11/22/2012 : JRR TOLKIEN ESTATE FILES SUIT AGAINST WARNER BROS ET AL
Claims unauthorised merchandising of Tolkien copyright in digital space
The late author of the Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien's Estate and book publisher Harper Collins has filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles against Warner Bros New Line Cinema subsidiary and rights holder Saul Zaentz Co. according to Hollywood Reporter.
The suit is claiming $ 80 million in damages for, what the Estate and associates claim are, copyright infringements and breaches of contract based on its 1969 rights agreement with Zaentz Co.
One of the Estates gripes is the adaption of the Lord of the Rings into the online gambling digital space with the development of online slots, mobile and social applications.
The claim states: "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."
The rights awarded by Warner Bros. for the development of the online slot "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" is seemingly one issue highlighted in the suit amid a broader range of other perceived breaches of contract and copyright infringements.
According to the suit filed, the Estate claims it has been in lengthy settlement discussions with Warner Bros. which have gone nowhere.
The news breaks mere weeks before the release of the much-hailed upcoming first in a trilogy of movies titled "Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey".