Monthly Archives: May 2016

More on Peak TV and how TV Production is Changing

So, one of the things I obsess about, when my synapses are not otherwise engaged is what the future of TV looks like and how TV programs are being made.

So I was very interested in a pair of articles I read this past January about the idea of “Peak TV” as well as one earlier this month about the potential production pipeline problem HBO may have with new shows.

And of course, I enjoyed the nuts and bolts article about making The Americans.

So it was great to read this cover story in Vulture by Josef Adalian and Maria Elena Fernandez about how “Peak TV” is putting a strain on the whole tv/film industry apparatus and causing all sorts of shifts in how TV gets made.

Here are some interesting tidbits from the article (many of which I’ve read in some form elsewhere albeit separately):

  • “Peak TV” isn’t a fanciful phrase. Scripted shows doubled from 2009 to 2015 from about 200 per year to 409 per year.
  • Leading actors for shows are commanding great per episode rates, but this has led perennial guest star/character actors making peanuts compared to what they used to. (Sort of income inequality in microcosm)
  • More writers have more chances to tell their stories
  • Showrunners and shows themselves don’t earn as much on the back end as they used to
  • All the upsurge in production means experienced crews are worth their weight in platinum

All very interesting. It probably makes you wonder what the future holds. Will major disruptions to the current trends in TV production mean a loss of quality? Will reality TV make a counterattack? Will multi-camera sitcoms? The Left Shark?

For indie filmmakers, a big question is when, where, and how these trends or changes in the trends might amount to more opportunities. As the article notes, the 90s/early naughts were great for indie features, but now, free capital is flowing to TV series on the multitude of new channels and platforms.

Indie filmmakers, including those here in the DC area have appeared to take note. In that past decade, indie filmmakers have realized “web series” could be the road to more traditional series and many have worked to try and find out a path to make that possible. In the end, the bottom line is how the filmmaking, the storytelling can be a career.

For those of you outside the DC-Baltimore area, you may not know we have scores of professional theaters, thousands of actors, and plenty of film and video production. That said, and despite shows like House of Cards, Veep, and Turn being shot in the area, we’re not mentioned in the same sentence as Atlanta or Vancouver or Toronto.

For all the rising costs, those cities and their requisite local industries appear to offer value to producers trying to make the latest engaging TV shows. Can DC offer that value filmmaking in the decade ahead? I know many fellow filmmakers would like that to be the case.

Recommended Reading: Coming Changes to Transportation

One of the reasons I’ve become more interested in learning about basic income and future potential economic models has been what appears to be the growing automation of everything. In other words, we’ve moved beyond automating factory and manufacturing processes (though we still automate that and refine that automation), and into automating service and analytical processes.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the race to implement the self-driving car, because when the self-driving car becomes more omnipresent, it will absolutely shake up delivery and transportation paradigms we live with today.

I’ve read a number of different pieces about various companies’ attempts to implement the self-driving car and their varying successes. This longer piece by David Roberts in Vox goes into how the future of transportation will radically re-define “how we get around” in terms of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, vehicle electrification, and the integration between those two.

Somehow, this seemed fitting on the eve of one of the great commuter holidays.

Let’s Get Back to Boldly Going

This is the 20th entry in a surprisingly long series of posts about Star Trek’s future and its fandom called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks.

So, after Sunday’s somewhat somber, but cathartic post, I wanted to get back to the fun part of Star Trek. I mean, eventually, we’ll have to end the whole Crisis series. Right? Right?

Yes, I know Axanar Productions responded to CBS/Paramount’s complaint yesterday which they talk about here and you can read further about at 1701 News here. Unlike people freaking about this ‘countersuit,’ I’m given to understand this is de rigueur for lawsuits, even ones going through settlement talks.

I’m sure I’ll have opportunities to get back to that legal drama, but today let’s focus on everyone’s favorite 50-year old Space Opera. (Not 50+ years).

In preparing the aforementioned somber piece last week, I didn’t feel I had time for what I really wanted to talk about: the teaser trailer for the 2017 Star Trek TV series, and the second trailer for Star Trek Beyond.

And of course, anything I say won’t be as exhaustive as what I’m sure a hundred YouTube trailer reaction videos might be, but I suppose if you’ve gone as far as 19 entries of this series, perhaps you’ll willing to go a bit farther.

All right, but don't mix pop culture too much.

All right, but don’t mix pop culture too much.

No promises. So first up, the TV show teaser:

This is what I’d call a “save the date” kind of teaser. It really doesn’t give us the tone of the TV show or movie, it just lets us know it’s coming. It seems these are more prevalent these days, perhaps as entertainment conglomerates want to craft their buzz delivery with ever-increasing care. Perhaps they want us to keep some space in our fannish hearts, so we won’t forget them come January.

Whatever the case, it’s nice to see they’re saying is new heroes, villians, etc. Why, it might even be hopeful. Based on some of the people involved, I’m optimistic.

Okay, now onto the second Star Trek Beyond trailer:

Oh, so much better than the first one.

Now, my wife (that’s not Mrs. Columbo) either didn’t see or forgot the original Beyond trailer, so she picked up on the action-y action with a side order of action in this one. However, having already resigned myself to a seriously action-y Big Screen Star Trek (which isn’t that out of character for the franchise — let’s be honest), I still wanted some thoughtful moments.

And I got ’em. The teaser trailer for me was “Hey kidz, join us on this outer space romp!” I suddenly realized what a friend of mine felt when he was confronted with “Hip” Bugs Bunny.

Y u no like NuTrek, bro?

Y u no like NuTrek, bro?

But with this trailer, I got the thoughtful seasoning I’ve seen in Trek movies. There’s the idea of humanity grappling with the immensity of outer space from the very cool shot of the Enterprise going through the warp bubble to the megastructure. And there’s the idea of finding one’s place in said massive space as Kirk wonders if his whole career amounts to anything. And there’s the sense of family, of what you owe your ship and your crew and what it might take to survive. And the honey-smoke voice of Shohreh Aghdashloo doesn’t hurt matters. Plus, Jaylah is clearly from Farscape. And who doesn’t like Farscape?

These people certainly appreciate Farscape

These people certainly appreciate Farscape

Exactly. But more than Farscape, that felt like some good classic Trek themes… amid the destruction of the Enterprise…. again. So it’s still action, egg, action, action, bacon, and action, but it’s not action, action, action, action, action, baked beans, action, action, action. At least I hope not.

And in the early months of this year, I was reminded that both the director and one of the writers (perhaps both writers) are very into Star Trek and are arguably engaged to execute it well.

Simon Pegg, lest you forget, has written entertaining films before — ones that have been able to synthesize genres. And he’s a tremendous Sci-Fi nut and his co-writer, Doug Jung, has been the creator of some well-regarded drama.

Justin Lin, whose films I have not seen, also promises to bring an interesting perspective on the Star Trek franchise — at least that’s what I got out of this profile in Wired. Star Trek has a special place in his heart. Hey, I never would have thought Lord of the Rings held such a special place in Peter Jackson’s heart. We all contain multitudes, it’s how the multitudes are applied and this isn’t the creative team’s first rodeo.

So here’s hoping there’s some damn fine adventuring come July.

UPDATE, 2016-05-31: I meant to fit io9’s breakdown of the Star Trek Beyond Trailer as an example of people being far more in-depth than I’ll plan to, but I forgot, so ya got it here. It’s fun.

As the Dust Settles on a TV Season

I tweeted out Vox’s rundown of shows that were renewed, canceled, or ended via the Team J twitter a couple weeks ago, though it’s since been updated further.

Last Tuesday, they not only updated that list, but Todd VanDerWerff did a great rundown of the various reasons a show might get canceled. Within that explanation comes a great overview about how TV shows make money.

For those of us looking to understand the economics of making television, especially as we wander into the future of more streaming, it’s a great read.

Crisis of Infinite Star Treks: For the World Wide Web is Hollow and I Have Touched The Pie

This is the 19th entry in a surprisingly long series of posts about Star Trek’s future and its fandom called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks. I’m not saying this is the most depressing entry, but well, read on.

I want to tell you a story.

It’s not a particularly happy story, but it’s a true story. It’s my story and yet I feel it is many a fan’s story: one marked first by excitement, giddy anticipation, fear, shock, and then horror and disgust.

Then, at the end, pie.

But more on the pie later.

Let’s go back to the beginning of this series, all the way back to November 2015. The first announcement of a new Star Trek series and cautious optimism.

Then the fast and furious action trailer for Star Trek Beyond in December and the realization of the cold equations with how Paramount will likely be making Star Trek films.

Then the Axanar lawsuit and the feeling that Big Business was, in a familiar narrative, trampling on the passion of the little guy rather than trying to figure out how to harness said passion.

Because of the implications for fan productions and use of intellectual property (IP), I continued to follow the case. I had given a nominal amount to Axanar’s IndieGoGo campaign after seeing Prelude to Axanar as it seemed a worthy fan cause, so I certainly wanted to see the resulting fan feature.

But in hindsight, I think I might have sensed some things were a bit weird. Why was Axanar singled out? After reading a Newsweek article that mentioned some discord in the fan community, I stumbled across a passionate editorial to take a stand in the Axanar case, I had a bad feeling. Still, as I’ve observed bad blood in office politics, there’s rarely advantage to get involved if you don’t have to. And I’m not a fan film producer, so I didn’t have to, right?

Then came the judge’s ruling on Axanar’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. I read it with my usual excitement, amped up now because of the amicus brief regarding Klingon. And something didn’t sit right. That initial pull away from the Briar Patch seemed premature. What was going on down the rabbit hole? What truths were down there.

And like Chekov and his gun, I had to find out.

Shouldn't it be "his phaser?"

Shouldn’t it be “his phaser?”

No, not him. I mean Anton.

Sheesh. Modernist.

Sheesh. Modernist.

NO! Not Yelchin. Stop being such Star Trek fans for crying out loud.

Fine, theater nerd.

Fine, theater nerd.

That’s the one. Gotta love that depressing Russian sonofabitch.

So yeah, Anton Chekhov’s gun had to go off, and so I went down the rabbit hole.

As Sam Beckett might say, “Oh, boy.”

My first entry into this world of people-far-more-into-following-the-Axanar-lawsuit-than-I landed on the inevitable Facebook group of CBS vs Axanar: a group that wanted to be a spot to talk about the lawsuit… and apparently liked pie.

The part about the pie confused me. But more on that later.

I was shocked and actually noted the difference between posts there and posts on the Axanar Facebook group were like visiting two different worlds (Eminiar 7 and Vendikar, perhaps? Ya gotta keep the Trek references going).

What I got in response was multiple people saying that they did not hate Axanar Productions, nor its head Alec Peters. Instead, I received a number of nuanced, thoughtful replies of how they were not hating on the person, but being disgusted by the behavior.

I was pointed to and found many additional articles indicating behavior that raises many questions about the conduct of Axanar Productions in terms of how it’s been handling someone else’s IP and about the conduct of Alec Peters and others in handling other people.

For those interested, I recommend checking out 1701 News and its rather exhaustive archive about Axanar-related articles.

There’s also Axamonitor, I site/wiki created solely to follow the case, provide context to rumors, and follow up on allegations.

And naturally, there has been talk of these matters on Reddit, like the suggestion Axanar Productions has used the fan donations to prep a for-profit studio over and above trying to make a fan film.

Oh, did that get your attention? Here’s someone who was evidently paying closer attention than I was back in January talking about why they are not comfortable with what Axanar is up to.

And here’s someone who originally tried to help out as a fellow fan film creator, and was asked to do something unethical.

There's a 'but' in there, isn't there?

There’s a ‘but’ behind this, isn’t there?

Yes. Yes, there is. Because even with all these questions, I’m certain some of these concerns could (and have) been dismissed as here-say. Some matters are speculation. Some are matters specifically denied by Axanar Productions. I don’t know Alec Peters personally, nor any of the Axanar team.

And on one level, doesn’t that make this a fan version of office politics?

Perhaps. And if I were more of a neutral lawyer type, I would say that –or not even have written this post at all– but I’m not neutral.

This doesn’t mean I’m joining in any attacks on Axanar (though from reading some comments, it sounds like simply writing this post, I am a ‘hater’). I have no personal beef with Alec Peters or Axanar Productions. Perhaps I’d even enjoy a Romulan Ale with them in other circumstances.

But if you can read all those articles and not feel that Axanar and co. have done some –at the very, very least– bone-headed things, I have a Ferengi that wants to sell you the planet Earth.

I mentioned office politics and I try to avoid them as much as possible, but I also try to avoid the office Machiavellis: those who scheme and add to strife.

Because, you see, even if I don’t know which side is right, when one side says, “Here is my issue with several sober details laid out and why I feel wronged.”

And the other side says, “CBS/Paramount SUCKS! Axanar Trek is TRU TREK! HATERS!”

Well, I don’t need to pick sides, but I know who to avoid at the water cooler.

And really, there’s something quite loathsome about some of the comments I’ve read in this trip down the rabbit hole. I know the David vs. Goliath story is compelling. I know. I latched onto that narrative too as you might recall from my January post which essentially launched this whole series (previously, it was just a couple posts about Star Trek).

But at the same time, I absolutely, positively believe in the rights of intellectual property owners (as I’ve said before). Fans don’t own the IP. They can attempt to sway it, they can pledge devotion to it, or even abandon it, but they can never own it.

So that’s why stuff like this irks me no end:

From http://www.sci-fest.com/#!short-films/m7wwv for an event on Saturday, May 21st.

From http://www.sci-fest.com/#!short-films/m7wwv for an event on Saturday, May 21st.

Seriously, WTF?!?

(That’s hoW‘s That Fandom?, by the way).

You’re the subject of a lawsuit for stealing someone else’s property, and you let someone advertise your film like that? (Lord forbid Axanar provided the copy).

People have said they stand with Axanar and some have said they stand with CBS.

I stand with Star Trek.

I enjoy many of the fan films, and think they should continue as a side of Star Trek we don’t always see — and as a great outlet for the fans (and not coincidentally, a good way for CBS/Paramount to engage with said fans). I don’t like the idea that someone might be trying to profit off someone else’s IP. That’s not right.

Now, at this point in my post (I started it on May 14th and figured I’d be able to post it Friday, May 20th), I originally proposed two solutions, both predicated on the thought that the lawsuit was still pending.

The first solution was in case Alec Peters and Axanar Productions have been acting in good faith for the most part — and mistakes and mean-spirited comments were the result of idiocy, which, while enraging, is usually not a crime.

In that case, the solution would be to settle with CBS/Paramount. Settle and hopefully fulfill the promise to fans in making the film.

The second solution was in case Axanar Productions has not been acting in good faith and that some or all of the accusations of greed and general Ferengi-like avarice were accurate. In that case, my hope was that, yes, let them be crushed in the court. Let their misdeeds become known, but let CBS/Paramount create official guidelines for fan films. Further, let them use such guidelines to deepen their relationship and engagement with fans.

With this weekend’s bombshell announcement that “the lawsuit was going away” that changes matters. It looks like there will be some sort of settlement (no, the lawsuit wasn’t “dropped” as has been reported) and CBS/Paramount will be releasing some guidelines.

First off, context.  Janet Gershen-Siegel did everyone a solid with her breakdown of the ruling on the motion to dismiss, and she does a good job here explaining what this bombshell announcement mean… so far.

There’s also a piece on 1701 News reporting on statements people have made. Axanar Productions has also responded, as mentioned in the 1701 piece.

I mention these two sites because, unlike the slew of brief articles that I have seen friends post, they actually understand that CBS/Paramount has not dropped the lawsuit. After the judge’s ruling, why would CBS/Paramount? This simply puts them in a stronger position to settle.

And while I’m glad to hear there will likely be a settlement, there’s now rampant speculation as to whether that will mean an Axanar film, if the new fan film guidelines will be too restrictive (e.g. in the “be careful what you wish for” category), and if we’ll ever get a solid answer as to what Axanar was intending and what they did or didn’t do.  I assume legal discovery does not necessarily happen with a settlement the same way it might if you’re going to trial.

Regardless, I hope there are answers soon. Answers on the settlement. Answers on the film guidelines. But don’t think this is a victory of David over Goliath. It’s not that simple. Again, maybe some of the Axanar actions can be credited to idiocy, but too many people have pointed to too many stories to make me believe them entirely blameless.

Uncovering all of this has left a very bad taste in my mouth for fandom and crowdfunding and vitriol spewed on the Internets.

And I’m not sure if justice or Star Trek will be well served.

When I mentioned that having all these details come to light was edifying, but depressing, the CBS vs. Axanar group responded.

“That’s why we have pie.”

pies_many

I guess that will have to do.

Nate Moore and the New Faces of Silver Screen Superheroes

Kelley Carter (not to be confused with Agent Carter) has a great article about Nate Moore and how we’re seeing some new superheroes on the big screen.

Besides being an interesting look at the ongoing development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the article reminds me how much one passionate person can make a difference.

Crisis of Infinite Star Treks: Klingons are so Derivative

This is the 18th entry in an ongoing series about Star Trek fandom and its future called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks. Since “18” seems a good “age of ascension,” Worf would probably approve of this being more about Klingon.

For those wondering from my post last week, I did go down the rabbit hole of fan news, commentary, and the stew of social media regarding the Axanar lawsuit… and the full report of that sobering experience will be coming out later this week. Hopefully before an expected Star Trek Beyond trailer, so I can just enjoy that.

In the meantime, let’s return to the Klingon language.

Mike Masnick at TechDirt does a good job summarizing some of the legal moves in the Axanar lawsuit in terms of how it relates to copyrighting the Klingon language.

The one thing I would say is that I do find it a serious topic, because if a court rules that Klingon can be copyrighted, it sets a disturbing precedent for corporations’ ability to own a language itself. And speaking of ownership, when something has been open source and developed for decades, but suddenly can be protected via copyright, what does that mean for open source? (I elaborate on that hypothetical here).

Now interestingly, since I’ve been digging deeper into the coverage of the Axanar lawsuit, that topic has come up. Many observers who have been looking into the Axanar case far closer than I argue that the Klingon language is not open source and is still entirely owned by CBS/Paramount despite the existence of the Klingon Language Institute, stage plays in Klingon, continued development in Klingon and so on. Their point is that these can all be deemed derivative works and CBS/Paramount has allowed them to exist because they have been done, by and large, as non-commercial endeavors.

So let me put this back into my hypothetical scenario of the General Dynamics invented language (GDIL). The argument here is that General Dynamics never released control of its language. A group of engineers found the language to be really useful and fun to expand upon and wanted to create their own training videos using the language for building wells in developing nations or whatnot. General Dynamics said, “sure, here’s a license to do that good work for non-commercial ends.” And so the GDIL Institute was born, a proper non-profit corporation obeying the laws of Pennsylvania officially licensed by General Dynamics to work on GDIL.

The original “father of GDIL” –the linguist who formally constructed the language and its rules– would continue to help the GDIL Institute to expand the language because the language originally was not too much about building wells and irrigation, and so GDIL developed. However, at all times, GDIL was developed as licensed by General Dynamics for non-commercial use. If at some point in the future, the leaders of the GDIL Institute behaved like schmucks or were trying to monetize GDIL in a way that General Dynamics disapproved of, that license would be revoked. Everything the GDIL Institute did was a derivative work allowed by General Dynamics.

That’s the argument as I understand it and it does make sense. It may even be legal. The point that I still get stuck on, and I think this is because of my studies in linguistics, is that I firmly believe that a true language cannot be proprietary by its very nature.

A language is not simply a story. It is not simply song lyrics. It is not even an information delivery mechanism like some computer code might be deemed to be. A fully realized language is a framework not only giving one the ability to communicate, but to think and ponder about the world around them. That’s why it’s so important to preserve so many of the thousands of human languages we have because they preserve ways of thinking. That’s why invented languages are so interesting and worth study and development.

Sure, you can and courts will make rulings on the use of language (e.g. the whole ‘crying fire in a theater’ thing), but it’s an entirely other matter to say someone can own a language. Languages are different.

There may be no legal precedence for this assertion, just as fans aren’t legally granted an automatic right to make fan films even though the capability is there.

I guess we’ll see. Even though it’s gone in this case (for now), I’m thinking it will come up again soon.

Update (2016-05-18, later in the PM):
I also put this update in the Corbomite post from last week, but Janet Gershen-Siegel has an entertaining and exhaustive article that goes over a lot of the legal specifics including speaking to the amicus brief about Klingon. For now, all this is academic.

Eschewing “To-Do” and Using a Done List

I have been dealing with a number of deadlines for the past few weeks from Team J to my own writing… and of course, with my project management hat on, I’m always looking for ways to manage the lists and lists and lists of to-dos more effectively.

I’m sure I’m not the only project manager who gets calm by organizing or revising a to-do list. For all there is to do, it does feel like bringing some order to the chaos. But at the same time, there’s usually a lot to do. Frankly, looking at my lists in Workflowy, I have no idea when I’m going to get to everything. Some days, it really, really helps to total up all the different things you’ve done.

(For parents, this goes double.)

So when I read L.V. Anderson’s article a couple weeks ago about trying to have a “Done List,” I have to say it resonated.

Of course, I only had a chance to post this now. But then again, now I get to put this post on my “Done List.”

 

Daniel Boorstin and The Image

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a “talking head” on television talking about Hollywood, celebrity culture, and the 2016 Presidential Race.

One of the things I referenced was Daniel Boortsin’s 1962 book The Image, which when I first read it 20-some years ago, seemed very prescient. Nowadays, it seems only more so.

What I was referring to on the program was Boorstin’s observation of the new class of celebrity who was “a person who is known for his well-knownness.” Now, with the technological tools of the 21st century, people can cultivate their “well-knownness” even better. In fact, aren’t we all encouraged to build our personal “brand?”

It doesn’t escape me that this website serves some of that purpose, to say nothing of being a talking head.

In any case, you needn’t order the book anew. I know Vintage books came out with an edition in 2012, so that edition or others may be found in your local public library.

Then you can right a blog post about it — and you too can revel in being meta.

Crisis of Infinite Star Treks: Not Exactly the The Corbomite Maneuver

This is the 17th entry in an ongoing series about Star Trek fandom and its future called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks. Based on today’s updates, I’ll be writing about this through Spring 2017. Who woulda thunk it?

While this amounts to legal maneuvers around the Axanar Lawsuit, a judge issued a ruling on Monday that will allow the lawsuit to move forward. Essentially, it’s a rejection of Axanar’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but there’s some other interesting language bundled into the ruling.

Megan Geuss’s piece in Ars Technica mentions some of the main points. Axanar Productions was attempting a tactical delay by saying CBS/Paramount was jumping the gun in the suit in suing a work that didn’t exist yet. The judge pointed to Axanar’s own assertions of an existing script (whoops!). As judges before him, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner clearly enjoys his role, managing to work in “live long and prosper” in the ruling language.

Eriq Garner in The Hollywood Reporter goes into greater depth. I need to re-read the full opinion, but there’s some interesting indicators of where this case is going to go.

One of the big things I noted was how the judge pointed out that it’s not that CBS/Paramount are saying they own pointy ears or gold uniform shirts or spaceships, but that all of these together can constitute a reasonable understanding that intellectual property (IP) is being infringed.

So for instance, if we were to film a scene with tiny, furry-footed people talking to tall people with pointy ears and the the tall people with pointy ears were talking in a language that is clearly a form of Elvish that J.R.R. Tolkien invented, then the Tolkien estate may reasonably infer we are infringing on their copyrights.

Speaking of language, it looks like the Klingon language has been deemed not part of this case, so no ruling will be made on who owns the language, so the Klingon Language Institute and productions of Shakespeare in the original Klingon can continue for now.

On the other hand, the judge did note that raising a lot of money based on someone else’s IP is something The Court can weigh on, so the eventual ruling will, almost certainly, impact Star Trek fan films and other fan productions.

The Axanar legal team will be responding to this ruling in about two weeks, so you can expect another post by then (if not before).

The trial date itself is now going to be January 31st, 2017, so between that and taking in the new Star Trek TV series, I think I’m basically committed to writing about this for 9 more months at least.

I hope this doesn’t turn into a five-year mission.

Update (2016-05-11, later in the PM):
After reading more of Monday’s ruling, I am puzzled by Axanar Productions’ decision not to move forward with production of the film.

On the one hand, I can understand why they won’t from a legal perspective. Part of their defense is essentially, “We haven’t violated any copyrights yet.” Therefore, if they have the movie in hand, they would clearly be violating at least some of what CBS/Paramount says they’re violating. The fact that countless other fan productions are in the same boat may not matter because other said production companies or individuals are not named in the lawsuit.

However, that goes to my main point of confusion: Axanar was never going to win this lawsuit. There’s no question of whether they’re violating copyright, there’s simply a question of CBS/Paramount being inconsistent in enforcement. I know that matters for trademarks and service marks (e.g., a “generic trademark“), but I have no idea how that applies for copyright. I seriously doubt Axanar’s legal team can find CBS/Paramount’s legal team has flubbed any procedural tasks and would think that would not be enough to throw the case out (i.e., “You forgot to use an Oxford comma in the filing: DENIED” will not happen).

So that means the best Axanar can hope for is a favorable settlement, based on the whole David vs. Goliath PR aspect of it all… buoyed by the support of a friendly fan community.

Well, as I discovered the other week, the fan and fan production community is not entirely friendly, and they may have just cause to perceive Axanar has not been acting in good faith.

This is troubling, gentle reader. Right now, I’m thinking it’s more of a Star Trek: The Next Generation ‘mindwarp’ episode and not the growing realization I’m watching Star Trek V unfold, but it looks like I need to go down the rabbit hole to do some research.

I suppose I should ask the for the Prophets to guide me or at least hope they look out for Bjorns as they do Bajorans.

Update (2016-05-18):
Janet Gershen-Siegel has an entertaining and exhaustive article that goes over a lot of the legal specifics of the case. Much of this connects to what my concerns have been earlier about Axanar needing to settle because it doesn’t have a strong case. But thankfully, it also goes over issues with the Klingon language and how it’s off the table.