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Paramount, CBS File Lawsuit Against ‘Axanar’ [UPDATED]

Paramount, CBS File Lawsuit Against 'Axanar'
Paramount, CBS File Lawsuit Against 'Axanar'

CBS and Paramount have filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the producers of the independent and crowd-funded Axanar film project — citing a violation of their intellectual property, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

To date, the Axanar project has raised more than $1 million in crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Until now, CBS and Paramount have tolerated fan productions — including Star Trek: New Voyages and Star Trek Continues. However, none of those have none have received the funding that Axanar has. Aside from the funding, the project also has professionals working on it, including several former Star Trek actors.

The complaint claims that ”The Axanar Works infringe Plaintiffs’ works by using innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.”

If you’re not already aware of Axanar, the official description on their website states: ”Axanar takes place 21 years before the events of ‘Where no Man Has Gone Before’, the first Kirk episode of the original Star Trek. Axanar is the story of Garth of Izar, the legendary Starfleet captain who is Captain Kirk’s hero… Axanar tells the story of Garth and his crew during the Four Years War, the war with the Klingon Empire that almost tore the Federation apart. Garth’s victory at Axanar solidified the Federation and allowed it to become the entity we know in Kirk’s time. It is the year 2245 and the war with the Klingons ends here.”

Paramount’s Star Trek Beyond is set to be released in theaters on July 22 and CBS is currently developing their own television series for CBS All Access in 2017.


The team behind Axanar responded to the suit on their Facebook page:

Well, it appears CBS knows that Axanar is exactly what fans want, because they are trying to shut us down! While Team Axanar will have a response shortly, know this DOES NOT deter us from what we are doing! Delivering to fans exactly what you want.
Goliath, meet David (and his thousands of screaming fans)!

You can read the full complaint here.

Written By



  1. 00 Gundam Meister

    December 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Star Trek fans, do you support Axanar?

    I suggest visiting the Twitter pages of CBS & Paramount & leave a message.



    • Malphius

      December 31, 2015 at 1:18 am

      I’ve already left several. The best thing to do is just boycott “Trek & The Furious”.

      • Bob Bobberson

        December 31, 2015 at 4:25 am

        I agree. Time for a boycott.

        • Krazy Joe

          January 19, 2016 at 7:02 am

          No way. Boycotts are for crybabies

          • Bob Bobberson

            January 19, 2016 at 11:38 am

            Boycotts; voting with dollars. If you think voting is for babies, move to north Korea.

          • Krazy Joe

            January 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm

            Nope, uh uh

          • Bemyguest

            February 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm

            Embrace your inner child and cry with us.

            You can do it.

      • Da Han

        January 1, 2016 at 9:03 am


      • Shadowkey392

        January 6, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        Agreed! Make it clear that we’ll make Star Trek: Beyond into the BIGGEST BOX-OFFICE BOMB IN HISTORY if they don’t drop this bull***t NOW.

        • Krazy Joe

          January 19, 2016 at 7:02 am

          I’m seeing it.

      • Krazy Joe

        January 19, 2016 at 7:01 am

        Not gonna happen. I’m seeing Star Trek Beyond opening day

        • Malphius

          January 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm

          To each their own.

        • Bob Bobberson

          January 20, 2016 at 2:20 am

          Why bother? It’s probably going to be just as crappy as “into darkness”. And that’s pretty much the worst Trek film of all time. Hell, I’d “the final frontier” again before that POS.

          • Krazy Joe

            January 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm

            Into Darkness was crap but Star Trek Beyond has a new director so we Have no idea what to expect from Star Trek 13 until we see it. Besides, Star Trek 11 was awesOme

          • mhdaniels31

            March 5, 2016 at 8:50 am

            I think box office sales and bluray sales say otherwise the new star trek reboots introduced star trek to a younger audience and did it in a way that made it feel different from the tv and movies of old. I only remeber those tv and movies watching them when i was a really small kid but I liked them but that kind of aproach wouldnt fly in the movies today I think its great for you guys to be nostalgic everything was better when you were a kid but realize your just taring something apart thats already proved itself because its different from what your used to thats called becoming old “everything was always better back in the day ahhh shucks” you remind me of my grandpa not that its bad but well you should understand my point by now

      • Krazy Joe

        January 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm


        • Malphius

          January 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

          Yep. It’s crap anyways.

    • maskddingo

      January 6, 2016 at 3:25 am

      I support them in that I want them to make the movie they said they would. I –DO NOT– support them in their for-profit coffee business in winch they entered into a business partnership to sell coffee whose labels use intellectual property that clearly doesn’t belong to them, and that other entities doing the same would be required to pay licensing fees. I wan them to make the movie… but they are getting distracted, and you have only the people at Axanar themselves to blame for it.

      Again.. I want to see the movie.. but the Axanar folks have let us all down in this respect. It looks as though they are adopting a scorched earth policy too.. “If we can do it , then no one can”. My advise to Axanar people is to stop being so stand-off-ish and start playing by the rules. That is literally the -only hope- (albeit small) we have to ever see this movie.

      • Shadowkey392

        January 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        Correction. We have only the people at Paramount and CBS to blame. Axanar’s people have done nothing wrong. They only stuff they HAVE done, is stuff which HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE by countless fan films! #IStandWithAxanar

  2. Bob

    December 30, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    If Paramount could make a decent movie instead of the apple, IKEA looking crap they are putting out, ( I. E. fast and furious in space) maybe the fans would not need to do it ourselves!! Leave Axanar alone!!

    • James b

      December 31, 2015 at 2:51 am

      so because a legal copyright holder makes poor movies you feel it is the right of a fan film to impede upon their legal rights and do as they wish?

      • Bob Bobberson

        December 31, 2015 at 4:36 am

        They have always consented, with the stipulation that no profit is made. Im going to copy and past my comment from upthread…..

        The timing kind of makes this an act of bad faith. There may actually be some legal recourse here…. I’m not saying they’ll win, But they at least have a leg to stand on, legally speaking. And I wonder if paramount will want to risk bad PR from suing fans (and a potential boycott) this close to the release of the film they’ve been trying so hard to convince us will put the franchise back on track. Maybe the axenar producers should do another kick start thing to raise legal fees. and fans should Threaten a boycott. This thing could be made to go away, if enough noise is made.

        • Edohiguma

          January 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm

          That they have always consented in the past is irrelevant. Simple example: Just because I let certain people walk across my property doesn’t mean I have to let anybody else trespass. Yes, I have consented to these other people in the past, but that doesn’t give you the right to trespass.

          The crux is that this is being funded via kickstarter. People give them money. It’s not for profit? Technically it is. In order to have a successful kickstarter and start producing they need to reach the goal of said kickstarter.

          • Jaime Osbourn

            January 3, 2016 at 9:19 am

            Beg to differ you cannot pick and choose whom you let violate your intellectual copyright. If you tolerate one you must tolerate all. Also look up the definition of profit. A kickstarter campaign is to raise the money to cover expected costs that is not profit.

          • maskddingo

            January 6, 2016 at 3:59 am

            You -ABSOLUTELY- can “pick and choose whom you let violate your intellectual copyright”. That’s your right as the owner of the material. It’s not true at all that you must tolerate all or none. It’s yours. You have the rights to decide who does what with it.

            I understand you want to see the movie… I do to. But you are talking nonsense right now.

          • Bob Bobberson

            January 5, 2016 at 3:36 pm

            That’s true, about future productions, but this one has begun production already, that;s what I mean by bad faith. You can’t consent to some one walking across your property, then withdraw that consent while they’re halfway across, and THEN shoot them for trespassing.

          • maskddingo

            January 6, 2016 at 4:01 am

            Do we ever know if CBS consented to Axanar using it’s IP to hawk coffee?

        • maskddingo

          January 6, 2016 at 3:57 am

          “They have always consented, with the stipulation that no profit is made.”

          There is your answer. Axanar (or rather the guy who runs it) is making profit.

          • Bob Bobberson

            January 6, 2016 at 3:59 pm

            Do you work for bad robot?

    • Da Han

      January 1, 2016 at 9:08 am


    • maskddingo

      January 6, 2016 at 3:56 am

      The problem is not fans making films. the problem is films making a profit using CBS IP. This is what is being done with Axanar coffee. Quite egregiously I might add. I doubt that this coffee is the limit of the extent of their attempts to sell merchandise with CBS IP all over it, but it’s enough in and of itself to constitute a pretty gave violation.

  3. Dan

    December 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    They are jsut pissed off because Axanar is very good.

    • maskddingo

      January 6, 2016 at 4:02 am

      Axanar is very good? It doesn’t even exist!

  4. Marcelo Carvalho

    December 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    So bad CBS/Paramount…!! So bad…! 😛

    • maskddingo

      January 6, 2016 at 4:02 am

      Blame Axanar. They effed it up.

  5. Darrin

    December 30, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    isn’t this an open-and-shut defense of laches? They’ve let these kinds of films slide by for years without comment, and clearly knew Axanar was in development (even giving it a blessing at one point, apparently).

    • IndyCarFan

      December 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      That is my opinion as well, i dont see how they can stand on anything when they have allowed all these fan made projects and now they decide to go after one that is going to upstage what JJCrap has done?

    • James b

      December 31, 2015 at 2:54 am

      obviously something has changed. there was some sort of infringement that called the copyright holders to rally their forces… seem so hellbent on blaming the big guy when in reality they are the legal owners….using Mr Spock it would be logical to assume that the agreement was broken by Axanar….or that the copyright holders changed their minds…..sad if this is indeed the reality but within their rights,.

      • Bob Bobberson

        December 31, 2015 at 4:50 am

        The Thing that changed is negative reaction to STID. They perceive Axanar as a Threat to the new Star trek fast & furious. Many old school fans might consider Ax. to be the “true” trek, so they’re trying to kill competition to the franchise.

        • Da Han

          January 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

          Sounds about right

          • maskddingo

            January 6, 2016 at 4:09 am

            No… it sounds freaking insane.

        • maskddingo

          January 6, 2016 at 4:08 am

          Delusional, self-importance. That’s all your response was.

          To hold the belief that ‘Axanar’ would any way ‘compete’ with STB to the point where it would be stealing an audience is absolutely ludicrous.

          I wanted to see Axanar too… and I’d probably like it more that STB, but please come back to reality with me so we don’t make things worse. There is no way Axanar would cut into any of CBS’s profits. They are pissed that Axanar is using their IP to make money. They have good cause to believe that is happening given this: It will all get sorted out in court.

          If I were you, I’d be more upset with the folks at Axanar. As mentioned countless times, other productions haven’t had problems… but then other productions haven’t tried to use CBS IP to brand their own coffee and sell it on the Internet. That’s bone-headed and I don’t see how you can blame anyone but Axanar. They have really let down the Star Trek community. God help them if there bone-head-ery leads to other productions getting shut down.

          • Bob Bobberson

            January 6, 2016 at 3:55 pm

            Why would I be upset with axanar? they’re the only ones trying to make real Star Trek. JJ abrams “star trek” is flat out stupid.

    • Edohiguma

      January 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Because they’ve let it slide in the past is a really garbage legal defense. Simple example: Just because I let certain people walk across my property doesn’t mean I have to let anybody else trespass. Yes, I have consented to these other people in the past, but that doesn’t give you the right to trespass.

      The crux is that this is being funded via kickstarter. People give them money. It’s not for profit? Technically it is. In order to have a successful kickstarter and start producing they need to reach the goal of said kickstarter, that means that, technically, they need kickstarter profit. And with that goes the notion of “fan film” and “fair use” straight out the window.

      • Berrick

        January 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        If you want to get technical, you don’t understand what the word “profit” means. It’s when someone attains or produces something at cost x and sells it to someone else at price x+y, the “profit” being y. Nothing is being sold in a kickstarter fundraising. Furthermore, profit is free and clear, whereas the donations given in a fundraiser are dedicated to a specific use, such as the use of making a film funded by a kickstarter program.
        The copyright issue is a bit greyer. Your example of letting people cross your lawn is a bad analogy, since walking across a lawn is not at all similar to making a film, but let’s work with it: if you have said to the neighborhood in general, more than once, that it’s okay to cross your lawn, it will make it harder for you to get trespassing charges to stick on that one person you don’t like. CBS/Paramount has allowed fan films in the past, and have even expressed a tentative permission for them in general as long as the films did not make profit (as in people paying to buy the finished movie–not donations to fund its production). Almost all of the fan films have been funded by fan donations; none have made profit. There is clear precedence of their winking at these fan films, which interferes with the culpability of a new production team, such as the Axanar folks, doing the same thing.
        However, they will probably win a lawsuit because, despite the precedence of ignoring not-for-profit uses in the past, they still hold the copyrights. It’s just not as open and shut as you seem to think it is.

        • maskddingo

          January 6, 2016 at 4:15 am

          This is profit for someone:

          • Berrick

            January 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm

            That would be profit for whoever is selling the coffee, but the donations they give to the film production are not (or, rather the donations they said they would give: none of those websites seem to exist anymore).
            I’m not sure about the merchandising you’re referring to, since everything I find when I look for Axanar is links to the “Prelude” video, information about the upcoming film, or news pieces on the lawsuit. I haven’t seen merchandising links or info on any of those sites. Maybe those have been removed as well.

    • maskddingo

      January 6, 2016 at 4:05 am

      It’s not because it’s a fan-film. It’s the fact that Axanar is using CBS IP in merchandising which doesn’t fall under ‘kickstarter’ or even ‘croud-sourcing’. it’s just blatant commercialism… selling a product for a profit (using imagery you don’t hold the copyright to, no-less) on an e-commerce site. How they think this is OK to do is beyond me.

  6. ¡David Oakes! 

    December 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I recognise the actor playing the Vulcan – who is it ?

    He looks a lot like Mark Lenard as Sarek.

    • Christopher F.

      December 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Its Gary Graham, reprising his role as Soval.

    • Michele-my-bellflower

      January 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Is it Chris Sarandon?

  7. Jean-Luc Gothos

    December 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    It’s obvious that Fans want more Star Trek, so why CBS/Paramount doesn’t just buy these productions and make them official is beyond me.

    • Christopher F.

      December 30, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Because they don’t want Star Trek anymore. They want generic action adventure franchise #37 that can endlessly churn out mindless plots and rehashes on the cheap for instant profit.

      They don’t want slow, cerebral, “nerdy” Star Trek, because that doesn’t make as much money as Fast and Furious X+1.

    • James b

      December 31, 2015 at 2:55 am

      great idea but moot as now they are headed to the judges…..

    • Da Han

      January 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Yes. Offer licenses.

      • maskddingo

        January 6, 2016 at 4:22 am

        That sounds reasonable. I mean. If a production can secure $1million, it can afford to pay a licensing fee. They should have gotten a license for the coffee they are selling. That is already available.

        • Da Han

          January 23, 2016 at 4:22 am

          I would agree. Especially if they profited by PAR IP oriented coffee and mass produced model kits. Merchandising is an entirely different subject than the filmmaking aspect.

    • maskddingo

      January 6, 2016 at 4:20 am

      Well I think there is something to be said for that. If I were CBS I would try to find ways to embrace this stuff. I think for the most part, they have though. The only rule of ‘Don’t make a profit’ works… I admit the lines are very grey now with crowd-sourcing.

      However, the line -isn’t- grey when you are marketing coffee with CBS IP on it without a license agreement (like Axanar), so that is likely a big reason the hammer is coming down on them.

  8. crazybatmanfan

    December 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    “However, none of those have none have received the funding that Axanar has.”

    Are you guys hiring for the editing department?

  9. Christopher F.

    December 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I donated in multiple campaigns, and I honestly believe this is the last light of Gene Roddenberry’s vision left. What CBS and Paramount have made is a dumbed down, lowest common denominator action series that dresses up in a starfleet uniform.

    It isn’t Trek. The JJverse Trek films are to true trekkies what the prequels were to Star Wars fans. Mindless drek that drags the name of the entire franchise down, and thats for a franchise that was already pretty low to start with by that point.

    CBS was aware of this the whole time. They could have stepped in at any time. But no, they chose to be complete dicks and wait until the thing was nearly finished before launching their suit in order to do maximum financial damage.

    You refuse to give true trekkies what we want, and then you try to take away the only people that are giving us what we want? What, you can’t compete with a quality offering of your own, so you’re just going to sue your way out of the predicament you find yourself in?

    Screw you CBS, screw you Paramount. #IStandWithAxanar

    • Betty Jo Miller Thaman

      December 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts on the JJ Treks and Star Wars prequels. I thought I was alone.

      • Malphius

        December 31, 2015 at 1:27 am

        The trek prequels are garbage. They could have their place IF the series remains true to spirit. Not sure I see it happening.

    • muskratboy

      December 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      From the other side… screw off, the new Star Trek is freaking fantastic. Beautifully updated, it has everything a real fan could ever hope for.

      Of course, I’m basing this on actual Star Trek, not this fantasy-land version you’ve built in your head. There is LOTS of Trek in the “action series” vein… and there is plenty of intellectual content in the first new Star Trek.

      “True” Trekkies would realize what a great job they did, and appreciate finally having some decent Trek around here for a change. You can go back to watching ‘Enterprise’ on repeat.

      • SoothsayerofDOOM

        December 31, 2015 at 3:08 am

        You are joking right? A fan of Lost maybe. Fans don’t want lens flares – we want real thought out Sci-Fi.

      • Bob Bobberson

        December 31, 2015 at 4:52 am

        STID is a travesty.

      • Christopher F.

        December 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm

        Okay, well lets get straight to it. The heart of TOS was two things:
        1) Social commentary. Pretty much everything about the show was a redressing of social issues at the time, right down to the makeup of the crew.

        2) Kirk/Spock/Bones triad. Spock was cool logic and reason, Bones was emotion and empathy, and Kirk was the factor that balanced the two extremes into a synthesis that created a very unique and enjoyable dynamic.

        Neither of those two things is represented in the JJverse films.

        Kirk was the youngest captain in Federation history after… only 14 years of training. He wasn’t a brash asshole that didn’t even finish cadet school before being given command of one of the most dangerous weapons ever created by mankind.

        • Bob Bobberson

          January 2, 2016 at 9:21 am

          And spock going off all emotional, two films in a row, seems like they intend to make this a regular feature, and ruin the whole of the character.

          • Christopher F.

            January 5, 2016 at 10:47 am

            Its called Flanderization, where what started as a minor feature of a character over time overwhelms the rest of said character, reducing them to a two dimensional representation where previously they had been (more) three dimensional.

            So named after Ned Flanders on the Simpsons, where him being religious was originally a side factor of his personality, and slowly became his defining characteristic.

          • maskddingo

            January 6, 2016 at 4:50 am

            I don’t think there is anything wrong with that because indeed, ‘Flanderization’ even happens to -real- people in -real- life. So him being ‘Flanderized’ could be viewed as quite normal development for the given charter they are trying to represent.

          • Berrick

            January 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm

            So, you’re suggesting that adding emotional reactions to a character who previously did not show emotions makes him less faceted. Your math doesn’t work there. No-emotions-ever= 1 side; whereas emotions-occasionally-and-no-emotions-usually= 2 sides. Besides, I always felt the attempts, from TOS on, to make the Vulcans emotionless really failed. They absolutely showed emotions; they just spoke their lines in a deadpan tone.

          • Christopher F.

            January 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

            No, Spock had emotions but kept a tight reign on them, so that in the rare moments when he did let them slip were very special. It was the exclamation point to his character as a whole. Which becomes utterly worthless and destroys his entire character when it becomes the MAIN facet of his personality.

            New Spock was more an emotional being that occasionally managed to be logical, instead of the other way around. It was almost a complete 180 degree flip of what he should have been.

          • maskddingo

            January 6, 2016 at 4:38 am

            One could argue that the loss of the planet Vulcan early in his life had changed Spocks ’emotional’ development from the prime universe version. In the jj-verese it seems he never had the time (or the place) to go to in order to learn to get his emotions in check. I don’t know if that would constitute ‘ruining’ the character (more like ‘expanding upon’) as even the JJ-movies themselves confirm the Spock-Prime is still out there.

          • Bob Bobberson

            January 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm

            Obviusly, you love “trek and furious”, that;s good for you, I’m happy you have something you enjoy. But it ain;t Star Trek.

    • James b

      December 31, 2015 at 2:58 am

      I strongly disagree with your idea that if a franchise disappoints you other measures beyond simple avoiding their products is reasonable…..Standing with axanar, if they are at fault, is folly at best……

      • Bob Bobberson

        December 31, 2015 at 4:56 am

        I believe there is an element of bad faith here. There is legal recourse, if the Axenar producers have already begun significant pre-production. They might not win, but they Paramount may not want the bad press of suing fans, or a potential boycott from a vocal fan base

        • maskddingo

          January 6, 2016 at 4:51 am

          Axanar is the only party acting in ‘bad-faith’ here by selling coffee branded with elements they do not own.

    • SoothsayerofDOOM

      December 31, 2015 at 3:13 am

      Go Christopher F. JJ wanted to turn Trek into Star Wars – now he has Star Wars and has dropped Trek. My feeling is JJ needed a big space production under his belt for his resume’ and vomited Star Trek 2009. Well you got Star Wars – please give us back our universe.

      • Christopher F.

        December 31, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        And don’t get me wrong here, I *LOVED* this new Star Wars, it hit all the right notes.

        My problem is that he tried to turn Star Trek into Star Wars, and there is a vast gulf between science fiction (Trek) and science fantasy (Wars). What works for Star Wars does not and cannot work for Star Trek.

    • athynz1

      December 31, 2015 at 8:48 am

      While I don’t share the dislike of the JJ Trek movies I fully agree with your assessment of CBS/Paramount. #IstandwithAxanar