I have no idea how this project exists given our copyright regime.
And yet, why shouldn’t it? The original Star Trek series now has been out for more than 40 years, giving its owners ample time to recoup their investment and make a tremendous amount of profit over their creative efforts. On balance, society is better off with the freedom for others to make their own versions after forty years (I might even argue twenty-five years is plenty of time). What amazing stories and spins on things people will come up with if they don’t have to ask for permission from a giant corporation — really amazing, weird, unexpected things is what. (And lame, awful things too.)
It’s the age of the Internet — as fundamental a change to the distribution of creative expression as the age of the printing press. Creative projects now get instant global distribution at trivial cost. In fact we are still grappling now with the new problem of attracting attention to creative expression in an ocean of content. That’s a real problem for creators but a very different one than the need to get through the distribution gatekeepers of the pre-Internet era.
Copyright is not natural law, it is a creation of the legal system designed to address a plethora of competing and cooperative goals in a way that best provides overall benefit to society, its culture and knowledge. We are all better off when creators are able to make a return on their creative endeavors but the current copyright rules are a pretty mixed bag in terms of meeting that goal. It is more than past time to craft laws designed to address the age of the Internet.