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CBS Advises Second Star Trek Fan Film Not To Move Forward

CBS Advises Other Star Trek Fan Film Not To Move Forward

The plot thickens in the ongoing and turbulent situation involving CBS and Star Trek fan films. On Wednesday, Tommy Kraft, who created the Star Trek: Horizon film and had a sequel planned, is said to have been contacted by CBS and advised not to move forward with the project.

“Earlier today, executives from CBS reached out to me and advised me that their legal team strongly suggested that we do not move forward with plans to create a sequel to Horizon. While this is a sign of the current climate that we find ourselves in with Star Trek fan films, I want to personally thank CBS for reaching out to me, rather than including us in their ongoing lawsuit against Axanar.” Kraft wrote on the Star Trek: Horizon Facebook page.

CBS, along with Paramount Pictures is currently involved in a lawsuit against the group behind Star Trek: Axanar, which began late last year.

Kraft shed more light on the situation and how he was contacted by CBS, saying: “It was conveyed that the reason CBS was reaching out to me was due to the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case. Again, CBS did not have to reach out personally. The message I received felt more like they were giving me a heads up before we got too involved in another project, rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.”

Kraft announced that in light of the situation that he and his co-producer Ryan Webber would now be focussing their attention on a non-Star Trek sci-fi project.

We’ve reached out to other Star Trek fan productions asking if they’ve been contacted in a similar fashion recently.

CBS Television Studios is producing its own Star Trek series, which is set to launch in early 2017 with a broadcast TV special on CBS. The first episode and all subsequent episodes will be exclusively shown in the US on the video streaming service CBS All Access.

Stay tuned to for the latest news related to the new Star Trek TV series as well as Star Trek Beyond. Follow @TrekNewsnet on Twitter, TrekNews on Facebook, TrekNews on Instagram and TrekNewsnet on YouTube.

We’ll have more on this story as information becomes available.

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  1. bwayne

    April 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

    “The message I received felt more like they were giving me a heads up before we got too involved in another project, rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.”

    I would venture a guess that the initial CBS contact with Axanar was the same, a heads up, but they refused to heed the warning. Tommy Kraft is handling it graciously. Best of luck to him in future productions.

    • mikeinmn

      April 21, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Not really. Word is the folks from Axanar met with CBS and were told basically nothing except essentially “we’ll let you know when you cross the line”. Ultimately the way they let them know was by dropping the lawsuit.

      If they’d given an early heads-up like they did to Tommy and his group, say following Prelude, but before the kickstarter for the main film, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But….after plans are put in motion, money raised etc, things are a lot more difficult to just stop gracefully.

      I think it’s more that they learned their lesson from how they handled Axanar and did it right this time.

      • Theresa M. Moore

        April 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm

        I am glad to see that Axanar has not been delayed overmuch, as I really like what I have seen so far. CBS should know that it is receiving a great deal of free publicity by letting fan productions such as Axanar go forward. To try to stop these well made webisodes is like trying to stop a tsunami. CBS would be swept under if it made more hay out of it than is really necessary, and the backlash from the fans would show them who is really important to its continued good will.

        • Anthony Shuh

          April 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm

          Axanar is dead !! Unfortunately this idiot Alec Peters has now created a situation where all the other fan projects are going to be killed off as well !

          • sandwyrm

            April 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm

            They always were going to be killed off at some point. Eventually someone was going to up the quality (and popularity) of their work beyond what CBS/P were willing to tolerate.

            But Axanar isn’t dead yet, and we may see good rulings come out of this that benefit the fan-film community as a whole, even if Axanar folds in the end.

          • Loken

            April 25, 2016 at 9:37 pm

            I am sorry, I don’t even know you, so maybe you chill out with the insults.

          • Dusty Ayres

            April 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm

            If you don’t want to be insulted, wise up and stop being do deluded about Axanar and what it’s done to fan films.

          • vphilly

            May 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

            You’re one to talk, Alec.

      • Anthony Shuh

        April 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        That’s Alec Peters story, and Alec is full of shit !

        • Jack Hammer

          April 23, 2016 at 4:48 pm

          We’ve all heard the saying about opinions and assholes, but what we have here is an asshole’s opinion.

        • sandwyrm

          April 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm

          How about we stop trashing Peters personally and discuss the specifics of the case instead? There are interesting issues at stake.

        • Loken

          April 25, 2016 at 9:37 pm

          Again, you don’t even know me so how about you grow up and stop with the insults.

          • Dusty Ayres

            April 26, 2016 at 4:03 pm

            Alec, stop with the sandpuppeting, we all know it’s you responding like this.

          • Loken

            April 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm

            First of all it is “Sock puppeting”, not “sandpuppeting”. If you are going to be a troll, at least learn the lingo.

            Second, I freaking SIGN MY POSTS with my name dumb ass. Everyone knows it is me because I say so. Geez.

            Alec Peters

          • Dusty Ayres

            April 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm

            Sock, sand, whatever- stop the bullshit, Alec, we all know it’s you talking bullshit under different accounts.

          • sandwyrm

            April 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm

            Except that I’m not Peters, and one look at my Disqus profile, or 2 minutes with Google would more than prove that.


          • The Anti-Nerdist

            May 2, 2016 at 4:36 pm

            I know you

    • Loken

      April 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      No you are quite wrong. We NEVER got a phone call from CBS. All we ever got was “We cannot tell you what you can or cannot do. We will tell you when you cross the line.”

      Alec Peters

      • Curly_Boy

        May 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        After your meeting with CBS in August 2015:

        “CBS has not authorized, sanctioned or licensed this project in any way, and this has been communicated to those involved,” a representative from the network told TheWrap. “We continue to object to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights and are considering further options to protect these rights.”

        Sounds like a pretty clear warning to me. At least Tommy had the sense to pack it in when he got a similar one. I guess that’s arrogance for you…

  2. Paul

    April 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Screw CBS and their greed….make a sequal!!!!

  3. Michael Ryan

    April 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    CBS has lost a lifelong Trek fan in me. Their continuing attacks on fan made films leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The final nail for me was when they decided to bring the show back but put in on a new CBS for pay program. Roddenberry has to be rolling in his grave.

    • whoman69

      April 21, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Star Trek has always been used to create a new money base. It was the Paramount network that was replaced by Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Then Voyager launched UPN, another project that never really took off. Doctor Who is facing the same thing with the show only being aired on Amazon Prime, which I’m guessing is where the new spinoff will go as well. Networks got greedy by making too many cable channels and are now trying to make it up with the Netflix model. Its not that easy. I am not paying for a new Star Trek show that will probably end up being in their Nu Trek universe anyway. All action, no heart.

      • Dusty Ayres

        April 26, 2016 at 4:10 pm

        Nobody asked you to watch any of them, anyways.

        • whoman69

          April 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

          Really? Then why do they send me advertising about it?

          • The Anti-Nerdist

            May 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

            Because you signed up for it. They don’t care about you. You’re insignificant. Stop thinking you’re not.

          • whoman69

            May 4, 2016 at 11:17 am

            Does it make you feel better to put down other people? Stop thinking you have to take it up the rear and accept paying for shows that should be free.

    • Dusty Ayres

      April 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      If they lost you as a fan, then you were never worth keeping as one anyway. Star Trek is their IP, and they have a right to determine how it can be used.

      As well, Gene Roddenberrry was just a TV producer, not a god, so stop treating him as one.

      • whoman69

        April 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        So I’m only a true fan if I will spend lots of money to watch? That didn’t go over when Carl Pederson said it about Chiefs fans and it won’t wash here. I didn’t even mention Gene Roddenberry, but he was also the creator of Star Trek.

        • Dusty Ayres

          April 26, 2016 at 11:10 pm

          Stop deflecting the truth and accept reality.

      • Michael Ryan

        April 27, 2016 at 9:08 am

        Very corporate response

        • Dusty Ayres

          April 28, 2016 at 6:34 am

          Not a corporate one, a true one. Star Trek doesn’t belong to you as a property, you are just a fan, grow the frack up and accept that.

          • whoman69

            April 28, 2016 at 9:56 am

            I’ve been watching Star Trek since the beginning, since 1966. I don’t need to be told by somebody what sort of fan I am. I certainly didn’t have to pay to see Star Trek on TV then. Its bad enough that I had to start paying when cable came out to see 100 shopping channels I never watch, now they want me to pay for a subscription to each network. Its time for people to stand and say no more. Its bad enough the latest movies are all action and no heart. If the new series goes in that direction it will be just as poor. Talk with your pocketbook, don’t just hand it over.

          • Dusty Ayres

            April 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm

            Guy, give me and everybody else with a brain/knowledge of right and wrong/copyright law a fracking break: you are not owed this production by Peters & company simply because it has less ‘pew pew’ or whatever (newsflash, it doesn’t ; it has even more than the Abrams movies.)Paramount & CBS have a right to do this.

            As for being told what kind of fan you are, now you all know how it feels to be told that when you’re a fan of the Abrams movies, so bite me and suck on it. The movies are just like the original TV show; the big problem is, so-called ‘fans’ like you have become so confused by TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise that you think that’s what Star Trek’s like. Well, guess what, it isn’t like that’ it’s a sci-fi/action-adventure/space opera franchise, not truly serious sci-fi as displayed in most sci-fi print media. You need to stop believing in the bullshit about Roddenberry having a ‘vision’ and see reality: he didn’t have one. Star Trek’s really as I said above, and that’s how it was revived. It’s you send the other Axanads that are full of it and yourselves, and who need to truly STFU and deal, moi or anybody else that can see reality.

          • whoman69

            April 28, 2016 at 5:36 pm

            Just because they have a right to do this doesn’t mean they should. I can name a lot of franchises that jumped the shark. If you think they movies are just like the original TV show then you clearly cannot comprehend to have any frame of reference. Additionally if you cannot see that this is just another money making proposal to get us to spend money on things that we didn’t have to in the past, you’re just burying your head in the sand and taking it up the back porch.

          • Dusty Ayres

            June 5, 2016 at 10:06 pm

            It hasn’t jumped any shark, but has made millions with the last two pictures. It’s gone back to what it’s supposed to be like, and you-raised and accustomed to the milieu of The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine/Voyager-just can’t accept it due to believing that Axanar‘s the word of The Great Bird and is better than any new official movie/TV show. Also, I believe that you have a problem with the youth(fullness) of the new movie’s casts, which is why you support Axanar. But the movie’s not going to be completed, and the case is likely to be decided for CBS and Paramount, so you’ll not be having a leg to stand on.

  4. Jay Silla

    April 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    The way I’m reading this is that under normal circumstances, CBS wouldn’t have a problem with a sequel to Horizon. Their problem now, is allowing one production to go forward, while fighting to stop another, namely Axanar.

    • Zenas Legisperitus

      April 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      It’s their prerogative to enforce their rights or not, if and when they choose… but maybe Horizon was deemed too similar to Axanar to draw a meaningful distinction?

      • Jay Silla

        April 24, 2016 at 10:51 am

        I’ve watched ‘Prelude to Axanar’, and I’ve watched ‘Horizon’. I have to say, I liked Horizon, but the production reflected the budget limitations. It’s a funny thing: There are LOADS of really bad fan episodes out there that Paramount allowed. If I owned the rights, I’d want to kill the bad efforts to prevent them from damaging the brand, and promote the good ones, as they help keep fan interest alive, and are essentially free advertising for the brand.

        IMHO, where the Axanar team when wrong, was using their crowd funding to build a studio, what is intended to be an ongoing business, off the Star Trek brand. Tommy Kraft has done nothing like that. I do note however, that both stories fall between ST:ENT and ST:TOS. That could be just a coincidence. It will be interesting to see if Renegades also gets a nastygram from CBS.

      • sandwyrm

        April 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        I think it’s the crowdfunding aspect that’s the real problem for CBS/P. Fan productions didn’t used to have budgets north of $100K. Now they’re pulling in $500K to over $1M.

        That means much better FX, and the ability to pay actors and set up non-profit corporations with the cash for protracted legal fights.

        That’s a threat they have to address. I think they could address it more smartly and profitably, but this is the path they’ve chosen to take.

    • Anthony Shuh

      April 23, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      The attorneys are now involved with the copyright issues of Star Trek, and they could careless about the fans desire to produce fan films! Everything that goes on from here forward with CBS/Paramount will be laced with lawyers and restrictions .. It’s been a fun run for fan films, however the hand writing is on the wall – it’s over !

      • sandwyrm

        April 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

        Don’t assume anything until we see how the case goes.

      • Loken

        April 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm

        Man, you sure do seem ti have a lot of anger in you. Plus you now know more than the people actually involved in the case? You have opinions, and we all know what those are like.

        • Charles Baxter

          May 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

          Like you?

    • sandwyrm

      April 25, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      You don’t know that. If Axanar didn’t exist, it would be a project like Horizons that CBS/P would be watching intently for an excuse to shut down prior to releasing a new movie and series.

      Axanar was just a much easier target, and it gives CBS/P a nice scapegoat for shutting down fan productions that wander too far into “too good” territory.

      • Dusty Ayres

        April 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        Axanar crossed the line by being a for-profit production and by using crowdfunding monies to build a studio to produce professional fan movies of Star Trek. That’s a violation of the laws of copyright if ever I heard it, and both Paramount & CBS have a right to safeguard their shared IP. You and the others defending Axanar need to see reality.

        • sandwyrm

          April 26, 2016 at 8:14 pm

          What line? Who decided what the line was? Axanar is a non-profit corporation. They repeatedly asked CBS/P for guidance on what was OK, and were told they wouldn’t get any. They’ve claimed that they’ve repeatedly asked for a sit-down to discuss changes that would satisfy CBS/P, but have been repeatedly rebuffed, and CBS/P haven’t denied that.

          ALL fan productions are crossing the line of copyright/trademark law. ALL fan productions exist at the whim of CBS/P, who have refused to release formal rules for fan productions. Horizons got a “nice” cease-and-desist, but only with a backhanded slap at Axanar, who didn’t even get a cease-and-desist before the lawsuit was filed. Thus your anger has been expertly deflected onto Axanar instead of CBS/P, who’ve refused to embrace and codify the rules for fan productions in the same way that Lucasfilm has.

          • Dusty Ayres

            April 26, 2016 at 11:02 pm

            Typical Axanar bullshit: use the ‘Well, they’re doing it too!’ defense when challenged on a point of wrongdoing. Are you a five-year-old child, or a grown adult?

            The rules were/are simple: you can make a fan film, but you can’t make a profit on it, because it isn’t your IP. Instead of listening to the law, they broke it, and are now pissed off the they’re getting sued by the rights older for violating the IP, plus are angry at being blamed for causing the deaths of all Star Trek fan films. Sorry, but it’s all true, and it has to be accepted. Now, YOU and the other Axanads stop trolling, wake the frack up, and see reality.

          • sandwyrm

            April 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm

            If you’re in a cookie store with 12 other people, and every single one of you is stealing cookies, isn’t it fair to point that out if you’re the only one singled out for punishment by the security guard?

            It’s not Axanar bullshit, it’s simple logic.

            Again, it comes down to your definition of profit. Did Axanar go too far (non-profit corporation, intention to set up a studio to rent to fan films, personal salaries, etc.)? That may be. It’s not something that I would have done in their place.

            But the definition of “going too far” has not been defined concretely at any time by CBS/P. In fact they repeatedly avoided codifying any formal rules. That means that ALL fan films exist at their pleasure. ANY fan film that ran a Kickstarter or Indigogo campaign could be found to have “gone too far” at any time. ANY fan-project at all could be found to have gone too far, whether they raised $1M or $10K. Because all of them are law-breakers acting at the pleasure of the IP owners.

            Change of executives at CBS/P? Suddenly the definition of “going too far” changes. New official film and/or series coming out? The definition changes again. CBS/P going up for sale, or having a bad year? The definition changes once more. The definition becomes whatever it needs to be at any one time.

            There are at least 2 other fan-productions besides Axanar that raised significant sums via crowdfunding. Neither of which provided the degree of financial transparency that Axanar did. CBS/P are likely looking at that (barely subsistence level for SoCal) salary and wondering what isn’t being disclosed by other projects.

            Did another project pay someone to make a costume or prop? Did they pay carpenters to transform their garage into a bridge set? Did they rent or buy cameras to shoot with? Buy computers or lighting equipment? Sound-mixing equipment? Did they reimburse for travel? Did someone ever dip into the funds to pay an overdue personal bill because they weren’t working at the time? Did they get interviews and publicity that would profit them indirectly, and maybe even get them jobs elsewhere?

            ALL of that would be considered profiting from someone else’s IP. There’s just no nice, tidy financial report to look at.

            That, by the way, is an argument. Trolls don’t argue facts, and never go into detail. Trolls (paid or otherwise) just insult and re-post the same tired talking points over and over.

          • Dusty Ayres

            April 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm

            No sir, it’s still bullshit, and you’re still trying to turn said shit into hard facts, hoping that nobody’s got a keen sense of smell. But the process isn’t working, and the molecular bonds are breaking down, so now said ‘facts’ are back into being soft smelly shit again. You’re losing this, go back to school, learn about the world some more, and try again.

          • sandwyrm

            April 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm

            Your insults do have a certain poetic eloquence in their vulgarity, but they’re still just insults. Your refusal to argue facts says it all really. You literally have nothing of consequence to say.

            You’re arguing BTW, with someone who’s actually worked professionally in the film business. My best performing picture beat the pants off of every single Trek film at the box office. So you’ll excuse me perhaps if I chuckle at your accusations of my not knowing anything.

          • Curly_Boy

            May 2, 2016 at 4:37 pm

            Ares Studios is a registered FOR PROFIT company in California. The only non-profit 501(c) charity production is Continues. Just saying you’re operating as a NP or working towards it is not the same thing as being one. Also, it is against the law in California to claim you are a non-profit when you are not one. Those are criminal fraud charges by the way.

          • sandwyrm

            May 4, 2016 at 11:46 am

            (Looks up Ares’s incorporation status)

            Ares is an S-corporation, where any profits/losses are passed through to be paid (or kept) by the shareholders. The corporation itself is not legally allowed to keep assets, and does not pay taxes.



            A good question would be whether Alec Peters is a shareholder or not.

            Ares claims to be “operating as a non-profit” (whatever that means in California) in anticipation of being accepted as a 501c3 (Non-Profit) corporation by the IRS. A process that can take a while (I’ve researched it before in another state).

            By operating now as an S-Corp, I’m guessing that they have a better case for being considered non-profit in spirit. Since registering as a C-Corp before reaching 501c3 status would make them no different than any other for-profit company while they wait. Once they get approved, they would then re-register as a C-Corp operating under IRS rules.

            There’s also the law’s definition of a “Non-Profit Corporation”, and whatever CBS/P think “Don’t make money” means. These are almost guaranteed not to match up. Which, BTW, is why CBS/P should be putting fan productions under contracts that can hold them to CBS/P’s definitions of these things. Because without contracts, their only recourse is copyright infringement litigation.

            I’m sure Ares have lawyered all this out in great detail, but it’s really only something that lawyers can meaningfully argue, because it’s going to involve a lot of complex rules and precidents that don’t easily translate into quick soundbites.

            My impression though, is that Ares is acting in good faith on their way to 501c3 status, whatever that’s worth.

            But I can’t speak to their accounting, who’s actually holding the crowdfunding monies, or what paying salaries to certain people will or won’t do to their case.

            We can have all the opinions on these that we want to, but legally this is strictly a copyright case, and these things will only have meaning to a jury in terms of intent and perceived damages to CBS/P’s business. Which will manifest themselves in how much or how little the final judgement against Axanar ends up being.

          • Dusty Ayres

            May 24, 2016 at 12:18 am

            Still drinking the Axanar Kool-Aid and sucking on Peters’s dick, I see? Pathetic.

          • sandwyrm

            May 24, 2016 at 1:39 am

            I know that it’s hard to read when you’re drunk on moonshine in your backwoods trailer. But you’re the pathetic one here. There’s plenty of Axanar-critical bits in what I wrote. But critical thinking has never been your strong point, has it?

            The case is being settled as I write this. There’s really no point to arguing about this anymore. Axanar will be made in one form or another (with concessions on both sides, I’m sure), and CBS/P will concentrate on making us want to see their movie/series instead of wasting their fans’ goodwill on this case. Hopefully they’ll formalize their fan-film relationships with proper contracts, and that will be that.


          • Palesa Floret

            February 28, 2017 at 10:37 pm

            They also offered Axanar and CBS/Paramount said no. Don’t understand that one. CBS/Paramount are doing this, because they know that people like James, Vic etc. have been making better Trek than they have.

      • Jay Silla

        April 26, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        You are correct that I don’t know that. I’m expressing an opinion, as are all of us, including you. My opinion is based on this quote:

        Kraft shed more light on the situation and how he was contacted by CBS,
        saying: “It was conveyed that the reason CBS was reaching out to me was
        due to the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case….”