CBS, Paramount Sue over Trek

CBS and Paramount have announced a lawsuit against the producer of the fan-funded Star Trek fan film Axanar. The copyright infringement suit names both Axanar and Prelude to Axanar and seeks $150,000 for each element of Star Trek the films infringe. Axanar’s producer, Alec Peters , raised $638,000 on Kickstarter, more than half a million more than he targeted.

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ETA: corrected amount sought in the lawsuit.

Turkish Court Considers Gollum Case

A Turkish doctor compared Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gollum, using pictures of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings films juxtaposed with pictures of Erdogan. The doctor, who has already lost his job over the posting, is now waiting for a court to rule if comparing Erdogan to Gollum is an insult, bringing in two academicians, two psychologists and a movie expert to testify. If the court determines it is an insult, the doctor could face two years in prison.
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Spokane Klingon Attack

Months after the Worldcon was held in Spokane, a local man faces charges for attacking his neighbor with a Klingon bat’leth in a dispute over garbage cans. Carlo Morris Cerutti, who does not appear to have been a member of Sasquan, brandished the weapon at his neighbor on November 14 and is now facing assault charges.

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Wu Creates Legal Fund

Game Designer Brianna Wu, who was forced from her home earlier this month after threats related to GamerGate, has announced that she is forming a legal fund for women targeted by Gamergate. Wu is currently looking for legal advice to ensure that the fund meets all legal and tax requirements.

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Marvel Settles with Kirby

Marvel has settled a long-running rights battle with the heirs of Jack Kirby. Kirby worked with Stan Lee in the 1960s to develop many of the iconic characters of the Marvel universe, including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, the Fantastic Four, and others. Over the years Kirby’s heirs and Marvel have each sued each other over the creator credit and the Supreme Court was considering whether they should take up the case when the settlement was reached for an undisclosed amount and for undisclosed terms.

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Gravity Lawsuit

Author Tess Gerritsen, perhaps best known for her Rizzoli and Isles novels, has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Alfonso Cuarón film Gravity was based on her novel of the same title. Gerritsen’s work was purchased by New Line in 1999, although work ceased on the project by 2002. New Line is currently owned by Warner Brothers, which produced the Cuarón film. Gerritsen is suing for $10 million.

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Kramer Pleads Guilty

Ed Kramer pleaded guilty to three of the six counts in the original indictment filed against him and has received a 20 year sentence of four five year terms to run concurrently with credit for time already served. Kramer will serve the remaining 36 months of his sentence under house arrest, has been ordered to pay $100,000 to each of his victims by July 2014, and is prohibited from interacting with anyone under the age of 16. Kramer was originally arrested in August 2000 on charges of child molestation.

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Dragoncon-Kramer Settle

Following the announcement that Dragoncon had reorganized and bought out Ed Kramer’s share, Kramer’s attorney threatened to sue Dragoncon, claiming that Kramer never agreed to the buyout. The Dragoncon board filed the first lawsuit and on November 25, Kramer settled for an undisclosed sum, although it is stated to be a small amount over what was offered in the summer. This settlement finally ends Kramer’s association with the convention he founded. Kramer is scheduled to go on trial for child molestation charges on December 2. He was arrested in 2000.

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Kramer’s Day in Court

Thirteen years and one day after being arrested on child molestation charges, Atlanta area fan Ed Kramer has been scheduled to go on trial the weeks of December 2 and 9. Kramer’s trial has been postponed through a series of delaying actions taken on his behalf by his attorneys who have cited a wide variety of health issues including pain related to a cervical (neck) fusion; Type II diabetes; psoriatic arthritis; hypothyroidism; asthma; COPD, or emphysema; sleep apnea; narcoplepsy; fluid retention in his feet; “moderate to severe” hearing loss; and a recent bout with staph infections. Kramer’s trial date may still be changed if the court can’t reach reasonable accomodations for his health issues. Earlier this year, Dragon*Con, which Kramer co-founded, forced a buy-out of Kramer’s shares.

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Gerhartsreiter Sentenced

Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (a.k.a. Clark Rockefeller) was found guilty earlier this year of the murder of John Sohus, a member of LASFS, in 1985. Gerhartsreiter may also have killed Linda Sohus, who vanished at the same time as her husband, but whose body has never been found. Gerhartsreiter has now been sentenced to 25 years for Sohus’s murder, plus an additional two years for the use of a deadly weapon. He is ineligible for parole.

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