Star Trek Creators Tell Fans How Not to Get Sued

By Gary Cutlack on at

"Oh, Deanna!" sighed Riker, as he dematerialised her outer layer of clothing and beamed it out into space. "Strip poker really isn't your thing, is it?" He raised an eyebrow and threw his cards on the table to reveal... four bearded kings. Troi let out a dejected gasp and reached down to remove her boots. "No, lieutenant commander, shoes don't count," Riker said firmly, motioning upwards with his glass.

Troi reached behind her back to unfasten her bra.

"No, allow me," said Worf, stepping out of the shadows of the rundown holodeck motel room, his towel slipping off as he moved.

If that's the sort of thing you've got written in numerous half-finished documents on your computer pending getting a woman to agree to be Troi, your luck's in. Star Trek rights co-holders CBS and Paramount have come together to make things easier for people who might want to set their own fiction pieces in the Trek universe, assembling a list of ten key points to observe so you don't make the news when being sued for using someone else's copyrighted material.

The official fan film rules state that to avoid you, your dad, and even your grandad being bankrupted by American lawyers, any fan films must be no longer than 15 minutes, or 30 minutes if split into two parts for the purposes of a Borg assimilation cliffhanger. This is to stop people building their own little web mini series out of the famed property.

Other seemingly arbitrary rules state that any homebrew video must include the phrase "A Star Trek Fan Production" in its title so viewers know Paramount and CBS aren't using dogs in hats as aliens, plus it has to be noncommercial and must be amateur -- as in no one can be paid to be in it, so there's definitely no trying to raise £100k on Kickstarter to get Brent Spiner in to do a 45-second cameo. [Star Trek via Hollywood Reporter]

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