CBS Moves To Shutter More Star Trek Fan Films


CBS reportedly asks the team behind fan film Star Trek – Horizons not to proceed with a sequel.

ICYMI: If you have a passion for art, science, or education you need to watch Wil Wheaton’s speech at the 2016 USA Science and Engineering Festival.

It looks like Axanar might have ruined it for everyone; the creator of the Star Trek fan film Star Trek – Horizons posted this on the films Facebook page yesterday:

"Earlier today, executives from CBS reached out to me and advised me that their legal team strongly suggested that we do not move forward with plans to create a sequel to Horizon. While this is a sign of the current climate that we find ourselves in with Star Trek fan films, I want to personally thank CBS for reaching out to me, rather than including us in their ongoing lawsuit against Axanar.It was conveyed that the reason CBS was reaching out to me was due to the legal troubles stemming from the Axanar case. Again, CBS did not have to reach out personally. The message I received felt more like they were giving me a heads up before we got too involved in another project, rather than a group of angry executives swinging a hammer.On behalf of myself and Ryan Webber, my co-writer and co-producer on Federation Rising, we appreciate your initial support and are saddened that we cannot bring you what we believe was a fantastic feature film. However, rest assured that Ryan and I are committed to continuing our storytelling partnership with an original project. We also welcome other fan productions and fan film lovers to join us on this new venture.While we initially planned to debut our Kickstarter for Federation Rising this Saturday, we hope that you will instead stand with us as we announce an original sci-fi project that Ryan and I have been co-developing in addition to Federation Rising. We’re incredibly excited to tell you about this completely original story that follows the ideals set forth by Star Trek that Ryan and I have been such huge fans and admirers of our entire lives.Please stay tuned for this Saturday’s announcement.– Tommy Kraft, “Star Trek – Horizon” creator"

It sucks that CBS is starting to crack down on Star Trek fan films, but we need to keep a few things in mind.

First, you have to expect CBS to start protecting the intellectual property of Star Trek more tightly as they prepare to launch a new Star Trek series. The fan movies and shows were probably dead men walking as soon as a new series was announced.

More importantly though, this is probably something you can lay at the feet of Axanar.  Axanar turned the corner from for fun fan film to profit (they call it crowdfunding, but haven’t been terribly transparent about it) making film, and CBS and Paramount were never going to let that stand. Axanar created real competition, crowdfunding profit making competition. Axanar might have called them donations, but in the end it was making money for it’s creators.

It’s sad to see the fan films being told not to proceed, but at least it looks like from Tommy Kraft’s statement CBS is trying to do right by them and give warning. CBS is a company and they and Paramount do own the rights to Star Trek.  They have every right to protect what they own and make money off of their intellectual property, this is a business.

CBS and Paramount have turned a blind eye and let Star Trek fans get away with more regarding the franchise than most companies would have.  Do you think Disney would put up with Star Wars fan films? That mouse would have you in court tomorrow! It’s sad, but the era of Star Trek fan films is probably coming to an ed.

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