Axanar Motion Objections

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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Axanar Motion Objections

The Axanar Motion Objections (to the various Motions in Limine by both parties) have arrived. Fortunately, even though there are a lot of documents, they mostly do not require a lot of analysis. Because we have all read these arguments already. Hence I will not comment much, unless it is something truly of interest. However, as always, if you do not understand something or want me to go over it again, please feel free to contact me and I will endeavor to answer you as quickly as I can.

Axanar Motion Objections

We will start with defense.

Defense Axanar Motion Objections to the Plaintiffs’ Motions in Limine

First of all, these objections pair up with the plaintiffs’ motions in limine. Hence you might want to refer back and forth. Defense also moved to file a document under seal. We have seen a lot of these before; it’s pretty standard so I won’t add it.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #1

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #1

This one comes with some redacted exhibits which I believe we have already seen.

Defense argues that the second financial statement is more accurate. However, they may find the court will allow both such statements in. And, if that happens, a jury may very well conclude that, at minimum, the books are rather difficult to follow at best. Also, if the jury feels the funds between Axanar and, say, Propworx were commingled, then that will bolster the judge’s ruling that Axanar is a commercial venture.

Plaintiffs sought to exclude:

Defendants’ altered financial statement for Axanar Productions, which defendant
Alec Peters created after his first deposition in this case, as well as testimony
regarding such financial statement and any testimony or evidence regarding
financial transactions by Axanar Productions and Peters subsequent to the
commencement of the litigation.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #2

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #2

While the defense makes an interesting argument about script alterations as relating to damages, they may very well find they get more than they bargained for if this one is granted. Because if the later scripts should be entered into evidence, then so should the earlier ones – and those may very well prove willful infringement to the jury.

And then in this one, plaintiffs sought to exclude any scripts created after the start of this litigation. Furthermore, they wanted to exclude all testimony regarding same. Their reasoning was as follows:

Scripts created after this litigation was filed bear
no relevance on this case, because Plaintiffs have not filed suit based on these
scripts.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #3

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #3

This one also quotes Gene Roddenberry’s statements on fanfiction. However, apart from being dead, Roddenberry also never owned Star Trek (the original owner was Desilu). Hence the relevancy level is low. Bringing in Abrams and Lin would potentially create a circus atmosphere – and they are not knowledgeable about the case, anyway.

In addition, plaintiffs sought to exclude:

… the testimony of J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin and their public statements regarding the
litigation because they are not the copyright owners of the infringed works, or
authorized to speak on behalf of the copyright owners, and their testimony or
personal opinions of fan films in general are irrelevant, particularly given the fact
that at the time of these statements they had not seen all of the Defendants’ works at
issue.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #4

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #4

Defense’s argument mainly consists of Watkins allegedly being the only person to conduct a Facebook poll regarding their spending habits on Star Trek merchandise. However, even if everyone who answered that poll told the God’s honest truth, it’s hardly dispositive as the number of people polled was tiny and not a representative sample of, well, anything.

Furthermore, plaintiffs sought to exclude the testimony of Reece Watkins, referring to it as –

… primarily inappropriate lay opinion, and is otherwise hearsay and, anecdotal and of
no probative value.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #5

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #5

Accompanying Declaration by Jonathan Lane

Notice that in the Lane declaration, he refers to himself as a “freelance Star Trek expert” and indicates he consults with a number of persons, including John Van Citters. Interesting that defense seeks to qualify Mr. Lane as an expert yet deny expert status to John Van Citters.

And then in this one, plaintiffs sought to exclude testimony and documents by Jonathan Lane. The defense tried to have Mr. Lane qualified as an expert. Furthermore, this motion included, as Exhibit A, Lane’s declaration, which also came from the Defense Summary Judgment motion. Additionally, it included the Executive Summary and History of Fan Films document, which also hail from the 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.

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