[Editor: We know that this story is a bit late, but as with all things, my job demanded that I be in the office for the past week. That, plus something called “life” got in the way and prevented me from contributing any stories to our website, and for that I’m sorry. However, this story was so big I felt it necessary to report on it anyway, despite the fact that it was announced several days ago]
In a most interesting and surprising move, Paramount has decided to go ahead and drop the lawsuit against Axanar over their claim that the content of Axanar infringed on Paramount’s copyrighted material, which included settings, characters, species, and themes. It created some very bad blood and divided the Trek fan community, and if social media is to be any indication, the majority of those fans were on the side of supporting Axanar and not on the side of Paramount.
However, SlashFilm is reporting that some sense seems to have been talked into Paramount Pictures thanks to new franchise producer J.J. Abrams and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin, and the Star Trak Axanar lawsuit will be dropped very soon.
During the Star Trek Beyond Abrams brought up the lawsuit in question, and here’s what he had to say (via io9):
A few months back there was a fan film, Axanar, that was getting made and there was this lawsuit that happened between the studio and these fans and Justin, I’ll tell the story because he probably wouldn’t, was sort of outraged by this as a long time fan. We started talking about it and realized this was not an appropriate way to deal with the fans.
The fans should be celebrating this thing. Fans of Star Trek are part of this world. So he went to the studio and pushed them to stop this lawsuit and now, within the next few weeks, it will be announced this is going away, and that fans would be able to continue working on their project.
This is not only good news for producer Alec Peters and the team trying to make Axanar, but also for any fans who may want to make larger scale fan films. This lawsuit could have set a precedent for studios to sue any fans trying to crowdfund any projects using intellectual property owned by a corporation. Even though these fans aren’t looking to make a profit off their films, for some reason, Paramount thought this larger production may be a problem for them.
As for the Axanar team’s reaction, they’re still waiting to celebrate until they get official word from Paramount that this lawsuit is dead:
While we’re grateful to receive the public support of JJ Abrams and Justin Lin, as the lawsuit remains pending, we want to make sure we go through all the proper steps to make sure all matters are settled with CBS and Paramount. Our goal from the beginning of this legal matter has been to address the concerns of the plaintiffs in a way that still allows us to tell the story of AXANAR and meets the expectations of the over 10,000 fans who financially supported our project.
There is still a lot of work to do, but receiving this kind of public support helps immensely.
Hopefully Axanar is really allowed to make their fan film and the rest of the community isn’t scared of following through with their own projects in the future.
Was Paramount right in dropping their lawsuit, or should they continue to protect what they feel is their own property, regardless of the motivations from the fans? If you were in favor of Axanar, what are your feelings now regarding Paramount?
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