Last week, a United States judge denied motions by both the plaintiffs and defendants in a copyright lawsuit involving the Star Trek Axanar fan production. The fan production has crowdsourced considerable funding, and aims to make a “professional production” “with a fully professional crew, many of whom have worked on Star Trek itself”.
One of the key findings by the judge is that the defendants are unable to rely upon a fair use defence, if they are found to have infringed the plaintiffs’ copyright. The defendants had argued that the work is a non-commercial parody, and as such should be permitted under fair use. However, the court rejected both arguments, and found the work was commercial, and not a parody. The matter is now scheduled to more to a jury trial, starting at the end of the month.