Erin Ranahan Interview

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Axanar attorney‭ Erin Ranahan gave an interview published January 26, 2016, to Crain’s Chicago Business journal‭, ‬in which she explained why her firm‭, Winston & Strawn, ‬took on the case pro bono (i.e‭., ‬not charging for the attorneys‭’ ‬time‭):‬

Axanar’s pro bono attorney, Erin Ranahan
‬Ranahan’s practice focuses on copyright‭, ‬new media‭, ‬entertainment‭, ‬trademark‭, ‬right of publicity and false-advertising litigation‭. ‬The firm took the case “to get great experience‭, ‬get good exposure and hopefully help shape the law,” she said‭.‬‭1)

Avenues for Defense

Ranahan told the Chicago paper she saw two possible avenues for Axanar’s defense:

‬Axanar’s defense hinges on two key legal points‭, ‬Ranahan said‭: fair use and waiver. Fair use doctrine allows works to be reproduced without obtaining permission under certain circumstances related to the nature of the work‭, ‬how much is copied and how it affects the work’s market value‭.

‬The issue of waiver arises because Paramount and CBS‭, ‬which own the‭ “‬Star Trek‭” ‬copyrights‭, ‬have historically tolerated fan-generated work not produced for profit‭, ‬including a short film put out by Axanar Productions‭.‬

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