A group of filmmakers may have raised over $1M to create a fan-made Star Trek film, Axanar, but CBS is trying its hardest to make sure the project never sees the light of day.
The television network teamed up with Paramount Studios to officially sue Axanar Productions and director Alec Peters for direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, according to Variety. Essentially, because Peters and his team not only used characters from the franchise, but also alluded to other aspects of the series in their film, the entire production is one giant ripoff, according to CBS Studios and Paramount's lawyers.
Peters posted a quick post to Axanar's official Facebook page, but confirmed there would be a longer and more detailed response to the lawsuit later today. He did insist, however, that production was still going on and the studio had no plans of stopping anytime soon.
"While Team Axanar will have a response shortly, know this DOES NOT deter us from what we are doing," he wrote. "Delivering to fans exactly what you want. Goliath, meet David (and his thousands of screaming fans)!"
In the FAQ section of the film's website, Axanar states that it is an "independent project that uses the intellectual property of CBS under the provision that Axanar is totally non-commercial."
Peters' argument is that because the team won't be making any profit off of the film, including off of any merchandise that they sell, they have the right to use the characters, setting and themes.
CBS could argue, however, that despite Axanar's claims that it hasn't made any profit off of the film, Axanar hasn't provided a full accounting of where exactly the backer-contributed funds went and how the company is using the money.
The next official Star Trek installment, Star Trek: Beyond, is scheduled for next July.