Those of you waiting patiently for Star Trek Fan Film Axanar can finally rejoice! The lawsuit between the studios and its filmakers has finally reached a settlement, and we might finally get to see a version of the fan film! Sort of!
Don’t get too excited yet.
Axanar has been a sticking point for CBS and Paramount for some time. The studios filed a copyright lawsuit after its massive amount of fundraising set off red flag for the companies. And despite J.J. Abrams’s comments that the suit was going away last May, it’s soldiered on. To put the icing on the cake, during this, Paramount and CBS put out some ridiculously restrictive fan film guidelines which seemed designed to kill a historically relevant part of Trek fan culture.
This settlement is, if anything, a compromise with those guidelines.
In the settlement the existing Prelude to Axanar will be allowed to stay online, and the Axanar film will be allowed online posted as two, 15 minute shorts. This is far from the feature length film promised by filmmakers, but falls into the ridiculous length guidelines put out there by CBS and Paramount. Axanar gets to skirt certain parts of those guidelines still, with its heavy inclusion of actors who have appeared on various Star Trek properties.
It’s a disappointing end in many ways, but it’s a lot better for fans than it could have been. I’ve included the official statement released by both the filmmakers and the studios below:
Paramount Pictures Corporation, CBS Studios Inc., Axanar Productions, Inc. and Alec Peters are pleased to announce that the litigation regarding Axanar’s film Prelude to Axanar and its proposed film Axanar has been resolved. Axanar and Mr. Peters acknowledge that both films were not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.
Axanar and Mr. Peters have agreed to make substantial changes to Axanar to resolve this litigation, and have also assured the copyright holders that any future Star Trek fan films produced by Axanar or Mr. Peters will be in accordance with the “Guidelines for Fan Films” distributed by CBS and Paramount in June 2016.
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.”