One of the biggest fan communities, especially for a science fiction franchise, would be the fans of the Star Trek movies and TV series. Trekkies are renowned for their devotion and support to their beloved franchise, with many stars of the aforementioned movies and TV series having admitted to being Trekkies themselves. One would assume then that Paramount Pictures and CBS, the studios behind Star Trek, would support the loyal fandom, especially when promoting both a new movie and, for the first time in 11 years, a whole new TV show. Up until recently the studios did in fact support and encourage fan-made materials or "Fan Films" but Paramount and CBS have released a series of guidelines that restrict the naming of any such fan productions to not include the name "Star Trek" in its title, while declaring such projects must have the line "A 'Star Trek' Fan Production" in its subtitle. Additionally, the studio has demanded that future Star trek fan films should be less than 15 minutes long for a single, self-contained story, or more than two segments that don’t exceed 30 minutes in total. Furthermore Paramount have stated that such fan films cannot feature any actors that have previously appeared in any 'official' Star Trek media.
The producers of Star Trek: Axanar, a Star Trek fan film made possible from an amazing $1.3 million in crowdfunding, have called these guidelines Draconian. Star Trek: Axanar is was sued by Paramount Pictures in December on the grounds of copyright infringement, with the studios hoping to block the release of the fan film. Justin Lin, director of the forthcoming Star Trek Beyond issued the following tweet in support of the fan-film.
Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness director J.J.Abrams had claimed in a surprise announcement at the “Star Trek” 50th-anniversary fan event that Lin's tweet had coerced Paramount Pictures and CBS to reconsider their position...
“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.”
Yet reportedly it seems as though the copyright infringement lawsuit is still pending despite having acknowledged public statements that the litigation suit is "going away". This makes Sony Picture Entertainments treatment of Ghostbuster fans seem pale by comparison. One would assume that when producing franchise movies that studios would acknowledge, support and honor the fan base they need to ensure their movies are to be profitable at the box office.
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