Star Trek: Axanar is a crowd-funded prequel. It's a big deal — raising over $1 million in crowdfunding. But despite a history of leniency on fan projects, Paramount and CBS have launched a bid to shut down production, claiming it infringes on their intellectual property.
Which, being a fan film, it obviously does.
But Star Trek: Axanar is no ordinary fan film. It's stated goal is to be a Star Trek fan film that is indistinguishable in quality from other official Star Trek works. It's backed by a fully professional crew, including some that have worked on Star Trek shows before, that might have raised the eyebrows and ire of the lawyers over at CBS and Paramount.
And according to the complaint, it seems like the scale and professional nature of this production could have pushed Paramount and CBS over the edge. It makes reference to the size of the project and the money involved multiple times.
"Star Trek is a treasured franchise in which CBS and Paramount continue to produce new original content for its large universe of fans," said Paramount and CBS, in a joint statement. "The producers of Axanar are making a Star Trek picture they describe themselves as a fully professional independent Star Trek film. Their activity clearly violates our Star Trek copyrights, which, of course, we will continue to vigorously protect."