Declarations Accompanying the Axanar Motion to Compel Discovery

Declarations Accompanying the Axanar Motion to Compel Discovery

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There are three declarations accompanying the recent Axanar Motion to Compel Discovery. And we will look at them in turn. As you may recall, the Motion to Compel Discovery and its companion Joint Stipulation were over 60 pages long combined. Therefore, these declarations were given their own separate blog post. Otherwise, it’s just too long.

Jason Declaration

First of all, we examine the Jason Declaration. Why this one first? Because I’m the blogger; that’s why. Actually, it’s just alphabetical. So sue me.

Page 1

Yet again, we start with a cover page, of course, for the first of these three declarations.

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 1

Page 2

As you may recall, Ms. Jason works for Loeb & Loeb (e. g. she is on the plaintiffs’ team). She states:

I have reviewed Plaintiffs’ document production in this case. Plaintiffs
have produced several chain of title documents for the Star Trek Copyrighted Works
and numerous other agreements and documents pertaining to the rights in the Star
Trek Copyrighted Works, including a 2005 agreement between Paramount and CBS,
agreements with some of the actors in the Star Trek Copyrighted Works, and the
copyright registrations for the Star Trek Copyrighted Works.

So keep in mind, these declarations are all being made under oath, and they carry the penalty for perjury if it turns out anyone has made a false statement.

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 2

Page 3

So this one is dull; it’s a standard exhibit cover page.

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 3

Page 4

While I don’t wish to nitpick, there are a few interesting bits about this letter, and we will take them in turn.

First of all, the letter gives a small slice of the behind the scenes timeline. Evidently, there was a meet and confer on June 21. However, this confirmatory letter wasn’t typed until August 3. It’s possible the delay was due to some requests being met.

Second, we see some of the plaintiffs’ requests. However, the accompanying Motion to Compel Discovery was all about defense’s requests. Hence, with this letter, we are getting a peek at some information we otherwise would not have seen.

Plaintiffs’ Request #11

This one is about costumes. And defense replies:

Request No. 11 seeks documents relating to the costumes for the Axanar Works. Rather than providing
documents, Defendants will stipulate to their access to and copying of the costumes of the Star Trek
Copyrighted Works.

While this may seem a small thing, it tells us (a) defense has conceded copying of copyrighted works, which is basically one of the elements of plaintiffs’ cause of action and (b) defense is probably making a concession rather than hunting for paperwork.

And isn’t interesting that defense chides plaintiffs for not digging through five decades’ worth of paperwork but then, in two sentences, essentially makes it clear they’re not going to bother pawing through less than a decade’s worth of their own?

Or could it be that there is little to no paperwork on the defense end of things?

Plaintiffs’ Requests #12 and #13

These concern documentation regarding Ares Studios. And defense does agree to produce the lease. In addition, defense agrees to provide ownership documentation for Industry Studios. And they also agree to produce the studio’s finances and “all documents regarding use, rental, or lease of the studio to others.”

Hence at least Mr. Zavin and Ms. Jason have a fighting chance of determining who is in the consortium. Maybe.

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 4

Page 5

Plaintiffs’ Request #16

And then in this one, plaintiffs seek all partial and complete versions of the Axanar Works (this is anything filmed). Most noteworthy, it includes anything not yet distributed. Hence this is material not yet online. And defense has agreed to produce it.

Plaintiffs’ Requests #36, #37, #42, #43, #44, and #47

These were all lumped together because they all have to do with defense’s access to Star Trek copyrighted works. And again, rather than produce documents, defense just stipulated as to access to all of Star Trek’s copyrighted works (e. g. television reruns, books, etc.). However, in the letter, Zavin insists on getting access to any notes taken by defense. Therefore, that might be a sticking point.

And he didn’t even make a motion to register his displeasure.

Imagine that.

Plaintiffs’ Request #50

This one simply requests the online views for the Axanar Works. Hence it’s not just a matter of pulling YouTube views; rather, it should be YouTube views for anything on YouTube, but also Facebook views, blog reads, and any other social media views (Twitter may or may not be applicable as that’s not really the Axanar Works. Instead, it’s more like opinion mixed with promotions).

Plaintiffs’ Requests #55 and #56

Next, these get to the heart of the Donor Store by requesting documents relating to sale or distribution of any products of physical materials regarding the Axanar Works.

Plaintiffs’ Requests #65 and #66

And then these reference all communications between Axanar and Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 5

Page 6

Plaintiffs’ Requests #49, #51, and #53

In addition, these requests cover any documentation concerning distribution and attempts to monetize Axanar.

And then we get to objections made by defense. As noted before, plaintiffs address these issues in a letter and not in a motion (although if the letter had not worked, they would have escalated to motion practice).

Responses to Document Requests That Improperly Reference a Rule Regarding Interrogatories

Most noteworthy, this section covers requests #38, #39, #40, #41, and #54. And these are essentially all financial requests. They include questions about fundraising and dollar distribution, along with investments. Of note is the request for which individuals received money, and how much they got (request #41). And #54 asks for revenue information.

Furthermore, the technical aspect concerns defense’s objection under F. R. C. P. Rule 33 (d), which references interrogatories and not requests for production. FYI, the proper objection could have (maybe) been made under Rule 34.

And then we get into plaintiffs’ responses to defense’s requests.

RFP #2

Note: in this situation, RFP stands for “Request for Production” and not “Request for Proposal”. This one concerns copyright registrations; plaintiffs agree to provide same.

RFP #7

And this one is for documents outlining which plaintiff owns which aspect of Star Trek; again, plaintiffs agree to comply.

RFP #18, #19, #20, and #21

As we saw in the Motion to Compel Discovery, these are all about plaintiffs’ policies regarding issuing C & D letters, etc. against possible infringers. Plaintiffs agree to provide all nonprivileged information.

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 6

Page 7

RFP #24 and #25

Most noteworthy, this one requests information on any guidelines for fan fiction (and not fan films).

Interrogatories #8, #9, and RFP #23

These reference any harm claimed by plaintiffs, who agree to provide anything they will give to their experts. Hence we have also learned at least two experts will be involved. I expect these to be a forensic accountant and possibly a real estate or properties appraiser.

Interrogatory #10

Finally, this interrogatory concerns whatever facts and evidence plaintiffs will rely on in refuting the idea that Axanar is a parody. Plaintiffs agree to respond to this interrogatory (and we are not likely to see their response unless it becomes part of another motion).

And then the letter ends with:

Please confirm that this is your understanding of the parties’ agreement.

Hence the parties might have discussed the matter on more than one occasion beyond the June meet and confer. There may have been some more informal phone calls or the parties might even have played some phone tag to try to nail this particular jello to the wall. Next!

Declarations

Jason Declaration, Page 7

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Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet) is our Social Media Director. She has her Master's in Communications (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University and is one of the Klingons of Long Island. She's a retired lawyer, too.

She's also a published author (Untrustworthy, published by Riverdale Avenue Books; QSF Discovery 2 Anthology, published by Mischief Corner Books; and The Longest Night Watch Anthology 1 & 2, published by Writers Colony Press), and a prolific fan fiction writer. You can find her adding her fanfiction to our forums, or live tweeting our show.

We understand that she can be bribed with pie.
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Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet) is our Social Media Director. She has her Master's in Communications (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University and is one of the Klingons of Long Island. She's a retired lawyer, too. She's also a published author (Untrustworthy, published by Riverdale Avenue Books; QSF Discovery 2 Anthology, published by Mischief Corner Books; and The Longest Night Watch Anthology 1 & 2, published by Writers Colony Press), and a prolific fan fiction writer. You can find her adding her fanfiction to our forums, or live tweeting our show. We understand that she can be bribed with pie.

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