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Lawsuit Settlement Announced!

Here’s the “official” statement from Axanar Productions regarding today’s settlement announcement:

AXANAR PRODUCTIONS STATEMENT REGARDING COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT

Valencia, CA – Friday, January 20 – Axanar Productions is pleased to announce that we have reached a formal resolution to the lawsuit brought against Alec Peters, and the fan film production, AXANAR, by CBS Studios, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Since the beginning of the lawsuit, over a year ago, we have expressed our desire to address the concerns of the studios, and our willingness to make necessary changes, as long as we could reasonably meet our commitments to AXANAR’S over 14,000 donors, fans and supporters. We are now able to do exactly that.

Terms of the settlement agreement include an agreement to allow Axanar Productions to continue showing PRELUDE TO AXANAR commercial-free on YouTube and to allow Axanar Productions to produce the AXANAR feature film as two fifteen-minute segments that can be distributed on YouTube (also without ads).

Additional terms of the agreement will be made available to cast, crew and donors through private correspondence.

For the next sixty days, Axanar Productions will be working through some final legal requirements requiring immediate attention. In addition, there are several pre-production issues that need to be re-visited before we can begin principal photography on our project.

Axanar Productions was created by lifelong Star Trek fans to celebrate their love for Star Trek. Alec Peters and the Axanar team look forward to continuing to share the Axanar story and are happy to work within the Guidelines for Fan Films for future projects.

Throughout this process, we will continue communicating with our fans and backers to ensure they are informed and involved until we reach completion of the production.

For those of you who are donors, you will be receiving an email with some “donor exclusive” information.

Thanks again for your support this past year.

Live Long and Prosper.

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Join the discussion 63 Comments

  • Eric says:

    Well, glad that this is being settled; congrats Alex. Sad that a two hour movie is being turned into two 15 minute clips. It is what it is though.

    As for all negotiated settlements, both sides are compromising. Neither party gets everything that they want.

  • James Schultz says:

    Congrats!! It’s been a long road and I’m so very happy about this!

  • Congratulations, Captain!

    …well fought! =D

  • Rich says:

    Glad there is now a resolution! Not happy about the finial answer.
    I read the new rules and settlement as a gag on future fan films. There is no effective way to fund them. No way to pay the staff (they all need to eat too). No way write a full length thought provoking story. No way to make even a minor income off of the fan film; to cover travel, hotel, and overhead expenses.
    I think the biggest loss will be choking a great pipeline for future directors, writers and others in the movie industry. This fan film seemed like a fantastic way for junior people to refine their skills to make them marketable to big name production companies. I feel the movie business can always use more Trek enthusiasts.

    • Alec Peters says:

      Well, we can raise money, so we will be able to pay the expenses.

    • LQ says:

      I CAN’T believe there wasn’t a fan boycott of the studios until they dropped this ridiculous lawsuit!!! All the IP lawyers in the world won’t help when no one spends a dime on their next premiere. Missed opportunity for securing a more democratic relationship between the studios (whose ST franchise films have sucked increasingly) and the fan base. WTF?! ST belongs to the fans as much as it does to the studios.

  • Ronald D. Hearn says:

    Sooper Dooper Ty Alec 🙂

  • Cruz says:

    Yes! Finally! Oh wait additional terms to be emailed directly to donors – hum concerning..perhaps too soon to celebrate..

  • Tom Frazer says:

    And so CBS has succeeded in killing Star Trek fan films.
    Next they’re lawyers will be at conventions giving cease and desist orders to fans dressed up as Klingons, etc.

    Change the names, logos, makeup, etc. and make your film anyway.

  • sean harrison says:

    Was it ever on the table to partner with CBS making it part of Star Trek canon?

    • Alec Peters says:

      No, CBS never considered that.

      • George Roush says:

        Was there ever an offer to let CBS show it on TV as a big event? It would be free to watch, but CBS would make profit off of ads and merchandise.

        • Alec Peters says:

          We offered to give Axanar to CBS for free and they declined.

          • Richard Bocanegra Giordanp Acevedo says:

            They have been blinded jealousy and don’t know what they are missing because of ignorance. They don’t want people to know that Axanar can do this better for fans and cheaply.

          • Rogerborg says:

            Sounds like they’ve phasered off their nose to spite their face.

            It’s baffling why they’ve been so hostile to adopting Axanar as a CBS project – my impression is that your primary interest is in making it and telling the story, regardless of who’s distributing it.

            I can see why they’d want to protect the property with Star Trek: Discovery pending, but given the transporter accident that’s becoming after Bryan Fuller walked (ran? For the escape pods?) away, rejecting Axanar out of hand after the obvious fan interest seems like they’re putting control above everything.

            They’re obsessed with controlling it, they just don’t know, or apparently much care, what they’re doing with it.

            • Russ says:

              It is obvious that the only thing CBS cares about is money. I hope Discovery fails hard and TV Star Trek, from the studio comes to an end. This is the UPN mistake all over again.

  • John Alexander says:

    Axanar was the best thing I have seen in a long time. It’s sorry to see it relegated to being little more than an infomercial length production. I hate to say it, but after a life long love affair with Star Trek, I have decided to leave it behind! CBS and their parent company have ruined this franchise for me and I’m sad to say, I’m done with it.

  • Eliza Tague says:

    At least both sides of the case got what they wanted; so that’s one good thing. The most important thing, is Axanar will still life: that’s one good thing.

  • Brian Wang says:

    As a donor, I look forward to seeing the final 30 minute production. Too bad not 120 minutes. I guess it will have to be more action, with sharper editing and some montages to get under the time requirement. you should follow up with space based sci-fi productions with a different future non-trek universe.

  • Cavaron says:

    Great that you can keep the former Trek actors (if only for this one project), but so shocked about the 2×15 minutes limit. So we can expect just 33% more really awsome footage than in the prelude. *crying*
    But… but… the Axanar Team has something in their sleeves, right? There could be something like another 2×15 minutes fan project with just rendered space battles between the Federation and the Klingon Empire in the Axanar timeline. Nothing wrong with that, right? And if some anonymouse fan would edit these two together in a way that they where fitting… hm…

  • Numberyellow says:

    Well….this is shit.

    Yeah, i was pretty sure i was done with CBS/Paramount when this whole thing started…now i’m completely sure of it.

    I understand that they NEED to protect their IP, but there are better ways to do it, than to piss all over the very people they count on for their income. Without us fans, there wouldn’t BE the cash cow known as Star Trek. I have a feeling they’re going to end up very much regretting what they’ve done here….

    Not that they’ll ever admit to having shot themselves in the foot….they’ll just say “star trek isn’t performing the same anymore, it must not be popular anymore”, and then they’ll shelf it.

    Oh well…was a fun ride…

    “All Good Things…”

    • Shawn says:

      They’ll never admit that between stuff like this, and garbage movies like the last three, they killed it. This agreement is near worthless. What kind of story can be done in 30 minutes, some of which is opening sequences and such? That might not be worth the bother.

  • Mark T. says:

    This is so incredibly shortsighted by CBS/Paramount that are actually hurting themselves more than anything. The amount of new Star Trek content is so pathetically low that Axanar would have only helped strengthen the fan base, i.e., the primary market for their product. There has been no TV show since 2005, and even if the new show goes off as planned, only 13 episodes are planned. I suspect most Star Trek fans could binge-watch that in a weekend or two. Only 3 movies since 2003, so we are not exactly getting too much there either. I am confident true Star Trek fans could easily absorb 50 times the amount of “official” Star Trek content put out in the last 10 years. Axanar would have helped to revitalize Star Trek with a better story line and without the controversy brought by JJ Abrams. Big mistake beating it down to a couple 15 minute segments, not to mention angering the current fan base who collectively kicked in a million dollars so Axanar could be made.

    Corrupt politicians have allowed copyrights to be extended too far. Copyrights need to be shorter in duration and Star Trek brought into the public domain. They have been milking Star Trek for 50 years, that is plenty, it should lapse into the public domain after 50 years.

  • @JessClaymore STO/CO says:

    **** cbs & paramount! This is still a loss to the fans in EVERY way. The guidelines have been, & continue to be, illegal cooperate fascism. The Star Trek Continues team has already stood up to them by continuing their show. I would rather have ALL of Star Trek end then let those scumbags have even one more victory against us, the fans.

  • Roelandt says:

    Well, my boycott of all things Star Trek produced by CBS/Paramount still stands. I’ll continue coming to fan films and my DVD collection for my Star Trek fixes. I’ll spend my money on Star Wars.

    Remember Axanar!

  • John B says:

    It’s pretty damn sad when a fan production looks better and generates more excitement than an official production–an official production that can’t seem to get it’s head out of it’s arse. No big surprise that CBS created such limiting guidelines; AXANAR looks more interesting and better made. I hope the folks at AXANAR can find a way to finish what promises to be a great film. It’s no wonder Gene R. came to despise the “suits.” Many of those folks seem to be very myopic and only interested in making a buck.

  • Kelvin Kittrell says:

    I was hoping for a better outcome but I guess it could of been worst I just hope the story which is so much better than the latest tripe the studios have came out with will not be to hamstrung and tie up the story is better than the latest movies they have out and it’s made by true fans

  • Kelvin Kittrell says:

    In for a penny in for a pound, I hope CBS learns what happens when they piss of their fan base, they will disappear from the equation. Then we will see if this little experiment continues! May you be successful in all your endeavors, and know you have the fan base!! Remember Axanar is our battle cry!!!!

  • Richard McLaughlin says:

    Oh CBS, why can’t you understand the desires of us fans? We want Star Trek 24/7 and you definitely don’t give us enough. Axanar was going to be a great production that would only make us thirsty for so much more. More that you could provide. We throw our money at all the Star Trek productions and merchandise that you provide and then we the fans want to produce a little more to show our love for the Star Trek universe and you slap us down. Axanar is a free commercial for you and you refuse us. What the hell is wrong with your marketing department anyway? CBS, you are going to be the biggest losers in this… not just us, the fans.

    • Mark T. says:

      Amen brother! They should have let Axanar proceed as planned, but simply retained some kind of editorial control to make sure the brand isn’t sullied.

  • Ken says:

    Well, that’s it for me.

    I’m not a Trek fan anymore.

    I’m tired of corporations pushing increasingly restrictive copyright laws on the public. Those fan film rules make me sick. Paramount and CBS have maintained a chokehold on Star Trek for the last twelve years and allowed offical Trek to languish while fan productions like Star Trek Continues have kept it alive, not for profit, but solely for the love of Star Trek. And how do the corporate overlords repay their dedication and hard work? By slapping them down with borderline legal “rules” and threats.

    Thanks a lot, Paramount. You tried to kill Trek when it first came out, and only the fans kept it alive. Well, it looks like you’ve finally succeeded. Trek is over, for me at least. The dream is dead.

  • CRAIG FENDER says:

    One of the rules was not using well known actors. Will Axanar have to recast or are they getting an exception ?

  • Christopher Kerry says:

    I am pleased to know this project will finally get made, even though it will not be what the creators and fans anticipated nor planned for. One unintended side effect of this outcome could (and perhaps SHOULD) be seen as a blueprint for how to still get projects like this made. Every time CBS/Paramount try to squeeze their fists around the Trek universe, the more people will learn how to avoid the new restrictions without compromising their projects.

    Eventually, CBS/Paramount will be left with an empty closed fist as the Trek universe moves on.

    I’ll be waiting for Axanar, in whatever form it takes, and willing to donate towards that eventuality.

  • mark wellman says:

    Probably be easier to buy the Star Trek franchise from paramount and CBS then dealing with them assholes, it’ll only cost a few billion >.<

  • AP: Is there any word yet on a CBS/P response to the fan focus group’s proposed changes to the fan film guidelines ?

  • BTW, I think W&S did an awesome job jumping in to help in such a huge way, on a pro bono basis, and the fan community should be grateful for their efforts … but I have mixed feelings about their opting to settle instead of pressing on to the jury trial phase. It still might have been possible to set an important and much needed precedent in the field of IP Law regarding fanfic … but then again, I’m an underinformed bystander, and it’s easy to second guess and play armchair quarterback from the sidelines when someone else’s neck is on the line.

    I guess the next step will be to see if CBS/P will be willing to work with fans on revising the guidelines to a more mutually acceptable/beneficial state, or if this suit just the opening salvo in an ongoing misguided campaign of legal intimidation against Star Trek fanfic in general.

  • Alexander says:

    So CBS spent a whole lot of money just to make Axanar conform to the guidelines they setup AFTER the lawsuit started. I feel like CBS and Paramount should have just listened to the Fans and allowed Axanar to be what the creators envisioned and are capable of, But of course I feel that way, I am a fan.

    I’m glad to see that Axanar can be made in some regard but the fact that you guys have to conform to those incredibly lame rules is… well incredibly lame.

  • bob williams says:

    Oh thank god. Some of the best news I’ve heard in the last 14 months. Sad about the reduction to 2 x 15 minute segments. But… it is better than nothing. Finally Axanar can move forward. Good job to Alec and the Axanar team. Now, we return to waiting patiently.

  • Bastian says:

    This is good news, still sad that the full 2 hour feature film has to be reduced to a total of 30 Minutes.

    Although based on what your team has acheived till today and the limitations imposed, perhaps you and your team should think about your own show or feature film, with the spirit of Star Trek in mind of course 🙂 . Based on what we got to see in Prelude you’ll probably be able to come up with your own universe. Perhaps this would even be interesting for the other streaming providers to pick up as competition to STD (if it will ever arrive). In additon a fresh space opera á la Star Trek would be something a lot of Sci-Fi fans would look forward to.

    Nevertheless I am looking forward to the Axanar 2-Part Mini Sieries and to what ever projects there may be ahead for Axanar Productions!

    Keep up the great work, thank you!
    Bastian

  • Kevin says:

    Glad to see this settled and that you guys can proceed! Shame that it’s been reduced to a 30 minute run time though.

  • Colin says:

    30 Minutes is better than 0 Minutes… I guess!! But all through History it is the Fans and Not the studios that have kept the dream of Star Trek going. Including but not limited to the overwhelming requests/demands that the first shuttle be named Enterprise. A lot of our technologies we rely on today first starred on Star Trek. Yet how have the fans been repaid for their loyalty and support? By a plethora of Shows and Games to expand on Gene Roddenberry’s vision…
    Noooo!!!
    Instead a trickle of occasional Movies and very few games (no official sequel to Birth of the Federation tm, but fans made one anyway).
    Have you considered making it a live action game, might give fans more than 30 mins of footage? just a thought!
    And now an appropriatequote from Gene Roddenberry himself:
    “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” …
    ( replace God with CBS/Parramount and faulty Humans with Fans)
    https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/43942.Gene_Roddenberry
    Axanar Live long ( Well 30 minutes long) and Prosper (while not financially, but on the love and support of true Star Trek Fans)

    • Timothy Heater, MSW, MDiv LCSW says:

      Having a history of working with CBS; this just goes to show why they are such stupid bastards. If they had an vision, they would have picked it up as a limited series to stream.

  • Alan Sword says:

    What a bunch of Muppets CBS now have working for them.
    Even the most stupid person who was offered all rights to a totally free high quality finished film made by fans, that they could then show as a special prelude to springboard their own new series, would absolutely jump at the chance.
    Free publicity plus keeping all fans on their side through goodwill whilst still satisfying their shareholders financial needs would be an absolute no-brainer for even the most inept village idiot.
    It’s absolutely unbelievable these wastrels & donkeys that they now seem to employ have been allowed to make such a huge blunder.
    If I did this in my work, I’d soon find myself with no job to go to.
    Remember CBS/Paramount, you reap what you sow, & whilst you will continue to make money, it could have been so much more…………
    Total credit Alec & team to you guys for fighting & at least getting to tell a shortened version of your story.

  • DeanL says:

    Wow, congratulations! We finally get to see the film. When I talked with you at Denver Comic Con I was very excited. Bought my Axanar Lanyard, you took the other free volunteer one off and put the Axanar one on. Then the lawsuit came, and as all fans, I was completely bummed.

    Now you have another problem. Fans acting like kids, asking when is it going to be done!

    Thanks Alec,

  • David says:

    Looking forward to some good Trek fan films from Axanar. Let’s put our politics behind us and realize that Axanar got side-tracked, and most of us want to see it be successful.

  • Joe - Eastern Us says:

    Believe it or not I think in a strange way that we might be thanking those corporate suits for expressing their greed and shortsightedness. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors, Every time they make a new law, they make a new business… (Steven Brust). My point is that many people have thrown around the word ‘transformative’ and this is the opportunity to really take things to the next level.

    James Kirk was inspired learning about Garth, yet we are left to ponder how James learned. Certainly starfleet learning was not limited to just watching a two hour movie. It would be ‘logical’ that he might have seen excerpt’s of recordings of the Vulcans’ and their debates during the war… He might have learned about damage control, or security against boarding parties. Or a lecture analysing the tactical logs of the USS Ares and other vessels.. You get my meaning here as also mentioned by others earlier in this thread.

    The collective (Borg reference….gasp) vision of Mr. Peters, his team, and Trekker’s as a whole cannot and must not be held back by the profit motive, but grow stronger and boldly go where we have not been before.

    If I may presume alot, perhaps that was what Mr. Roddenberry wanted all along.

    Keep going Alec, the final frontier is still out there…

  • Dan Hunt says:

    You can make a Dryden Fan film any time you like. I’ll even share some of my original stories (Eclipsing or Threshold would make great films). And it is based on Creative Commons universe so its free to expand upon.

  • Loki Smith says:

    I am saddened that they would do this to their fan base. I was really looking forward to seeing a full length production, I understand them needing to protect their IP but flat out rejecting Axanar for free is just stupid. They could have partnered with your studio and given the fans the movie they have wanted for so long rather than the bat piss that they have been making for some time now.

    I have to admit I was never a huge Trek fan until I seen Prelude To Axanar. I just hope that you make this as best as you possibly can with the a lotted time frame you have been allocated.

    I hope that a completely original science fiction movie is made by your studio in the future.

    Wishing you all the best Axanar Studios

  • […] Official statement from Axanar Productions regarding the lawsuit settlement: http://www.axanarproductions.com/9707-2/ […]

  • james perry says:

    I will continue my boycott of Star Trek productions from CBS and Paramount.
    I love the fan films and have my DVD collections to satisfy me. I’ll also keep going to the conventions.
    I used to buy all the available Star Trek items…..I’ve spent thousands of dollars each year on new Star Trek merchandise, but no more.
    If CBS/Paramount want to refuse us a full length, profit free-fan film, then let us fans deny CBS/Paramount our money !!!
    Let’s all stop spending, and hit CBS/Paramount where it hurts.
    They need to learn the lesson: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

  • John Walker says:

    The behaviour of CBS leaves a lot to be desired they are totally bent on smothering creative talent at the expense of their profits . I do understand that they have to protect their intellectual rights but the Axanar people were never intending to violate the copyright in the first place.
    Perhaps the best way to make the point is to ensure that CBS are hit them where it hurts most in the pocket . The fans could boycott the upcoming tv series and refuse to buy their merchandising. not illegal but effective.

  • David says:

    To me its a great shame that CBS dont fully embrace fan made films.
    They could have had a plethora of new talent with which they can expand the Star Trek Universe at no cost to themselves!.

    As some one already said ,, like cutting your nose off to spite your face.

  • […] Peters s’est quant à lui dit « heureux » de ce dénouement sur le site d’Axanar et a expliqué qu’il lui restait « quelques détails juridiques » à régler, ainsi que […]

  • […] Official statement from Axanar Productions regarding the lawsuit settlement: http://www.axanarproductions.com/9707-2/ […]

  • Alex says:

    Sad day to be a FAN…..
    But i will wait with great anticipation fore 30 min of heavenly wonder.
    CBS/Paramount are bitting the hand that feeds them.

    Looking forward to see your next projekt…..
    All the best…..Fan, Denmark

  • Jim Erickson says:

    Isn’t time we turn our attention to Boycott CBS/Paramount? I realize people are distracted by shiny objects these days, BUT COME ON Star Trek fans. The work Alec Peters and his staff have done on this project is awesome! I admire the professional level he has brought to the Star Trek family. I thank you, Sir.

    Now getting back to the problem at hand, If you want to send a message to CBS and Paramount DON’T BUY THERE PRODUCTS. Make effort to look into what to avoid and what to not watch until it comes out on UTUBE. From this point forward I am done with CBS/Paramount they are on my shit list.