A virtual recreation of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation has been ordered to shut down after receiving a cease and desist order from the CBS legal department. The project’s creator explained the situation in a video and highlighted the achievements of the project, known as Stage-9 since its beginning in 2016.
“We made it as clear as we possibly could that this was not an officially licensed project. We had no affiliation with CBS or Paramount, and the IP we were trying to treat with respect, was not our own. It was owned by those companies and we were just fans creating fan art and I thought we made that pretty clear.”
Trek News reports that Rob Bryan, a developer for the project, said, “All of us in the Stage 9 development team are saddened that the project has come to this unfortunate end. We were more than happy to work with CBS to make any changes that they would have asked for.”
Syfy reports that the cease and desist letter arrived on September 12th, and prompted the Stage-9 team to shut down the main website, YouTube channel, Discord page, and subreddit.
In a 2016 interview with John Van Citters, CBS’s Vice President for Product Development, he touched upon the impact of fans and the rules for how they can get involved in creating fan-based homages.
“We want fans involved, very much so. We just want them involved in the right way that’s going to help us evolve and bring Star Trek to a bigger and brighter future. It’s easy to think that Star Trek, in terms of fan initiatives, is all about fan films, and that’s not it at all. We’ve long encouraged fan creativity and fan participation in Star Trek. [Fans are] not going to hear from us. They’re not going to get a phone call, they’re not going to get an e-mail, they’re not going to get anything that is going to ruin their day, one way or another, and make them feel bad or like they’ve done anything wrong.”
CBS Issues A Cease And Desist To The Enterprise D VR Experience
A fan-produced recreation of the Enterprise D from Star Trek: The Next Generation has shut down following a cease and desist from CBS legal [..] https://t.co/Vr18DtOEnn
— Trek Sphere (@TrekSphere) September 26, 2018
But those comments were mostly in reference to fan-made films. However, the creators of Stage-9 have reached out to Citters to see if there is anything that can be done to make both parties happy, such as removing certain elements from the simulation or tweaking certain things. The team has received confirmation that Citters has gotten their messages but so far, he has chosen not to respond.
Although the official simulation has been shut down, there is still a nearly 20-minute long video walkthrough of the ship available online. Before the project was shut down, it was a desktop experience that could be enjoyed on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Later, it branched into virtual reality and other mobile devices.