Usually, when a fan-film is made, it’s no big deal. You can scroll through YouTube on any given day and see a quick fan-film for some of your favorite movies uploaded without any major studio grievances aired. However, the Star Trek fan film Axanar has been met with many legal issues from Star Trek’s parent company Paramount Pictures. After raising more than $1 million through crowdfunding to produce a feature-length fan film within the Star Trek universe with high production values, Paramount filed a lawsuit against the production company. Star Trek directors JJ Abrams and Justin Lin both did not see an issue with the fan film and urged Paramount to drop the lawsuit and let the film be made, but Paramount continued to move forward with it, until now.
A settlement has been reached between all parties. As per the agreement between Paramount Pictures and Axanar Productions, owner Alec Peters has to make it crystal clear that the film (and it’s prequel A Prelude to Axanar) “were not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.” Other changes to the film include editing it down into two commercial-free 15-minute segments. Below are a few guidelines from Paramount.
- The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.
- The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
- The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.
- If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
With these new rules agreed to, the film can finally go back into production. Below is one scene from the film already filmed.