The Klingon (Legal) Battle Over Copyright
Paramount Pictures and CBS are suing Axanar Productions along with executive producer Alec Peters over their 2014 short film Prelude to Axanar, and the planned full-length Axanar.
In their brief, Paramount identifies “infringing elements,” including original Star Trek characters, races and species, and the Klingon language. This has raised the issue of whether a language can be copyrighted.
A recent NPR show and article discusses the issue in Is Klingon A Living Language? That’s For (Human) Courts To Decide.
The Financial Post follows this up with the article, U.S. judge won’t rule on Klingon language copyright claim.
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Ellyssa Valenti Kroski is the Director of Information Technology and Marketing at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 75 books including Law Librarianship in the Age of AI for which she won the AALL's 2020 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at Drexel and San Jose State Universities, and an international conference speaker. She received the 2017 Library Hi Tech Award from the ALA/LITA for her long-term contributions in the area of Library and Information Science technology and its application. She can be found at: