Axanar Plaintiffs Objection to Defense SJ 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 Plaintiffs Objection to Defense SJ Motion

So I have the plaintiffs objection to the defense’s summary judgment motion. This is another one of the documents filed with the court on November 29, 2016. However, the documents may have been filed out of order in terms of who responded to whom. Instead of trying to sort that out, I will post blogs in the documents’ numerical filing order with the court. Because that’s just easier for me, folks.

Statement of Genuine Issues for Plaintiffs Objection

Axanar Plaintiffs Objection to Defense SJ Motion – Statement of Genuine Issues

Since this document clocks in at over 100 pages, I will only post the highlights.

Whose Universe it, Anyway?

First of all, on page 4, we see this exchange, where the defense alleges:

Plaintiffs do not purport to own in this
lawsuit a copyright to the Star Trek universe,
but rather own a limited number of copyrights
to certain episodes and films.
Supporting Evidence: FAC, Appendix A
¶¶ 2-6

In addition, plaintiffs respond:

Disputed.

The purported fact is not supported
by Defendants’ citation to the
FAC.

Disputed that Plaintiffs own
“limited” copyrights or that those
copyrights are restricted to “certain
episodes and films.” In addition to
owning copyrights in episodes and
films, Plaintiffs own the copyrights
in books, reference guides,
documentaries, characters and
numerous other elements.

PTSD? I don’t think so

Furthermore, on page 17, we get the following exchange, where the defense alleges:

Prelude portrays (and the Potential Fan
Film would portray) Garth of Izar in a new
way not seen in any of Plaintiffs’ Works—
specifically, as a war veteran with
psychological issues resulting from his
traumatic experiences during the Four Years
War between the United Federation of Planets
and the Klingon Empire.

Supporting Evidence: Oki Decl., Ex. 13
(Peters Tr., Vol. I at 87:13-88:1); Oki Decl.,
Ex. 5 (Burnett Tr. at 192:2-15); Peters Decl., at
¶¶ 6-7; Peters Decl., Ex. 1

In addition, plaintiffs respond:

Disputed.

Prelude speaks for itself. It does
not portray Garth of Izar “as a war
veteran with psychological issues
resulting” from traumatic
experiences fighting the Klingons.

Instead, Prelude portrays Garth as
a brilliant military strategist and
hero. Further, Defendants have not
cited to any pre-lawsuit evidence
supporting this characterization or
description of their work.

Hence, in other words, meet Gary Stu Garth of Izar.

Van Citters Declaration Supporting Plaintiffs Objection

Axanar Plaintiffs Objection to Defense SJ Motion – Van Citters Declaration

Because this declaration is identical to the John Van Citters Declaration filed in support of plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, I won’t repeat my analysis here (that admission is on page 2 of the extant declaration).

Opposition to Defendants’ Evidence

Axanar Plaintiffs Objection to Defense SJ Motion – Opposition to Defendants’ Evidence

Finally, this document addresses certain defense exhibits. Hence for example, on page 2, plaintiffs object to the statements by both experts for the defense (Christian Tregellis and Henry Jenkins). The reason? Neither expert reported under oath. Hence plaintiffs object to the reports as hearsay. In addition, plaintiffs apparently contacted defense attorney Erin Ranahan in an effort to examine either or both purported expert in deposition. Hence we may see a ruling on that and, if the ruling is at all in plaintiffs’ favor, we could see more depositions (and potentially a delay in the scheduled trial date).

In addition, most of the objections’ bases cite either hearsay, the best evidence rule (e. g. “An original writing, recording, or photograph is required in order to prove its content unless these rules or a federal statute provides otherwise.” Hence for example, a discussion about Prelude is not the best evidence; the electronic Prelude file is), or that statements presented as facts are, instead, opinions.

What’s Next?

Because we have yet more documents, 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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