The creators behind a fan made project to recreate the decks of the illustrious USS Enterprise as an interactive tour has been sent a cease-and-desist notice to stop their project by CBS, the owners of the Star Trek franchise.
A group of talented Star Trek: The Next Generation fans gatheredu two years ago to virtually recreate the entire USS Enterprise-D, deck by deck, using the Unreal Engine. The project, named Stage 9, has made tremendous progress, as evident by the hour long video uploaded by the team showing all the locales made famous by the TV series, including the transporter rooms, sickbay, engineering and of course, the bridge. The fully interactive tour features recreations of the original crew of the ship, allows users to play around with the ship's computer controls, and even perform a saucer separation (something that was uniquely Enterprise-D).
The project's leader, Scragnog, went into the project without any commercial aims and despite being especially careful with the potential intellectual property issues, was extremely disappointed when CBS issued a cease-and-desist order two weeks ago, and now, the project has officially shut down.
Upon getting the order to shut down, Scragnog and others tried to reach out to CBS and see if some kind of compromise could be reached. Or at the very least, they wanted to find out just which part of CBS's "fan art guidelines" had been broken by Stage 9.
"We were hoping, perhaps naively, that the elements of Stage 9 that CBS did not approve of would be highlighted to us, so we could be sure to remove these elements from the project and create something that met with, if not their approval, then at least their acceptance," explained Scragnog.
Unfortunately, CBS were in no mood to discuss the issue and insisted that Stage 9 be shut down, or legal consequences will follow.
"It's a truly horrible situation to be in when something that tries to respect Star Trek can be eliminated without any opportunity for open dialog," Scragnog noted in is "farewell" message to fans of the project.
CBS's current actions run counter what CBS Vice President for Product Development John Van Citters said in 2016 specifically in relation to fan projects.
"We want fans to be involved, very much so," said Van Citters. "And it's going to help us evolve and bring Star Trek to a bigger and brighter future."
"They're not going to hear from us. They're not going to get a phone call, they're not going to get an email. They're not going to get anything that's going to ruin their day one way or another and make them feel bad, like they've done something wrong."
Unfortunately, Van Citter did not respond to the Stage 9 team's request for clarification or intervention.