Star Trek fan film grounded over Klingon language use

The crowdfunded project called Axanar has been sued by Paramount and CBS over numerous rights infringements, including the look of uniforms, pointy Vulcan ears and Klingon language.
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A crowdfunded fan made Star Trek film has been grounded for numerous rights infringements on the sci-fi property, including the use of Klingon language.

Familiar looking uniforms and the pointy ears of the Vulcans are also among the reasons detailed by Paramount and CBS as to why the fan film Axanar was running afoul of copyright law when the project was first proposed.

In December last year, both Paramount and CBS sued the team behind the fan film project, billed at the time as the ‘first fan film to hire professionals who’d worked on the show.’

Axanar was to tell a tale set in the year 2245, a time before Captain Kirk had joined the Enterprise and was the subject of a crowdfunding campaign that had raised more than a million dollars across Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the defendants brought a dismissal motion to court that faulted Paramount and CBS for ‘not providing enough specificity about which of the “thousands” of copyright relating to Star Trek episodes and films were being infringed, and how.’

In response to the request, the co-owners of the Star trek franchise have since detailed those infringements, and it includes the use of the Klingon language, alongside the use of ‘Stardate’ as a mark of time, the point of a Vulcan’s ear and the look of the crew’s uniform.

Sources such as Engadget have since reported that while the team behind Axanar knew ‘it was testing the limits of copyright,’ the lawsuit has thrown shadow over the fan film community.

‘It could discourage creators from launching crowdfunding efforts to get their projects off the ground, even if they don’t intend to make profit after the release. It might also deter filmmakers who’d rather not risk releaseing a project only to watch the source material’s copyright holders take it down over minor similarities,’ it writes.

The court case over the fan made Star Trek film is still in process.

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