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Star Trek Fan Film lawsuit will live on

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 2.04.35 PMBy Ashlee Kieler From Consumerist

While the makers of the crowdfunded Star Trek fan fiction film Axanar had once hoped to reach a settlement with Paramount and CBS over a lawsuit accusing the filmmakers of copyright infringement, the much discussed lawsuit will live to see another day, as the two companies told a California federal judge this week that their action remains pending.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Paramount and CBS filed a response to the filmmakers of Axanar, which previously entered a counterclaim that cited statements from Star Trek directors urging the companies to drop the suit.

The drawn-out ordeal began at the end of 2015, when the two studios filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Axanar filmmakers.

The filmmakers filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that, among other claims, numerous individual elements of their planned production — including costumes, names of planets and places, Starfleet emblems, and the Klingon language — are not protected by copyright.

A judge denied the request, taking issue with the argument, explaining that while some individual aspects of the Star Trek universe may not enjoy copyright protection, those same pieces do get that protection when considered together.

Axanar Productions filed a counterclaim to the lawsuit on May 23, seeking declaratory relief that its works are non-infringing. In the filing, the company mentioned comments from J.J. Abrams, executive producer of the forthcoming Star Trek Beyond film.

In mid-May, Abrams signaled that the lawsuit would soon be resolved, noting that “within a few weeks it will be announced this is going away and fans will be able to work on their projects.”

The filing also included statements from CBS and Paramount confirming settlement discussions and indicating work on a set of fan-film guidelines, the Hollywood Reporter.

This week, the two production companies were expected to file an extension for the suit, so that the parties could continue negotiations.

However, the Hollywood Reporter reports that CBS and Paramount filed an answer to Axanar Production’s counterclaim, admitting to the public statements, but noting that the suit was moving forward.

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