The decision we came to was that our fans are what make us, so we asked our lawyers to write up a licensing agreement for us that we could use with all the fans. It included provisions for profit sharing so that people could even make a profit off their fan art, as long as they cut us in for a small percentage and got our permission first. And that's how we ended up things like a complete reddit bike kit. 
After that, it was easier for us to license stuff than it was to try and shut it down, not to mention the right thing to do. I'm sad that CBS couldn't come to the same conclusion.
I consider it one of the worst decisions I ever made.
Yes, it was legal, but it caused a huge controversy and made the controversy even worse when we had to pull it back.
The balancing act with allowing fan art is that one group of fans hates the work of another group of fans, you have to make a moral decision as to which group is "right", and it's always the wrong decision to some people.
In that case we should have predicted the controversy and said no from the beginning.
I really do think it is questionable to reject a community's use of an otherwise almost universally free logo, and permit them on the site.
I'm one to recognize that in every discussion about everything, "there is a line somewhere" and the debate is where the line is. My belief is that guns are on a defendable side of the line, and you didn't.
I believe if firearms are so morally wrong that reddit doesn't want associated with it, then it would be most consistent to quarantine the sub to make clear how morally opposed reddit is to legal, responsible firearms ownership. At the end of the day, though, it is about money. You figured out you could piss off the gun owners, but not enough for them to leave the platform, while placating the anti-firearms protesters.
So it goes.
Many other places in the world find the near constant mass shootings abhorrent, feel the US’ obsession with the AR-15 is an abusive relationship, and that the arguments around "guns = freedom" or any discussion of controls around weaponry defy all logic and reason.
The USA is a very small part of the global population and are apparently only around 50% of the Reddit user base.
For every user who feels Reddit should allow their logo to be associated with guns there are likely 2 or 3 who feel they have a moral obligation to not to promote them.
The reddit admins only care about staying out of the crosshairs. Let jailbait stay around until it's in the news. Let racist subs stay around until an uproar. Let /r/guns use Snoo until a bunch of activists yell long enough. There is no ideology, only pragmatism about keeping pageviews and revenue. They could quarantine /r/guns and related, but they would alienate 350,000 plus accounts.
They could ban T_D too, but there are millions of users there. As an aside, I think that is a federal honeypot for Russian agitprop research, but we won't know for years.
>and that the arguments around ... any discussion of controls around weaponry defy all logic and reason.
I didn't parse that.
Would you be ok with 24/7 news coverage of your brand being associated with that? If so, great, and work to allow it. If not, you should work to reduce your exposure.
I'd say that can explain why MJ is ok where guns = not so much.
To the other posters I would say it's not a "double" standard but a "standard"; there are some things that Reddit is happy to be associated with and some that it isn't.
If I were to navigate to a sub-forum /on/ Reddit for a controversial topic it would not surprise me to see some Reddit IP involved in the theme/art; it's a recognition of the underlying platform and the context of the speech makes it feel more like the community using it is paying respect to the platform than the platform overtly supporting/endorsing that community.
When you see the logo on actual items outside of that platform the context has shifted. Now it's a holster, tee-shirt, or something else that is advertising an association between the groups; maybe without even a contextual link to where the sub-forum is.
The context changes the perception of what is being said even with the exact same work.
The fact that Reddit allows their branding to be associated with other things I don't think plays into it very much.
GP is completely correct in their read on the situation - there is a double standard.
I have aggressive streaks like many men, but in practice I am known as even handed, mediating and compromising among colleagues. I am a peacemaker. I also own almost a dozen firearms.
No, you didn't. The Right Thing™ to do would be to have simply told the complainers to carry on with their lives. There's no reason to give hecklers a veto.
This does seem to describe Internet culture, all right.
It only happens because people in your position so often roll over in the face of pressure from any group who can make noise, even inconsequentially, even for a short time. And then you go and say you "can't" take the position of treating people evenhandedly. Yes you can. It may be challenging but you could've done it. You chose the easy path; don't act like you had no choice. Take responsibility for violating your principles.
(I say this as someone who has faced such backlash on the Internet and succeeded. The sleepless night are real but once people realize you're not a pushover they move to easier targets.)
EDIT: For an example of a major company having a spine in such a situation, consider Valve's recent decision not to be the taste police with regards to what goes on Steam.
Also, if a creator wants to censor someone's use of their IP, anyone telling the creator that they're being the thought police is being a dunce. At some point the creator's desire for freedom of speech and the secondary party's freedom of speech will be in direct opposition. Someone has to lose, and its their IP, so the general understanding is that they can take their bat and ball and not let you play with them.
People have many more than just the opposite moral point - they also have moral points that interact with any discussion in countless different ways, from different points of view, with different reasoning.
>If you cave to one, your stand for the other and vice versa.
Nonsense. There are more than two positions on any given issue. Here are three on Reddit/guns.
1. Allowing the Reddit alien on guns is wrong because guns are bad and allowing it is endorsement.
2. Allowing the Reddit alien on guns is right because guns are good.
3. Allowing the Reddit alien on guns is right because Reddit is a company that doesn't take positions on issues like this, because it's good to treat participants even-handedly when you're managing a diverse community. This applies even if you think they're wrong. Whether or not guns are good or bad is irrelevant in determining whether the logo usage should be allowed, because the higher principle of even-handedness takes precedence.
If you don't go with 3, you're saying that Reddit is morally endorsing everything they allow on their platform. Which also means the phone company, credit card company, banks, and even the government are endorsing everything they don't use their power to prevent. Which is a view that drives straight to a world of pure tyranny - no principle, only power, with every actor using all available levers of control to suppress any view they disagree with. That's Lenin's "Who, whom" view of politics, and we see how it ended when he gained power.
No, no. Live and let live. Treaty of Westphalia. We figured this out 300 years ago; let's not forget the lessons please.
Of course there's a double standard. That's how civil societies exist. People will always make equivalencies (false and fair) and get bent out of shape because of the contradicting choices on how each is handled.
One thing I did was create a public "alien design standards" document that described the correct proportions and colors for the logo, which had to be followed.
But yeah, it was a risk. But it was less risky than ignoring it, and far easier to do the diligence than it was to C&D everyone (I think, I don't know since we didn't C&D people).
They're so desperate to keep a tight grab on what they have, they lose sight of what could be. It's like the music industry ~20 years ago. Rather than suing people that were downloading - FANS that were downloading - they could have gone "how can we monetise this?" Or even, "we have a ton of cash, let's buy the small companies that are doing MP3 stuff and see what happens." But they fight it to the extreme (looking at you, Metallica) and everyone loses. Until now, when a large portion (what was it last week, 75%?) of the revenue is now precisely what they fought against, but they've lost a large portion of the control.
Same thing here. I haven't watched Star Trek for ages. But fans and fans talking are what makes something successful. Based on the article alone, this looks far more like a passion project than a revenue driver. Surely a more sensible approach would be "We love that you've done this. We'd like you to advertise our new/old show/merch/whatever" and we'll send you some goodies to say thanks. Everyone wins.
You should go read some of the movie industry quotes from when Valenti ran the MPAA. He likened Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs) to a serial killer; 'I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.' 
Yet his industry was dragged kicking and screaming to progressively more profitable media. VCRs made the movie industry billions. DVDs did it again. Bluray? Yet again more oceans of cash. And still the MPAA fought every innovation and did their best to limit the utility of each iteration.
Plus they want to set a precedent and show to anyone else that may want to make an Star Trek spin-off/infringe their IP that no mercy means no mercy.
It's not personal. It's business. Though that may not be what the fans feel.
That’s why it is up to external forces to disrupt. It’s not rational for an industry to destroy itself. Only certain companies can survive when you have a big shift in revenue.
CDs were the first mass-market audio format that weren't going to wear out through normal use. In a related matter, this made them very viable for used sales-- buying secondhand LPs or tape is a crapshoot by comparison.
So you'd end up with a very clear curve on the valuable back-catalog sales-- ramping up as CD players became affordable, then omnipresent, and then trailing off once the market was primarily composed of replacements for damaged discs and a small amount of new consumer discovery.
The industry's alternatives were limited:
* Try to get people to re-buy their collection again with SACD, DVD-audio, etc.
* Ever broader catalogs hoping people will keep buying.
Neither was sustainable. Even if people went all-in on SACD, it would have just kicked the can 10 years down the road. And trying to constantly groom new acts is expensive, risky, and eventually consumers say "I've got more recorded music than I know what to do with" and stop buying.
From what I understand unlicensed clean-room reproduction of sets could violate design marks, if those were even registered. Like other trademarks those do indeed need to be enforced.
The infuriating thing about dealing with lawyers on IP is they'll write a C&D that "your work infringes on the IP of my client." There is never any mention of what infringes, except the broadest possible, and there is no responsibility for a false claim.
If that's the case, couldn't CBS have just licensed its IP to these people in a good-natured way?
This is true for silly things like Star Trek to serious things like working with dictators, NSA spying, etc.
And even if this was a concern, you can grant fan licensing, as reddit (see that comment), Lucas arts, most rpg companies, etc have done. In fact, paramount has such a policy, but apparently aren't applying it here.
It really bugs me that companies have convinced people that they "have no choice" but to make people less happy by twisting a law intended to HELP consumers.
That's not the case, and even if it was they still have options.
- "Let's bring that show back and hire showrunners who have stated that they hate the original show."
- "The existing fans of the show are geeks and nerds. Let's alienate them so we can appeal to a more general audience. And let's also be sure to punish them for expressing their adoration of the show."
- "Add more special effects! Lens flare! Insert gratuitous eroticism and obvious political propaganda! Enraged viewers are profitable viewers." (Rule of Acquisition #287)
- "Why aren't millennials watching cable TV anymore? Nitflix? We're a multi-billion dollar company, so why can't we have our own streaming service? That'll be hip with the kids, right?"
That's basically why I don't watch Star Trek anymore or TV in general. Why would I pay money to people who don't appreciate what I did for them all those years starting from age 6?
Can someone please recommend an article/documentary/book/etc. that goes into detail about how this works in practice? It's so obvious when you watch shows like Jack Ryan or Madam Secretary or Zero Dark Thirty that there are some backroom dealings going on that insert a particular political association onto the viewer, but the scale and scope of such a targeted insertion is so ridiculous that you start to wonder if you're just being paranoid. The amount of people that would have to be involved with it, and for everyone to go along with it...
Someone must have blown the whistle on this at some point, right? I'm not out of my mind, am I?
So I don't think there's someone from up top telling writers what to write, but the nature of the industry encourages people to write a certain way and believe certain things(publicly).
Why not? The military spent tens of millions of dollars to inject patriotism into every sporting event as a way of advertising following 9/11. Stadiums weren't paying the Navy to do a flyover at halftime, it was the Navy paying for increased visibility. Seems just as likely that they have some clout/spending in film and television.
Because political influence is valuable to people. Movies are the best way to ingrain a political narrative in such a way that it may persist for decades. If the next decade was full of movies casting the military as the antagonist, we know the long-term effects would be increased scrutiny on the military and reduced recruitment.
This is why military injects themselves into the movie making process. They give production companies get access to billion dollar equipment and in return, the production company employs a host of high-ranking officers as "consultants" to ensure the film complies with the narrative they want to see.
This is also why the Catholic church forced their way into the MPAA very early on. They wanted to ensure that movies portrayed Christian morals.
Well, that didn't lasted for long...
"Need to hire a couple of UH-60's for a scene? Let's be having a look at your script first."
Secker also has a book (it's on my reading list) called "National Security Cinema" which investigates these same themes.
Peruse the site yourself and you'll find all sorts of other examples.
Same could be said about Clint Eastwood, for that matter.
To quote the best popular work on political economy, Yes, Minister:
- Jim Hacker: "I thought these planning inspectors were supposed to be impartial?"
- Bernard Woolley: "Oh really, Minister. So they are. Railway trains are impartial too, but if you lay down the lines for them that's the way they go."
It's pretty simple when most content comes from a small area and has the same assumptions. The diversity of thought in Hollywood is pretty narrow.
There are plenty of books, but I get the feeling you would think all the authors are obviously tainted. Try "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took over Your TV" by Ben Shapiro. Now, if you consider him alt-right, then you have been seriously misinformed.
Yes and no. Consider Dr Who. Loved that show when I was a kid and still love the classic episodes but it’s not made for me now, it’s made for the Twilight/Harry Potter crowd. “Supernatural boyfriend with magic wand”, not the character I remember. And if you’re going do that radical a change you might as well go all in.
Similarly Star Trek and Star Wars, I just don’t watch them now.
I have no problem with the direction of Star Trek. I was never into Star Wars, but I have few complaints about what I've seen. I have never seen an episode of Dr. Who, but a supernatural boyfriend with a magic wand sounds great! You made it sound appealing to me.
That being said, I still find companies like CBS, Viacom, Nintendo, 343i, and Sony to be quite off-putting. If people enjoy their stuff, I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I don't want to give support to companies that don't appreciate their customers.
At least Lucasfilm understood that the enthusiasm of Star Wars fans, their ability to make goofy and even elaborate fan films, was a big contributor to the continuing success of Star Wars.
I love love love the reboots of BSG and Westworld, as well as loving the originals, so I don’t think it’s that :-)
supernatural boyfriend with a magic wand sounds great! You made it sound appealing to me.
In that case check it out, I am not saying it’s bad per se, just not for me, or for old-skool fans. The original premise of the show is that Doctor Who is a aristocratic but disgraced old scientist on a distant planet, he and his granddaughter steal a time machine and go off to explore the universe and have adventures along the way. In the reboot, he is in some sort of sexual relationship with the time machine, and various teenage girls from present-day Earth. The actress who plays Nebula in the MCU got her big break on this show.
> It does look cool. And it also looks like a huge labor of love. Luckily CBS and Paramount Pictures already have guidelines in place for allowing noncommercial fan-made productions. One hopes that they will continue to recognize how important hardcore fandom like this is to the success of the franchise.
And now I'm saddened.
Oh, what sad times are these when IP/copyright ruffians can 'cease and desist' at will to old fans. There is a pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design video games are under considerable economic stress at this period in history.
That being said, Star Trek is pretty much dead to me now.
However, Netflix has the other Star Trek shows, and those are still good (well, mostly), so I will continue to enjoy them.
Is there a word that holds the same meaning as "irony", but with stronger implication?
It's a television show made to sell advertising, not an anti-capitalist manifesto.
Do you really expect Paramount to treat this multi-million dollar franchise differently than any other intellectual property because its fictional universe doesn't use money?
... yeah, I'm talking about the Abrams stuff. And -more controversially, I guess- Star Trek Discovery .
 No, not because there is a black woman in the lead. Christ, already. It's just ... nice SciFi but not Trek.
It ain't like CBS isn't already known for their long list of unprofitable behavior ;)
I don't know, I'm kind of getting tired of the Trek template. It can be nice to take a risk now and then.
They did that with Deep Space Nine and that turned out to be one of the best series IMO. Voyager, on the other hand, stuck to it so much that they ruined their own premise, as did Enterprise.
You couldn't scan the object and print an exact copy, or use still frames from the movie, but you can certainly create your own object and slicer files from scratch to make a novel object visibly indistinguishable from it, or even make a new instance from the original construction recipe (if one exists). You could also take the original prop and make a new photo of it yourself.
All that activity is instead governed by patents, specifically design patents. It is very unlikely that a film production company would seek out design patents for random prop elements that were seen in the final cut of a movie, unless they are to be used for merchandising purposes. Lucas could certainly create a design patent on Obi-Wan's and Darth Vader's lightsaber props, so the licensee could have a protected monopoly on selling the reproductions as toys. In that case, you couldn't 3D-print your own Vader lightsaber. You could still make your own lightsaber design, and print that, but the design patent prevents you from making one that looks specifically like the one in the patent. With no design patent, you can reproduce from scratch anything you see. Copyright is about rote copying of an embodied artwork. Derivative works must include some piece of the original. That isn't what you did.
Alternately, an image or object can be trademarked, wherein certain visual elements can be claimed as symbolic of your work within a specific domain. That's stronger, but narrower protection. If a lightsaber is a trademark image for something like a computer game production company, you couldn't use similar objects or images to promote your own business relating to computers, software, or scientific equipment. But you could probably use it on a beer label with no problems whatsoever, because that's a different domain. You don't need to register your trademark in order to defend it; you just have to use it in commerce. The major characters, unique props, and distinctive sets are all potential trademarks, particularly if they appear in multiple works within the same domain.
Whomever it was that denied you on copyright grounds should not have done so. There is no way to acquire a license because none is necessary. In any case, copyright violation is a civil matter, and only the owner of a copyright has standing to defend it. There is no requirement for anyone else to do it on their behalf.
(I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.)
As for Stage 9, it seems like that C&D would have been based on a claim that the bridge set of ST:tNG is a trademarked element of the franchise, in the domains of entertainment and computer software. Copyright is not the issue. The set design was integral to the show and the games based on it; it appeared in almost every episode. That's one of the ways you knew you were watching Star Trek, in addition to the uniforms and logos. If someone were to use a perfectly replicated model of the bridge to produce a video, there could be legitimate brand confusion by a viewer, who might think that their video was officially sanctioned by the Star Trek trademark owner.
Something like Robot Chicken, which uses licensed toys to make videos that include the elements trademarked in the same domain, walks a fine line, that is likely saved only by the crudeness of the reproduction. It is clear that the sets and actors are toys, and not pretending to be the things they represent.
Say if we applied to this to a piece of artwork such as a painting or sculpture.
That’s why it is called “copyright.” It is the right to make a copy, and if you make something that is visually indistinguishable, that is by definition a copy, irrespective of the process used.
Depending on the camera view, the reproduction object might only be indistinguishable from the original when restricted to certain viewing angles. Going from 2D to 3D clearly involves some creative effort. I don't think you can seriously say that a printed object can be a copy of a movie frame.
If you're that far into it, you probably need to consult a lawyer.
I maintain that making a 3D-print of an object file inspired by a prop in a movie is not protected by copyright, should never be protected by copyright, and that anyone suggesting otherwise ought to be kept far away from any business involving intellectual property protection.
These lawyers do nothing but hurt people that love Star Trek a lot and probably are among the franchise's best customers.
This is a management decision, as it is for most media companies. The lawyers might even disagree with his strategy, that they wrote a C&D is no more indicative of their minds than an engineer's code. Professional execution doesn't imply agreement, just recognition of authority.
I have heard rumours over the years that a lot of Star Trek actors are creeped out by the fan community. Some might hide those feelings so that they can get some nice income from the convention circuit, but could you really expect them to rush to support obsessive fans in a case like this?
Anyway, I believe (hope) one day copyright and ownership of stories will be seen as a major injustice. Why can't everybody have their own Star Trek? There is no need to control it, or for copyright to be exclusive. There still can be an "official" CBS Star Trek if we legalize fan works.
A few years ago, CBS shut down the fan film Axanar, because it told the story of the Star trek universe about 10 years before Kirk, during the Klingon war. Last year, Discovery aired, which tells the story of the Klingon war.
Take this as a sign of what the new Picard series will include.
I'm pretty sure the new Picard stuff is way after and will not have an Enterprise D element.
I'm not sure that's obvious or even likely, but they clearly are being aggressive about the IP, whether it's justified or not.
"Find out something they like, then sue the hell out of it."
"Oh god, we have a fanatical fanbase which isn't interested in buying our (expensive new product) but which still loves this (discontinued product), and are making more of it without paying for our licensing"
"Find the unlicensed (discontinued product) and sue the hell out of it"
I suspect this has little to do with wanting to piss off TNG fans, but about trying to coerce them into the newer products (like Discovery, or the unnamed Patrick Stewart reboot), or at least protecting the licensing fees they still get around TNG. (See how they are suing Stage 9, but are totally ok with Star Trek: Bridge Crew and Star Trek: Online -- which have TNG stuff in them).
I don't agree with this method of enforcement. But I could imagine how/why an executive might think this way.
They could have easily used these same lawyers time to help Stage 9 move into proper paid licensing instead (making them even more money, and simultaneously being nicer to the fans and creators). But I'm not a highly paid executive, so what do I know?
I'm pretty those two products are officially licensed by CBS, so I don't think CBS is stupid enough to sue them.
At some point I would have thought, heads of creative or marketing would be going, "so what's our customer base saying about us lately? Oh, everyone's angry because of something our lawyers did, maybe I should look into that before we lose more valued fans."
Is there some enshrined rule somewhere that says, "Lawyers get to burn the house down, if they're doing it there's probably some complicated legal reason. Ho hum."
Are people like John Van Citters the apparent "CBS Vice President for Product Development" holding vanity positions that have no real power in the company so the organisation doesn't feel the need to back any statements they make?
Or is it just that fans need to learn the lesson, "feel free to enjoy what we give you, just not enough to make anything too much like it, or we'll hit you with a lawyer"?
The wayback machine has an archive of the download page's link to the torrent, which is heavily seeded.
The Streisand Effect strikes again...
So I guess expect a star trek game that lets you walk around the USS Enterprise coming out in the forseeable future, and expect it to be not as good as Stage 9 because it needs to make money, not let people just "walk around".
I gotta hand it to MacFarlane, he's carrying the torch forward better than anybody else, IMHO.
Maybe I should start a company in Somalia or somewhere which will head/protect maintainers/release worthwhile OSS projects that have been threatened with legal action.
And for many the years of being slammed for doing it will just make the eventual freedom all the sweeter.
Perhaps this is more about projected issues than this specific work. Law is based off the precedence of previous cases. If this project is allowed to continue other future projects may get legal precedence to continue, and those future projects may damage the brand or the profitability of the IP.
It sounds like these Star Trek fans were a victim of their own success and large community.
So, only one person on the legal team is allowed to work on this case? This is just hugely unprofessional. I think I would contact the ABA.
I'll help with the GoFundMe.
So they'll sue and it's not at all clear you'd win. Win or not, that's going to be a huge defense pot to match the CBS lawyer armada.
Just my opinion, but if you're going to throw a bunch of money into the wind with low certainty and low reward, there are many worthy charities in great need.
I just don’t get why companies feel the need to be a dick to everything that moves.
When that genre-based concept gets locked up for decades under the same corporate masters, we get Star Trek: Discovery, behind a paywall on a shard of the fragmented video streaming market. The fans inspired by the earlier series while they were younger simply do a better job-with fan-art like this and Galaxy Quest and The Orville--than the officially-sanctioned studio can crank out.
It's almost as though we need some "copyleft" seeds for various genres able to support large fandoms, such that anyone can add to them, and submit pull requests to the community-elected maintainers to become canon. Licensing is free (gratis, not libre) and automatic. Rather than going all in on Star Trek, or Star Wars, or Starcraft, or Stargate, or Star Control, or Babylon 5, or Dune, or Asimov-verse, or whatever, all that open-culture fan-fiction can be actually publishable for profit and adding to the common fandom. Like public domain used to be, before they choked it out.
I think it would take an alliance of authors/playwrights who don't individually have great chances at becoming rich and famous to essentially enter into a suicide pact lite, to sacrifice the possibility of more rich to improve the likelihood of more famous. They agree upon the rules for the fiction universe, and divvy it up such that each writes a piece of the canon. Then they publish on a fixed initial release schedule and hope it catches on. Once the fan-fic starts coming in, they actually read it, and declare the best work to also be canon, re-publishing it and paying the authors their cut. If it catches on, do a pilot teleplay with the best community theater actors available. Publish digital models of the signature props for at-home 3D printing. It could eat the lunch of the closed-culture franchises. But it could also fall flat, or fall victim to infighting.
It seems like this idea is not new, and it isn't. Creative Commons has laid the groundwork. The problem is that it only provides the vision and the legal framework, and hasn't tackled the aspect of creating an intentional community to seed a specific fertile plot in the field. There's nothing there yet to tie disparate creators together as being part of the same overall thing. Space Opera and Sci-Fi Adventure-Drama are proven genres. The conventions don't lie; people go and spend.
I'm assume you were legally within your rights to do this but you guys suck!
Still, maybe with these elements removed they could have a case.
Edit - As an example: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130304/18411522197/insan...
You have the right to free expression, but that doesn't mean you can exercise that right on my wall.
The edge cases are more complex than I have stated, in both countries, but courts have definitely had to answer the question “is it copyright infringement to load a computer program from (tape|drive|etc) into RAM”, so it’s not like they don’t know the simple definition is problematic.
I'm not a lawyer so I wouldn't try to give you advice. I believe though you are asking about fair use and a lot has been written about that.
It just can't contain any uniquely identifiable sentence fragments from any other novel. And you know people will be checking it particularly closely against the sentences in "It".
And you'd better be sure not to say "Pennywise" anywhere, as that would be a trademark character. The bridge of the Enterprise-D is a trademark set design.
I wonder what the longest block of text is on the internet that two people independently wrote.
If someone claimed to write an original work that was exactly the same as It, a 1200-page novel, nobody would accept that it was independently written, even if we can't exactly pin down the word count at which we draw that line.
Not more than a couple of dozen words I would think. The number of possible combinations is astonishingly high.
You might find this interesting: http://rstudio-pubs-static.s3.amazonaws.com/187848_0ec906d62...