Paramount and CBS have tolerated and often encouraged “Star Trek” fans to have fun with their property, allowing productions of various fan films to go forward with their projects so long as they weren’t commercial endeavors.
That attitude seems to have changed though as the companies have filed a lawsuit in California federal court over “Star Trek Axanar,” an upcoming feature film that is coming together thanks to more than $1 million in crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo – one of the biggest film projects in crowdfunding history.
Lead producer Alec Peters has previously indicated the desire to make a studio-quality film with the project and has employed the help of numerous professionals, many of whom have worked on Star Trek itself, to ensure it is of quality.
The work, effectively a prequel to the 1960s series, follows legendary Starfleet captain Garth of Izar. As the project is unlicensed, the danger of a copyright infringement lawsuit was always there. Now it seems that danger has become real, Paramount and CBS reportedly calling the project a violation of their intellectual property and demanding an injunction as well as seeking damages for direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.