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Star Trek: New official guidelines for Fan Films might kill several projects

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ShadowOwl

Member
Well, just take a look for yourself:

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. Therefore, CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines.

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.
CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.
Source: http://www.startrek.com/fan-films

Applying these new guidelines strictly would effectively kill all big and rather well known fan productions such as Star Trek Continues, Star Trek: New Voyages and the still unreleased Star Trek: Axanar. Future productions by Tim Russ (played Tuvok in ST Voyager), such as Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and Star Trek: Renegades would also be unthinkable. CBS and Paramount are still trying to put the crowdfunded Axanar out of action by legal means.

I'm extremely pissed off right now, but even more so disappointed. Fan films have been such important part of the franchise for so many years. Disney/Lucasfilm are handling their fan film community so much better...
 

jediyoshi

Member
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.

Hoo boy. What.
 

MisterHero

Super Member
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.
No more Grand Admiral Chekov and strange Uhura pairings!?! =(

I loved Star Trek Continues, but I guess Apollo's inclusion will kill it too. :(
 

MisterHero

Super Member
They should show some more respect for having one of the most devoted fanbases in the history of fandom.
Fanworks are a huge legal issue for Fair Use and companies can't just ignore them

Even if they're tough now, there's no reason they can come back and relax them in the future.

Maybe with the power of crowdfunding, CBS could charge a fat licensing fee (depending on the scale of the project) and leave it at that.
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
As somebody completely divorced from the Star Trek fan community, these points seem pretty reasonable aside from maybe #4. I think it's very hard to claim that your production is non-commercial and therefore Fair Use if you have a lot of money changing hands.
 

kulapik

Member
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

How in the fuck are they going to control this?
 

Sparse

Member
Wow, what the fuck?

It's basically. "unless it's you and your pleb friends goofing around, you can't make it."

Poor Tim Russ.
 

DiscoJer

Member
I see no problem with an IP-owning company setting guidelines for how fans can infringe on their IP.

Star Trek only exists as a franchise because of fans keeping it alive after the TOS was cancelled (and i might add, fans got it uncancelled once).

They might have a legal right to do it, but IMHO, they have no moral right.

To me, Star Trek is a perfect example of why IP should only last for a fixed time before going public domain. It becomes part of society, that a company with no connection to its original creator should control it is silly
 
Yeesh, no videos over 15 minutes long, only two videos in a series, no fan-made props and costumes if official versions exist, and broad restrictions on the content allowed (no depictions of illegal activity? so no ships trying to destroy each other?)

Maybe if Star Trek was a new property this would be fine, but there has already been a long history of major fan productions.
 

mreddie

Member
So because CBS is doing a Online show about Trek, everyone else must cease their projects?

At least Star Wars isn't this insane...yet.
 

MisterHero

Super Member
Chris Doohan does an awesome Scotty in STContinues. This really surprised me after I chuckled at some fan petition to make him Scotty in the new movies.

He's in the movies, just a transporter technician
 

TyrantII

Member
I wonder if that would change, if a Star Wars fan film made over six hundred thousand, through Kickstarter, like Axanar did?

Axanar got kinda murky when they claimed to be not for profit, but got caught dumping money into the production studio with plans to make more film that wasn't Axanar and potentially for profit.

That said, CBS/Paramount would be smart to just create a small licensing office to manage fan films. Low fees and strict reporting to make sure they are not for profit. The shows already have histories of buying fan scripts and even hiring those fans (Ron D Moore)

Really though, at this point in this IPs history I think they're getting worried a fan production is going to upstage a real production.
 
Star Trek only exists as a franchise because of fans keeping it alive after the TOS was cancelled (and i might add, fans got it uncancelled once).

They might have a legal right to do it, but IMHO, they have no moral right.

To me, Star Trek is a perfect example of why IP should only last for a fixed time before going public domain. It becomes part of society, that a company with no connection to its original creator should control it is silly

I do not agree with the majority of your points. First, suggesting they 'might' have a legal right to do this. No, they DO have a right. They own the IP. End of story.

No moral right? Not sure what you mean, at all. I don't get it. So if some fan with deep pockets bookmarks 100 million dollars to create a fan film trilogy in the Star Trek universe w all the production one would expect of tent-pole films, they should just let it slide because 'feelings'? That makes no sense to me.
 

Volimar

Member
 

HUELEN10

Member
Chris Doohan does an awesome Scotty in STContinues. This really surprised me after I chuckled at some fan petition to make him Scotty in the new movies.

He's in the movies, just a transporter technician

Yep, he clearly says "Coordinates confirmed" before beaming Spock down to go after Khan in XII.
 

A-V-B

Member
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

Doesn't this basically kill all Star Trek fan films?

And no depiction of alcohol? wtf? Alcohol is all over Star Trek.

No one is going to be able to meet all these standards unless they're officially funded and branded, in which case the standards cease to apply.
 

Grizzlyjin

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Doesn't this basically kill all Star Trek fan films?

And no depiction of alcohol? wtf? Alcohol is all over Star Trek.

No one is going to be able to meet all these standards unless they're officially funded and branded, in which case the standards cease to apply.

I don't think so. The way I'm interpreting that line, you could make a costume or a prop and use it in a fan film. But if you intend on buying props or costumes, you have to use official merchandise.

Everything sounds pretty reasonable to me, but I'm just looking at it from a purely legal viewpoint and not as someone who is privy to the history of Star Trek fan projects. I'm aware they're a big deal.

#7 is the only one that comes off as complete bullshit because of how subjective it is. I guess it's the catch all for them not liking something but not being able to explain specifically why they don't like it.
 

fallengorn

Bitches love smiley faces
I get why people are upset, but this is pretty unprecedented, for the IP holder to even acknowledge this stuff.

Maybe if there's enough outrage they'll loosen some of the requirements, but I don't see anything that'd help Axanar.

So because CBS is doing a Online show about Trek, everyone else must cease their projects?

At least Star Wars isn't this insane...yet.

No one's tried making a feature or episodic Star Wars content.
 

Malyse

Member
NGL. If I was midway through production of something, I would make them sue me and see if I could get some kind of Fair Use precedent set. If, for example, all my characters are original, my costumes are original, my story is original, and the only thing I'm taking is sound effects, design concepts, and references AND the whole thing is nonprofit? Nah.
No one's tried making a feature or episodic Star Wars content.
Verifiably false. Star Wars knows how to not be assholes to fans.
 

El Topo

Member
It's baffling, given how incredibly welcoming they were to the German comedy dub Sinnlos im Weltraum many years ago, which they even allowed them to air in cinema. Then a few years ago they changed their stance and took action against clips of the cult classic.
 

ZeroX03

Member
It's their IP, seems fair to me. Especially the financing and profit stuff, that's what they really have to go after.
 

SoulUnison

Banned
Geez, they should have just banned them outright.

At a certain point, if you're following a long list of specific guidelines from the official production house, you're just doing their job for them without any thanks.
 
Verifiably false. Star Wars knows how to not be assholes to fans.

The major difference between Star Wars fan films and Star Trek fan films isn't just Lucasfilm's willingness to let shit slide so long as it isn't making (much) money for anyone. It's also that a lot of fan-filmmakers in the Star Wars community aren't looking to supplant the original product with their creative works. They're looking to supplement. Even in the very few instances where fan-films have reached out to get actors who have appeared in legit films, those appearances weren't being made, or marketed, or pushed to their audience as "here's a substitute for what the idiots at the studio are trying to feed you."

This didn't even happen during the Prequels, really. Granted, the entire point of fan-edits is playing into that phenomenon, but fan-edits and fan-films are two pretty different things, and not just because the content is still, ultimately, the original studio-produced content. (which is probably why Paramount were cool with the German dub El Topo mentioned)

Star Trek fan-films have fairly consistently been about competing with Paramount's product, not supplementing it. Axanar was the biggest, and the most up-front about this unspoken ambition. Which is why the lawsuit came down, not just because they were raising and making money off unlicensed works, but because they were framing their endeavor as a "fuck them, we'll do it better, for the fans amirite?"

Lucasfilm isn't coming down on Star Wars fanfilms because they don't have to. Their fanbase isn't really trying to compete with them. Their fanbase is more or less offering free advertisement for the real shit. But Paramount's Star Trek fanbase is competing with them. Openly. Whether they deserve to have their own fanbase trying to undercut them is a different discussion with its own weird little quirks, but that's why they're reacting the way they are.
 

RiccochetJ

Gold Member
Seems fair to me.

Star Trek only exists as a franchise because of fans keeping it alive after the TOS was cancelled (and i might add, fans got it uncancelled once).

They might have a legal right to do it, but IMHO, they have no moral right.

To me, Star Trek is a perfect example of why IP should only last for a fixed time before going public domain. It becomes part of society, that a company with no connection to its original creator should control it is silly
Hey everyone, we the people made it popular so now we the people should be able to blatantly rip it off and make money off of it.
 

Sephzilla

Member
Wow this is a giant steaming pile of horse shit. They're basically trying to kill of fan films without admitting they're killing fan films, because these guidelines will pretty much murder anything of interest.
 

Branduil

Member
Hey everyone, we the people made it popular so now we the people should be able to blatantly rip it off and make money off of it.

Makes more sense than random Paramount people who had nothing to do with the original Star Trek making money off it tbh. Current ip laws are a load of horseshit written by Disney lawyers.
 

RiccochetJ

Gold Member
Makes more sense than random Paramount people who had nothing to do with the original Star Trek making money off it tbh. Current ip laws are a load of horseshit written by Disney lawyers.
Could you explain to me how it makes more sense? Paramount has continually added to the IP over the years. Disney is pulling shit like they own Little Mermaid in perpetuity.
 

Branduil

Member
Could you explain to me how it makes more sense? Paramount has continually added to the IP over the years. Disney is pulling shit like they own Little Mermaid in perpetuity.

The original Star Trek becoming public domain would not stop Paramount from making anything. It would just prevent them from having a monopoly on something they didn't create in the first place.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
The major difference between Star Wars fan films and Star Trek fan films isn't just Lucasfilm's willingness to let shit slide so long as it isn't making (much) money for anyone. It's also that a lot of fan-filmmakers in the Star Wars community aren't looking to supplant the original product with their creative works. They're looking to supplement. Even in the very few instances where fan-films have reached out to get actors who have appeared in legit films, those appearances weren't being made, or marketed, or pushed to their audience as "here's a substitute for what the idiots at the studio are trying to feed you."
I think the difference was that George Lucas was just good natured about it and it helped that he was basically in charge of the whole thing. I mean, he was a fan of that George Lucas in Love movie and judged some fanfilm competitions.
 

FyreWulff

Member
Star Trek only exists as a franchise because of fans keeping it alive after the TOS was cancelled (and i might add, fans got it uncancelled once).

They might have a legal right to do it, but IMHO, they have no moral right.

To me, Star Trek is a perfect example of why IP should only last for a fixed time before going public domain. It becomes part of society, that a company with no connection to its original creator should control it is silly

CBS has been super open about use of the Star Trek IP. Axanar unfortunately shat the bed for the entire community because they went behind CBS's back on a lot of stuff.

These new requirements seem to be specifically aimed at preventing more Axanars.

The saddest part is the ban on previous ST actors making appearances.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
CBS has been super open about use of the Star Trek IP. Axanar unfortunately shat the bed for the entire community because they went behind CBS's back on a lot of stuff.

These new requirements seem to be specifically aimed at preventing more Axanars.

The saddest part is the ban on previous ST actors making appearances.
I mean I only vaguely followed the Axanar kickstarter, but other than having some production stuff and actors from the show, how did they go behind their back?

You'd think Tim Russ making Tuvok fanfiction would have raised more red flags.
 
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