My favorite video
On Friday evening at a Star Trek fan event, director J.J.
Abrams indicated that CBS and Paramount would drop a copyright infringement lawsuit against Axanar Productions, a fan-led, crowd-funded production company created to make production-quality Star Trek fan fiction.
CBS and Paramount confirmed Abrams’ comment to Buzzfeed reporter Adam Vary after the event.
Vary also reported that Alec Peters, Axanar’s executive producer who was in the audience on Friday night, was unaware that the two studios were intending to drop the suit against his company until he heard Abrams’ story that evening.
CBS and Paramount filed the lawsuit against Axanar Productions and its executive producer, Alec Peters, in December.
Although the two companies have encouraged fan fiction in the past, the Axanar project intended to make a professional-looking Star Trek feature film, even hiring people who had worked on canon Star Trek installments before, and CBS and Paramount took umbrage with that plan.
In March, lawyers for CBS and Paramount detailed many of the specific instances in which Axanar Productions had allegedly infringed on the studios’ copyrighted works during a 20-minute prequel called Prelude to Axanar.
Although Axanar Productions filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, a judge ruled in early May that the fan-supported company would have to face the allegations from CBS and Paramount in court.
Now, all of that might be unnecessary, although it’s worth noting that CBS and Paramount have not officially dropped the lawsuit yet.
But according to J.J.
Abrams, director of the 2009 Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness, CBS and Paramount were persuaded by Justin Lin, who is directing Star Trek Beyond, to back off their Axanar suit.
As Abrams recounts in the video above:
A few months back there was a fan movie, Axanar, that was getting made and there was this lawsuit that happened between the studio and these fans and Justin, and I’ll tell the story because he probably wouldn’t, was sort of outraged by this as a long time fan. 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 all 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 work on their project.
In a blog post published on Sunday, Peters wrote on behalf of Axanar Productions: “It was a great moment for Axanar and we are very grateful to both JJ and Justin Lin.” Still, he cautioned, the lawsuit is not officially resolved just yet, and he noted that CBS and Paramount said they would be handing down new fan film guidelines in coming days.
That means that Axanar might need to be changed before it can hit production.