New Court Filing Coming, Axanar Surrogate Says

Also, Peters Seeks to Smooth Kickstarter, Indiegogo Donors’ Ruffled Feathers

Defense attorneys planned to file a supplemental motion supporting claims in their motion to compel CBS and Paramount to produce 50 years worth of Star Trek records, including communications between the studios and director J.J. Abrams.

That’s according to the blog, Fan Film Factor, written by Axanar supporter Jonathan Lane, whose website had often been used by Axanar as an unofficial conduit for producer Alec Peters’ Axanar news and views.

In the meantime, Peters sought to soothe donors’ ruffled feathers in the comment and update sections of the film’s pages on the crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, with developments in the lawsuit and upcoming perk shipments to long-waiting backers.


Supplemental Motion

On October 5, 2016, Lane’s blog, Fan Film Factor, published a two-part story about the defense effort to get the court to force CBS and Paramount to comply with their discovery demands. In their response to the motion, the plaintiffs’ attorneys stated Axanar’s attorneys from Winston & Strawn had refused to meet to resolve discovery concerns, instead opting to complain to the court.

Lane reported, without attribution, that Axanar’s attorneys planned to refute that claim:

Apparently, we will learn in a five-page supplemental brief still to be filed by the defense that the two sides actually did meet and conferred about the substance of the discovery requests at issue on multiple occasions. But I can’t comment further until after that brief is filed.1)

Both sides have the opportunity to file supplemental motions following up on the original motion.

« AxaMonitor is run by a stalker and hater of Axanar. Lies and biased bullshit basically. »Alec Peters, Axanar producer

Unofficial News Source

Lane’s Fan Film Factor has become the place through which Axanar releases information or provides exclusive interviews. Lane is an ardent Axanar supporter whose fan film blog started as a weekly column on the Axanar website. His columns still appear on the site but he established the more comprehensive blog at the domain, which was registered by Axanar’s official spokesman, Mike Bawden. Peters described the usefulness of Lane’s blog during the lawsuit like this:

We really can’t talk much about the lawsuit as we are in discovery and Erin Ranahan, our amazing lawyer, has advised us not to talk! Check [Fan Film Factor] out and return regularly to get the insight we can’t give you!2)

Inside Scoop

In updates emailed to Axanar’s Kickstarter and Indiegogo supporters, Peters described Fan Film Factor as the “one location you can get the inside scoop on the Axanar lawsuit” — proven true, apparently, by the exclusive notice of the defense’s pending supplemental motion — “the only legitimate news source on the Axanar lawsuit online,” claiming Lane’s coverage was “unbiased and knowledgeable.”

EXCLUSIVE Fan Film Factor often gains exclusive access to information and personnel associated with Axanar and its copyright infringement lawsuit, like defense attorney Erin Ranahan of Winston & Strawn.

'Lies and Biased Bullshit'

By contrast, Vincent Wong, identified by Kickstarter as a “superbacker” and a backer of Axanar’s campaign, told Peters:

“AxaMonitor is the only source of truth for this project.3)

Backer James Gwinnell said, “AxaMonitor is the balanced news source.”4)

Peters replied: “AxaMonitor is run by a stalker and hater of Axanar. Lies and biased bullshit basically.”5)

Another backer, Glen Hine, challenged Peters to back up his claims:

AxaMonitor is a resource tool providing references with the information provided to understanding the current lawsuit. If you say that it lies, by a stalker and a hater, would you be able to show, and not say, the proof to your claim, please?6)

Peters posted no reply. Instead, he followed up with another update featuring a link to another Fan Film Factor blog post on the lawsuit, saying:

If you want to know what is going on with the Axanar lawsuit, then Fan Film Factor is your only real option. Jonathan spends a great deal of time researching every article and consults with multiple lawyers and legal experts before posting. You get actual legal thought, not some fan’s armchair lawyering.7)

However, the legal conclusions in Lane’s blog posts carry virtually no attribution to lawyers or legal experts, while AxaMonitor’s articles are heavily footnoted.

COORDINATED CAMPAIGN Blogger Jonathan Lane led the effort to bombard CBS and Paramount officials with the “focus group” report he authored calling for changes to the studios’ fan film guidelines. Photo/Fan Film Factor

Replying to Peters’ post, backer Justin Alexander recommended AxaMonitor as “an objective look at the questionable history of the Axanar crowdfunding projects.”8)

Project Small Access

Along with Bawden, Lane established the Project Small Access Facebook page calling for a partial boycott of CBS’ new series, Star Trek: Discovery, which was due to premiere in May 2017. The other group administrators are ardent vocal supporters of Axanar.

Axanar's Counterclaim

Lane had previously published an exclusive interview with attorney Erin Ranahan after her controversial filing of a countersuit by Axanar against CBS and Paramount one business day after Star Trek director Abrams announced the lawsuit was ”going away in a few weeks,“ and the studios had issued a joint statement about their intent to seek a settlement and issue fan production guidelines.

The countersuit foreclosed any possibility the studios could have unilaterally withdrawn the suit.

SHIPMENTS Axanar announced patches promised to Kickstarter backers two years ago were shipping at last. Photo/Axanar Productions

Campaign to Change Guidelines

Lane was also behind the recent campaign to bombard CBS and Paramount officials with packages of a 37-page report of so-called “focus group” data calling on the studios to change the fan production guidelines. At last report, only 108 packages had been delivered, split among various studio personnel.9)

The downloadable report is hosted on Axanar servers.

No Response from Studios

To date the studios had made no official response to the report, but one source associated with CBS, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AxaMonitor the methodology of Lane’s report was questionable, as were Lane’s close ties with Axanar, with whom the studios are engaged in litigation, while Axanar stood to benefit from the changes recommended by report.

Perk Up, Donors

Meanwhile, Peters and Axanar’s fulfillment director, Diana Kingsbury, notified Kickstarter backers that the production at long last were starting to ship the popular Axanar patches, long languishing in storage.