Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fan Entitlement, IP Theft, and Wrath at Cons

So between the bombshell that was CBS/Paramount releasing their fan film guidelines yesterday and the upcoming Escape Velocity science-meets-science-fiction convention, this seems like an appropriate topic.

Lawyer (and film producer) Seth Polansky gives an overview of common misconceptions and arguments for IP infringement at pop culture conventions… and what we might do about it.

I meant to post this earlier (and apparently it’s already caused a modest stir around the Interwebs), but y’know, getting Escape Velocity ready for launch and all…

Crisis of Infinite Star Treks: The Guidelines Hit The Fan

This is the 24th entry in a surprisingly long series of posts about Star Trek’s future and its fandom called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks.

Well, I was going to make sure I updated my last post about CBS/Paramount’s response to Axanar’s counterclaim in everyone’s favorite intellectual property (IP) lawsuit, but then CBS/Paramount had another surprise today.

They released the fan film guidelines. The announcement is here and the guidelines are here.

In terms of timeline, I didn’t think they’d do this until after Star Trek Beyond was released.

In terms of content: wow, just wow. Holy flurking schnit, is that a hammer or what?

If I’m not mistaken, this effectively kills all the longstanding ongoing fan series and productions which off the top of my head includes:

  • Star Trek: New Voyages (aka Star Trek: Phase II)
  • Star Trek Continues
  • Star Trek: Renegades
  • Star Trek: Intrepid
  • Starship Farragut/Farragut Forward
  • Potentially anything produced at Starbase Studios

And, of course, Axanar.

As you might imagine, the fannish community is a-flutter. Debates abound about who is more worthy of damnation: CBS/Paramount or Alec Peters/Axanar. Many a comment thread will be filled on Facebook pages and elsewhere, I’m sure.

Once again, I completely understand corporate lawyers behaving like corporate lawyers and protecting their company’s IP vigorously. Make no mistake: they own Star Trek. However, I lament the lost opportunity to especially use these longstanding fan productions as a way to engage with fans in a way other IPs simply won’t be able to.

Earlier this month, I noted that we were all awaiting orders from Starfleet Command (CBS/Paramount). I hoped that the order given would be some form of “warp speed.” Instead, they’ve come in with something close to full phasers. I don’t think it’ll start a war with fandom –I’m sure some bellicose fans are convinced it has– but it sure doesn’t seem like the best way to keep the peace.

I’ll have to think more about this… and more importantly, pause for some pie.

UPDATE: as comes as no surprise, there’s many reactions:

There are, of course, many, many more reactions, but these should keep you all busy for now.

Swiss Miss: No UBI for Switzerland Just Yet

So, I’ve been really busy working on this convention coming up next week, which means I haven’t been able to blog as much.

One of the things I wanted to do was follow up on my occasional posts about basic income. Switzerland voted on whether to give all its citizens universal basic income earlier this month. The vote failed, but as Dylan Matthews mentions in Vox, it might set the stage for progress on basic income in Switzerland and other countries.

Axanar on the Road to Discovery

This is the 23rd entry in a surprisingly long series of posts about Star Trek’s future and its fandom called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks.

So, remember an event now way back in May where the Axanar lawsuit was “going away” in a few weeks and some people thought that meant it was being “dropped?”

Well, as I indicated when covering Axanar’s response to CBS/Paramount’s complaint and Axanar’s counterclaim, the court of law will tend to move forward whatever the court of public opinion may think.

So it should come as no surprise that in today’s Hollywood Reporter, they report that CBS/Paramount has responded to Axanar’s counterclaim.

Many of us who are now following this case more closely have been waiting for that response since Monday, and you can read both the response and the original counterclaim at Axamonitor’s page on the subject.

By not moving to dismiss the counterclaim, but addressing it, I understand CBS/Paramount is trying to move things along. Indeed, the reading of the response seems to be “admit public knowledge, don’t know enough to comment, deny Axanar’s allegation, deny Axanar’s allegation, deny Axanar’s allegation, also, let’s move on with things.”

“Things” in this case would be discovery and other fun matters — except we might not have public visibility into this until much later in the year.

As in previous times, I’m going to look for the G & T Show’s Janet Gershen-Siegel for a breakdown of the response — and I’ll update this post.

And There Shall be Enjoyment

I have to travel a lot more these days (which is usually fun) which also means occasionally sitting and waiting for hours on end (not as much fun). But no matter where I am, there is one phrase that always brings a little joy to my day:

“Careful. The beverage you’re about to enjoy is extremely hot”

You know it. You’ve seen it on countless disposable coffee cups and the like. Perhaps it makes you think of that seminal case of McDonald’s coffee gone wrong. Perhaps you’ve wondered, “Should I have my own travel mug?” Well, it’s a good thing you don’t, because then you’d be depriving the company, be it soulless mega-corporation or mom-and-pop cafe, of a guarantee they are providing at no extra charge:

You are about to enjoy this beverage.

In fact, the purveyors of–whatever this beverage might be–are so certain of this guarantee that they pre-printed it on not one, not some, but every cup they dispense. And they made sure that tea, chai, or boiling marmalade juice were not excluded from the beverages you are sure to enjoy. If it comes in this cup, you will enjoy it. Case closed.

Oh sure, those of you with pesky things such as “questions” or “doubts” will certainly not be satisfied. Why not have a series of stickers stating the enjoyment quotient that are applied only after the staff member has determined this beverage is sufficiently delightful? Why not have a quality-assurance program where you will be lovingly accosted when you are mid-way or completely finished with the beverage to ensure your enjoyment was both total and genuine?

Inefficient. Expensive. One might even say counter-revolutionary. What are you, an anarchist? Enjoy your delicious beverage and be happy you live in such a world of such unqualified guarantees.

You might also quibble about their additional guarantee that the soon-to-be enjoyed beverage will be extremely hot. The malcontents of the world will likely complain at the vagueness of “extremely.” How hot is that in Celsius? Fahrenheit? Kelvin? Is there a range? What if the beverage is just “remarkably hot?” What if it goes too far by being “astonishingly hot?”

Balderdash. You know what it will be. It will be extremely hot. You–a man, woman, or transgender of the world–know what that means. You will wait just the right moment before sipping, whereupon you will enjoy that beverage. It’s your job and you will do it with the requisite amount of confidence and pride.

After all, the company that just sold you this beverage can’t do it. It’s all up to you. Why, you can almost hear the wistful envy in the phrase:

“Careful. The beverage you’re about to enjoy is extremely hot”

They wish they could join you in this moment. But the best they can do is guarantee that wherever you are, whatever path led you to this point in time, now, maybe just for now, you will have enjoyment.

And what’s not to like about that?

 

Continuing to Explore Universal Basic Income (UBI)

I’ve been following various articles about basic income (or Universal Basic Income – UBI) as I find it an intriguing potential solution as we trundle towards ever-greater automation in every aspect of the economy.

Matthew Yglesias over at Vox writes about how UBI could tackle poverty — and indeed for some conservative and libertarian proponents of UBI, its potential to tackle poverty and related ills more efficiently than other social programs is one of its appeals.

Ezra Klein responds to the article (also in Vox) about how, beyond the aspect of how we afford it, implementing UBI would force a change on how we view work — and whether changing that view could even be done. Given how automation is upending what ‘work’ entails,  I think our view of ‘work’ has to change — and it could be a very welcome improvement in our society if we were not overwhelmingly defined by our jobs-of-the-moment.

More on Transportation Disruption

A week or so ago, I linked to an article in Vox about the self-driving car and how its wide use will change transportation as we know it.

This article, also from Vox, goes into how three different “disruptors” to transportation will really shake up Detroit. As the title suggests, it’s more focusing on Silicon Valley/tech companies shaking up Detroit/car companies, but it follows on some of the same themes, especially where self-driving cars are likely to be first adopted and why.

Axanar Lawsuit: The Counterclaim and the Road Ahead

This is the 22nd entry in a surprisingly long series of posts about Star Trek’s future and its fandom called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks.

So, with the last post all about fan film guidelines, I know many of you were probably thinking, “What about Axanar’s counterclaim and that stuff?”

Okay, fine, enough with the fan guidelines. Aren't you going to follow up about the Axanar counter-claim?

I should say so. I don’t hang around Starbase 11 just to talk about fan film guidelines.

As I hoped, Janet Gershen-Siegel over at the G and T Show did a detailed overview of Axanar’s counterclaim which, if you want to want to really get into legal details, is well worth your time.

Here are some my takeaways as a non-lawyer/non-legal journalist:

Axanar’s lawyers (aka The Defense) are defending their client — as they should
The counterclaim, occasionally referred to as a countersuit, is what in legal terms is called a compulsory counterclaim. In game terms, it’s a card that, if you don’t play in your defense at a certain point, you can’t play. So why not play it? Lawyers, as a rule, need to provide the best defense (or offense) they can for their clients. Even as settlement talks are continuing, you may continue to play the game.

The Defense is not entirely successful in addressing the complaint
In other words, part of the Defense’s response is to admit as little wrongdoing as possible (in this case copyright infringement). There’s a lot of little maneuvers they use that are really quite interesting and remind me why lawyers are the wacky subject matter experts of law that they are. At the same time, you can only defend that which is defensible, and the fact is Axanar has been trying to make a Star Trek film. For example, when you claim that the title of the work is not Star Trek: Axanar and your Kickstarter for Axanar is called “Star Trek: Axanar,” there’s not much to your claim it’s not Star Trek. Not only that, many details of the complaint are statements by the defendant on social media, so the defense has to say, “Um, yes, that is publicly available” evidently hoping by not saying that the detail of the complaint is proof of copyright infringement, that somehow it won’t be.

The Defense’s attempts at affirmative defense will almost certainly not land a hit
These ripostes (c’mon, I got use my fencing terminology somewhere) appear to be a legal way to say “okay, whatever wrongdoing we might have done –which we don’t admit to anyway– the plantiffs are totally off base and/or not as wrong a doing because of X, Y, Z. Also, take THAT.”

If I counted correctly, there are 14 different affirmative defenses — and for those of us playing the “learn more about the legal arts” home game, almost every one is a new legal term, though some like “Fair Use” are ones with which I’m reasonably familiar. Again, I applaud the ingenuity of The Defense in trying a variety of ripostes. It sounds like they’re doing what they can.

Nevertheless, of those 14 ripostes, it looks like only one or two might merit some consideration before being rejected. Most can and will be rejected outright.

Now, having all read this, you may notice that Janet Gershen-Siegel does not appear to be siding with Axanar. If true, I don’t think that means her analysis is inaccurate, but I’d welcome any additional legal analysis of the counterclaim that comes to different conclusions.  I’d especially like that as, hey, I wanted to see Star Trek: Axanar get made, which seems increasingly unlikely even with a settlement. Unfortunately, the analysis appears to validate my conclusion that goes back to the Ides of March: Axanar can’t win this lawsuit.

That’s the bottom line. I do not think one needs to have any animus against Alec Peters or Axanar to reasonably conclude that the Court will side with the IP owners in this case. I haven’t seen legal precedents cited where IP owners losing cases like this.

In fact, one legal precedent from 1998 has been raised down in the rabbit hole. It involves a publishing company wanting to publish a book relating to a corporation’s IP. The corporation had not bothered to enforce their copyright for decades, but was being enforced in this case. Here, read about it in the New York Times.

Notice anything about the case of Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Carol Pub Group that sounds even slightly similar? A long-time Star Trek fan pointing to non-enforcement of copyright in something like 100 instances over decades?

And what did the court say? They sided with Paramount.

So in other words, in a case that’s not only similar to Axanar, but actually deals with Star Trek IP itself, the court sided with the corporation that owns the IP.

The defense that bears a striking resemblance to Axanar lost their case.

There’s next to no chance the judge isn’t aware of this legal precedent and absolutely zero chance CBS/Paramount won’t bring it up, which leaves The Defense to explain how this legal precedent doesn’t apply.

And I have no doubt The Defense knows too. Axanar can’t win the lawsuit.

Which leaves us back with the best option being to settle — and probably settle on CBS/Paramount’s terms.

How long The Defense waits to settle (and how strongly CBS/Paramount insists on their own terms) depends greatly on the court schedule. Luckily, some of the folks over at the CBS/Paramount vs. Axanar forum came up with some graphics.

Other_AxanarLawsuit_timeline

You’ll see we’re coming up to June 8th where additional defendants, known as “Does” will have to be named or be dropped from the lawsuit (this amounts to a card the Plaintiffs have to play or lose).

There is much speculation about which Does will be named and what their defense lawyers will do. We’ll also know what CBS/Paramount thinks of the counterclaim above by Monday, June 13th.

I’ll save further speculation and observations for others or when I get more information. For now, I mainly wanted to write this post for friends and fellow filmmakers who wanted to know the Axanar lawsuit timeline and how nigh impossible it will be for Axanar to win the case should it go to trial.

I know they’re not going to admit that. That’s playing a card they don’t have to. But they’re going to settle. It’s just a question of when.

(Thanks to Jody Wheeler and Janet Gershen-Siegel for pointing out some of the legal links)

UPDATE, 2016-06-09: It looks like there will not be a Day of the Does as many Axa-watchers thought there would be (okay, I’ll speak for myself, but I don’t think I’m alone). I expect there might be more to look into by the end of next week and Monday’s expected response from CBS/Paramount to Axanar’s counterclaim.

Awaiting New Orders from Starfleet Command (i.e. CBS and Paramount)

This is the 21st entry in a surprisingly long series of posts about Star Trek’s future and its fandom called Crisis of Infinite Star Treks.

In April, Marc Perton over at Newsweek wrote a really good article about the Axanar lawsuit which, as much as anything, led me down the rabbit hole because that’s where I first learned of discord within the Star Trek fan and fan film community.  Then things got depressing. Suffice to say, I originally thought the lawsuit filed by CBS and Paramount against a Star Trek fan film production last December was an unhappy David vs. Goliath story involving corporations crushing fan fervor. Instead, I found the corporations are not exactly the bad guys in this matter (though they are still good at crushing).

Well, in any case, Mr. Perton back to comment on all the fun we’ve had in the past week with JJ Abrams’ announcement of the lawsuit “going away.” Specifically, he delves into the double-edged sword that is official fan film guidelines.

If you just want an excellent overview of what’s going on with, including the pros and cons of having fan film guidelines, I highly recommend you read that article. As I’ll get into, I think having some form of guidelines is a good idea and a long time coming, regardless of how people might feel about Axanar.

And strong feelings about Axanar abound, as a draft of Axanar’s proposed fan film guidelines has surfaced on the Interwebs this past week, prompting much analysis and hand-wringing. The G and T Show’s Shanna Gilkeson does a nice job of trying to sum up some more fannish concerns. If you are intrigued by learning what the those proposed guidelines are and you want to know more about the rigorous (and some might say rancorous) debate down in the fannish depths of the Briar Patch/Rabbit Hole, read on.

(If you’re not ready for that kind of real-life intrigue, go back and watch a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode that deals with intrigue. I suggest “Necessary Evil” as an excellent aperitif.)

So, again, the link above is to Axamonitor’s reporting of a draft of fan film guidelines. This information comes in part from a blog entry about creating the guidelines and engaging the fellow fan film producers. If you’re reading these posts now, it may not be obvious, but at one point, the fan productions involved were kept anonymous by Axamonitor. Then when furor about the leaked guidelines arose, and over the course of the weekend, the participants (or non-participants, see the Axanar published list) were discussed.

As you might imagine, multiple discussions have exploded over at the CBS/Paramount vs Axanar Facebook forum. Not only that, but many Star Trek fan productions have responded that they are absolutely not on board with Axanar or its guidelines. I was going to try and list all the tally of the responses from the fan film producers, but since I started writing this post, Axamonitor has published a list.

Remember: many many people really, really dislike Alec Peters or at least his actions.  These actions include Peters having bad things to say about other fan productions (as reported in the first Newsweek article). For Peters to be the face of the Star Trek fan community, especially the Star Trek fan film community regarding fan film guidelines, triggers their outrage meters. As I mentioned in my earlier, depressing post, I understand why several individuals feel the way they do about Alec Peters and Axanar — and in many cases, the feeling appears mutual. Know that if you explore these parts of the rabbit hole, it gets quite personal with invective thrown from both camps. While I don’t consider myself neutral, I also don’t feel the need to join forces flinging invective. In fact, I think I may feel closest to what the producers of Starship Melbourne said:

“I’ve never gone on record to bash anyone, I’ve nothing against Mr Peters, nor his production. But it seems as if every time there is some calming of the storm, something associated with him kicks the hornets nest. It’s hard to tell what’s the truth because nothing adds up. He does not speak for any of us in Melbourne.”

Now, that’s just one production. But the fact remains that over a dozen fan film productions –including the majority that Alec Peters reached out to in order to comment on the proposed guidelines– have not only officially distanced themselves from Alec Peters and the proposed guidelines, but also have firmly sided with the intellectual property (IP) owners: CBS and Paramount. That has led to the following image being used as many a person’s profile picture:

The Eye of CBS and P for Paramount. IP. It's a joke, ya Vulcan!

The Eye of CBS and P for Paramount. Eye, P. IP.         It’s a joke, ya Vulcan!

So, anyway, some people are angry just at fan film guidelines being flung about, because they’re meant to be drafts discussed in relative private as detailed here.

I understand the idea of wanting to have consensus and wanting to present the Napoleonic juggernaut that is the CBS/Paramount legal team with some form of formidable coalition, but really, that wasn’t going to happen given the aforementioned discord in the fan film community. And this was evidently a discussion to the fan film community on Facebook, not exactly known as a bastion of privacy. I understand wanting to point out that draft guidelines are draft, but when you’re introducing guidelines to be discussed by a community of members who don’t work for you on a forum that defaults towards openness, I can’t see how that’s “telling tales out of school.” Also, I squeezed the Charmin while I was typing this, so perhaps I am not to be trusted.

But seriously, when the overwhelming majority of the fan productions you reached out to publicly state that they want no part of you or your guidelines, the main problem is not that the draft guidelines were leaked.

Rounding out the weekend was a post from Mike Bawden, the PR director for Axanar. In it he muses about how the Star Trek fan film community is sadly toxic, that CBS and Paramount can no longer ignore the “sandbox” of fan film productions, and that there should be something more than guidelines with accountability being a key principle.

Naturally, critics of Axanar point to Axanar being one of the reasons the community is toxic, that Axanar has made the sandbox more of a litter box, and that the unofficial guidelines were perfect until Axanar came along.

But here’s a twist: I don’t entirely agree. In fact, I agree with a lot of what Mike Bawden had to say in his post.

Dude, you went there?

Dude, you went there?

Yes I did, Cap. And have a Snickers. You haven’t been yourself recently.

I like the idea of CBS/Paramount providing “more than guidelines” because I want this to be a way in which they actively engage with fans versus passively allowing people to express their fandom.

I like the idea of licenses, though that’s a whole huge discussion about how they are to be properly non-commercial and not an administrative burden.

And I absolutely think there needs to be discussion within the fan and fan film (and fan of fan film) community about what the guidelines might be. Yes, Star Trek fan film producers may have the loudest voices on this score for good reason: they and their productions are directly on the line. But they are supported by thousands of other fans, so why ignore good ideas from people who want to see good fan productions? (This speaks also to Mike Bawden’s mention of “super-fans” and why Mike Bawden can raise good ideas along with everyone else).

As I previously mentioned, I am not a fan film producer, but I have produced and continue to produce and cast indie films and web series — and in my experience, I much prefer to deal with official guidelines than unofficial “understandings.”

In fact, not having any official guidelines is one of the reasons I haven’t done fan films. I salute all those people who have gone ahead and made Star Trek fan films in such a risky environment — and it’s precisely because those fun fan films could be taken away that I want there to be official guidelines.

I want that because I’ve been faced with something similar as an indie film producer.

You young whipper-snappers may not remember the ancient days before 2005, but back in the day, the film actors’ union SAG (now merged and called SAG-AFTRA) did not have the low budget agreements they have now. They’ve also made great strides with the New Media agreement. Heck, they didn’t even have the snazzy website they have now where you can easily download all sorts of documents and get the ball rolling.

These agreements are not without their headaches — not in the least that they add paperwork. However, between the Short Film agreement and the New Media agreement you have two vehicles that allow you to work with professional, SAG-AFTRA actors –including actors who appeared in official Star Trek series– for free.

Yes, for free.

That’s because for the SAG-AFTRA short film agreement, the student film agreement, and the New Media agreement, compensation may be both negotiated and deferred. This deferred salary must still adhere to Federal and State minimum wage laws, and they are employees, not independent contractors, so that overtime kicks in after 8 hours, but that can all be deferred.

Yes, things get a bit more complex, but basically, if you are a non-commercial project, you can enter in this agreement in good faith, not expecting to ever make money and therefore not pay the cast — you just have a legal agreement to pay the cast if certain conditions are met (generally getting distribution where SAG-AFTRA commercial agreements usually apply).

This is not theoretical nor is it some loophole of which SAG-AFTRA is somehow unaware.

Every year, hundreds of short films are made with SAG-AFTRA actors for competitions like the 48 Hour Film Project. Technically, the actors are receiving “deferred pay,” but effectively they receive no pay. Ever.

Every year, hundreds of student films are made with SAG-AFTRA actors who do not expect nor will ever get money for their participation. Hopefully they get a great acting experience with an up-and-coming filmmaker and the student film gets into a bunch of festivals, but only in rare exceptions would it ever get into a situation where revenue is earned on the film. Hence, the actors receive no pay.

It is the order of things.

It is the order of things.

This is expected. This is accepted.

The reason SAG-AFTRA offers these contracts is because they function as essentially “research & development” films: films that simply aren’t going to get onto the distribution channels where big money is. (By the way, Actor’s Equity, the union for professional stage actors, has “codes” and “plans” which are similar). If you read the low budget and deferred pay agreements closely, you’ll see that they all roll back to the “basic” SAG-AFTRA agreements if revenue occurs. In other words, in the odd event that your student film suddenly gets a distribution deal with Netflix, your web series gets onto Hulu, or your indie feature is going to be featured on IFC, then the actors get paid what they’re usually due.

But effectively, you’re getting a talented actor “for free.”

Note that “for free” doesn’t mean that’s there’s no cost to you, the fan film producer. Besides treating them well on set, having decent food, and decent hours, you might need to spring for their transportation costs, putting them up in a decent hotel, and paying for other incidentals. Basically, you’re making sure that the only thing the professional actor has to give you is their time — and the implicit arrangement is that this is their time well spent on something they’ll find fun and/or rewarding.

And, of course, the professional actor has to agree to this arrangement. They don’t have to. This is their union simply giving them a formal, kosher way to perform in less-than-commercial projects.

Do I love the SAG-AFTRA agreements? Not particularly. Who wants to do more paperwork if they don’t have to? But I love that, if I follow a set of publicly available and official rules, I can always work with professional actors who want to work with me.

Frankly, it always boggles me when I encounter indie filmmakers who go to enormous lengths to avoid following the rules, but still want to use union actors. (especially in our area, where our local SAG-AFTRA office is quite friendly).

So while I know people have been very happy with the unofficial Star Trek guidelines, I also know all the uncertainty we filmmakers had before we had improved SAG-AFTRA guidelines and agreements.

And that’s why I say the current unofficial Star Trek fan film guidelines are not perfect. Because at any time, any of the these fan productions could go away due to CBS and Paramount having a bad day. Some fan films are suspending production as I type because of the current uncertainty.

And you can say it’s all Axanar’s fault, but that doesn’t matter: because we have every reason to believe that when CBS/Paramount says fan film guidelines are coming that guidelines are, in fact coming. For better or worse, the old way is going away. Don’t you want to talk about what would work for you or not?

(Incidentally, this appears to be a point on which Axanar and Axamonitor agree, at least in part: Mike Bawden wrote of the fan community discussing guidelines in his post and Carlos Pedraza wrote about guideline discussion in a post this past week).

You remember seeing “all rights reserved” next to some copyrights? Well here CBS and Paramount are offering the fans a way where all rights are not reserved all of the time. They don’t have to do this. Look at what the fan productions said above. So many mentioned how thankful they were to CBS and Paramount for being allowed to play in the sandbox. You don’t need to throw those thanks away when you’re talking about how you might want to play in the sandbox.

So talk. Please. Believe me: they may not be receptive to any guidelines you give them, but they’re likely to be more receptive before they issue guidelines than after. And since the worst case scenario is you never get to do another Star Trek fan film, is it really bad to discuss what your best case scenario to make a Star Trek fan film might be?

Please let me know about these fannish confabs in the comments or other channels (for those of you who know them). I will update this post about good forums where the conversation is going on. There doesn’t have to unity. There should be discussion. Keep it polite. Keep it positive. And as CBS and Paramount are corporations, but they’re staffed by humans. Some of them even want to engage with fans.

And that brings us back, briefly to Axanar, Alec Peters, and the draft guidelines kerfuffle. In the best possible scenario, it sounds like Alec Peters felt Axanar had a unique channel to speak to the humans at these corporations, and perhaps help focus some communication from theStar Trek fan film community. The community has decided otherwise. In fact, they’ve effectively said, “no.” You gotta Vulcan up and accept that.

And I need to accept, based on reading the fan production statements above that perhaps there won’t be that fannish conclave about guidelines. It could be that everyone has decided to wait. Wait for Starfleet Command to issue orders to its fleet of fan productions.

I can only hope when the order is given, it’s, “Warp speed.”

What’s the Thing With Wing Dings?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always wondered how the non-sequitur typeface Wing Dings came to exist.

The answer proves to be as charming as Wing Dings itself, as this Vox video shows.