Today I watched a podcast from Reason.TV that I found fascinating. It dealt with Star Trek fan films.
Some of you might know everything about these fan films. Personally, I didn't know there were--not only so many--but that they've been around for so long. This particular Reason podcast focused on the latest Star Trek fan film, Prelude to Axanar and the legal battle that's happening because of it. Reason presents a "David vs Goliath" scenario and the consensus that the big bad corporations should let these fan films go forward.
It made me think about another place where people use likenesses and trademarked properties without permission. It happens at every comic con. At the last Salt Lake Comic Con event I talked to an artist about being able to draw superheroes and other characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Marvel Universe without purchasing the licensing rights to do so. The artist said that none of the artists selling their goods had paid for the licensing rights to sell what they were selling, but that the companies owning the properties don't stop it.
I want to make it clear that I may be completely wrong here. The artist we talked to may have been completely wrong, too. I really don't know what's going on in the world of comic con artists so if I'm wrong, I apologize. But I believe that all those artists selling some pretty good stuff are actually helping the industry as a whole.
Just like I believe allowing these fan films to go forward would be for the best. I guess I'm agree with Reason.
Screenshots used without permission from Reason.TV Podcast