ByKerry Cepero, writer at
Do or do not, there is no try..
Kerry Cepero

Fan films, a pleasant homage that should live forever on. There is no better way to pay respects to your favorite universe than taking your time to film, score, edit and release a movie that expands said universe and entertains the mass legion that loves that franchise. Star Trek is no exception, as there exists plenty of quality fan films made to show the tremendous amount of love for the universe, but those same films are now in danger.

Star Trek - Horizon by ProjectNReSource

The Coalition of Planets, a young alliance of worlds led by Earth, is at war with the Romulan Empire. Desperate for a chance to gain the upper hand in the war, the Coalition forms an alliance with T'mar, a Romulan deserter, in the hopes that she can provide valuable intelligence on her former masters.


CBS/Paramount recently released a set of guidelines that have just made it real hard to create these wonderful fan masterpieces. Here is a list of some of those new rules: (Source: Yahoo News)

1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.

2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.

3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.

4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.

5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.

6. The fan production must be non-commercial:

CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.

The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.

The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.

The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.

No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.

The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.

7. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.

8. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production:

“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

9. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.

10. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

I understand the parts about "No porn, tobacco, etc" and the respects to copyrights but there are some rules here that are a little extreme and harmful to future movies. First, fan films are best if their respected producers have the ability to raise as much funds as necessary to make a great quality film worthy of the universe, free of a $50K cap on movie money.

Also, the rule about fan productions having to be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, with no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes is really a bummer. Good stories in the Star Trek universe take a little longer than 30 minutes to tell, and they should be given at least an hour.

Star Trek: Renegades & Star Trek: Of Gods and Men by Trek Renegades

Renegades, as the name suggests, will be bold, edgy and a little dark. Renegades will feature a combination of familiar Star Trek faces, plus a collection of hot, new rising actors.

Renegades will be a departure from previous Treks -- delving into the dark side of the human psyche, pushing our heroes to their limits, forcing them to carry out actions that they never would have as Starfleet officers. The rules have changed, and they realize they might be the last hope to save the Federation.

Star Trek: Renegades will be action oriented, filled with suspense and espionage; all while exploring new worlds, encountering both familiar and new alien species, and boldly going where no Trek has gone before.

Please visit for details



This all started when a lawsuit was brought on the fan film Axanar, which actually looks pretty damn good. It was funded by $80k KICKSTARTER fan fund and they really spent the money well. A 21 minute teaser was released, but with the direction the lawsuit is taking, the full length film may be dead in the water, which is too bad because the piece is an excellent effort that shows the love for the Star Trek universe. CBS/Paramount should have gone a bit softer in regards to fan films, because when they aren't putting out movies, these films keep the universe alive and expanding!

Prelude to Axanar


Are these rules too harsh for fan films and will they kill any future projects? COMMENT BELOW!


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