Watch me commit heresy over Paramount’s new Star Trek fan film rules.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about them.  To sum them up: there’s a half hour limit on productions, the work has to be studiously non-commercial and amateur (for example: no more cameos from people who were in a previous Star Trek production), stick disclaimers anywhere and keep it clean*.  And, oh, yeah: if you buy Star Trek uniforms or gear for your movie, use the official stuff.

Well, Paramount owns the copyright to Star Trek.  More to the point: they don’t want people making money off of their own intellectual property.  Now, you may think that fifty years is a long time to hold copyright, and I might be inclined to agree with you – but the answer there is to change the copyright laws accordingly. In other words: I am broadly sympathetic to the fans, but as somebody who aspires to be paid more for my work I am also broadly sympathetic to the idea that there’s a demonstrable difference between amateur and professional productions.

As I said: heresy. Horrible, horrible heresy.

Moe Lane

*Amusingly, as I understand it you can rip off any license property blatantly if you just make it a porno and call it a parody. I’m not exactly sure how that works, though. Probably involves a Supreme Court decision, or something.


  • BigGator5 says:

    I agree with you, Moe. They are not asking for anything unreasonable.

    • xander-drax says:

      I think the time requirement is unreasonable. What does it matter if a fan film needs an hour or more to tell its story?

      • jetty says:

        I go the other way. I think 30 minutes is not only sufficient, but will force amateur writers/directors to creatively push character and plot development.

  • justjack says:

    I’ve tried occasionally to watch some of the various fan productions available on youtube, and find that I always lose interest quickly. Even the ones with pretty good production quality, even the ones with names associated with ST-TOS, always lose my interest much faster than I would have thought. I can see why the copyright holders didn’t worry over them.

    But Axanar. I want a full-length Axanar. These rules will prevent that, right? Because if so, then dang. That will be a loss.

    By the way, with these rules in place, what will happen to all those existing fan productions? Do they get yanked?

  • xander-drax says:

    These rules seem designed to kill Axanar. Which is a pity.

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