Statements made by J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin regarding Axanar Productions earlier this year may come back to bite them.
Yesterday, the lawyers for Axanar Productions demanded all communications between Paramount/CBS and Abrams and Lin.
“Statements that Star Trek belongs to all of us and that the lawsuit is ridiculous and was going to be ‘dropped’ is relevant to the impact on the market prong of the fair use analysis, and Plaintiffs utter lack of damages,” said the defendants’ lawyers. “Though these documents and deposition testimony are directly relevant to demonstrating the impact of the Axanar Works on the market for the Star Trek Copyrighted Works, and Plaintiffs’ allegations of willful infringement, Plaintiffs have either refused to produce, or produced insufficient documents.”
Paramount responded by saying “First, statements made in May of 2016, six months after the filing of this suit, could not possibly have any bearing on Defendants’ ‘state of mind’ when they created the infringing works. Second, Defendants have provided no authority for the proposition that their subjective ‘belief’ has any bearing on whether or not they committed copyright infringement, or on whether or not Plaintiffs’ were damaged by that infringing conduct.”
The lawyers for Axanar Productions want to prove that Axanar‘s filmmakers “had a reasonable basis for believing that their fan-funded film would be fine by the studios.”
Axanar Production lawyers also want financial documents related to Star Trek as well as internal discussions regarding film films including fan film guidelines.
Axanar Productions has not “made a good faith effort to meet and confer about the topic,” said Loeb & Loeb attorneys working for Paramount/CBS. They have “already produced all non-privileged responsive documents, and…opposing counsel has failed to explain what basis they have for assumptions like “Gene Roddenberry never owned the rights to Star Trek.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter