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Captain’s Log – March 29th, 2016

By April 2, 2016 Captain's Log

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Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Yesterday was a big day as our attorneys filed our second Motion to Dismiss.  Basically, this is Axanar telling Paramount/CBS that their amended complaint still has fatal flaws and asking the court to dismiss the case.

You can read our statement about this here:


This is a pretty awesome document, which if you have time to read, will give you an indication of the quality of the representation we have.  Erin Ranahan and her team at Winston & Strawn are experienced IP litigators and multiple parties we have talked to are telling us that the motion calls out serious problems that Paramount/CBS need to address.  One of the most important parts of the motion is that we are asking the plaintiffs specifically who owns what copyrights.  Because you cant sue for copyright infringement if you don’t own the copyrights.  If what we have been told is true and CBS owns the relevant Star Trek copyrights, then Paramount can’t be part of this lawsuit.  Because any copyright that Paramount may own, is derivative of the original copyrights from TOS.  And you have to be the original copyright owner in order to sue.  This is one of the things Winston & Strawn is looking for clarification of.



So what is next?  Well, the plaintiffs can’t amend their complaint freely now because they used their one “free” amendment previously.  So they will have to file an opposition to the motion.  The court could still grant the motion to dismiss in part and let them amend– another amended complaint would just have to be court  approved or court ordered.  Some cases have several amended complaints (could have third, fourth, etc), which can come about because the court orders an amended complaint in response to a motion, or the plaintiff files a motion for leave to amend, which the court can then grant (and the standard there is liberal).  Or the parties can submit a stipulation with a proposed court order to permit another amended complaint.  The court will actually set a deadline for amending the pleadings several months out, and once that passes, the standard is much higher (meaning it’s harder to amend).

So there you go!  I hope you all find this whole process as interesting as we do.  And as always, we really hope we can resolve this case to the benefit of all fan films.


Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • …i no longer find this interesting: It is INFURIATING! =(

    …if they can’t scare you off, they will delay you to death =(

    all of [the fans] money will be spent on rent, while we wait… =(

    I *HATE* jj, boborci, bad robot, paramount, and even cbs! =(

    I will *NEVER* support them, because of what they are doing… =(

  • Dennis Malone says:

    On the plus side, you and your team will be more informed about the pitfalls and legal implications of future projects…..maybe you should build on that experience and get a law degree, lol.

    Seriously though, you guys keep’em running scared, they know they are only “hosts” and do nothing to enhance or create entertainment, it’s the hard working,intelligent and creative people behind the scenes who do all the work and it’s past time the gaunlet was thrown, HARD!
    paramount/cbs should be paying YOU for this project as it only brings attention to a franchise they can only benefit from.

    Looking forward to the next update….GO TEAM GO!!!!!

  • Jason Moon says:

    The press seems to have put more effort into reporting on the lawsuit than the plaintiffs appear to have put into executing it. This suggests to me either they don’t take it seriously and are just f&cking with you, or have come to change their minds about the wisdom of the suit and now just wish to get out of it without having to actively back down.

    The above is just uninformed speculation on my part.

  • E J Cox says:

    Chin up, sensors at maximum, shields up, engineering switch to battle power distribution, phasers at maximum, load high yield photon torpedoes, weapons ready, fire only on my command….. Captain Garth

  • Brian Heite says:

    Reading that was a beautiful thing. So many things that have been being cried out in defense of fan films, not just Axanar. Well done! Winston and Strawn deserve the very best accolades for their in depth work, and logical argument. Do they have a Vulcan on staff there?

  • Wayne says:

    I am not an attorney, but I do understand a few things about copyright law. In the early 90s I tried my hand at copyright registrations for computer software, but I quickly found out why attorneys do it as a sideline. There’s no money in it. Anyway, my 2 cents.

    The reason CBS and Paramount are both plaintiffs is covering bases. CBS owns the TV rights, Paramount the movie rights. By including both as plaintiffs they are covering both bases. As has been stated already, Paramount’s ownership is of derivative works, meaning that their copyrights to original IP is limited. I think that the hope is that whatever rights they have can strengthen CBS’ hand. I’m not so sure that it does, but the jury could see it differently.

    Why does this matter? It matters because Axanar is going to be a full movie, not just a episode of what would otherwise be called a TV show (like Star Trek Continues and New Voyages are, for example). There is also the fact that Axanar promises to be of a quality that rivals what the studios can produce. Not many fan films can make that claim. I am frankly surprised that ST Continues and New Voyages have not been hit by CBS because of the quality of their episodes. They both rival TOS in my opinion.

    I do believe it is the quality of the productions that is the issue. The fact that CBS/Paramount have remained conspicuously quiet about what their exact issue with Axanar is tells me that it may well be related to the cost of making new shows and movies. If the fan film base can create quality films at a lower cost that rival what they can create and have to spend so much more for, then they may feel that this jeopardizes their ability to generate the revenues at the box office for the movies (and the advertisers for TV shows) and could have a negative impact on their profit margins. This is just a guess on my part, so I may well be in error.

    I think you have a great legal team working in your behalf, and I hope that this can all be settled in a manner that is profitable to both Axanar and CBS/Paramount, as well as to all other fan film efforts.

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