Axanar Defense Summary Judgment Motion

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree.

Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title.

She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need.

She can always be bribed with pie.

Axanar Defense Summary Judgment Motion

So I have the Defense Summary Judgment motion and it is enormous. And much like the plaintiffs’ motion, I can’t go through it all, page by page and line by line because you and I would be here for the next year, just looking at documents. Therefore, I will summarize where I can and will upload as I can. And then you can download as you please. However, we can’t host every single document. So if you want something not here, or if you have any questions, please go to the Contact page and send us a note. And I will do my best to answer you and/or find a way to get you the bigger documents. However, any documents under seal are impossible for me to get unless either of the parties successfully moves to change that.

Exhibit 13

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 13

Furthermore, we come to exhibit 13, which contains excerpts from defendant Alec Peters‘s deposition testimony.

Wait a Second; You Guys Really Did Cover Garth of Izar!

So on page 3, the following exchange occurred:

Q. My question was, has Garth of Izar appeared
in Paramount works or CBS works, other than the motion
pictures and television series?

A. Yeah, I believe there was a book as well
called “Garth of Izar” that was printed by, I assume it
was Pocket Books, that explored that character as well.

Q. So your statement before that Paramount and
CBS hadn’t explored that character was incorrect.

Why Was Prelude Created?

And then on page 5, we get this exchange:

Q. So is it fair to say that “Prelude to Axanar”
was created in order to raise money for “Axanar”?

A. Well, it was a proof of a concept. Yeah, we
figured if we proved — if we proved that we knew what
we were doing and produced something really special,
then we could raise money to do a movie.

Source Material

So moving onto page 7 (the answer is more extensive; this is just the first part of it), we see:

Q. What was the source material for “Axanar”?

A. Well, 50 years of “Star Trek.” Specific
characters such as Garth of Izar from specific
episodes, or Soval from episodes of “Enterprise.”

And continuing to page 8:

Q. And there’s no question that all of these
similarities were intentional, correct?

A. Yes, as I’ve said, that we were taking a —
taking something from the “Star Trek” universe and
expanding upon it in original and different and
transformative ways.

Q. By the way, that’s an interesting word that
you used, “transformative.” Do you mean that in the
legal sense?

A. I mean that in a creative sense. We never
saw these aspects of “Star Trek” before. We never saw
these characters fully fleshed out in the time period
we saw them. We didn’t see most of the characters that
are in the “Axanar” script.

Emphasis mine.

Why Did You Use Star Trek?

In addition, I will just show page 10 and transcribe it:

Q. Why do you use “Star Trek”?

A. I’m sorry?

Q. Why do you use “Star Trek”? Why didn’t you
write an original movie that had all the elements you
just discussed?

A. Because I have spent 50 years of my life in
love with this product. I love “Star Trek.” As Rob
Burnett always says, it is like our religion. We watch
it all the time, we buy all the products.

We go see
all the movies, we talk about it; we argue about it.
We have friends — I bet you 80 percent of my friends
on Facebook are probably “Star Trek” fans.

Q. So you wanted to make a “Star Trek” movie?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. And just going back for a moment to
your notion of transformativeness. When Paramount
which at the time created the television series “The
Next Generation,” that didn’t use the same characters
as the original series, did it?

A. No.

Q. And it was in a different time, correct?

A. It was.

Q. So in your view that was transformative?

A. It appears to be that way.

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 13, page 10

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 13, page 10

Why is the Lease Marked Confidential?

Furthermore, on page 12, the following exchange occurred (the last part is cut off and I don’t have the immediately following page, sorry):

Q. Do you recognize the document that’s been
marked as Exhibit 117?

A. It is — it appears to be the lease that we
have for the warehouse that we’re in.

Q. Why is this Highly Confidential, by the way?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Is there anything that would give anyone a
commercial advantage if they saw this lease?

A. Anyone? I mean if we were going to sublease
the place, the studio, the warehouse to someone else, I {document is cut off here}

What Did Mike Bawden Say?

In addition, on page 14, this exchange occurred:

Q. Right. And he was also wrong on the
following page when he said part of the plan was to:

 “Create and develop new models of
sponsorship and funding that will
help Axanar Productions generate
profit on low-budget productions.”

A. Again, he was referring to what he wanted to
do as far as independent productions, which again, I
told him would not be part of Axanar Productions. That
Axanar Productions had to stay nonprofit for “Star
Trek” fan films.

Q. Mr. Peters, did you ever tell him that in writing?

A. I rarely write to Mike Bawden. We pick up
the phone and talk every day.

Q. Okay. And after you told him that this was
wrong did he rewrite this?

A. I don’t know if he rewrote it. Whether or
not he rewrote it, all our conversations nowadays are
about having —

Q. Mr. Peters, please answer the question. Did
he rewrite it? Yes or no.

A. I don’t know.

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree. Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title. She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need. She can always be bribed with pie.

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