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CBS Removes Copyrighted Star Trek Episodes from YouTube, Angers Online Trek Community

Recently, CBS has undertaken an internet campaign to remove copyrighted Star Trek episodes from YouTube. Some accounts operated by Trekkers upload whole seasons of Star Trek episodes from various series, such as Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: The Next Generation; the video quality may not be perfect and the audio isn’t always synchronized with the video, but all in all, uploaded Trek episodes are highly treasured among adoring fans of Star Trek, much like gold-pressed latinum.

Despite their popularity, Star Trek episodes are copyrighted, and freely redistributing them without proper permission is a legal offense. As such, CBS invokes its right to file claims against YouTube and remove copyrighted Star Trek episodes. YouTube users, like MoralityVirtue2, NickLacarno, and other well-known Trek fans in certain circles of the online social medium, have come under attack for uploading Star Trek episodes. CBS has cited such accounts for copyright infringements and thus their videos, as well as their online accounts, are being deleted.

Star Trek fans in the internet community, especially on YouTube, have expressed resentment toward CBS, and copyright claims are not the only reason. Aside from removing episodes from other accounts, CBS even removed their own YouTube collection of episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series, which were replaced by a myriad of 3-minute excerpts from the show. Fans have since rebuked with unpleasant messages and angry commentaries on the few Star Trek videos posted by CBS.

Though the broadcasting network is within its rights and still posts free episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise on startrek.com with only sparse commercial interruptions, the animosity of many Star Trek fans on YouTube is the result of being denied the opportunity to upload and view their favorite Star Trek episodes online. Trek fans have even commented on videos and YouTube accounts questioning CBS’s real motivations for removing content no longer on the air and not quite nearly as profitable as their more recent shows, like Criminal Minds and CSI: Miami. The intensions of CBS may solely be monetary, and if so, the problem could be remedied by establishing partnerships between YouTube users and CBS in order to allow advertisements to pay for the episodes Trek fans wish to upload. Advertisements may be annoying and CBS may not allow every episode to be posted on YouTube at a time, but ensuring some level of independence on the account of Star Trek fans to post their favorite episodes for other Star Trek fans to watch would not only improve CBS’s online reputation, it may actually inspire others to go out and buy the episodes on DVD. This alternative may not ever go into effect, at least not anytime soon, but it would certainly return Star Trek to the fans and still allow CBS to profit off their assets: a win-win for everyone.

Written By

Tom is a recent graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biochemistry. He is currently studying muscle growth mechanisms on his time off from school and aims to earn a Ph.D in molecular biology later in the future. He can speak French and Klingon, considers himself an avid Star Trek fan, and his hobbies include studying the Star Trek canon, playing video games, reading sci-fi novels, and performing cool science experiments on the side. ‘ej HISlaH tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhlaH!

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Sigfur

    April 26, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Those jerks need to give us our Star Trek… the internet is pretty much open to anyone, so it’s only a matter of time until someone uploads more episodes. CBS should realize they can’t win.

    • Stephen Kershaw

      May 18, 2012 at 6:21 am

       its not your place to demand… want to see it? then pay for it… and CBS looks like its more than winning…. guess you didnt think that one through, huh nerd?

      • arizona coleman

        August 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

        cool story bro….you feel better now? worthless pillock…..

        • IamBetter ThanYou

          October 27, 2015 at 6:45 pm

          “cool story bro”
          get new lines you idiot
          no wonder you’re so angry and feeling insecure.
          you’re some sci fi uber geek that gets bullied.
          pvssy

  2. Talltom1973

    May 28, 2011 at 1:56 am

    It’s a real shame, so many people were brought together through comments.  I watched many episodes, and have to say the quality was very good.  A lot of posters really did a great service to fans.  Probably brought in some new fans to.  Nick Lacarno, BosnianTrekker, silverdoe, and all the others.  I guess they have some new people to, that are posting, saw some Next generation episodes.  

    • Stephen

      June 12, 2012 at 5:50 am

       ha! I had silverdoe bookmarked and tried to access it, then upon finding it terminated due to multiple third-party copyright notices I then Googled it and thanks to your comment, found this article.
      Goes to show how useful it is to mention these contributer even after the fact… thanks!

  3. DB-Sigma

    June 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I’m sorry but posting Star Trek yourself on Youtube is asking for trouble, eventually it will be deleted as it gets popular. Problem is although they stream ENT & TOS on startrek.com most trekkies love TNG, VOY & DS9 which CBS still isn’t streaming online (13+ yr old shows?). There are plenty of underground uploads of these 3 though around the web, you just have to be persistent enough to find them. 

  4. David Fortune

    December 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    deleted

  5. David Clacton

    December 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    The took down 2 of my videos the other week

    They were

    Data, don’t babble

    And

    Wesley Crusher Becomes Acting Ensign

    I have now had to remove the rest over 100 videos from my account as I don’t want more strikes.

    )-:  

    • Stephen Kershaw

      May 18, 2012 at 6:22 am

       good… another criminal reprimanded and being forced to return what doesnt belong to him… but you are only taking them down out of fear, like a typical trekkie nerd.

  6. Stephen Kershaw

    May 18, 2012 at 6:20 am

    These stupid trekkie nerds think stealing someone elses property is okay… if you want to see your precious nerd show, then pay for it. Its not YOUR RIGHT… and trust me… a few thousand trekkies are no concern of CBS, they have tens of millions of viewers… who cares about some online idiots?

    • Guest

      May 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Does putting other people down make you feel better inside?

  7. Frank B.

    May 22, 2012 at 6:10 am

    According to an extensive article from James van Hise many years ago, the first season of the Original Series (TOS) does not know a copyright owner. If that’s true, then it’s merely an assumption that a copyright owner should exist.

  8. name

    August 22, 2012 at 2:44 am

    cbs pieces of SHIT

  9. Joe

    January 17, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Whats sick is they allow certain episodes for free with ads, and charge 2 bucks a download for the “good ones” and EXTREMELY FILTER the LAST Final Season “SO VAWUBLE” Lol “episodes in the series. All money is what it is. Id rather buy them in a disk collection than online toll money… money… money… crap.

  10. Jim Bidwell

    May 28, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Eugene ‘Rod’ Roddenberry owned the rights to Star Trek The Original Series, sadly he died on the 26th of May this year. Did he not have any heirs? I thought they might inherit his estate?

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