The Latest on AxaMonitor


AXANAR-BACKED FUNDRAISER RAISES QUESTIONS A last-ditch campaign backed by Axanar to save a Canadian Star Trek museum successfully concludes amid questions about the CBS-licensed museum’s connections to Axanar, saddled with its own troubling crowdfunding and financial management past. Read more »


ACTOR’S IMAGE USED TO MOVE MERCH Star Trek actor Tony Todd, who left Axanar citing problems with its financial accountability and repeated production delays, complained about a Dragon*Con fan table selling merchandise using his image that could only have come from Alec Peters. Read more »

About AxaMonitor
Welcome to AxaMonitor‭, ‬a journalism wiki providing daily coverage of the lawsuit brought by CBS Studios and‭ Paramount Pictures against‭ Axanar Productions and‭ Alec Peters. AxaMonitor aims to inform readers about what’s at stake in this suit, and its possible impact on fan productions and U.S. copyright law.
» On Twitter follow @AxaMonitor
Using this Website

Learn about the visual cues describing special kinds of content on this site.

Readers can use the Quick Start menu in the navigation bar to learn more about how to use this site, what are the best starting points for exploring and which topics are the most talked-about.

Primers

Overview

PRIMERS
On AxaMonitor, we organize information about Axanar Productions, its film, business and lawsuit in a series of topical primers. Click the tabs above to see how we’ve packaged our articles for you, or check our FAQ for the quickest overview we offer. || On Twitter follow @AxaMonitor

Lawsuit

LAWSUIT PRIMER
Overview of the Lawsuit
Summary of CBS and Paramount's Legal Complaint
Defendants' Answer and Counterclaim || Plaintiffs' Answer to Counterclaim
Court Grants Studios' Request for Axanar Financials
Motions for Summary Judgment
Timeline of the Case

Legal Documents (Download)
You can download all the court filings in Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios v. Axanar Productions and Alec Peters. All documents are in PDF format.
Complete Repository of Case Filings
A repository of all the motions and pleadings filed in the case is on Google Drive.

Download documents from the repository »

The archive is maintained by the Language Creation Society, which filed an amicus brief with the defense contesting the plaintiffs’ claim of copyright of the Klingon language.

About Axanar

AXANAR PRIMER
Learn about the entire Axanar enterprise, a creative endeavor and a business Alec Peters built from a humble fan film into, in his words, “a fully professional, independent Star Trek production.”
A Short History of Axanar
Axanar: The Film
The Story of Axanar's Trailer

Axanar: The Business
Axanar's Annual Report: A Pattern of Obfuscation?
What's Up With the Perks?
Twisted Path to Discover Axanar's Studio Ownership
Merchandise
The Myths About Axanar's Business

Crowdfunding

CROWDFUNDING PRIMER
These articles focus on the crowdfunding efforts by Axanar to fund its short film, Prelude to Axanar, and its feature film, Axanar.
Crowdfunding Platforms
Prelude Kickstarter Details
Axanar Kickstarter Details
Axanar Indiegogo Details
Challenges Fulfilling Perks

Analysis: These articles examine Axanar’s evolving ambitions, and how they changed over the course of its effort to raise money to produce the feature film.
Moving the Goal Posts?
Change in Character
Ambition vs. Achievement

Analysis

ANALYSIS AND OPINIONS
This is a series of AxaMonitor articles examining Axanar’s history and the copyright infringement lawsuit it faces.
AxaMonitor Analysis:
Funding
Goals
Spending
Examining Axanar's Claims About Infringement, Damages

COMMENTARY
Opinion pieces about issues arising from the Axanar copyright lawsuit.
Endgame: Insight to How the Case May Turn Out
Fairness: The ‘Bias’ Behind Scrutiny
The Public Interest Behind Private Guidelines Talks
Axanar Paints Critics with Broad Brush
David Gerrold Repudiates Axanar Slur

More News & Commentary


NONPROFIT NO MORE Axanar abandons its effort to become a charitable organization, and its spokesman admits it could “take years” before supporters ever see the promised two, 15-minute Axanar episodes permitted by the lawsuit settlement. Read more » (Filed 9/1/17)


SECRET DOCUMENTS Former chief technologist launches his controversial website, promising documents from Axanar’s internal hard drives, revealing information about the ill-fated project’s finances, unreported revenue, internal communication, visual effects and more. Read more » (Filed 8/21/17)


FAN FILM ACADEMY CBS grants New Voyages’ James Cawley a license to operate a training school for people to make Star Trek fan films on his Original Series sets, an unprecedented move that broadens legitimate usage by fans of Star Trek’s copyrighted property. Read more » (Filed 8/5/17)


CAST A PALL ‘Prelude’ actors cast doubt on Alec Peters’ legal threats over blooper reel. And Peters may have lost actor Gary Graham, who reportedly said he now wants to “stay well clear” of Axanar after it threatened the credibility of his career. Read more » (Filed 7/20/17)


BLOOPERS LEGAL THREATS Axanar producer Alec Peters threatens to have Prelude actors take legal action over a former staffer’s planned release of a blooper reel aimed at Peters’ amateur acting. Read more » (Filed 7/20/17)


DAILY CRITIQUE In this exclusive AxaMonitor interview, meet pseudonymous blogger Kate Stark, who’s behind the insightful scene-by-scene critiques of the leaked Axanar script at “Axanar: The Sporkings.” Read more » (Filed 7/8/17)


AXANAR SCRIPT LEAKED After producer Alec Peters attacked him on Facebook, Axanar’s former chief technologist retaliated by posting a copy of the script that led to the copyright lawsuit. Then the Internet reacted. Read more » (Filed 6/28/17)

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WIN SOME, LOSE SOME Axanar creative consultant David Gerrold scores some points in the trademark and copyright infringement case brought by the Dr. Seuss estate. Read more at Inc. » (Filed 7/4/17)


CORRECTION AxaMonitor corrects its report on the location of Axanar’s new headquarters, as CEO Alec Peters prepared to leave the unused California studio into which he had poured three-quarters of a million dollars of fans’ money. ALSO: An editorial about being fooled by Peters’ falsehoods. Read more » (Filed 4/26/17)


PULLING UP STAKES Axanar CEO Alec Peters announces he’s moving operations to a new “studio” near Atlanta, his former base of operations. Also, what does the move portend for its nonprofit goals and effort to secure a federal tax exemption? Read more » (Filed 4/18/17)


UNDISCLOSED POLL results are used by Axanar CEO Alec Peters to justify diverting Indiegogo funds to new purposes, like moving Star Trek sets and setting up shop somewhere else after losing the costly studio fans’ money had built but had never been used. Read more » (Filed 4/17/17)


INDIEGONEGONE? Axanar’s frustrating search for space to store its sets runs into burnt bridges with fan producers. And having lost his studio, Peters polls donors, hoping to divert the Indiegogo funds he raised to keep the studio to fund his relocation. Read more » (Filed 4/12/17)


VACATING THE PREMISES Peters strikes a deal with his landlord, who’s forgiving the rest of the lease so long as Axanar moves out of Industry Studios by the end of April. That hasn’t stopped Peters from continuing to collect money from his foundering Indiegogo campaign despite the loss of the studio that was its centerpiece. Read more » (Filed 4/9/17)


SOUND AND FURY Axanar’s crowdfunding initiative to save Industry Studios lacks a crowd. At the halfway mark in his Indiegogo campaign, CEO Alec Peters’ lackluster promotional efforts have kept former supporters away. Read more » (Filed 4/4/17)


A WEE COMIC For the duration of Axanar’s attempt on Indiegogo to get Star Trek fans to continue to pay for the operations of its beleaguered studio, we’re publishing a daily webcomic trying to offer an incisive look at the effort, which needs $200,000 to begin to put the soundstage on a sound financial track. Read more » (Filed 3/26/17)


EXPLORING AXANAR AxaMonitor presents its analysis of Axanar’s recent donor memo, financial report and new Indiegogo campaign in the form of a kids’ book, “Think of the Children.” A Starfleet cadet and his commanding officer go on an adventure to learn about Axanar. Read more » (Updated 3/22/17)


NO MORE KICKSTARTER After Axanar’s delayed Kickstarter pitch video leaked, producer Alec Peters announced a last-minute switch to Indiegogo for a 30-day campaign to pay for its’ studio rent. Read more » (Updated 3/17/17)


UNSOUND STAGE A close look at the long-delayed and thin so-called independent report on Axanar’s finances. Also: What’s behind the delayed crowdfunding launch on behalf of Axanar’s soundstage — which turns out to not even be soundproofed. Read more » (Filed 3/9/17)


CORPORATE SECRETS AxaMonitor has obtained documents revealing Axanar’s corporate structure, exposing its surrogates’ false statements and facts previously obfuscated by its spokesman. Read more » (Filed 3/6/17)


ACCOUNTING FOR AXANAR On the eve of the release of Axanar’s long-delayed so-called financial review, insider accounts shine a spotlight on a growing number of questions about producer Alec Peters’ management and financial practices. Read more » (Filed 3/6/17)


WILL THE TAKEDOWN HOLD UP? In the wake of its own copyright infringement troubles, Axanar ironically claims copyright protection against the fan edit of Prelude to Axanar. An AxaMonitor analysis of the YouTube takedown of Prelude: Redux. Read more » (Filed 2/18/17)


PETERS ASSERTS COPYRIGHT AGAINST FAN EDIT In an ironic turn, Alec Peters issued a takedown against a pseudonymous fan-edit of Prelude to Axanar that cut his appearance as Garth of Izar. Read more » (Filed 2/15/17)


MEET THE EDITOR who recut Prelude to Axanar, shaving off four minutes and eliminating controversial producer Alec Peters. Learn what’s behind the fan edit. Read more » (Filed 2/15/17)


FROM THERE TO HERE TrekZone’s Matthew Miller and AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza team up in a three-part podcast to examine the past, present and future of fan films in the wake of the settlement of Axanar’s copyright infringement lawsuit. Read more » (Filed 2/11/17)


PUBLIC DONATIONS APPEAL REMOVED Axanar removes its website’s donation link and language portraying it as a nonprofit—just a cosmetic change? Read more » (Filed 2/6/17)


PUBLIC APPEAL FOR PRIVATE DONATIONS Is Axanar’s website publicly building a private email list as an end run around fundraising prohibited by the terms of its lawsuit settlement? Also, Alec Peters named a new financial reviewer who may have a conflict of interest. Read more » (Filed 1/28/17)

SETTLEMENT AFTERMATH Many loose threads remain in the aftermath of the settlement of Axanar’s copyright lawsuit, including whether producer Alec Peters admitted he ran afoul of copyright law and if its director would stay on. Read more » (Filed 1/26/17)


AXANAR SETTLES After an eleventh-hour flurry of negotiations with its January 31 trial looming, producer Alec Peters came to an accord with CBS and Paramount that ends the year-long copyright battle. Something like Axanar will be allowed but under CBS’ restrictive fan film guidelines. Read more » (Filed 1/20/17)


PETERS’ INEXPERIENCE as a film producer caused constant behind-the-scenes trouble in the development of Axanar, co-writer Bill Hunt said in a deposition submitted as evidence in the upcoming copyright infringement trial. Read more » (Filed 1/20/17)


TAKING THE STAND? The judge’s evidentiary rulings last week were more tentative than we thought, and Axanar’s attorneys make a last-ditch effort to get J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin on the stand. Read more » (Filed 1/18/17)


LACK OF REDACTION The judge in the Axanar copyright lawsuit ruled against efforts by defense attorneys to exclude evidence hurtful to defendants Alec Peters and his Axanar Productions, including more of the beleaguered production’s finances. Read more » (Filed 1/18/17)


PART 2: HIDDEN BOOKS One member’s resignation shines a spotlight on possible flaws in the scope of Axanar’s independent financial review committee, especially on revelations the committee isn’t examining all of Axanar’s books. Read more » (Filed 1/16/17)


PART 1: INDEPENDENT RESIGNATION One of the heretofore unknown members of Axanar’s avowed independent financial review board resigned, following what producer Alec Peters alleged was harassment by AxaMonitor. Read more » (Filed 1/14/17)


EVIDENTLY EXCLUDED A federal judge appeared to grant efforts by attorneys on both sides of the Axanar copyright lawsuit to exclude witnesses and evidence they hoped would further their case before a jury. Who won or lost what? Read more » (Filed 1/11/17)

WHO OWNS AXANAR’S STUDIO? That mystery, the subject of an AxaMonitor investigation, deepened when court documents revealed an unknown company, solely owned by Alec Peters, stands to profit from the commercial facility. Read more » (Filed 1/7/17)


AXANAR OPPOSES studios’ attempt to exclude altered financial evidence and testimony from J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin. Both sides filed opposition to motions to dismiss major evidence and witnesses. Read more » (Filed 1/6/17)


FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK Guest commentator Bjorn Munson muses on the past year of Axanar, its prospects at trial and the damage done to fan films and fandom in general. Read more » (Filed 1/8/17)


APPEALING PROSPECTS How realistic is Axanar’s hopeful spin on losing its fair use defense, focusing instead on an appeal to the ‘liberal’ Ninth Circuit? Read more » (Filed 1/4/17)


FAIR USE DENIED While a Federal judge denied summary judgment to both sides in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit, he dealt a major blow to the defendants’ reliance on fair use as a defense in the case. The case moves on to trial January 31. Read more » (Filed 1/4/17)


‘e’ vIHarlaHbe’! Despite a clever, headline-grabbing effort by the Language Creation Society to draw attention to the copyright ability of constructed languages like Klingon, a federal judge turned aside an effort to attach the issue to the Axanar case. Read more » (Filed 1/5/17)


LAWYERS HANG ON Axanar told its donors it not only plans to to pursue its copyright infringement case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but that its pro bono law firm, Winston & Strawn, would stand by the beleaguered project. Read more » (Filed 1/5/17)


JURY SELECTION The questions proposed by both sides in the Axanar copyright lawsuit give hints about what kind of jury they hope will hear the case when it goes to trial later this month. See all the questions. Read more » (Filed 1/3/17)


COMIC LOOK To mark the one-year anniversary of CBS and Paramount‘s copyright infringement against producer Alec Peters and Axanar Productions, AxaMonitor published an illustrated guide explaining all the legal maneuverings. Read more » (Filed 12/30/16)


2016’s TOP STORIES The end of the year was also the one-year anniversary of the filing of CBS and Paramount’s copyright infringement lawsuit against producer Alec Peters and his Axanar Productions. AxaMonitor‘s year in review produced the Top 10 Axanar Stories of 2016. Read more » (Filed 1/2/17)


THE STUDIOS behind Star Trek are not about to let the Klingon language take over their copyright case against Axanar after attorneys asked a federal judge to punish the Language Creation Society for wasting the court’s time. Geek Nation » (Filed 1/2/17)


DOMINATED The list of the past month’s Top 10 AxaMonitor articles was dominated by news about both sides in the lawsuit seeking summary judgment from the judge, with a particular spotlight on revelations about lavish personal spending by Alec Peters of Axanar donor funds. Read more » (Filed 12/22/16)


BEARING WITNESS The plaintiffs and defense in the copyright infringement case brought against producer Alec Peters and his Axanar Productions have released their list of expected witnesses. Peters is slated for eight hours of testimony; directors J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin are also on the list. Read more » (Filed 12/21/16)


FILINGS SHINE LIGHT on weaknesses in the Axanar defense team’s theory of the case, including Peters’ attempts to alter financial records and improperly use the testimony of Star Trek producer J.J. Abrams and director Justin Lin. Read more » (Filed 12/21/16)


UNDER CLOAK? Attorneys filed motions Friday seeking to exclude evidence from Axanar’s upcoming copyright infringement trial. Among them? The defense challenged the admissibility of defendant Alec Peters’ damning financial records; plaintiffs sought to exclude testimony from Star Trek directors J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin. Read more » (Filed 12/16/16)


TRIAL SCHEDULE Downloadable timeline in PNG and PDF formats. Read more » (Filed 12/14/16)


CANCELED HEARING Just as he did with the defense motion to dismiss the Axanar copyright case, federal judge Gary Klausner canceled the hearing scheduled Monday on the motions for summary judgment filed by both plaintiffs and defendants. What’s behind the cancellation and what happens next? Read more » (Filed 12/14/16)


MISCONCEPTIONS about the studios’ dealings with fan films, stemming from the Axanar copyright lawsuit, are what led to the fan production guidelines, a Paramount executive confirmed in a formerly confidential deposition, stymieing Axanar’s hope for confirmation there was nothing to guide fans making Star Trek films. Read more » (Filed 12/13/16)


CONVOLUTED CONNECTIONS Mapping out the tangled dealings between Alec Peters’ California and Georgia business concerns, and his Atlanta attorney. Read more » (Updated 12/12/16)


HIDING FROM THE PUBLIC A federal judge admonished attorneys on both sides of the Axanar lawsuit, denying a defense effort to hide a document shedding light on Axanar’s professional ambitions, and plaintiffs’ attempt to make a Paramount official’s testimony confidential. Read more » (Filed 12/10/16)


AXANAR’S BROKE Producer Alec Peters appears to have spent more than $1.4 million with no film to show for it, according to his own expert witness, part of a new set of evidence submitted by each side to the other’s opposition to their motions for summary judgment. Read more » (Filed 12/9/16)


ATTORNEYS ATTACK pre-trial evidence in the lawsuit Axanar faces for allegedly infringing on Star Trek copyrights held by CBS and Paramount. Both sides have asked the judge to rule on the case before it’s scheduled to go before a jury, and both sides opposed each other’s motion. Read more » (Filed 12/6/16)


ENMITY In a guest commentary, an anonymous reader publicly worries about the information vacuum on Axanar’s website, dashed hopes as the lawsuit moves forward and how the Axanar controversy may have permanently riven the fan community. Read more » (Filed 11/27/16)


FACT CHECK Following CBS and Paramount’s allegations of lavish spending by Alec Peters of funds from Axanar donors, he tries to explain the context of the financial information. Read what we learned when we fact-checked the context. Read more » (Filed 11/22/16)


PETERS SPAMS KICKSTARTER Kickstarter deletes dozens of posts spammed on the Axanar page by producer Alec Peters, who follows up by blaming backers who questioned his spending, silencing more critics and ending refunds. Read more » (Updated 11/22/16)


TOP STORIES for October-November. Alec Peters’ secret trove of emails became the focus of a flurry of pre-trial motions, financial disclosures and further depositions. Plus, our top tweets and site statistics. Read more » (Filed 11/23/16)


REDACTION REACTION Amid calls by Axanar’s surrogate for sanctions against studio attorneys for inadvertently disclosing confidential financial information, AxaMonitor was asked to retract what plaintiffs said about producer Alec Peters’ lavish spending. We refused. Read more » (Filed 11/18/16)


WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO? In their summary judgment motion, lawyers for CBS and Paramount detail the lavish spending of donors’ money by Axanar producer Alec Peters and describe the failure of the defense’s fair use argument. Read more » (Filed 11/16/16)


‘SQUASHING CREATIVITY’ In her call for summary judgment, Axanar attorney Erin Ranahan claims CBS and Paramount Pictures are suing Star Trek’s biggest fan, Alec Peters, for exercising the kind of creativity encouraged by the fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law. Read more » (Filed 11/17/16)


TROUBLE FOR TRIBBLES CREATOR David Gerrold, Axanar’s creative consultant and advocate, is among defendants sued for copyright and trademark infringement by the estate of Dr. Seuss. Story at Geek Nation » Court filing » (Filed 11/12/16)


‘BAD CALL’ Producer Alec Peters told a Los Angeles Comic Con panel he regretted how money he raised for Axanar led to mission creep and a ‘bad call’ on a three-year lease on a warehouse he had built into a commercial studio. Read more » (Filed 11/3/16)


HERE TODAY, GONE TODAY Axanar’s surrogate blogger, Jonathan Lane, launched a $45,000 GoFundMe campaign to pay for its $15,000-a-month warehouse and studio rent, utilities and other expenses, confirming reports Axanar was out of cash. The campaign was abruptly removed Thursday at Alec Peters’ behest after numerous complaints to GoFundMe. Read more » (Filed 11/3/16)


WADING IN Producer Alec Peters wades into rough waters to confront increasingly critical Kickstarter backers concerned about the lack of progress on Axanar and Peters having paid himself a full-time salary using donors’ money. An AxaMonitor Fact Check Read more » (Filed 10/10/16)


RUFFLED FEATHERS In donor updates, producer Alec Peters seeks to smooth donors’ ruffled feathers, while talking up how well his surrogate, Jonathan Lane’s blog, Fan Film Factor, covers the lawsuit. Read more » (Filed 10/6/16)


AXANAR SCRIPT REVIEW It’s Kharn’s story now, writes Jody Wheeler about the fabled “fully revised, locked” final draft of the Axanar screenplay, recently obtained by AxaMonitor. Wheeler evaluates what director Rob Burnett called “the best Star Trek script ever” when it was completed in August 2015. Read more » (Filed 9/12/16)

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A DEEPER LOOK at Axanar’s Annual Report. It took some time to transcribe, code, sort and analyze the data, but a pattern of possible problems emerged — from unreported salaries to ballooning costs and repeated deficit spending. Read more » (Filed 3/25/16)


AMBITION vs. ACHIEVEMENT New analysis of Axanar’s finances demonstrates that at each significant stage in its fundraising history, ambition appears to have outstripped its fundraising capabilities, and spending has always outpaced what it has publicly reported about its income. Read more » (Filed 4/1/16)


‘PRELUDE’ DIRECTOR Christian Gossett goes on the record in the TrekZONE Spotlight video podcast with more details about how the management of Axanar by his long-time friend, producer Alec Peters, drove away Gossett and many of the other crew who successfully created Prelude to Axanar. TrekZONE Spotlight YouTube Channel. (Filed 7/2/16)

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BUSTING THE MYTHBUSTING What the facts have to say about Axanar’s so-called myths regarding its alleged financial gain, its warehouse-cum-studio and money’s role in Axanar’s copyright infringement lawsuit. Read more » (Filed 3/17/16)

Kit Review: Starcraft's 1/1000 scale USS Aries, 2/16/16
FEATURED ARTICLE The Merchandise article highlights the full line of ship models, posters, art, patches and other products Axanar offers in exchange for donations to the production. Read more »

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“SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT” with Axanar, says former Axanar actor Tony Todd in a weekend interview. He cites production delays and loss of director Christian Gossett among the reasons he left. And he’s on the short list for the new Star Trek series. Read more » (Filed 2/23/16)


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