Following the news of Paramount and CBS filing a lawsuit against Axanar Productions — the production company behind the film project — citing a violation of their intellectual property, co-writer and producer Alec Peters responded in a statement to Bleeding Cool.
According to Peters, he only found out about the lawsuit after it broke on Wednesday online and says “whether related to Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Power Rangers, Batman or any other franchise – are labors of love that keep fans engaged, entertained, and keep favorite characters alive in the hearts of fans.”
Peters goes on to say that they “take this matter very seriously and remain open to discussing solutions with all parties that can be mutually beneficial.”
You can read the statement in its entirety below.
This morning, I was greeted with news that our production company, Axanar Productions and I, personally, am being sued by CBS Studios, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation for copyright infringement of Star Trek.
First of all, I was disappointed to learn about this through an article in an industry trade. For several years, I’ve worked with a number of people at CBS on Star Trek-related projects, and I would have hoped those personal relationships would have warranted a phone call in advance of the filing of a legal complaint. Nevertheless, I know I speak for everyone at Axanar Productions when I say it is our hope that this can be worked out in a fair and amicable manner.
Axanar is a fan film. Fan films – whether related to Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Power Rangers, Batman or any other franchise – are labors of love that keep fans engaged, entertained, and keep favorite characters alive in the hearts of fans. Like other current fan films, AXANAR entered production based on a very long history and relationship between fandom and studios. We’re not doing anything new here.
Like all fan films, AXANAR is a love letter to a beloved franchise. For nearly 50 years, Star Trek’s devotees have been creating new Star Trek stories to share with fellow fans. That’s all we’re trying to do here.
Since the original Star Trek TV series, when the letter writing campaign by fans got NBC to greenlight a third season of Star Trek, fan support has been critical to the success of the franchise. It is the Star Trek fans themselves who are most affected here, for by suing Axanar Productions to stop making our movie and collect so-called damages, CBS and Paramount are suing the very people who have enthusiastically maintained the universe created by Gene Roddenberry so many years ago.
The fact that many of the fans involved with Axanar Productions are also industry professionals speaks volumes to the influence of Star Trek in the entertainment industry. Not surprisingly, these fans want to give something back. We’re very proud that the work we’ve done to date looks so good. That is also a reflection of the devotion of Star Trek’s fans.
Like everything related to Axanar Productions, we take this matter very seriously and remain open to discussing solutions with all parties that can be mutually beneficial.
To date, the Axanar project has raised more than $1 million in crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
RELATED: WATCH: Prelude to Axanar
Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for the latest on this developing story.
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December 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm
I love the last sentence. A lot of potential there.
December 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm
Indeed and I think CBS didn’t have much interest in Star Trek for a while there but now they’re afraid some fan film can outdo ( at least in some ways ) their new and shiny film + maybe a new series.
Given how average at best the last Star Trek film was …
December 30, 2015 at 11:44 pm
-Treating Star Trek as an entertainment property only.
– Seemingly not understanding how to use Icons to mobilize a society.
– Leaving it to writers rather than showing the future as the experts see it.
– Saying, “It needs to be put out to pasture.” And “Over-saturation” was the problem.
– And. Them not profiting from the above to everyone’s delight…
…has been rather frustrating. 🙂
: Crosses fingers for Next Trek :
December 31, 2015 at 12:47 am
I think average is being Charitable. New Universe, New plotlines and possibilites and what–they do a half-baked, uninspired wannabe Wrath of Khan–oh but look! a half naked blonde girl for no reason!
December 31, 2015 at 3:57 pm
Many of the other projects have great writing and while i am not per se a fan of the TOS projects, ive watched them and while a little cheesy, they are not bad and i like the rawness, not so clean per se if you know what i mean?
Ernest Stefan Matyus
January 3, 2016 at 8:58 am
Star Trek is more than a Sci fy film about the future. It’s a way of thinking. A Way of projecting what’s good and pure about mankind into the future.
The new “alternate” Star Trek films demean all that, turning this great franchise into a cheesy action movie.
January 3, 2016 at 10:49 am
Yep, you’re totally right. They’re just Star Wars or Transformers set in the Star Trek universe, same characters and related story but it’s not really Star Trek.
If you replace the setting and characters it might as well be any of JJ’s action movies.
Ernest Stefan Matyus
January 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm
Don’t judge Star Wars too bad either.
The original trilogy was a masterpiece on it’s own. The story it tells is an old one; the battle between light and dark is forever present in each one of us and has been the topic of great works of art throughout the ages. Star Wars tells this story very well. It also integrates some of the ancient oriental wisdom and communicates it in a way that is accessible to the masses. The new ones though, do the same thing as the latest Star Trek movies.
January 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm
I was talking about the new Star Wars which is just like the new Star Trek and the rest of JJ’s stuff. It’s like it’s all just the same thing or something, just different characters and setting and let’s go …
And as long as they bring in the huge amounts of cash they do I’m not sure anyone will change them.
On the other hand “The Martian” was much better IMO and was pretty interesting. It also did quite well at the box office so I guess there’s hope yet.
January 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm
Except that the new Star Wars movie is actually loved by all Star Wars fans, whereas many Trekkies hate the JJ Abrams Star Trek films. Why? Because one was a reboot, while the other was a continuation.
Ernest Stefan Matyus
January 8, 2016 at 6:13 am
Not exactly. Star Wars was from it’s inception a comedy stile action movie. Star Trek was not. The new Star Wars movies, even the ones from the 2000’s are still made in the same style. And the latest one, even though it’s full of cliches is quite good as SW moves are concerned.
In contrast, the new Star Trek movies aside from being a reboot, break completely from the genre. They’re not Star Trek anymore. That’s why everyone hates them, not because of the reboot.
January 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm
Right, what was I saying? People hate the Star Trek reboot and its sequels because they aren’t the same. They’ve ignored the exploration part of it and much of the issues that Star Trek liked to focus on in favour of being Sci-fi action movies with a bit of comedy. Star Wars, on the other hand, has never been anything BUT sci-fi action movies with comedy.
February 6, 2016 at 1:56 am
Except not everyone hates them. Only neck nerds on the Internet tht have nothing better to do than hate.
Ernest Stefan Matyus
February 16, 2016 at 5:54 am
So you actually enjoy the systematic destruction of culture and it’s replacement with random violence?
January 6, 2016 at 4:17 pm
Make that a GOOD cheesy action movie.
January 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm
Actually, I thought Into Darkness was rather good. At any rate, I think the reason for this lawsuit is that Paramount believes the people making Axanar are making a profit off of it, which is something that fan-films aren’t allowed to do. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I DO know that I don’t care! We Star Trek fans want this, so, God dammit Paramount, LET US HAVE IT!
March 16, 2016 at 4:24 am
Personally, I think they’re worried. Their movies were terrible because they weren’t written by fans of the franchise. Abrams was a self-confessed non-fan (which he used to defend himself when word of him moving to Star Wars got out and the fans panicked), and I refuse to believe that the other writers could possibly have been fans of the franchise because if they had been they wouldn’t have made all of those idiot mistakes they made with the reboot. I was looking forward to it in 09 … being an avid Trekkie with a weakness for alternate universe/timeline stories and interested in seeing how an older series would have been rebooted. But then I watched the first one and walked away thinking “The fuck did i just spend my money on?” And then I watched Into Darkness … and was like “THE FUCK DID I DO IT AGAIN!?”
It strikes me as quite the coincidence that CBS is clamping down on what is turning out to be a great production AFTER they announce to the fans that they’re planning a new series in ’17. It just seems like what they’re doing is saying “Right. We need to hit these guys because the fans are waiting for them to do their thing. Lets make them sweat themselves out of production, and if they insist on not backing off we’ll put a cease-and-desist order down and make sure fans don’t ever compare our garbage to it.”
Better idea would be to BUY Axanar. Seriously. They have the money. Buy the company from Alec Peters. Let him and his people work for you and make Axanar an official production that in no way affects the new series … unless of course the new series is about the Fed/Empire war. But CBS are just a bunch of money grubbing pricks, so rather than throw the money at the production to take ownership, they’d rather see it canned.
December 31, 2015 at 3:28 pm
That’s the one I’m banking on too.
December 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm
The folks at Axanar, as well as all the rabid fanboys having hissy fits online about this, are showing a lack of understanding of how the U.S. legal system works. It’s a precedent-based system. It’s one thing to overlook fan films that make no money at all, but for CBS and Paramount to do nothing about a production that has brought in a million dollars would set a legal precedent, making it a lot easier in the future for other productions to make a case that they should be allowed to make money off unlicensed fan films as well. Basically, Paramount and CBS needed to do this in order to protect their IP. Once the money involved reached that level, they really didn’t have a choice in the matter, lest they’d endanger their ability to police copyright infringers in the future. That’s how the legal system works.
December 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm
The studio is a non-profit. Making money implies making profit – in this case no profit so not much to gain but the enmity of fans.
December 31, 2015 at 7:56 am
Unfortunately that premise is wrong. Profit doesn’t mean only making money.
But talking purely of money, that one million dollars that was raised went to someone, right? So someone is profiting of Star Trek without having the rights to do so.
I do enjoy the independent fan stories, but this guy took it a step too far.
December 31, 2015 at 2:42 pm
Technically speaking, this is no different than a small fan club having each of it’s 50 members pitch in $200 each to make a fan series. This just happens to be on a larger scale. So in that case, Axanar has the high ground.
The real legal nuance will be over the Axanar people that are taking a salary or being paid to create this. That is not a profit, but the courts need to decide if that constitutes “profiting” or not.
I see both sides. Of course all fan movies should be allowed and of course they should be allowed to crowd-source as large of a project as they can. It really comes down to whether the actors, producers, cameramen, grips, stunt-people, effects guys, and writers can take a salary for making it?
The legal question is legit, and it needs to be answered.
January 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm
So Cmac; to decide that legal question, a Billion dollar conglomerate gets to bankrupt a group of Star Trek alumni and fans. They’ll have to spend every dollar that we donated to pay salaries for the parasitic lawyers that Paramount employs.
Stop calling the law a “profession”. Professions require ethics.
March 16, 2016 at 4:28 am
And that’s assuming the salary is coming out of the crowd funded monies. I don’t think Alec would be that stupid. If people involved are getting salaries, he’d likely take the safer option of providing them himself.
January 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm
The one million dollars is going into the film, not to people. And while you may be right about this guy going too far, that’s no reason to kill the whole project! Especially when countless other fan films have ALREADY DONE THE EXACT. SAME. THING!!!
March 16, 2016 at 4:30 am
Or worse. Alec peters is taking THREE previously established characters, ONE ship, and general concepts. New Voyages, for example, continues TOS … which takes ALL characters, ships and concepts. But it’s allowed to continue because they didn’t crowdfund? So fans can’t contribute to the production of a good fan movie now? Thanks CBS. Go fuck yourselves you rich bastards.
December 31, 2015 at 9:43 am
Some of the most profitable companies in the world are non profits. It does not mean people are not paid, just that there are no shareholders or dividends that are paid. The NFL is a billion dollar non profit. The head of goodwill industries pulls in an amazingly and distubling large salery. Super pacs are non profits, as are mega churches where the pastors can make millions.
January 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm
The difference is there is no complaint of IP rights infringement. I am just as upset about this lawsuit as anyone, but I’ve seen this argument before and it simply doesn’t hold water.
December 31, 2015 at 1:52 pm
I believe the problems arose when they started paying people who were below-the-line. Actors being paid are generally fine, however once you start paying the crew and whatnot, you’re becoming a professional studio. If CBS let this slide, what would stop another company like Warner Bros. to make a film?
January 2, 2016 at 12:52 pm
The “law” aside; I donated to this project and I have NO problem with the grips and workers being paid. They need the hours. I personally thought the actors should do it for free. It’s exposure for them – free advertizing.
December 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm
I don’t think Axanar ever intended to profit from this production. The production has funded over a million dollars but that is not the same as profit. How much money do you think it costs to make a movie?
January 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm
I donated to Axanar as well, but I’ve always seen this as the powers that be at Camp Axanar using Star Trek to launch their independent studio. I don’t agree with modern copyright law, but at the same time, despite the finance transparency, the Axanar people are not fully clean in all of this. I see a lot of grey on all sides.
December 30, 2015 at 10:59 pm
But Alec Peters was in communication with CBS to make sure Axanar was playing by the rules. They never gave him the slightest indication he was anywhere near a violation of their intellectual property rights. This lawsuit is like taking your houseguests to court for eviction, after they’ve spent their own money on maintenance that you had been neglecting.
Aodghan Seosamh MacCloiscaigh
December 30, 2015 at 11:04 pm
You point would be accurate if Axanar were to be released in theatres to make money. It is not. It is my understanding that it is to be released to the internet as a non-profit fan film FREE OF CHARGE. So they raised over 1 million dollars, so what? Even fan films cost money to produce. Nothing can be made for free as raw materials alone cost money.
Paramount is just trying to slam the door on something that will eclipse that crap they have been producing ever since they allowed J.J.Abrams to re-invent the wheel.
December 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm
Oh CBS has a choice; its called be reasonable, or the fans are going to remind you quaint little bean counters that pass for executives over there, that you LIVE AND DIE at the sufferance of your viewers. All you quaint little tv shows, your film productions? Try marketing ads for them when you aint got an audience. Go ahead, persist in being money-grubbing scumbags. You won’t like how it ends
December 30, 2015 at 11:25 pm
You SEVERELY over-estimate the importance of this project. Fans of Axanar will have no impact whatsoever on BEYOND’s income. It’s just a fan film. Most fans don’t watch fan films.
December 31, 2015 at 12:23 am
No, but most fans know when fans are being treated shittily.
December 31, 2015 at 12:44 am
Really – what are you a fan of then – the 2009 piece of garbage or its bigger brother Into Darkness. Beyond will make less money and kill the franchise forever.
December 31, 2015 at 2:45 pm
They don’t care about the Star Trek fans anymore. That is why they are making these new foursquare movies. They are making Star Trek just another Transformers/Fast & Furious/Expendables/TMNT movie with different costumes. They are decoupling the name from the content so they can say f-you to the canon. They are doing this with the Star Wars Franchise right now. They just did it to Mad Max.
December 30, 2015 at 11:45 pm
Rass you obviously don’t know the facts and should refrain from commenting. They have raised a million dollars to produce the movie (which is still a small budget) The money raised will not be used for profit.
January 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm
Right! Typical movie production = 150 million and up. The pittance raised by Axanar has mostly gone into the studio and props manufacture. Like building sets,a monstrous Green Screen, etc. Not to mention rent,utilities,equipment. Legal fees,permits,and yada, yada, yada………
December 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm
I can think of one problem with that, yes it was $1,000,000+, but from what I can tell, ALL of it goes into the production and distribution costs, it is still free to people, just like the others, they are not charging to show it, or for people to download it. They are not selling it.
The money was to handle all the costs, the cameras, the tech, the costumes, the sets, because a building a bridge and renting a studio is not done cheap, unless you want shoddy workmanship, and since this is a labor of love for Star Trek, that won’t work. Other than production costs, which all the others have as well, they aren’t making a profit or in it for a profit. As they have said in their fundraisers, the more they make, the better quality we fans get. After all, we have Star Trek Continues with their Kirkstarter campaign on Kickstarter, and Star Trek Phase II accepts donations on their site for production and distribution costs.
December 31, 2015 at 12:42 am
It is called getting money to make the movie – not getting money from the movie. The movie is in production. Should this apply to other fan made films as well – Star Trek: Renegades – also raised money to make. Star Trek: Gods and Men. Start Trek New Voyages. Star Trek Continues. No one is making money. Maybe you should read what the issue was before calling us rabid fanboys – because without fanboys there is no franchise.
December 31, 2015 at 12:59 am
Aahh look an uninformed internet troll. So this big TV/Movie company is out of nowhere(after being in DIRECT AND LENGTHY contact) being threatened by a non-profit,fan-film based production that after it is completely funded would equal maybe half a season of their upcoming series that won’t even make it to prime time TV? And its not even based in the horrible timeline of their current movies? Where is the IP violation when they have publicly said that the old Star Trek is not the direction they want to take? internet troll the rock you just crawled out from under just called…..it’s missing you
December 31, 2015 at 1:55 am
Hey, look, a butthurt rabid fanboy.
December 31, 2015 at 5:26 am
But why then, if this is the way the legal system works, have they not gone after any of the other fan productions that use the Star Trek name and canon?
My understanding is that they selected to attack this specific production as they realised that the quality of Axanar is threatening to outshine what they themselves produce with way more money!
None of the other fan productions of Star Trek related films have come close to this polish and for that reason CBS and Paramount ELECTED not to go after them but in this case they ELECTED to go after Axanar…
That effectively means that CBS and Paramount have a choice whether to protect their IP and copyright and they have not done so in this way earlier!
The money raised by the backers in the different crowdfunding campaigns will be used to make the film… there wont be a profit in the end!
The loss here in the end will be more for the fans… But also, ironically, a great loss for CBS and Paramount!
My final point is just this… CBS, Paramount and the Star Trek franchise as a whole would stand to gain so much more from a fan production of this high a quality! It would increase the public interest in a positive way and make more people inclined to go see new Star Trek films and get excited about upcoming films! And this ultimately means that CBS and Paramount will gain much more than they stand to gain from this lawsuit… And this includes improvements in public relations!
December 31, 2015 at 5:56 am
You idiot the money isn’t going towards profit but the actual production of the film. Graphics, and costumes and actors of this caliber are not cheap. Originally CBS and Paramount gave there blessing with one stipulation that the funds grossed be used only in the production of the film which Axanar has kept it’s promise. My guess is now that it’s doing so well and gotten so much news that they see it as theft of material they could have made money off of.
December 31, 2015 at 7:16 am
Interesting how CBS is not interested until they see a way to make money.#CBSsucks
December 31, 2015 at 7:31 am
They’re not making a profit. The money goes into production. They’ve already set a precedent by allowing fan films in the past. They may feel they need to do this, but I’m not sure the law here is quite as clear cut as you make out. This production has never been a secret, and to single it out now , so close to production is bad faith.
More importantly, I’m not sure suing fans is the brightest idea. This could turn out to be a really dumb decision on Paramount part.
If nothing else, they could have approached the whole thing more thoughtfully than they’ve apparently done. They really don’t need the bad press, or an alienated fan base, when STID underperformed so far below their own expectations.
January 4, 2016 at 7:41 pm
You are right, but our copyright laws are a joke. They benefit corporations and not average people. We need to go back to copyright laws closer to the 1909 laws. Look it up!
Claude AndPam Parish
December 30, 2015 at 10:48 pm
CBS sees money going to STAR TREK and it’s not THEIR legally licensed property. These films have always been financed by the fans and NOT for profit. Never released to theaters for pay or sold on video for money. It’s as if the BIG EYEBALL doesn’t want anyone else to play with their toys. Peters, Cawley and Mignona are fans playing make believe and being very imaginative about it. CBS doesn’t suffer. If anything, these productions keep the “franchise” alive and in the public awareness. It seems, on the face of it, to be like Mr. Wilson shooting Dennis the Menace for walking on his petunias. There are dozens of these fan films out there. Will CBS go after thrm as well? Hopefully, sane heads will take over and this will blow away like a leaf on the wind. Uh oh! I made a reference to another “franchise”. I’ll get a cease and desist order by mail soon.
December 31, 2015 at 12:46 am
Remember the chief lawyer is called “Gross” Man.
December 31, 2015 at 1:02 am
The fact of the matter is this… When you tinker in someone else’s universe, whether to make profit or not, it is still considered copyright infringement unless you specifically have it in writing that you have their full support. If CBS or Paramount want to kill Star Trek, let it die off naturally or neglect it, it’s their property and licenses to do as they see fit. Even if we don’t agree on how they treat it. Taking $1,000,000 from fans for a project they didn’t endorse but is based on their material is definite grounds for a lawsuit. The lawsuit also states that the money was not properly tracked as to where it was being spent so there’s no way to know if the Producers, etc pocketted some of the money themselves. Whether Axenar is any good, remains to be seen. But CBS/Paramount are well within their rights to exercise their ownership of the franchise.
December 31, 2015 at 1:57 am
The lawsuit is wrong on the money side – the project has always been completely accountable financially. Odd that they’d take that approach given how wrong it is!
(I’ve not read the suit, I’m just assuming you’re correct)
December 31, 2015 at 1:17 am
So why aren’t they going after the other fan-based series? Renegades, New Voyages, Phase II, etc. are doing nothing different than Axanar.
January 4, 2016 at 7:49 pm
Who says they won’t? After they crush Axanar in court and created a clear legal precedents, I’d be shocked if they then didn’t go after the others.
December 31, 2015 at 1:22 am
CBS and Paramount are acting like a pack of Ferengi’s and Cardassians trying to use a combination of both the rules of acquisition and brute force to put this project down. Shame on both production companies for doing this. I can understand that there are good grounds for them to do this, but at the end, they might as well even go after all the other fan films like Star Trek Continues and Star Trek Phase 2 for doing the same. Im a devoted Trek fan and I just dont find this right at all. To be quite frank, I actually enjoy watching the creative works all these fans have done…. and to add on, I think they are even better than that retarded JJ-universe that just doesnt work well with the rest of the cannon story lines. Fans like myself actually hated it to the core….. especially when it came down to the horribly incorrect specs and dimensions to the famed and celebrated USS Enterprise.
@startrekaxanar I recommend going to red alert and head to battle stations….. this gonna be a battle I, and other fans will be ready to fight for to defend both Axanar Productions and the new USS Ares. This fan film cannot be put down by corporate america and its greed.
As Captain Jean Luc Picard said in his log before the battle in the Bassen Rift “like a thousand other commanders on a thousand other battlefields, I wait for the dawn.”
#istandwithaxanar #defendtheussares #defendaxanar #fouryearswar #startrek #shieldsup #phasersatmaximum #photontorpedoesonstandby #thelinehasbeendrawn #wewillnotsurrender #resistanceisnotfutile #wearetheunitedfederationofplanets #wearestarfleet #unitedwestand
December 31, 2015 at 1:55 am
Deja Vue – Paramount lost touch and started abusing fans in the past, we boycotted them and did not spend a dime on any of their Star Trek media or watch and Trek, in a month they were begging us to forgive them and move on. We have the money, we pay their bills, they need us, we do not need them. https://fanlore.org/wiki/The_Viacom_Crackdown
December 31, 2015 at 4:23 am
The big picture (pun not intended) here is that CBS has singled out Axanar. Why is that? Not to criticize another fan-film that also was crowd-funded, but they violated far more IP than Axanar has shown to have proposed. They’re even working on a second episode! So why is CBS not all in an uproar about it? Because it’s clear that the new series is going to be a prequel to The Original Series. Some of the models and conceptional art has already leaked onto the internet. It’s an NX-01 style refit. They’ve already denied that the Romulan War will play a factor so that leaves the history with the Klingon War. Axanar is a story that could play out an episode of this new series. Since Hollywood is pretty much tapped out on new ideas, it’s easier to litigate over IP on a small studio all-the-while stealing their idea. Suing Axanar is just CYA so that they can’t sue CBS on what is likely to be a future episode.
December 31, 2015 at 4:57 am
How about this Idea, CBS and the Axanar production team have a meeting, now think about this. The production team for Axanar and CBS have a long relationship with one another. A new Star Trek series is in the works so lets cause a media hype by us, CBS, suing you an we go to court to show a heated battle. Later with all the controversy and free publicity Axanar wins and so we help promote and bring attention to Axanar and the new Star Trek series in the process with free publicity. I think this is more of the scenario in my opinion and it’s going to work.
December 31, 2015 at 5:58 am
Well, the Fans behind Axanar have had the idea to make a movie in the Klingon War era way before CBS announced its intention to milk Fans with a new ST series offered only on its paid service.
If indeed they are going after Axanar because they decided to steal this idea from the Fans, oh they are in for a big surprise. Already because of their actions towards a Fan made Creation I was considering not paying for the new series in their own network, if it turns out that they set their new series sin that period then I am simply going to ignore anything CBS makes, their new Star Trek will never exist for me.
I am really disappointed by the Lawsuit, disappointed at Paramount and CBS. And I am hoping that somehow they will settle and Axanar finishes production. We shall see what will happen. One thing is for sure, Fans are concerned I seen many speak out their minds in various Star Trek related sites on Facebook, and various forums, and in my opinion the more CBS will pursue to shut down Axanar the more customers they may lose. I for one am closing my interest and wallet until this is resolved in favour of the Fans.
They maybe a business but a business cannot operate without customers. This a dependency and it doe snot go two ways nor can the statement “it is a business” be used as some kind of umbrella to consequences. This business exists because of the Fans.
Furthermore, Star Trek, also by their own admission too, has become a Cultural Phenomenon over 50 years. And it is normal that Fan made creations exist and abound about it, since it is part of Culture world Wide.
And now they are trying to copy right culture? How can you copy right culture?
December 31, 2015 at 7:30 am
for many years CBS and Paramount have been all about making Profit ( Any ferenghi employed there i wonder) The movie and tv industy is very big business, The companies make massive profit and they then finance the next few movies , they create a massive audience to their productions to which a massive amount of merchandise is sold therefore creating more profit, i personally do not think they pay enough attention to what the fans (which they themselves create ) want, i think they should listen to the fans as they then wouldn’t get a such a poor reputation as being greedy profit hungry organisations.
January 4, 2016 at 7:54 pm
Um, all studios are about making profit. In fact THE reason all studio movies and TV shows are produced is to make money. This is partly why Hollywood keeps making so many “Event” films like Star Wars or Avengers. The idea is make insane amounts of money.
December 31, 2015 at 9:13 am
I’m going to make a few important statements as someone who produces a Trek fan series:
Despite the money raised going to production costs, the fact remains that there was still money being given to a Star Trek production by fans. It doesn’t matter how the money is spent or by whom, it is a violation to have done this.
Yes, other productions have used crowdfunding in the past and haven’t been hit with a lawsuit/C&D, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t breaking the rules. It just means that CBS/Paramount did not go after them. Perhaps it was because it was a much smaller amount (Axanar has over a million dollars of fan money right now, most fan productions would have been happy with two grand). Perhaps it was because the production values on most fan productions are lower (often intentionally so). Having high production values that could rival the legitimate Trek productions has always been something the community has tried to avoid for the most part. It’s a fine line between professional quality and high-level fan film quality. If you look at it and immediately think it might be a trailer for a new Trek film or series, you’ve done something wrong.
I fully support all fan productions, including Axanar. I do not, however, support or condone when productions do things that break the rules and jeopardize the hard work of fan productions that haven’t broken any rules and work hard to not break any, even when it makes production very difficult. We’ve lost actors who have gone SAG. Could we have crowdfunded to be able to pay them? Probably, but that’s against the rules. It’s against the LAW. So we didn’t. We rewrote storylines or recast roles. The production team has sunk their own money into the episodes. The cast paid for their own uniforms. None of us are rich people and an cent of money we could spare we put into the costs of the production.
I also need to make a very important point: Anyone who says CBS or Paramount don’t care about fans clearly hasn’t done any homework. Not only have they allowed us to use their IP for fan productions and been relatively supportive of them, they even invited Michael Gummelt of Star Trek Beyond to pitch his idea to Paramount for a new television series (Star Trek Uncharted) back in June of this year. Does this sound like an evil conglomerate that hates fans? In fact, the Axanar production already lost at least one actor a while ago because he knew it would get them in trouble to do crowdfunding.
Don’t be angry at CBS and Paramount for protecting themselves when someone else broke the law. I’m also not saying to be mad at Axanar for putting together the project, just be mad that they ignored the rules that most of us have been playing by for years.
I wish Axanar the best. Hopefully this can be resolved quickly and painlessly. I will be watching this closely because of how it impacts my life and a series I’ve produced. I selfishly hope that Axanar simply closes up shop on this production and pays the money back to the fans because other resolutions will have a more direct impact on me and my series.
I love that Axanar has fans, but anyone who claims to be a Star Trek fan and doesn’t want CBS/Paramount to protect their IP confuses me. You can support fan productions, but you can’t not support the owner of the IP who is still putting out things under this banner.
TL;DR version: Hopefully we get this resolved, but you can’t blame someone for protecting their IP. I just hope it doesn’t get ALL fan productions shut down.
January 4, 2016 at 8:03 pm
Ultimately, I’m mad at all of corporate Hollywood and the bureaucrats in Washington that have allowed copyright law to get out of hand. We need to get back to the 1909 laws, or something closer.
I find it funny how people defend copyright holders like Disney or CBS and their hold on 90+ year IPs, when so many of these same IPs so heavily dependent on public domain IPs themselves. A thriving creative socioty NEEDS public domain. That means that one day characters like Spock or Mickey Mouse have to go into the public domain the same as Robin Hood or Dracula. They are no different and issues like the one Axanar is facing could be avoided.
December 31, 2015 at 9:17 am
Look, I contributed a little money to this & even I can see Paramount’s point. These fan films exist at the disgresion of the rights owners. This one got too big and scared Paramount. Fair enough. Now everyone knows where the boundaries are. A million dollars is a lot of cash. Now that these fan productions have the potential to generate get kind of money they might all hear from Paramount’s lawyers. I hope not, goofy as they usually are, these productions have been a part of Star Trek & etc. for decades.
December 31, 2015 at 2:23 pm
This is deal, when you are raising fund for project that is not your intelluctual property then you will have big issue. I would sue as well. Non-profit still needs profit to grow. someone is making profit from startup kicks either by getting new assets or salaries.
Michael R Bardsley
December 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm
Great intentions here, but without specific, written, contractual permission to use someone else’s intellectual property, you just can’t use it. It’s not about emotions and feelings. It’s about the letter of the law and who does and who doesn’t have rights to it.
December 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm
January 1, 2016 at 1:51 am
CBS is being very childish and greedy in this matter. It seems they’re afraid a fan film will out do their new movies or they’re upset they’re not getting a cut of the “profits” this fan film could make.
Arron Bubba Ratcliff
January 1, 2016 at 6:41 pm
Ok this is how i understand it. Star Trek renegades was selling props like com badges and other easily identifiable Star Trek merchandise to raise money for production.It used big name star trek actors and minor supporting actors reprising the roles that made them famous.yet they were allowed to produce and then publish the movie on youtube and are currently working on a second film.But it sucked i did not like it at all. Axanar raised production money from crowd funding alone. it has big name Star Trek actors and minor actors reprising the roles that they played or taking on all new roles never seen before.And it looks like it would be a great film totally in keeping with the ideas and spirit of Star Trek.They reached the million dollar mark months ago still no word from CBS/Paramount.the new Teaser for the third J.J Trek drops every one and their Orion belly dancers hates it.CBS freaks out and has the lawyers drop the hammer on Axanar, Because it’s gonna be more well received by the fan base then this new cluster fudge called Star Trek beyond.To be honest i would rather see Axanar be the 50th anniversary Film for star trek then beyond.I’d pay money To see Axanar.as for star trek beyond i’ll wait to see it till i can find the DVD in the discount bin at wally world or it pops up on NetF***. There is no way I’m paying theater prices to see it unless i find it at a dollar matinee.
January 1, 2016 at 9:43 pm
I don’t blame CBS/Paramount for filing that lawsuit. Alec Peters should have known better. But, due to his foolishness and egotism, he has not only ruined his own production, he has also placed other fan films in jeopardy of being cancelled by CBS/Paramount.
I don’t care if Star Trek Continues, Starship Ajax, and the Star Trek Anthology gets cancelled, but I really don’t want to see New Voyages and Farragut get the axe because of Peters’ stupidity.
January 2, 2016 at 12:42 pm
“first thing we do, let’s kill all the Lawyers” – William Shakespeare
This wouldn’t be happening if Axanar wasn’t so much better than the Abrams Sparkle Trek.
January 4, 2016 at 8:07 pm
Funny, all of Shakespeare’s plays are in the public domain. Dang, Star Trek has used them many times over. Crazy to think how different things would be if they still had a copyright holder. Crazier thing, unless something happens, I could see CBS still holding on to the Star Trek copyright in a hundred years. It’s just not right, nor how the system was sent to work. It has been hijacked by corporate Hollywood!
January 2, 2016 at 7:04 pm
Good luck! I’m impressed with the trailer.
January 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm
Anyone else think we should threaten to boycott the new Star Trek film if Paramount and CBS don’t drop this right now?