ADVOCATING FOR ANAS YouTuber Nerdrotic features the latest from game developer Anas Abdin about his copyright lawsuit against the creators of Star Trek: Discovery. Source Images/Nerdrotic

FEBRUARY 9, 2019 | 5 MINS READING TIME

Tardigrades Developer 'Devastated' by Discovery Copying

Ahead of Motion to Dismiss His Suit, Anas Abdin is Featured in New Interview with YouTuber Nerdrotic

Popular YouTuber Nerdrotic shared an interview on his channel with Tardigrades developer Anas Abdin, who’s suing CBS and Netflix for allegedly stealing his ideas for use in Star Trek: Discovery, saying Star Trek is “a victim of greed being handled by unoriginal ‘authors.’”

The Latest Narrative

With the defendants’ motion to dismiss due in the coming week, Abdin appealed to Nerdrotic’s Discovery-hating audience. Abdin discussed how the new Star Trek show has affected him:

When someone breaks [into] your head, fishes for ideas and then claims they are their own, the pain and disappointment are devastating.1)

Without any evidence presented in the video, Abdin claimed his Tardigrades game was “the top adventure game of all time before CBS/Netflix were involved,”2) even though it has never been released in any playable form.

Anas Abdin /LinkedIn

State of the Case

Nerdrotic presented screen caps of Abdin’s emailed responses to interview questions, including recounting the latest goings-on in the copyright infringement case:

  • CBS’ lawyers asked for a dismissal of the case, which was rejected by the judge. However, that wasn't true. The motion to dismiss isn’t due to the judge until February 12, with a ruling not expected until after March 19.
  • His lawyers are going after CBS employees who might’ve learned about Tardigrades before or during Discovery’s development. AxaMonitor discovered the single employee named by his attorneys wasn’t even a member of the videogame platform at the time Abdin alleges she was.
  • Abdin was counting on Tardigrades’ income to care for his ailing parents.

« The human being, Anas Abdin, [is] taking on the inhuman CBS, [which is] picking on this poor guy, trying to take care of his parents, and stealing his life’s work. » — Nerdrotic YouTube channel

Concessions

What was left out of the interview was any news from Abdin about some major concessions already made by his lawyers, namely:

  • No statutory damages: Abdin appeared to have registered his copyright too late, rendering him eligible for only actual damages, which could be minimal since his game has yet to be released.
  • No claim for visual artist’s rights. Abdin conceded his ineligiblity for damages under the 1990 Visual Artists’ Rights Act, probably because Tardigrades may not qualify for protection under that law.
  • No claim under Berne Convention. After first claiming jurisdiction under this international copyright agreement abandoned the effort. Since he’s suing in a U.S. court, he can seek no damages beyond that offered by U.S. copyright law.

Watch

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VIEWS have been recorded of Nerdrotic’s interview with game developer Anas Abdin.


Sorry, lawyers

Abdin’s lawyers may not like that Abdin’s late copyright registration also means they cannot request their fees be added to damages should they win the case.

Why This Matters

The Tardigrades case has not received much coverage from larger media outlets but it has become a cause célèbre among YouTubers and bloggers who intensely dislike Discovery, and who harbor bad feelings toward CBS because it sued Alec Peters over his “independent Star Trek film,” Axanar.

Nerdrotic's rant

Nerdrotic condemned CBS for hounding Abdin (though Abdin is the one who sued), describing him as “the human being, Anas Abdin, taking on the inhuman CBS. … You’re picking on this poor guy, trying to take care of his parents, and stealing his life’s work.”

More than 31,000 views were logged for Abdin’s Nerdrotic interview.

Strength of the Case

How strong is Abdin’s case? While most copyright experts don’t think Abdin has a strong case, Discovery haters do, and they’ve been vocal about it.

Next steps

If Tardigrades survives the upcoming motion to dismiss, people may have to reevaluate their position.