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Lord of the Rings Media Movies Entertainment

LoTR Lawsuit Threatens Hobbit Production 427

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-we-wantsss-it dept.
eyrieowl writes "J.R.R.'s heirs are suing for royalties on the LoTR films. Apparently they haven't gotten any money due to some creative accounting. Peter Jackson ought to understand...he had to sue the studio for much the same reason. As for The Hobbit? FTFA: 'Tolkien's family and a British charity they head, the Tolkien Trust, seek more than $220 million in compensation...[and]...the option to terminate further rights to the author's work.'"
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LoTR Lawsuit Threatens Hobbit Production

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  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @11:48AM (#28717733) Homepage Journal

    You know, if I were a Hobbit, I wouldn't let any lawsuit threaten my Hobbit-producing activities...

  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @11:58AM (#28717883) Homepage Journal

    Imagine if the Bard's estate could screw around with people like this.

    Oh, man... the implications... I bet none of the Bard's Tale games would have ever been released!

  • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:00PM (#28717921)

    Dragon Magazine had a cartoon bit about this ... apparently they weren't even allowed to use the word "ring" anymore...

    "Hey, someone get the phone - its been circular metal band-ing off the hook!"

  • by Niris (1443675) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:02PM (#28717961)
    You, good sir, are the first Troll in a thread about the Hobbit. Expect to be turned to stone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:02PM (#28717971)

    "We must fuck the hobbitses we must."

  • by mcgrew (92797) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:14PM (#28718149) Homepage Journal

    Agreed, it should have been in the public domain when I bought my copy of the trilogy in 1970.

    They're building one of those "Habitat Houses" down the street from me, and I wondered to my daughter if all the workers had tattoos of hobbits on them.

    "Why?" she asked.

    "Hobbit tat for humanity".

    Ok, I'll get my coat...

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:14PM (#28718153)

    Leegola: What else can we slay? Is that a hobbit over there?
    Titanius Anglesmith: No, that's a hobo and a rabbit. But they're making a hobbit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:24PM (#28718337)

    I don't know, but it'd make a great movie! I'll share profits with you for the rights to the story!

  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:27PM (#28718399) Journal
    See sig below.

    Apparently J.R.R. Tolkien warned us in advance of the actions his heirs would take WRT copyright.
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by hobbit (5915) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:30PM (#28718465)

    Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:30PM (#28718467)
    ah...good ol uncle adolf. How we miss him.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:42PM (#28718681)

    I'm Steve Ditko, you insensitive clod!!

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:58PM (#28718943)
    Have to hand it to them... they're pretty creative ;)
  • by ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) * on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:06PM (#28719051)

    We need Eminent Domain for intangible properties as well. With that the government can nationalize the rights to LoTR and ensure seamless production of 'The Hobbit' films. The government can request to the Supreme Court that this lawsuit is considered "hindrance to the advancement of humanities" and therefore should grant eminent domain rights.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @02:41PM (#28720603)

    Under what bizarro universe does the public have more right to an author's work than the author (or their estate)?

    The one where the rights of private property and public good are balanced. The one where the rights of personal works and public culture coexist.
    Also, the one established in the FUCKING CONSTITUTION, where Congress is given the duty (emphasis mine) "[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" .

    Notice also that it explicitly says authors and inventors, and not the estates thereof, but that is a side issue. What is important is that the time be Limited. Unless you want to get a shovel and go excavate Ugg the fucking Caveman and pay him back royalties for your use of fire and the wheel. Pelts only.

    C.S. Lewis was British, so our FUCKING CONSTITUTION has nothing to do with him or his heirs. And I'm pretty sure it was Ogg the fucking Caveman who invented fire. Not 100% sure about the wheel. That could have been Ugg.....

  • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @03:55PM (#28721691) Journal

    They're building one of those "Habitat Houses" down the street from me, and I wondered to my daughter if all the workers had tattoos of hobbits on them.

    "Why?" she asked.

    "Hobbit tat for humanity".

    David "Dangermouse" Morgan-Mar, is that you? [irregularwebcomic.net]

  • by Odin's Raven (145278) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @03:58PM (#28721741)

    Once you're dead, your work should hit the public domain.

    Scene: Hollywood, California, 1972. Francis Ford Coppola sits in front of a fireplace, stroking a cat. Two underlings are in attendance.

    • Coppola: So where were we...? Oh yeah, that "Godfather" book - are we ready to start shooting the movie?
    • Underling #2: Don Coppola, I'm sorry to say that Mario Puzo still has not agreed to give us the rights, even after your latest, most generous, offer.
    • Coppola: What were we budgeting to make the movie? Four million? Five million?
    • Underling #1: Six and a half million, Don Coppola.
    • Coppola: And the projected profits?
    • Underling #1: 245 million.
    • (Coppola pulls out a gun and shoots Underling #1.)
    • Coppola: And the projected profits?
    • Underling #2: (gulps) 245 million, Don Coppola!
    • Coppola: Very good, you learn quickly. Here's 5 million dollars. Find Stan "The Popgun" Phlegmy, let him know that I want Puzo "released into the public domain" by Friday. We start filming at 7:00 am Monday morning.
    • Underling #2: Yes, Don Coppola. It shall be done, Don Coppola.
  • by DinDaddy (1168147) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:01PM (#28721815)

    I'm a rabbo, you insensitive clod!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @05:29PM (#28723033)

    I can just imagine the testimony now:

    Lawyer: So you lost money on the LOTR films?
    Studio: That's right. It says so right in our documents.
    Lawyer: But didn't a lot of people go to see it? Didn't you sell a lot of DVDs? And merchandise?
    Studio: Well, yes, but we had a lot of expenses. Salaries. Marketing promotions? Directors and producers aren't cheap.
    Lawyer: I see. Aren't you planning on making another Tolkien film? The Hobbit?
    Studio: Yes, we're very excited. It will be the most exciting film since the LOTR series. And it will be bigger. And better. It's going to be fantastic.
    Lawyer: Would you say that you're thrilled about it?
    Studio: Are you kidding? It's freakin' awesome. It's going to be like really fantastic sex.
    Audience: Chuckles
    Lawyer: Will you promote it?
    Studio: Oh yes. We've started planning for the marketing campaign already. Burger King will be doing a promotion. Mattel is doing the toys. Marvel will be doing a comic book. Dateline, Oprah, Today -- well, you name it, they're all planning on doing full shows on it.
    Lawyer: I see. But it can't be as good, can it. I mean, Peter Jackson was the original director/producer.
    Studio: Oh, Peter Jackson will be involved again. He'll be the executive producer.
    Lawyer: Are you paying him?
    Studio: Chuckle. Oh yes. Most movies that get made have budgets smaller than what Jackson will make.
    Lawyer: Do you plan on making any money on The Hobbit?
    Studio: Oh definit ... . er, I mean no wa. . . er, , , umm, . . . , well, you know, . . . , it's hard to know with these movies, . . ., um
    Lawyer: I'm just asking, because, you know, you didn't make any on the last films, and well, I was wondering, well, if you lost money on the last series, . . . , well, . . ., why are you making more? Is "losing money", as you say that most films like LOTR do, really as good as "really great sex"?
    Audience: Hilarious non-stop laughter that lasts for 5 minutes.

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