Why choose just one? Don’t we hate all of the guidelines? Don’t we want everything to go back to what it was when the only rules were “Don’t charge to see your fan film” and “Don’t make any profit”?
Well, actually, no…at least I don’t feel that way anymore. Actually, I never wanted to get rid of all of the guidelines, and I only ever thought that maybe four of them were truly problematic for fan films. As I discussed in Part 2, the guidelines didn’t kill Star Trek fan films. In fact, since the guidelines were announced last June, more than SIXTY Trek fan films have been released…some of which did not follow the new guidelines but many did.
And then in Part 3, I discussed how the guidelines weren’t a completely bad deal for fan producers. By providing a safe harbor, much of the guesswork, uncertainty, and outright fear could be avoided by fans wanting to ensure they would not answer the door one day to a person holding a subpoena. Of course, the guidelines are still very restrictive, but they are far from impossible to follow.
However, I still believe there is room left to improve the guidelines to make them less constraining for fans while still protecting the interests of the studios. But the reality is that the more changes we fans try to get made to their guidelines, the less likely the studios will be to cooperate. So last week and this week, I’m looking at all the guidelines in an attempt to choose just one to focus on—one little compromise. If we can adjust just a single guideline, it’s still a win for fans…and we go from there.
But which one?
Last week, we quickly eliminated nearly half of the guidelines because they weren’t really problematic. Then we began looking at the second group of guidelines, a category I called…