Setting the record straight on SMALL ACCESS!

Man, I so hate dealing with misinformation!  Really, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

When I screw up, as I did on this blog a few months ago, I am quick to correct the mistake.  I usually hope that others will do the same. Alas, it doesn’t always happen that way…

And that leaves me facing a choice: let the misinformation remain uncorrected (potentially confusing people and spreading the false claim even further) or try to correct it myself, potentially coming off as petty and vindictive.

It’s really a no-win scenario for me…which is why I hate having to decide what do do when confronted with blatant misinformation.  In this case, I’m choosing to shine a light on the situation and try to correct it.  And I apologize in advance if I seem petty or vindictive, as that’s not my intention.  And hey, feel free to skip this blog entry if you prefer to come here just for the fan film stuff.  I’ll get back to that after this blog.

So here’s what happened…

JAMES HAMS is one of those people I refer to as “detractors,” and we’ve had our fair share of disagreements.  Somewhere around late October of last year, James decided to set up his own blog similar to Fan Film Factor, focusing on Star Trek fan productions.  In fact, it was even named  It’s a very decent site, and I’ve actually recommended it to others.  James works very hard to get interviews from and news about numerous fan producers and their projects, and it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re a follower of Trek fan films.

(By the way, if you’re wondering why I’m saying such nice things about “the competition,” it’s because we’re all on the same team.  I feel the same way about the Star Trek Reviewed blog.  You can drink Coke AND Pepsi AND Dr. Pepper…read the New York Times AND the Washington Post AND the Wall Street Journal…enjoy Star Trek AND Star Wars AND OrvilleTrek fan films need all the support and exposure they can get.  So viva la fan film blogs!)

Then why is Jonathan so pissed off?

Well, at first I didn’t even know about James’ latest blog.  He’d written something titled “The Fan Film Guidelines – Breakdown/Analysis, Part 1.”  You can read it here.  As I write this, it has not yet been corrected.  But just in case that changes and anyone starts wondering what the heck got me so hot under the tunic, here’s a screen cap of the part of it that led to this blog…

Now, I don’t mind if James wants to bash SMALL ACCESS.  He’s welcome to editorialize all he wants to…just as I do from time to time.  He can have him own opinions, no problem.  What he can’t be allowed to have, however, is his own facts.

Take a look at the second-to-last line of the first paragraph.  See those three words in blue: “sharing login details“?  They link directly to the CBS Interactive Terms of Use specifying that users are not to share their login names and passwords.  It’s something that CBS takes very seriously.

And so do I.

In fact, no sooner had I started SMALL ACCESS in late June of last year than I posted this important message:

Not only was I not encouraging login/password sharing (a form of piracy) but also any form of piracy like downloading bit torrents.  However, 400 new members joined over the next week, and many had not seen my post, and some had begun discussing ways of viewing Star Trek: Discovery illegally.  This led to one of my trusty moderators posting this not-exactly-friendly reminder:

It was shortly after this that the moderators and I decided to revise our rules to make it VERY clear that getting Discovery in any illegal way was a BIG no-no.  We even made it our second rule (please note: the rules were just revised recently, and I don’t have a screen cap of the previous version, but rule #2 was essentially the same in both versions)…

And yes, there’s one more from last September…

Now, as I said, I was initially unaware that James had written a blog mentioning SMALL ACCESS, let alone that he had accused us encouraging people to violate the rules of CBS All Access.  The first I knew of this was when one of my moderators, DAVE HEAGNEY, JR. copied me on an e-mail thread between him and James.  It began with this message from Dave to James…

We at Small Access do not advocate, nor plan to utilize the sharing of people’s All Access login information to accomplish our goals. Indeed, we routinely shut down anyone who mentions watch the show via ANY means of piracy. Had you perused our site, you would have seen that. I expect this to be corrected immediately!

Okay, kinda aggressive, I admit.  But I appreciate that Dave is jumping on something like this so quickly and definitively.  After all, it’s a pretty serious piece of misinformation that could threaten to pull the rug out from under SMALL ACCESS.  I’m not sure whether or not James was purposefully trying to sabotage the group or get us bad press, but the potential for that outcome is glaringly obvious.  After all, I wouldn’t want to join a Facebook group advocating for something illegal.  Would you?

James responded about two hours later (a courteously prompt response)…

Good Evening,

Thank you for your email.

Please can you provide the URL to the content you are reporting along with any screen caps and URLs to the content that backs up your claim, once I have this information I will assess it and edit any content needed.

Many Thanks

Not sure I would have chosen the “please back up your claim” approach myself.  But hey, it’s his blog, and it’s a perfectly valid response….as was Dave’s reply…

Please see the attached screencaps.
This is the link to the offending article.
The attachment “The Offending Article.png” is the screencap. In the article you state that we plan to use the sharing of login information as a means to accomplish our goals. The sharing of login information with an outside party would be a form of piracy (defined as “the unauthorized reproduction or use [emphasis mine] of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.:

This is the link to the page. Click on the description to the right to see the rules “Proof1.png” is the accompanying screen cap. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find, considering you pulled part of the description from there for your blog post.

These links are to no less than three occasions of the group owner or moderator making a post regarding our policy against piracy.

In short, your claim is scurrilous, and you have no good-faith basis on which to make it. I expect a retraction of this claim, and an apology posted on your blog for making such a claim in the first place.

That all happened on Tuesday afternoon (my time).  I came home from Jayden’s gymnastics class to read the e-mail chain and promptly sent James a follow-up myself.  I told him that I don’t really need an apology, but I do need a retraction.

And it’s not enough to simply remove the three blue words”sharing login details“.  Even though James’ blog doesn’t get much user traffic, people  have still already read that blog entry…even if it’s just a few dozen or even a hundred.  And this is how rumors and “fake news” get started.

So I asked James Hams specifically for a correction and retraction.  I concluded my e-mail with the following:

I sincerely hope, however, that I can conclude that blog entry with a congratulations to you, James, for acting professionally and responsibly in correcting the errors in your blog.  You generally do good work in the world of fan films, and I would like to continue recommending your blog to others with a clear conscience.

I am hopeful you will do the right thing.

This time we didn’t hear back in two hours.  But to be fair, by that point, it was getting toward the middle of the night in Great Britain.  So Dave and I waited until what was the next afternoon for James, and Dave sent this follow-up…

It is now 5:40PM your time. You have had ample time to review the evidence showing that the assertion in your blog is scurrilous and not based in fact. It should not have taken you more than 20 minutes (the time it took me to assemble the evidence). We would appreciate the courtesy of at least receiving some kind of response from you regarding this and the other issues Mr. Lane has expressed about your article, and what you intend to do regarding them.

“Mr. Lane”…gotta chuckle at that one.  Thanks, Dave.

But what I can’t chuckle at is the potential damage this blog does to SMALL ACCESS the longer it stays up uncorrected and underacted.  As you might remember from my Monday blog, we’re currently doing a push with HeadTalker to try to increase the size of our membership…and we’ve only got 6 days left!

(Speaking of which, if you haven’t joined SMALL ACCESS yet, please consider doing so by clicking here.  And also, if you have a moment for a few mouse clicks, we could also use some help with our HeadTalker campaign.  Click here to help with that.)

So anyway, with the clock ticking, we waited for Jame’s reply, which came back about 90 minutes later…

Good Evening,

Thank you for you follow up email, as of 19.29pm 17/07/16 I am looking into this issue.

Please expect a reply within the next 7 days.



I’ll skip the WTF and all the other shocked things I could say because I’m sure you folks can fill in those blanks for yourselves.

Instead, I’ll cut to the chase.  We’ve got 6 days left in the HeadTalker campaign.  (And did I mention you can click here to help with that?  Oh, yeah, I did.)  If it takes 7 days for James to even get us a response…well, you can do the math.

And that, my friends, is why I’m writing this long-winded blog.  (I’m pissed, not pithy.)  If James is going to needlessly drag his feet in even responding—let alone redacting and correcting—then I’ve got no choice but to use the power of the pen (and the blog) myself.

Please, whether you’re a SMALL ACCESS member or not, please help us out by either posting a link to this blog or simply letting your friends know that the information on is incorrect and that SMALL ACCESS has never advocated that our members do anything illegal.  (And remember that HeadTalker!  Yeah, I’m shameless in pushing that).

Anyway, that’s the end of my rant for today.  Hopefully James Hams will do the right thing and correct his error—there’s still time, but not seven days—because I’d really like to conitnue being able to praise and recommend his blog site to others.

31 thoughts on “Setting the record straight on SMALL ACCESS!”

  1. James Hams, like many haters, acts like a social misfit who thinks being a keyboard warrior brings meaning to his sad life. Lies are a way of life for him.

    Don’t worry Jonathan. you are the single most important person in Star Trek fan films in my book, and your blog is a gem. Haters like James Hams couldn’t do anything productive for this community if their life depended on it.

    We at Axanar are with you.

    Alec Peters

    1. Thanks, Alec. The “lies are a way of life for him,” however, does come close to our “no personal insults rule.” You didn’t call him a name, per se, but still…if we don’t want people insulting you, then you shouldn’t be insulting them either. Other than that, though, I appreciate your support, my friend.

    2. I want everyone to know this that i don’t like the rules that cbs and paramount studio want after you useing the rules against you when your work is only for the internet services only. Cbs DON’T HAVE NO right to take your work and put it as a film company that make with the rules that they use. I will never support cbs and paramount studio no more. Soon you will be looking to see all i want from person and people who like star trek and TOS as a real star ship on land?, i will let you to know only one PERSON who can get back his dads work it is son with the same name but hi has a jr in his name. I will support axanar work all the way. But i do need to get all the help from all of you with this project. But the only thing holding me up is my noney and get my laptop computer back from the computer shop. I will post with kickstarter and gofundme to get over $ 2 billion, i will be looking for the right people who like star trek and more. Will you work for this money at $100.00 per hour?.

    3. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Seriously? A blogger about fan films is the “single most important person in Star Trek fan films”?


      If anyone needed proof you’ve lost the plot Alec this is certainly it.

      Shouldn’t you be writing your script? My my reckoning your first draft is now over a week late.

      1. Alec’s statement may be a tad hyperbolic, but by any metric I’ve seen, Jonathan is the Big Swinging Dong out of any of the websites dedicated to fan films.

        P.S.: I am completely certain Alec Peters is constantly experiencing night sweats because he has not met your arbitrary deadline…..not.

          1. I would have used another word, but it would have violated your “no swearing” policy.

            In all seriousness, in the field of fan film websites, with regards to size, you have it where it counts!

        1. Hey Cappy, it was Alec’s deadline that he made in the last Indiegogo update. He said on May 23rd that it’d be done by the end of the month. It’s just another example of Alec setting himself deadlines that he doesn’t meet.

          As far as Jonny goes, Alec said nothing about websites he said in Trek fan films. I’m pretty sure that other than stuffing a few envelopes for Axanar Jonny hasn’t done anything on an actual production.

          1. “I’m pretty sure that other than stuffing a few envelopes for Axanar Jonny hasn’t done anything on an actual production.”

            How sure? 🙂

            (I am going to enjoy this.)

            In addition to my volunteer work on Axanar, I’ve been involved with three different Star Trek fan productions (dating back to 1999 and as recently as last year) as an actor, co-writer, co-producer, extra, voice-over person, and a few times as just a gofer.

            How ’bout you, Sandy-man?

          2. Well, I was unaware of that, seeing as I don’t get updates for an Indiegogo campaign I haven’t donated to. All I know is 1) he’s met with Bill Hunt, so we at least know there’s progress, 2) Shat happens. I know I have items I do at work that I have to sometimes delay because of that principle. Somehow, I don’t think you’re inclined to ever give him that kind of slack. Or maybe, 3) He’s already finished and hasn’t told you, because you’re….well, you!

            As for what you say about “Jonny”, you should check into a hospital, ’cause you got BURNED!

          3. Fair enough Jonny! That still doesn’t make you the most important person in Trek fan films though.

            Me? Nope, not at all. I’ve never had a desire or interest in filmmaking.

          4. He did say it was in his book, Sandy-man. If you haven’t read Alec’s book (he might still be working on it–there’s no official deadline) then maybe I’m not the most important person in Trek fan films. Or maybe I am. Or maybe I’m just some blogger with a brilliant sense of humor!

    4. Get real.

      Stop pushing the “haters are losers” BS… I guess I’m a loser if I made more money in the last 6 months than you have made in the last 10 years. Unless you know him personally being quiet is always the best bet.

      A civil mutual solution is better than insults….

  2. I’ve actually had a couple of decent conversations with James, most recently as Monday. But this is just sad and calls into question anything else he said that I might have given thought to.

  3. Well… this is really a dickmove from him… hope, he’ll change his blog soon. it’s not goot for fanfilms, it’s not good for small access AND it’s not good for him aswell (smelly smell of fake news is never a good thing)…

  4. Yep, he needs up to 7 days to look at your comments, but has the time to write about 20 posts an hour in the “The real truth about Axanar” facebook group in response to just about everything.

    On the other hand.. nobody would have found out about this blog if you didn’t post about it. Nobody cares about what he writes. So.. not sure I would have openly written about it like this.

    1. As I said, it was a tough choice to make. But in the end, I felt it more important that the misinformation be corrected publicly…if not by James then by me.

      By the way, James did get back in touch with me…and it didn’t take 7 days. More on that shortly.

  5. Sadly, some people will selfishly cling to their jealousy and hatred of others and will do or say anything to hurt the object of their malice. I’m hoping that this is not the case with James, but if it is, well… We know the track record with people like that. **pointedly looks at Axamonitor** Just sayin…

  6. I think the problem in this instance isn’t Small Access, so much as some of the more vocal members that continue to this very day to share accounts and other ideas that are clearly stated as being against the rules.

    So it’s a matter of policing your members better.

    1. Well, we did a bit of of head-count. James said he found 7 posts that mentioned some kind of piracy (interestingly enough, none that specifically spoke about password-sharing…which is what started this whole kerfuffle). In total, there have been 29,291 posts and comments/replies in SMALL ACCESS since it went live last summer (Reece Watkins has bots who count fast!).

      7 out of 29,291 comes to a 99.97611% success rate of policing our members.

      So when you say “better,” Admiral, I’m just trying to make sure that you’re talking about that remaining 0.02389%, right?

  7. I just have to admire the people who can take things that are not true, bend them, turn them into “news” and reship them around the world in seconds. This has become a standard tool by people who have no good way to control the narrative, but to toss out vague narratives where they insist, that, you did kill the cat and eat the bird. This has migrated into EVERYTHING (seen any Russians, anyone?) and is a tool that is only used to start an emotional response, mainly because they lack a fact based one. It is gossip on steroids ” I heard that…” Most of the other statements quoted in his blog all go back tot he low toned “their all Axanar supporters” ” a blog run by Axanar supporter Jonathan”, ” a FB page with an admin who was Axanars PR guy”, and it is all low level knocks designed to discredit you and your opinions due to that. Sorry Jonathan, I find that reprehensible in anyone. It has become so common now, you cannot even look at news feeds without clearly seeing the Pro/Con organizations, and it is the same with blogs. The one reason I really like your blog is you have NOT gone down that road, you have NOT skewed every discussion to be a disguised “rant” against the evil “others”. You have done a pretty good job at just providing fact and opinion, and always indicated somewhere that you were of this opinion or that. Obviously Mr. Hams is just a shill for CBS, probably paid by them, to have a counter blog to all the freedom loving Axanerds who have selflessly devoted their lives to the pursuit of freedom and humanity and a IP free Trek universe…..oh wait, I guess I am guilty of it too, now aren’t I? Shame on me……

    1. “Obviously Mr. Hams is just a shill for CBS, probably paid by them…”

      Sorry to have to give you a warning, Brian. But “shill” is name-calling…whether it be to me or someone else. I’ve confirmed that CBS is not currently paying anyone associated with fan films to do anything–act, produce, blog, etc. There isn’t any conspiracy, and to be honest, most of the folks at CBS don’t give us fan film aficionados a second thought. We’re too small of a slice of fandom to pay anyone to deal with us.

      Yeah, I’ve just underscored the challenge facing SMALL ACCESS and poured cold water over the hopes and dreams of grandeur of many fan producers. But truth to tell, we should be happy that CBS doesn’t really give a shat about us or what we do (until things start getting to Axanar levels). As soon as fan films come onto CBS’s radar, we potentially become an issue that needs to be dealt with. The reason we get to play in the sandbox is because it’s in a kiddie park across the street from the studio and we don’t make enough noise to bother the grown ups.

      Sorry if that brings anyone down. But seriously, the more we stay off their radar, the happier we all will be. 🙂

      1. Sorry Jonathan, that was not meant directly as a statement of fact, it was a sarcastic imitation of the same level of observation that seems to pass for “blogging” from the source we are discussing.
        “Obviously Mr. Hams is just a shill for CBS, probably paid by them, to have a counter blog to all the freedom loving Axanerds who have selflessly devoted their lives to the pursuit of freedom and humanity and a IP free Trek universe…..oh wait, I guess I am guilty of it too, now aren’t I? Shame on me……” I was trying to place the same level of investigation, fact, data gathering that apparently passes for “good anti axanar” journalism, into a “anti-anti axanar” statement, to show just how salacious all this can get when you let go and just toss emotional, negative, but not factual, words into a statement. That was all around the focus point of the discussion (the login statement), and never appeared to be called out. Someday, I hope to see someone who can calmly, carefully, and accurately, discuss the both sides of the Axanar/CBS thing besides you.
        So, I understand the warning, just wanted to put it in context, I do try to be civil and avoid the use of derogatory names, I just really needed to make the point that these people seem to all have a single model for discussion. Also, no one has ever compared the “Space Command” director/writers statement that “he made a 10 day shoot to produce a Hugo winning Star Trek fan film that was clearly proof that fan films can be made at the same level as studio material”, and this was about 2 years ago or more, yet there was no lawsuit, no guidelines, nothing. All that, in context with the “It’s all Axanars fault” arguments, do not seem to go together well…..

  8. Jonathan, maybe you might want to look into Space Command series/movies, as they are being made by Mark Scott Zircee who claims that he wrote and produced the ST NV episode World Enough and Time, that had all these great Star Trek actors in it, and was so good they proved that you could make studio quality shows that meet that level. I seem to remember a whole passel of people blaming Axanar for everything and it was because THEY said essentially the same things, used their IP (because it’s THEIR IP!) and yet this has been out for 2-3 years or so. In fact, they use almost every living Trek actor left. And after listening to VicM’s rant where he blames Axanar for everything, because “they went overboard and tried to compete with the studio and ripped off their fans”, it seems this whole argument over CBS All Access and Disco and Trek and Fan films is moot, as it all boils down to “It was Alecs Fault”. And it isn’t about viewers, or logins, or All Access, or even Disco, it seems it is more some personal thing with a whole bunch of excuses papered over it. All of these “supporters of fan films” seems to say, in one way or another, is “Axanar and Alec ruined it for us and now it’s his fault we have to stop”. After watching that video for supporting of Star Command, it seemed pretty obvious someone already ate Axanars lunch in the boasting department, and no one ever noticed, because no one has ever really cared about whether the fan films are better or had ST Actors in it, until now. That does not mean it was Axanars fault, it means at some point (and not to prevent unauthorized trading of logins, either) someone, somewhere, decided they needed to pull the plug on the whole fan film thing, and my guess is before stuff reached a level where you could not discern between the CBS stuff and the fan stuff, and that would mean their business model had no product left to sell. The bottom line is it seems to nullify all the bad mouthing of Axanar, because it could have been STNV (because they were just as good as CBS, they say so), or any one of others, who made a heck of a lot more blatant use of their IP than Axanar did. It’s almost the more you find, the more you see there never was a case, it was all a matter of convenience and opportunity.

    1. You’re right in that Axanar was a convenient target. Renegades also got a major tongue-lashing from CBS months before Alec was ever sued. The only thing that kept Renegades “safe” was that Tim Russ was the show-runner, and CBS didn’t want to sue someone they might need later on for voice-overs as Tuvok for a licensee or for approval of his likeness on merchandise. But yes, fan films were becoming a significant concern for many of the studios–in many cases, they still are. But I think CBS’s experience with Alec Peters was a good lesson in what not to do. CBS really didn’t gain very much (if anything) from the million dollars they spent on this lawsuit…and Axanar still gets to be made with special guideline exceptions granted. It’s really not what the studios wanted when they filed a lawsuit (they wanted a complete shutdown). But Alec lawyered up with a top IP firm willing to represent him pro-bono…and the lawsuit dragged on for another ten and a half month. So eventually, even in “victory,” the studios still had to settle the case and allow the fan film to get made after all.

      1. Thanks for the in depth reply! One of virtues is you actually engage with your readers, and a lot of bloggers do not.

        1. I try when I can. I’ve stopped re-litigating the Axaanr case or giving detractors a podium to make the same claims and accusations over and over again. Life’s too short!

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