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Star Trek: A Case Study In How to Dismantle a Fandom

(Header Photo Credit: US Army Europe)

[AUTHOR UPDATE: Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast interviewed John Van Citters of CBS on the new fan film guidelines which cleared up some of the issues raised below. I’ll be writing a follow-up article on what the new info means for fan creators. For now, I’ve closed comments on this thread – thank you all for participating.]

CBS and Paramount handed down new Star Trek Fan Film guidelines and most fans are livid:

Star Trek Facebook

At the time of writing, the official post on Star Trek’s Facebook page had 1,300+ comments. 1,300+ “angry” and “sad” reactions. Tweets from Trekkie lawyers like Ryan Kairalla and an entire hashtag around parody rules:

On the rules, Paramount and CBS indicate: “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.” So, what’s all the fuss? Let’s deconstruct the guidelines (cited from StarTrek.com on 6/24/16 at 12PM Mountain):

CBS and Paramount’s Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.”
  9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.
  10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

10 guidelines which, taken together, dismantle the Star Trek creator fandom.

Not all the rules are explicitly unfair, though – so let’s start with some premises:

  • Let’s agree that profiting off of someone else’s brand or copyright is probably not in the realm of “Fair Use”, so guidelines 6, 8, 9, 10 are more or less fair to a true indie fan creator.
  • Some might take exception to #6 based on production costs to build sets and the like, but it’s not like you couldn’t crowdfund prop replicas or sets – like the “restore the bridge” project – separate from the production fundraising in and of itself.
  • Let’s also agree that – as fan productions, the product should always be free to the audience (except for previously mentioned donations for production up to the level of breaking even) and not have advertising revenue associated which would negatively impact the property owner’s income.
  • The one caveat to #6 is that if you backup your production on a DVD or USB drive and do a screening with that media, you’re in violation.

So what does that leave us? Let’s explore the remaining rules: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7

  1. 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.

Consequence: No world-building. No characters surviving or explored beyond the scope of 30 minutes in total. No complex storylines. No ongoing efforts. This one rule, in and of itself, can put a stop to: AxanarStar Trek: Continues, Star Trek: Phase II (New Voyages), Star Trek: Outpost, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, Star Trek: Renegades, Starship: Exeter, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, Star Trek: Section 31, Star Trek: Intrepid, and pretty much every other fan production that is longer than 30 minutes or one episode.

Many productions and audio dramas have already indicated they’re halting work via their Facebook pages.

It’s not entirely clear if these rules only apply to film productions or if audio and written form (ie: if it takes you longer than 30 minutes to read or has more than 2 sections/chapters it violates this rule), but they’re halting all the same. Episodic, serial Trek is what we’ve seen, time and time again and what most productions have modeled themselves after – because fans expect it.

  1. 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.

Consequence: Not a huge deal, just every fan production with “Star Trek” in the title will be slightly harder to find in Google and will need to change domains.

  1. 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.

Consequence: If interpreted to include audio clips and effects, that means you can’t use any existing sounds, effects (transporter/warp), or music. The way this guideline is written, it could also mean you can’t use fonts, designs, or derivations of existing work – such as LCARS, the ship designs, Klingon symbols, you name it. So… is it still Trek if it doesn’t have the trappings of Trek?

Theoretically, you could also stretch this guideline to YouTube and Twitch streams of role-playing Star Trek Online players – since they’re essentially “producing” “machima” using “official clips” from a Star Trek production.

  1. 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.

Consequence: Whew. No 3D printed phasers or tricorders (because Playmates made a Tricorder back in the day – good luck finding one on Ebay). No 3D-printed combadges or rank pips, because Anovos made replica licensed props of those ($$$). No TOS, TNG, Voyager/Early DS9, or Insurrection uniforms because those exist via Anovos (sometimes they’re even in stock). Again, is it still Trek if it doesn’t have the trappings of Trek? This feels like a cash grab more than an honest intent to be “true to the trappings of Trek” (especially in tangent with rule #3 – wherein you can’t use any official clips or recreations of official clips).

  1. 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.

Consequence: If my day job is to produce audio, and I produce audio on a fan film for free, the fan film is now in violation. If I build website professionally, and I donate my services to the fan film, that fan film is in violation. If a fan film has a professional Trek actor participate, that fan film is now screwed. If you’ve ever appeared in the Trekkies documentaries, you cannot participate in a Star Trek fan film. Depending on the interpretation of the word “employ” (as in: employed as an eyewitness commentator? employed as an unpaid extra? Employed as an unpaid intern?) anyone who was ever on their local CBS affiliate could also be risking a lawsuit from CBS and Paramount if they participate in a Star Trek fan film. This really seems like an overreach, and ultimately, I believe is in violation of most state laws on noncompetition agreements as it has a chilling effect on hiring.

  1. 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.

Consequence: You’d better not have any interesting characters who are dealing with any personal vices, you cannot have a duplicitous Ferengi breaking the law, you cannot use Orions (especially with regards to slave trafficking and Orion women probably violate the obscenity bit because obscenity is SUBJECTIVE), you cannot show the NX-01 Decon Chamber (bow chica bow wow), you cannot have a Klingon/Federation bar fight scene, you cannot have a fight scene at all (because last time I checked violence was illegal and harmful), you cannot use the Betazed or Borg assimilation (because you’re violating an individual’s right of privacy – in this case, a character, but it’s not written to preclude that). In short: do not do anything we find disagreeable. Having a plot is highly discouraged.

Having a plot is highly discouraged.

What are we left with?

Not anything that we currently recognize as a Trek fan work. Certainly nothing long enough to deal with current social issues, or that can even deal with social issues at all.

I’ve always been a Trekkie. I can remember my first episode, watched with my family on the couch. I remember being inspired by a more hopeful future – technology side by side with social progress enabling massive shifts in human culture. I wanted to live up to those ideals. I dabbled in fan fiction, created my first fan website, created my own audio drama, and now participate actively in one that just posted its 72nd episode – a Trek audio drama that won a Parsec Award (this is like an audio drama Emmy). That production, completely staffed and produced by amateurs, likely can’t continue under these rules handed down by CBS and Paramount. And that’s wrong.

CBS and Paramount Pictures are now icing the most enthusiastic Star Trek fans in the name of corporate greed and it’s wrong – wrong enough that I’m rethinking my status as a Trekkie.

Since 2005 when Enterprise went off the air, fan films and conventions kept the torch going. Let’s be clear: w/out Star Trek: Continues and other fan films like it, Star Trek’s fanbase was in a major drought. CBS and Paramount no doubt benefitted from fan work – who the hell do you think kept buying, watching, reviewing, and asking for more and more advanced props and reference material? Who do you think showed up in full-on cosplay at the premiers?

Fan films, experiments, adaptations, and fiction should be given special immunity from copyright as long as they’re not products the audience pays for (beyond donations for production costs). It’s pretty clear when that line is deviated from.

There are at least 4 different legal arrangements for fan work I’m aware of that CBS and Paramount could have employed without risking their business model:

  1. Creative Commons (least ambiguous, most enforceable, has community support, has to be constantly monitored but a large media company has the resources)
  2. Open-Source (or Creative Commons) Creator’s Toolkit (Nine Inch Nail’s The Hand That Feeds album)
  3. Selective Licensing (Star Wars Extended Universe)
  4. Open-Forum Guidelines w/ Reporting and Advice (Kindle Worlds)

Speaking as a creator whose creations have been infringed upon – in my case my work was outright stolen and republished as someone else’s, not remixed by a fan – I say let fan creations ride.

Fan creations almost always help the original artist. Thanks to the DMCA, piracy and off-brand usage are almost always easily thwarted without litigation. If you want to encourage remixes and adaptation, Creative Commons has use-specific license denial when you don’t agree (morally or otherwise) with the remix’s intended purpose and “not-for-commercial sale” option built into the CC-AT-NC licenses, too. Sounds like a perfect platform to encourage fan creations, right? You never relinquish your copyright and can object to a particular use at any time.

A stone-cold “you cannot create anything that would remotely compete with Trek and, also, please only watch/buy/wear/share Official Trek” stance is wrong-headed. Worse: to consider a largely fan-created language (Klingon) enforceable property is just… greedy.

There’s no confusion on the part of fans: we know what “real” Trek is, what it looks like. We’re not making the choice of where to put our money. We are going to spend (and HAVE spent) money on *all* of it – fan or canon, paid streaming or Netflix or YouTube. It’s not an either/or proposition. It’s always an *and*. That loyalty is supposed to work both ways, though – and when you get greedy in the sandbox, nobody wants to play with you anymore.

These guidelines essentially spell the end of Star Trek fan creations. It’s as simple as that.

Bad rules are bad for business. You don’t have to be a Ferengi to see how icing fans between productions chills demand for all Trek. These guidelines represent a completely antithetical deviation from a franchise that once espoused that money wasn’t the end goal in the future. It would be nearly impossible for a fan film following guidelines 2, 6, 8, 9, 10 to have a significant financial impact on either CBS or Paramount so it’s hard to see why the remaining items are necessary outside of a lawsuit.

It would be nearly impossible for a fan film following guidelines 2, 6, 8, 9, 10 to have a significant financial impact on either CBS or Paramount so it’s hard to see why the remaining items are necessary to enforce outside of a lawsuit.

This Trekkie can no longer sustain being a fan. If you feel the same, let CBS and Paramount know.

What a terrible and short-sighted end to such a beautiful vision of the future.

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    1. Be free to do so, but it won’t matter. There are plenty of Star Trek fans who will gladly see the new movie, and watch the new series, including many who were involved in the fan productions.

      1. I laugh. Of COURSE it will matter. If the FANS boycott Paramount/CBS the franchise becomes a liability. You really think this long-term, loyal, very vocal fandom doesn’t have clout? Ridiculous.

        1. Nemesis box office shows the clout as the hardcore were the only ones to show up.

        2. Depends are how stupid people are. I like to hope the fan base is not…but my dealing with humanity as whole tends to differ. But I can hope.

      2. Yes because their are plenty people out there that are Masochists and deep down inside want to f up. I mean how else can explain people support a franchise that F with them all them.

    1. When CBS tried to cancel TOS after season 2 the FANS swamped them with a letter writing campaign and got it back on. In the 70’s when there was no Trek on the air or in the theaters, the FANS kept it alive and created the first fan conventions. Even when the movies were bad we still went to see them (I’m looking at you Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and the fans have supported Star Trek through thick and very very thin…
      Not everyone loved everything… I disliked DS9, but some loved it, I loved Voyager, but some didn’t, but we ALL love Star Trek in some form.

      Now CBS/Paramount have turned to the fans who have supported and championed Star Trek and dumped on the very people who have kept the franchise alive for 50 years. They’ve given all of us, not just the creators of the fan films, but the people who loved them as well a nice big middle finger…

      1. At the time it was NBC that tried to cancel TOS after season. CBS did not acquire the rights until much later. CBS had a shot at broadcasting TOS but decided against it because they had Lost In Space.

        1. I stand corrected, but it’s still valid none the less. The FANS made Star Trek what it is… A Dedicated, Vocal, Loyal and some would say a Rabid fan base has kept Star Trek alive and well for 50 years…

    2. To be fair, some of the fan base doesn’t deserve them, either. Look at the childish tantrums being thrown here because CBS/Paramount finally gave a list of things they wouldn’t allow you to do with their property. You act like you own it, when you do not. You’re a fan, not an investor. You can walk away, and that is your right, but they owe you nothing.

  1. Agreed. This is hypocritical and unnecessarily punitive on the people who have kept Star Trek going for 50 years–the fans. Unless these guidelines are rescinded or modified to address the crass unfairness you spoke of, I will not support any further efforts by the corporate swindlers holding the franchise hostage.

  2. It’s simple, Star Trek, and CBS, no longer get my money. The ONLY interesting things coming out of Trek lately have been fan films, but I would have still paid to see Abrams destroy the Enterprise (yet again *sigh*). But now: No. Star Trek Beyond can sit in the theaters and rot for all I care. The new CBS series? I’m sure I can find reruns of the Six Million Dollar Man. Sorry, but if they want to be this way, they don’t deserve, and won’t get my money.

    1. Don’t forget, it’s the internet. There’s always a way to find what you want.

      1. Agreed I am going to pirate the hell out of the new series just to give CBS/Paramount the middle finger.

    2. They weren’t getting your money from these fan productions, either, so I don’t think it will bother them. These productions used CBS/P’s property without their permission, and they used it to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, selling merchandise, building studios, and CBS/P never saw a dime of it.

      Now that fan films can only use a $50,000 budget (which is still a lot of money for an amateur film) and has 30 minutes to play out the story, we’ll see labors of love again, and not “semi-professional” replacements for the actual Star Trek shows and movies.

      1. Foolish person. Most fans of Star Trek watched everything, fan stuff as well as official. There are many, many people who are seriously upset by this, not least because it is diametrically opposed to stance of the ACTUAL creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, towards fan films. HE would have been thrilled that so many fans love the shows and concepts enough 50 years later to put so much time, effort and money into creating non-profit productions. Your lack of comprehension of what will be destroyed due to these guidelines show that you have no conception whatsoever of the scope of the fandom.

        1. Nope.
          Seen every movie since 1980.
          Seen every series since 1966.
          NEVER seen a fan based anything.

          1. Guess you don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘most’….

          2. it’s definitely “most” since there are only very few people here siding with CBS… again, most are not happy with these guidelines… LOL

          3. I agree with you. Most of the fans are against the guidelines.

          4. Most of the fans who care about such things, that is.

        2. In 1968 75,000 fans wrote to NBC to keep TOS on for a third season and in 1980 200,000 fans wrote and conviced congress to name the first space shuttle “Enterprise”. CBS never had a good track record in court, they lost to the NAACP and had to take Amos and Andy off the air, they messed with Perry Mason when he lost his one and only case and fans revolted by telling CBS there are things you cannot do, CBS gave In because they didn’t want to lose that fan base. Not to mention all the Price is Right models who took them to court and won.

      2. The closest measurable marketing analog with an economic impact is fantasy football to NFL teams. It’s a $70B market which also has an impact on ticket sales, advertising, and the entire ecology of the NFL.

        Drawing the same logic to Trek fan productions, to pretend that these productions 1) were all raising money (they weren’t – only a few did) on CBS/P’s brand and 2) had no positive impact on fan desire for official Trek is shortsighted and silly at best. Star Trek fan clubs (whether cosplayers or producers) directly impact the bottom line of the franchise in myriad ways.

        The problem remains that many of Trek’s most dedicated fan creators are now unable to continue their projects – projects which in and of themselves had accrued fan bases directly benefitting CBS/P without having raised or attempted to raise revenue or monetize or do anything beyond show their love for the future Gene put forth.

        It’s fallacious to show up here and claim all fan producers violated CBS/P’s IP in this way; it’s simply not true. It’s also petty to reflect the old Shatner “Get a life” line (in your other comments) on these fans who’ve done nothing wrong and now been told to “get the hell out of the sandbox” for nothing more than having more than 1 episode of a 30-minute self-contained story arc. That’s the #1 guideline stopping most fan productions cold.

        No, CBS/P don’t owe us a damn thing. But was it a smart marketing move? Take a look at the vitriol on this thread directed at CBS/P, in the original announcement thread on Facebook, on the comments on the original post on StarTrek.com. Proof’s in the pudding.

        Your assumption here that these efforts were somehow not labors of love is totally fallacious. Take a look at Star Trek: Outpost, Darker Projects audio, Hidden Frontier audio, or any of the other fan productions that didn’t actively crowdfund or attempt to raise a profit, yet are still in violation of these guidelines and must stop or pause until they figure out how to rework their efforts.

        The argument isn’t that CBS/P shouldn’t have the right to defend their IP (they can and should), it’s that they should have considered the marketing implications of doing so in this way with these specifications.

        Does CBS/P have a right to defend IP in this way? Sure (except maybe restricting work of actors or other professionals depending on your state’s “right to work” laws). But were they the best marketing move? Probably not, based on the comments here and elsewhere. If you doubt the harm done to the brand by these guidelines on a large scale, just explore the comments and reactions on any of the 50+ fan production announcements.

        As an aside, the thing you’re not mentioning about Viacom’s marketing blunder (other comment chain) in attacking fan magazines and websites is that Viacom reversed course time and time again.

        To behave as if this isn’t a marketing problem for Trek is the height of willful ignorance of the true scope and timeline of the problem facing CBS/P.

        Let’s not pretend that these rules were written to “enhance the fan production” scene – they’re written in a way that CBS/P can object to any fan production plot point subjectively on the grounds of “obscenity” (guideline #7). They’re written so as you cannot reproduce or recreate Star Trek elements (guideline #3) while disallowing you to have the genuine article as well. They’re written to ensure a hefty portion of any production raise you might receive goes back into licensed products (Guideline #4) while restricting your ability to roll your own (guideline #3) at the same time.

        These guidelines are modeled in a way that makes it impossible to know if – in including a red alert klaxon on my fan film – I’m now going to be sued because Guideline #3 says I should make everything from scratch without recreating/reproducing it, but also that I can’t use active clips from the show. So… no more red alerts? How do you play fairly with rules that are mutually contradictory depending on the mood of the lawyer?

        On a personal level, pretending your fellow fans shouldn’t be hurting or bummed because they can no longer partake in a hobby that most likely contributed to a large portion of their free time, then relegating their disappointment to “childish tantrums” (another thread) is predatory.

        To pretend that a mass exodus of the most creative and participatory fans won’t have an impact (another thread) is downright delusional. The explosion of original, non-Trek sci-fi that will appear on the scene will do more to damage CBS/P’s business position than almost any of these fan productions ever could have.

        1. I agree. The only positive thing I can see coming out of this is that Hidden Frontier may now go back and pick up with their independent project Frontier Guard.

        2. It’s fallacious to assume that you have any right whatsoever to use someone else’s toys to do with whatever you please. You don’t have to like it, but to assume anything else precludes a sense of entitlement that you, and many others here, seem to possess. If every fan film disappeared tomorrow, most Trek fans wouldn’t likely notice. Your overt emotionalism aside, any net positive you’ve made from the fandom to CBS/Paramount, will be negated by the behavior seen by those who have thrown tantrums, or who have spit in CBS/Paramount’s face, like Axanar. Quite frankly, you don’t deserve the largesse CBS/P bestowed upon you, and if that bothers you, then it will bother you, but it won’t change that it’s the truth.

          For all your arguments of fallacy, you fail to see the gap in your logic where you feel your assumptions are worth anything more than the digital medium on which they have been printed.

          1. Your ad-hominem attacks are getting tiresome and I never assumed any rights or felt entitled to the series. Gene Roddenberry himself wrote in his 1976 introduction for Star Trek: The New Voyages, a Bantam published book edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath:

            “…Certainly the loveliest happening of all for us was the fact that so many others began to feel the same way [about Star Trek as we did]. Television viewers by the millions began to take Star Trek to heart as their own personal optimistic view of the Human condition and future. They fought for the show, honored it, cherished it, wrote about it–and have continued to do their level best to make certain that it will live again.

            …We were particularly amazed when thousands, then tens of thousands of people began creating their own personal Star Trek adventures. Stories, and paintings, and sculptures, and cookbooks. And songs, and poems, and fashions. And more. The list is still growing. It took some time for us to fully understand and appreciate what these people were saying. Eventually we realized that there is no more profound way in which people could express what Star Trek has meant to them than by creating their own very personal Star Trek things.

            Because I am a writer, it was their Star Trek stories that especially gratified me. I have seen these writings in dog-eared notebooks of fans who didn’t look old enough to spell “cat.” I have seen them in meticulously produced fanzines, complete with excellent artwork. Some of it has even been done by professional writers, and muchof it has come from those clearly on their way to becoming professional writers. Best of all, all of it was plainly done with love.

            It is now a source of great joy for me to see their view of Star Trek, their new Star Trek stories, reaching professional publication here. I want to thank these writers, congratulate them on their efforts, and wish them good fortune on these and further of their voyages into other times and dimensions. Good writing is always a very personal thing and comes from the writer’s deepest self. Star Trek was that kind of writing for me, and it moves me profoundly that it has also become so much a part of the inner self of so many other people.

            Viewers like this have proved that there is a warm, loving, and intelligent lifeform out there–and that it may even be the dominant species on this planet.

            That is the highest compliment and the greatest repayment that they could give us.”

            To discredit the benefit of fan creators is willful ignorance. To bait your fellow fans with ad-hominem rhetoric is predatory. Keep it up and you’ll be banned.

          2. Thanks for posting the ACTUAL creator’s views on the subject 😀

          3. What ad hominem attacks? I’m not attacking you personally, I’m just saying that while your voice here counts, as it is your page, in the vast fandom as a whole it’s just a whisper, and not everyone, or even most, are going to necessarily agree with or even know what you’re talking about. Fan films? Those still exist?

            Also, go ahead and ban me if you consider me a nuisance. Do what Alec Peters did when I asked him where the movie was back in December ($1.5 million and two years, no movie at that point). Be yet one more hardcore Star Trek fan who gets to play Chairman Mao on their website. It tells me more about your opinion of Roddenberry’s open minded, utopian society than anything else ever will.

          4. To clarify – I consider (some) of your arguments rude; not a nuisance. While some of your points are very well articulated, many are not.

          5. Ah, well I would like to apologize if I was being abrasive. I feel strong about this, as you do, but it’s no excuse for me to be rude or dismissive. So in that spirit, I do apologize.

            Believe it or not, I’m just as frustrated by all of this as you and many others. I love fan films, and have several particular favorites (Star Trek Continues is the best fan production I’ve ever seen, IMO). I’m just not upset with CBS, because I feel they’re being put on the defensive by what Axanar has done. I think after the Axanar lawsuit is settled, CBS will loosen their restrictions, just like things calmed down after the late 1990s Paramount Star Trek fansite purge. That one was nuts, but once things cooled off, the fan community began to thrive like never before. I think we’ll see that again.

          6. I tend to agree with the above, except where money is concerned. I think the $50,000 limit on projects will stay. And I think it should stay.

          7. So you want a cheap production which cheapens the experience?

          8. These are “fan” films. What is so hard to understand about that?

          9. Yup, I remember that one.
            There were many fan sites out there in the beginning. Probably made up a good portion of hobbyist websites on the Internet in those early days.
            Then Paramount went ahead and created an official Star Trek website. In order to support and promote it, they then proceeded to purge every single existing fan website off the face of the Internet.

          10. I *really* hope you’re right here. If the guidelines aren’t eased a bit, fan worldbuilding is pretty much at an end, though (as self-contained stories limited to 30 minutes max mean you can’t carry over your character or ship or whatever else). It’s really guideline #1 that creates a major issue for most producers. The weird wording interaction on #3 and #4 make it unclear if you can render your own sounds or effects for something that already exists – and if you can 3D print your own props for a roll-your-own variant of the phaser or tricorder, so that remains to be clarified, really. If those 3 things can be cleaned up, (and I suspect #5 – the “no Star Trek pros” goes away in labor law disputes) almost all fan creations mostly go back to normal.

          11. The simple solution would be for any producer of a fan film to consult a lawyer prior to proceeding. Spend part of that $50K protecting yourself and your friends against a lawsuit.

          12. I wish! I’d love to get paid to talk about Star Trek all day. That would be a sweet gig. No, I don’t get paid by CBS, no I’m not a troll. I happen to disagree with how people are seeing this situation, but I’m not a troll.

          13. A lot of your points are really well-founded. Part of the problem with these guidelines is they’re entirely left up to the person who will be enforcing them. So if that person is having a bad day, your production might, too. I’m interested to see how the community rebounds from this (I suspect it’ll be an explosion of original SciFi as more and more groups go the Renegades route – I know that’s what I’ll be doing).

          14. Honestly, I think the fan community will be better for it. Make sure you check out that link I posted in another reply to you. John Van Citter goes over a lot of the concerns some of the fans have been itching to know more about. I was fine with the guidelines before, but after listening, I don’t think there’s going to be any major disruptions from this. Will some productions be unable to continue as they have in the past? Yes. STC, Renegades, they’re going to have to adapt (I can’t wait to see what Renegades has done when their movie finishes).

            It means no more $500,000 Kickstarters, or a dozen B and C list actors who stand around for whole scenes and do nothing but lend some kind of informal endorsement of that particular fan series. It means no more donating hundreds of dollars for merchandise rather than for making a labor of love.

            I think the interview will really shed more light on things, and show that CBS actually does care about their fans. I know the head of CBS licensing seems to care very much. Here’s the link again in case you don’t want to have to hunt for the other reply:

            http://www1.play.it/audio/engage-the-official-star-trek-podcast/

            It does address the homemade costumes question, too. In case you don’t want to sit through an hour to hear it, he essentially says that homemade costumes and props are just fine, just don’t buy knockoff props from counterfeiters or third parties who aren’t licensed, as CBS/P never sees a dime from that. Either buy it from a licensed source, or make your own, or have someone you know make it for you (but they can’t charge you outrageous prices for it). Either is fine with them.

          15. You are the one w/the totally fallacious arguments here. Of course money makes it perfectly fine to trash a wonderful fandom and trivialize the impact of a franchise they bought. In the purely legal sense, a very narrow channel. In the creative, aesthetic sense it is anathema. And in the long-term business sense it is counter-productive. When CBS/Paramount loses a @#$^load of money because of this bad marketing and horrible publicity, they might do a rethink.

          16. I never said money makes it okay to do anything. They won’t lose money from this, because not enough people consider it important, even though it is clearly important to you, and believe it or not, me. I love what these fan productions have done, but it was never their property, and CBS/P has come to claim most of it, for now.

            That is all I really have to say on the subject. Since the moderator of this message board seems to feel I’m only here to stir up trouble, I doubt I’ll last very long.

            I hope you get your bright and happy future.

            Sincerely,
            John

          17. Money did trash fan films, the money Alec Peters paid to himself and to build a studio for personal gain. How can people keep trying to blame CBS for the actions of this man is beyond me?

            Maybe if you all had got together and openly denounced the actions of Alec Peters before this got out of hand, CBS would’ve never come to this point. Instead, many of you cheered him on.

            Now it’s biting you in the rear end.

          18. I agree with you that I have a sense of entitlement when it comes to the ST universe. Indeed, entitlement is my primary argument against CBS/P’s attempt to stifle the continuation of human narrative into the future. It is the same sense of entitlement that I have to Greek Mythology, Biblical allegory, Shakespearian allusion, etc. The ST universe has shaped modern science, cultural shifts, and has carried the exploration of the duality of human nature into the next century. CBS/P does not bestow largesse on me or anyone else. They cannot own that which I take from the narratives. Regardless of what happens with Axanar, I will enjoy, participate in, and write my own narratives of every variation of the Star Trek world.

          19. And CBS doesn’t mind you writing your own stories as long as you aren’t profiting off of them. They didn’t mind fan films until Peters figured out how to bilk people and pay himself a salary through crowdsourcing.

          20. For how long? At what point does this imaginary world enter public domain?

          21. I doubt any major properties will ever enter public domain. But what does that matter if you are making films and fiction for the love of it?

          22. It matters when I cannot make a film for longer than 15 minutes, or I must meet several of the other debilitating restrictions CBS/P has placed on fan film. I understand some of your complaints against Peters, so imagine that he had not taken money for himself. The new restrictions would still outlaw *Axanar*, which is in itself a great idea. CBS/P would have been smarter to merge with or buy the rights to *Axanar* and create it itself [not bury it]. I, for one, would buy a ticket to both *Beyond* and *Axanar*.

          23. If Peters hadn’t taken the money for himself, then these restrictions likely wouldn’t exist.

            CBS has no need for Axanar. Why would they reward a group that stole their property?

          24. Because *Axanar* is a great story idea….many fans consider it better than the alternative universe films currently being produced. [Surely that point is evident to you.] They would be rewarding the fans. Really, your response underscores the reason for some of the intense anger of the fans. “CBS has no need for *Axanar*.” No, it has no need but only because it has no goal to create great narratives, only to make money.

          25. Believe it or not, there are a great many Star Trek fans who enjoy the Abrams films, I’m among them. Have you actually sat down and examined what Axanar is? It is from a group that complains about the “pew-pew” in the Abrams films, but is choke full of “pew-pew”. To the point that some folks have been able to point out direct parallels in imagery between the two.

            Fans need to quit acting like CBS needs to pat them on the head and toss them a bone like a good dog. You like current Trek? Great. If not, find something else to do (I did during much of DS9, VOY and ENT). CBS owes you nothing. They OWN Star Trek. Get over it.

          26. It’s missing the point to say, “can they restrict fan creations”. Obviously they can. The only question that your fellow fans are putting forth is: should they? When a series has been built on the foundation of fan fiction (to the point where those fans wrote episodes for the show which were sometimes shot FOR THE SHOW)… it’s a highly questionable long-term marketing move.

          27. Is it a good move? I don’t know. I’m not a Hollywood mogul. But until they root out Axanar, this is the way things are going to be. Even in the guidelines, they say they are subject to change. Though I think the $50,000 fundraising limit is here to stay, and with good cause. Unlimited fundraising is too ripe for abuse.

            I think everyone needs to step back and take a deep breath and allow things to play out. Spitting fire at CBS isn’t going to motivate them to reevaluate things.

          28. Again, swimming against precedent. A massive letter-writing campaign saved Trek before. A modern day equivalent is a blog. Maybe it can save mostly innocent fan creations.

          29. But fan films aren’t a massive concern. A Trek novel writer that I talk too, who I won’t name, said that tie-in novels are read by roughly two percent of the fans of any given franchise. Axanar had 8,000 donors. That is a minuscule portion of the fan base.

            But about the letter writing campaign, I doubt people were claiming they were going to boycott NBC over Trek’s cancellation. While it was a different time, I imagine the pleas to keep Trek on the air were far more polite than what we are seeing now.

            Tone down the rhetoric, quit trying to make CBS/Paramount look bad for making a decision to protect what is theirs. It is something we would all do if we were in that position.

          30. Believe it or not, I am one of the fans who enjoy the Abrams films. I also enjoy Star Wars and do not agree with those who demand that fans choose one or the other. I have seen all ST series, all ST films, and about half the fan films. I do not need CBS to throw me any bone; do not need to find something else to do; and I have nothing to get over. What I do have is an opinion born of a perspective that goes back to 1966–and the right to express it. I am perplexed as to why my perspective should irritate you to the point that you need to give me arrogant and aggressive directions as to how to view CBS, what to do with my time and what to think about a film I was looking forward to and now may not see. I assure you, I may disapprove of what you say, but like Evelyn Beatrice Hall said in describing Voltaire’s attitude toward someone with whom he disagreed, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

        3. On another note entirely, the latest trailer for Star Trek Beyond came out today. They’re using Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer,” on the soundtrack. By the time this film comes out, very few will care what CBS/P had to say about fan films, just as Star Trek recovered very quickly from the late 1990s evisceration by Paramount. People said they were leaving then, too, and yet here we are in 2016, getting ready to celebrate another Star Trek film. Like the previous films, this one will also likely be a critical and box office success.

          I realize you feel helpless and angry in the face of what CBS/Paramount has done, but it does not change that most fans will not care on July 22nd.

          1. There are people who go, like sheep, to see the newest, latest, shiniest thing. Those who only ‘know’ Star Trek from the latest film. These people are not fans of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. We are not talking about them. We are talking about trying to preserve the heart of the show. The bastardization of Star Wars may be currently profitable, but the odds of it retaining that long-term fan base are 50/50. With this move, Paramount/CBS has effectively denounced, trashed and spit in the face of Star Trek’s loyal fanbase, and for you to deny that fact as if the only important thing is short term profit is troubling at best. You are single-handedly illustrating the moral bankruptcy of this decision.

          2. Star Trek’s loyal fanbase weren’t making semi-professional productions and trying to sell coffee to make a profit off of it.

            The vast majority of Star Trek’s loyal fanbase doesn’t give a witches tit about these guidelines.

          3. I don’t feel helpless or angry, but as a trekie on July 22 I’ll be watching ST3, In search of Spock, not Beyond.

          4. I’m pissed I can’t go on the 22nd. My wife has a prior commitment. But I’ll be there first thing on the 23rd!

          5. I heard about that, unfortunately I heard about this first.

            I should probably point out that I have never seen a fan film, but I have been aware of them for some time.

            I agree that some reasonable guidelines are due. When CBS/P releases them, I will reconsider my position. I also agree that Axanar stepped over the line with a few of their actions, but these guidelines are restrictive and excessive.

            I don’t doubt that many people will enjoy the movie, but I will not be one of them. I will not be investing any of my time or money in any future Star Trek productions. This is not because I agree with Axanar, which I don’t, but because principle demands it. I was actually looking forward to both, but I cannot support a company that overreacts to this extent.

            Also, I am all too well aware that my opinion is completely irrelevant to CBS/P. I learned years ago that big companies could care less about the views of their customers.

        4. “It’s fallacious to show up here and claim all fan producers violated CBS/P’s IP in this way; it’s simply not true.”

          Um… no it’s not. Unless a producer had explicit approval from the rights holders or had a legitimate claim on one of the four copyright exemptions in federal law, they are violating the intellectual property rights of whomever owns the IP. This is true of Star Trek, of Star Wars, James Bond and any other copyrighted work.

          Perhaps you confuse not being sued with being legal. Cops cannot stop every speeding car and sometimes they choose to not stop any. That does not make speeding legal.

          1. For years, the Star Trek rights holders have given either tacit or implied permission to fans to make stuff (see Gene Roddenberry quote on fan fiction – I’ve pasted it here so many times for this specific argument it’s not even funny). That’s the precedent being followed. To pretend it doesn’t exist is willful ignorance.

            On the official startrek.com podcast today they specifically said that they weren’t looking to impose their guidelines on audio drama, just visual media. While not tacit permission, it’s again creating a little ambiguity where audio drama folks can continue but visual media cannot (like animated shorts? Or just live action?)

            Even so, in Copyright Law which you love to tout, the degree of infringement is dependent upon (as one of the four pillars) the impact to the rights holder. Your claim that each fan producer infringed equally is nonsense according to the law.

          2. What makes you think that the impact to the rights holder is germane and, anyway, isn’t it up to the rights holder to make that determination? Ultimately the courts decide but the bar for infringement does not rest on impact.

          3. I’m sorry, asking you to educate yourself so we can have a 1:1 conversation on this topic on a level playing field rather than actual facts vs guesses is not trolling. The resulting nonsense is not helpful to either of us; if you’d like to do your homework by reviewing how fair use is applied, how infringement is determined, and how not all infringement is created equal, you and I can discuss it 🙂 Until then, I’m not going to argue with someone who doesn’t know how copyright law works.

      3. You are a fool. While I disagree with those productions making money, there were purely fan unpaid productions that used budget of substantially less than $50,000 and still won’t fit those rules.

        1. Then they’ll have to adjust accordingly or create their own universe. It’s that simple. Perhaps the rules will change down the line, but for now this is what CBS/P wants, and they are justified in doing it that way if they so feel. You don’t have to like it, I’m not saying you do, but that is the way of it for now.

          1. The other possibility is that the rules prove untenable for publicity reasons, or that fan films proceed regardless and paramount and CBS decide not to sue everyone, and the rules end up being revised. Just because someone theoretically has a legal case doesn’t mean their position makes sense from a business point of view, or even that they can effectively pursue it in court.

          2. “Just because someone theoretically has a legal case doesn’t mean their position makes sense from a business point of view, or even that they can effectively pursue it in court.” Yup.

            That’d be a bit of research I haven’t done – but likely is hard to get to (beyond annual shareholder reports) – how does copyright infringement action impact the Viacom/CBS/Paramount stock price?

            Unfortunately because of Brexit we can’t draw a 1:1 conclusion, but I’ve attached a screenshot of the days between announcement and Brexit – the day the Fan Film guidelines were announced (and all hell broke loose) but DISTINCTIVELY before Brexit was confirmed (during the market close), CBS stock dropped by 2%, Viacom by 4%.

          3. This is just my personal opinion, but I think CBS is doing a full court press to get Axanar out of the way, because they did violate a number of copyright laws. They did overextend themselves, and CBS is taking them to task with the lawsuit. I believe that after that is finished, and Axanar resolved, then CBS will lighten up on the restrictions. To be honest, this is nothing compared to what Paramount did to Star Trek fans back in the late 1990s. Remember the purge? Now THAT was insane. Anything that looked remotely like a Star Trek anything was ripped right off the internet, it was crazy.

            As usual, though, things calmed down again, and we got a thriving online fan community out of it. I think sometimes it is wise to prune the branches, lest they outgrow the trunk.

          4. Oh yes because doing stupid like that actual help the franchise in the long run. No CBS and Paramount are being a bunch retards and hurting their brand. Its us the fan that actual go to stupid movies, buy their crap and support them. Just like retards over at Sony with the Ghostbusters movie. They are messing with the people who support their IP. So F them and I hope this literally an example of them cutting their own necks.

      4. But they WERE getting my money for Official Trek. Now they won’t be getting that. Period. And I find their attitudes strange considering they actually gave James Cawley a walk-on role in the first Abrams reboot.

        1. Then asked yourself what has changed between then and now.

          This post brought to you by the letters ‘A’ and ‘P’.

          1. They’ve decided on a program that will shut down ALL of the good stuff instead of dealing with whomever they feel violated their IP. Come on, Cawley, Mignogna, and the guys over at Hidden Frontiers weren’t making money off the franchise, they were doing what Roddenberry wanted done. They were telling their own tales out of a labor of love. (And Paramount pretty much gave Cawley their blessing by giving him a walk on role on the first reboot movie.) Now though, with those guidelines, all three productions could and probably will be shut down. What has changed? Instead of taking a scalpel to the problem they took a chainsaw.

            I’m not denying it was their right to do this. But at the same time they have no right to my money.

          2. The problem isn’t Cawley, Mignogna and others who played it safe. They are collateral damage and it is a shame. It is the next AP that comes down the line thinking he can exploit the property for personal gain.

            CBS isn’t interested in having to fight lawsuit after lawsuit over fan films.

          3. Maybe not, but if they’re going to let the fans have it with such a big broadside, I’m not interested in giving them my money. You see, it’s a two way street. They have no right to my money for official Star Trek. They want to kill the fandom, that’s fine. I’m not above watching the franchise die from lack of loyal fans.

  3. Such a great, thoughtful article. I agree with you 100%. I’m boycotting both the new film and subsequent films, and CBS All-Access because of these new guidelines and encouraging all of my friends to do the same.

    1. I was already on the fence about seeing the new film, and was cautiously optimistic about the new series. Now i’ll most definitely see neither. No need to line their pockets with cash, after they basically told the entire fandom to go f–k themselves.

    2. Ditto here. I unsubscribed the moment I finished reading the guidelines. Shame too, since I actually liked being able to watch JAG.

    3. All I got to say on new series is Yo-ho yo-ho a pirate’s life for me. 🙂 F CBS

    1. I don’t think I could handle Disney destroying another of my fandoms, CBS/Paramount are doing bad enough with Star Trek

      1. I challenge your assertion that Disney has destroyed one of your fandoms… I assume it to be either Marvel or Star Wars, and they are both doing just fine. Far better than what Paramount has done to Trek with the JJverse.

        1. Star War has been broken, the EU is shoved off as a bad idea by people who have never read the novels or the comics, The new movie was a remake of New Hope with a poorly written Mary Sue lead. Paramount may have made a few bad Star Trek movies but they haven’t erased everything written down in Memory Alpha

          1. “they haven’t erased everything written down in Memory Alpha”

            Yet. Force Awakens may have been similar to A New Hope, but it was hardly a remake.

          2. I don’t know. It felt a lot like a remake to me. Still enjoyed though.

          3. More than 50% of the EU sucked and was a nuisance for future stories, so I say good riddance.

          4. While some stories were bad, that’s no reason to discard the ones that were good, and what one person enjoys a second will dislike, I love all the Thrawn books, the Dark Empire comic series, the Han Solo collection and yes even the Jedi Academy series along with others that I’m sure you would consider the “Sucky ones” As to being a nuisance to future stories I can’t see how that would be possible unless your problem is with the stories of Jacen and Jania making Rey-Sue a problem, or that compared to the villains written in the EU Kylo is a pansy?

          5. Yes, because Anakin and Luke weren’t Gary Stu’s in their own right.

            Why accommodate the handful of gems when they themselves contradict legit canon when you can just start over from scratch and on your own terms?

            Fans need to start using their heads and not just their nostalgic hearts all the time.

            The books are still available. They didn’t burn them. And they were never legit canon in the first place.

          6. It was about protecting themselves from being sued by people who wrote the EU. Plain and simple. Using it would have strongly implied acceptance and people could have demanded payment (like any other writer).

  4. A corporation defending it’s IP…yeah…I don’t have a single issue with that.

    1. “What a totally myopic standpoint. You realize there exists a thing called “fair use”/”fair dealing” right? Copyright is not an absolute power to apply whatever arbitrary restrictions you prefer. Regular citizens have rights to in this regard, regardless of what the MPAA or other acronym organizations try to propagandize.”

      “Also, interesting you use the nebellous term “IP”. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are completely separate laws and are intended for unrelated purposes.”

      Quoting a buddy of mine who can’t/won’t have a Disqus account.

      1. Negative ghostrider…there is no fair use when someone else holds the copyright. You wanna make a mickey mouse fan film…they might let you…but the moment you open a store selling mickey mouse like ears…you’re going to get a visit from their lawyers. No corporation is going to let you make money off their IP.

        1. Actually, Disney defends Mickey harder than any company out there. They even lobby Congress with billions, yes, billions, of dollars to extend the copyright provision every time Mickey is about to lose his. Check out “The Mickey Mouse Protection Act”.

        2. What the hell are you on about? The whole point of “fair use” is as a defense for certain copyright violations. Your sentence is completely and utterly nonsensical.

          1. Yes, to comment on, criticize or parody a copyrighted work. Axanar is none of these. Neither are most of the fan films out there…(Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning is the only parody I am aware of that would fall under this)

      2. Fair use only covers a news broadcast or a parody.

        Axanar is neither of these things.

        And your friend is an idiot.

        1. Got any better argument to come with other than flat out calling my friend an idiot? Like, some actual facts or something?

          1. He gave you the argument, you ignored it.

    2. I do but I f-ing hate corporations and the stupid copyright laws that let stuff that should public domain stay in hands of corporations decades (or case of Disney a century) should have gone to public domain.

  5. Agree completely. You don’t have to be a lawyer to see that this truly IS the death of fan films. There’s no reasonable way to make a fan production at this point. It was fairly obvious that the pendulum was swinging the wrong way, so they put out what people wanted. Guidelines. Guidelines punitively designed to kill future fan productions, but guidelines nonetheless. Enjoy the hissy-fit P/CBS, you’ve killed the franchise. Only real hope is that the court rules that the guidelines are not retroactive and productions in progress (Axanar, STC, Farragut Forward etc) are allowed to finish. At least that’ll allow the films to be completed without having to flush a ton of money and MAYBE chill out the legions of pissed-off fans.

    1. Star Trek Horizons made their fan film on $50,000. You have 30 minutes and that budget to craft a story. Rod Serling could do it. Why can’t you?

      1. So all fan movies have to be anthologies. No character arcs, no investment in the characters or stories. That hasn’t worked very well in broadcast, will be even less effective in the amateur fan world. Twilight Zone did well, but subsequent efforts and copy cat productions did not.

        1. It will require a new level of creativity, but the Star Trek community has never failed there before. We’re all a bunch of nerds. Surely we can come up with something that fits such a format.

          1. How can we be outraged if we focus on being creative?!?

          2. It depends on who wants to work under these restrictions. Pretty much cut out all trek alumni, including the ones most needed, the writers.

          3. The “no Trek alumni” is what excites me the most. These are suppose to be “fan films”. No offense to Trek alumni, but you made your cash, quit going to the well again and again and again.

      2. Well, let’s start with; I’m not making a fan film, I don’t have that kind of talent or aptitude. Anyway, Rod Serling had a studio backing him on a show they didn’t want to fail and could pretty much do/hire who he wanted. And….(since I just watched it again, it’s excellent) Horizons was longer than 30 mins, more like an hour 45. While it IS excellent, you could definitely see the difference between the CGI they used and real sets like STC, Farragut and others, I’ve backed a lot of Trek fan films and hate that they all took a hit.

        1. Well, if Horizon could make a nearly two-hour film with fifty grand, then anyone else should EASILY be able to make a fifteen-minute film on fifty grand. So what are you griping about?

          1. It took three years because of the extensive CGI and other issues. Most people don’t want to take that long, plus now they have to purchase uniforms and props instead of using their own home made stuff. Yes it’s possible, but who want’s to do that?

  6. Paramount has clearly demonstrated they do not care about their fans. It’s time to #BoycottParamount

    1. Time to get others (sponsors) involved. Lets see Paramount make anther Transformers when they can’t use any Military hardware or any vehicles from any auto manufacturer who has ever done vehicles for the military. No more calling them NCIS no using FBI,CIA, or Navy Seals. McGarret from Hawaii 5-O will have to find another former job as he can’t be former Navy.

      1. Why would the military stop supporting something because a few hundred fans of something that have nothing to do with Transformers want to complain?

      2. Why would they listen to a niche of a niche fan base? The people who care about the fan films to the degree you do likely wouldn’t see the new films anyway, except to say how much you hate them. These guidelines prevent money men from taking advantage of donors who pour money into a production series only for it to disappear.

        In short, if you can’t produce a story with $50,000 and 30 minutes, you should go play in someone else’s sandbox. Or better yet, make your own.

        1. Yes we should make our own and say goodbye to Trek. You obviously have never produced a scifi production of any sort. And there are over 30+ million fans of theses “niche” players who are very pissed. But I’m all for creating original content and spending my money on that. Great idea. No more spending my money to support Trek in any shape or form. Time to finalize the divorce and get on with life.

          1. Eh, while I might minimize just how many fans would be pissed at this, you grossly overestimate that number with 30 million. As for producing sci-fi, no, I haven’t, but I do write it. More importantly, for me anyway, my friends who do produce sci-fi understand what CBS is doing and will wait patiently for this to settle. It always does.

          2. I hope it does, But probably not till after they get finished with Axanar. Yes, there are more than 30 million who watch Trek fan movies. The first one put out by New Voyages has over 30 million views and downloads alone. Most fan movies are beyond bad, but the TOS based ones have a very large and devoted fan base. I supported Renegades and it was a major disappointment (600k raised) considering it was produced, acted and written by professionals, yet even it had several hundred thousand views. Like you, I hope things loosen up in the future, but not optimistic and we really should start creating our own original content. This could be just the catalyst to get things going. I’m supporting Blade of Honor because the team has a great fan movie track record.

          3. On the flipside, I saw Star Trek Horizons, the one Tommy Kraft produced for $50,000, and I loved it. It’s all in the writing. They say the writing is the least expensive aspect of a production, yet it’s often the most overlooked.

          4. I saw it too, plus I donated to it and got the blu ray and music CD. it also took over 3 years to complete. If he had enough money to setup or rent a render farm, might have been finished sooner. He also got caught in the Axanar crap, through no fault of his own.

    2. Ah, but they do care about their fans. That’s why they haven’t sued anyone other than Axanar, a production that was actively making profit (their producer, Alec Peters, was drawing a salary from the donations).

      They could have said no fan films whatsoever. It is not only their right, but what any business protecting its IP to the letter would do. Instead, they offered you an olive branch. In what way do you think you have the right to tell them what to do with their property? You’re a fan, not an investor. You may buy things from CBS/Paramount, but you get the value of what you purchased, and not extra rights to dictate how you believe they should run their property. You don’t have to like it, and you can hate them for it until you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t change the truth.

  7. I was looking forward to the new film and although my first reaction to their new pay-to-play series was to say “Forget it,” I was coming around to the idea. While I may see the move, they can forget me forking over whatever they want to subscribe to their streaming service. There was one, just one “fan production” that went over board and instead of continuing their lawsuit, they “settled” and released these impossible guidelines. Yes, you should make money off someone else’s copyright, but who was doing that? CBS/Paramount needs to revisit these “guidelines” if they expect the fans to eve spend money in their “sandbox” ever again.

    1. To be fair: No settlement has been reached as of yet, and I hope there won’t be a settlement. Axanar should challenge these guidelines in open court.

      1. If Axanar challenged these in open court the judge would make Alec Peters look like even more of the man-child than he already appears to be.

        Look at it like this:

        If Axanar challenges the fan film rules in court, the judge would simply say: “Didn’t you want guidelines? Here they are plain as day”.

        1. And if some of these guidelines are seen as unlawful? Such as forbidding professional actors and other support personnel from participating in a fan film? What is it about being a Professional Actor that says that you can’t also be a Fan?

          1. The guidelines are completely legal because CBS/Paramount owns the intellectual property. It was Alec Peters and Axanar that took the IP and used it without permission. CBS/P looked the other way until Alec Peters stated he was making a $38,000 a year salary, which means there was profit being made on a supposedly non-profit fan production.

            Add in the merchandising, for-profit studio, and the $1.5 million fundraiser without any sign of a movie after 2 years, and CBS had to bring the hammer down.

          2. That’s not even remotely unlawful. You should probably do some studying on the law.

            Once professionals are used, it’s obviously not a ‘fan film’ anymore is it?

            Plus, professionals who are members of ACTRA and SAG generally can’t take unpaid gigs so it’s likely that they won’t be able to do it because of the ‘you can’t pay people’ thing.

            Pro-actors can be fans, but they can’t act in fan films, especially if they want to be hired by CBS/Paramount for anything else in the future.

          3. Yes, but the majority of pros used in these movies have almost no career post Trek. Not like they were being pulled away from other productions. Seeing the “Pros” in Renegade reminded me why most of them no longer work. Ed Furlong looked like he was on something the entire time. They make most of their money going to conventions.

    2. I think it boils down to this. Yes there was just one group that went over the line (rather substantially)…but they had to set down some guidelines and couldn’t just single out one production. Honestly, the one production is at fault. As a donor to them, I was completely on board until they opened up that online store. At that point paramount/cbs had to act to defend thing intellectual property. Frankly, I was stunned it took them so long. By the way nothing has been settled yet in the court case…that is still pending…and it should be interesting just how it all ends up.

      1. Look, fans are GOING to boycott Paramount/CBS over this. Simple as that. I’ve been a fan since 1967 and was one of those writing to keep it alive all that time ago. I’m boycotting. I’m legion.

        1. You’re irritating, but not legion. I think you’ll find that most people outside of a niche group of Trek fans won’t care, and that’s because they’ll either see what Axanar was doing during the discovery phase of the lawsuit, or they’ll just not care.

          1. You are the irritating little burr under the skin of the real Trek fans here, honey. A huge number of Trek fans are very upset. Think of all the fans who really want to see Axanar – who paid money (as in, funded it – cause no one will make a profit on it) for it. You really are clueless.

          2. A huge number? Really? How huge? As for those who funded Axanar, I feel bad for them, because Alec Peters used their money to buy carpet, and pay himself a salary. Oh, and when the lawsuit was filed, they laughed and went and had sushi, making sure to post it with all smiles. Enjoy your donation going to good use. Night. 😉

  8. The new Official Trek films are awful. If you are a fan made film fan – boycott Beyond.

    1. It’s interesting…3 of the four major players have asked fans of their films to not boycott. I wonder why that is?

      1. Who are these “3 of the four major players” you speak of? I only know of 1 player who has actively told fans not to boycott the film and/or CBS/Paramount. Who are the rest?

        1. Intrepid, Next Voyages, Continues have all told their fans to support CBS/Paramount and guess what…all 3 are having their productions shut down because of these new guidelines. They are actually fans of the IP and not abusing their right to play in the Star Trek sandbox.

          1. Since when is “Intrepid” a major player? Also, I follow Continues quite closely and they have not yet shut down production. Last I read was that they were discussing their options and how it might effect their production.

            New Voyages (not Next Voyages) was already on the verge of shutting down before the guidelines were posted. After they were made public, New Voyages caved instantly and deleted both their FB page and website.

          2. And yet they still made the statement defending the IP owners right to dictate what happens to their property. NV and continues both will not be able to continue due to the new guidelines…Intrepid is pretty big in the fan films world as are several others…all directly affected and all supporting CBS’s right to do what they see fit with their property.

      2. Axanar asked fans not to boycott as well. However, they are simply doing that to not get any more of CBS/Paramount’s ire. It’s not because they don’t want to see CBS get what they deserve, it’s just because they want to appear as if they’re on their side.

          1. BTW, how much is CBS/Paramount paying you to be a corporate shill for them on all these discussion pages?

          2. Having a differing opinion regarding this topic does not make me a shill. I am a life long star trek fan and wish that all the fan productions could move forward as they always have (including axanar something that as a donor I was eagerly looking forward to). I however completely understand the need for these guidelines based on the current court case with one of the productions. Frankly, productions that follow those guidelines are safe from any intervention. But no one is forcing them to follow them. Ones who choose not to do so at their own financial peril.

          3. You, sir, are a shill. If you aren’t getting paid you are a silly one. I’m sorry if you think you are a fan – you are definitely not really acting like one.

          4. You, sir, are a reactionary twit who lacks the capacity to stop for a moment and examine whether or not your views are correct. Instead, you’ll knee-jerk until people shut up so you don’t have to keep your fingers in your ears.

          5. I’m no ‘sir’, you nasty creep. I am a LONG term Star Trek fan who has fully enjoyed the fan fiction, in print, film & other media, for decades – AND spent lots of money and viewing time on the official stuff. Paramount/CBS is KILLING their cash cow right now – they are NOT the creators of Star Trek (that would be Gene Roddenberry) and they deserve to be boycotted for their stupidity, greed and shortsightedness. YOU are just dirt beneath my feet.

          6. You sure don’t convince me you are a long-term Trek fan – using what you’ve posted here. And caps are good to show emphasis. Off with you.

          7. I don’t care what you believe. I became a fan in 1984, growing up on Kirk and Spock, and that’s when it started. Whether or not you accept that, whether you care, is not my concern. I post that, however, for your edification. You may have been a fan a longer, or shorter, amount of time, but in the end it doesn’t matter. I am a fan, and that’s what does.

          8. I became a fan in 1966. It was the fans who wouldn’t let this show die. We wrote letters and watched whatever we could get, supported the franchise all along. Without the fervor of the early fans, there would have been no Star Trek past TOS. Nothing.
            You can talk all you want about being a fan, but the fact that you think that corporate greed somehow deserves to insult the very fandom that made this franchise profitable in the first place, shows how little you understand of the meaning of Star Trek and the vision of it’s actual creator, Gene Roddenberry. Just disgraceful.

          9. You mean Gene “I wrote lyrics to the Star Trek theme so I could get half the royalties” Roddenberry? Sure. Talk about corporate greed all you want, sweetie. At least I don’t wear blinders.

          10. Good to know you still respect IDIC. I’m sure Roddenberry is proud of you shouting down any opinion different from your own.

          11. I swear, when someone hears something they don’t like, they go right to the “corporate shill” garbage. Will you at least engage a brain cell for a few minutes and listen? Jesus Christ. Fans. Sheesh.

        1. No. They are saying that because they are grateful that JJ and Lin support them.

          1. Yup, I’m not boycotting the movie, but I am boycotting the series if things don’t change Plus no purchase of merchandise (where the real money is made) for any reason movie or series. Will request a non Trek drink cup at the movies if possible.

  9. The article states “largely fan-created language (Klingon)”… wasn’t the klingon language created by a hired consultant (Marc Okrand)?

    1. Some of the phrases were actually made up and voiced by James Doohan for ST:TMP. Marc Okrand was commissioned by Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy to expand upon that to provide Klingon language dialogue for STIII

      1. Ok, but then..there is no basis for the “largely fan-created” part…

        1. James Doohan had the idea that Klingon should be guttural, and the words and phrases he voiced for ST:TMP demonstrate that.

          Okrand used that as his basis to create a rough grammar and just enough vocabulary to handle the lines in Star Trek III. More words were generated over the TNG years. However, most of the development of Klingon was done by fans all over the world in the years since. It’s got enough of a life of its own that it was proposed for inclusion into Unicode, and used to translate Shakespeare. Those were fan-originated ventures.

          1. I stand happily corrected…. thank you John Grow !!!!

  10. Rule one seems to me, to mandate one and done for all of the participants. All are barred from ever working on another ST fan project ever again.

    1. You can work again, just not make it into a series. New stories, new characters..no connection to the previous ones.

  11. Holy cow, Paramount’s legal document is high comedy, indeed.

    Every sentence is a laugh riot, but I’m particularly amused by #7’s prohibition on “nudity, obscenity, pornography” and “any material that is offensive” or “sexually explicit.”

    This, after both J.J-Trek films have objectified women by showing them in their underwear in sexually-compromising situations.

    Paramount has got a lot of chutzpah.

    1. Considering what Bryan Fuller has said about the new series, #7 is also hypocritical.

    2. uh…did you ever watch TOS? Gene had no problems with space alien bikini babes.

      1. Of course he did. And he also introduced the miniskirt as a regulation Starfleet uniform.

        But also consider the backlash that Alice Eve’s underwear shot has received. Even STID writer Damon Lindelof apologized for the gratuitousness of that scene.

        1. Well it was a stupid useless shot that did not advance the story one iota…not that I minded :P.

        2. The other thing was that when there were scantily clothed women everywhere, the censors in 1960s were busy with that and did not notice what the plot was actually conveying. While that shot in STID was completely unnecessary as the movie had no thoughtful plot what so ever.

          1. I think it was okay since they’re in a more liberal and progressive universe… I’m surprise they have anything under their uniforms… LOL…

        3. Alice Eve didn’t mind and after that it’s really nobody elses business…. or can women only decide for themselves when it fits some agenda?

    3. It’s their property, not yours. For example, if I drive my car through a mud puddle, that is my right because I own it. If you borrow my car, and I say you cannot drive it through mud puddles, that is my right, because I own it, and am only letting you borrow it on a limited basis.

      1. Flash money around & get the legal establishment/government to change the laws as if profit trumps everything. Right. This creative idea came from Gene Roddenberry, who would be HORRIFIED at what Paramount/CBS is doing. It is in direct opposition to what Star Trek stands for. That you don’t understand that totally shows your true colors.

        1. No he wouldn’t. Gene loved making money. He licensed the IDIC medal and had Leonard Nimoy wear it so he could sell it. He wrote half assed lyrics to the Star Trek theme so he could get half of the royalties from Alexander Courage. Gene loved money.

          1. It’s worth noting Gene Roddenberry’s 1976 introduction for Star Trek: The New Voyages:

            “…Certainly the loveliest happening of all for us was the fact that so many others began to feel the same way [about Star Trek as we did]. Television viewers by the millions began to take Star Trek to heart as their own personal optimistic view of the Human condition and future. They fought for the show, honored it, cherished it, wrote about it–and have continued to do their level best to make certain that it will live again.

            …We were particularly amazed when thousands, then tens of thousands of people began creating their own personal Star Trek adventures. Stories, and paintings, and sculptures, and cookbooks. And songs, and poems, and fashions. And more. The list is still growing. It took some time for us to fully understand and appreciate what these people were saying. Eventually we realized that there is no more profound way in which people could express what Star Trek has meant to them than by creating their own very personal Star Trek things.

            Because I am a writer, it was their Star Trek stories that especially gratified me. I have seen these writings in dog-eared notebooks of fans who didn’t look old enough to spell “cat.” I have seen them in meticulously produced fanzines, complete with excellent artwork. Some of it has even been done by professional writers, and much of it has come from those clearly on their way to becoming professional writers. Best of all, all of it was plainly done with love.

            It is now a source of great joy for me to see their view of Star Trek, their new Star Trek stories, reaching professional publication here. I want to thank these writers, congratulate them on their efforts, and wish them good fortune on these and further of their voyages into other times and dimensions. Good writing is always a very personal thing and comes from the writer’s deepest self. Star Trek was that kind of writing for me, and it moves me profoundly that it has also become so much a part of the inner self of so many other people.

            Viewers like this have proved that there is a warm, loving, and intelligent lifeform out there–and that it may even be the dominant species on this planet.

            That is the highest compliment and the greatest repayment that they could give us.”

          2. Also, the money. The money was a nice thing, too. Come on guys, love the man if you want, I certainly admire him, but he was all too human, and had no problem with making a lot of money off of Star Trek.

          3. It’s disingenuous to pretend that he did not create a precedent on accepting fan work, which seems to be the premise of your argument against it. For an IP holder to pull an about-face is harsh on fans at best and damaging to the fandom and their ability to monetize their IP at worst (however minor you might suspect the impact of that fandom to be).

          4. All this shitstorm happened because of Axanar. CBS had no option other than to come down hard for now. They are still in the middle of a lawsuit, contrary to whats been said. I don’t things will get better until after the lawsuit is finished.

          5. I realize it could go either way, but I’m going to be optimistic on this one, and CBS will moderate things later on. As I mentioned to Ari above, back in the late 1990s, Paramount tried to scrub the internet clean of any non-official Star Trek everything, and it nearly worked. Yet the community bounced back bigger and stronger than ever. Like I told him, I think it’s wise, sometimes, to prune the branches, lest they outgrow the trunk. I believe once Axanar has been taken off the table, things will return to normal.

            CBS never seemed to have a problem with Renegades, Continues, or New Voyages, because those productions were ever so careful. They knew they were playing in someone else’s sandbox, but Axanar took it to a whole new level, and for a little while everyone’s going to feel the pain. I believe it will get better, though.

          6. hahaha
            you sound like most American voters. “Yes I vote for the same useless and corrupt S-bags but I hope they will make a change for the better.”

            For G sake people like you that make me sick. It’s the complacent, docile, Sheepol that got this society in the mess it is. You all let the Corporations run wild. Doing whatever they please. And not taking them and the corrupt politicians to task. Same with this crap. You let CBS/Paramount shit on the fan base and support them? F them. F the stupid Copyright laws that retard in the first place. I say boycott/pirate their stuff and let them go under. The old Irish rebel part of me would like to do more, but I have mellow in old age…..for now.

      2. You would be right if we were talking about mud puddles and cars. Just a hint: we are not.

    4. Exactly!!! I see the potential for Such mockery that the US supreme court would be backing the fans when it’s made a mockery of in a comedic way…Maybe its should be called TREK STAR! and intsead of black pants the pants denote the rank the tolf half be black. Now it’s the yellow pants that get to die all the time, hell they wear yellow to hide the fact they peed their pants when they were about to die….LOL heck i wonder how robot chiken will hit this one…lol!!! FANS THINK MOCKERY THAT HITS EVERY # ON THE LIST!!!

    5. Yea I heard the laugh track provided by CBS because they still believe the audience is too stupid not to know when to laugh.

    6. It is their property and there right to limit risky material.

      Just like it is your right to ask me to not drive your car over a cliff if you lend it to me.

    7. Remember people. This America. You have to obey the rules unless you got tons of money and an army of lawyers….Oh did I just insult the US justice system. Yes I did.

  12. Alec Peters wanted rules. He got rules.

    To try to blame CBS for clamping down after someone tried to exploit their IP is childish.

    1. It’s also astoundingly childish to either be completely ignorant of or to not take into consideration the valid points made in this article regarding the state of ST fandom.

      1. What valid points? If anything, the state of the Star Trek fandom is a group of entitled fans who think they have a right to tell CBS/Paramount what to do with their property, as if they owned it.

        Sorry kids, you’re not entitled to play with someone else’s toys whenever you wish.

        1. Got it.. you said, “What valid points?” So I was right on my first assertion then – “completely ignorant”… If you’re confused regarding what valid points the author made, I suggest you re-read the article… or just read the article… And if you still can’t figure out if the author made any valid points after doing that, please don’t bother replying.

          1. Actually, I have kept up on Axanar and the surrounding lawsuit since the day it was announced, and I’ve listened to friends who are lawyers, and who have kept me and my other friends abreast of the situation, including those who are heavily involved in the fan production community.

            What the author of the article has done here is create a page of handwringing concerns that hold no water to the reality of the situation. Fearmongering, it’s fun when you already agree with the subject, isn’t it?

          2. Ha! Fear mongering… nonsense. The fact that you think everything the guy mentions in the article holds no water just shows that you’re absolutely reveling in being a contrarian…

          3. It hold no water where it counts, in a court of law. The rest is just hot air. I don’t like the guidelines, but prefer the community work together to get them changed. Right now, until this business with Axanar is settled, the guidelines will stay put. But get mad at Axanar, not CBS. Even if I engage in boycott of the series, it’s only to bring CBS back to the table, not punish them.

  13. Let me make this suggestion: Use FlashGot or some other plug-in to grab copies of all your favorite fan films from YouTube before Paramount has them removed.

  14. I feel sick! Star Trek ends here thanks to the corporate greed! William Shatner needs to stand up and say something..Something has got to happen. These ass holes have ruined something that was pure! I will give no money to anything either company touches! It is Done!

    1. I’m sure you’d be perfectly fine if someone took something of yours without your permission and profited off of it?

      1. No one profited off anything, and copyright offers plenty of leeway.

          1. Nope. A salary does not constitute profit. It’s compensation for services rendered.

          2. hahaha… English is not my native language but I understood the difference… why are some people having problems understanding it… *mind blown*

          3. Because paying a salary is profiting off of the IP. Services rendered should be free or donated for Trek Fan movies. CBS has made that clear.

        1. Alec Peters paid himself $38,000 as an Axanar producer. That is profit.

          1. No, it’s not. A salary is compensation, not profit.

          2. Who hired him? Unless CBS or Paramount hired him as a producer, it is profit.

            Which brings my next question: how come Cawley and Mignogna could hold down full time jobs and work on their fan series without “compensation”, yet Alec Peters couldn’t?

      2. Considering it was Gene Roddenberry who created Star Trek, and he’s been dead for the past 15 years, I don’t think he really cares that much what happens with his creation.

        It’s the big corporations who are afraid of losing “their” IP to fans who obviously can create superior content to some of the crap we’ve been getting from corporations these past few years.

          1. For one thing, the creators of Star Trek: Of Gods & Men.

          2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Oh, wait, were you being serious? “Of Gods and Men” was badly-written dreck. It’s only redeeming feature was to see professional actors trying to make their way through boring, unprofessional writing and dialogue.

          1. Oh, I read it ALL, creep. The creator of Star Trek (you know, RODDENBERRY) loved fans, and fan fiction. Plus, he’s DEAD. Paramount/CBS have NO creative input – they just BOUGHT the property.
            You are simply a corporate apologist.

          2. They bought the property, which makes it their property. That means they can do whatever they want with their property. Is ownership that hard to understand?

          3. Money rules, that your champion cry? Right. Honey, this is a creation from a man who wanted a world with NO money. Your obvious world outlook is anathema to Star Trek. If Paramount/CBS continues in this vein, all that made Star Trek viable and amazing will disappear, as will the loyalty & money from the life-long fans.

          4. Has no one done any real research on Roddenberry? The one who created an IDIC medallion and put it in an episode of TOS so he could sell it through Lincoln Enterprises as Star Trek merchandise.

          5. The same Roddenberry who stole ideas from other and wrote lyrics to the TOS end music so he could receive 50% of the royalties?

            Roddenberry would’ve been the first to sue over Axanar. If Roddenberry had been alive, this would’ve never gotten this far as no one gets between Roddenberry and a dollar.

          6. So if you buy something from someone that you didn’t create, I can come over and take it anytime I please? And do with it what I want?

          7. Different scenario.
            You can’t get on a high horse about creators and maintaining the rights of creative people when it’s all just about who gets to make a bunch of money. When Roddenberry himself loved fan fiction and supported it, it becomes apparent that Paramount/CBS are just being control freaks and will lose a lot of the old, loyal fanbase. It doesn’t matter if Axanar stepped on their toes or even overstepped the line – THESE guidelines destroy EVERYTHING – they don’t just target those who actually may have done something. That’s the huge problem.
            If Paramount/CBS truly cared about the fandom then after seeing the huge support for Axanar’s vision maybe they might have attempted a legal compromise that would have shared the wealth. But no, they are squashing all of it despite ample evidence that fans WANT this kind of story. Terrible PR there.

          8. They have no reason to “share the wealth”.

            I know basic ownership is coming across as a hard concept for some people here. Roddenberry never “owned” Star Trek. He created for Desilu, which became Paramount, which was bought by Viacom which then divided into the current CBS and Paramount entities.

            Roddenberry had a chance to buy Star Trek from Paramount in the early-1970’s and didn’t due to lack of funds.

            CBS owns Star Trek by any accepted legal standard. They are allowing fans to continue playing in their sandlot with restrictions because someone took advantage of CBS allowing fans to make Star Trek.

            This isn’t a CBS/Paramount created issue. They allowed fan films free run until Alec Peters came along. Like I said in another post, when it became clear Peters was a con artist, fans should’ve been more proactive in chasing him away if they were interested in things continuing as they had been. Did they do that? Nope. They showered Peters with cash and adulation as an FU to CBS and Paramount over a couple films they didn’t happen to like.

            FU’s usually have a way to come back and haunt folks. Which is what is happening here.

          9. Even his son is profiting from the franchise. Get a clue.

          10. So Teleri, you are a communist? Forced wealth sharing is called stealing. Or are you just a disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporter.

          11. Teleri, you’re an embarrassment to the real fans, and mind numbingly stupid and immature. You can’t even grasp grade school economics. Calling people names because the disagree only makes things worse. You can call me all the names you want, but trolls like you never win. You;’re actually hurting any chance of a boycott. Congratulations.

  15. Trekkies have been at odds with CBS since the cancellation of TOS after season 2. Whatever CBS does, for me, has nothing to do with why I’m a Trekkie.

    1. CBS had nothing to do with Star Trek. It was a TV series broadcast on NBC from 1966 to 1969. CBS has no creative skin in this game at all. They simply bought something somebody else spent blood, sweat and treasure to create.

      1. True, I kind of conflated 2 things. NBC was the one who broadcast and cancelled it (twice). But it was made by Desilu (thank you, Lucille Ball : ). And Desilu was bought in early ’67, and became Paramount Television, now CBS Television Studios.

      2. In any case, being a Trekkie has nothing to do with companies that simply view it as property (rampant capitalism has even been denounced in the shows themselves, many times over). It’s a love of an optimistic view of the future. That doesn’t die.

  16. For all the people who sniff and state that CBS/Paramount are “defending their IP,” You’re utterly missing the point, or being disingenuous. Here is why:

    Copyright laws existed for the purpose of allowing the *creator* of a work benefit from his/her creation for a reasonable period of time. The idea was, if you took the risks inherent in the actual *creation* of a product, you deserved first crack at profiting from that work and thus the protection of the law. After that reasonable period, the work was considered “public domain,” and thus free to anyone who wished to use or derive from that work without the risk of lawsuit.

    What we have here with the current copyright laws is a perversion of that concept, with the notion of “intellectual property,” and the notion of rights to a property extending into centuries of time, not the few decades that the law originally (and sanely) prescribed.

    This means that corporations, who have no motivation other than profit for shareholders, can purchase and flog about for money something they took no risks in creating. And, the law allows these entities to stifle innovation and creativity in favor of “preserving their property.” Which, again, they took no risks in creating and thus deserve none of the legal protections creators deserve.

    The laughable and sad irony with Star Trek is that it was about an optimistic future, and a culture where learning and science were prized, not the accrual of wealth.

    So Star Trek dies now by what it sought to supplant.

    Your defense of this perversion of copyright helped kill it.

    1. Negative. Again, for decades CBS/Paramount had little beef with people making whatever kind of fan films they desired. Their 1 rule. And really they only had 1 rule. Do NOT profit off our property. Dozens of fan film producers managed to follow this single rule. 1 did not. The same one who demanded guidelines. Guidelines that are far more generous then Star Wars fan filmmakers have to go by by the way. If you want to be angry with the new guidelines…you should be…but you need to put that anger in the proper place. Frankly I am pissed that my favorite fan films will no longer be able to make the content I have enjoyed for years. I however am not angry in any way with CBS/Paramount for setting down some rules. In fact, I look forward to seeing what fan producers can come up with under the new guidelines.

      1. Plain and simply false and just the usual nonsense of Axanar detractors who have no concept of what the word “profit” means.

        And no, they did not have “1 rule” – they had no explicit rules.

        And it’s evident that you did not even read the article you are posting under or you would not simply talk about “setting down some rules”.

        1. Oh I believe that Paramount/CBS have gone over the top with their guidelines. Have no doubt about that. But it is their sandbox…you want to play in it…now you know what you are and are not allowed to do. Anyone who believes that they have some right to profit off of someone else’s property is just plain wrong. This is exactly the same thing when people were selling firefly items (Jayne’s hat comes to mind) online and at conventions…the IP owners sent out a lot of cease and desist letters and ended that practice. You don’t get to make money off of someone else’s property.

          1. Show me one fan film that made a profit.

          2. Axanar. The producer of the film, Alec Peters, paid himself a $38,000 a year salary. The film itself raised $1.5 million, and part of that money was used to acquire a for-profit studio to make for-profit films.

          3. Neither of which are at issue in the lawsuit, and neither of which
            are technically being a for-profit production, regardless of whether you
            think they are actually appropriate or not. (and there are various and
            reasonable arguments that regardless of not being technically making a profit, that they’re getting into very gray areas which would be the sorts of things that would actually be useful for Paramount and CBS’ guidelines to rule out…)

        2. Axanar producers were/are paying themselves salaries and using the fan money to setup for profit ventures. That is a fact and if you go over to Axanar watch, you will find Alec Peters misrepresented his relationship with CBS too. Yes, Axanar are the ones who brought this down on all of us, like it or not. Before this, CBS would issue a take down notice or a cease and desist for certain offenses. Never have they sued before.

          1. “Axanar producers were/are paying themselves salaries”

            Which has nothing to do with profit.

            “and using the fan money to setup for profit ventures”

            False. They were going to SELL the assetts PLUS LIABILITIES to a “for profit” venture which was then going to pay off the liabilities – for which you need to profit on your products. As that was supposed to be a SALE, however, no fan money would actually be used.

          2. CBS has made it clear time and time again, your fan movie can have no connection to a for profit enterprise for any reason. Even fan web sites with innocuous links to a site that sells things were shut down. Placing Axanar under the auspices of a for profit studio is no different than if Sony created a small for profit division and decided to make a non profit Trek movie. Doesn’t wash. Very bad miscalculation by Alec Peters. Plus his stated connections with CBS have been disavowed by CBS executives themselves.

      2. I disagree with you for all the reasons I stated above. The protections given to those who expended nothing other than wads of cash for the rights to a property do not deserve the same benefits which by right should only belong to the creator of a work.

        Mr. Peters created something pretty spectacular with Axanar, out of a throwaway line in one episode of Star Trek and using one character from a third-seaon episode of Trek. If you want an example of colossal overreach, look at CBS snd Paramount’s assertion of “direct profit.”

        1. Tell me again why they have a company store where they are selling model starships?

          To profit. Pure and simple.

          1. Money which was going back to the production of the film. In essence, the same as crowdfunding.

          2. Does not matter. The fact is…you can not sell unlicensed items from another company’s IP. You can not do it. The fact that they haven’t closed that store down is crazy…as a lawyer…it would be the first thing I would have advised my client to do.

          3. Does not matter? It sure as hell matters, where the money goes to. As a lawyer, one of the first things you should be thinking of is FOLLOW THE MONEY!

          4. And they will. Trust me on that. It will be very interesting to watch it play out in the court.

          5. It does not matter. They were merchandising. With over $1.5 million raised, they have yet to cast the film. They haven’t even begun shooting, and right up until they were sued, there were no indications they had assembled any cast after two years of fundraising. In that time, Star Trek Continues, and Star Trek New Voyages, along with Star Trek Renegades both started and finished their campaigns, and all released films.

            Instead of spending money on the film, Alec spent money on a studio, new offices, new carpets, a new phone system, conventions around the world, paying himself a $38,000 salary, and doing everything *except* make a film. After two years of fundraising, no film. They made a trailer, but that trailer was made as a trailer, not from any film shot, because no film had been shot.

          6. If the proceeds are being put back into making the film, that ain’t profit.

          7. yes it is. Selling unlicensed merchandise for any reason is illegal. They knew that too. If they got away with it, anyone could setup a non profit shell corp and sell unlicensed/bootleg goods for the “greater good”.

      3. Profit means that you actually make surplus money from it. Reimbursing people for their time and work is not profit.

        1. Incorrect. Making money from unlicensed merchandise is making money. What you do with it after you make it doesn’t make it any more legal.

  17. I’m sorry but banning former actors from participating in the fan productions is the biggest joke of all. I understand contacts and restrictions and such but these are people that believed in their art and the fans so much that they want to continue giving to then and working in this medium on their own time. CBS is going about this all wrong. They know what they have and instead of shutting it down there should license and release it and make a dime off of it. They’ve proved their greed so why not take it to the next step? It’s not like it would cost then anything. All the hard work has been done for them. I know I’m crazy but why not let the fans continue what they’re doing the way they’re doing and leave them be and if CBS feels threatened by a production than they should license it and make money off the distribution just like charging us to see the up coming series via a steaming service. I love and look forward to some of the new fan work more than any of the Abrams farces because the fans hold and keep true to the true essence and meaning of was Star trek is meant to be. I believe Roddenberry said that after the series was cancelled he didn’t make a penny from anything Star trek related till he finally got a syndication check in 1983 but he never gave up or stopped believing in it. If the fans have finally made something regardless of profession or history, rather by donation or working on the production, that got CBS to pay that much attention than they should be picking up that torch and running with it instead of trying to put it out. Star trek was about hope and exploration of a better future and of what the human race could become and evolve into given a chase to grow and fan films are made in the same hope. They should look at this as what the fans what and give it to them to grow the universe instead of oppress and shut out someone’s love and creativity because it didn’t come from a CBS think tank. Should their be fan film merch? Again, that’s more of a grey area, but I stand by my belief that if it does no harm than they should pick it up and every body win from it instead of shut it all out and stifle the soul of what star trek is and the love of the most dedicated fan group in television and movies short history doing more harm than good because one group of people wanted to take their love of something to the next level where it has never boldly gone before.

  18. Broken down like this, it seems even more discouraging.
    I’m seriously considering bowing out of the fandom as I did of Star Wars, when the EU was destroyed.

  19. No, “most” fans aren’t livid. A vocal minority of ignoramuses is lived. Most fans realize what “copyright” means.

      1. Actually he is correct. Most rational fans recognize that these guidelines only became necessary after one fan production started using Paramount/CBS’s property to make money. Nothing stops any fan from making a star trek film and as long as they do it by the guidelines set down by the copyright owner they will have no issues. If they choose to go outside those guidelines then there is the “possibility” that they may draw unwanted attention.

      2. Just because you want everyone to be as angry as you doesn’t mean they are. When you accuse someone of being a fool, look into the mirror. You are not legion, not even a battalion. Plus taking your anger out on those who disagree with you completely defeats your point of view. No one is taking you serious at this point. You are one of a few.

  20. These guidelines are an absolute joke. If this is the result of Paramount’s & CBS greed? Then Star Trek is dead to me. I willl NOT spend a dime or give any Paramount or any CBS production my views. I won’t buy DVD’s, merchandise, memorabilia, or even a poster.

    The level of greed & contempt for the Star Trek fans is insulting. I am very mad at the fan films who “fully support CBS & Paramount”, while the studios sweep the rug out from all the fan films. To me, the fan films need to join us in total opposition to the guidelines. The fan films need to join fans desire for fair & reasonable fan film guidelines. Gene Roddenberry loved fan fiction & was totally supportive. For a bunch of self proclaimed Star Trek productions, some of the morals, messages, & meanings of dozens of episodes were lost on them.

    Don’t think I can hold a boycott? I stilll refuse to buy certain products because of their owners. I have not shopped at Wal-Mart for 6 years. When I shut off my wallet? I mean business.

    Any Trek fan worth his or her salt will join the boycott. Let Star Trek Beyond fail. Let the new TV series fail. Let’s go after CEO’s Les Moonves at CBS & Brad Grey at Paramount.

    It’s time for Star Trek fans to retake the Federation. It looks like the Ferengi’s control Paramount, CBS, & Star Trek. I don’t even recognize it as Star Trek anymore.

    Star Trek has died. May it rest in peace.

  21. The fans do not own Star Trek so I agree with Paramount and CBS doing whatever they can to protect their intellectual property. They own the copyright after all. As an original Trekkie (fan since 1966), me thinks today’s fans are a tad jealous of the history of fan involvement and the saving of Trek after the first attempt to cancel the series in 1968 when the fans letter writing campaign saved it. Then again, another letter writing campaign had the space shuttle’s name changed to Enterprise. So, tough luck to the fans. In my opinion, both Paramount and Star Trek have let the fans pretty much tell them what to do as far as Trek, and personally, the fans should be grateful they even get to play in the same sand box. There are sports, but one does not go to a baseball;; game to play by the game by hockey rules. And so, Star Trek has rules/guidelines. The fact that there are fans who want tp call for a boycott doesn’t mean a thing at this point. There are plenty of people out there willing to watch anything with the Star Trek name, good or bad. Besides, overtime there is a convention or somebody at a party in a Star Trek costume, it’s free publicity for them, even of the wearer of the costume is one of those boycotting. It won’t matter in the long run.

    1. The paradox here, which has yet to be adequately explored, is that this property–and others like it, few though there are–would be worth exactly nothing *without* a sufficiently loyal audience. Star Trek is a great example for precisely the reasons you describe.

      So this sentence is s bit curious to me:

      “In my opinion, both Paramount and Star Trek have let the fans pretty much tell them what to do as far as Trek, and personally, the fans should be grateful they even get to play in the same sand box.”

      The producers of Star Trek have historically been sensitive to “the fans” because they knew this property in particular would be worthless without them–Berman/Braga’s worst excesses notwithstanding.

      The problem came when the current copyright holders decided to reboot Trek as a “tentpole” picture. They brought in someone who knew precisely nothing about the property, and who never cared to learn about it. He made the vapid 2009 movie, and the even-worse sequel. It was what the copyright holders wanted though–something to bring in the bucks over the summer. Who cares about plot?

      CBS/Paramount, by putting out such awful and insulting product, created this mess themselves. The support lavished upon all of the fan-made product over the last seven years, and the resulting rise in production, story quality and ambition of those features, is a direct result of CBS/Paramount’s mishandling of the franchise since 2009.

      I would argue that CBS/Paramount have been lucky *we* have supported them all this time. Even giving this new movie the benefit of the doubt after that terrible first trailer.

      We the fans were the ones who made the sandbox possible by our support of Trek over the last 50 years. CBS/Paramount have been fortunate we were so patient with them up to this point.

      1. They BUILT the sandbox in the first place. They OWN the sandbox in the second place. Their house, their rules. I respect that.

        1. They did not BUILD it. They BOUGHT it. And they took a dump in it. You respect that?

          1. Gene Roddenberry was with Desilu when Paramount bought it.

            The only thing constant in the universe is change. Sound familiar?

            As the times change, life evolves and changes. Star Trek is doing that, too. Have you read the interview with Chris Pine where he says you can’t do a Star Trek as a movie in these days? He’s right! Look at the Fast and Furious franchise. What are they up to now, 9? why? Flash, bang and SPFX. Every movie you see today relies heavily on the SPFX. If Strar Trek is a movie franchise, it has to compete. The intellectual movies don’t make the money. Star Trek is better on TV. Look at the quality of some of the TV shows, like 24, or other long lasting shows like Criminal Minds.

            Hell, even the good Trek series on tv had their crap episodes. Damn, it is just an escapist form of art and entertainment, it is not a religion!! It’s fun.

            Go to a convention and spend your money there if you don’t like it. They still get their money from licensing all that crap fans buy, from trains to toilet paper. I respect less the fans that have to buy every damn thing just because it says Star Trek on it, truthfully.

          2. I stopped going to cons in 1994. I am disinterested in them. Also Paramount did absolutely nothing for Star Trek until Star Wars came out. If you recall, the series was being schlepped around in syndication with decrepit film stock. Then after May 1977 they decided to sink money into it. ST:TMP was $40 million dollars mainly because Paramount charged the development cost for the aborted series they tried to mount.

            I very much agree with you that Trek is best as a series. Frankly, CBS/Paramount would be wise to embrace the various fan series for their new streaming venture and grandfather them all in. They aren’t really the competition because in a streaming realm, that gestalt just cannot apply.

        2. They did not BUILD the sandbox. They BOUGHT it. And took a dump in it. You respect that?

  22. Gene Roddenberry envisioned a future where money is not necessary. In his future people are able to pursue work that interests them and at which they excel. And, these freedoms aide the human race in reaching its potential individually and collectively. That greedy, grasping humans use corporations to suppress creativity and excellence in order to buy their next luxury item for themselves or their mistresses is grotesque.

    1. Gene Roddenberry licensed everything he could, including the IDIC medal Spock wore in the original series. He also wrote some terrible lyrics to the Star Trek theme so he could get half the royalties from Alexander Courage. Gene loved money.

      1. Please do not repress your emotions. Tell me how you really feel. All sarcasm aside, there is a great danger in expecting any human to be more than flawed then rejecting all he is because some of what he is, is abhorrent. Any great thinker who comes along is eventually vilified because he or she is also human and has deplorable defects. The Greeks recognized this thousands of years ago. I may take the sublime ideas of the man without approving that in him which disgusts me.

  23. I stopped watching Voyager after Braga turned Janeway into a giant salamander. These new rules have put a stench on my entire Star Trek television and movie collection. Thankfully, I still have Babylon 5 to watch.

  24. When it comes to Star Trek, CBS and Paramount have seen the last dollar from my wallet. Axanar is better than any CBS/Paramount produced Star Trek in so many ways, and it’s made by people who actually care about the fans and the franchise and want to produce a high-quality product. It’s a shame that it has come down to the greed of the few outweighing the dream of the fans.

    1. No it isn’t, because Axanar doesn’t exist. Not a single minute of actual footage has been shot. The Vulcan scene? Filmed separately and not as part of the movie. The trailers? Made as trailers and not as shots from the movie. This is because principal photography hasn’t even started. Casting hasn’t even started for the movie. So how, again, is this movie better than anything CBS/Paramount has done?

      If Axanar cares so much, why after 2 years and $1.5 million, they haven’t even locked in a script or a cast yet? Star Trek Continues, Star Trek New Voyages, Star Trek Renegades, all have started fundraisers, filmed to completion, and have released their movies. Axanar’s still putting in carpet and traveling around to conventions. The producer of Axanar paid himself a salary, which is a HUGE no-no, as it means a profit is being made on an IP they don’t own.

      So, yeah, better than anything CBS/Paramount has done? Nope.

        1. Prelude was good. It was a talking heads kind of mockumentary, and I liked the format, I liked the performances. Christian Gossett did a terrific job of putting it all together and making it work. There were a few cringeworthy moments for me (the whole Queen B*tch Whore thing), but overall was solid.

          Axanar was going to be directed by someone else, though, as Christian Gossett left the production due to creative differences with Alec, and Tony Todd walked out too because he didn’t like Alec’s behavior (he tweeted this about 4 months after it happened). So we’ll probably never know what Axanar could have been.

  25. Congratulations Trekkies. welcome to how us Star Wars EU fans have felt about disney and LFL for the past 2 1/2 years after they killed off the EU

    alot of us havn’t bought into the new. to us fake. canon that is the farce awakens and such

    and we support you in your fight against CBS/Paramount for their actions

    its time for die hard SW and ST fans to unite against corporate greed

      1. Yes because majority of people are sheepol and do what they are told. Thank you modern society. No wonder I am a legalist politicality.

    1. Uh, most hard core Star Wars fans hate Trek fans for some reason. Yet most Trek fans also love Star Wars. Weird.

  26. Babylon 5, Blake’s 7, BSG, and Book universes like CJCherryh Alliance-Union universe, or Michael McCollum Antares Dawn etcetera could use some fan love.

    1. Babylon 5 is one that really deserves a refurbishing. A lot of younger SF fans are turned off by what they see as very awful CGI. Havin g some money spent on redoing the CGI–replicating the original designs with the cinema-quality tech available now would be fabulous.

      Personally I think they’re wrong, but my affection for B5’s CGI is s bit nostalgic.

      1. when Michael S created a new independently produced episode, the CGI was even worse. Ruined the story it was so obvious.

  27. I agree with this article and I think the all access should be free, CBS gets their revenue from commercials – if we miss a show, we should be able to watch it on the web in good quality and no lag. “ALL ACCESS” for $6 a month?? Everyone see’s dollar signs with the (name your product/service) and a service business plan, at what point is too much profit not enough? 1.9 billion just in Star Trek revenues, WTH people ! Not asking everything to be free, just asking it to be fair!

    1. Because they are not sure there is a big enough fan base to watch it for free. Plus hey view Star Trek as an vanguard to increasing their online presence for other original shows. I cut the cord to my cable provider and currently use all access to watch my favorite programs live over the net (NCIS). But will end it if they don’t change the guidelines.

  28. Is anyone actually surprised? Paramount and CBS have been treating Trek like a moribund cash cow for quite a few years now and pissing directly in the faces of fans (aka the source of their cash flow) was the next logical step. Enterprise, while poorly executed, was still Trek while everything that’s come out of the JJ Verse has been hollow and devoid of the spirit of Star Trek with the clear hope of pandering to the moronic demographic that is easiest to swindle out of the disposable income.

    Sorry, Paramount. I’ve got enough Trek on Laserdisc, DVD, and BluRay to keep me busy for a while. I see no need to part with any more of my hard-earned cash.

  29. I’m done with Trek. If they don’t do an immediate about face on this issue, and send out an apology to the fans, things I never see happening, then there are other franchises that I would rather be a fan of..

        1. Indeed, without people to make purchases, the franchise wouldn’t survive. However, this whole issue is CBS/P defending their intellectual property. Not enough fans will notice or care. Some will be interested, others won’t. You do recall the late 1990s and Paramount, right? They decimated the fan community’s online presence. Anything and everything was blasted by them if it had even a hint of Star Trek’s property. Star Trek continued to thrive. The way CBS has approached this situation is far gentler. It will be forgotten by many.

          1. Star Trek got hurt by the moronic acts in 90s. That why the fan base is not bigger. This act is only hurt an already weaken franchise more.

  30. I came to the conclusion several years ago that I am no longer a Star Trek fan. What was the final straw for me was Abhrams insisting, ‘We are not using Khan in my second movie’, oh look there’s Khan.. I didn’t even see the second movie as soon as I heard that fact revealed in reviews. I resent the lie, and the studio not stepping in to correct the issue. I do not watch Star Trek movies, i do not buy Star Trek merchandise, I do not play licensed game, and I won’t bother with the new TV series. Axanar had peaked my interest for a bit because it sounded like a good story, beyond that I’ll occasionally rewatch the digitally remastered TOS. I just don’t even have an interest in going back and watching most of the old content. I grew up a huge Star Trek fan from the age of 5 onward, but these days I have been disappointed far to many times over the last 15 years.

    1. unfortunately, new trek was never intended for us old audience… that’s why CBS don’t care… they are targeting the new and future generations who might have never watched any of the previous trek series… T_T

      1. Bullshit. I’ve been a Trek fan since September of 1966, and I thoroughly enjoy ALL versions of Trek, INCLUDING.the newest films. You don’t speak for ALL of “us old audience”, bucko.

      2. Very true, but older audiences like us tend to be the ones that pay to take the family to the movie, or set some of the agenda of what is watched in the household in general. That is the one factor to many entertainment companies forget. My sons did not even get interested in comic books or superheros till I took them to a few superhero movies for example.

        1. that’s is very true… me and my kids will always see a Marvel Movie… they love Marvel Movies… the last was Captain America Civil but for some reason, they don’t want to see any DC Movies… I watched Batman v Superman alone… T_T but they’ll see Dr. Strange with me even though they know nothing about the character…

    2. Abrams is well known for doing that kind of misleading. It seems to do a good job of getting people interested.

      I’m actually a bit disturbed by the comments by some fans. Yes, many of us are upset, but a lot of these responses are unbecoming of people who supposedly appreciate the world of Star Trek

  31. It’s not Paramounts business whether someone gets paid for their work out of pocket. And frankly that information is personal to begin with, even if Paramount wasn’t involved. They don’t have a right to that financial information. Also it’s possible to be amatuer and still get paid, even if you happen to be a professional. It’s all freelance. So the words “pro” and “amateur” don’t really fit unless you happen to be actually EMPLOYED by a company, or you are just stating skill level.

    1. It is their business if they own the property being used to make that profit, yes. What Axanar and Alec Peters did is called theft of intellectual property, and that’s why they’re being sued.

  32. If 50k is all you can raise, then its gonna look and feel cheap, which cheapens the experience, which is exactly what Paramount/CBS seem to want.

    In the end, as a fan, I’ve felt abandon by them for quite a long time. First no series since Enterprise, then allowing JJ to create an entire new universe and in essence destroying a beloved time line and then to not allow quality fan fick….

    I was going to go see Beyond, cuz, well, I’m a Sci-Fi addict and I’ll watch at least once anything Sci-Fi, but now I’m sour and bitter all around.

    I was actually looking greatly fwd to the new series and was going to get CBS All Access but what for? They left me abandon for over ten years with no series and now this crap with the your cult followers really is just icing on the cake.

    Well, lets just say:

    Warp Engines Offline

    I’ll get my Sci-Fi from Sy-Fi. I highly recommend Dark Matter and Kill Joys. Great space Sci-Fi and they’re new enough that the network can’t really disappoint me yet.

  33. Marketing and PR both had strokes when these “guidelines” were published.

  34. Wow. Star Trek just lost the monetary support of THIS fan at least. No more movie tickets, no more blu ray purchases, nada, until they throw these ridiculous rules out. The whole no financial gain stuff makes sense, but the rest is a big “fuck you” to all the fans who’ve helped keep Trek alive while it hibernated, who kept the community active and vibrant, and frankly, who keep Paramount in business.

    Unbelievable arrogance and middle finger to your customers, you Paramount/CBS/Viacom whores. Until this gets repealed, the ONLY new Trek content I will be enjoying will be fan-made.

    Oh, and I guess my opinion on this dumb competition has also changed:

    Star Wars > Star Trek.

    Eat a dick, Paramount.

    1. How will Paramount and CBS ever survive without your $15?!?

      1. Here’s a more pertinent question. Would trolls like you have committed suicide a long time ago if you didn’t have the internet? 😉

        1. Sorry, not a troll. Just someone with a bit more perspective on the world, I suppose.

  35. I will watch the new show but I won’t pay for it. I haven’t decided to if I’m going to skip the movie or not.

    1. Of course you’ll see the movie, just like every other whining fanboy. You’ll whine because you’re losing your pirated bootleg Star Trek but you’ll always come home.

      1. I wouldn’t be so critical of folks who feel harmed by this. It’s predatory and will get you banned. Also, “pirated” and “bootleg” are wildly disingenuous terms for fan productions, please do your homework before slinging nonsense.

        1. Why should being dismissive of “harm” result in banning? Perhaps you’d clarify how anyone is harmed by these new guidelines. Rather, I suggest that they are specifically designed to keep fans from harming themselves. By creating a specific carve-out in their IP rights, CBS and Paramount are helping the most devoted fans by giving them room to create without fear of legal action. How is this not a positive?!?

          The piracy of intellectual property is a recognized problem worldwide, and while most of these fan films are non-commercial they do qualify since they involve the use of protected copyrights without license. You can equivocate all you like but Star Trek fan films technically qualify as pirated IP.

          Bootleg? Well, OK, you got me there. That comment was intended to capture a general lax attitude in this fan film community towards respecting the rights of the copyright holders, and attitude similar to those who produce bootleg materials. That was inaccurate and I’ll avoid using it in the future. A better work to use would have been karaoke.

          1. The harm comes from restricting a fanbase from creating or distributing fan fiction, which in an of itself is a form of harm. Add to that a violation of expectations set forth by Paramount and CBS in the past that fan fic was at worst ignored, and at best, celebrated (by Roddenberry).

            Let’s get really clear: piracy implies monetary exchange for stolen goods, and in the great majority of fan productions, that simply never happened. And when a precedent has been set by the studio to tolerate or ignore it, and when fan creations have been extolled in the past (at conventions, in official publications with fan fic, by the actors endorsements without studio intervention for YEARS….) the expectation is implicit. So please stop implying that fan creators are criminal when the expectation for fan creations were set by the studio and rights holders themselves.

          2. “The harm comes from restricting a fanbase from creating or distributing fan fiction, which in an of itself is a form of harm”

            That sounds more like hurt feelings than actual harm. I’m sorry but federal copyright law does not recognize such harm as an exception, so you’re just going to have to throw yourself on the mercy of the rights holders. I doubt, however, that they’re going to be very sympathetic to such hurt feelings. Why? Because they know that the people whose feeling have been wounded are, for the most part, the most die hard Trek fans, and as such they will always come home regardless. And they’re right. Further, placing serious limitations today will clear the decks for the future Trek fans who will not expect such things and whose feelings will not be hurt without them.

            “piracy implies monetary exchange for stolen goods”

            Perhaps, but if so a case can be made– and has been made in the recent lawsuit– that unlicensed fan-produced media like films and fiction deny CBS and Paramount the opportunity to obtain licensing fees. Every time a fan film gives away a homemade Trek patch for a donation, CBS/P lose another dollar in lost license fees.

            “when a precedent has been set by the studio to tolerate or ignore it”

            Unlike trademarks, which must be rigorously defended in court to be maintained, copyrights are under no such pressure. The owner of a copyright can choose to enforce their rights or not as they see fit. There is no precedent, at least not from a legal perspective, simply because they choose to let 1,000 violations slide. They’re still within their rights to come after Violator #1,001 with the full force of the law. If you see cars speeding down the interstate at 100MPH without being pulled over, does that mean that it’s legal for YOU to do so with impunity?!?

          3. The argument isn’t “can they restrict fan creations” it’s “should they?”

            Most fan productions were not profiting or even breaking even. Can we agree it’s silly to alienate a hugely passionate fan base of creators?

            I’m also not sure, given the state of Fantasy Football that CBS/P actually lost money on fan fiction or fan creations. Cite your source for this please.

            From a marketing perspective it’s just plain dumb.

          4. Let’s quantify things, and we can start by recognizing that not all fans are the same. The vast majority of Star Trek fans– or fans of any such entertainment franchise– neither write fan fiction nor make fan films. Very few by comparison engage in such things. Here are the somewhat speculative numbers: roughly 17 million tickets were sold for Abrams’ first Star Trek ($257,730,019 ÷ $15). How many people are *actively* involved in the creation of films? Maybe you know but my guess would be in the hundreds. Even if it were a few thousand, that’s not very many in the grand scheme of Trekdom.

            So will these intrepid creators be hurt by these guidelines? Perhaps, but only in the sense that they’re losing to ability to use something that they didn’t own in the first place. They can’t seriously claim any injury simply because the rightful owners have asked for their property back. I’m not sure what your point is when comparing fantasy sports to this but I assume it has something to do with copyright. If so, the two are not comparable. The names of teams, players and their stats are printed for free in every daily newspaper, and a federal judge has held that such information is protected by the first amendment. This is why fantasy sports organizations do not have to pay for the rights to use it. There is no comparable first amendment issue with Star Trek.

            As for marketing, CBS and Paramount have some of the best in the business. If they’re not worried about infuriating a few hundred devoted fans, you should ask yourself why.

  36. Why don’t these idiots just license these fan films and add them to their All Access channel. I might consider subscribing to them if this were an added addition along with the new show being produced. What are they afraid of? They could be the first commercial supporter of fan films and take this opportunity to thank their fans. But instead they issue this silly edict that hamstrings any fan film producer. There’s some great stuff out there. They should want it to be a part of the entire Trek universe. Methinks CBS and Paramount just cut their own nuts off….it’s so sad.

    1. Why would they want to license fan films as part of their brand? They hire professionals to make films because they want their films to look professional. What we’ve been seeing from many fan productions, as much as I like them, are not fan films but resume padding. These films have used hundreds of thousands of dollars, and professional actors. That is not a fan film, that’s a professional production using an IP that isn’t theirs. CBS is smarter to do their own thing rather than license it out to fan productions, because they don’t need to do this. If they figured there was actual money in it, they would have done so already. That that haven’t should tell you they couldn’t find any profit in it.

      1. Fool. No other words for you. Captain Sydney not only has a great idea – it is something that works in Japan for manga. Go do some research on Comiket.

        1. don’t give a F*ck how they do things in Japan. Big difference in broadcast and doujin.

  37. If I am translating the officially licensed books under the official licence, am I in violation of #5? Because I am not officially employed by CBS/Paramount, but I have a contract with the publishing house that is going to publish it. It is however a licensed product. See, my profession is in different field, but I am doing this as a fan as the pay is more or less meh. As a fan I also participated in ST fanfilm, which is now in post-production. Even if it happened to pass all the ridiculous rules (it doesn’t by length, use of fan made props and costumes and at least of one instance of a character drinking alcohol), could that fanmovie get into trouble because several of the people acting there are or were in the past officially translating Star Trek novels? That is another question.

  38. Another thing about the official merchendise from anovos:
    “Territories Covered by ANOVOS
    United States and Canada. Orders from territories not listed above will be immediately cancelled & refunded.”

    European productions are more or less screwed in this case.

  39. It’s like they’ve seen the spectacular marketing story that is Hasbro and MLP, and got exactly the wrong lessons.

  40. What a shame. Makes me reconsider my position on following Trek anymore.

  41. Whew. No 3D printed phasers or tricorders (because Playmates made a
    Tricorder back in the day – good luck finding one on Ebay). No
    3D-printed combadges or rank pips, because Anovos made replica licensed
    props of those ($$$). No TOS, TNG, Voyager/Early DS9, or Insurrection
    uniforms because those exist via Anovos (sometimes they’re even in
    stock).

    You have this wrong. You can make your own props and uniforms. The rule only applies to things you buy.

    I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong about the whole thing overall, but this one isn’t quite what you seem to think.

    1. If it’s used in the production (vs personal use like cosplay at a con) yes it has to be purchased from a licensed merchant. Until CBS clarifies otherwise. The statement they made is subject to different interpretations.

      1. The restriction is clearly on using “commercially-available” props, costumes, etc. That wouldn’t include anything you make yourself, for your own purposes.

        1. That’s not entirely clear with the interactions between guidelines #3 and #4, as “content” could apply to props, sets, sound effects, special effects, etc. and the “no recreations or reproductions” rule seems to stop “DIY/rolling your own” in its tracks.

          1. This is what it says:

            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

            Commercially-available. It doesn’t say a thing about props you make for your own purposes.

            It’s the difference between buying and using a Diamond Select licensed phaser or an licensed resin-cast knockoff, both available on Amazon.

            #3 refers to content, as in, you cannot copy scenes from previous official productions — so, for example, when Star Trek Continues reproduced part of “Mirror, Mirror,” that would not be allowed. It probably also refers to using actual music, and definitely refers to using clips. It doesn’t say anything about props or costumes or sets.

          2. “Content” is not defined as such, and so has whatever scope a lawyer would put on it in an objection from CBS/P.

          3. Oh, CBS can change the terms any time they want for any reason whatsoever, with no warning, but what they wrote was clear: in one item, they’re talking about props and costumes. In the other, they’re talking about “content,” the actual audio-visual content.

            And when they’re talking about props and costumes, they’re only talking about commercially-available stuff, not stuff you make yourself.

  42. Weird…… Suddenly, I have no desire for ANY more “official” Star Trek.

    1. I can’t wait for more official Trek. Ninety-nine percent of fan films aren’t worth the time it takes to watch them. I’ve seen exactly one good enough to watch a second time, “The Tressaurian Intersection”.

      1. I find the “re-boot” to be boring. I object to the heavy handedness of the “official” Trek industry.

        1. It is no more “heavy handed” than it has ever been. Some folks definitely don’t remember the old days.

          1. The old days?

            The fans didn’t have this capability in the old days. The “old days” would be “a few years ago.”

          2. As the internet evolved in the late-90’s Paramount did quite a crackdown on websites and fan fiction.

          3. Yes and that was retard and stupid then and guess what it f-ing retard now. CBS/Paramount are trying to finish job they did in the 90s

          4. It’s amazing people still can’t wrap their minds around who is responsible for this and direct their venom accordingly.

          5. Axanar basically forced CBS’s hand with their actions. That’s where our ire should be directed at. But still, most think CBS has completely over reacted and shot themselves in the foot. All those items listed as verboten in the new guidelines are a direct result of Axanars behavior. The upside is maybe all that hard won experience by the fan movie veterans will translate into well done low budget original scifi. Always looking for the silver lining.

    2. Agreed
      I suddenly I this strange desire to give CBS/Paramount the middle finger.

  43. Nice write-up, complete with solutions and links, and not just one but four! What’s more, your an artist who has had things stolen and yet you “still” have workable alternatives for an organization to follow that won’t alienate their fan-base, something other people would be bitter about and walk away from. I just watched the Star Wars fan film competition sponsored by Disney last week, and yet CBS/Paramount act like this is the first time this has happened to a company…it’s just sad that a property about the future and hope could be so run by people that are so hopeless.

  44. I will disagree about a couple of things.

    A) given the presumption at all that a fan work qualifies as parody under ‘Fair Use’ (and my layman’s opinion is that since ‘The Wind done Gone’ by and large they do), a vast portion of this is vastly overreaching. If it is Fair Use at all, it is Fair Use, regardless of the whether it used fan-made props and uniforms or online, DVD, or Blueray. Or length.

    Truly vast sections of this I … kinda hope someone doing a qualifying Fair use Parody (as defined by copyright) completely violates, because this kind of overreach in the realm of copyright deserves to be slapped back, hard.

    And then I remember that unfortunately as currently defined, there is no real penalty for overreaching the already strong protections of Copyright. One of the several places that Copyright law needs to be pared back.

    B) Point six, in general, is almost entirely not about the project being non-commercial. I’m not sure I understand why you give it a pass on that. Now, obviously being non-commercial is a strong fair use point, but what *exactly* does having a budget of $50,000.01 have to do with it being non-commercial? No giving away of Props? No DVD/BlueRay? Not sure I understand why you gave them a pass on that.

    C) Point 9, “Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor
    any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.”

    Well, first of all under the Berne Convention their works are registered under Copyright the moment of publication. Second of all – again, this is a massive overreach – this is essentially a declaration that if you have any original content CBS/Paramount feel no need or desire to respect it and would very much like you to make it easy to steal from you, while simultaneously trying to claim a right to ironclad arbitrary rules in sharing their materials. It seems to me to have nothing to do with being non-commercial.

    So what we have is a lack of respect for fair use, a lack of respect for the fans, and a complete willingness to upend a respectful relationship going back 50 years in case that lack of respect was not abundantly clear.

    Yeah, I’m done with them.

    1. You can still use IMDB. I agree with all of CBS’s postions on use of their IP, just not on the restraints on the productions themselves.

  45. Personally, these kinds of arguments are just turning me off of fandom, not Star Trek. Totally not what the very principle of Trek is…IDIC. I’ll keep enjoying Trek without this nonsense.

  46. I applaud this action. Too much #entitlednarcissism present in fandom today…..

    “There are at least 4 different legal arrangements for fan work I’m aware of that CBS and Paramount could have employed without risking their business model:”

    Of course we should take legal advice from blogs and fans.
    THAT’S WHAT GOT YOU THE GUIDELINES IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!

    1. Ricardo,

      Your strawman of entitled narcissism is total nonsense. This was fan enthusiasm created by precedent set by Gene Roddenberry himself. I’ll paste the quote, yet again, below.

      Also, when I say there are 4 different legal arrangements – I’m not speaking to their viability, just that they could have applied here and have been applied on other franchises. It’s not so black and white that because it came from a blog (by the way, written by someone who has a great deal of experience in copyright and licensing) that it must be bad advice. I’m no corporate copyright lawyer, but I’m not exactly an amateur either – and having navigated fandoms for a while, these four frameworks DO exist and ARE applied by corporate lawyers.

      Now, for some wiser minds on the topic of fan creations:

      “…Certainly the loveliest happening of all for us was the fact that so many others began to feel the same way [about Star Trek as we did]. Television viewers by the millions began to take Star Trek to heart as their own personal optimistic view of the Human condition and future. They fought for the show, honored it, cherished it, wrote about it–and have continued to do their level best to make certain that it will live again.

      …We were particularly amazed when thousands, then tens of thousands of people began creating their own personal Star Trek adventures. Stories, and paintings, and sculptures, and cookbooks. And songs, and poems, and fashions. And more. The list is still growing. It took some time for us to fully understand and appreciate what these people were saying. Eventually we realized that there is no more profound way in which people could express what Star Trek has meant to them than by creating their own very personal Star Trek things.

      Because I am a writer, it was their Star Trek stories that especially gratified me. I have seen these writings in dog-eared notebooks of fans who didn’t look old enough to spell “cat.” I have seen them in meticulously produced fanzines, complete with excellent artwork. Some of it has even been done by professional writers, and muchof it has come from those clearly on their way to becoming professional writers. Best of all, all of it was plainly done with love.

      It is now a source of great joy for me to see their view of Star Trek, their new Star Trek stories, reaching professional publication here. I want to thank these writers, congratulate them on their efforts, and wish them good fortune on these and further of their voyages into other times and dimensions. Good writing is always a very personal thing and comes from the writer’s deepest self. Star Trek was that kind of writing for me, and it moves me profoundly that it has also become so much a part of the inner self of so many other people.

      Viewers like this have proved that there is a warm, loving, and intelligent lifeform out there–and that it may even be the dominant species on this planet.

      That is the highest compliment and the greatest repayment that they could give us.” – Gene Roddenberry, 1976 introduction for Star Trek: The New Voyages (an officially published fan fiction anthology!)

      1. I believe that this Roddenberry quote originated in a collection of fan fiction, yes? Wasn’t that book published under license?!?

        1. “there are two Star Trek: The New Voyages anthology collections that Bantam published with Paramount’s approval. These books were reprints of fan fiction that had been previously published in fanzines. The fanzines themselves (as well as their editors) are listed in the copyright information in the beginning of each book. Folks, this isn’t tacit approval of fan fiction and fanzines. It’s an acknowledgement.” http://www.orionpressfanzines.com/articles/roddenberryonfanfic.htm

  47. This is the worst news ever for Star Trek fandom. I’m glad I got to enjoy it for nearly forty years, but this sounds like a death knell to me.

    1. Or that creators are going to have to be more creative and actually produce something that adds to the tapestry of Star Trek.

      1. Better yet, create an entirely new shared universe with new stories and characters that doesn’t have the name “Federation” attached to it. Not hard to do and no limits. Get new writers to create the sort of scifi that made Trek so popular without infringing on their IP. Renegades is taking that route.

  48. The article calls Klingon a “largely fan-created language.” Actually,
    most of the vocabulary and grammar is contained in books that are
    copyrighted by Paramount Pictures, and all of it is originated or
    approved by Marc Okrand (though he says he gets it all from Maltz).
    However, Klingon is in a sense a living language thanks to the fans who carry
    on daily conversations in Klingon and who have written most of its
    literature.

    1. A few years ago, the local Shakespeare theater in DC put on a Shakespeare play entirely in Klingon.

  49. CBS/Paramount may own Star Trek but I own the remote. I am not paying to see Beyond, I am not paying to see their new series. I am not ordering anything from their Star Trek.Com store. They refuse to support fans so fans don’t support CBS/Paramount. LLAP.

  50. CC-BY-NC licenses don’t, as far as I understand, allow you to veto individual non-commercial works, FYI. If Star Trek is licensed via creative commons for fanfiction, hell, I’m not even sure if you can withdraw licensing something as Creative Commons, so it’s incredibly unlikely to happen. A license similar to the Star Wars one is probably the best case.

    And yeah, I think this is a case of the solution being worse than the problem. They shouldn’t have released these rules at all if they care about their relationship with Trek fans. Of course it could be that their goals here are purely about preventing what they think of as brand dilution, in which case, mission accomplished, you have effectively nuked indie Star Trek productions as they exist today from orbit.

  51. “True Fans” want someone to blame? All they have to do is look in the mirror. As many of them enabled Alec Peters even after it was clear he was a con-artist.

    1. No, they didn’t know what he was up to. That’s how a con artist gets away with things. You don’t realize until it’s too late. then he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

      1. When he asked for $300,000, I can see people giving. When he needed a little more, I could see people giving. When he started talking about building a studio and needing another million to make it, the old Red Alert should’ve started going off in the back of people’s minds. This was common sense that he had plans other than Axanar and he was taking people for a ride. This clearly became more about Ares Studios than Axanar rather quickly.

        Lots of people saw it coming. But there were enough that just needed to say “FU!” to CBS/Paramount over the Abrams films that they didn’t care and kept writing checks. That is why we are where we are. People having the inability to control their own hate.

        When Peters and Company are at the San Diego Comic Con, I can guarantee it is the donors who are footing the bill.

  52. I’m betting there are many, many people here who would be whistling a far different tune if they owned Star Trek.

    1. Quoting Gene, yet again – Gene Roddenberry himself wrote in his 1976 introduction for Star Trek: The New Voyages, a Bantam published book edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath:

      “…Certainly the loveliest happening of all for us was the fact that so many others began to feel the same way [about Star Trek as we did]. Television viewers by the millions began to take Star Trek to heart as their own personal optimistic view of the Human condition and future. They fought for the show, honored it, cherished it, wrote about it–and have continued to do their level best to make certain that it will live again.

      …We were particularly amazed when thousands, then tens of thousands of people began creating their own personal Star Trek adventures. Stories, and paintings, and sculptures, and cookbooks. And songs, and poems, and fashions. And more. The list is still growing. It took some time for us to fully understand and appreciate what these people were saying. Eventually we realized that there is no more profound way in which people could express what Star Trek has meant to them than by creating their own very personal Star Trek things.

      Because I am a writer, it was their Star Trek stories that especially gratified me. I have seen these writings in dog-eared notebooks of fans who didn’t look old enough to spell “cat.” I have seen them in meticulously produced fanzines, complete with excellent artwork. Some of it has even been done by professional writers, and much of it has come from those clearly on their way to becoming professional writers. Best of all, all of it was plainly done with love.

      It is now a source of great joy for me to see their view of Star Trek, their new Star Trek stories, reaching professional publication here. I want to thank these writers, congratulate them on their efforts, and wish them good fortune on these and further of their voyages into other times and dimensions. Good writing is always a very personal thing and comes from the writer’s deepest self. Star Trek was that kind of writing for me, and it moves me profoundly that it has also become so much a part of the inner self of so many other people.

      Viewers like this have proved that there is a warm, loving, and intelligent lifeform out there–and that it may even be the dominant species on this planet.

      That is the highest compliment and the greatest repayment that they could give us.”

      1. I’m not talking about Roddenberry, I’m talking about people here who are rather loudly pro-Axanar. People who would be none to pleased if another person took something they owned and used it for personal gain.

        As far as Roddenberry goes, I imagine he would be singing a far different tune if people were monetizing Star Trek for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. I think we all know that. No one got between him and a dollar.

      2. it doesn’t matter what Gene wrote. He does not own Star Trek. His opinion is just that, an opinion, not a legal contract.

      3. Why does it matter what Roddenberry said? Not only is he long since departed but his words carry no weight, either legally or morally. He wasn’t addressing such things as Axanar which he couldn’t possibly have imagined. Quoting him my be inspiring to you but it’s moot.

    2. no I wouldn’t I would have been more tactical than CBS/Paramount and co-oped the Fan films.

  53. This is an F-You, writ large, to Star Trek fan film makers. However, of those people, the actual filmmakers among them won’t be bothered by this. They’re story tellers, and the medium and trappings are variable. People merely filming their cosplay and doing slightly-bigger-than-in-mom’s-basement fantasy indulgence will probably lose their shit. I’m not particularly a Star Trek fan, but I enjoy it. Still, even with these bullshit guidelines I could make a far better Star Trek film than those Abrams abortions. So the question to those more inclined to bother than myself is: can you? If so, do. Otherwise, sure, issue an F-You right back to Paramount and see if it stings (probably not). That’d be fun to see, though. Better than a fan film, maybe.

  54. Well, they succeeding at dismantling my Fandom. I no longer consider myself a Fan of CBS or Paramount and do not care about their Business of Star Trek. While I will continue to Cherish Star Trek itself the Universe and the influence it has had in my life, the business will no longer benefit from that anymore.

    1. Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you! Lol!

        1. That isn’t wishing death on anyone. It is the same as “don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you leave”. Lol.

    2. While I disagree with you, I respect your right to boycott and will not attack you.

  55. This is outrageous… And I’m sure Gene is rolling in his grave right now. They took this amazing thing… This.. I can’t even give it proper words… This piece of art and history that inspired so many people, both young and old, and gave us hope for a better future, and showed us what kind of potential we could have as a species… And wrecked it. I mean it was bad enough with these “reboot” movies. But now you trample on the hearts and minds of thousands of Trekkies directly. It’s unforgivable. I will not stop calling myself a Trekkie, it’s a further insult to Gene Roddenberry and the very thing I grew up with that helped shape me today… But I will never again trust CBS or Paramount with anything Trek related again.

  56. Well unless people get of their fat, lazy, docile, and stupid asses and fight. We will never have that Utopia. We need to replace the politicians and their corporate masters by force. A society without greed is going to have to earn…..by the blood of rebels.

    1. Whoa, slow down, there. History shows that those who rebel in bloody violence end up repeating the repressive behavior of those they overthrew. Passive resistance, my friend. Look at Ghandi, King, Solzhenitsyn, Mother Theresa. They represent the revolution of Forceful Truth. Look around you. Where can you plant the seeds of change without violence? Live long and prosper…

      1. Not necessarily look at the US american revolution. As for passive resistance look at how well passive resistance worked against the Nazis. No sometime blood must be spilled and some groups are so corrupt and entrenched that violence is the only option. I wish more americans would see that. They corrupt Elites have stolen democracy from America and turn into an Oligarchy. We tried the to change in the system and it failed. More drastic measures are needed.

        1. While I agree with you that the 1% has created an America where my children and grandchildren will live as second world citizens, [as a result of the politics of the 80s], I do not agree that violence is the answer. The answer to changing the system is to return American businesses to America. Apple and other tech companies need to manufacture in this country with union work forces instead of Chinese slave labor. We need to search out and buy goods made in this country. [Buy Hydrox cookies instead of Oreos. Buy chicken other than Tyson who sends its chickens to China to be processed.] You can find out where most of your goods are manufactured.

  57. Why did you delete my earlier post? Afraid of the truth?!?

  58. It doesn’t matter what the episode script says. Star Trek is a for profit entertainment product. If it didn’t make money, there would be no Star Trek. This whole no money in the future was ideological flim flam. Nothing more.

    1. As an old woman who has seen a lot of life, I also have a very cynical view of human nature. However, the episode script is the point. Fans dislike the new films primarily because they do not challenge our imaginations and human limitations in that way the original universe does. In addition, human creativity should not and ultimately cannot be stifled by either governmental opposition or corporate greed. It will prevail in some form or another. Ask Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

  59. Beniantha,

    First – we didn’t delete your post, you included a link which automatically flags it for moderation. Please remain calm.

    Second – I’d say it’s fair to say many fans are livid. Just check any one of 50+ fan production posts on Facebook or blogs about having to suspend production in light of these guidelines. Those are available here: http://axamonitor.com/doku.php?id=guidelines_aftermath — and also the original post about Star Trek’s fan guidelines drew quite a bit of ire on the Facebook post and on the website comment portions. “Wildly inaccurate” is not entirely accurate. Do you have a total count of the number of Trekkies in the world? Answer.com suggested 40M. But how many of those folks are actively spending money on the big dollar collectables and such, and in volumes that make those items not only viable but scaleable? Fan creators.

    Third: Gene Roddenberry and CBS/P setting precedents is WHY we have this mess to begin with. Gene approved of fan creations. CBS/P turned a blind eye to it forever. What you have is a slew of fan films and productions who also made no attempt to violate copyright and did their best to not infringe while also celebrating and expanding the universe. Your “no true scotsman” fallacy aside, the precedent is what makes the whole point moot.

    Fourth: Films and productions were given precedent permission from Paramount/CBS. When asked, Paramount instructed fan sites to put a disclaimer on the footer of every page about rights and permissions. It was never so black and white; and CBS/Paramount, with full knowledge of these fan productions, never attempted to intervene and HAVE NOT intervened against other fan productions besides Axanar with very few exceptions – even without a lawsuit. Precedent. Also, “you kids” is dismissive. Please dismount your high horse.

    Fifth: Commercially available items only vs 3D printing items is relevant because the guidelines are contradictory. You cannot replicate, reproduce, or recreate an item shown on screen on a Star Trek show. The way the guidelines are written, if it exists in licensed form, you must buy it and you can’t roll your own, either. That makes the whole “backyard” production thing you espouse on your next point moot because few backyard fans could fund all those collectables on their own.

    Sixth: The way the guidelines are written, it excludes professionals from working on the film. That’s the way the rule is written. It doesn’t matter what you think the “spirit” of the rule is, it’s how it could be enforced (at the whim of a grouchy vs a kind lawyer, that wording takes on completely different meanings).

    Seventh: I own my own business, so in the state of Colorado, you betcha I know my labor laws. CBS/P have contracts with those parties, presumably they must comply with “right to work” laws in each state, most of which would be vetted via arbitration depending on the contract. In a right to work state, you cannot bar someone from work even if that work is for a competitor except in very rare circumstances (damaging trade secrets). If you’re going to make wild assumptions about the writer and what do or do not know, perhaps you can save us both time and argue with yourself in a mirror.

    Eighth: “cottage industry” is disingenuous. What has been removed is the ability of everyday fans to produce serial Star Trek stories. Keep in mind many of the fan productions that were forced to shut down as a result of these guidelines never made any attempt to fundraise or even break even. What has conspired will create a sci-fi revolution, for sure – but it won’t be Trek. It’ll be open-source or new universes that do not yet exist.

    Please take your wildly inaccurate corrections and rethink.

  60. At the time copyright law was originally crafted, there were no companies in the US that had existed for more than 75 years. There certainly were no mega entertainment corps around at the time. Things change, laws change.

  61. Uh, creative commons already handles stuff like that. IF you believe in that strongly enough, support them

    1. Creative commons is one set of type of open licenses. I’m not talking that. I’m talking a repository creative commons and other open types of license for IP.
      Kind of like sourceforge for open source software.

      Also, the creative commons license just says, “Use it how you like.” As for the creative commons site, 90% of the time, it results in the source material just getting cut up and reused as parts of fairly unrelated projects with no identifying aspect uniting them.

      I’d be looking at providing more structure and a community update mechanism and similar, various levels and types of controls for original creators, displaying featured IPs, managing different license types, “canon control” mechanisms, etc.

      Both open ideas, but very different goals and implementation.

  62. “Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.”

    Erm, but just as a heads up Paramount, any work created in the U.S. already has some copyright protections automatically once it is fixed, which is to say “in a tangible form that is perceptible by the human senses either directly or with the aid of a machine.” The creator may not be able to sell that work, but to some degree you don’t need to officially register a copyright to have copyright protection.

  63. Important rule for business. Don’t kill the cow that gives you the milk. For those of you that say Axanar was wrong and took things too far and that the fans aren’t allowed to play with someone elses’ toys. The thing is that Paramount-CBS make their money that way. I see this wonderful play ground and I am asked to play in it for a fee…looks great so I pay and go in to play but as I go for one toy I get my hand slapped..Okayyyy. I so turn to another awesome toy play with for a while but discover I have a time limit..I begin to think why did I pay for this but still everything looks so awesome I carry on..I turn to another great looking toy but on closer scrutiny realize it is of low quality and shabbily made so..At the end of the day the owner walks up to thanks me for my enthusiastic playing in his wonderful sandbox then slaps me in the face. As i walk away rubbing my aching cheek the owner says “Come back and pay anytime!” Axanar crossed the line and deserved censure, but the fans don’t. Time to shut this down folks and hope some one more more worthy comes along to carry on Roddenberrys’ messssage.

  64. Why was my link to the John Van Citters interview not posted?