In December last year, CBS and Paramount filed proceedings against Axanar Productions, a company comprised of Star Trek fans that had managed to crowd fund hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce a feature length fanfic* called Axanar.
Axanar brought a dismissal motion against the proceedings, claiming that there was not sufficient specificity as to precisely which of the copyrighted elements in the Star Trek originals had been infringed, or how.
CBS/Paramount have responded this month by amending their complaint to list 57 instances of alleged infringements of the Star Trek works by Axanar.
CBS/Paramount have divided the ‘substantially similar’ elements in the Axanar film into categories such as species and races (like Klingons and Vulcans), costumes (the cowl-necked officer uniforms), characters, settings, and plot point similarities, including the concept of ‘Stardate’.
CBS/Paramount also contend that Axanar as copied the overall ‘mood and theme’ of the Star Trek copyrighted works.
Fanfics are becoming quite commonplace and in fact, Axanar had previously released another Star Trek fanfics comprising a 20 minute prequel called Prelude to Axanar, with no complaint until now.
On the Axanar blog, Jonathan Lane, a writer connected with the production company wrote that ‘fan films are like free commercials for the Star Trek franchise!’’ He went on to claim that ‘(u)nless CBS and Paramount have a better and less expensive (like, less than zero dollars) way of generating excitement and fan engagement for Star Trek during the “gap” periods, they should really embrace this amazing trend of the future (fan films) rather than trying to stifle and kill it.’
We will keep you posted.
*Fanfic defined here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fanfic&utm_source=search-action