From Mon Dec 23 04:59:12 1996
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 04:57:40 -0500 (EST)
From: Kevin Atkinson <>
Subject: Viacom and Trek Websites (long)
Newsgroups: alt.startrek,rec.arts.startrek.current,rec.arts.startrek.misc,rec.arts.startrek.fandom
Followup-To: rec.arts.startrek.current,rec.arts.startrek.fandom

The following is a post on a UK news group I picked up when searching
Deja News.

For those of you who don't know me I am a quite trek fan and have only
posted to Usenet on a few accessions.  However, this matter of 
Viacom/Paramount actions have me deeply concerned and it appears that
little action has been taken on it.  For that reason I have put 
together a web site at
This site will serve manly as an information center and will 
include varies viewpoints on why Viacom/Paramount is doing this, and
other information.

Together we can fight this and knock some seance into them.

It worked for getting bring back a Star Wars sight it can work 
for Star Trek sites.

BTW I am perfectly aware that paramount it within their legal rights in
their actions.  This does not mean that we can't change their mind.

Now the post. Please take the time to read over everything that is said

Subject:      Viacom and Trek Websites - LONG
From:         Ali and Dave Hopkins <>
Date:         1996/12/22
Message-Id:   <59jdj7$>
Organization: UUNet PIPEX server (post doesn't reflect views of UUNet PIPEX)
Mime-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer:     Mozilla 1.1 (Windows; I; 16bit)

[This post has been modified, it has been slightly cleaned up by
 removing blank lines and fixing word wraps. KJA]

Sorry to anyone who has seen this before, but I thought it might be 


EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry, I haven't been around in a while for about a week.
I have been exhausted and quite busy, in part due to the holidays and
paritally due to a heavy work load.  Over the next 24 hours, I'm going 
to releases several Warp 10's.  I want to be fair to everyone. If I put
it all in one e-mail posting. Most our systems could not handle it. So 
to save my sanity and save my mail box from surge of bounced mail,
I'm going to mail everything in smaall bundles.

Ok  There has been a MAJOR development in Trek that will effect
us all on the Internet.  The article below best describes what is
happening.  Some of you have contacted me. The decision is for you 
to make. However, from what I have heard. It is NOT RICK BERMAN or any 
of the production staff initiating this action. Please do not get this 
confused. I'm not defending this action, but please place blame where 
blame is due. Rick Berman and the Trek production crew are employees are 
of Paramount/Viacom. Their paychecks come from Paramount. It is not 
their fault

Some of your want to take action.  Some groups are rallying to write a
lettter campaign against the show's advertisers and hitting Paramount in
the pocket.  Consider the ramifications of any action your choose to 
take. Organize your efforts, but in a sensible manner, not as crazed 
fans. No one will hear you if you shout, but if you speak quietly with 
conviction, you stand a better chance to be heard. Past Trek campaigns
have worked in the past, but with organization. Everyone was goal
oriented. Do not bicker among one another.

I have included a page where individuals wishing to join the
cause can get more information. 

I do not know how this campaign by Paramount will effect Warp 10.
I do not know if I am a target or future target  or if the mailing lists
are future list are future targets. Your guess is as good as mine.  Deal
with the facts not rumors.

I have also included a posting from the creator of Babylon 5 on
the subject matter that may be a possible option you all might
consider and make all parties happy.  

I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks Again,


Paramount Locks Phasers on Trek
     Fan Sites
     by Steve Silberman 

     Star Trek fans who create unofficial Trek Web sites have
     more to worry about this week than warp-core breaches
     and assimilation by the Borg. In a letter mailed 13
     December to Jeff Rhind, webmaster of Loskene's Tholian
     Web, Paramount counsel demanded that Rhind remove all
     copyrighted Trek-related materials from his site within 10
     days, or face legal action. Similar letters were posted to
     other fans and fans' ISPs, which beamed sites like Tony
     Gelskey's Star Trek Universe, and Michael Brown's Vidiot
     homepage, offline. 

     With franchise owner Paramount coming down hard on
     unauthorized sites after the 10 December launch of the
     official Trek site, Continuum, on the Microsoft Network,
     some fans see a plot to drive traffic to the pay-to-play MSN
     site. Paramount spokeswoman Susan Duffy insists that the
     firm's stance toward the unparalleled Trek fan culture on
     the Net (encompassing more than 53 Trek-related
     newsgroups, and more than 100,000 Web sites) has not
     changed. "Our policy has always been to protect our
     copyrights from infringement," says Duffy. 

     The materials the letter defines as infringing include "full
     scripts or excerpts therefrom ... detailed summaries of the
     works ... photographs, artistic renditions of Star
     Trekcharacters, or other properties ... images, sound
     bites, and video." Though the letter states that Paramount
     "does not, of course, object to all materials posted on the
     Internet relating to the STAR TREK Properties," fans fear
     that Paramount's trademarking of the Trek characters'
     names and the words "Star Trek" risks making any posting
     of plot summaries or reviews into unauthorized use of
     copyrighted materials. 

     "Paramount is really overreacting," says Brown, whose
     own site had been used in the past by Paramount staffers
     to gather trivia from fans for a 30th anniversary broadcast
     on UPN. Brown hopes Paramount can continue to work
     with fans to mutual benefit, because "the whole idea of the
     sites is to promote the franchise." 

     Brown has seen the open-access First Contact site on
     MSN, and he's not impressed. "I thought the interface was
     very inconvenient. It was hard to get around. The site
     wasn't as user-friendly as a fan site would be," claims
     Brown, a Unix systems administrator who sees
     Paramount's move against the unofficial sites as "biting
     the hand that feeds them." 

     Steve Krutzler - a high-school student in Florida who
     designed two popular fan outposts, and a
     First Contact site - says the "super-dedicated fan base"
     online will organize to fight suppression of unauthorized
     sites. "If they're not going to back down, and we have to
     make the ratings fall," Krutzler vows, "we will." 

     Many of the fan pages indexed on meta-sites like the Star
     Trek Nexus make liberal use of the materials mentioned in
     the letter. The situation is ethically complicated by the fact
     that, unlike the unofficial Millennium sites that faced a
     similar shutdown campaign by the Fox Network in October
     - a few of the Trek fan sites turn hit counts into ad revenue,
     in pay or barter. (Krutzler's First Contact site, for example,
     bears not only Trek insignia, but a banner for

     The majority of fan pages, however, do link to the official
     sites, and many carry unofficial credit lines. 

     Though stripping all the Federation-class images and .wav
     files from many sites would leave them drier than Mars, the
     Web is only the tip of the Trek iceberg. There's an entire
     genre of gay and lesbian fan fiction online called "K/S,"
     detailing romantic involvements between Captain Kirk and
     Mr. Spock. The alt.startrek.creative archive contains more
     than 100 Mbytes of stories, poems, and songs, housed in
     11 directories, from "adult" to "tech." 

     To netwatcher Misha Glouberman, who maintains a site
     called Trademark Wars on the Web, the flourishing of
     online fan-dom - and the recent efforts by Paramount, Fox,
     and others to police fan sites - points to a sea change in
     cultural dynamics. 

     "What we're seeing on the Net is popular culture becoming
     something that people participate in, instead of passively
     absorb," observes Glouberman. "People are expressing
     their own creativity through these icons, and these
     copyright skirmishes are undoing the progress ... claiming
     trademark infringement is a back door into censorship that
     wouldn't otherwise be allowable. There's been a lot of
     noise made in the last year about the threat of censorship
     by the government. We need to keep our eye on
     censorship by large corporations in the name of protecting

     Copyright (c) 1993-96 Wired Ventures, Inc. and affiliated companies.
     All rights reserved.


>From from one of our members Geoff Shang. Thanks Geoff!!

Don't know if you've seen any of this about the Viacom/paramount 
crack-down on fan-run web sites.  For more info, Mike Brown's is a good starting place, with a
GIF of the letter and pointers to other threatened sites.  Also, 
here's an article from Wired on the subject.  Sorry about the lynx-isms 
that I've left in,  you can remove them if you'd prefer.


>From one of our members, Wayne. Thanks Wayne

Viacom has recently begun shutting down Star Trek Fan pages, and
has now gone so far as to say that all pictures, sounds (computer sound
effects, etc.), ARTISTIC RENDITIONS, video clips etc. are no longer
permitted on  public web sites.

Please help with the protest by visiting these sites:


>From the Babylon 5 mailing list on the Viacom matter.  JMS is Joe
Stranysksi, the creator and executive producer of  Babylon 5. A
viewer's question is first, then Joe's reponse:


From: (Brian Frost)
Lines: 14

You may or may not be aware that Viacom is trying to shutdown any
Web site that does more than provide discussion of Star Trek.

Seems to me that they are going to shoot themselves in the foot.
The fans are what has given Star Trek life over these many years. 

Would you or WB consider taking such action against Fan
maintained B5 sites? I maintain a page for Houston B5 viewers
and this would most definitely affect the layout of my page.


Brian Frost


From: (Jms at B5)
Lines: 17

Actually, WB and I have already had discussions about this (along
with John C. and others in B5 production).  What we proposed, because
of the unique relationship between us and the online community, was that
WB *not* go after the fan web pages AS LONG AS they attached the proper
copyright info to any graphics or other material that's owned by WB.
This prevents the material from falling into the public domain, 
which is the main concern here.  (Most folks don't know that you 
can lose your copyright if you do not make best, concerted efforts 
to defend it.)

It's a sane and sensible policy, and thus far it seems to be


Copyright (c) 1996 Deja News, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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