Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios have filed a copyright-infringement suit against the producers of Axanar, which bills itself as a “ground-breaking independent Star Trek film.” The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, seeks monetary damages and an injunction restraining the producers from distributing, marketing and selling the film.
“The Axanar works infringe plaintiffs’ works by using innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes,” the suit states. “The Axanar works are intended to be professional-quality productions that, by defendants’ own admission, unabashedly take Paramount’s and CBS’s intellectual property and aim to ‘look and feel like a true Star Trek movie.’ On information and belief, defendants have raised over $1 million so far to produce these works, including building out a studio and hiring actors, set designers, and costume designers. The Axanar works are substantially similar to, and unauthorized derivative works of, plaintiffs’ Star Trek television series and movies, in contravention of the copyright laws of the United States.”
The suit notes that the two films are “substantially similar to the Star Trek copyrighted works,” with Vulcans, Klingons and many of the original franchise’s characters portrayed throughout.
“We’re doing what other fan films have done for 30 years,” Alec Peters, the producer of the Axanar films, told Deadline. “Maybe CBS feels threatened by the quality of what we’re doing.”
Peters, a named defendant in the suit, declined to comment on the specifics of the suit, but said, “We plan to fully defend it.” He said the feature film will start shooting in February.