Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
Hey guys, since I am the one paying the rent for the last four months (At $ 12,500 a month) I will do whatever I damn please in the space on the weekend.
Wow, you guys need a life.
@James Our donor funds in action!
That Warhammer 40k setup is pretty nice looking.
Honestly guys, regardless if Axanar wins, loses, or draws, you're not going to have the money returned to you.
Even if they are called lies, and it's bound to be called that. there is enough information, with the confidential financial documentation and on court records to show that it is a embarrassment, the attempt by Jonothan Lane's go fund me for funds, the youtube video at StanLee's comic con and the every so often comment that $100,000 plus of his own money has gone into this. He doesn't have the fiances anymore.
@Armsman I think we know where some of our money went too...that's a few thousand dollars on Alec's side.
Nice to see 'Axanar Studios' (or is it named Valkyrie or Industry studios now?) being used for something - although I don't think a miniatures gaming session convention was what we who Pledged for this project was what we had in mind:
Maybe (assuming Mr. Peters rented the studio space to the gamers for this) Mr. Peters could start issuing refunds?
This is a statement from a recent FFF blog, last Friday.
Axanar Productions remains in negotiations to achieve a settlement with plaintiffs (CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures Corporation).
As we’ve stated from the beginning of this legal odyssey, we are willing to addresses the concerns plaintiffs raised with regard to the production of our Star Trek fan film as long as we are allowed to make sure the story of Garth of Izar, the Battle of Axanar and the Four Years’ War can be told in a way that meets the expectations set for thousands of fans and donors through our crowdfunding campaigns and award-winning, proof-of-concept production, PRELUDE TO AXANAR.
In the event we are not able to reach a negotiated accommodation with the plaintiffs, we are prepared to pursue our fair use argument through the courts in an attempt to clearly identify what we can and cannot do when we resume production of AXANAR.
There are bound to be many outcomes form the settlement talks, place your bets on which one it will be.
Just saw the latest update from the court documents. Looks like settlement discussions are continuing with another phone conference Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 11:45 am. Perhaps a settlement can still happen and the promised project can be made. Otherwise, there is the risk of summary judgement and trial.
@Axanar Productions - What did I lie about in my comments? Please point it out. Was it the point about the production being broke? That was confirmed by Jonathan Lane in the GoFundMe. Here is the copy of the page from the WayBackMachine which it captured:
Was what was posted on the GoFundMe by Lane not true? Please clarify the financial situation if you could by releasing a current, audited financial report so we are aware of the financial status. It has been a topic of discussion in a number of court filings between Loeb & Loeb and Winston layers.
Was it the part about Kickstarter's Terms of Service? Let's look at it here:
At this point in time, over 2 years passed and the only thing to exist of the feature length production is a short scene and there are some trailers produced. Am I mistaken? Is there more made? At this point, based on what Lane noted, the money is a major hurdle at this point that rent has become an issue.
This would mean that whether a settlement happened - without anything being officially announced yet - or a successful trial verdict, there isn't enough money to create what was promised on the campaign.
If you're unable to create what was promised as a creator, working towards partial refunds is the option to go with at this time. Further, CBS has released guidelines that you requested them to do and their terms do not allow for what was promised to be made - view able below - which was talked about by John Van Citters of CBS:
So making a statement of "The only way to end this is to sell the Production Studio that is donor funded as a whole with its lease and then return the money to its backers" would be factual. If liquidating the Production Studio + Lease is possible, it would free up funds to offer backers partial refunds if the project cannot be made.
As for "And James Gwinell, since NOWHERE have we said we won't be making Axanar. We have specifically said we have to wait till the lawsuit is over to determine what we can do." When did I ever note that you said that you weren't going to make Axanar here or anywhere? I never said that, but as observer of this project, one could infer that the only way this could possibly end is with selling the Production Studio + Lease to free up funds for partial refunds because the originally promised project would have money issues - this from Lane's GoFundMe that made it clear that money was gone. For that reason, what was promised cannot be made - assuming modest alternations can't happen for a settlement with CBS/Paramount. So the Terms of Service you agreed to with Kickstarter indicates that refunds (even if partial) should be provided to backers. Otherwise, my comments are about asking for a refund to end the relationship and the improper release of Backer information to a 3rd Party company known as Propworx.
And there was a comment about thoughts on settlement talk but nothing has been said about that. Assuming talks are not continuing, is this moving forward to trial at this point?
And no, there is no rage. There is displeasure with how this turned out. Requesting a refund - especially at a 50% of the original backing - is very reasonable and generous at this point.
To be clear, I thought Prelude to Axanar was a well made short for what it was. However, at this point, it doesn't seem possible that a feature length project can happen now based on a lot of variables against it. This would mean, as a project - unless settlement is still ongoing to ask for reasonable changes to maintain the promised project - cannot be met. Considering that donor funds were put into the Production Studio, selling it as a whole with the lease if possible would free up the funds for partial refunds.
If you can provide the audited financial report to ease the minds of many backers, I'm confident that it would go a long way to ease unhappy backers and external observers. Otherwise, what options are there but to sell the Production Studio + Lease to free up funds for partial refunds? Based on Lane's own comments on the GoFundMe, he indicated there would be nothing left by the end of the trial - "even if Alec Peters manages to win or even survive this lawsuit (scheduled for a start date on January 31, 2017), there may be nothing left to keep the studio running." Was this an over exaggeration or was it factual?
So I again ask for a refund, simply 37.50$ which is 50% of what was backed. Otherwise, I respectfully ask to see the new audited financial report to help ease the collective mind of backers who are highly concerned about the status of the project and being able to meet the commitment of a feature length production of Axanar. If it cannot be provided now, would you please provide a timeline of when this information will be released to backers?
No matter which way this ends up, Alec Peters has eroded away all of my good will. I, like many have asked for a refund and the answer has been a resounding "NO!" To say I'm disapointed is an understatement.
But once the lawsuit with CBS/Paramount is over we will have to see if he makes good on his promise to deliver, or offer refunds in the case that he can't. Worst comes to worst we can file a suit against him that he violated the kick-starter terms of service by not honouring the kick-starters terms of service and offering refunds.
He sadly would not be the first creator to be sued.
I hope that it doesn't come to that.
And just because I can, I am reposting this on Axanar's win as the Judge denies the plaintiff's ex-parte motion. This is by Jonathan Kane from the Fan Film Factor.
BREAKING NEWS – Judge rules on plaintiff’s EX PARTE application in AXANAR LAWSUIT
So my best one-sentence summary of Magistrate Judge Charles Eick’s ex parte order in the Axanar lawsuit would be: “Move along folks; nothing to see here.” In other words, nothing really surprising happened (at least if you read my previous blog).
In short, the plaintiffs asked for three main things and got two and a half of them…maybe two and a quarter. But the thing is, they got what the defense was already offering. You order a drink, the waiter brings it. Done. So it was kind of anticlimactic.
Here’s the three things the plaintiffs wanted:
1. Alec Peters must sit for additional deposition questions concerning new e-mails that were just discovered by the plaintiffs on October 22
Here the defense had agreed for Alec to sit for up to two hours of questions. The plaintiffs wanted no time limit. The judge “split the pot” and gave them five hours…which should be plenty. Both sides should be happy here.
2. The financials submitted by the defense should be de-designated by the court from “Highly Confidential” (lawyers’-eyes-only) to publicly available.
As I previously stated, there is a compromise between “Highly Confidential” and “Public,” and it’s simply “Confidential.” The difference between “Highly Confidential” and “Confidential” is that in the case of the former, ONLY the attorneys in the case are allowed to see the document in question. Remove the “Highly” and the parties themselves are allowed to review it, as well. However, the document cannot be shared with the jury during trial unless the judge clears it later on.
This was kind of a win for the Axanar side since they had already offered to make Alec’s financial summary (the one prepared by the accountant, not the Quicken notes) simply “Confidential” and not “Highly Confidential.” They just didn’t want it cleared for public review because of the risk that Axanar detractors would misuse or misrepresent the information to damage Alec Peters’ professional reputation…regardless of whether their accusations were true. (Misunderstanding of proper accounting practices has already led to some incorrect conclusions and accusations from some quarters.)
Anyway, on this one, the judge agreed with the defense, although the plaintiffs did get the “Highly” removed. So this was the “half” I was talking about earlier.
3. Defense must provide a privilege log.
Least surprising of all of the non-surprises today was this one. The plaintiffs wanted a privilege log; the defense was willing to produce it. The judge essentially said, “Great. Do that, then.” Well, that’s not exactly what he said, but it was the gist.
So is anyone doing a happy dance right now, and is anyone kicking the can dejectedly down the sidewalk? Well, kinda. It all comes down to this comment from the judge’s ruling:
Notwithstanding the issues Plaintiffs have raised regarding the adequacy of Defendants’ document productions (based largely on information obtained in connection with the depositions taken in October of 2016), the Court will not require at this late date the effective recommencement of document searches, reviews and productions.
What does this mean? Well, the plaintiffs made a late request for additional searches and deliveries of e-mails, documents, social media postings, text messages, IM conversations, etc. As I mentioned, the time to ask for all of this was in the Joint Stipulation Motion to Compel Discovery document filed with the court on September 29. The plaintiffs waited an extra month to bring that stuff up.
Remember how I said previously that Magistrate Judge Eick was a stickler for proper procedure? Well, note the “at this late date” phrase that he inserted into the ruling. That was his way of saying, “You had your chance and blew it, dudes.” (Yeah, I know. Federal Circuit Court judges don’t use the word “dudes”…not even in Southern California.) But trust me, I don’t think the inclusion of that little prepositional phrase was an accident.
Honestly, I don’t know if the plaintiffs ever really expected to get all (or any) of that late-requested stuff. One of my legal contacts commented that he/she believed it was probably just done for “show” by the plaintiffs to demonstrate to the studios how tough and aggressive the Loeb & Loeb attorneys are being. After all, they’re charging CBS and Paramount a lot of money! But that’s pure conjecture, of course. Nevertheless, it was a pretty ballsy and aggressive heap of stuff to ask for with less than a week left to produce it all. And I’m sure the judge realized that, as well, and didn’t want to burden the defense unnecessarily.
And it’s not that awful of news for the plaintiffs, either. As was stated in the most recent documents filed with the court, all social media posts are publicly available anyway. It’s just now, if the plaintiffs want to fish for something juicy, they need to row out on the lake with their poles and fish (search for stuff) themselves.
There’s also a big silver lining for the plaintiffs right now. If you read the judge’s order, you’ll notice no sanctions against the plaintiffs. I’d say, “Whew! Dodged a bullet there…” except that the bullet was more of a poorly hit badminton shuttlecock. (Sounds worse than it is.) In other words, sanctions are seldom imposed unless one side or the other does something really bad. That said, if this is only a taste of the future behavior of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the next judge ahead of them is the Honorable Robert Gary Klausner…and from what I hear, he doesn’t put up with shenanigans either.
So what’s next? Well, today the two sides are meeting for a court-ordered settlement discussion, facilitated by Magistrate Judge Eick. There’s no requirement for the sides to settle, but if they do–game over, man. No trial, and none of us will likely know what they agreed to. If they don’t settle, then expect a quiet three months (but still keep visiting FAN FILM FACTOR–because there’s more to fan films than just Axanar, folks!) and then the trial begins on January 31.
From Fan Film Factor:
Will the AXANAR LAWSUIT settle???
Just imagine: going to FAN FILM FACTOR and not seeing the words “AXANAR LAWSUIT’ at the top of the home page…
It could happen! Yesterday, the two sides had a court-mandated meeting to discuss ways to settle the case before going to trial. Most lawsuits settle before ever reaching trial (like 90-95%, I’m told) because it’s usually not worth the cost and the risk of losing to ether side.
Also, full trials take up a LOT of time in court. So far, the Axanar case has required only a few hours of a judge’s actual time on the bench (plus some extra time in chambers reviewing filings). But an actual trial can take days or even weeks to finish, plus the costs of sitting and potentially sequestering a jury. So it’s often in the best interests of the legal system, as well, for cases to settle rather than coming to trial.
And so Judge R. Gary Klausner (the main judge in the Axanar case) ordered both sides to try–really try–to come to an agreement…a compromise where both sides give a little and get a little. Magistrate Judge Charles Eick, who had just made two major rulings in the discovery phase, was told to facilitate the settlement talks on Monday.
None of us really knew what to expect…not even Alec Peters himself. Previous settlement offers from the studios, it was reported, were pretty harsh in their terms. Rather than making an offer Alec couldn’t refuse; they made one he couldn’t accept (details are unknown, of course…unless somebody leaked something). Likewise, I’m certain Axanar‘s counter-offer to the studios during previous settlement attempts wasn’t that thrilling either, as CBS and Paramount didn’t accept what Axanar was offering.
And so things kept going…until yesterday.
Had you asked me to give odds, I would have said 75% chance of not settling. Why? Alec has little if nothing to lose. As I said in previous blogs, the chance of losing big is minimal for him, and the chance of making a huge name for himself as the “David” who conquered the “Goliath,” while also minimal, might be attractive…as would the possibility of ultimately making his beloved fan film.
As for the studios, they need to come out looking like they won. CBS and Paramount are allowing Star Trek fan films, but only on their terms. Alec Peters and Axanar represent a possible (and very public) exception to that rule. If Alec comes out of this lawsuit getting what he always wanted anyway, the studios have a very troubling precedent on their hands…and a potential loophole other fan films could possibly exploit. So it’s in the studios’ best interests to smack down Alec Peters and smack him down hard…and a settle isn’t a smack down; it’s a compromise.
But that still left, in my mind at least, a 25% chance of an actual settlement. Would the two sides be able to come together–meet in the middle at least a little? I know some people (not just at the studios) want Alec Peters obliterated down to the molecular level. A settlement wouldn’t accomplish that. He would come out somewhat ahead, somewhat behind…and so would the studios.
Like many people, I was on pins and needles wondering what had happened in Monday’s settlement talks. Fortunately, I only had to wait until 9:23pm Pacific Time to find out (having just gotten back from trick or treating). Alec Peters posted the following comment to the Axanar Fan Group on Facebook:
OK all, just got home from the Court mandated settlement mediation. We did not reach a settlement, but we are close. We will know by week’s end, as the attorneys have a call with Judge Eick Friday.
Everyone needs to manage their expectations. A settlement means neither side gets exactly what they want.
Well, well, well…so much for my 75% chance of things going to trial! Seems like it might be the opposite. Being close to a settlement is actually a very good sign. Usually the last few details are negotiable rather than deal-breakers. And for those of you thinking that the attorneys for the two opposing sides simply hate each others’ guts and will never be able to work anything out, that’s actually not true. I spent a half hour in the courtroom before the hearing on Friday, October 21, chatting with two lawyers each from Winstron & Strawn and Loeb & Loeb. They were all friendly to each other, jovial, joking, telling stories…it was like players from two different sports teams who compete hard on the playing field and then go out for drinks at a bar after the game.
So what will the settlement bring? It’s hard to say, and we may never know for certain. (And no, no one has told me ANYTHING…and believe me, I’ve tried like the dickens to find out!) But there will be some telltale signs to look out for, at least in my opinion based on things Alec has said publicly and things which are pretty obvious.
To James and James:
Most of what you say is a lie with absolutely no evidence to back it up.
Post here to your heart's content. You are not getting a refund.
And James Gwinell, since NOWHERE have we said we won't be making Axanar. We have specifically said we have to wait till the lawsuit is over to determine what we can do.
The two of you seem to have nothing better to do than to rant and rage and lie about what is going on.
@James Edwards - a refund when requested should be honored. Considering that Axanar cannot be made, the policy of Kickstarter should be active to make refunds available. I would like a refund as well.
@Peter @ James
Honestly I'm glad someone is being entertained by this debacle.
I personally find it an extremely sad statement as to Kickstarter, Abusive creators who game the system to the detriment of backers and the general apathy of people who continue to allow this to happen.
This ENTIRE situation is because of ONE incredibly unreasonable person. (Yeah Alec, YOU).
I made a reasonable request for a refund quite a while ago based on the fact that the kickstarter is misleading and misrepresents the professionalism and capabilities of the creator as well as his relationship to CBS/Paramount.
The project creator has gone in a direction I am not comfortable with (lawsuit) and has offered no explanation of any risks associated with such lawsuit to the backers that I can find, despite asking repeatedly for such a clarification.
The tone of the website he wants backers to join to get our rewards is one I do not support or tolerate, resembling a hate site more then a fan site in my opinion. Keep in mind, Axanar censors posts so everything up there, all the hate cbs/paramount, boycott cbs/paramount posts and articles are there with Axanars blessing and by extension support. I realize Alec & co. are being sued, I realize emotions were running high, but I believe it could have been and should have been handled with more professionalism, restraint and less hate.
He has used my contact info gained through this kickstarter to send me and everyone else an unsolicited advertisement, i.e. spam mail, that I found incredible insulting and offensive.
It is rumored that the money was used inappropriately and that use may in fact be part of why the lawsuit started (making profit off a non profit venture). I suspect that entire discussion is based on a difference of opinion as to what "making a profit" actually means to the people involved.
Given all of this a request for a refund is not unreasonable, granting said refund would have been the professional and in my opinion ethical thing to do.
Instead its devolved into Alecs name calling, abuse, bullying, ignoring any facts not in line with his personal view and unprofessional behavior.
I'm sorry Alec, but you do not take money from people under false pretenses, misuse said money, get them involved in a nasty lawsuit and then berate, insult and bully them when they ask questions or for a refund. Thats not professional, thats not right.
@Peter - you can laugh all you want but James Edwards is right about the Kickstarter Terms of Service. Considering all the information out there about our money being gone based on the recent GoFundMe, there will be many thousands of angry backers. The only way to end this is to sell the Production Studio that is donor funded as a whole with its lease and then return the money to its backers.
@James; LOL, one of the main reasons I log into this daily is to see what rant you go on next. Highly entertaining.
Alec seems to be under the impression that we donated the money and it was his to do whatever he wanted with.
Now, that may be true with Indigogo or whatever other funding platforms he's using it is NOT the case with Kickstarter & I believe that's where he is confused and mistaken.
Under Kickstarter rules you are required to complete the project or make it right with backers, including giving refunds.
Alec is also unwilling to accept the evidence that this kickstarter is at the very least misleading if not outright fraudulent.
Lets look at the facts he is unwilling to see.
At two separate points they emphasize that
"the 90-minute Axanar feature will take about 3 weeks"
"The shoot will be approximately 3 weeks"
Now, here's my pledge level
"Receive all of the rewards up to $ 75 PLUS you get the all new limited edition black USS Ares T-shirt. Printed on the back is the USS Ares patch, and the ships spearhead design on the front.
Ships anywhere in the world
Estimated delivery: Dec 2014"
Note the delivery date, 2014. Not 2015, 2016 or even 2107, but 2014.
Those aren't my words, that's not my schedule, those are the Project Creators words and dates. Axenar Productions & Alec Peters.
Now, Alec claims he told people that was a mistake, it was supposed to be 2015, but no where on the front page, which by Kickstarter Rules is supposed to be clear, unambiguous and most important NOT MISLEADING IN ANY WAY does it says "opps, we meant 2015". You have to go all the way back to the first update, hidden at the very bottom of the updates, well before my involvement, and I suspect the majority of the backers, to find anything about 2015. Now, why hide something that important on an update you know the majority of backers will never see instead of the front page where it belongs? Unless you are trying to mislead people?
Alecs response to that was that I, as a backer, who has NEVER done any film work, never done any acting, never done production work of any kind should somehow have known that HE, a self professed expert and all of the actors & professionals he trotted out to vouch for the projects legitimacy that signed up and put there names behind this project WERE MISLEADING THE BACKERS?
Alecs defense against claims that the site was misleading is that backers who know nothing about the business of film making should have known that all of the experts and professionals, Alec Peters included, whose names were being dropped to add legitimacy to the project were in fact lying.
/shakes his head
One would hope because partial refunds for donors at this point is going to be the only way to quell the growing anger. I'd accept 50% refund to just go away and the offer still stands. At this point, the Production Studio will need to be sold with the lease with the funds returned to the backers that made it.
It would not surprise me to see their Lawyers recommending that exact thing. I am sure Refunds will be part of the settlement.
It would seem it is time to liquidate the Production Studio to make refunds available to backers as best as possible resolution at this point.
Looks like the GoFundMe page has been taken down.
So my question is: once the lawsuit has been dealt with (win or lose) will you be issuing refunds to the backers that want them?
Jonathan Lane's 'Fan Film Factor is the only unbiased source for news on the Axanar lawsuit?
Is that some sick joke as NOT ONLY has Mr. lane worked directly for Axanar stuffing patches in envelopes:
Now he's started a 'Go Fund Me' page for Axanar's Studio rent and other expenses:
(And it seems deleting any non-pro Axanar comments)
There's A LOT of terms I could use to describe Mr. Lane at this point, but 'unbiased' when it comes to Axanar Productions sure as hell isn't one of them. You guys really are a bunch of grifters at this point.
Comments on that GoFundMe page are being deleted. Axamonitor's report on the GoFundMe page: http://axamonitor.com/doku.php…
The wayback machine disagrees with you Alec.
A gofundme has been started by the "unbiased" blogger Jonathan Lane of Fan Film Factor to raise funds for Axanar and Alec Peters. Don't give these people any more money. https://www.gofundme.com/helpaxanar…
No donors were deleted, that is more bullshit. ONE donor couldn't find his name on the donor roster and threw a fit. Now the haters, with nothing better to do, have created some conspiracy where 3,000 donors are missing from our Donor Roster page. Utter bullshit.
And sorry, there are no refunds.
I don't mind being deleted if I can get a refund.
Why are they saying on Slow Lane's blog that 3000 donors have been deleted?
Here is the latest news on how the judge DENIED CBS/Paramount's ex parte motion. The only three things the judge gave them we had already agreed to.
From FAN FILM FACTOR:
We'll Alec Peters calls the partial denial of Plaintiff's Ex-Parte motion a "small victory" for Axanar; yet if you look at what the Magistrate granted from said motion; I'd call it anything but a "victory" for Alec Peters and Axanar:
(I would really like a refund of my $75 at this point; but given the actions of Mr. Peters and Co. I DOUBT they will ever adhere to the KS terms of service and provide me one.)
Well, what isn't known is the result of settlement talks on Monday. If a settlement were to happen, then there could be sufficient funds left (pure guesstimate with financial information release to confirm) to possibly make something. However, it wouldn't be what was promised assuming they couldn't raise additional funds for it or use Star Trek affiliated actors and production folks. In that case, Kickstarter policy would still require refunding those that want them in that case. Of course, that assumes that something isn't figured out in a settlement. We'll probably hear something in the coming days.
I'm glad you're happy and have such faith in someone who in my opinion created a fraudulent kickstarter with misleading and false information and who I also believe created that kickstarter either with astounding ignorance as to how Kickstarter works and the Rules by which kickstarter works or deliberately ignored those rules to create a fraudulant.
I am glad you are happy that Alec has taken the funds he got via what i consider a fraudulent kickstarter and used them for things unacceptable to some backers, again in what I believe to be a violation of Kickstarters rules.
I am glad you are happy that Alecs Kickstarter, the one I believe to be fraudulent, has resulted in a lawsuit that could result in millions of dollars in damages and that as of yet Alec has not bothered, unless its hidden in the multiple walls of blue spam he uses to drive any questions or comments he doesn't like down as far as possible instead of in a clear, concise update where it belongs, to clarify if we, the backers he duped into backing this kickstarter, which I believe to be fraudulent, have any possible liability for damages if he loses.
I'm glad you have such faith in someone who in my opinion has set out to destroy Star Trek, using the money he gained from what i believe to be a fraudulent kickstarter. I'm glad you think this is the best thing that could have been done with the money we gave him on the anniversary of Star Trek, attempt to destroy it.
I'm glad you have such faith in Alec, who berates, belittles, insults, threatens and bullies ANYONE and EVERYONE of his backers if they do not agree with everything he says, everything he does and ask for something KICKSTARTER MANDATES THAT HE OFFER for a kickstarter that he cannot reasonably complete.
I'm glad that you get to live in ignorance and and can not realize that the backers who have asked for refunds are not at fault here, Alec Peters is. We are , as per Kickstarters rules ENTITLED to those refunds.
WE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!!!
Alec Peters is the problem.
For the record; I let Alec Peters know he may keep my money no matter how everything works out. I had no problem updating my information on Aries Digital 2.0. I have received 3 patches in the mail and they look great. Finally, after they win their lawsuit or settle I fully expect to get a copy of the final movie. That is how much faith I have in Alec Peters and Axanar Productions coming through with their promise. If they are not able to, then that was the risk I took when backing this project. So, it would be nice to stop reading the posts about demanding a refund and whining about the project in general. How about a little support to the end no matter how it all turns out. LLAP
I did what you requested and found that my email does not exist on your system.
I sent a email in about 10 days ago telling you of this problem to the tech email address.. Did you receive it, cause I haven't got a reply yet to say it has been resolved.
Kickstarter policy also notes the creator must refund if you cannot meet the project goal as a way of resolution. You cannot meet the goal of the project for a variety reasons. As such, I was generous to accept just a 50% refund since much of the money has been used to build your studio and move on. My Paypal is the same as my email - $37.50. Thanks.
Alec Peters and Axanar says no refunds, however it seems that someone did get a refund...
This Image says it best (Given what Axanar has been posting below):
"you guys, you keep posting over and over..." said the pot to the kettle.
(This post is for everyone who hasn’t already gone through the new Ares Digital 2.0)
Our digital delivery system is back online … Introducing ARES DIGITAL 2.0 !
Everyone here at AXANAR Productions is excited to announce the rollout of our all-new digital delivery and account management system, Ares Digital 2.0! Rebuilt from the ground up, Ares Digital 2.0 is a powerful platform, capable of providing you, our donors, with the digital perks your donation level(s) entitle you to. In addition, each donor’s information will be stored there… from your contact email and shipping address to detailed listings of donations made and the associated perks which accompany those donation levels.
Our Chief Technology Officer, Bill Watters, has created a system tailored to our donors needs. All you need to do is go to Ares Digital 2.0 (http://digital.axanarproductions.com/index.php) where you will be prompted to enter your email address (making sure to use the email address used when your donation was made!), then create a new password for your Ares Digital 2.0 account. You will then be prompted to enter your current shipping address.
Once all your information is updated, you’ll be able to download any of the digital perks you’re entitled to based on level of financial support. You’ll also find links to our Donor Station where you can browse other digital assets and merchandise available for additional donations. 100% of your donations always goes towards Axanar’s production and operations.
If you have any problems accessing the system or making the changes you need to your records, let us know by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember that initially, Ares Digital 2.0 will still have a few things needing to be added to it with regards to digital perks and other items. So if there are any issues you encounter, give it a little bit of time, then let us know. (Bill is quick to respond and wants to make sure Ares Digital 2.0 is the best system of its kind around.)
And starting this month–once those shipping addresses have been entered by all of you!–the patches from the Axanar Kickstarter will start shipping! So, stay tuned to the Fulfillment Blog for additional details, news, etc. �
Director of Donor Relations
Below is the newest article on the Axanar lawsuit by Jonathan Lane on Fan Film Factor. So before you post about the case, please read and educate yourself.
ALEC PETERS’ attorney fires back hard at CBS/PARAMOUNT legal team in AXANAR LAWSUIT!
Remember back in the first half of this year when the initial documents were being filed in the Axanar lawsuit? Remember how each time one side or the other would submit their latest filing, it would suddenly look like it was “game, set, and match?” And then the other side would respond, and it would seem like a knockout blow for that side. And on and on.
Well, history seems to be repeating itself…
Last Thursday, the plaintiffs in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit filed a massive 122-page ex parte (emergency) application for order requesting three judicial rulings from Magistrate Judge Charles Eick:
• Alec Peters must sit for additional deposition questions concerning new e-mails that were just discovered by the plaintiffs last Saturday.
• The financials submitted by the defense should be de-designated by the court from “Highly Confidential” (lawyers’-eyes-only) to publicly available.
• Defense must provide a privilege log.
In the long filing, the plaintiffs made a litany of accusations against the defendant and his legal team, including failure to turn over e-mails, refusal of the defendant’s attorney to provide a privilege log, attempting to hide previous communications between Alec and other attorneys prior to the filing of the lawsuit, not responding to communications from the plaintiffs’ attorneys, refusing to provide text messages and social media postings, and a whole slew of other items that I won’t bother listing due to blog length considerations (just read the first 18 pages of the application).
Well, it didn’t take long for defense attorney Erin Ranahan to file a response, and let me tell ya, she pulled NO punches in hitting back and hitting back hard! In short, Erin Ranahan did the following:
• Accused the plaintiffs of violating the court’s rules for procedure.
• Pointed out that, in doing so, the plaintiffs were wasting the court’s time and resources.
• Accused the plaintiffs of violating confidentiality on multiple occasions (and not just leaking stuff to the Axanar detractors).
• Accused the plaintiffs of misrepresenting facts (i.e. lying) in an ex parte filing…which is a huge no-no.
• Asked the judge for sanctions against the plaintiffs for doing the above.
Also–and you know how I love the word “bombshell”–but there was a HUGE bombshell from the filing which I am FINALLY able to share with all of you (and hopefully it will reach the detractor “peanut gallery, as well)…
ALEC PETERS DID NOT WITHHOLD A SINGLE E-MAIL FROM THE PLAINTIFFS!
Yep, you read that right. I’ve kinda known the behind-the-scenes story for a while, but I didn’t feel comfortable saying anything until I saw Ms. Ranahan mention the e-mail production process in her latest filing (see page 14). So now it can be revealed how I am so certain that Alec did not withhold sending any e-mails to the plaintiffs.
Alec WASN’T THE ONE who sent the e-mails to the plaintiffs!!!
So here’s what usually happens in cases where a whole bunch of e-mails need to be turned over to another party (or their attorneys) during discovery. Except in very rare instances, the actual defendant (or plaintiff) doesn’t send anything directly to the other side. To quote Ghostbusters, “That would be BAD.” Attorneys know best what should and should not be shared, and so their clients are mostly kept off of the legal battlefield. Instead, they hand everything over to their attorneys and the attorneys decide what is relevant and what is not.
How do they do this?
Well, it depends on how many e-mails we’re talking about. In the case of Paramount (who has, to my knowledge, still turned over ZERO e-mails), there are WAAAAAY too many employees and e-mails to search through every one. So if you look at pages 117-118 of Thursday’s application filing, you’ll see that, at least for Paramount, 20 employees (custodians) were determined to have been most likely to have discussed Axanar, Alec Peters, and/or Star Trek fan films. Now, each of these people probably had tens of thousands of e-mails (possibly hundreds) to sort through. So to save time, certain keywords were searched for. We don’t know what words they used (although the defense definitely WANTS to know because, well, ZERO e-mails produced!), but it’s likely to include “Axanar,” “Alec Peters,” S”tar Trek,” and “fan films”…among others.
In the case of Alec’s e-mails, there probably weren’t as many, but still a lot. So I’m certain there was a keyword search done as well at the Winston & Strawn offices to pull out the most obvious ones. And then they dove deeper to do a more thorough review. In the end, Erin Ranahan and her team determined which e-mails were relevant and then turned those over to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
So the only thing Alec did in all of this was to copy his entire e-mail and documents folders onto a flash drive and hand it over to his legal team. Anyone attempting to accuse Alec Peters of some kind of shenanigans in purposefully refusing to or failing to turn over any e-mails that he had for discovery must now face the reality that such an action has never happened.
I hope the above 4-5 paragraphs will finally put this little tempest in a teapot to rest…although the cynic in me kinda doubts it.
Okay, back to the defense’s response…
To provide an idea of the hard-hitting tone of this filing (which was certainly matched by the hard-hitting tone of the previous filing from the plaintiffs), I’d like to share with you what I (and likely the judge, as well) saw first…
Plaintiffs’ Ex Parte Application is not only procedurally improper, it is wholly unnecessary. By their Ex Parte Application, Plaintiffs belatedly seek to raise discovery issues in contravention of the Court’s rules and are wasting the Court’s time and resources on issues that Defendants have already agreed on, or which Defendants have been trying to resolve with Plaintiffs while Plaintiffs have refused to engage in productive discussions. Even if the Court reaches the merits of the belatedly-raised discovery issues, the relief sought is mooted by offers made by Defendants—both in writing and in person—before Plaintiffs filed their Ex Parte Application. Indeed, Defendants have already offered to make Alec Peters available for a second deposition; have repeatedly attempted to meet and confer with Plaintiffs about parameters of the privilege log before preparing it; and Defendants informed Plaintiffs that they are making an additional production today that will moot the remaining issues. Plaintiffs’ counsel did not respond to these offers, making clear that Plaintiffs had committed to file their Ex Parte Application regardless of Defendants’ response. But Plaintiffs fall far short of demonstrating that they are entitled to the extraordinary relief.
To understand this first paragraph and much of the rest of this filing, we need to pause a moment and talk briefly about Magistrate Judge Eick. A bit of an amusing coincidence happened the Saturday evening before the Friday Axanar hearing. There was a dinner party for the parents of my son’s classmates, and one of the moms is an attorney. She and my wife were talking shop, and I heard this woman mention that she’d be arguing in front of Judge Eick on Monday. I came out of my glazed stupor to ask her, “Is that Judge Charles Eick?” She said yes, and I suddenly perked up, joined the conversation, and asked her what she knew about him (explaining a little about the Axanar case, which she’d heard about but thought it had settled).
According to this woman, the judge is VERY thorough and doesn’t like any attorney to play fast and loose with the rules. He’s fair but very strict, and he’s been known to chastise attorneys in open court.
The following Friday, I say exactly what she was talking about! After the hearing was over, I later joked that Magistrate Judge Eick was four parts law professor and six parts Louis Gossett, Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman (just more of an older white guy version). Erin Ranahan spoke first, and during her 55 minute presentation, the judge interrupted her frequently and lectured her (often sternly) on the proper way she SHOULD have filled out the motion to compel discovery. Every little mistake was examined under a microscope (or so it seemed to me), and as I watched the smackdown, I thought to myself, “Damn, Alec is soooo screwed!” But then it was the plaintiffs’ turn, and Loeb & Loeb attorney Jonathan Zavin was given the same excruciating treatment. By the end of the two-plus hours of this punishing endurance match, I didn’t know what would happen…and neither did either of the attorneys. But I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t in their shoes!
And so, now that you know this, you can better understand the strategy of the defense response in this. First of all, Erin Ranahan establishes that the three orders the plaintiffs are asking for are all essentially moot at :
• Alec Peters has already agreed to be deposed again (the only question is how long the plaintiffs get to question him).
• The proper financials that the plaintiff referred to, now that they’ve been properly prepared by an accountant, no longer need to be marked “Highly Confidential” and the defense team is allowing them to just be marked “Confidential.” That means either party can see them…not just the attorneys. Whether they’ll be de-designated from “Confidential” to totally open to the public is a question for the judge, but my legal source says it’s probably enough for the judge that the defense is stipulating to dropping the “Highly.” It’s a good meet-in-the-middle compromise…and judges usually like those.
• The defense has repeatedly offered to produce a privilege log, so no special order is needed there either.
In other words, everything the plaintiffs just tried to do with a 122-page filing was A COMPLETE WASTE OF THE COURT’S TIME (and the defense team’s). Now, remember what I just said about Magistrate Judge Eick being totally by the book? Well, take a look at another snippet from the response (page 4):
With less than a week left in discovery, Plaintiffs have not bothered to follow any of the Local Rule 37 or Local Court procedures governing discovery disputes and cannot satisfy the standard to obtain emergency relief. As the Court noted in In re Intermagnetics America Inc., 101 B.R. 191, 193 (C.D. Cal. 1989):
[E]x parte applications throw the system out of whack. They impose an unnecessary administrative burden on the court and an unnecessary adversarial burden on counsel who are required to make a hurried response under pressure, usually for no good reason. Such applications allow the applicant to jump ‘ahead of the pack’ and ‘cut in line ahead of those litigants awaiting determination of their properly noticed and timely filed motions.
But wait, there’s more. Apparently, misusing the ex parte application process can result in sanctions (in fact, it’s rule #1):
Citing Mission Power, this Court’s first procedural rule cautions against the misuse of ex parte applications, noting that: “Ex parte applications are ONLY for extraordinary relief. Sanctions may be imposed for misuse of ex parte applications.”
This Court also notes in its Pretrial Order that: Any motion challenging the adequacy of responses to discovery must be filed timely, and served and calendared sufficiently in advance of the discovery cut-off date to permit the responses to be obtained before that date, if the motion is granted.
Id. at p. 2, C, (emphasis in original).
Judge Eick already knows all of this, of course. But like any good “law professor,” he likes knowing that his “students” did the reading, too. Well, at least one did. The other? Well, let me hand the virtual mic back to Erin Ranahan…
Plaintiffs apparently do not believe these rules apply to them, waiting until just a few days before the close of the discovery to seek Ex Parte relief about various discovery issues for which there is no timely-filed motion, no Local Rule 37 joint stipulation, and Plaintiffs appear in denial about the offers Defendants made that render moot Plaintiffs’ requested relief.
Back in court last Friday, the judge frequently pointed out to each attorney that the time and place to submit any statement to the court was in the joint stipulation motion to compel discovery, not during the hearing or sometime later. Much of what Erin says in her response filing pretty much says to the judge that she was listening to him while opposing counsel apparently was not.
The defense then went on to bring up something that I mentioned in my previous blog: that the final financial summary from the accountant that the plaintiffs wanted de-designated from “Highly Classified” had NOT been delivered to the plaintiffs yet when they filed their 122-page application document!
Contrary to Plaintiffs’ representation in their Ex Parte Application, these notes were not prepared by an accountant, but were notes by Alec Peters. This information is currently being reviewed by an accountant. As Defendants have explained, these were preliminary notes from Quicken and were not a final accounting, which is still being prepared.
Erin also made an interesting point. The funds raised for Axanar (the full feature) were never entirely used for Axanar because production was halted due to the lawsuit:
How Defendants specifically spent funds that were donated by enthusiastic fans for Axanar projects—one of which is not even complete because this lawsuit interrupted it—has no bearing on any issue in this case. Plaintiffs obviously have no standing to scrutinize or complain about money not going to the fan film they are trying to shut down.
I really can’t think of a good way to argue against that statement, but I’m sure someone will at least try.
Although there’s a lot more in the defense response, I don’t want this blog to go on too long (or rather, it already has). So instead, I’ll wrap by focusing on one final point that Erin Ranahan made about the plaintiffs and respecting confidentiality. And frankly, I can’t say it any better than she did:
Plaintiffs have been careless and disregarded confidentiality agreements in this case on several occasions, including (i) after originally claiming that the fact of the settlement discussions should remain confidential, Plaintiffs made a public announcement about these ongoing discussions; (ii) allowing a non-attorney to view an “attorneys eyes only” document during a deposition; (iii) describing these financial documents in various pleadings without redacting or seeking to file this information under seal; and (iv) citing information from depositions in their Ex Parte Application when it was agreed that all deposition testimony would be treated as confidential until further discussion. [Ranahan Decl., ¶ 14] Plaintiffs are also in frequent contact with individuals who have made clear that it is their goal to leak Axanar and Mr. Peters’ confidential information. In any event, and despite the serious concerns Defendants have about Plaintiffs’ disregard for honoring the confidentiality designations made in this case, and even though Defendants intend to contest the relevance of this information if Plaintiffs seek to introduce it, Defendants had already planned and indeed did produce a revised version of Mr. Peters’ Quicken notes today (Friday, October 28) that will be designated only “confidential,” which moots this issue. Defendants would expect that going forward, Plaintiffs would take better care in honoring the confidentiality designations governing this case.
I’ve noticed a certain cavalier, almost smug, attitude among some Axanar detractors about disseminating privileged information as though this were some kind of Wikileaks dump of stolen Clinton data. Carlos Pedraza even went so far as to call his efforts “hard-hitting reporting” (implying that my efforts aren’t). But there is a very important distinction here. Beyond keeping my sources anonymous, I am also respecting the confidentiality of this case, as are both Alec Peters and Erin Ranahan, whom I talk with from time to time and are repeatedly reminding me that, no, they can’t speak on the record or answer this or that question.
The more Carlos Pedraza and others report on privileged “inside information” from this case, the more they put the studios at risk because that information has to be coming from somewhere–and it’s certainly not the defense! And anyone who is leaking privileged information is quite possibly damaging the chances in the case for the plaintiffs. Sanctions have now been requested by the defense.
One side is playing by the rules here, and one side isn’t. Although sanctions are rarely imposed, it’s not entirely unheard of. And if any judge is going to be serious about making sure the rules are followed, I have a gut feeling it’s gonna be Charles Eick.
We’ll know more soon. As of Monday, there are only two and a half days left in the discovery period and so the judge will likely rule on the ex parte application as early as tomorrow.
Guys, you post over and over, reciting the same Internet bullshit. Here is the deal, there are no refunds. You donated, and Kickstarter is very specific. So if you want to waste your time posting nonsense, you go on and do so, but you aren't getting a refund.
Gosh, I'd just take 50% refund and just call it - 37.50$ - keep the patches.