Re: Why hasn't CBS or Paramount just taken over a fan series or two?
As I have dealt repeatedly with the head of CBS legal on these things, I can speak to what they "require". A fanfilm cannot say "please donate to our production!" (not as far as CBS is concerned) It is far too hard to do just what you say - prove they are not making a profit. They CAN say "please donate to purchase plane tickets" or "please donate to pay the electric bill". These are specific items being paid for, not vague "production costs".
Isn't this exactly what Star Trek: Renegades did with their Kickstarter though?
"...the most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is I do not know." - Lt. Commander Data, "Where Silence Has Lease"