CBS/Paramount slams rules on fan films.

CBS/Paramount slams rules on fan films.

Postby Ramsay » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:16 am

With the advent of the wide spread internet, wide Spread commercially Available CGI programs, Fan Production moved from a bargain basement Cardboard box affare into a near professional level, Youtube and other video Share sites even allowed wide spread display of such productions farther adding to it Crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter even added the ability to even add Professional Actors and sleak near Feature grade productions, Actors and cast from past Film and TV incarnations of Star Trek even made themselves available for such. Then Came Axanar. Produced by a former member of the Star trek production Axanar and the younger Renegades it seems sounded like a alarm bell in Paramount and CBS who had returned to trek.
In December Paramount struck back
DECEMBER 30, 2015 6:25am PT by Eriq Gardner
Crowdfunded 'Star Trek' Movie Draws Lawsuit from Paramount, CBS
'Axanar' aims to be a professional-quality prequel and has raised more than $1 million.
'Axanar' aims to be a professional-quality prequel and has raised more than $1 million.
For decades, Paramount and CBS have tolerated and even encouraged fans of the Star Trek franchise to use their imagination at will, but on Tuesday the entertainment companies went to their battle stations and launched a legal missile at a production company touting the first independent Star Trek film.

Axanar, the subject of a lawsuit filed on Friday in California federal court, is no ordinary Star Trek film. The forthcoming feature film (preceded by a short film) is the source of more than $1 million in crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The producers, led by Alec Peters, aim to make a studio-quality film. As the pitch to investors put it, "While some may call it a 'fan film' as we are not licensed by CBS, Axanar has professionals working in front and behind the camera, with a fully-professional crew — many of whom have worked on Star Trek itself — who ensure Axanar will be the quality of Star Trek that all fans want to see."

Paramount and CBS see a violation of their intellectual property.

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

Axanar has become one of the biggest film projects in Kickstarter history and has been nearing warp speed with the reported help of Star Trek actor George Takei. The film mines subject area referenced in the late 1960s Gene Roddenberry television series and appears to be a prequel.

According to a description of the movie on the defendants' website, "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."

By August, Peters was giving interviews expressing confidence that the project would survive any legal heat. He spoke to The Wrap that month and reported having a meeting with CBS. He says he was told the film couldn't make money — and evidently, he took that to be a good sign that his film would be tolerated as long as it wasn't a commercial endeavor. "CBS has a long history of accepting fan films,” Peters told the entertainment site. “I think Axanar has become so popular that CBS realizes that we’re just making their brand that much better.”

Not so fast.

Paramount and CBS, represented by attorneys at Loeb & Loeb, are now demanding an injunction as well as damages for direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Although the plaintiffs have allowed ample cosplaying over the years and even permitted other derivatives like amateur Star Trek shows to circulate, the lawsuit illustrates that there is a place where no man has gone before, where the entertainment studios are not willing to let be occupied: crowdfunded, professional-quality films that use copyrighted "elements" like Vulcans and Klingons, Federation starships, phasers and stuff like the "look and feel of the planet, the characters’ costumes, their pointy ears and their distinctive hairstyle."

Here's the full complaint.

In an interview with THR following the filing, Peters says, "We've certainly been prepared for this and we certainly will defend this lawsuit. There are a lot of issues surrounding a fan film. These fan films have been around for 30 years, and others have raised a lot of money."

Peters, who notes he is a lawyer and has licensed other products from CBS, says he asked CBS to give guidelines similar to what Lucasfilm has done for fans of Star Wars, but that CBS/Paramount haven't, in his opinion, "because of fear they are going to give up some rights."

Paramount and CBS gave us this joint statement after the posting of our original article: "Star Trek is a treasured franchise in which CBS and Paramount continue to produce new original content for its large universe of fans. The producers of Axanar are making a Star Trek picture they describe themselves as a fully professional independent Star Trek film. Their activity clearly violates our Star Trek copyrights, which, of course, we will continue to vigorously protect." ... aws-851474
Then all it seems went quiet even JJ Abrams stating all was well. ... story.html
On June 22 Axanar released it's second Trailer, In which Richard Hatch voices a blood thirsty Klingon commander. ... wsuit.html

Now Paramount opened up again issuing a more or less Ultimatum to future fan productions, Stick to the Cardboard and duct tape or else.
Issuing guidelines for future fan films.
Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines Announced
CBS & Paramount
June 23, 2016
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Dear Star Trek fans,

Star Trek fandom is like no other.

Your support, enthusiasm and passion are the reasons that Star Trek has flourished for five decades and will continue long into the future. You are the reason the original Star Trek series was rescued and renewed in 1968, and the reason it has endured as an iconic and multi-generational phenomenon that has spawned seven television series and 13 movies.

Throughout the years, many of you have expressed your love for the franchise through creative endeavors such as fan films. So today, we want to show our appreciation by bringing fan films back to their roots.

The heart of these fan films has always been about expressing one’s love and passion for Star Trek. They have been about fan creativity and sharing unique stories with other fans to show admiration for the TV shows and movies. These films are a labor of love for any fan with desire, imagination and a camera.

We want to support this innovation and encourage celebrations of this beloved cultural phenomenon. It is with this perspective in mind that we are introducing a set of guidelines at Star Trek Fan Films.

Thank you for your ongoing and steadfast enthusiasm and support, which ensure that Star Trek will continue to inspire generations to come.

CBS and Paramount Pictures

Join host Jordan Hoffman and CBS's John Van Citters for a discussion of the Star Trek fan film guidelines on the Wednesday, June 29th episode of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast.

- See more at: ... B9YdE.dpuf

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

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

[*]The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

[*]The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.

[*]The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.

[*]If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.

The fan production must be non-commercial:

[*]CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.

[*]The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.

[*]The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.

[*]The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.

[*]No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.

[*]The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.

[*]The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.

[*]The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:

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

[*]Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.

[*]Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

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

Of course reading though this guidelines it should be obvious that productions like Axanar are in the crosshairs. but also others like Renegades produced by Tim Russ are sighted in.
These moves make some sense given that Paramount and CBS are moving to launch ST Beyond and the upcoming series and the general want of keeping fan films from causing the same contravercy as the Powe/Ranger Joseph Kahn production did, and are hoping to reign in potential competition... But from there own fans and even There own Casts and crews?
The Production Twitter account of Axanar tweeted
Axanar ‏@StarTrekAxanar 16h16 hours ago
We have been asking for guidelines for years. CBS decided to make those guidelines Draconian.

So What do you think?
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