The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship with a Star Trek Fan

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Title: The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship with a Star Trek Fan
Creator: Samuel Ramer, Citadel Press
Date(s): 1998
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek
Language: English
External Links:

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The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship with a Star Trek Fan by Samuel Ramer is a fan-written, for-profit 217-page book that got the attention of Paramount, who successfully sued its author and publisher.


The Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • The Star Trek Phenomenon and Where You Fit In
  • How to Live With a Trekker; or, "Must We Have a Full-Size Poster of Worf in Our Bedroom?"
  • The Story So Far; or, "How Did Scotty Get So Old and Fat?"
  • The Characters -- Star Trek: The Original Show
  • The Characters -- Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • The Characters -- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • The Characters -- Star Trek: Voyager
  • The Aliens; or, "Why Do They All Have Weird Foreheads?"
  • Technobabble; or, "What the hell is warp, anyway?"
  • Really Cool Things to Say to Your Trekker; or, "Wow, You Watch Star Trek Too!"
  • The Star Trek Convention; or, "If We Don't Leave Now, I'm Going to Start Crying"
  • The Future; or, "Honey, They're Just Children. Don't Dress Them Like the Borg."
  • The Greatest Star Trek Episodes of All Time and Why You'll Like Them


  • A fan asks: "I think it would be interesting to get opinions from K/S Press readers on this. Specifically, how does something like this affect our world of K/S?" She includes this from an article in Entertainment Weekly: "The Joy of Suing" -- Paramount goes where it has never gone before: After allowing unauthorized Star Trek books to flourish since the 70s, the Viacom division is suing a Trekker and his publisher for copyright infringement. In papers filed in federal court in Manhattan, Paramount has asked for a preliminary injunction against "The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship With a Star Trek Fan" on the grounds that the book trades on the popularity and success of the Star Trek properties. “Paramount is acting more like the Borg than the Federation,” counters Joy author Sam Ramer. “A book that describes the experience of being a Trekker is not (copyright) infringement,” adds his lawyer, Leon Friedman. Attorneys for Carol Publishing argue that after years of tolerating unauthorized publications, Paramount has lost the right to penalize people. “They’re taking a big risk with this suit,” says Carol publisher Steven Schragis. “A possible outcome is that the judge rules) they’ve abandoned their copyrights, and then anyone can make a Star Trek movie.” A Viacom publicist declined to comment. A hearing is set for May 5." [1]
  • One fan writes: "After decades of ignoring unofficial, unauthorized Star Trek books, Paramount recently decided to sue the author of this book. As of June, 1998, the book is no longer being distributed by the publisher, but Paramount's copyright violation case has yet to be heard. The company won an injunction against the book by giving a judge the scripts for dozens, possibly hundreds, of episodes, claiming they were plagiarized in this book. Considering the book has some very short episode summaries, like a dozen other unauthorized books, it clearly draws upon Trek, but calling it plagiarism seems misguided or malicious." [2]
  • "1998 Fan-written Star Trek Book is the Target of $22 Million Lawsuit": Reversing a 30 year practice, Paramount Pictures has sued Star Trek fan Samuel Ramer and his publishing company in federal court in New York for writing an unauthorised book about the world of Star Trek fandom. Ramer is the author of "The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship with a Star Trek Fan". Thirty-four year old Ramer, a self-proclaimed loyal "Trekster" since the age of 6, dedicated the book to his wife and intended it as a humorous guide to help "non-fans' like her understand the fierce devotion fans hold for Star Trek in all its incarnations. Paramount, represented by the Manhattan law firm of Richards & O'Neil, argues that the book violates the copyrights of 220 Star Trek episodes, and is seeking civil damages in the amount of $22 million, as well as an order banning sales of the book. At the outset, lawyers for Ramer and his publishing company have raised a number of compelling arguments in defence of the book. Most notably, they illustrate how for 30 years Paramount tolerated and even encouraged fans to engage in technically unauthorised activities in order to maintain interest and enthusiasm for the then-struggling franchise. They point to over 100 unauthorised books, including the famous Star Trek Concordance by Bjo Trimble. Trimble, who was instrumental in the letter-writing campaigns to save the original series from extinction, wrote the beloved Concordance as a comprehensive encyclopedia and episode guide. Had Paramount adopted the same stance with Trimble as it has done with Ramer, Star Trek would have been an obscure footnote in entertainment history, rather than the unparalleled success that It has become today. Sadly, with Gene Roddenberry gone and Paramount swallowed up by monolithic Viacom Corporation, appreciation and respect for fans has given way to litigation and disdain, as Viacom continues its misguided campaign to eliminate interactive fan participation in the Star Trek universe. The On-line Freedom Federation expresses its full support for Samuel Ramer and his publisher, and will continue to post updates on the case. Meanwhile, OFF supporters are encouraged to write to Viacom with their concerns. As always, be polite and articulate in order to be taken seriously. Editor's comment: On 5th June, U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti found in favour of Paramount and issued an injunction halting further distribution of the book. The author, Samuel Ramer, is hoping the appeal court will overturn this ruling." The book was published in the UK in 1997 with a slightly different title."" [3]

See Also


  1. The K/S Press #22 (June 1998)
  2. from S. Roby, Complete Starfleet Library, accessed April 4, 2012
  3. from Star Trek Action Group #122 (June 1998), while published in STAG, it is unclear if this was a quoted article, and if so, where from and by whom
  4. accessed April 9, 2012
  5. dated June 1, 1998, accessed April 9, 2012
  6. accessed April 9, 2012
  7. accessed April 9, 2012