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Star Trek fan film producer settles with Paramount over copyright infringement

Substantial changes must be made

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Axanar Axanar Productions

Axanar Films, the company behind the Star Trek fan film, Axanar, has settled its copyright infringement case with Paramount and CBS.

In the settlement, producer Alec Peters agreed to publicly claim that both Axanar and the prequel film that preceded it, 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.”

Paramount and CBS first filed the lawsuit on Dec 29, 2015. The companies alleged that because Axanar had raised more than $1 million on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo and used uniforms similar to those worn in the show, it infringed on the companies’ copyright. The statement doesn’t list any monetary settlement that may have been included in the deal, but strictly reiterates that as long as Peters and his team make substantial changes to the project, the case will be resolved.

Peters agreed to make substantial changes to the film to abide by proper U.S. copyright laws. The settlement also includes references to any future fan films Peters and the Axanar team might want to make.

“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,” according to a statement from Paramount.

Paramount and CBS added they have no intentions to stop fan films or pieces of fan fiction from being made or distributed, as long as they abide by the companies proper guidelines.

“Paramount and CBS would like Star Trek fans, with their boundless creativity and passion, to ‘Live Long and Prosper.’”

According to the official guidelines, fan films can’t exceed 15 minutes (30 minutes if it’s a digital series), can’t use clips from any of the Star Trek films or series, can’t use official costumes, can’t use the name Star Trek and can’t be made for profit. Essentially, filmmakers can use the idea of Star Trek, but they can’t use anything that’s already been published.

CBS is currently working on the next Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. It was supposed to debut in May, but after being delayed for the second time, currently does not have an estimated air date.