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First Star Trek: Discovery trailer goes where many Treks have gone...

Oft-delayed series comes to CBS All Access this fall.

Doctor Who: Oxygen review

Will the Doctorrsquo;s increasingly cavalier attitude cause him to lose his senses?

Underdog team wins millions in competition to make real-life tricorder

Family-based team’s design beat out tough competition for Star Trek-inspired win.

Star Trek-Themed Ransomware Demands New Crypto-Currency

Kirk ransomware comes in guise of stress-testing tool and demands 50 Monero ($1,100) to unlock.

Shameless crooks fling Star Trek-themed ransomware at world

Live long and (don't) prosper Audacious cybercriminals have created an Star Trek-themed strain of ransomware.…

IBM’s new Q program will include a 50-qubit quantum computer

Characters named Q in film and TV have been portrayed as being exceptional. Q in the James Bond movies served up futuristic gadgets, and Q in Star Trek was omnipotent.A new quantum computing program called Q at IBM will be remarkable in its own right.
In a few years, IBM plans to create a quantum computer with more than 50 qubits, which should push conventional computers one step closer to the trash heap.[ Docker, Amazon, TensorFlow, Windows 10, and more: See InfoWorld's 2017 Technology of the Year Award winners. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

BrandPost: Precision Medicine: Who Will Live Forever?

Will medical advances using Big Data finally yield a Fountain of Youth unlike anything found in the legendary quests of Ponce de León?  Will someone eventually be able to live forever?For me, the term “Precision Medicine” evokes the image of the tricorder,which rapidly and accurately diagnosed many ailments on Star Trek.The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes Precision Medicine as “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Axanar Productions, Paramount, and CBS settle Star Trek copyright lawsuit

Enlarge / A scene from Prelude to Axanar.Axanar reader comments 52 Share this story On Friday, litigants announced a settlement to end a contentious copyright lawsuit over a short film and a proposed feature-length film based in the Star Trek universe.

The lawsuit was filed last year and involves Star Trek fan-fiction producer Axanar Productions, Paramount Studios, and CBS. The parties did not disclose all the details of the settlement, which is sealed from the public record.

But a joint statement from Axanar and the plaintiffs noted that the defendants “acknowledge that both films were not approved by Paramount or CBS and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.” A spokesperson from Axanar told Ars Technica in an e-mail “we’re not paying anything,” with respect to the settlement. The settlement will also require the fanfic producer to “make substantial changes to Axanar to resolve this litigation.” According to a statement from Axanar, this includes changing the proposed feature-length film into two 15-minute short film episodes, which will be posted on YouTube without advertising from which Axanar could earn revenue.

The 20-minute Prelude to Axanar will be allowed to stay on YouTube. Axanar Productions was founded after some Star Trek enthusiasts raised more than $1.1 million on Kickstarter to create a high-quality, feature-length Star Trek movie based on the story of Captain Kirk’s hero, Garth of Izar.

Axanar Productions, under the leadership of Alec Peters, created Prelude to Axanar in 2014.

The company was hoping to release the full-length movie in 2016—until Paramount Pictures and CBS sued for copyright infringement. Axanar claimed the lawsuit was unexpected because CBS had a long history of turning a blind eye to fan fiction using Star Trek characters and names, especially since the project was supposed to be non-commercial, meaning that the production company wouldn’t try to make a profit selling tickets or DVDs or T-shirts. Paramount and CBS argued that Axanar was trying to make professional-quality work and objected “to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights.” A civil trial had been scheduled for January 31, 2017 after a judge ruled in early January that Prelude to Axanar and its planned feature-length movie could not avoid an infringement trial on the basis of a fair-use exception. Last June, Paramount and CBS issued a list of 10 rules for Star Trek fan fiction creators.

The list includes dictates that films can’t be longer that 15 minutes and stories can’t exceed 30 minutes; uniforms and props must be “official merchandise;” and all films must be family-friendly, without any profanity, nudity, drugs, or alcohol. As part of the settlement, Axanar agreed to assure Paramount and CBS that “any future Star Trek fan films produced by Axanar or Mr. Peters will be in accordance with the ‘Guidelines for Fan Films’ distributed by CBS and Paramount in June 2016.” Paramount and CBS issued a statement saying that they “continue to be big believers in fan fiction and fan creativity” and will “not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional, amateur, and otherwise meet the Guidelines.” In a statement from Axanar, the company said, “Since the beginning of the lawsuit, over a year ago, we have expressed our desire to address the concerns of the studios and our willingness to make necessary changes, as long as we could reasonably meet our commitments to Axanar’s over 14,000 donors, fans, and supporters. We are now able to do exactly that.” The statement continued: “Axanar Productions was created by lifelong Star Trek fans to celebrate their love for Star Trek.

Alec Peters and the Axanar team look forward to continuing to share the Axanar story and are happy to work within the Guidelines for Fan Films for future projects.

Throughout this process, we will continue communicating with our fans and backers to ensure they are informed and involved until we reach completion of the production.”

Axanar isn’t fair use, judge finds, setting stage for Star Trek...

Enlarge / The newly imagined USS Ares, as seen in the Prelude to Axanar short film.Prelude to Axanar reader comments 67 Share this story A federal judge in Los Angeles has decided that the copyright lawsuit over the pending Star Trek fan film Prelude to Axanar should move forward.

For now, a civil trial is set to begin on January 31, 2017. Earlier this week, US District Judge Robert G. Klausner rejected the motion for summary judgment filed by the plaintiffs, Paramount and CBS. He also rejected a motion filed by the defendants, Axanar Productions.

The judge was unpersuaded by Axanar Productions’ arguments that it was entitled to the fair use exception. The legal battle began in late 2015, when the two entertainment giants sued a group of filmmakers who had released an unlicensed and unauthorized short 20-minute trailer a year earlier. In that trailer, dubbed Prelude to Axanar, a group of Federation, Vulcan, and Klingon officers speak in documentary-like interviews about the Four Years War between the Federation and the Klingons.

The short film features a number of actors who have performed in previous Star Trek works, including J.G. Hertzler, now in the new role of Admiral Samuel Travis, and Gary Graham, who reprised his role as Vulcan Ambassador Soval.

The Four Years’ War, which was briefly discussed but never actually portrayed in any of the Star Trek series, is set before the beginning of The Original Series. Axanar Productions raised over $1.1 million on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and it was expected to release a full-length film in 2016 before it got derailed by the lawsuit. In May 2016, the director of the new set of Star Trek films, J.J.

Abrams, indicated that the lawsuit would "be going away," but that still hasn’t happened.

A month later, as a result of the ongoing legal battle, Paramount and CBS released a set of guidelines that would allow fan films to proceed without getting sued. (Axanar would violate those rules.) To boldly go In his Tuesday order, Judge Klausner made it very clear that he has at least some working knowledge of Star Trek.

As he wrote: Here, there is no dispute that Plaintiffs have ownership of copyrights to the Star Trek Copyrighted Works, and that Defendants have access to these Works.

Thus, the copyright infringement claim can live long and prosper if the Axanar Works are substantially similar to the Star Trek Copyrighted Works. The court found that there was an "objective substantial similarity" between the Axanar film and the copyrighted Star Trek works.

The question of "subjective substantial similarity" would now be left to a jury to determine.

As the judge continued: Sometimes a feeling is all we humans have to go on.

But for substantial similarity, the law demands more. "The extrinsic test considers whether two works share a [substantial] similarity of ideas and expression as measured by external, objective criteria" – in a Vulcan-like manner. In additional court filings submitted on Wednesday, CBS, Paramount, and Axanar Productions all put forward their list of witnesses.

CBS said it would put John Van Citters, an executive who has worked with Paramount and CBS on Star Trek for nearly 20 years, on the stand. Van Citters, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, "knows the canon of Star Trek intimately as well as the history and personnel involved in the production of Star Trek in order to be able to efficiently assess whether or not material CBS is presenting to the public is accurate and fits with existing canon." Axanar Productions, for its part, will counter with Christian Tregillis, a financial consultant who will "rebut Plaintiffs’ theory of lost profits that they claim resulted from Defendants’ alleged infringement, i.e., that funds donated to making of Defendants’ works have resulted in lost revenue or profits to Plaintiffs," according to its own filing. The film company will also offer up Henry Jenkins, a professor of media studies at the University of Southern California, who is an expert on Star Trek’s historical relationship between its creators and its fans. All sides are set to meet before the judge for a pretrial conference on January 9, 2017 at 10:00am at the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.

These three 2016 cases gave new life to software patents

For software patent defenders, Planet Blue's patent on lip synchronization in animated characters was their last, great hope.McRO, Inc. reader comments 6 Share this story In 2014, the US Supreme Court dealt a major blow to software patents. In their 9-0 ruling in Alice Corp v. CLS Bank, the justices made it clear that just adding fancy-sounding computer language to otherwise ordinary aspects of business and technology isn't enough to deserve a patent. Since then, district court judges have invalidated hundreds of patents under Section 101 of the US patent laws, finding they're nothing more than abstract ideas that didn't deserve a patent in the first place. The great majority of software patents were unable to pass the basic test outlined by the Supreme Court. At the beginning of 2016, the nation's top patent court had heard dozens of appeals on computer-related patents that were challenged under the Alice precedent. DDR Holdings v. Hotels.com was the only case in which a Federal Circuit panel ruled in favor of a software patent-holder. The Alice ruling certainly didn't mean all software patents were dead on arrival—but it was unclear what a software patent would need to survive. Even DDR Holdings left a teeny-tiny target for patent owners to shoot at. That all changed in 2016. Judges on the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found three more cases in which they believe that software patents were wrongly invalidated. What once looked like a small exception to the rule now looks like three big ones. The results of those cases could portend a coming year that will be friendlier to patent owners than the past few have been. As 2016 winds down, let's take a closer look at the details of these three software patent battles and how patent-holders kept their patents alive through the appeals court. Enfish LLC v. Microsoft Decided: May 12, 2016 Panel: Circuit Judges Kimberly Moore, Richard Taranto, Todd Hughes. In 1993, Enfish Corporation was founded in Pasadena, California, by a former Gemstar executive who wanted to find a better way to track and sort e-mail, files, and other data. By 2000, when Enfish founder Louise Wannier was profiled in the Los Angeles Times, the company had 45 employees and had raised $20 million in capital. But Enfish still wasn't profitable. The "Enfish Find" desktop search tool, and other company products, got positive write-ups in PC World and were downloaded by more than 200,000 users. In the end, though, it wasn't enough. By 2005, Enfish was out of business. The Enfish patents, though, lived on. By 2012, Wannier had formed Enfish LLC and decided to sue several huge software companies: Microsoft, Inuit, Sage Software, and financial tech heavyweights Fiserv and Jack Henry & Associates. The Enfish lawsuit (PDF) claimed that Microsoft's .NET Framework infringed two patents, numbered 6,151,604 and 6,163,775. Enfish claimed to have built a new type of "self-referential" database, with a priority date stretching back to 1995. The district court judge disagreed, though. He said a table is just a table. Emphasizing terms like "non-contiguous memory" (a ubiquitous method for computer storage) and "indexing" wasn't going to save the Enfish patents. In his 2014 order, US District Judge George Wu wrote: For millennia, humans have used tables to store information. Tables continue to be elementary tools used by everyone from school children to scientists and programmers.... the fact that the patents claim a "logical table" demonstrates abstractness... Humans engaged in this sort of indexing long before this patent. In May 2016, a Federal Circuit panel reversed Judge Wu. Software improvements are not "inherently abstract," the judges ruled (PDF). The Bilski and Alice cases were directed at processes "for which computers are merely invoked as a tool." Those cases didn't rule out a patent on a "specific asserted improvement in computer capabilities." The Enfish patent claims were "directed to a specific improvement to the way computers operate, embodied in the self-referential table." The self-referential table "is a specific type of data structure designed to improve the way a computer stores and retrieves memory," and thus deserves a patent. The panel also shot down Wu's finding that the Enfish invention was rendered doubly invalid by Microsoft Excel 5.0, a database product that was in public use more than a year earlier than the Enfish patent was filed. With all five of the patent claims now patent-eligible again, the case was sent back to the lower court. Discovery is underway and a trial is scheduled for 2018. For patent lawyers, the Enfish breakthrough was "like a ray of light at the end of a long dark tunnel," wrote one attorney at Fish & Richardson, the nation's biggest IP law firm, who analyzed the decision in a blog post. "Reaction by the patent bar was swift. Notices of additional authority and requests for reconsideration were submitted to district courts around the country." McRO v. Bandai Namco Games America Decided: September 13, 2016 Panel: Circuit Judges Jimmie Reyna, Richard Taranto, Kara Stoll. For patent system defenders, the next case was clearly a hill to die upon. In its opening Federal Circuit brief, patent-holder McRO Inc., which does business under the name Planet Blue, told the judges that the district court's ruling against it "violates supreme court precedent and threatens all software patents." Planet Blue was founded in 1988 by Maury Rosenfeld, a computer graphics and visual effects designer who worked for shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Max Headroom, and Pee Wee's Playhouse, according to his Federal Circuit brief (PDF). Rosenfeld's firm was hired by several video game companies "to work on animation and lip-synchronization projects." But, at some point, they clearly had a falling out. Beginning in 2012, Planet Blue sued more than a dozen big video game companies, including Namco Bandai (PDF), Sega, Electronic Arts, Activision, Square Enix, Disney, Sony, Blizzard, and LucasArts. Several of those big players had been Rosenfeld clients before the lawsuits. The complaints said the companies infringed two Rosenfeld patents, US Patents No. 6,307,576 and 6,611,278, which describe a method of lip-synching animated characters. Earlier methods of animating lip synchronization and facial expressions, said Planet Blue lawyers, were too laborious and expensive. US District Judge George Wu ruled against Planet Blue in September 2014. He acknowledged that Rosenfeld may have been an innovator, but his patents were nonetheless invalid because they claimed an abstract idea. The patents would have preempted any lip synchronization that used a "rules-based morph target approach." On appeal, the case was immediately seen as one to watch, in part because Rosenfeld was seen as a real innovator in his field. "The patents utilize complex and seemingly specific computer-implemented techniques," wrote Patently-O blogger Prof. Dennis Crouch. "An initial read of the claims in the Planet Blue patents seems to be a far cry from basic method claims." BSA—aka the Software Alliance, a trade group that includes Microsoft and other big software companies—weighed in on the case by filing an amicus brief (PDF) in favor of Planet Blue. The asserted claims weren't abstract, BSA argued. The district court judge, BSA said, had "imported" questions about obviousness into his analysis when he should have only considered a strict Section 101 analysis about abstraction. In BSA's view, the big swath of patents being thrown out in the post-Alice era should "not include claims directed to technological problems specific to the digital environment." The battle was joined on the other side, too. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge jointly submitting a brief (PDF) arguing in favor of the video-game defendants. "The claims embody nothing more than the concept of applying numerical rules—that is, equations—to numerical inputs to obtain numerical outputs," wrote Public Knowledge attorney Charles Duan. "Since the law rejects Appellant’s theories of patentability, Appellant resorts to whitewashing its broad claims by extensively discussing the specification and implementing software. This is totally irrelevant," as it is the claims that are important. When the Federal Circuit found in Planet Blue's favor in September, it was the biggest win yet for software patentees in the post-Alice era. The three-judge panel held that the claims were "limited to rules with specific characteristics." Quoting the specification, they held that "the claimed improvement here is allowing computers to produce 'accurate and realistic lip synchronization and facial expressions in animated characters,' which could previously only have been produced by human animators." The judges didn't buy the defense argument that there was nothing new in having computer-based rules for animation. "Defendants concede an animator's process was driven by subjective determination rather than specific, limited mathematical rules." BSA was jubilant about Planet Blue's win. BSA President Victoria Espinel wrote: The Federal Circuit’s opinion reaffirms that software is worthy of patent protection just as any other field of technology. Software is a major component of today’s greatest innovations, and it is imperative that our patent system continues to encourage innovators in all fields of technology. Today’s Federal Circuit’s decision is a step in the right direction. McRO v. Namco Bandai is now back in Wu's Los Angeles courtroom, awaiting a scheduling conference for the litigation to go forward. Amdocs v. Openet Telecom Decided: November 1, 2016. Panel: Circuit Judges S. Jay Plager, Pauline Newman, Jimmie Reyna (dissenting). Israel-based Amdocs went to US courts to sue (PDF) an Irish company, Openet Telecom, in 2010. Amdocs asserted that four patents related to online accounting and billing methods were all derived from the same original application: Nos. 7,631,065; 7,412,510;  6,947,984; and 6,836,797.  The patents all describe the same system, which allows network operators to account and bill for internet protocol (IP) traffic. Claim 1 of the '065 patent claims computer code for "receiving... a network accounting record," then correlating the record with other accounting information, then computer code that uses that information to "enhance the first network accounting record." The district court found that Amdocs' claim wasn't much more than the abstract idea of correlating two networks. The court tossed the patent. And the Federal Circuit majority recognized that, in other cases, "somewhat... similar claims" had been thrown out under § 101—but then the Circuit majority went on to say that, despite that, the patent should have been allowed. "[T]his claim entails an unconventional  technological solution (enhancing data in a distributed fashion) to a technological problem (massive record flows that previously required massive databases)," wrote US Circuit Judge S. Jay Plager. "The components needed were "arguably generic" but had been used in such an "unconventional manner" that they led to "an improvement in computer functionality." The Amdocs saga isn't back in the lower courts quite yet. Defendant Openet has filed a petition for rehearing by the whole court. However it turns out, these three decisions mean that anyone seeking to enforce a software patent will come into 2017 in a far better position than they were a year ago. The Federal Circuit is continuing to debate the patent-eligibility of software. The random draw of judges on a Federal Circuit panel is increasingly looking like the most important factor on whether a patent prevails or dies at the appeals court. As Crouch notes in his analysis, two of the three judges that made up the majority in the Amdocs case can be seen as being in the minority of the court as a whole, since they pushed against the Alice patent. How such a split will be reconciled isn't clear. Crouch points out there may be two or three vacancies on the Federal Circuit during Trump's first term, and the Supreme Court has shown a continued interest in taking up patent cases. But looking back at the key decisions of 2016, anyone wanting to enforce software patents is in a far better position than they were a year ago, thanks to the three decisions above. 2016 may go down in history as the year that saved software patents.

Unhappy with his online critics, Reddit CEO altered site’s comments

Jurgen Appeloreader comments 146 Share this story Enlarge / Steve Huffman's LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn Reddit has some site rules.

A key one is that the site's users must follow the rules or be barred from participating in discussions.

Then there's another rule, which we'll call the Prime Directive, because who doesn't like Star Trek.

This directive prohibits the site's executives from editing comments to alter the site's community voice. Breaching that directive is perhaps Reddit's ultimate taboo. But over the Thanksgiving holiday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman conceded that he violated the directive.
Some negative comments directed at his username—"spez"—were substituted with the names of moderators of a pro-Donald Trump subreddit called "r/the_donald." Hey Everyone, Yep.
I messed with the "fuck u/spez" comments, replacing "spez" with r/the_donald mods for about an hour.
It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff.

As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly.

As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again. Fuck u/spez. Huffman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His concession generated thousands of comments over the weekend. The "r/pizzagate stuff" Huffman referenced concerns a conspiracy theory about a secret pedophile group, a pizza parlor in the nation's capital, and Hillary Clinton's campaign chief, John Podesta. Reddit banned the "Pizzagate" conspiracy board from the site because of a Reddit policy about posting personal information of others.

The move ushered in a wave of criticism against Huffman on Wednesday, and he responded by editing the comments. Huffman wasn't the only person targeted by angry redditors, either. According to The Washington Post: The Pizzagate conspiracy has led to some very real harassment of the people caught up in the theory, including the owner of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, James Alefantis.

Alefantis has received hundreds of death threats over the past couple of weeks, he told The New York Times this week, after Pizzagate enthusiasts decided that his restaurant was the secret headquarters of a child sex-trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and members of her inner circle. The Huffman incident is believed to be the first known time an executive from the site altered comments.

Even Ellen Pao, the former Reddit CEO, didn't change comments despite a barrage of insults levied at her last year as the site began cleaning up its community. Disclosure: Ars and Reddit are owned by the same parent company, Advance Publications.

Star Trek fan film says CBS and Paramount don’t own “the...

Enlarge / Axanar Productions is arguing that its Prelude to Axanar doesn't infringe copyright because it's filmed in “mockumentary” style.Prelude to Axanar reader comments 7 Share this story In a motion filed last week, CBS and Paramount asked a judge to rule that (PDF) fan-funded Axanar Productions infringed Star Trek copyright.

A day later, the small production company filed its own motion (PDF) claiming that its only existing 20-minute film, called Prelude to Axanar, was shot in a “mockumentary” style, unlike a true Star Trek TV show or movie, and that Axanar Production’s output was always intended to be non-commercial. The company also contended that CBS and Paramount don’t own “the idea of Star Trek or the Star Trek universe as a whole." CBS and Paramount allege that Axanar's work copies from the “plots, themes, settings, mood, dialogue, characters, and pace,” of Star Trek works and that, by raising nearly $1.5 million on Kickstarter, the production studio didn’t operate non-commercially. While those arguments aren’t new from the studios, the recent motion cites several statements by Axanar’s own top players that controvert the idea that they were mere fans producing fan art.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys write that Axanar representatives wanted to make a “professional”-looking film and that Executive Producer Alec Peters “attempted to meet with Netflix to become a producer of Star Trek productions and even attempted to trademark (for use in commerce) the word ‘Axanar.’” The motion also includes testimony from Christian Gossett, director of Prelude to Axanar, who told Axanar's attorneys that the movie he made infringes on Star Trek copyright.

The motion includes the following snippet of that testimony: Q.

Do you think Prelude to Axanar is—infringes upon the Star Trek intellectual property? A. Yes. Q.

And in what way? A.
In that it is an unlicensed filmed entertainment that uses countless elements of the Star Trek fictional world without—yeah, unlicensed. The plaintiffs sought to deflate Axanar’s arguments that it had created a separate, untold story within the Star Trek universe.

They allege that the idea for the feature film’s premise was first recorded in a (licensed) 1980s RPG called Star Trek: The Role Playing Game that came with a supplemental section called “The Four Year’s War.” That fictional conflagration is set against the backdrop of “the ‘arms race’ between the Klingons and the Federation to create new and more capable starships.” Lawyers for CBS and Paramount wrote: It is beyond dispute that Defendants’ works were not created for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, or teaching.
Similarly, the Axanar Works do not constitute either parody or satire, and (prior to this lawsuit) Defendants never claimed they were.
Indeed, Defendants expressly set out to create an authentic and “independent Star Trek film” that stayed true to Star Trek canon down to excruciating details.  The “mockumentary” defense As for Axanar Productions, the company is now calling Prelude a free “mockumentary.” Axanar contests that it shouldn’t be liable for any perceived infringement with respect to the planned full-length film because that film hasn’t even been made—except for a three-minute scene called “The Vulcan Scene”—and the script could change at any time. The most recent script for the full-length film has more than 50 original characters out of 57 total, the defendants said, adding that the project had changed the script to accommodate CBS and Paramount. “In fact, through the many scripts, Defendants have attempted to create drafts to alleviate Plaintiffs’ concerns regarding alleged infringement, and [Defendants] are now leaning towards more mockumentary style works.” In June, CBS and Paramount published a list of 10 rules for fan film creators to avoid copyright infringement suits like Axanar’s.

Among other things, that list mandates that no fan film be longer than 15 minutes, and no fan film can exceed two episodes in length. Furthermore, "Plaintiffs own a limited number of Star Trek episodes and films, but they do not own a copyright to the idea of Star Trek, or the Star Trek universe as a whole," the defendants wrote. “While Plaintiffs do have copyright registrations to central Star Trek characters such as Spock and Captain Kirk, Defendants Works’ do not include those or any other characters to which Plaintiffs own separate copyrights,” Axanar’s motion says, adding that the 20-minute Prelude video was inspired by M*A*S*H, Band of Brothers, Babylon 5, The Pacific, and The Civil War as much as it was inspired by Star Trek. Finally, Axanar Productions argues that films like Prelude and the feature film it was going to make don’t harm CBS and Paramount, but help it financially.

Axanar said: Star Trek fans have produced and disseminated fan fiction for over 50 years, without complaint, and rather with encouragement from Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs have benefitted from the unpaid and often unacknowledged labor of fans, who have helped to maintain engagement in Plaintiffs’ Works during leaner years in Plaintiffs’ cycle of production. The production studio cited comments made by Star Trek film directors J.J.

Abrams and Justin Lin that they were “outraged” by CBS and Paramount’s suit. “We started talking about it and realized this was not an appropriate way to deal with the fans,” Abrams had said at the time. In a separate statement, Axanar PR director Mike Bawden said the production studio will set up an Independent Financial Review Committee to make sure fans’ funds are being well used.

Bawden wrote: As to where things will go after the lawsuit, we think it would be unhelpful to speculate on too much.

But Axanar Productions remains committed to addressing the copyright concerns of CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures Corporation in a way that allows us to tell the story of AXANAR our fans and donors have supported. Once this lawsuit is resolved, Axanar Productions’ team will meet and discuss what kinds of modifications need to be made so we can move forward with production.