If you’ve had a chance to read more about Judge R. Gary Klausner’s ruling Tuesday, you might be surprised that not everything you’re reading in the mainstream press about the copyright infringement lawsuit against a Star Trek fan-film is accurate.
In fact, a number of publications in the last couple weeks or so have made the suit all about the Klingon language. As if the primary sin of “Star Trek: Axanar” was using the Klingon language without the permission of CBS Corp. and Paramount Pictures.
The Language Creation Society, some small California-based organization that seems to hire any lawyer willing to work pro bono, capitalized on these misleading reports by injecting themselves into the lawsuit, claiming to be the protectors of the Klingon language.
But CBS and Paramount are not suing Axanar Productions and its principal Alec Peters over the Klingon language. They are suing Axanar and Peters for copyright infringement of a number of different elements, when put all together, create what Klausner’s court has called the “Star Trek works.”
It’s not that Axanar is just using a pointy-eared guy. It’s not that they are just calling some alien species a Vulcan. It’s not that they have a group of planets working together calling themselves a Federation. It’s not that they happen to have a spaceship called the USS Enterprise. It’s all those elements put together. That’s where CBS and Paramount have an issue (that, and the fact that it appears Axanar has commercialized its fan-film with a “donor store,” an alleged for-profit studio, and even some scattered talk that they would create a paid-subscription streaming service).