In the wake of all the bad publicity surrounding the lawsuit against fan film “Star Trek: Axanar,” Paramount and CBS have come up with a way to ensure a fan film won’t get sued – a set of guidelines advising what fans can and can’t do in a fan film.
Last month producer J.J. Abrams and director Justin Lin said a lawsuit against ‘Axanar’ would be going away and that guidelines are being drawn up to let fans make films but also keep their copyright safe. ‘Axanar’ isn’t mentioned in today’s announcement, but the guidelines are strong enough in their wording that it makes sure “Star Trek” fan films will have to look cheap in order to not be hit with a cease-and-desist letter for copyright infringement.
There are ten guidelines and some of them are very strict. First there are the most basic – limiting the length of films to under 15 minutes (or a two-parter under 30 minutes), to only using officially licensed merchandise for gear and costumes.
Then there’s a big one which effectively says no-one who has ever worked on “Star Trek” in any way can ever make a fan film – not even for free. There’s big stipulations on how much money can be raised, how the film can be presented and distributed, and how it can’t make profit of any kind.
The fan production must also be family friendly and contain no 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 full list of guidelines are up on the official site