CBS and Paramount Agree to Settlement with Star Trek: Axanar Producers

Jan 20, 2017

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Fan film writers and producers were following the lawsuit CBS and Paramount filed against the makers of the fan-funded film Star Trek: Axanar very closely. After months of legal wrangling and press releases from both parties, there has been news of a settlement.

Entertainment Weekly and Deadline are reporting that the two parties have agreed to a settlement in the case. The settlement would allow the film to be distributed for free in two 15 minute parts ad-free on YouTube, but only after significant changes are made to the film to remove anything CBS and Paramount might consider copyright infringement. Additionally, Axanar Productions and its founder Alec Peters agree to follow CBS and Paramount guidelines for any future fan films set in the Star Trek universe.

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Both parties released a joint statement Friday with Peters admitting that elements of the film “were not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.” This refers to both the feature film Axanar and the short film Prelude to Axanar that was created to generate interest and funds through Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

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This brings to end over a year of legal back and forth that put strain on the relationship between the Star Trek producers and its fans. Included in the joint statement, CBS and Paramount stated:

Paramount and CBS continue to be big believers in fan fiction and fan creativity. They encourage amateur filmmakers to showcase their passion for Star Trek. Paramount and CBS will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional, amateur, and otherwise meet the Guidelines, which can be found at http://www.startrek.com/fan-films. Paramount and CBS would like Star Trek fans, with their boundless creativity and passion, to “Live Long and Prosper.”

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While there are many who believe that this is a victory for both sides, there are others who contend that the reason why CBS and Paramount were so eager to quash this film is because the plot, which takes place during the Four Year War between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, is the time period which the studios new show Star Trek: Discovery takes place.

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Let us know what you think of the latest news in this case.

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