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