I thought last week's comment by Marc Scott Zicree would put to rest the controversy around a script from Star Trek Phase II (formerly Star Trek New Voyages) becoming a finalist for the Nebula award. Zicree stated that from the point of view of the script's creation, the production was professional, which is a requirement for this particular Nebula award. However, now Karl Hodge at Den of Geek reports that James Cawley, Star Trek Phase II producer and super-fan, has released a letter stating the production is absolutely not professional.
I'm not going to get into a legal argument over whether or not this production meets some contrived definition of professional. The larger issue is whether or not this script is the best one under consideration for this Nebula award. Attempts to deny an award to a worthy script through a legal maneuver at best reeks of being wrong and at worst throws even more doubt on the entire Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which is not something the organization needs at this time. The Star Trek Phase II script should win or lose fairly, not because of some movement to deny it a shot at the award because the way it was produced offends--or more likely, scares--certain professional script writers.