Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stories –

Stories –
It looks as though not everyone in charge of the J.R.R. Tolkien estate is happy with the way the man’s work has been utilized by movie companies. Mere weeks before the release of the first movie in the long-anticipated big-screen Peter Jackson adaptation, Warner Bros. is being sued by the estate for a whopping $80 million for misuse of the rights granted to the company for the trilogy of movies based on Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books.
Don’t worry, fans, it has nothing to do with the movies; you can rest easy any worries you had about the latest Tolkien installment, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the lawsuit is mainly over online slot machines and other digital merchandising. The estate said in a statement to Deadline that:
Not only are gambling services outside the rights granted, but this exploitation of Tolkien’s well-loved work has offended and distressed Tolkien’s devoted fans, harming Tolkien’s legacy and reputation… The plaintiffs have been compelled to take this action to protect their literary and commercial assets and hope that the dispute will be resolved quickly.
Warner Bros. originally had access to the limited right to sell consumer products of the type regularly merchandised at the time such as figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like. The complaint states that “they did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services.”
It looks as though the estate are suing for such a hefty amount of cash because of the “irreparable harm to Tolkien’s legacy” and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works that the Rings casino gaming has supposedly caused. It’s not totally uncommon for disputes like this. Just last month Warner Bros. was on the other side of a lawsuit, accusing a small production company of trademark infringement over its upcoming movie Age of the Hobbits.
So, there you have it, and I can totally understand the case the Tolkien estate. Middle-earth should not be destroyed using low class merchandising techniques like marketing slot machines. Plus, Tolkien was a devoted Christian there’s probably no way he’d have wanted to be associated with gambling? What are your thoughts