CBS Accused of Plagiarism Over ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

An Egyptian video game developer is suing CBS Corp. over allegations the CBS All Access series “Star Trek: Discovery” incorporated several plot elements he had introduced in a game he created.

Indie developer Anas Abdin cites several similarities between “Star Trek: Discovery” and his game Tardigrades, a point-and-click adventure game that featured a giant blue tardigrade that could instantaneously transport people across the galaxy. (Tardigrades, also referred to as water bears, are in reality microscopic organisms known for their durability in extreme conditions.)

Abdin says he posted the game in 2014 on Steam Greenlight, a website that lets developers post early versions of games to gain feedback from players.

CBS announced the development of “Discovery” a year later in 2015. After reports of some creative friction in getting the show off the ground, “Discovery” premiered in late 2017, and one of the major storylines of its first season involves the crew discovering a giant tardigrade and using its abilities to transport the ship across the galaxy.

Abdin also notes many similarities between characters on the show and in his game, as well as other vaguely similar details.

In an Aug. 21 blog post, Abdin stated “The last 10 months were so hard on me and the development of the project. I tried every possible way to have a respectful and reasonable discussion with CBS but they treated me in disrespect and just dangled me around with postponing meetings due to their vacations and being busy. The first conversation turned into the last one. I gave them a lot of time to make things right. Unfortunately, I found myself at a dead end with them, and so I had to enforce my rights by filing a lawsuit to treat me seriously.”

The listed defendants include CBS and Netflix, which streams “Discovery” internationally.

CBS has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

18 thoughts on “CBS Accused of Plagiarism Over ‘Star Trek: Discovery’”

  1. On Dark Matter, they had they had the blink drive, which was also able to transport a ship anywhere in space. CBS should use this as their defense.

    1. The FTL drive in Battlestar Galactica (2004) functioned in much the same way. This guy’s law suit has no merit.

    2. Marvel included Tardigrades in the subatomic Quantum Realm dealing with time and space in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’. Gonna go after Disney as well?

    3. “Lots of things use instant transport engines. Ours is just fundimentally identical to something already out there that we had open access to.”

  2. Actually, when you look at the full list of similarities between the game and the show, I think he might have a case. Check out Midnight’s Edge for more. Will be interesting to see how it goes. The little guy should be equally protected under the law as the corporation.

  3. ME has had an agenda against CBS, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek in general for a long while now. I’d take anything they post with a full bag of salt.

  4. I would need to see more details before drawing conclusions as to whether or not this guy’s suit has merit. Considering he is an indie game developer (which means I doubt he has deep pockets) and the costs associated with filing a suit against a corporation as big as CBS/Paramount, my instincts are to give him the benefit of the doubt until I learn otherwise.

  5. I think Paramount knows better than to try going after Orville. After all, they’d have to back peddle and give some sort of money to Lost in Space since the idea for Star Trek Voyager obviously came about from that show. I think the guy has a leg to stand on and I hope he wins. Paramount/CBS has pretty much crapped on what Star Trek was and was intended to do.

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