out by the Axinar people

Or the difference between reasonable human beings and coporate greed and power hunger.

Greed depends on your point of view. Who is greedy? The company that has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in it or the outside party that is making a profit from material that they didn’t create or don’t own?

The greed here is being practiced by the company who has profited hundreds of millions of dollars and can’t stand the thought of someone not really profiting (but being paid a small salary by the fan donations) and still producing a superior product to said corporate money monsters!

Yeah. The law stinks.

I really love Coke, so I’m going to create a job making my own, call it Coke*, using their formuka, and raise money from Coke fans who want a slightly different new flavour, get former Coke employees to help, set up a factory to make other softdrinks that I’ll sell in stores (I won’t be selling my Coke in stores but I will be selling Coke*-themed merchandise and set up a beverage-making school) and pay myself a salary (it’s a mininal salary, you haters).

If it wasn’t for Coke fans, Coke wouldn’t exist today – and Coke hasn’t given fans what they want. Coke Zero is not original Coke and not what fans want. They’ve destroyed the Coke legacy.

Coke tried to sue me (I’m David, they’re Goliath) but they were just scared that my Coke would be better than theirs. And now Coke tells me and other hobby-beverage makers that I can still legally make my Coke in small batches, give it to my friends and just not call it Coke, and not profit financially…

Oh Jack – those tiniest violins sure make a sorrowful sound…:)

Were those fans donating ever told that some of their money would go to pay someone’s salary, how much and for what reason? I get the impression that the answer is NO to all three questions.

Yes, Jack, that is exactly the same thing as fan films. Wonderfully sound argument ya got there! The only thing that you got right is that Coke would not be here if not for the fans of said beverage. Quite awhile ago, Coke hired an executive away from Pepsi Co. Not long after, Coke introduced a new coke and got rid of the Coke you know today. That new Coke tasted a lot like Pepsi, which was outselling Coke at the time. So, Coke used fans money (profits) to hire a guy to help make their version of Pepsi. The fans of original Coke revolted and forced the company to bring back the old Coke, which they had to call “Coke Classic” for a long time so people would know that it wasn’t that Pepsi style crap. Fans ruled the day.
Take Care,
My Two Cents

Axanar profited and spent that profit on non-Trek productions. The very definition of being non-profit is that you spend the revenue on the project that generates the revenue, so Axanar stepped well over a clear legal boundary there. Trek is not Axanar’s to profit from no matter what you think of the rightful owners of the property.

Bob M,

Allow me to give you a mere taste of Viacom/s Paramount Film production accounting 101, where the “noble” ever minding the copyright Ps and Qs of others’, Paramount, asserted that no film production ever makes a profit in denying authors their legitimate compensation after using their work:

”To the Editor {NY Times}:

I should like to clarify a point made in Joy Horowitz’s article “Hollywood Law: Whose Idea Is It, Anyway?” [ March 15 ] . The suit that Alain Bernheim and I brought against Paramount Pictures was not for plagiarism; it was for breach of contract. Paramount had our story treatment for over two years and was developing it for Eddie Murphy. Then they gave it back to us and said that they were no longer interested.

So Alain and I took it to Warner Brothers. Paramount then announced that it was making “Coming to America.” The idea sounded too much like ours and we sued for breach of contract, because our contract stated that if Paramount made a picture based on the treatment we would get 18.5 percent of the profits.

When the judge ruled that the idea was indeed ours, Paramount claimed that there were no profits. After four years of litigation, we have won every round. The judge declared that Paramount’s contract was unconscionable.” — ART BUCHWALD Washington, March 1992


‘During a lengthy Superior Court trial in Los Angeles, Paramount denied the film was based on Mr. Buchwald’s treatment. Moreover, the studio argued that even if it were, Mr. Buchwald and Mr. Bernheim were not entitled to any payments because the film had yet to generate a net profit, even though Paramount’s share of the film’s worldwide gross receipts was more than $140 million. …

… Eleven months later, the judge also ruled that many of the net-profit terms in the studio’s contract with Mr. Buchwald and Mr. Bernheim were “unconscionable.”

Four months later, Paramount filed an appeal with the California Court of Appeal. As part of the settlement, Paramount filed a motion to dismiss its appeal on Aug. 23, which the appellate court accepted. The case now returns to the lower court, where Mr. Buchwald and Mr. Bernheim are to file a similar motion.

By settling the case, Paramount, which is now a unit of Viacom Inc., avoids having the Buchwald case cited as a legal precedent in other compensation lawsuits involving net-profit calculations.” — PARAMOUNT SETTLES BUCHWALD’S COMPENSATION SUIT; Published: September 12, 1995; NY Times

So you see it is a matter of Viacom’s Paramount own sworn public court testimony that any film production can raise funds amounting to $140 million and be non-profit.

Well, this is the end of fan films as such. Whoever made this guidelines seems to have the intention of disuade future productions. It’s a shame that a franchise that once was saved by its fans now disses them on such manner. Not cool, and certainly very much un-Star Trek.

Yes they are definitly made to make all fan films go away.

Bunk. It was saved by *everybody* who watched it in syndication. The “fans saved it” stuff was pretty much all marketing.

And who’s being dissed? Fan films have long stopped being fun little films by fans – they’re professional.

Personally, I’m not bothered — most of the fan stuff we’ve gotten hasn’t been particularly watchable. But I do I appeciate the gee-whiz eagerness of Cawley’s stuff.

They can still tell good 15 and 30-minute stories. How long were the TAS episodes, anyway? 20 minutes?

And they can still crowd-fund. They can use each other’s costumes, props and standing sets.

This won’t end fan films. And it might even make them better. They’ve got to learn how to do great stuff within the new guidelines.

Star Trek never would have gone into syndication if the Fans had’t saved it from cancellation early.
And who do you think was watching the show in Syndication?

Everybody. A lot of people who watched and then went to movies weren’t capital-F Fans. And the letter-writing campaign was engineered by Roddenberry as a (successful, for a season) PR stunt.

And what does any of that have to do with us, unless we’re Bjo Trimble? I did nothing to save Trek other than watch and buy stuff.

Everything has fans. Do the Beliebers have a right to Bieber’s stuff because they made it happen?

I can have an opinion, and gripe online, sure. But should I be actively trying to destroy Paramount’s franchise and take it over myself?

Yet Star Trek was cancelled after the third season, much to my dismay and chagrin as a 10 year old living on the other side of the planet.

Syndication saved Star Trek by reminding people of the 60’s shows that they may have haphazardly watched and by the next generation of youngsters enamoured as I was when it was first hit NZ screen in 1967.

People put the heat on Axanar, but those guidelines show CBS/Paramount was unconfortable with almost all fan films out there. No Star Trek alumni, even behind the camera? No funding beyond US$ 50,000? No runtime beyond 15 minutes? I guess we’ll have to settle for the (very entertaining) Red Shirt Diaries, the only fan film that can easily cope with those rules…

However, with the rule that stories must be self-contained and followed by no new episodes, even thinking of an existing example that complies is itself something that can’t be continued.

Keep “Red Shirt Diaries” as producing entity, and title every single episode as an individual production. But it shows how restrictive those rules are. Even those fan films that do comply with most of it would have to change a bit.

It’s still not clear what they mean by a self-contained story. They might be allowed to still do series-type things – TOS was almost entirely self-contained stories (the only sequel I can think of was I, Mudd)

They weren’t uncomfortable (well at least to this level) until Mr. Peters and his little Project to get his new career started came along… so yes, people are right to put the heat on Axanar…

I would think ST celebs would take issue with the limitations on their participation in these works. They are FANS as well.

You gotta be kidding me…no fan film will survive.

Well that’s the idea behind that.

Just heard that Cawley has pulled the plug on NV. Is that true?

Where did you hear that? As someone else pointed out, and as I already checked, there has been no such comment from any source, Twitter, Facebook, etc. that anyone else can find.

Pretty sure you didn’t hear any such rumor, you’re just trying to START that rumor. Either way, he has no choice: NV cannot continue in anything resembling its current form.

Looks like it! Site is down… says “under construction”… I guess it’ll be coming back to say goodbye at some point. I’m sure Renegades, Continues and all the others will be down within days, if not hours as well, as none of their productions matches with these “guidelines”. It’s such a shame. This is the end!

I hope shows that are already in production can be grandfathered in before these rules go into effect. It would be a reasonable course of action

The fact remains that if you make a fan production, Star Trek or otherwise, and you make it with NO profit, and can prove it, you should be able to do what you want, regardless of any “guidelines”.

The fact remains that, no matter what *you* think, that’s just not the way it is. If you don’t follow the guidelines, CBS and Paramount will stop and, if need be, stomp you.

Your mere assertion otherwise means absolutely nothing.

Might doesn’t make right.
Paramount/CBS didn’t create Star trek they just inhereted them in buy out deals essentually.

You’re conveniently dismissing the fact that Paramount/CBS actually do own Star Trek. It’s not about “might.”

Bob M,

Re: Paramount/CBS actually do own Star Trek

The US Constitution is quite clear, they don’t “own” it, that’s merely the neopublishing industries’ newspeak to misrepresent the limited exclusive monopoly that it allows to be granted in the name of the furtherance of the sciences and useful arts which cannot take place if ideas can not enter the public domain because they remain unpublished and kept secret.

I think they should revise the following:

– Remove item 1, or allow serialized productions up to 1 hour per segment, and a single production up to 2 hours.
– Remove the restriction for prior Star Trek professionals participating in fan films from item 5.
– Consider removing item 2, though there is plenty of creativity in titling without invoking “star trek” in the title.

In other words: Change absolutely nothing… and let certain people continue to eff everything up.

Wow.. way to go CBS and Paramount for killing the fans. Yeah, I’m done. So long Star Trek.. it was nice being a fan.. but looks like those days are gone now.

I hope that the restriction not allowing professional actors who have appeared in Star Trek previously gets removed. It’s unfair to the actors livelihood and ventures into the “petty” territory on CBS and Paramounts part.

What livelihood? Were they getting paid for this? And how much?

Seriously, if you were once a “professional” actor who’s now reduced to doing only fan films, your career is on suicide watch and you probably need to find a new profession.

As far as the original cast go, they are in their 70’s & 80’s & pretty much retired, they do it because they want to, they love Star Trek & the people they work with & the fans who appreciate it.

These aren’t too dissimilar to the rules for Star Wars fan films, truth be told. Though I believe SW fan films are now limited to 10 minutes, so Paramount is actually being rather generous by comparison.

Actually that’s not true at all. There are few guidelines around Star Wars fan films other than giving due credit and being PG-rated. Otherwise they not only allow for “high quality” productions, but actively encourage it.

The SW rules are for their film contest only.

“The SW rules are for their film contest only.”

And when the Alec Peters of Star Wars shows up and does what Axanar did, Disney will step on them like an ant. Disney is vicious when it comes to enforcing their copyrights and trademarks. Read the following link.

I am not really into Star Wars, but I saw this Star Wars fan film:

If there are the same rules for SW fan films as the ones for Star Trek now, why wasn’t it forbidden? Why is it still on Youtube for everyone to see?

Sean is confusing the rules for the SW fan-film *contest* with general SW fan films. He’s being doing it all through this thread.

June 23, 2016 — The day that CBS and Paramount killed “the golden age of fan films” instead of co-opting them in a profitable win/win/win arrangement.

Limiting fan productions to two 15-minute segments fundamentally hamstrings future episodes of Star Trek Continues, which heretofore represents the best of Trek fan productions (as New Voyages has already been indefinitely discontinued). Obviously the Axanar donors aren’t going to get what they paid for, either.

Instead of Paramount choosing to satisfy the long-time fans of the Trek franchise who’ve supported it for decades, they’ve chosen to cripple attempts at satisfying us by devoted, non-profit, labor-of-love fan productions. It was bad enough that Paramount had chosen to fundamentally alter “Star Trek”, changing it from a thoughtful sci-fi franchise into a shallow action-spectacle comic-book movie franchise. But, this latest development—severely crippling attempts by non-profits to fill the void, at least in some small measure—is really the coup de grâce by Paramount.

Do you know what CBS and Paramount are now? They’re big, bloated, bully corporations who, instead of striving to satisfy customers’ unmet needs by improving their own products, rather use their might to lessen the quality of non-profit “competition.” It’s really a disgrace.

And do you know what else? I am now firmly in support of any and all legal actions against these guidelines of CBS/Paramount. Regardless of Peters’ role in instigating this turn of events, I NOW WANT Axanar to keep fighting in court. Because there’s little left to lose at this point. And I’d love to see Star Trek Continues challenge these guidelines by branding their episodes parodies protected under the fair use doctrine of US Copyright Law.

One more thing I’d like to say to CBS and Paramount. I’ve thought long and hard about how best to articulate the following point, and what follows is the product of my soul-searching deliberation:


I hope “Star Trek Beyond” BOMBS at the box office.


I can understand people’s anger over these new guidelines that being said there is no need for inapropret language or hate speech toward anyone be it paramount or the new movie or any person on this bored or otherwise. I understand everyone has an opinion lets just watch how we vent or anger and express our opinions and be more professional without attacking or wishing failur on anyone or anything.
Live long and prosper.

Sorry, it just really irks me. CBS/Paramount going after Axanar — OK, I get it. Peters went too far, took too much candy from the bowl. But, Star Trek Continues was no threat. It’s certainly no threat to Paramount’s movies. And if CBS regards STC as good enough to be real competition, then they should have co-opted that fan series and everybody would come out a winner—the studio, the STC team, and the fans. Instead, CBS/Paramount have chosen a zero-sum response—someone has to lose in order for CBS/Paramount to win. And the losing parties are everyone except for CBS and Paramount. CBS/Paramount could have gone the positive, constructive route, but instead chose the negative, destructive route. And why? Simply because they can. Because they have the power to do so. That sort of behavior by big corporations really rubs me the wrong way.

I agree.


Amen; Well put

Wow, Cygnus. Tell us what you really think. :-)

Never would have believed or expected CBS/Par to bring the hammer down this hard. It’s pretty much game over for New Voyages and Continues at any rate. The time limits are so onerous that I can’t imagine James Cawley or Vic Mignogna making the effort after today. It might have been kinder to just call an end to these productions altogether. What a shame.


You are right. Shame on Paramount/CBS for doing this. Nothing but bully tactics,


Well said. The rules are too restrictive that it effectively shut down most of the active fan productions.

Indeed. I wish the cast and crew well but I have no good words for CBS and Paramount.

Well fucking said. And there is a NEED for inappropiate language.

I’m all for them Peters, Cawley and the rest to fight this in legal way (or even illegal).

CBS/Paramount are basically do the exact opposite of one of the messages of Star Trek “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

How does one send a message to CBS/Paramount, facebook, twitter, old fashion mailing a fucking letter…. I bring this up because I’m seriously gonna to send a letter to them telling them what they are doing and how they are a bunch of corporate assholes.

Voice your opinion – I applaud you for that. But legally CBS and Paramount would be within their rights to terminate any fan production that is exhibited to anyone, regardless of length, format, etc. Axanar and the other productions have little or no legal grounds to stand on. If the fan productions are going to gain back any ground it will have to be because the big corps allow it.

Depending what the ‘self-contained’ clause means, they may be able to still continue, just in shorter, tighter stories that don’t reference previous episodes.

TAS episodes were under 30 minutes long.

And they can still raise a fair amount of money (do the rules say anything about noncf donations?) and, it seems (again, up to interpretation), make their own props and costumes (or buy licenced ones). They already gave props, costumes and standing sets.

Well… all you need to do is go to Mr. Peters and thank him for that… as far as I am aware CBS and Paramount were never that far in before ONLY because of him and his little circus they are FORCED to enact such strict rules to effectively and immediately stop HIM.

So, your anger is completely misguided… it’s not CBS or Paramounts fault, they have been left with no other option but to shut his charade down for good.
Peters would have gladly continued his little Legal Crusade until he would have run dry and even then there would have been enough uninformed and idealistic people that would have helped him out to continue…

HE is the one responsible, HE is the one that held the knife and for what? For his personal gain and NOTHING more!

I get that you are angry, I get that you are pissed… believe me, I am too.
But instead of being angry at the source you piss on everything else like a blind dog.

See, if that Guy hadn’t thought up his villainous masterplan to jump start his second career this would have never happened at all.
So tell me, WHY are you angry at the wrong people?
Why aren’t you angry at someone that effectively only USED YOU! Used your Love for Star Trek to get you to donate a massive amount so he can buy himself a nice studio… build up a nice little company… so he can make more “quality” “Fan”-Films for everything in the future?

HE is the one that held the knife that brought this down upon us…

Be angry at him…
He’s not Harrison Wells… He’s your Eobard Thawne!

“Well… all you need to do is go to Mr. Peters and thank him for that… as far as I am aware CBS and Paramount were never that far in before ONLY because of him and his little circus they are FORCED to enact such strict rules to effectively and immediately stop HIM. So, your anger is completely misguided… it’s not CBS or Paramounts fault”

Absolute nonsense. Paramount and CBS could have acted against Axanar several times before they did. There is ample suggestion that Paramount and CBS would have acted on fan productions regardless of Axanar existing or not.

At the end of the day, it is solely the decision of Paramount and CBS to be complete and utter assholes about this.

They are angry at Paramount because they have zero concept of the phrase “One bad apple spoils the bunch”. Most entitled people don’t get that phrase. I’m sure if you asked all the other fan film makers who they are more pissed at, Paramount or Alec Peters, they would point to Alec Peters. Because they DO understand that one bad apple ruined it for everyone.

SelorKiith…wrong. Alec Peters was making this movie solely for the love of Star Trek and the character of Garh. He took a small salary from donations, not profits, as the project took up a lot of his time. He was, maybe, too honest on this front. It was never a secret and the vast majority of donors didn’t give a rats ass. Also, he did not go too far or cross a line as there was never a line to cross. He asked for one years ago and CBS declined to provide guidance.

Paramount/CBS werent forced to do anything other than police the money & stop people from making a profit- they had no reason to dictate the creative side

They were not Forced to do limit any of the creative peramiter all they had to do was create guidlines for how the money was involved, fund raising & not profiting etc etc


A sallery is Profit. Building a studio which creates profit is PROFIT. He knew he was wrong, there are no excuses.
But still had nothing to do with the other productions or with the creative side of Fan Films

To be clear, salary does not equal profit. People can be paid for their work in a non-profit and commonly are. The law in the US restricts “non-profit” status to organizations that spend ALL revenue on the project in question while not retaining and excess profits for other ventures. Salaries and paid work are acceptable as long as those salaries are paid for that specific project, or only the specific percentage of a salaried worker is attributed to the project in question.

Please tell me you sent this to Paramount/CBS & their various web pages & forums?

While I hope that CBS/Paramount makes adjustments to their guidelines, it seems that the era of fan films is over. I do hope that whatever fan films that are in production/post-production now, they’ll be released as soon as possible.

I don’t see why fan films would be over. They just need to retool and adjust to a different format. Star Wars fan films thrive despite very similar limitations.

Actually, they don’t. Star Wars fan film creators have a LOT of leeway in making their films, can freely reference Star Wars canon, characters etc. And they’re encouraged to make high quality productions too.

You have clearly never read the official rules 5 minutes is the time limit one of the main reasons Disney has not shut down Star Wars productions is they have the rules and you don’t see anyone raising 1 million for Darth Maul The series. They are just ignoring the shorter one offs.

1701trek, the Star Wars rules you refer to are only with respect to their Star Wars Fan Film Awards Contest.

OMFG do some reserch or don’t comment.

Exactly. And I don’t think it necessarily spells the end of New Voyages or Continues if they’re allowed to tell self-cobtained stories (which nearly all TOS episodes were). Now they’ll just have to be tighter.


No. Boycott everything AFTER Beyond, but watch Beyond solely to honor the memory of Anton Yelchin


Catchier than #SkipThePremiereAndOpeningWeekendOfStarTrekBeyond

Yeah, you do that. How many fans have been boycotting nuTrek for the last several years? Those movies still made good bank.

The Lensman,


You can try to minimize the facts anyway you want, but nuParamount knows the depressed domestic figures for NEMESIS and INTO DARKNESS shows some significant number are capable of it, and it is the last thing a Paramount with a piece of its posterior on the auction block wants or needs from a potential blockbuster franchise that’s been hitting singles but could finally generate the homerun it needs to save its bacon after all its other batters this season have failed to deliver.

Why? Because Alec Peters can’t earn a salary anymore for a show that hasn’t even been made yet? Put this in perspective – you want Trek to fail (which will mean no new episodes) because Paramount won’t let strangers profit from their IP? Are you making fan films and want it to be your full-time job? If not, this doesn’t actually effect you.

I hate when people talk about tru fans, but what kind of fans want to see a franchise fail and end forever because they can’t get free stuff?

I ain’t boycotting anything!

#2 appears to be a global franchise directive — no use of the words “Star Trek” in the title. That is “Beyond” amusing … ;-)

I can promise both Paramount and CBS that I will not devote another dollar to any future Trek product or release while they continue to strangle the fan film community.

So you want to see Trek tank? Because they’re making Alec Peters get a day job?


Re:Trek tank?

You are conflating two unrelated things. Carolco tanked and yet another TERMINATOR movie got made. Wishing Dauman, Grey, Paramount, et al receive a righteously earned good tanking for their shenanigans is NOT the same as what you claim it to be.

I’m with you, Daniel. CBS and Paramount have to back off a little!

In my opinion, Alec Peters should be blamed for pushing things to the edge like he did. He ruined it for real fans like Vic Mignona and many other fan film producers.

No such thing as “real fans” or “true fans”. Those are masturbatory terms to say “I’m more Trek (or insert favorite property here) than thou.”

Just as there is no such thing as “Real Trek” or “True Trek” either in terms of what fanbois think. If it’s authorized by Paramount Pictures, or CBS/Paramount television productions, that’s about as True Trek as it gets. (So that means everything from TOS to the new series in production, to Star Trek Beyond…and whatever may follow that…although for whatever reason, the Star Trek Animated Series still seems to be in contention on that score.)

As far as I’m concerned, ST NV/Phase II and STC are just as culpable as Axanar or Renegades…. maybe not so much in the money front like Axanar, but in the use of professional actors (especially ones who are reprising their roles on the original series.) All of the titles above, simply for the use of professional actors from their respective original series, and non-Trek affiliated professional actors period go beyond “fan film” and right into “professional production”… and as such, CBS/Paramount likely looks at that as competition because they are “professional productions”. If John Dykstra were called in to do one brief FX shot for a fan production, it crosses right over into professional territory.

No such thing as “independent professional productions” of Star Trek shows/movies. If CBS/Paramount and the motion picture division of Paramount for Star Trek authorizes it, then it is an official production. (Oh, and its also canon.) Otherwise, New Voyages, Phase II, Continues, Axanar, and Renegades are attempts at “independent professional production.”

Now, when it comes to these “guidelines” for Trek based fan films, the only guideline I object to is the run time/continuity issue. If a fan film team wanted to make a 3 hour epic, then they should be allowed to, as long as they have the funds and resources to do it themselves. I don’t believe in kickstarters or crowdsourcing. But, if the team has the means to make it, then make it. Otherwise, productions are limited to what amount to little more than childrens’ story records that came out in the 70’s as far as run time goes.

Eliminate kickstarters and crowdsourcing, period. Kickbacks and perks are no longer allowed for participants, so what’s the point? Like I said, if you can’t make it within your teams’ resources and funds, then either cut corners, or don’t make it at all.

Spoke my piece.

On the Paramount Payrole ther Luv? or are you working for CBS lol
There are Real fans vs hater & trolls
& there is Real Trek vs Nu Trek.
No idea where the new series falls. lets hope it’s Real trek- deep sci-fi with optimism & humanity.

Your opinion is noted.
Moving on.

Trekboi – Nonsense. There is Star Trek (in all its iterations) and there are fans of some or all of its iterations.
Now please stop trolling.

I suppose Chris Doohan cannot appear as Scotty anymore in ST Continues either having appeared in the last two JJ films. This is all very disappointing after the great relief felt by fans after JJ announced the dropping of the lawsuit. Upsetting indeed…

These guidelines seem intentionally crafted to destroy fan productions altogether. I’m shocked at how draconian these rules are, and I don’t see how any fan production worth watching can survive this. Most of these rules are ridiculously strict:

Rule #1 The episode time limit is arbitrary and seemingly implemented specifically to kill the good fan productions currently ongoing.

Rule #2 Not being able to have Star Trek in the name, but then forcing them to put “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in the subtitle completely defeats the point of the rule because STAR TREK is still there in big, plain typeface.

Rule #4 Feels like they’re trying to squeeze more money out of fan productions by forcing them to buy official merchandise instead of just letting them use whatever they can get their hands on. Makes even less sense when you take Rule #6 into account.

Rule #5 Best way to give the middle finger to your fans is to tell them that actors who were in Star Trek before can’t appear in stuff with fans. You know, something that’s probably a lifelong dream for these fans? Also makes it sound like these actors aren’t fans, when some of them most certainly are.

Rule #6 Another arbitrary limit placed now on fundraising. How they reached that number, I’ll never know.

Rule #7 This rule is so vague that it basically gives CBS/Paramount carte blanche to shut anything down and call it ‘offensive’.

These guidelines are almost identical to the ones from LucasFilm for SW fan films.

Not true actually. See the Star Wars fan film “Revan”. Full length feature, uses “Star Wars” in the movie, is based on one of the EU books no less.


No, they are NOT. You’re talking about SW rules for their Film Awards, not general fan productions.

Those are the only guidelines they could sue the people behind Revan if they wanted to. Haven’t seen any 1 million dollar Star Wars fan productions. Disney would shut that down quick.

Do some reserach- thats just the rules for their film comp

Not so much “destroy” as to make absolutely sure nothing that comes out of fandom will ever compete with anything CBS or Paramount is producing.

dmduncan, you’re probably right, and it’s sad that CBS and Paramount are even afraid that a fan production could ever compete with them in the first place. I’d think the better idea would be to hire the people capable of making a competing fan production so that they could make the ‘real deal’ with an entire studio backing them.

njdss4 Today 10:25 am

Yup. “Arbitrary” is the operative word in these “guidelines.”

We’re big, powerful corporations, and we don’t owe you any explanations. Be happy for the scraps were letting you have.

Dammit! Sorry, I guess I just broke the new fan-film guidelines. This really hurts the only fan-film I really watch regularly as far as considering it everything but actual Star Trek and that’s Continues. Why….why did a certain “they who shall not be named” have to go and screw it all up… Some of these rules just seem necessarily harsh IMO.