CBS's "Rules of Engagement" for Star Trek Fan Films

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Ian Keldon, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Disagrees somewhat with this from an interview you did previously, where you said:
    Anyhoo, I'm not here to witch hunt anybody. But I think anyone who's been on this board for a long time knows I'm interested in fact and not fiction ergo I expect anyone making an extraordinary claim to produce extraordinary evidence. "Source?" might as well be my middle name. :)

    As there were several interviews/posts where you discussed this Chico matter over the years, I got curious and looked it up. On seeing not one but three writer names on the teleplay, it got me interested in how much a thing could happen. I could see maybe one unscrupulous producer doing what you suggest, but three writers? Writers with a bunch of pro credits who would blatantly violate WGA guidelines and risk professional risk of being found out?

    Hence the reason I contacted the credited story by writer to ask about the provenance of the "Chico's Padre" story.

    I'll happily email you the man's contact info, but it literally takes seconds to find him if you Google USC and his name.

    You mentioned getting him to autograph it. You made a copy?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
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  2. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    I have to ask "Source?" actually. I mentioned the Chico script in one interview that happened to get published on line. Not several. Someone on this board found the interview and brought up this "alleged" lie here and started a huge discussion about it. (it was off-topic even in that original thread it was reposted in.)

    When someone brings this discussion into other boards and other places on the internet that have nothing to do with it, it can either be characterized as a witch hunt or, maybe, stalking. It was completely off topic here - and the other 5 threads on the internet it was brought up in just recently. (not all by you.)

    Yes, of course I have a copy. No writer just sends the only copy of something they've written off in the mail. I have my own yellow legal pad copy of it. And I'd love to get autographs on it to top off this intrigue. I don't know if my script was used, if Komack read mine and suggested the script, if they came up with an identical plot and Komack was trying to buy off after having read an "unsolicited manuscript" instead of sending it back unopened... but, in any case, I'd love their autographs on it.
     
  3. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Patty, I do have one on-topic question that has left me very, very confused:

    Everything you say in this thread seems to indicate that Kickstarters are dangerous. Yet your own show, P2/NV, went on to do a Kickstarter (and then a couple more). Can you shed any light on how and why that happened, given what you and P2/NV had apparently heard about Kickstarters from CBS? P2/NV has a good reputation for not taking risks that could imperil their production or others', yet your posts indicate that they took one when they started Kickstarting.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Not only are there three writers, but one (Ron Friedman) has a story and teleplay credit, while the other two (George Arthur Bloom and Henry Irving) just have teleplay credit, which suggests a chain of re-writing which doesn't wash with the outright theft being suggested here.

    And, not for nothing, but neither Bloom (four writing credits on the show) nor Irving (two writing credits on the show) appear to have been on staff on Chico and the Man, and they never shared a writing credit together on any other episode (the same goes for Friedman on that count; all his other writing credits on the series were solo). The claim that Komack arbitrarily assigned credit to the show's "writing team" doesn't wash, either, sorry.
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oops. My apologies. I wrote that very late and didn't phrase it properly. I meant to write something on the order of "you've mentioned several times, in posts here and an interview".
     
  6. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    If you reference my post regarding the guidelines, you will see that I talk about an Indiegogo campaign "we" at P2NV had just run to pay for specific items. (If I remember correctly it was a plane ticket and an actor's salary.) That falls within the "guidelines" as it's for specific bills that can be proven quickly.

    A crowdfunding campaign to fund "an episode's production" not only violates the rules given by CBS in 2012, but Kickstarter's rules - which state that they only allow campaigns to "fund entire projects" and actually disqualify "episodes" of a series in addition to "pieces of a project".

    Later shares of this post have my added comments.... with two later answers from CBS Legal. One to a "hey, they're using crowdfunding and collecting a crap load of money, so that means we can do it, right?" question in 2012, regarding Renegades. Their answer was "it would be inadvisable to use crowdfunding (to fund a Star Trek production)". The second question was from 2014 regarding the crowdfunding and many other things going on in several productions that were clear violations. Her answer was "no one should take our silence or inaction on something as approval, or assume action will not be taken in the future."

    I left P2NV in mid 2013, so I can't comment on how or why or what reasoning went into "their" Kickstarter campaigns that were run after that. There were only two. I do know that Alec Peters ran the first one. Greg Schnitzer might be able to comment - or he may be silenced by it being a private business matter.

    An interesting item to add to this discussion was that CBS Legal actually gave "us" a "gentle" C&D in 2012 to stop offering "perks" for donations that included IP materials. Specifically, they told us we had to take the words "Star Trek" and the "delta shield insignia" off t shirts we were giving as perks. So the "perk shirts" we gave for donating to the costume budget of "Bread and Savagery" simply say "Phase II" on them, rather than "Star Trek Phase II".

    (Before it becomes another tangent, by "gentle" I mean we got a strongly worded email telling us to stop. That's not an "official, legal C&D" and I didn't want to get attacked or misunderstood for using the wrong wording.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
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  7. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, this is my last reply to this silly off-topic crap.

    I stated it in that ONE interview in April 2011
    Interview With Patty Wright Posted on April 15, 2011

    On June 2014 I mentioned Komack in a simple flub which should have just said "Just because someone is difficult to work for doesn't stop you from working for them. Not in the real world." I made absolutely NO mention of the episode specifically. YOU asked when I worked for Komack, and MikeNekko posted a link to the earlier interview. This was NOT in 2009. June 26 2014
    2009 post where you mention the subject obliquely re James Komack "that didn't stop me from having him produce one of my scripts"

    And THIS MikeNekko on this BBS quoting you (I perhaps conflated this with something you actually posted) is actually the first reply to your inquiry to the above "what did you write for Komack" post.

    So, in conclusion - said it once in an interview. Referenced working for Komack once here (clearly inadvisadly). MikeNekko reposted the interview here in response to your question - and, gawd forbid, it's never been dropped since.

    It's been brought back up repeatedly here and all over the internet by a couple Trekbbs posters. That's probably why you think I'm repeatedly "mentioning" it. I have, stupidly, replied to people asserting all over the internet that I am a liar about all things because they doubt my story. That says more about them than me.

    I sent a script to Komack, he sent me $40. Get over it and move on already.
     
  8. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, Patty. That's very helpful.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Post not poster. :D
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Just to clarify, in that interview you said, "The episode was filmed without a single change, but credited to the show’s writing team."

    Prior to that, you said, "I then sold a teleplay to "Chico and the Man" when I was 14, and have been going strong ever since..."

    Now, you've revised that to be, "Later, an episode named 'Chico's Padre' aired with nearly the same plot and dialogue. To me and my family and friends, that meant he produced my script."

    Which is it?
     
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  11. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    @Harvey, do you know where the Komack papers are? Perhaps you can find the production memos about this script for your new Chico and the Man Fact Check blog.

    Neil
     
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  12. Atlan

    Atlan Cadet Newbie

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    Patty, gentlemen, I've recently been contacted, completely out of the blue, in response to a single post I made on the Axanar site, by someone who appears to be Alec Peters. Email etc. adds up.

    He claims that the rules you quoted were fake, and that this was revealed (but apparently not in this, the relevant thread).

    Would you like to comment?

    I mean, yes, this is pretty much a "Someone is WRONG ON THE INTERNET!" thing, but if I'm going to argue, I'd like to make sure my arguments are correct.
     
  13. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    If they were really fake, wouldn't Propworx have tried to auction them as studio originals? ;)
     
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  14. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Patty's claims were always her own. Most fan producers I know accepted them because they seemed both (1) credible and (2) exactly what we would have expected the studios to say anyway. (The "no Abrams stuff" rule, in particular, aligned nicely with what I've heard through the rumor mill in other areas of fandom.) But it's not like she has a document she can print out to prove what she said is true. It's always been a question of trust.

    To my knowledge, the "PattyW Guidelines" have never been revealed to be false. Some doubt has been cast on PattyW's overall credibility over "Chico Padre gate" (which I have absolutely no opinion on), but the guidelines themselves have never been directly "debunked" by anything. Indeed, in light of recent events, a lot of what she's said on this thread over the years seems pretty darn prescient, doesn't it? :)
     
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  15. Atlan

    Atlan Cadet Newbie

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    Yes it does. Thank you.
     
  16. PattyW

    PattyW Commander Red Shirt

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    Hi Atlan,

    The short answer is - just check this thread in the couple pages immediately following my post. You'll see several other fan film producers confirming that they got the same guidelines from the Head of CBS Legal for licensing. (who is based in NY,NY)

    The long answer -

    1. well, you're dealing with Alec, who does everything he can to shift negative light off himself. (His claim is that someone from CBS in LA (LV?) told him that in meeting last August. Other stuff he claims they told him in that meeting have proven to be less than accurate, so take what you will from that. As well as the fact that his meeting was with a LA CBS producer/etc who wouldn't have access to private communications from the legal department in New York to a person he probably never heard of until Alec mentioned me.)

    2. These guidelines were not given to me (us) in a single document. (so, technically, Alec can say what he says if he has that asterisk on the statement.) As I've stated before, I put multiple communications from the Head of CBS Legal for Licensing into one document so they were all in one place - strangely enough, because Alec kept asking someone to. So if there are 12 guidelines you can assume there were 12 separate communications - ranging from (paraphrased, I'm not going back to dig them up at this point in time) "you have to take the Delta Sheild insignia off your perks or we'll issue a C&D" to "hey, we see you're doing an "Origins" episode. Don't even think of using any elements of JJ Trek in it". Some other fan film producers actually got a single document telling them what they could and couldn't do and a timeline to make changes. (which they talk about in this thread, but are unwilling to share as private business). At New Voyages/Phase II, Ironsides, etc the ones I worked on, we never did get "one single document" - just a constant pipeline of communication from CBS Legal.

    Hope that answers your questions.
     
  17. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Captain Captain

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    ^^^ November 22, 2012

    Whoa. Prophetic much?? You sure called that one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was obvious to anyone without blinders on. :)
     
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  19. ThankYouGeneR

    ThankYouGeneR Captain Captain

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    I'm starting to pick that up in the back pages of this thread. :lol:

    And my bad for having never seen this thread before. Rules for fan films was never ever on my radar until this litigation so am backtracking.

    This Interests me regarding the Independent Accounting in process with the defendant's production:
    Interesting question. Though I don't know enough about that kind of thing to even have my own internal speculations.

    Which started me wondering though, and more in-depth even than previously, about this Outside Independent Accountant working on the production's financials.

    I still have only the barest understanding of discovery, am not sure if the settlement talks are IN discovery, and I'm reasonably sure someone has been keeping this updated. But at this time there is so much information in an area I've never visited before that I can be sure to be not clearly processing it all.

    And when I read this information my mind drew a line connecting Litigation, Outside Accountant, IRS, Discovery.

    How far off base am I with this connection I'm envisioning?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  20. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I'm no lawyer either, but I'll take a shot. Discovery is the process where the opposing councils try to figure out exactly what evidence the other side has. If I understand correctly you can demand any documentation you want and any other material you can think of that the other side would have that might be relevant to the case. It would be ongoing and separate from any settlement talks. Of course, I would think settlement talks might be impacted if (hypothetically) L&L found a letter from AP that said something like "Fuck CBS, I'm going to get rich off Star Trek and Axanar Coffee is just the beginning." Something like that might cause AP & Company to be more amenable to settlement talks or just throw in the towel altogether and beg for mercy (of which there may not be much). The litigation is the whole smash, the outside accountant might be part of discovery since the bookkeeping should be a crucial part of how the litigation turns out. The IRS is not going to be part of the litigation, although it might take its own legal action under the Tax Code. Hope that helps.
    To the lawyers out there, feel free to correct any mitskakes...
     
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