Paramount, CBS Release Rules for Star Trek Fan Films

Fan films have always skirted a fine line between homage and copyright infringement. Some rights holders, like Lucasfilm, have embraced the efforts of Star Wars loyalists by hosting amateur film festivals and holding contests; Steven Spielberg once met with a group of people who were creating a Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) remake.

But the increasing sums of money raised through crowdsourcing and more affordable production equipment that can offer near-professional results is beginning to weigh more on studios’ minds. In late 2015, Paramount and CBS, which jointly control the Star Trek franchise, sued the makers of Star Trek: Anaxar, an amateur film that obtained its $1.2 million budget by way of Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Although the lawsuit has yet to be settled, the two corporations have just released a set of guidelines for fan film producers in an attempt to keep all parties from bolding going into a courtroom, SlashFilm reports. Among them:

Fan films must not exceed 30 minutes in length total and must not be part of an ongoing “season.”

Cast and crew must not be compensated for their efforts.

Fundraising cannot exceed $50,000.

The finished product must be made available at no charge online, with no physical media (Blu-ray, DVD) distributed.

Alec Peters, a producer on Anaxar, told The Wrap that the rules appear to be “tailor made to shut down” fan efforts and will only prove to be “disheartening” to amateur Trek filmmakers. For the full guidelines, head over to

[h/t SlashFilm]

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Notorious RBG Is Now Available in a Young Readers' Edition
Getty Images
Getty Images

"Supreme Court Justice" and "pop culture icon" aren’t two titles that necessarily go together, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg's story has never followed a script. As the second female Justice to ever be confirmed to the Supreme Court, Ginsburg has crafted a unique resume as a sharp legal mind and a champion for gender equality on a bench that has historically lacked a woman’s perspective.

In recent years, her story found its way to Tumblr, courtesy of a law student named Shana Knizhnik. Her Notorious RBG tribute page showcased Ginsburg’s career and accomplishments in a light that any young adult could appreciate, no matter how much they knew about current events. It distilled her career down into meme-able chunks, comparing the iconic Justice to rap legend Notorious BIG. This page was eventually turned into a biography published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Now, the Notorious RBG is looking to inspire an even younger generation, as HarperCollins has released a Young Readers’ Edition of the biography aimed at kids ages eight to 12. Filled with anecdotes about Ginsburg’s life, illustrations of her accomplishments, a pictorial timeline, and facts about the Supreme Court's history, this version of Notorious RBG “mixes pop culture, humor, and expert analysis for a remarkable account of the indomitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Heroine. Trailblazer. Pioneer,” according to the publisher.

In addition to her highly publicized triumphs behind the bench, the book also examines her adolescence in the 1930 and ‘40s, when professional opportunities for women were virtually nonexistent in many fields. Written by Shana Knizhnik and Irin Carmon, the Notorious RBG charts Ginsburg’s path from a precocious young student into one of the most influential legal minds of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Young Readers’ Edition of Notorious RBG is available now from HarperCollins. You can also purchase it via Amazon.

Sam Adams
Sam Adams's New $200 Beer Might Be Illegal in Your State
Sam Adams
Sam Adams

If you don’t have a high tolerance, Sam Adams’s latest beer could be more of a conversation piece than anything you want to imbibe. That is, if you can even get ahold of the $200 brew at all. The 2017 release of Utopias, the beer maker's biennial barrel-aged specialty, has a staggering 28 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV) content—making it illegal in some places in the U.S.

According to Thrillist, Utopias’s unusually high ABV makes it unwelcome in 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, both North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington. While a typical beer is between 4 and 7 percent ABV, your average distilled spirit can be 40 percent ABV (also known as 80 proof) or more. So what's the big deal with a 28 percent ABV drink? It turns out, those states have laws limiting the strength of beer, many of them holdovers from the end of Prohibition. Sorry, Alabama beer obsessives.

Assuming you’re legally able to buy a bottle of Utopias, what can you expect? Sam Adams says it has flavors reminiscent of "dark fruit, subtle sweetness, and a deep rich malty smoothness," but the beer won’t be bubbly, according to Fortune, since at that level, the alcohol devours any CO2. You should think of it more as a fine liquor or cognac than a craft beer. And you should pour it accordingly, Sam Adams recommends, in 1-ounce servings.

The 2017 Utopias run will be limited to 13,000 bottles. The brew goes on sale for $200 in early December.

[h/t Thrillist]


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