'Star Trek' Fanmade Films Have To Follow These New Studio-Approved Rules To Avoid Getting Sued

By V Doctor , Updated Jun 25, 2016 01:21 AM EDT
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Paramount Pictures and CBS recently provided guidelines for amateur productions to avoid getting sued over projects inspired by "Star Trek." The two companies gave the Guidelines for Avoiding Objections, consisting of 10 rules that will hopefully guide filmmaking fans in their various projects.

StarTrek.com stated that they appreciate amateur fan films that showcase the makers' passion for Star Trek. However, supporters should also abide by a number of rules to avoid facing legal action in the future.

The first rule provided that fan production should be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story. It should only be comprised of two episodes, which means that the overall running time should be limited to 30 minutes. There must be no additional seasons, sequels, episodes or remakes.

Rule No. 2 stated that the title cannot include the name "Star Trek," but has to include a subtitle with the line, "A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION." The term "official" should be absent in the title, subtitles, social media and promotional efforts.

Third, the content of the fan film should be original and must not use clips from any Star Trek production. Permissions from all third party content should be acquired in writing first when using such.

If costumes, props or accessories are used in the fan film, all of these should be official merchandise and not mere imitations. The creators, actors and participants in the movie should all be amateurs, without compensation for their participation and never employed in any Star Trek, CBS or Paramount Pictures projects.

The fan film must be non-commercial. Fundraising is allowed, provided that the total does not exceed $50,000 including all platform fees. When the maximum amount is reached, all fundraising activities must stop. The fan film should be shown or distributed free of charge. Furthermore, the movie should not be distributed in any physical format like DVD or Blu-ray. The fan film cannot be used to generate advertising income. Revenue cannot be generated through the sale or licensing of fan-made sets, costumes, props, merchandise or rewards.

The Star Trek fan film must be family-friendly and suitable for public display. The content should not include nudity, profanity, obscenity, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, harmful or illegal activity, and other offensive and inappropriate material. The content must not violate the right of privacy of any individual.

A disclaimer is also required in the on-screen credits and marketing materials. The creators must not register their projects and cannot create or imply any link or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

Paramount Pictures and CBS provided the rules to prevent Star Trek fan filmmakers from being subjected to legal action. The two companies also reserved the right to amend or withdraw the guidelines at their discretion.

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