Star Trek Fan Film Maker Didn't Know He Was Being Sued Until He Read the News

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Yet more proof that past all the posturing, big companies really don't give a shit about their fans.

cikame:
Yet more proof that past all the posturing, big companies really don't give a shit about their fans.

I think something to keep in mind is that Paramount/CBS have been shockingly lenient when it comes to fan production, and it's unlikely this would have happened had the group making this fan film not turned it into a for-profit venture.

Zontar:

cikame:
Yet more proof that past all the posturing, big companies really don't give a shit about their fans.

I think something to keep in mind is that Paramount/CBS have been shockingly lenient when it comes to fan production, and it's unlikely this would have happened had the group making this fan film not turned it into a for-profit venture.

"Peters claims he had permission from CBS, so long as they film was not used for commercial purposes", quoted from the article, so i assume it was non profit.
I can understand if the lawyers want to begin legal proceedings to ensure profit wouldn't be made off of the crowd funding, but lawyers are always extremely quick to do these sorts of things, production of these larger scale fan films is so time sensitive, the actors, filming locations, the people sacrificing themselves to create this can't just put their lives on hold until they can continue production.
CBS indicated that they were ok with this fan film, if they had any legal issues it would have been nice of them to get in contact with the studio, see if things can be resolved or clarified, instead they jumped to the most hostile action possible, this isn't just a cease and desist.

cikame:

Zontar:

cikame:
Yet more proof that past all the posturing, big companies really don't give a shit about their fans.

I think something to keep in mind is that Paramount/CBS have been shockingly lenient when it comes to fan production, and it's unlikely this would have happened had the group making this fan film not turned it into a for-profit venture.

"Peters claims he had permission from CBS, so long as they film was not used for commercial purposes", quoted from the article, so i assume it was non profit.
I can understand if the lawyers want to begin legal proceedings to ensure profit wouldn't be made off of the crowd funding, but lawyers are always extremely quick to do these sorts of things, production of these larger scale fan films is so time sensitive, the actors, filming locations, the people sacrificing themselves to create this can't just put their lives on hold until they can continue production.
CBS indicated that they were ok with this fan film, if they had any legal issues it would have been nice of them to get in contact with the studio, see if things can be resolved or clarified, instead they jumped to the most hostile action possible, this isn't just a cease and desist.

Initially everything seemed in line with the project being non-profit, however after the kickstarter it was stated that the funds would be used, on top of the project, to fund the studio beginning to start producing its own works as an independent studio entering the industry. This is likely why the suit is happening, and is very understandable in my opinion.

Zontar:
Initially everything seemed in line with the project being non-profit, however after the kickstarter it was stated that the funds would be used, on top of the project, to fund the studio beginning to start producing its own works as an independent studio entering the industry. This is likely why the suit is happening, and is very understandable in my opinion.

Unless they were planning on using the funds to make more star trek films that they'd then be selling, it doesn't strike me as understandable in the least. The money has to go somewhere, and in order for the production to be considered nonprofit it has to be invested back into the company, which is what they're doing.

Kajin:

Unless they were planning on using the funds to make more star trek films that they'd then be selling, it doesn't strike me as understandable in the least. The money has to go somewhere, and in order for the production to be considered nonprofit it has to be invested back into the company, which is what they're doing.

Yes but the money is being used to start a legitimate for-profit studio with those involved getting actual salaries out of it. That crosses into for-profit territory.

Zontar:

Kajin:

Unless they were planning on using the funds to make more star trek films that they'd then be selling, it doesn't strike me as understandable in the least. The money has to go somewhere, and in order for the production to be considered nonprofit it has to be invested back into the company, which is what they're doing.

Yes but the money is being used to start a legitimate for-profit studio with those involved getting actual salaries out of it. That crosses into for-profit territory.

Nonprofit organizations are allowed to pay their employees for services rendered and the money is being used to build up the studio being used to make the nonprofit fan films. Again, this is only a problem if they're selling the fan film itself for a profit. What they do with the assets and staff leftover afterward is their business and has nothing to do with the owners of the star trek copyright.

Kajin:

Nonprofit organizations are allowed to pay their employees for services rendered and the money is being used to build up the studio being used to make the nonprofit fan films. Again, this is only a problem if they're selling the fan film itself for a profit. What they do with the assets and staff leftover afterward is their business and has nothing to do with the owners of the star trek copyright.

The problem is that they're using the funds they received to make the movie to found a studio, which is explicitly being made to be its own company making its own for-profit works in the future.

What is effectively happening is that Peters wants to use the money made from the donations to make the film to make his own studio. That's for-profit as far as I'm concerned, and Paramount and CBS evidently feel the same.

If he'd just used the money to make fan works instead of trying to use it to make money for himself in the long run this would never have happened and the community wouldn't have the end of the decade long free reign to make such works without interference be a real possibility, but he did and now the community has to wait and see if he's single-handedly brought an end to the lax and tolerant treatment of IP violation by a studio Hollywood has ever seen.

"Oh no! A small independent group of enthusiasts is about to make a better Star Trek film with a shoestring budget than we managed to do with hundreds of millions of dollars and free pick of Holywood artists! Better sue them before everyone sees exactly how incompetent we are. I mean, everyone knows it already, but this would really just demonstrate the extent..."

Silly Axanar. One does not simply make movies without first paying protection money to the copyright mafia.

Jandau:
"Oh no! A small independent group of enthusiasts is about to make a better Star Trek film with a shoestring budget than we managed to do with hundreds of millions of dollars and free pick of Holywood artists! Better sue them before everyone sees exactly how incompetent we are. I mean, everyone knows it already, but this would really just demonstrate the extent..."

sheppie:
Silly Axanar. One does not simply make movies without first paying protection money to the copyright mafia.

As I've stated already, the makers of this fan film are doing so for-profit. As I've stated already, Paramount/CBS are remarkable tolerant in regards letting people make fan films using the Trek IP, even going so far as to let actors reprise their roles from the series for them, so long as it's non-profit.

This project, on the other hand, was being made for-profit, which crosses the line.

Zontar:

Jandau:
"Oh no! A small independent group of enthusiasts is about to make a better Star Trek film with a shoestring budget than we managed to do with hundreds of millions of dollars and free pick of Holywood artists! Better sue them before everyone sees exactly how incompetent we are. I mean, everyone knows it already, but this would really just demonstrate the extent..."

sheppie:
Silly Axanar. One does not simply make movies without first paying protection money to the copyright mafia.

As I've stated already, the makers of this fan film are doing so for-profit. As I've stated already, Paramount/CBS are remarkable tolerant in regards letting people make fan films using the Trek IP, even going so far as to let actors reprise their roles from the series for them, so long as it's non-profit.

This project, on the other hand, was being made for-profit, which crosses the line.

This. I said this before but people seem to ignore this issue. They have used the money they were given to create Axanar to creat their own studio that they will make future for profit porductions. I imagine that is what has CBS/Paramount pissed off and what will sink them in court. The essentially used the Star Trek IP to get startup money. How did they think they would not get sued for this?

Zontar:
As I've stated already, the makers of this fan film are doing so for-profit.

You'll excuse me when I assume that the 394459th copyright mafia lie, instead of the 3rd or 4th time in human history that they've actually had a point.

Considering they themselves state on their website that their limitations are to not sell their product for profit, and the copyright mob haven't produced Axanar annuals or tax forms proving they're running a profit.

Heck, you can make piles of money and still be non-profit. I'm a board member on a foundation that has over € 580.000 in the bank, and rising if a certain pensioner who mentions us in his will were to stop breathing. Still it's non-profit and has been recognized by taxation services as such. How come? Because not a single cent is spent on anything other than the purpose of the foundation.

Wow, that sucks. My mom would have really enjoyed that movie.

Between looong gaps between seasons and bullshit like this, hasbro has killed off quite a bit of the brony franchise. It's disappointing to see companies squander the love of a fandom.

I suspect disney is going to be the same way with star wars, and you just know they won't give a rat's ass.

I usually dislike fan productions like these, but they seem to have acquired some decent actors this time. There's the guy who played Kurn, Worf's brother. And I think I recognise a few others from the clip. Impressive. However it still has the stilted dialogue and generic feeling of other fan movies.

At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if CBS quietly retracts the lawsuit as damage control and/or blames it on some intern.

Xeorm:
Maybe someday our society will evolve out of the need for lawyers or suits. That'd be even better than not needing money.

Rastrelly:
I think these lawsuuits should become illegal for noncommercial products. Fuck franchiseholders.

No, they really shouldn't. A free alternative is going to cut into profits of the official version. This is why Nintendo struck down that Pokemon MMO that was in production, and why Square had to threaten that team that was making a 3D Chrono Trigger. Both projects, if released for free, can cut into the profits of their own current or future products.

WhiteTigerShiro:

Rastrelly:
I think these lawsuuits should become illegal for noncommercial products. Fuck franchiseholders.

No, they really shouldn't. A free alternative is going to cut into profits of the official version. This is why Nintendo struck down that Pokemon MMO that was in production, and why Square had to threaten that team that was making a 3D Chrono Trigger. Both projects, if released for free, can cut into the profits of their own current or future products.

Yes and no. This would be a competition, which is always good for the market. If official franchiseholder is unable to compete with noncommercial project they totally deserve to lose profits. It will actually make them to avoid lots of worst business practices we witness these days. This would both stimulate creation of new franchises, actual development of new products, and, at the same time, would not allow to profit from other people's intellectual property. Consider it fanfiction in gamified form =)

Well, this is a God damn shame. Axanar looked really promising, and that preview was pretty excellent, all things considered. I especially like that they managed to involve several former Trek actors, and others from BSG. Even the guy playing Garth looks reasonably like the actor who originally played him. The CGI looks mostly great, and while it's certainly too highly stylized to really look like Star Trek, that's not a bad thing. All the shows could have done with more dynamic staging.

Rastrelly:

WhiteTigerShiro:

Rastrelly:
I think these lawsuuits should become illegal for noncommercial products. Fuck franchiseholders.

No, they really shouldn't. A free alternative is going to cut into profits of the official version. This is why Nintendo struck down that Pokemon MMO that was in production, and why Square had to threaten that team that was making a 3D Chrono Trigger. Both projects, if released for free, can cut into the profits of their own current or future products.

Yes and no. This would be a competition, which is always good for the market. If official franchiseholder is unable to compete with noncommercial project they totally deserve to lose profits.

Not when said competitor is using their own ideas against them. Had the people who were working on that Pokemon MMO just made it a game that played similarly to "Pokemon as an MMO", then Nintendo wouldn't be able to touch them. If the team who was working on the 3D Chrono Trigger had been making a game that used all the same mechanics as Chrono Trigger, but with an original story and characters, then Square wouldn't be able to touch them. If either project was cutting into profits, then I'd agree 100% with your point. Square and/or Nintendo would need to step-up their game to provide something to their fans that can compete. Something that says, "Yes, you're paying money for this product versus the other one, but you're also getting this."

Consider it fanfiction in gamified form =)

Actually, some fan fictions have resulted in legal action. As for whether or not the given examples (a Pokemon MMO or the 3D Chrono Trigger) would count as fair use... I don't know. Getting into that would involve learning a lot more about complicated laws than I care to learn about; at least in my current just-got-off-work state of mind.

WhiteTigerShiro:

Rastrelly:

WhiteTigerShiro:
No, they really shouldn't. A free alternative is going to cut into profits of the official version. This is why Nintendo struck down that Pokemon MMO that was in production, and why Square had to threaten that team that was making a 3D Chrono Trigger. Both projects, if released for free, can cut into the profits of their own current or future products.

Yes and no. This would be a competition, which is always good for the market. If official franchiseholder is unable to compete with noncommercial project they totally deserve to lose profits.

Not when said competitor is using their own ideas against them. Had the people who were working on that Pokemon MMO just made it a game that played similarly to "Pokemon as an MMO", then Nintendo wouldn't be able to touch them. If the team who was working on the 3D Chrono Trigger had been making a game that used all the same mechanics as Chrono Trigger, but with an original story and characters, then Square wouldn't be able to touch them. If either project was cutting into profits, then I'd agree 100% with your point. Square and/or Nintendo would need to step-up their game to provide something to their fans that can compete. Something that says, "Yes, you're paying money for this product versus the other one, but you're also getting this."

Consider it fanfiction in gamified form =)

Actually, some fan fictions have resulted in legal action. As for whether or not the given examples (a Pokemon MMO or the 3D Chrono Trigger) would count as fair use... I don't know. Getting into that would involve learning a lot more about complicated laws than I care to learn about; at least in my current just-got-off-work state of mind.

Yup, this is why I was talking about changing the law on this matter. There must be strictly defined requirements to - let's call it fanfic - a fanfic in order for it to be, well, legal. IMO, it's:
1) Direct disclaimer towards the holder of rights to fanfic source (i.e, in case of a game, developer/publisher logos with big and clearly visible text "BASED ON ORIGINAL PROJECTS OF...", "THIS WORK IS NOT OFFICIAL OR DIRECTLY SUPPORTED BY...");
2) Noncommercial basis. This work must not make any profit. It can be funded, but should not make money.
3) No competitor funding. In case any of competing companies will fund a 'fanfic', it loses protection from legal action.
IMO, this would be absolutely fair.

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