Yeah there's certainly a tradeoff between accuracy and more striking visuals. That said, I don't think it's as dire as you're assuming - the high-res photos give a pretty clear look, and while the texture is shallow, it's very visible: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139914168@N03/26204331356/
If it does require back-doors, where exactly in the bill does it do so?
The very next provision after the one you quoted.
"A provider ... shall ensure that any such products, services, applications or software ... be capable of complying."
At best, the two provisions contradict each other. More accurately, the one you quoted is a weak attempt to deny that they are doing exactly what they are doing: mandating how software and devices must be designed. It's providing some tiny, meaningless leeway.
Basically the part you quoted is saying "You can give us a master key, or a separate entrance, or a hidden recording device, or an infrared camera, or a doorman with orders to let us in - it's totally up to you!"
I don't deny that they are probably being targeted because of the money — but above you seem to be asserting that this is appropriate, and the fact that they are making money does indeed somehow make this project more wrong or immoral. That's what I don't agree with.
You can't show how that matters, legally speaking, of course.
Well, we're not in court here. The question of how the copying work harms the original is of legal relevance, at least in terms of potential impact on the market for the original, which is one of the four factors of fair use. But even outside of that, since copyright contains many gray areas and fair use is a big one, and the whole purpose of fair use is to protect free speech and stop copyright from doing more harm than good, the question of who is harmed by something like this and whether we should want it to be covered by fair use is an important one.
It seems to me like you're blending copyright and trademark together.
I by no means think people should be able to freely claim they are making an official Star Trek movie, or writing an official Harry Potter story. That would indeed create the marketplace confusion you fear, essentially tricking consumers into buying something not simply because they like the fictional world it takes place in but because they have existing faith in who they believe to be the creator.
But unofficial creations harm no one, whether or not they make money. Star Trek fans are well aware that this is an unofficial production that is not sanctioned by the people in control of the Star Trek IP. Based on that, they look at what's being offered and decide for themselves whether they think it will be something they'll like, and decide for themselves whether to back it. Indeed, Star Trek fans are quite sensitive about the universe and are likely to give even more scrutiny than usual to a proposed fan project! Nobody has been tricked. There is no distortion of the marketplace simply because one thing is built on top of another. They are leveraging the existing fanbase of the Star Trek universe and the fact that those fans want more Star Trek and haven't been entirely thrilled with what the official creators have been giving them for some 20 years now. They are offering to create an entirely original work that includes many ideas, themes and settings from Star Trek — and those things are not supposed to be copyrightable. To the degree that courts have treated them as copyrightable, I think that's a problem, because I simply don't see what damage the reuse of them does.
you are building on and taking the effort that someone else (in this case Paramount) went through to make these elements part of our culture
Simple question: what is the harm done by that? (Secondary question: how does one "take" another's effort?)
Even if we had the 70 years (or life plus 50) these elements would not be public domain
Er, I'm not sure precisely what you're saying here. That even once something enters the public domain, its constituent characters do not? That's not true and if it were, it would be disastrous...
It is an appropriation of Star Trek without permission or paying royalties. This is the very essence of what copyright was designed to prevent.
Well no, not really. Copyright was designed to promote creation of new works, not block them. And appropriation art wasn't really on anyone's radar in the early history of copyright - the primary concern was the wholesale republishing of others' completed works. Meanwhile, transformative appropriation art is one of the key things fair use exists to protect - and while it only does so with middling success (and almost no success in the world of music), many appropriation artists have still been found not to be infringing. There's plenty of debate to be had on where the line should be drawn, and even more uncertainty as to where it actually is drawn, but it's clear that preventing appropriation art is hardly the "very essence" of what copyright was designed to protect.
I'm reminded of the story of Charles Dickens, fighting whack-a-mole in the early days of mass publishing; as he fought and went bankrupt trying to stop fly by night operators from simply printing copies of his "Christmas Carol"
Okay so... no. You have got that story entirely wrong. Charles Dickens *successfully* sued people for copying the book, and they declared bankruptcy, which somewhat unfairly saddled Dickens with their legal fees. But even that didn't make a dent in his money. Though he started his life in poverty, his writing made Dickens fabulously wealthy and an international celebrity. He was touring America like a movie star the year before the Christmas Carol debacle, and buying a huge estate in Kent a few years after. When he died, his estate (adjusted for inflation) was worth approximately $9-million.
Please let's do away with this myth that "piracy" bankrupted Charles Dickens, one of the most successful authors of his age and all time.
Indeed - there are legitimate and important issues surrounding personal data and devices like this. They need to be (and are being) addressed in a variety of ways, and nobody should ignore that. But that's no reason to be weirdly absolutist about instantly dismissing any product or service that makes use of data in any way. Data is powerful, and empowering.
And these aren't silly smart "Shitty Thing" devices collecting data nobody needs. They are systems that make extremely useful data -- the kind used heavily and for a long time now by professionals in these realms and with a proven track record of increasing performance -- available to far more people.