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‘Rings’ battles parallel Tolkien estate’s digital rights fight

‘Rings’ battles parallel Tolkien estate’s digital rights fight

Precious: As the battle for Inner Earth raged on and on, so did the war between the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and Warner Bros. over digital content, according to Hollywood Insider.

A 2012 lawsuit filed by the author’s estate and publisher Harper Collins in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California in November 2012 against Warner Bros., its New Line subsidiary and Rings/Hobbit rightsholder Saul Zaentz Co. alleges that the defendants overstepped the boundaries of the existing rights agreement, which allowed only “tangible” merchandise.

The creation of certain digital content, which plaintiffs deemed “highly offensive,” violated that agreement, they contended. Evidently, an attorney for the Tolkien estate had received spam email about something called the “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Online Slot Game.” Tacky?

Warner countersued, claiming such content was “customary” and within the scope of a 1969 contract and 2010 regrant of rights.

The $80 million lawsuit was settled in July, avoiding a trial, with terms of the settlement remaining undisclosed.

 "The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future,” Warner Bros. said through a spokeperson, according to the Insider.


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