‘Axanar’ Producer Responds to ‘Star Trek’ Fan Film Guidelines: ‘Very Disheartening’

“These guidelines appear to have been tailor-made to shut down all of the major fan productions and stifle fandom,” Alec Peters says

The producer of the “Star Trek” fan film “Axanar” has responded to the new guidelines set forth by Paramount and CBS for future fan projects.

“These guidelines appear to have been tailor-made to shut down all of the major fan productions and stifle fandom,” executive producer Alec Peters said in a statement to TheWrap. “In no way can that be seen as supportive or encouraging, which is very disheartening.

The 10 new guidelines include provisions that state no fan project can use the name “Star Trek” in any way except for a subtitle identifying it as a fan production. In addition, it cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray and must include a disclaimer in the credits.

“While CBS and Paramount claim to want to encourage the passion of fans to produce ‘reasonable fan fiction,’ the restrictions presented do just the opposite, willfully ignoring over forty years of fan works that helped buoy the ‘Star Trek’ franchise through some very lean years and enthusiastically spread the magic of the franchise in more plentiful times,” Peters continued.

“Around the franchise’s 50th anniversary, we would have hoped CBS and Paramount would have taken this opportunity to unite with ‘Star Trek’ fans in celebration of their creativity, not seek to crush it,” he concluded.

Paramount and CBS are going after Peters and Axanar Productions for copyright infringement in a suit filed last December in California District Court. The suit concerns “Axanar” and the prequel film “Prelude to Axanar.”

“Axanar” raised $1.13 million in crowdfunding, making it possibly the biggest-budget fan film ever made. CBS said it never “authorized, sanctioned or licensed this project in any way, and this has been communicated to those involved.”

However, Peters told TheWrap that he and his team met with CBS prior to production, and the network didn’t offer any specific guidelines concerning what his crew could and could not do, simply that he couldn’t make money off the project.

“CBS has a long history of accepting fan films,” Peters said at the time. “I think ‘Axanar’ has become so popular that CBS realizes that we’re just making their brand that much better.”

The network will premiere a new “Star Trek” series on CBS All Access in January 2017, while Paramount will release the film “Star Trek Beyond” on July 22.