SHROUDED STUDIO With the formal opening of the for-profit studio Alec Peters built using money supporters donated to produce Axanar, AxaMonitor‘s investigation into the companies behind the studio revealed a complete lack of transparency about who stands to financially benefit from the facility. Read more »
CASE STATUS September 16 Prelude director Christian Gossett’s scheduled deposition by CBS/Paramount attorneys was postponed || October 14 Axanar’s former chief technologist to be deposed by CBS/Paramount in Seattle || June 15 Answer filed by CBS/Paramount to counterclaim by Axanar || May 23 Defense files its formal Answer and counterclaim to the legal complaint against Axanar and Alec Peters || Up-to-the-minute news on Twitter @AxaMonitor
- About AxaMonitor
Welcome to AxaMonitor, a journalism wiki providing daily coverage of the lawsuit brought by CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures against Axanar Productions and Alec Peters. AxaMonitor aims to inform readers about what’s at stake in this suit, and its possible impact on fan productions and U.S. copyright law.
» On Twitter follow @AxaMonitor
On AxaMonitor, we organize information about Axanar Productions, its film, business and lawsuit in a series of topical primers. Click the tabs above to see how we’ve packaged our articles for you, or check our FAQ for the quickest overview we offer. || On Twitter follow @AxaMonitor
- Legal Documents (Download)
You can download all the court filings in Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios v. Axanar Productions and Alec Peters. All documents are in PDF format.
- Most Recent Filings
- Here are the most relevant recent filings in the case:
- Complete Repository of Case Filings
A repository of all the motions and pleadings filed in the case is on Google Drive.
The archive is maintained by the Language Creation Society, which has filed an amicus brief with the defense contesting the plaintiffs’ claim of copyright of the Klingon language.
The Axanar lawsuit is either David vs. Goliath, or a battle over control of Star Trek, or fans trying to express their love for a treasured legend, or soulless corporate greed threatened by plucky creatives, or amateurs using intellectual property they don’t own to finance a foothold in the film industry. But undisputedly, the case rests on whether Axanar engaged in copyright infringement, an often misunderstood aspect of intellectual property law. Our backgrounders explain what’s at stake legally in this case and why.
Fair Use Defense Against Infringement
Axanar's Knowing Infringement
Judge's Denial of Defendants' View of Copyright
Defendants' Claim of Fair Use
Defendants' Direct Financial Benefit from Copyright Infringment
Learn about the entire Axanar enterprise, a creative endeavor and a business Alec Peters built from a humble fan film into, in his words, “a fully professional, independent Star Trek production.”
A Short History of Axanar
Axanar: The Film
The Story of Axanar's Trailer
These articles focus on the crowdfunding efforts by Axanar to fund its short film, Prelude to Axanar, and its feature film, Axanar.
Prelude Kickstarter Details
Axanar Kickstarter Details
Axanar Indiegogo Details
Challenges Fulfilling Perks
Analysis: These articles examine Axanar’s evolving ambitions, and how they changed over the course of its effort to raise money to produce the feature film.
Moving the Goal Posts?
Change in Character
Ambition vs. Achievement
- Guidelines for Fan Productions
With CBS and Paramount developing guidelines for fan productions, Axanar producer Alec Peters tried to rally other fan films behind his ideas.
Official Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines
CBS Official Explains Fan Film Guidelines
The Aftermath for Fan Productions
Axanar Tries to Rally Fan Films to Its Proposed Guidelines
- Other Fan Films
Other fan films have been caught in the ripple effects of the Axanar lawsuit. Among them:
Star Trek–Horizon Cancels Crowdfunding Campaign
‘Intrepid’ Suspends Production
Peters Falsely Accuses Starbase Studios Producer
Axanar Accuses Horizon of Buying YouTube Views
Renegades Removes Star Trek Elements from its Production, Continues as Original Series
ANALYSIS AND OPINIONS
This is a series of AxaMonitor articles examining Axanar’s crowdfunding efforts, its spending, its goals and how it has reported on those activities.
Opinion pieces about issues arising from the Axanar copyright lawsuit.
Endgame: Insight to How the Case May Turn Out
Fairness: The ‘Bias’ Behind Scrutiny
The Public Interest Behind Private Guidelines Talks
Axanar Paints Critics with Broad Brush
David Gerrold Repudiates Axanar Slur
News & Commentary
PODCAST FACT-CHECK In the 40th episode of the Axanar podcast, producer Alec Peters finally confirms the completion of the production’s financial audit, and that it’s in the hands of CBS. We fact-check Peters’ claims about the lawsuit, mission creep, For the Love of Spock and what he thinks of Star Trek: Discovery. Read more » (Filed 9/28/16)
ARE PERKS any closer to being delivered to increasingly impatient donors? In his “Captain’s Log,” Axanar producer Alec Peters says yes. AxaMonitor fact-checks his claims. Read more » (Filed 9/27/16)
VENUE FOR VICTORY Producer Alec Peters told attendees at a virtual scifi conference that Axanar’s lawyers are already looking toward arguing their case in a court of appeals, and that the lawsuit may result in a very different-looking Axanar. Read more » (Filed 9/26/16)
LAWSUIT PORTRAYAL We examine Axanar producer Alec Peters’ portrait of the lawsuit — stalled settlement talks and betrayal by the studios suing him even after Star Trek producer J.J. Abrams and director Justin Lin proclaimed their support. Read more » (Filed 9/23/16)
FACT CHECKING Axanar producer Alec Peters’ new captain’s logs, we examine his claims regarding the copyright suit it faces from CBS and Paramount, his doubts about the ownership of Star Trek and whether Axanar was ever truly “just a fan film.” Read more » (Filed 9/22/16)
SUSPICIOUS TWEETS sparked two of AxaMonitor‘s Top 10 stories this past month, as upstart Star Trek–Horizon rapidly approached Prelude to Axanar‘s viewership. Plus, we finally got a little peek behind the scenes of CBS/Paramount’s copyright lawsuit against Axanar. Also: Our other site stats and Top 10 Tweets. The countdown » (Filed 9/17/16)
DEPOSITION DELAYED Lawyers postponed Friday’s deposition of Prelude to Axanar director Christian Gossett (center). The deposition was to have covered topics outlined in Gossett’s subpoena, indicating what avenues the studios may pursue in the case. Meanwhile, Axanar’s defense lawyer sought to represent subpoenaed witnesses. Read more » (Filed 9/14/16)
IT’S KHARN’S story now, writes Jody Wheeler about the fabled “fully revised, locked” final draft of the Axanar screenplay, recently obtained by AxaMonitor. Wheeler evaluates what director Rob Burnett called “the best Star Trek script ever” when it was completed in August 2015. Read more » (Filed 9/12/16)
FROM THE ASHES of failed fulfillment software to ship perks to its donors, Axanar informed donors it has launched a new platform it hopes will address its inability to maintain a database enabling the production to deliver the long-delayed items. Read more » (Filed 9/9/16)
SUBPOENA ISSUED Axanar’s former chief technologist, Terry McIntosh, has been served with a subpoena by lawyers for plaintiffs CBS and Paramount Pictures as their copyright infringement lawsuit proceeds against the fan production and its leader, Alec Peters. Read more » (Filed 9/3/16)
CALL TO FIX GUIDELINES A self-selected group of fans calling for a partial boycott of Star Trek: Discovery has submitted a “focus group” report to CBS and Paramount criticizing their fan film guidelines and calling for the studios to walk back restrictions on run times, hiring professionals and crowdfunding. Read more » (Filed 8/26/16)
GRASPING FOR RELEVANCE Jeremy Varner was as surprised as anyone by the upsurge of traffic last week when he posted his speculation Star Trek: Discovery had to be copying something from Axanar, granting relevance to Axanar supporters increasingly marginalized by the new TV series. Read more » (Filed 8/25/16)
J’ACCUSE Even as fan film Star Trek–Horizon pulled ahead of Prelude to Axanar on August 23, Axanar accused Horizon‘s creator of buying YouTube views. Producer Tommy Kraft said the charge “reeks of nothing more than pure jealousy.” Read more » (Updated 8/23/16)
BUYING VIEWS Following Axanar’s controversial accusation against Star Trek–Horizon, this AxaMonitor Explainer describes what “buying YouTube views” really means, how it’s done, how much it costs and what’s really at stake. Read more » (Filed 8/22/16)
LITTLE PROGRESS In settlement talks, CBS and Paramount Pictures appear unwilling to cede any kind of business arrangement that would allow Axanar to move forward, executive producer Alec Peters said on August 16 — the first public hint about the state of negotiations in the lawsuit. Read more » (Filed 8/17/16)
WHY IT MATTERS that Tommy Kraft’s fan film, Star Trek–Horizon, is set to overtake Prelude to Axanar on YouTube. Read more »
WHO’S THREATENED? In a new interview with Australia’s TrekZONE Spotlight, AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza recaps the Axanar news of the past few months with host Matthew Miller. Among the topics: Whether the copyright lawsuit against Axanar threatens any fan production other than Axanar. Watch here » (Filed 8/17/16)
AXANAR AIMS to reassure donors about their perks and its lawsuit prospects. PLUS: Is CBS/Paramount’s copyright lawsuit behind the Donor Store’s re-branding as ‘Donor Station’? Read more » (Filed 7/28/16)
THREE WEEKS After scrubbing the Internet of the leaked and much-criticized two-minute Axanar trailer, spokesman Mike Bawden had promised “a fully polished version to share with the world” within two or three weeks. That time period just expired with no sign of a revised trailer. Read more » (Updated 7/12/16)
DONOR MONEY IN ESCROW? A surrogate for Axanar producer Alec Peters disputes reports that the production is out of money, claiming all donor funds are in an escrow account, raising questions about how Axanar is remaining afloat. Read more » (Filed 7/5/16)
‘PRELUDE’ DIRECTOR Christian Gossett goes on the record in the TrekZONE Spotlight video podcast with more details about how the management of Axanar by his long-time friend, producer Alec Peters, drove away Gossett and many of the other crew who successfully created Prelude to Axanar. TrekZONE Spotlight YouTube Channel. (Filed 7/2/16)
AFTERMATH Following the release by CBS and Paramount of production guidelines, two dozen stunned and fearful fan producers assess the devastating impact of the new restrictions on their shows. Read more »
ULTIMATELY NOT FAVORABLE Director Robert Meyer Burnett told the Los Angeles Times he doesn’t expect the copyright lawsuit against Axanar to turn out well for the production and its fans. Los Angeles Times. (Posted 6/20/16)
AXANAR SCRAMBLES Under increased scrutiny for perks ready to ship but stymied by incomplete software, Axanar is now trying to reassure donors it’s taking steps to shore up a fulfillment operation in disarray following their developer’s resignation. Read more » (Posted 6/6/16)
FALSELY ACCUSED After AxaMonitor published details about Alec Peters’ effort to get other fan films to back the production guidelines he wanted to negotiate with CBS and Paramount, the Axanar producer went hunting for the leaker. And Peters thought for sure he found him. Read more » (Posted 5/31/16)
AMBITION vs. ACHIEVEMENT New analysis of Axanar’s finances demonstrates that at each significant stage in its fundraising history, ambition appears to have outstripped its fundraising capabilities, and spending has always outpaced what it has publicly reported about its income. Read more » (Filed 4/1/16)
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A DEEPER LOOK at Axanar’s Annual Report. It took some time to transcribe, code, sort and analyze the data, but a pattern of possible problems emerged — from unreported salaries to ballooning costs and repeated deficit spending. Read more » (Filed 3/25/16)
BUSTING THE MYTHBUSTING What the facts have to say about Axanar’s so-called myths regarding its alleged financial gain, its warehouse-cum-studio and money’s role in Axanar’s copyright infringement lawsuit. Read more » (Filed 3/17/16)
“SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT” with Axanar, says former Axanar actor Tony Todd in a weekend interview. He cites production delays and loss of director Christian Gossett among the reasons he left. And he’s on the short list for the new Star Trek series. Read more » (Filed 2/23/16)