View Single Post
Old April 1 2014, 09:06 PM   #91
Noname Given
Vice Admiral
Location: None Given
Re: CBS's "Rules of Engagement" for Star Trek Fan Films

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Did it change, or is CBS just not giving a damn at the moment?
It's most likely that CBS (while I'm sure their legal dept. DOES 'give a damn') -- right now, they see it a good/free publicity that keeps Star Trek (IE the 'Prime Universe' TV/Film stuff that CBS holds the IP to) in the public eye.

It id up to the IP holder to enforce their rights (or the IP holder will loose them); but I have a feeling that as long as no one is 'technically' outight selling anything (like IP costumes, etc. -- and right now, a Kick Starter is technically a sale of anything as all 'donations' go towards Production Costs - meaning no outright 'profit' is made by the Producers of a project; and usually for 'donating' you get a 'perk' - non-professionally done DVD 'burn' of the finished product whose production costs you helped cover.)

Most IP holders (including CBS) make money of licensing rights so that the people paying for said license CAN do a 'for profit' venture based on said IP -- which is why CBS is saying, "As long as you don't start outright selling stuff, they'll look the other way at his time."

The thing to remember though is - it COULD change at any time - IE If CBS legal believes tells the CBS Execs that if they let fan films, etc. continue as they have been, CBS is in danger of legally failing to enforce their Star Trek IP rights; you'll see a wave of C&Ds fly out at warp speed, followed by lawsuits for any who ignore a C&D letter.

Could a fan film group fight such in court? Yep. But in the end, on this type of thing, the group with deeper pockets (and full rights documentation) wins; and if you think fan film production (at the level ST Continues or ST: Phase II does them) is high; the legal bills even for a short court case would be astronomical in comparison; not to mention what would happen if actual monetary damages are awarded (and usually in Civil matters the loser ends up paying the court costs and fees for BOTH parties involved.)

But again, IP holders (while monitoring any IP violations they see) usually don't go after a violating group unless they feel in danger of losing IP rights based on 'failure to protect/enforce...'; OR they see a group profiting from using the IP material without paying royalties/licensing fees.
Noname Given is offline   Reply With Quote