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 14

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 14

Furthermore, this exhibit is the plaintiff Paramount’s second set of responses to defense’s request for admissions. While requests #72 and #73 differ slightly (they cover whether plaintiff can quantify damages from Axanar), the response is nearly identical:

Paramount admits that it is not aware of a specific dollar amount of revenue
associated with Star Trek Copyrighted Works lost as a result of the Axanar’Works,
and admits that it has not been able to quantify such amounts, but denies that no
market harm has resulted from the public display of the Axanar Works.

Exhibit 15

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 15

In addition, the exhibit is the plaintiff CBS’s second set of responses to defense’s request for admissions. Because the germane response is virtually identical to exhibit 14, supra, I won’t repeat it here.

Exhibit 16

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 16

And finally, exhibit 16 is a brochure for the Original Series Set Tour, which is a tour of sets created by James Cawley and persons under him.

 

Peters Declaration

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Peters Declaration

First of all, page 3 – 4 offer an interpretation of Prelude unsupported by anyone’s reading of the script or viewing of the film (rather, it’s unsupported by anyone not connected with the production), to wit:

The mockumentary style of the film
allowed us to add critical commentary and analysis to the work in order to highlight a
comparison of concepts in the Star Trek universe to the present-day military industrial
complex, thus serving a different purpose than Plaintiffs’ Works, which I understand
to be solely entertainment-focused.

Furthermore, in portraying Garth of Izar, I hoped
to examine issues of post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological issues
associated with war. To this end, I drew inspiration from the performance of veterans
depicted in the HBO mini-series, “Band of Brothers.” Prelude to Axanar, as a
consequence, is both a commentary and satire, exposing the horrors of war in ways the
original Star Trek series did not.

Except that’s not what satire is in the law. The ABA defined satire as follows (distinguishing it from parody) on page 2, quoting the US Supreme Court’s opinion in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 577 (1994) (the Oh Pretty Woman case):

…  while a parody targets and mimics the original work to make its point, a satire uses the work to criticize something else, and therefore requires justification for the very act of borrowing.

Exhibits 1 – 3

Because these exhibits were lodged manually (e. g. they were not in written form because they were videos), they cannot be attached to this blog post.

Exhibit 4

In addition, exhibit 4 is a Facebook post by the defendant exhorting members of the Axanar group to go see Star Trek Beyond. And in particular, he cites the apparent support of Abrams and Lin as a justification for seeing the film.

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Peters Declaration, Exhibit 4

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Peters Declaration, Exhibit 4

Exhibit 5

And finally, exhibit 5 is a tweet acknowledging Abrams and Lin.

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Peters Declaration, Exhibit 5

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Peters Declaration, Exhibit 5

Lane Declaration

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Lane Declaration

While this declaration is short, it provides one interesting piece of information:

I am a writer for Axanar Productions, Inc. I have personal knowledge of the
matters set forth herein, and if called upon as a witness I could competently
testify thereto.

Hence Mr. Lane is not independent of Axanar (which he has acknowledged).

Exhibit 1

Since this exhibit is very long and about 36 MB in size, it will not be uploaded here. However, if you want a copy, send a note to the Contact page and I will get a copy to you.

However, I will provide some highlights. Because it purports to be a history of fan films. And on page 1, it states:

This executive summary provides an overview of the independent amateur films made by fans
using derivative intellectual property of the Star Trek franchise copyright and trademark holders
over the past 50 years.

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Lane Declaration, Exhibit 1, Page 1

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Lane Declaration, Exhibit 1, Page 1

Watkins Declaration

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Watkins Declaration

Finally, we have the declaration of Reece Watkins. In his declaration, he states:

4. Prior to viewing Star Trek: Beyond, l watched the fan film, Prelude to
Axanar. The fan film rekindled my interest in the Star Trek franchise. and I purchased
additional official, Star Trek-licensed props and costumes following its release,
including, but not limited to: (a) The Original Series [TOS] phaser, communicator’,
and tricorder; (b) an Anovos tunic; and (c) Blue-Ray remasters.

5. I specifically made these purchases, worth several hundred dollars,
because Prelude to Axanar rekindled my interest in the Star Trek franchise, and would
not have these purchases but for watching the fan film.

While Mr. Watkins’s spending habits and interest in the licensed product are of some interest, they don’t really counteract every single decision of other fans who may have decided to not see the new film, etc. because of defendants’ product. Furthermore, this doesn’t matter when it comes to statutory damages.

Exhibit 1

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Watkins Declaration, Exhibit 1

Because this is a Facebook discussion chain wherein Axanar fans discuss their spending habits, it’s rather similar to Mr. Watkins’s declaration and I won’t repeat it here (the participants have somewhat mixed experiences regarding their spending habits, and this bit of hearsay does not seem to be conclusive either way).

What’s Next?

Responses to these motions! So please stay tuned!

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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