CBS and Paramount settle lawsuit over crowdfunded Star Trek fan film
Paramount Pictures and CBS have reached a settlement with the producers of the crowdfunded Star Trek fan film Axanar, ending a yearlong copyright battle.
In a joint statement issued Friday by Paramount, CBS, filmmaker Alec Peters, and his Axanar Productions, the latter two parties acknowledged that the short film Prelude to Axanar and the proposed feature Axanar “were not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.”
Peters and Axanar Productions have agreed to make substantial changes to Axanar prior to its release, and also pledged that any future Star Trek fan films produced by them will adhere to CBS and Paramount’s official guidelines for such projects, which were announced last June.
The joint statement added that “Paramount and CBS continue to be big believers in fan fiction and fan creativity.”
The Axanar legal dispute began in December 2015, when CBS and Paramount filed a lawsuit alleging that the unauthorized project was using “innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.”
Peters, who spearheaded a crowdfunding effort that raised more than $1 million on Indiegogo and Kickstarter, maintained that Axanar represented “a love letter to a beloved franchise.”
In a separate statement Friday, Axanar Productions applauded the settlement and said Axanar will be released as two 15-minute segments, which will be distributed commercial-free on YouTube. Prelude to Axanar will continue to be available, also without ads.
The statement added, “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.”