Fan-Edit of 'Prelude' Eliminates Alec Peters
Axanar Issues Takedown Notice on YouTube, Director Calls Cut ‘Powerful Feedback’
Table of Contents
A pseudonymous fan of the short film Prelude to Axanar released an edited version on YouTube on February 15, 2017, that cut the appearance of controversial producer Alec Peters as Garth of Izar, resulting in a takedown notice filed by Axanar.
Posted with the title, Prelude to Axanar: Redux, under a new YouTube account, “Tom Richardson,” the edit of shaves off four minutes and 12 seconds from the official release’s 21 minutes, 9 seconds. Prelude’s director called the cut “powerful feedback.”
UPDATE On February 15, Axanar issued a takedown notice of the fan edit, despite CBS’ guideline prohibiting fan films from claiming copyright protection for their Star Trek works.
« I would advise Alec to stop trying to deny [the fan edit’s] existence and learn from it instead. » — ‘Prelude’ Director Christian Gossett
The fan edit replaces the introduction with a short dedication to actor Steve Inhat, who originally played Garth in the Star Trek episode, “Whom Gods Destroy,” on which Peters based the character he portrayed in the official Prelude.
Redux also honors the recently passed actor Richard Hatch, who played the Klingon commander, Kharn the Undying. Hatch died February 7 from pancreatic cancer.
The YouTube post included a short explanation from the fan editor, including boilerplate from the fan film guidelines and a link back to the full version of Prelude:
Meet the Fan Editor
Read this exclusive AxaMonitor interview with the fan, “Tom Richardson,” who edited Prelude to Axanar: Redux.
The following fan film “fan-edit” was made to honor the memory of Richard Hatch and Steve Ihnat. Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.1)
'Prelude' Director's Reaction
Reached by AxaMonitor, Prelude Director Christian Gossett found value in the fan edit, as well as advice for Peters regarding his attempt to keep people from viewing it:
The most interesting thing to me about this cut is, it is a fascinating way to demonstrate one of the most important lessons anyone in entertainment has to learn: The work is bigger than you. The work is, ultimately, not about you at all. This edit, ultimately, is very powerful feedback. I would advise Alec to stop trying to deny its existence and learn from it instead.2)
See also: The Shoe is on the Other Foot
Axanar filed a takedown notice bringing the fan edit down from YouTube on February 15.
Axanar previously filed takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when its "Vulcan Scene" and criticized trailers were posted on YouTube and Facebook. Axanar pulled the Vulcan Scene from public view shortly after the copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against it. After someone re-posted the Vulcan Scene on YouTube, Axanar sought to have it taken down. The person who posted it challenged the takedown notice and the Vulcan Scene remained online.
In the aftermath of Axanar’s lawsuit settlement with Star Trek’s owners, CBS and Paramount Pictures, Peters agreed to abide by the fan film guidelines released by the studios in June 2015. Guideline No. 9 would seem to preclude pursuing a copyright claim under the DMCA, however:
Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.3)
Presumably, that would cover any attempt by Axanar to assert protection under copyright or trademark law against the otherwise infringing Redux.
Peters Rejects Spokesman's Advice
Reached by AxaMonitor prior to the takedown, Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden said he’d advocate for focusing instead on producing the Axanar episodes now authorized by the settlement:
Quite honestly, I’m encouraging everyone to move along and continue with the planning required to produce the two, fifteen-minute segments we’re allowed to produce to tell the story of Axanar, so I can’t say anyone is going to do anything about this.4)
Peters, it appeared, decided to go a different way.
Discuss this article in AxaMonitor's Facebook group.