Star Trek Axanar in Legal Trouble?
Star Trek: Axanar is a fan-made Star Trek film that began its production journey on Kickstarter. Initially asking for $100,000, the project has since earned nearly seven times that amount with $1.13 million.
That said, CBS does not condone this project. In an official statement to The Wrap, a representative said,
“CBS has not authorized, sanctioned or licensed this project in any way, and this has been communicated to those involved. We continue to object to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights and are considering further options to protect these rights.”
Following The Wrap’s initial report, the folks behind Star Trek: Axanar clarified that they have not received the blessing of CBS.
The issue of copyright infringement with regards to fan films popped up recently when Josephn Kahn filmed a “fan-made” Power Rangers short film. The dark and gritty take on the beloved “teenagers with attitude” starred James Van Der Beek and Katie Sackhoff and almost instantly went viral. Saban eventually stepped in and pulled the shorts (both the SFW and NSFW versions) from YouTube and Vimeo. In another case, 20th Century Fox shut down a fan film last month for its likeness to Alien.
According to executive producer Alec Peters, the reason CBS and Paramount are looking the other way for the time being is that he’s steering clear, for the most part, from official Star Trek logos and likenesses.
This debate of fan film vs. copyright infringement is an important one to have in this day and age, when fan films are running rampant.
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