Last month, after receiving a lawsuit from Paramount and CBS for allegedly infringing on “innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek,” the team behind Star Trek fan film Axanar responded by demanding that Paramount specify which elements were being infringed on. The idea was that Paramount’s lawyers would have a hard time untangling the web of Star Trek mythology that has been spread out across decades of movies, TV shows, and comic books, so they’d be unable to actually define—let alone copyright—the entire Star Trek universe. However, like the biggest nerd in the comic book store, Paramount has responded to this challenge by pushing up its glasses, clearing its throat, and rattling off a list of Star Trek facts that would make Wil Wheaton himself shake with fear.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS and Paramount have now amended the original lawsuit with an absolutely vicious 28 pages of copyrighted items that the Axanar team have taken from Star Trek, ranging from minor things like United Federation Of Planets logos all the way to the general “mood and theme” of your average Star Trek story. Other highlights include every costume ever, specific Stardates that have significance in the Star Trek universe, a Vulcan’s pointy ears, and even generic-ish sci-fi things like phasers, warp drives, and the idea of “beaming up.” One particularly noteworthy entry is the Klingon language itself, which THR notes has been involved in copyright disputes in the past.
The most brutal part of CBS and Paramount’s amendment comes from the Axanar team itself, though. Apparently, in an interview back in February, Axanar producer Alec Peters said that his film “[violates] CBS copyright less than any other fan film,” which the lawyers argue might as well be an admission of guilt. Basically, CBS and Paramount have called the Axanar team’s bluff in the most epic/obsessively dorky way possible. But really, for a lawsuit that relies on Star Trek lore as much as this one, is there any other way to do it?
You can read the full amended lawsuit here.
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