Tell CBS and Paramount That They Must Drop Their Lawsuit Against "Axanar"

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Tell CBS and Paramount That They Must Drop Their Lawsuit Against "Axanar"

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The Columbia Broadcast Network (CBS) and Paramount Pictures have seen fit to file a complaint against the producers of "Axanar"; a popular and award winning fan production made at no profit by industry professionals, as well as series-related actors, writers and production staff.  A short, which was the beneficiary of an astounding amount of crowd-funding on both the  Axanar Kickstarter Campaign and Axanar Indiegogo Campaign shows a clear and abiding wish by the fanbase for this production to continue.

CBS and Paramount Pictures, long time holders of the copyright for the Star Trek intellectual property since the 1960's have tolerated fan productions for a long time now as long as they turned no profit.  Indeed, it has been the ongoing love by the fans that have kept this franchise alive as long as it has.  However, CBS and Paramount have now seen fit to reverse this policy and have filed a complaint against Axanar Productions.

In response to this blatant attack on the auspices of fair use and their selective persecution of Axanar productions, I pledge immediately and forthwith not to buy, watch, promote or endorse any officially branded Star Trek merchandise or IP until this suit is dropped.

While I recognize that CBS does presently own the copyright and is obligated to defend such, the Axanar production is making no profit from said IP, and falls under the auspices of fair use. Moreover, CBS and Paramount have let the franchise and brand name lay fallow and for the most part, unexploited beyond nostalgic merchandise and re-imagined movies that take place in an entirely different continuity from Axanar in the first place. CBS and Paramount Pictures have shown to present, no interest in providing fans more stories or productions set in the original continuity they have so clamored for. To the degree that not one, but three separate fan series with similar production values, professional support and ethics have sprung forth to make up for that lack.

Axanar, Star Trek: Renegades, Star Trek: Phase II and Star Trek Continues have, if anything done the job of keeping the franchise within the ongoing zeitgeist on CBS and Paramount's behalf. Their suit is seen as vindictive on my part. A suit by a company who no longer knows how to effectively commercialize or produce for a franchise whose roots they lost touch with long ago.  It was only through the persistence and vision of the series' creator Gene Roddenberry that Star Trek originated and survived in the form that we have all come to know and love.

Years ago, when Star Trek Phase II began releasing fan-produced new episodes for the classic series, their efforts were lauded.  Their producer and lead actor was even given a walk-on part in the re-imagined Star Trek Movie in 2009.  But upon seeing the modern production values and effects technology therein, CBS immediately remastered the classic series with modern effects

My own impression of this was that said remaster was done to keep up with productions like Star Trek: Phase II.  Now, when confronted with a superior production, and having no series to further update, CBS and Paramount seem now to be resorting to a legal attack born of hubris. If CBS / Paramount cannot make a series or movie that can interest their fanbase, they seem to have the idea that no one else will be allowed to either.

However, this is not merely a move on CBS' part to protect their IP. This is an attack on fair use itself, and cannot be allowed to stand.  We, the longtime fans of Star Trek in all its' different forms and permutations, in keeping with Gene Roddenberry's philosophy for the show, (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) ask that CBS and Paramount drop this frivolous and vindictive lawsuit and allow the Axanar production to proceed unhindered.  ...and perhaps take notes on what their IP's fans want from the franchise.

Contact information for the plaintiffs in which you can direct comments on the issue:

CBS Headquarters
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188


I state for the record that I am not affiliated with Axanar Productions, Star Trek: Renegades, Star Trek: Phase II or Star Trek Continues.  I am however an actor affiliated with a different Trek related non-profit fan production, and as such, am deeply concerned with the cooling effect this suit may bring to the creativity of the fan base, and to the production of which I have been honored to take part in.

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