Prelude to Axanar

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    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Too bad Peters has spent all the money he raised on himself and the studio he was setting up, so the half-hour show he wants to make can’t be done. He’ll have to get outside investment again, which I doubt anybody will foot the bill for.

    I love how in that article they mention copyrighted aspects of the Trek universe like Vulcan ears, the Klingon language, and an obscure character from an episode in 1969… but they don’t bring up that the mother-effin’ USS Enterprise is in the trailer too. There’s no wiggle room around that one, it’s a completely iconic design that can’t be anything else. How do you argue that the main hero ship from the original show isn’t familiar enough to fall under copyright law?

    #7008

    Oh, but Peters can’t do anymore fundraising – private donations only. [LINK]

    Should Peters elect to move ahead with even a trimmed-down version of Axanar, may obstacles remained in his path. Among them:

    • A threatened trademark lawsuit by former Axanar chief technologist Terry McIntosh over Axanar’s continued use of the name Ares Digital for its perk fulfillment platform.
    • Pending complaints made to both the federal Internal Revenue Service and California’s tax board about whether Axanar properly paid taxes.
    • A possible class action lawsuit brought by disaffected crowdfunding donors.
    • Possible bankruptcy proceedings if Axanar fails to win other legal actions. This would be the second time Peters has declared bankruptcy for one of his companies. Propworx was the first, in which Peters left MGM holding the bag for nearly a quarter-million dollars.
    • Possible thorough examination of Axanar’s finances due to these other legal actions, unlike the constrained “independent” review Peters had promised.

    Judicial observer Janet Gershen-Siegel of the G&T Show noted other challenges Peters will face on the road to making Axanar:

    “If he ‘keeps’ the studio, that’s not exactly a ‘big win for Axanar’, seeing as that white elephant bleeds serious coin in monthly rent and no one is leasing it. Why not? Because (a) the electricals are apparently not up to code and (b) there’s a ton of competition in the area.”

    Gershen-Siegel noted that Peters now “has to, you know, deliver with”:

    • Less money (and the crowdfunding campaigns were already on diminishing returns before suit was even filed).
    • No professionals, including possibly director Robert Meyer Burnett, and special effects wizard Tobias Richter.
    • Donors who have already waited a long time and might not be interested in throwing good money after bad
    • His actions and meltdowns all online for all to see.

    Peters has issued an official statement in which, naturally, he tries to put the best face on this that he can [LINK]:

    Since the beginning of the lawsuit, over a year ago, we have expressed our desire to address the concerns of the studios, and our willingness to make necessary changes, as long as we could reasonably meet our commitments to AXANAR’S over 14,000 donors, fans and supporters. We are now able to do exactly that.

    Terms of the settlement agreement include an agreement to allow Axanar Productions to continue showing PRELUDE TO AXANAR commercial-free on YouTube and to allow Axanar Productions to produce the AXANAR feature film as two fifteen-minute segments that can be distributed on YouTube (also without ads).

    Additional terms of the agreement will be made available to cast, crew and donors through private correspondence.

    For the next sixty days, Axanar Productions will be working through some final legal requirements requiring immediate attention. In addition, there are several pre-production issues that need to be re-visited before we can begin principal photography on our project.

    Axanar Productions was created by lifelong Star Trek fans to celebrate their love for Star Trek. Alec Peters and the Axanar team look forward to continuing to share the Axanar story and are happy to work within the Guidelines for Fan Films for future projects.

    Throughout this process, we will continue communicating with our fans and backers to ensure they are informed and involved until we reach completion of the production.

    This’ll be interesting to see.

    Would Star Trek Continues please send up a flare to let us know if they’re going to continue continuing? That’s what I’m really interested in at the moment.

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