We just cannot get enough of the absolute nerdiest lawsuit in entertainment history. If you’re just joining us, Paramount has sued a group of fan film producers to block the release of a movie that ties into the Star Trek universe — on the ground it borrows heavily from “thousands of copyrights.” The fan film fired back a dismissal of the lawsuit, claiming that they would need a detailed breakdown of these “thousands” of bits of intellectual property they were stealing. All of this leads to a situation where Paramount must explain what defines Star Trek — a multi-universe show with very few central storytelling devices. It seems like a recipe for disaster, and even the internet has had a terrible time breaking it apart.
Paramount has filed 28 new pages of documentation, specifying exactly what the fan film Axanar is ripping off, and it’s just as amazing as you might expect.
The Hollywood Reporter had this to say about the new filings:
To the argument that because the crowdfunded film hasn’t actually been made yet, the lawsuit is “premature, unripe and would constitute an impermissible prior restraint on speech,” the plaintiffs point to defendant’s Facebook post that mentioned a “locked script.” They also note a press interview that Peters gave on Feb. 1 where he said, “We violate CBS copyright less than any other fan film,” as an admission he indeed is violating copyright. But the highlights of the new court papers are more specificity about what is alleged to be a copyright infringement.
There’s also word that the defendants are infringing characters like Starfleet captain Richard Robau, the triangular medals worn by Starfleet officers, the Starship Enterprise, the appearance of Klingons, the name of the Klingon home planet, the element of using a “Stardate” to tell time, the logo of the United Federation of Planets, the element of phasers, the element of beaming up via transporters, the element of warp drive and so forth.
You can read the amended lawsuit in full right here.
You can skim through at your own pace, but for fun why don’t you take a look at some of our favorite side-by-sides. It’s also pretty difficult not to notice in this format how much better the Axanar fan film looks than anything currently in official Star Trek production — including some elements that only have production art for comparison. Not that it makes Axanar any more legal, but still.