Star Trek Official Fan Film Rules Released, thanks Axanar!

alec
Relax. This will only take a moment…

This morning Star Trek (CBS/Paramount) released an official set of guidelines outlining the do’s and don’ts of what constitutes fan film productions.  Largely produced to counter what the owners of the IP likely see as profiteering by Axanar Productions, the list of guidelines counters Axanar’s efforts on every front while effectively ending hour-long episodic formats used by other fan film producers.

Does this mean an end to Star Trek fan films?  Certainly not.  But it does create an entirely new format that must be exclusively the realm of fans only.  No big budgets.  No perks. No extended-licensing.  No participation by professionals who have appeared in Star Trek. No commercialization of ANY kind (sales of props/rental of sets).  No more than two 15 minute segments – no series, sequels or continuances of any kind. (Full guidelines at the bottom of this post).

Axanar is dead!  Long Live Fan Films!

CBS/Paramount were well within their rights to say NO to fan films.  They chose to put limits on it in such a way as to counter the efforts of a single greedy Ferengi looking to profit from their intellectual properties.

In essence, the actions of one person has effectively killed every other quality fan film production.  Way to go Axanar.

Guess I’ll never see those patches I paid for. 

From a Roddenberry post on Facebook:

Letter Written To Fellow Trek Fans

Dear Star Trek fans,

Star Trek fandom is like no other.

Your support, enthusiasm and passion are the reasons that Star Trek has flourished for five decades and will continue long into the future. You are the reason the original Star Trek series was rescued and renewed in 1968, and the reason it has endured as an iconic and multi-generational phenomenon that has spawned seven television series and 13 movies.

Throughout the years, many of you have expressed your love for the franchise through creative endeavors such as fan films. So today, we want to show our appreciation by bringing fan films back to their roots.

The heart of these fan films has always been about expressing one’s love and passion for Star Trek. They have been about fan creativity and sharing unique stories with other fans to show admiration for the TV shows and movies. These films are a labor of love for any fan with desire, imagination and a camera.

We want to support this innovation and encourage celebrations of this beloved cultural phenomenon. It is with this perspective in mind that we are introducing a set of guidelines at Star Trek Fan Films. 

Thank you for your ongoing and steadfast enthusiasm and support, which ensure that Star Trek will continue to inspire generations to come.

CBS and Paramount Pictures

From the official guidelines page (link at the bottom):

CBS and Paramount Pictures are big believers in reasonable fan fiction and fan creativity, and, in particular, want amateur fan filmmakers to showcase their passion for Star Trek.  Therefore, CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

  1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.  
  2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
  3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.
  4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
  5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.
  6. The fan production must be non-commercial:
    • CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.
    • The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.
    • The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
    • The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.
    • No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.
    • The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.
  7. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include 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 content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.
  8. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:

    Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

  9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.
  10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.

– See more at: http://www.startrek.com/fan-films

15 thoughts on “Star Trek Official Fan Film Rules Released, thanks Axanar!

  1. But…what about the new TOS fan show? They werent perfect but their passion for Star Trek made it awesome. Will this kill it?

    Like

    1. It most probably will.
      Effectively, this is the nail in the coffin for Star Trek News Voyages and Star Trek Continues, two pretty enduring projects which churned out many “phase 2-ish” episodes. They’ve no way of continuing on anything meaty or anything episodal, since it’s basically now practically a matter of one-shots.

      Like

    2. stupid and idiotic rules still need changing

      fan films
      CBS and Paramount Pictures are big believers in reasonable fan fiction and fan creativity, and, in particular, want amateur fan filmmakers to showcase their passion for Star Trek. Therefore, CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines.

      Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

      1.The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

      2.The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.

      3.The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.

      4.If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.

      5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.

      6. The fan production must be non-commercial:

      CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.

      The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.

      The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.

      The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.

      No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.

      The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.

      7. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include 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 content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.

      8. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:

      “Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

      9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.

      10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

      CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.

      This is what the fans want for fan film .
      rule number 1
      an hour long with episodes, parts, sequels and remakes..
      and CBS and Paramount,, can make them as long as they want

      rule 2 …2 The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
      fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface
      we dont know what you mean by this contradict each other

      rule 3 3 The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing. we use copies we use newpaper and many other sources for ideas of uses and other objects
      to obtain information and many other resouces to keep it in the idea of the subjects in place so we can have the idea of Gene Roddenberry for being creative ….
      4 4 if the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
      SORRY PARAMOUNT AND CBS WILL WILL GO GET THE CHEAPER KIND ,,,,,,
      5 5 The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.
      MOST OF THE RULE WE DO AGREE EXCEP[T ONE WHEN WE INVITE SOMEONE EMPLOYED FROM A THEATHER OR A PLAY WILL KEEP THE SCRIP SHORT FOR THEM ONLY …
      6 6 The fan production must be non-commercial
      HOW WOULD POEPLE KNOW WHEN OUR NEXT FAN PRODUCTION IS

      * CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.
      AGREE

      *The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.
      I DONT KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT WITH THIS ONE
      * The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
      CBS AND PARMOUNT CAN HAVE THIS ONE
      The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.
      AGREE
      *No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising
      AGREE
      * The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.
      AGREE
      7 The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include 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 content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy
      AGREE
      8 8 The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”
      WE NEED ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FANS
      THE REST OF IT I GREE ON
      9 Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law
      THERE IS NO LOGIC IN THIS ONE
      10 Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.
      CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelin
      I WILL AGREE UP TO A POINT

      Like

  2. That’s heartbreaking. Star Trek Continues is one of my favorite fan shows.

    Perhaps with enough noise they can make an exception to the rules for them. Ad a clause that you can do more substantial projects if you talk to them and they approve your general business plan.

    Like

    1. I suspect that exactly what will happen. Continues’s goal was to complete the five year mission – and they’re close to it all the while they’ve played by the unwritten rules.

      Like

  3. Renegades announced back in may on their website that the 2 episodes they just started to film. will be there final two. They had choose to end there series when CBS announced there own trek web series. Hope the fan productions like continues/ phase II / starship Faragaut will be able to negotiate a continued releationship with CBS/ Paramount for continued production.

    In short this entire mess would not have been nessisary had Axanar not pushed the issue as they had. The whole guidelines CBS published seems Aimed squarley at mr. Peters and his Axanar production.

    All that is left to be said is what a hell of a way to celebrate trek’s 50th anniversary year.

    Like

  4. It’s not entirely Axanar’s fault ya know. CBS/Paramount are, to borrow someone’s term, “scorched earth companies.” In effect, this means that if someone show’s them up, and they can’t have all the glory, NO ONE CAN. Thus, these rules come out. Not only does this essentially ensure a riot ensuing at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary, it also ensure’s that ST:Beyond, the new 2017 series, and anything else CBS throws up will make next to no money. All because they were upset one group, with some of the best actors in Star Trek, doing their thing FOR FREE, with the Lightwave Studio’s doing the CGI FOR FREE, and it looked better then the slop they put out.

    So thank you CBS, you’ve just murdered, no, brutally slaughtered the hopes and dreams of Star Trek fans everywhere. Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to written fan fiction. So for now, Star Trek: Horizon will continue, should anyone want details, comment here and I’ll post them.

    Cheers, the once-Unknown Commenter, Stargazzer811

    Like

    1. I strongly disagree – when you said free, then why was there money spent on CGI, and actors, producers, directors all rev curved some sort of compensation? Axanar didn’t do anything for free.

      Like

      1. Really, because as I heard, the only money that was used, was used for studio rental and supplies in order to shoot the movie. As far as I see it, I have no issue with that, nor did many other people. In fact had I donated to Axanar, I would have been excited to hear my money got used to purchase the required space and supplies in order to make such a great piece of fan fiction. Unfortunate fact of the matter is that money has to be spent on things like this in order to get the final product.

        The only reason CBS had an issue, is because a tiny group of people were able to make 2 million dollars for a fan film, and CBS knows ST:Beyond won’t make that on opening night. They are pissed because they got shown up by their own fan base, because they know they can only make half-baked products anymore, and the fans can now make top notch stuff.

        Similarly, the rules above stated say that a profession who has worked with CBS before can’t work in fan fiction. CBS is essentially forcing actors who worked in Trek to NOT be fans, or be considered fans, of Trek, which is a bunch of stuck up BS.

        Between 2004, when ENT ended, and the time Abrams made his first movie in 2009, it was the fans, THE FANS, who kept the franchise alive. In my eyes, if the fans of anything have to keep it alive for more then 1 year, the fans should own it, not a greedy ass company.

        I agree with Kieran, way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Trek.

        Like

      2. They admitted it; confirmed it in their financials. You assertions are without merit. As a donor, I am pissed. Where did they money really go?

        My beef started when they didn’t ship the perks I paid for. Those same perks ended up in the donor store and on ebay. My lawyer has copies of both, and we’ve purchased examples with the intent of a possible legal challenge later. When I brought this to Alec directly (and I have the email chains to prove it) he panicked, called me a liar and then banned me from the donor group. He then made a blog post trying to clarify the problems with his fulfilment company – paid for with you guessed it – fan donations for the set.

        As for Beyond not making 2 million – they just passed 11 million in advance sales. Get a fucking grip.

        The fans are important. I’ve been a fan since 1967. But we don’t own Trek. And there are so many of us coming from diverse pbackgrounds that we don’t all agree what is or is not Trek.

        Alec Peters may be a fraud, but he’s not the embodiment of all Star Trek fans. Not even close.

        Like

      3. I’m not gonna dignify any of that with a response, except to say, don’t waste your time in suing them; you’ll lose more money then you’ll make.

        Just My Two Cents

        Like

  5. This is Axanar’s fault, plain and simple. You can blame big bad CBS and Paramount but they are the copyright holders. They have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of the IP. It is NOT owned by the fans. Axanar abused the implicit agreement by taking all that money they raised and using it to pay themselves salaries, build an independent studio and even make coffee and other perks (breaking more licensing agreements) rather than put it right back into a film. My hope is CBS will let Star Trek Continues continue either by being officially grandfathered in or making it an officially licensed project.

    Liked by 1 person

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