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tranquility

Senior Member
https://forum.freeadvice.com/copyrights-trademarks-39/tlhingan-hol-624314-p3.html (Closed for some reason.)

Tells of Paramount's attempt to get the use of Klingon under their thumb. Paramount has determined this is not a good day to die.

http://trekmovie.com/2016/05/20/jj-abrams-announces-paramountcbs-has-agreed-to-drop-axanar-lawsuit/
 


quincy

Senior Member
https://forum.freeadvice.com/copyrights-trademarks-39/tlhingan-hol-624314-p3.html (Closed for some reason.)

Tells of Paramount's attempt to get the use of Klingon under their thumb. Paramount has determined this is not a good day to die.

http://trekmovie.com/2016/05/20/jj-abrams-announces-paramountcbs-has-agreed-to-drop-axanar-lawsuit/
Interesting. I don't read "trekmovie.com" articles very often so thank you for the link.
 

Proserpina

Senior Member
https://forum.freeadvice.com/copyrights-trademarks-39/tlhingan-hol-624314-p3.html (Closed for some reason.)

Tells of Paramount's attempt to get the use of Klingon under their thumb. Paramount has determined this is not a good day to die.

http://trekmovie.com/2016/05/20/jj-abrams-announces-paramountcbs-has-agreed-to-drop-axanar-lawsuit/
Is it bad that I didn't have to Google the thread title?

:awkward:
 

tranquility

Senior Member
Interesting. I don't read "trekmovie.com" articles very often so thank you for the link.
It was linked from Instapundit. I don't trekmovie.com myself as a rule. I do note Paramount has not quite given up, they say they are in settlement negotiations--where I'm sure they will find some legal argument for some future control.
 

quincy

Senior Member
It was linked from Instapundit. I don't trekmovie.com myself as a rule. I do note Paramount has not quite given up, they say they are in settlement negotiations--where I'm sure they will find some legal argument for some future control.
Right. JJ Abrams announcing anything does not exactly mean Paramount is done with the issues that led to the lawsuit. Paramount is developing fan fiction guidelines.

For an example of fan film guidelines, and to go along with the legal quality of the trekmovie.com article (;)), here is a link to Wikimedia Commons and their "Commons: Fan art" guidelines, which illustrates some of what fan-film makers should and should not do when "paying tribute" to rights-protected material, to best avoid a lawsuit like the one filed by Paramount: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Fan_art
 
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FlyingRon

Senior Member
The case law is against them. Klingon isn't the first artificial lanugage. While you may be able to trademark the name and you can copyright a dictionary, there's no provision in the US law to protect the language itself.
 

quincy

Senior Member
The case law is against them. Klingon isn't the first artificial lanugage. While you may be able to trademark the name and you can copyright a dictionary, there's no provision in the US law to protect the language itself.
Right. A lawsuit over the Klingon language seemed from the start a futile one for Paramount to pursue, but if fan film guidelines are to come from the suit, that stands to be positive.

Where you tend to have legitimate "fan fiction" issues will be over other copyrighted or trademarked aspects of a film/novel/creative work. Among other notable cases, you can review the ones linked to below.

See Salinger v. Colting, 641 F. Supp. 2d 250: https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/1482913/salinger-v-colting/

See Anderson v. Stallone, 11 U.S.P.Q. 2D, (BNA) 1161: http://www.kentlaw.edu/faculty/rwarner/classes/legalaspects_ukraine/copyright/cases/anderson_v_stallone.html
 

tranquility

Senior Member
The forshak is strong with Paramount.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/paramount-says-star-trek-fan-903497

The lawsuit lives!
 

quincy

Senior Member
The forshak is strong with Paramount.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/paramount-says-star-trek-fan-903497

The lawsuit lives!
The lawsuit never died. There are still fair use issues that need to be resolved. With some luck, the suit will result in some reasonable guidelines for creators of fan films to look to when "borrowing" from copyright and trademark protected material.

As I said earlier, J.J. Abrams was not speaking for Paramount when he made his previous comments.
 
With the new fan film guidelines just released last week, it looks like the majority of the fan films will be scaled back or terminated. This seems to be a case where everything was fine with fan film productions until the Axanar people raised too much money and enlisted some named stars to be in their production. This put them on the radar and the Star Trek rightsholders took note. Axanar continued to push against them and the result is all fan films will suffer under the new guidelines.

I understand the rightsholder's position, especially with their new Star Trek projects coming out. Some of the fan film productions were quite good and improved over time, and that with Axanar's successful fund raising and hard push against the rightsholder's position, sealed the fate for all (there could be some moderation in the new guidelines, only the future will tell).

One of the fan film productions, Starship Farragut, sums it up: "CBS/Paramount was pushed to this. I don't blame them... Wish they were not pushed to this point... But, that's what happens when one ass pushes someone into a corner... They strike back hard."
 

quincy

Senior Member
The Star Trek fan film guidelines can be viewed on the official Star Trek site (http://www.startrek.com/). Click on "Fan Film Guidelines."

The guidelines include film length limits, and a prohibition on using the trademark name "Star Trek" in a film's title but a requirement that every fan film have as a subtitle that the film is a "Star Trek Fan Production."

The guidelines are reasonable and a reminder that you cannot hope to profit off the creative works of others without authorization from the holder of the rights - at least without the very real risk of being sued.
 
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It looks like the copyright infringement claim of Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Axanar Productions Inc. is finally going to trial on January 31st. On one level it would be interesting if Axanar would prevail but from a legal standpoint I don't see how Paramount would lose.

This quote concerning the case from Aaron Moss, a Los Angeles intellectual property lawyer, sums it up: “If this is fair use, it would create a hole in that doctrine big enough to drive a truck through,” said Moss, of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP. “What would prevent a major studio from doing the same thing?”

Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Axanar Productions Inc., 15-cv-09938, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles)
 

quincy

Senior Member
It looks like the copyright infringement claim of Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Axanar Productions Inc. is finally going to trial on January 31st. On one level it would be interesting if Axanar would prevail but from a legal standpoint I don't see how Paramount would lose.

This quote concerning the case from Aaron Moss, a Los Angeles intellectual property lawyer, sums it up: “If this is fair use, it would create a hole in that doctrine big enough to drive a truck through,” said Moss, of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP. “What would prevent a major studio from doing the same thing?”

Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Axanar Productions Inc., 15-cv-09938, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles)
Interesting. I really haven't been following this. I've never been much of a Trekkie. ;)

Here, though, is a link to the January 3 summary judgment motions hearing (both motions denied), which is informative: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3251437/Trek-Ruling.pdf
 
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FlyingRon

Senior Member
Reading the judgement shows that this goes way beyond just the Klingon language. The fact that the language is used in the movie was just to show that the Klingon character development derives in an infringing manner from the characters in the Star Trek TV and Movies that are protected by copyright. The language is only mentioned in a list of character similarities: uniforms, physical (facial) appearance, what they are speaking, how they are acting. This is different than saying you can't speak Klingon, have a Klingon dictionary, or perahps have a movie that the (non Klingon copying) characters are speaking Klingon.

In fact, the decision points out that (in only one of two places that Klingon the language is mentioned) that it is NOT individually copyrightable, but only of relevence here when bound up with the other aspects of the Klingon characters.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Reading the judgement shows that this goes way beyond just the Klingon language. The fact that the language is used in the movie was just to show that the Klingon character development derives in an infringing manner from the characters in the Star Trek TV and Movies that are protected by copyright. The language is only mentioned in a list of character similarities: uniforms, physical (facial) appearance, what they are speaking, how they are acting. This is different than saying you can't speak Klingon, have a Klingon dictionary, or perahps have a movie that the (non Klingon copying) characters are speaking Klingon.

In fact, the decision points out that (in only one of two places that Klingon the language is mentioned) that it is NOT individually copyrightable, but only of relevence here when bound up with the other aspects of the Klingon characters.
With the Court weighing all four of the fair use factors in favor of Paramount, and with the Court finding that there is objective substantial similarity between the works of Paramount and the works of Axanar, it appears that Axanar's fate is clear. The jury's main task (if this goes to trial) appears to be in determining if the copyright infringement was willful (although subjective substantial similarity will be considered).

As I mentioned in June of last year, that there was copyright infringement was not as much of a question as whether the infringement could be excused on fair use grounds.
 

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