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.
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:
- Axanar Productions is not happy, as reported in EW.
- CBS/Paramount feels the fan film guidelines are fair and flexible, as reported in EW.
- Also, in episode 5 of the new official Star Trek podcast, they talk about them.
- Many a blog post has lamented this development in terms that Geek.com points out, where they understand the legality of the crackdown, but deem it “super uncool.”
- Many people are not happy with Alec Peters and Axanar, as comic book creator Siike Donnelly addresses in an open letter.
- Jonathan Lane, guest blogging on Axanar’s site, opines that the wrong people were in the room. Essentially, this was an unforced error by leaving lawyers to be lawyers without the CBS/Paramount PR apparatus to balance ’em out.
- And frequent pop culture creator of many things Marvel and Star Trek (among others), Peter David, points out we’ve all been lucky.
There are, of course, many, many more reactions, but these should keep you all busy for now.