Paramount and CBS Sue Producers of a Star Trek Fan Film For Copyright Infringement

Axanar Productions is a company formed by a group of fans. The company have successfully crowd-funded and raised approximately $1 million to fund the production of a professional quality Star Trek fan-fiction movie. The fan film ‘Star Trek: Axanar’ is described as the first independent “Star Trek” film – a professionally produced endeavour much more elaborate than typical low-budget fan-produced efforts. The production of the fan film has been promoted through the internet and also via appearances at fan gatherings and various conventions.

The copyright infringement case which has been filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles states that “the Axanar works infringe the plaintiff’s works by using innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species and themes. It continues “The Axanar works are intended to be professional-quality productions that, by the defendants’ own admission, unabashedly take Paramount’s and CBS’s intellectual property and aim to ‘look and feel like a true Star Trek movie.” Both CBS and Paramount are seeking damages and an injunction to restrain Axanar Productions from distributing, marketing and selling the film.

Axanar producer Alec Peters who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit commented in a statement “Fan films- whether related to ‘Star Trek’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘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 long history and relationship between fandom and studios. We’re not doing anything new here”.

A CBS Spokesman told Ars “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”.


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