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Paramount & CBS have a long list of rules any Star Trek fan film must follow

06.24.2016

star trek, u.s.s. enterprise

Been thinking of making a STAR TREK fan film, because you love the franchise so much and wanted to pay tribute in your own way? Don't want to get the pants sued off yourself much in the way the fan film AXANAR has been subject to - even though J.J. Abrams insists that suit will be dropped eventually (it still hasn't yet)? Then you have a long list of rules and regulations you'd better cross-check against in order to make sure you're in full compliance. That's the step Paramount and CBS have taken, releasing a manifesto of guidelines your fan film needs to follow... or else... Or else what? Hassle, harrassment, legal threats and just the overall pain in the ass of having your fandom squashed by those who own the rights to the property you were trying to celebrate in the first place. 

Let's take a look at what they've laid out, shall we?

  • The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.  
  • The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
  • The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.
  • If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
  • The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.
  • The fan production must be non-commercial:
  1. CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.
  2. The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.
  3. The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
  4. The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.
  5. No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.
  6. The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.
  • The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.
  • The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production: 
  • “Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”
  • Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.
  • Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.
     

In addition, even if you've now got that list plastered on your wall, or neatly hole-punched in your production binder, CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.

That means you have two real options that await you - 1.) use all of your Kickstarter to pay for legal counsel to make sure that you don't run into even greater trouble down the line, essentially wiping out your funds that were going towards making the movie in the first place or 2.) convert everything over to a FIREFLY fan film. No one seems to have a problem with those happening.

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Source: StarTrek.com

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1:00PM on 06/26/2016

All seems reasonable to me except

"Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law."


So if a fan comes up with a great character, planet, starship, weapon, plot etc... CBS/Paramount doesn't want to worry about stealing for their own use
"Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law."


So if a fan comes up with a great character, planet, starship, weapon, plot etc... CBS/Paramount doesn't want to worry about stealing for their own use
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12:09AM on 06/26/2016
Almost thought one of the rules was going to be "Any fan film owes CBS/Paramount money for creating a fan film."
Almost thought one of the rules was going to be "Any fan film owes CBS/Paramount money for creating a fan film."
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10:32PM on 06/25/2016

DAMN!

So I guess it looks like I'm going to have to stop working on that 45 minute Star Trek porn that I raised over $100,000 to make.
So I guess it looks like I'm going to have to stop working on that 45 minute Star Trek porn that I raised over $100,000 to make.
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3:36PM on 06/25/2016
I've heard much said about how Gene Roddenberry was in favour of the Trekker fandom creating their own content and how this isn't what he would have wanted, but at the end of the day the rights lie with CBS / Paramount and the decision is theirs to make. Frankly you're an idiot if you think you can monetise (and yes that does include raising hundreds of thousands of dollars via crowdfunding) your own version of an existing sci-fi property against the wishes of the rights holders, and the
I've heard much said about how Gene Roddenberry was in favour of the Trekker fandom creating their own content and how this isn't what he would have wanted, but at the end of the day the rights lie with CBS / Paramount and the decision is theirs to make. Frankly you're an idiot if you think you can monetise (and yes that does include raising hundreds of thousands of dollars via crowdfunding) your own version of an existing sci-fi property against the wishes of the rights holders, and the rights holders have to act to protect their rights or they lose them. CBS / Paramount plough a ton of resources into Star Trek. Fans need to understand they don't own the things they love. It's just the way it is.
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10:27PM on 06/24/2016
Wow. So much hate in this comment section, though to be fair if one of us owns a multi million dollars worth of intellectual property, such measures would be taken to insure no one, not even those who claim to be 'fans', gain monetary benefit from your IP other than yourself. That's the way capitalism works, and anyone who disagree can just move to China.

And no, FIREFLY is not a multi million dollars franchise. In fact they could use some free promotion.
Wow. So much hate in this comment section, though to be fair if one of us owns a multi million dollars worth of intellectual property, such measures would be taken to insure no one, not even those who claim to be 'fans', gain monetary benefit from your IP other than yourself. That's the way capitalism works, and anyone who disagree can just move to China.

And no, FIREFLY is not a multi million dollars franchise. In fact they could use some free promotion.
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12:49PM on 06/25/2016
So what about Star Wars? Have you seen some of the amazing fan films?
So what about Star Wars? Have you seen some of the amazing fan films?
9:50AM on 06/26/2016
Oh please. Star Wars was a relatively independent production that milked its own fan base to be able to withstand decades of not releasing any new materials. Kind of like Firefly. Good luck making a full length Star Wars fan film with Disney now at the helm.
Oh please. Star Wars was a relatively independent production that milked its own fan base to be able to withstand decades of not releasing any new materials. Kind of like Firefly. Good luck making a full length Star Wars fan film with Disney now at the helm.
+0
7:49PM on 06/24/2016
Wow. These guys really hate their fanbase.
Wow. These guys really hate their fanbase.
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6:09PM on 06/24/2016
Paramount just hates that fans can make a better Trek film than they can
Paramount just hates that fans can make a better Trek film than they can
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4:59PM on 06/24/2016
I love how the second option is just to make a Firefly fan film hahaha.

I hate that paramount makes it near impossible for a fan to just have fun and pay tribute to a great product. It's not like fan filmmakers are making loads and loads of money that Paramount and CBS could have instead.
I love how the second option is just to make a Firefly fan film hahaha.

I hate that paramount makes it near impossible for a fan to just have fun and pay tribute to a great product. It's not like fan filmmakers are making loads and loads of money that Paramount and CBS could have instead.
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4:26PM on 06/24/2016
money grubbing ass whores
money grubbing ass whores
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4:18PM on 06/24/2016
Wow, fuck you Paramount.
Wow, fuck you Paramount.
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+1
3:54PM on 06/24/2016
Paramount and CBS can go fuck themselves. Check out Axenar and Star Trek Continues on youtube. This is what they are trying to crush. Quality fan made, fan funded quality productions.
Paramount and CBS can go fuck themselves. Check out Axenar and Star Trek Continues on youtube. This is what they are trying to crush. Quality fan made, fan funded quality productions.
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10:24PM on 06/24/2016
Yes, fan productions that they would have no control of which may generate revenue on its own from an essentially stolen IP. Sure is easy to get all emotional about it, but what good is a fan production if it destroys its own official franchise?
Yes, fan productions that they would have no control of which may generate revenue on its own from an essentially stolen IP. Sure is easy to get all emotional about it, but what good is a fan production if it destroys its own official franchise?
5:05PM on 06/27/2016
WTF are you talking about? Nobody is making any money off these things. The crowd funding is for production costs. Know what your talking about.
WTF are you talking about? Nobody is making any money off these things. The crowd funding is for production costs. Know what your talking about.
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