Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tolkien Estate Sues Warner Brothers Over LOTR, Hobbit Merchandising

The estate of the late J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and associated works, including The Hobbit, is suing Warner Brothers over what it alleges involves a breach of contract in which the studio has manufactured and sold merchandise associated with the films made from the books without obtaining permission from the estate. The estate maintains that its contract with the studio that its agreement concerning LOTR merchandise extends only to "tangible" products, not "digital" merchandise. The dispute has arisen because the estate believes Warner Brothers plans to market digital "slot machines" based on aspects of The Hobbit,  slated to hit theaters soon. More here from The Hollywood Reporter. Additional coverage here from The Guardian.

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