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 2

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 2

In addition, we have Paramount’s amended responses to defense’s interrogatories, #4, #5, #8, and #9. Because they are virtually identical to CBS’s (although with the name Paramount in the place of CBS as applicable), I won’t repeat myself here.

Exhibit 3

Defense Summary Judgment Motion, Oki Declaration, Exhibit 3

So this exhibit is the expert report from one Christian Tregellis, who is apparently a CPA and a ABV (accredited in business valuation). I could find nearly nothing on this person (as in, there were fewer than 25,000 hits on Google for Christian Tregellis as of the writing of this blog post). However, I did find this.

In any event, it appears Tregellis was hired to try to prove that fan films financially benefit IP holders. And I don’t believe he was given a look at the Axanar books.

A Look at Social Media

And on page of 10 of his report, he says:

18. The ability of Trekkies to create their own Star Trek content and publish it on social media has
allowed the number of Star Trek fans to grow further, with easier access to community and others with
similar interests. The more that social media has provided Trekkies and other enthusiasts access to Star
Trek-related content and each other, this has fed the fire and grown greater interest in the Star Trek
franchise.

19. For example, the character Garth of Izar, first seen in the original series, has a page on Memory
Alpha, a Star Trek database/encyclopedia, which has over 40,000 pages dedicated to Star Trek
knowledge and sharing of information.

In addition, the report goes onto state there are several links on the Garth of Izar page, but that’s true of pretty much all wiki pages, ever. Because wikis aren’t terribly useful without interlinking. And the report also points out that CBS has a Star Trek Facebook page. Because a Facebook page is a necessity these days, not only to give fans a rallying place, but also to prevent malicious users from squatting on a domain or name.

Treklanta is Far from being Independent of Axanar

So on page 26, Tregellis states:

52. Treklanta, a group unaffiliated with Plaintiffs, has hosted an awards competition for Star Trek fan
films and series, with judges such as Diana Botsford, a screenwriter on Star Trek: The Next
Generation.

Except that statement fails to point out Treklanta’s real affiliation, which is with the defense. Because in 2016, “[t]he award plaques were sponsored by Alec Peters and Axanar Productions.” And in case you don’t feel like following that link, I’ll tell you where it came from. It was the Axanar blog.

As Long as it’s not Making Money …

And then on page 29, Tregellis adds:

57. Damon Lindelof, also a producer of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, recently offered his
perspective on Star Trek: Axanar and its effect on the Star Trek franchise.

If Axanar turns out to be a complete and total pile of shit, it’s not going to hurt Star Trek.
And if Axanar turns out to be amazing, it’s going to help Star Trek, because it fires up the
fans. … Any fan fiction, at whatever budget level it’s produced, as long as it’s not
generating money, as long as it’s free, people should leave it alone.

Since Mr. Lindelof suffered from a small failure of imagination, and Mr. Tregellis took his words at 100% face value, I’ll break it down for everyone.

The phrase “as long as it’s not generating money, as long as it’s free” may have originally been intended to only mean not charging admission to screenings or for downloads. However, if Mr. Lindelof digs a little deeper into crowdfunding (and Mr. Tregellis does as well), they will stumble over the concept of perks exchanged for donations in kind. The donor gives some money, and gets a perk in return. Most of us refer to that as a ‘sale’. Because a good was received in exchange for a monetary consideration. The whole concept of ‘perks’ is often an effort to try to skirt the idea of sales, because of things like sales tax and the Uniform Commercial Code. However, not calling it a sale does not mean a fan film or other fan fiction is free if money is being exchanged. And that’s not even getting into the Donor Store.

JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and George Takei don’t work in the Finance Department

So on page 31, Tregellis states:

63. As described above, there are multiple indications that fan films generally benefit official studio
releases and film/story franchises, and that the Axanar Works have benefited Star Trek and Plaintiffs.

These include:

· Studios, including CBS, have viewed fan films and the fans associated with them as
important to the vitality of film franchises. These opinions have been expressed by
individuals involved in the productions of Plaintiffs (e.g., JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelhof,
and George Takei).

While any of these three people may be savvy about films and the industry, they still aren’t the Finance Department.

Testimony History

While Mr. Tregellis is certainly entitled to make his living as an expert for hire, it’s always interesting to see how often someone does that. And from pages 44 – 51, there is a list of the cases where his expertise has been used. And that’s a list of about 90 cases, with Mr. Tregellis often appearing for more than one event (deposition, trial/arbitration, and/or hearing). So this will, undoubtedly, be brought up if this matter goes to trial. And juries can be lukewarm about professional experts if they feel they’re hired guns.

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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