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Fan's recreation of TNG's Enterprise gets photon torpedoed by CBS lawyers

By midian182 · 18 replies
Sep 27, 2018
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  1. As reported by Eurogamer, the Stage 9 project was the creation of a British Trekkie going by the name ‘Scragnog,’ who had been working on the Unreal engine-powered piece for two years. “I originally created Stage-9 in 2016 as a piece of fan-art,” he explained. “To be able to walk around on the Enterprise-D always excited me.”

    Stage 9 could be experienced on PC and supported the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive VR headsets. Users were able to explore the ship, travel to various decks using the turbolift, enter different rooms, and interact with objects. It was all pretty impressive.

    Scragnog had emphasized that Stage 9 was not an officially licensed product—in his words, the project was always just fan-art. “We had no affiliation with CBS or Paramount, and the IP we were trying our hardest to treat with respect was not our own,” he said. And there was no money involved, either; the team that helped with the project consisted of volunteers.

    But this didn’t save Stage 9 from the CBS legal department, who sent the cease and desist letter on September 12. The team tried to reach a compromise with the company’s lawyers, offering to change everything from the use of the Enterprise-D, dropping VR support, and altering the name, but to no avail.

    For fans making Star Trek films, CBS and Paramount Pictures say they will not object to, or take legal action against, productions that are non-professional and amateur, provided they meet the guidelines. But it seems they do object to virtual recreations.

    Earlier this week, a fan-made Spyro game was also hit with a cease and desist letter, though it will be reworked as a new title that doesn’t infringe on any IPs.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Layers, huh, yeah

    What are they good for

    Absolutely nothing
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,110   +1,531

    Dear CBS and Paramount,

    I wish I was loaded so I could buy you out and let these people have their fun. Since I can't I leave you with this:
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,994   +3,404

    What do you call a bus load of lawyers going over a cliff? A good start!
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,537   +1,913

    Translation: We are starting a VR exhibit of the Enterprise-D and don't want any competition - especially competition that charges nothing for access.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +750

    Why would CBS even care? It's not like this is a "game" or is being "sold". How does it in any way negatively affect CBS? It doesn't. Seems pointless to stop a fan made recreation of a fictional environment when CBS doesn't rely on that fictional environment for monetary or other reasons.

    I'm glad I downloaded a copy of State 9 a few weeks ago. I checked it out, was pretty awesome to see the ship in VR and to scale. You can even go into the cargo bay and get in a shuttle and scoot around outside the ship. There are more things you can do but even still I don't see how it hurts CBS in any way. Sounds like they are just being a bunch of IP Nazi's.

    I'm sure someone has a copy up in a torrent somewhere for those that still want to check it out.

    BTW don't know about other Trekke fans but I thought the new ST Discovery on CBS sucked.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,110   +1,531

    If I knew about it, I would have grabbed a copy as well.
    Life has been busy...
    LNCPapa likes this.
  8. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 580   +411

    In other news, elementary grade school kids are arrested for using crayons to draw pictures of the Enterprise.
    JaredTheDragon, BMAN61 and Rayzor like this.
  9. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,434   +413

    I wonder if they were worried it would impact sales of something like the Bridge Crew or Odyssey VR series that have Star Trek ships and stations you can move around in? Seems like the only reason to pull a free access art project like this. Other than somebody just deciding to be a **** - it's Hollywood, that's always one of the options as explanations for anything studios decide to do.
  10. gigantor21

    gigantor21 TS Maniac Posts: 156   +213

    The fact that a free fanwork was a serious threat to their upcoming product isn't very reassuring.
    Theinsanegamer, Rayzor and ShagnWagn like this.
  11. Abraka

    Abraka TS Addict Posts: 176   +54

    Shooting a lawyer should be an Olympic sport. And recreational too. Shooting a bastard is much better for relaxation and well-being than taking marijuana or pills against depression. You don't want to take any chemicals, they are bad for your health. On the other hand, shooting a lawyer is not only good for your health, but it's good for the society and economy as a whole. Can't think of any reason why shooting a lawyer would be unlawful.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  12. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 438   +327

    Just remember, shooting the lawyers is just shooting the messenger. There will just be more of those. The problem starts with the execs.
  13. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 690   +331

    A lawyer is just a tool, it can help an innocent to get justice, or help a criminal to get a fair justice. But the owners of the content, all of them, they decide if they don't want to have anything they count theirs to not be touched by the filthy hands of the peasants.
  14. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,479   +1,670

    Because CBS is old media, and old media cant handle anything being created that they do not control and profit from.

    See also fan mods for games.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +750

    I don't see how... Stage 9 isn't a game by any means, its just a little "experience" available to mess around in for a few minutes and say "oh that's cool". Then set it down and move on with something else. Bridge Crew and other ST games have much more content for the gamer, I don't see how anyone would use Stage 9 recreation experience instead of buying Bridge Crew if they wanted to play a game.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    What they are doing is killing their fan base.
    People who want this sort of thing are collectors and will want everything they can get. So I doubt it would effect anything negatively. In fact it could help them, if only they would promote this sort of thing.
    Vrmithrax and JaredTheDragon like this.
  17. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    This guy really was a FAN I see there is a video of what he made, for what I could see it looks very clever to create the ship and inside view walk around. Still not 100% finished. Since I play STO (Start Trek Online) gaming this guy should work for them. CBS has controlling rights not much he can do. He as taken the concept of the STNG and made a virtual game that you can stroll around and even jump into the shuttle and fly it a bit. For me I was more STVG Voyager fan. Everyone going to have what they're use too! Cheers to programmers for trying to make this FAN base work but now it's history as CBS Lawyers wanted it shutdown.
  18. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,434   +413

    I think you actually may have hit on part of what could be the issue. You see, there are a lot of people who don't really understand technology in charge of things like, say, big Hollywood studios. VR gaming is almost always pitched as an "experience" that you play. So, a relatively clueless exec hears a pitch on a VR gaming "experience" and then hears about some fan made VR "experience" and suddenly the lawyers are unleashed? Typical Hollywood knee jerk reactions, if there's one experience available, it has to be OUR experience! Stranger things have happened...

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +750

    That could be it, but who cares about TNG anymore? They aren't going to make a new or continuation of it from what I've heard, so it's old news. They are busy making their new Discovery, so if designs and likeness of that IP was being used this would make sense to me. It isn't though.

    Who knows. Maybe they will hire the guy who started Stage 9 and some of the crew to make an official game based off their skills. That would be something I'd be interested in.

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