For the Federation…Bloggers Unite!

June 14, 2007

I want to apologise to all of you who are expecting to see another chapter of the late Star Trek writer and producer, Michael Piller’s unpublished book. I just received a letter from Paramount’s lawyers, which will explain why I’m unable to post it (see below)

Dear Mr. Prooth:

I am writing on behalf of CBS Studios Inc., successor in interest to Paramount Pictures Corporation’s rights in the STAR TREK franchise (“CBS Studios”). CBS Studios understands and greatly appreciates the fact that the STAR TREK series’ strong fan base is a crucial element of its long term success. In that regard, CBS Studios is supportive of its fans’ desire to share and communicate information about the series. However, as rights owner, CBS Studios is obligated to protect its rights in the series, both for itself and for the large community of people involved in creating the series, including the talent, artists, producers and writers. CBS Studios therefore seeks to strike a balance between encouraging legitimate use and discouraging infringements of valuable rights.

It has come to our attention that you are posting chapters of Michael Piller’s unpublished book entitled “Fade In: From Idea to Final Draft, The Writing of Star Trek Insurrection“ on various websites. As copyright owner, CBS Studios is entitled to exclusive rights concerning copying, duplication and distribution, among other rights. Accordingly, CBS Studios cannot permit your posting and distributing this book. We respectfully request that you voluntarily remove the content from your websites at http://www.sebrt.com and http://tektrekgamer.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/michael-piller-chapter.pdf and any other site for which you are responsible and agree to refrain from posting this in the future.

We trust that you understand our concerns over CBS Studios’ rights and will cooperate with us by complying with our requests within three (3) days of your receipt of this letter without the need for further action. Should you chose to ignore these requests, we will have no option but to contact your ISP demanding the immediate removal of the copyrighted material pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me at the number above should you have any questions.

The foregoing is without waiver of any and all rights of CBS Studios Inc., all of which are expressly reserved herein.

Sincerely,

Mallory Levitt

After reading the book, I see how far away Star Trek has strayed from Gene Rodenberry’s vision and I realise Paramount will do anything to suppress in their view such archaic ideas. Principal photography on the new Star Trek movie starts in two weeks with a unwelcome view of the future and they don’t want to be reminded of a battle that they thought was gone.

In 1969, when the original TV show was cancelled, a hundred thousand fans wrote in and their complaints were met with deaf ears at Paramount Pictures. In 2007 there are millions and millions Trek enthusiasts who potentially have power to influence Paramount and CBS to finally release the book as Michael Piller requested, days before he died.

Last week CBS gave reprieve to the cancelled TV show “Jericho” when fans protested here’s the story…

http://www.startribune.com/459/v-print/story/1230719.html

Ironically, my last post had to do with the power that bloggers now have. The time has come for millions of bloggers to unite…for e-mailers and letter writers to bombard Sumner Redstone at Paramount and CBS until Michael Piller’s book is released.

We all deserve to look inside “Rodenberry’s Box” (which I won’t be able to post) all comments will be appreciated and passed along on to Sumner Redstone.

To our future…

-Sebastian Prooth

For our  “Advanced Guide to Blogging” go to www.guidetoadvancedblogging.com

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One Response to “For the Federation…Bloggers Unite!”

  1. dijest Says:

    I’m wondering if you’re being caught up in a generic “Star Trek” IP protection blanket, independent of the specific work.

    Did you ask for some evidence that they own the book? Did they buy it from Piller? Did he write it under a contract with them? Does Piller’s estate agree that CBS owns the book? I can claim that I own the book or anyone can.

    Not suggesting you pick a fight, but it’s usual to ask lawyers that make a claim to back it up with more detail.


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