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Can you copyright a language? Or a species? Or a yellow shirt? CBS and Paramount who own copyrights to the Star Trek television series and movies sued Axnar Productions, Inc. and Alec Peters alleging copyright infringement based on their short film “Prelude to Axnar” and their crowd-funding campaign to produce a feature length film titled “Axnar”. The films purport to tell the story of a battle referenced in the first and third episodes of the original Star Trek series.
Fan fiction – fans’ creations of side stories inspired by fictional works the love – is nothing new, and often copyright holders look the other way as fan fiction often aids the development of the market for the copyrighted works. But the “Axnar” work is not your everyday fan fiction: with more than a million dollars in funding, its creators intend for it to be a high quality film. Join Jennifer Atkins and Kandis Koustenis as they discuss the lawsuit and its implications for rights holders and fans.
Photo credit: warvan