CBS/Paramount sues to stop Axanar

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Richard Baker, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    @jamestyler @ThankYouGeneR - the drama part seems to be what is being left out of the Gossett/McIntosh testimony. However, they are material witnesses (they were there!). They should be allowed to testify.

    As for the 'tentative' bit - more likely it means that the court will issue an explanation and hasn't written it yet, and then that will be the ruling. I doubt this means Klausner will change his mind between now and trial.

    @muCephi yes. However, I have little doubt that, say, the entire cast list could make it into evidence without redaction, even though professionals such as Tony Todd, JG Hertzler, and Gary Graham are on that list. I believe the ruling on #9 is more to peel away the quality argument although Prelude and the Vulcan Scene most likely will be shown in their entirety anyway. Hence the jury will draw their own conclusions on subjective substantial similarity without getting any (to the judge's mind) extraneous info about professionalism.
     
  2. Sean_McCormick

    Sean_McCormick Captain Captain

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    Thankfully, i know of the right tool for such an occasion ;).

    http://fontbomb.ilex.ca/
     
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  3. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    .
    Actually the one question I have is:

    Given that the Plaintiff's can't introduce evidence about the "Professionalism' of the Axanar works - does that means a question like:

    "Mr. Peters, did you ever promote 'Axanar' as an 'Independent, professiossional Star Trek film' verbally, in print, interviews, or in any on-line internet tweets, posts or blogs?"

    would be out of order to ask Alec Peters should he take the witness stand?
     
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  4. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    Probably. But the word 'independent' - I think that might be all right. It's tricky. So much of this stuff is just so intimately linked. I mean, you allow the podcasts in, and he's the one saying 'professional', over and over again. But if you parse out the podcasts and bleep out this, that, and the other thing, they lose their impact and the jury doesn't know why the f they're listening to a bunch of disconnected dead air. You avoid the podcasts, and a great source of proof of willful infringement for plaintiffs is just lost. So plaintiffs will fight to be able to use the podcasts, I suspect, and in as close to a full form as possible.

    I would not want to be the sound engineer, if they do have to be bleeped or otherwise aurally redacted.
     
  5. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Captain Captain

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    Thanks!

    So if or since the judge did in fact tack on the tentative bit in all caps to the ruling he is indicating this isn't a real ruling yet until [something] brings him to the point he is firmly settled on and/or fully explained the what's why's & wherefore's.... and then he will hand down the actual real ruling. And the actual ruling may not differ at all from this tentative ruling in any way. And by tacking on the tentative bit he's hedged it or alerted the parties involved that the actual ruling reserves the possibility of having differences from the tentative ruling if he so chooses.

    Did I get that right?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  6. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    I think it's even less complicated than that. I think it's that the quick rulings are out so the parties know what to expect, but the rationale behind them will be released at a (soonish) later date. Anyway, that's how I read it. Could be wrong. Could be barkin' up the wrong maple.
     
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  7. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Captain Captain

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    Got it! Thanks again Whole Big Bunches!!



    EDIT:
    Oh shiiii.... ooot, @jespah. I'm just now reading the Semantic Shenanigans: Judge Klausner’s Axanar Orders on Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence. Pulled up the ruling document you linked and there it says (I copied & pasted the following directly from the document so the capitalization is not my own): The Court makes the following TENTATIVE rulings on the Motions In Limine I must have blinked and missed your post that the blog about it was up. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  8. muCephi

    muCephi Commodore Commodore

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    I am wondering how sweeping this decision is. Willful infringement would be much clearer if the constant claims of being "professional not fan" were present. I don't even see how the fundraising project description could make sense if the word "professional" were removed. I think it would be like requiring the word "explosion" to be redacted from an Avengers CGI timeline.
     
  9. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know. We're waiting on the minutes from the hearing/more detail (a little tough to tell what it will be). There's also opposition information, the responses to the motions, so it's a tad unclear how much they were taken into consideration.

    But these things don't change often after being tentative, or at least they don't change significantly. So while we will get more detail, and hopefully some of the contradictions will be explained, I don't think we're gonna get War and Peace on this.
     
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  10. Ion

    Ion Commander Red Shirt

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    This misconception could be why he decided that in the first place.

    "Professional" really has nothing to do with "willful." If Alec can convince the jury that he thought what he was doing was okay, then whether he was doing it for profit or not is irrelevant.

    If I understand things correctly, all they need to prove for "willful infringement" is that he was fully aware that Axanar violated IP law, and that it was therefore illegal and was not okay, but then he went ahead and did it anyway.

    If this is how Klausner is thinking, then I can kinda see the point. There's a whole sideshow about Alec's professional ambitions here, but that's not what the case is about. It's about whether or not he used someone else's intellectual property without permission, full stop. The financial data (the basics of which I presume are still allowed) would be enough to show that he was profiting monetarily when they get to assessing damages; whether he was profiting "professionally" doesn't really matter.

    This is just off the top of my head. Someone with more knowledge, feel free to chime in.
     
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  11. Ryan F

    Ryan F Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    But surely even Peters would have known that there's an imaginary line in the sand. Up till now, CBS/P left fan films alone, but on the other end of the scale it's fairly obvious that they'd sue if, say, Warners tried to make a Trek film.

    The further up the amateur/professional scale Peters went, the more chance he had of crossing the line and therefore getting sued.

    I'll wait on the Judge's clarification, but to my mind the 'professionalism' angle was a key point here: the very reason for this lawsuit is because he strayed too far from the fan film 'norm'.
     
  12. jamestyler

    jamestyler Commodore Commodore

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    While it's not the core reason stamped on the paperwork, I think those ambitions should be quite relevant.

    The plan for the studio and his future was tied very closely to this effort. Wilful infringement out of arrogance is one thing, wilful infringement our of greed or self service to this degree is another.

    Maybe it's not relevant to the judge, maybe it's a case of simplifying it for the jury or to avoid a complete circus unfolding within the room, but the entire context given for Axanar's "Frak you guys, we can do this better and we'll launch our own for profit platform" isn't one that should be ignored. The intent behind the infringement seems incredibly important to me, not just for correctly establishing damages, but in ensuring no one tries it again with Star Trek or any other property that could be challenges in the same way.
     
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  13. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    I believe even the altered financials are going to show studio expenses. And these are going to be LA-area jurors. They don't have to be in the entertainment biz at all to know that there are a ton of places to rent studio space from in the area. Plaintiffs really just have to get across that the studio was being tricked out for something beyond the Axa feature to connect the dots from infringement to serious personal gain.

    And, they don't even need to do that, as the showing of personal gain is accomplished by everything from the emails where AP and Mr. McIntosh complain their FB likes are down due to taking the 'Star Trek' name off their FB group, to the Netflix meeting.
     
  14. muCephi

    muCephi Commodore Commodore

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    Omitting the word "professional" and failure to connect the dots about how it explains so many actions beyond making a fan film allows defense to go back to saying "if you let other fan films do this, what's wrong with what Axanar did?"

    I think that the "professional" intent is critical in separating Axanar from prior allowed conduct of fan films. Its absence invites the jury and press to sympathize with an "innocent" underdog.

    Of course, the studios can just work around it, for example by calling out salaries, union dues, studio, business expenses, intent to rent the facility, etc, and let the jury fill in the word.

    Sometimes its more powerful to let the listener connect the dots. Then it's their invested conclusion, not your suggested conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  15. Earthrise

    Earthrise Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, and fans of fan films should not be pleased with this development. C/P have taken great care to distinguish Axanar from other fan films by emphasizing its intent to be professional. Doing so allows them to protect both their business interests and fan works. If the defense is successful at undermining C/P's efforts, they may come to the conclusion that there is too much risk of IP parasites hiding behind expressions of fandom. In such a situation they would shut it all down.

    If Alec Peters and his team care about fan films, they would settle now. Axanar would be up a creek, but the rest of the fan film community would have a chance.
     
  16. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Captain Captain

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    Clear. Succinct. Straight to the heart of the matter.

    Nice
     
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  17. Ion

    Ion Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the whole issue is that it doesn't matter what everyone else did, or what Axanar called itself. To the law, willful is a binary thing; it's either willful or it isn't. Stuff like calling the production "professional" goes to how willful it was, but that's largely irrelevant. In the damages phase, I don't believe that things like Alec's Netflix ambitions are excluded, and stuff like that is damaging enough.

    I'm not saying I'm agreeing with any of this, mind you. This is just my guess as to what the judge is thinking.
     
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  18. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think there is a valid argument to be made to the Jury (if any other info on C/P's treatment of fan films prior to the Axanar situation is allowed) - as to the fact that PRIOR to the Lawsuit being filed 'Axanar' was being promoted as the 'First professional and independent Star Trek feature film...'

    If the Judge doesn't allow any evidence as to how CBS/Paramount treaed Star Trek fan films prior to this whole Axanar situation; then yes, the 'professional' aspect has little to no bearing; but if the Defense gets it on the record that C/P treated other groups differently; the Plaintiffs should be able to tell hem "why" in full.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  19. RedForman

    RedForman Captain Captain

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    A little drama in the comments section of this vid (at least that's what I got from the Facebook group - not sure how many posts on both sides have been deleted)

     
  20. Smoked Salmon

    Smoked Salmon Captain Captain

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    Straw man arguments, no, not at all, and while my review of his history may have been inaccurate even Carlos admits about that he had an issue with Peters from the outset of this case. His blog may not contain factual inaccuracies, but it's clearly designed to make Peters look bad by analysising pretty much everything he says. For instance, where and the "truth or fact" explorations on his blog for every move Loeb and Loeb make? There aren't. You don't need to lie to still promote a bias.

    Look, I'm ok nobody's side, albeit that much view of Peters is such that I end to fall on the anti-Axanar side. But I just want honesty and I think it's disingenuous to pretend that there aren't people on the anti- Axansr side who are desperate to see Peters fall on his sword.
     
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