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Unbelievable:Movie Mogul Claims Credit For Tolkein's Literary Popularity

In what looks like a particularly nasty land grab for merchandising rights, Saul Zaentz Company, the rights holders to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies have claimed responsibility for the popularity of Tolkein's work!

Zaentz purchased the rights to the works in 1976 and for more than thirty years did nothing with them. Yet in a lawsuit filed by the company against the family of the author we find probably the most preposterous statement ever presented in a courtroom, to wit: the fame and good will of the Tolkein books is “largely the result of the dedicated efforts of Zaentz and its licensees (including Warner Bros.) over the past four decades.” That despite the books being lauded as some of the greatest pieces of fiction ever written for four decades before Zaentz got hold of the licence.

The case ranges over several claimed infringements of copyright by the movie producers New Line and Warner, and in  particular Zaentz. How the court will decide remains to be seen, however for committing such a grossly offensive line to paper the legal team, Zaentz employees and anyone else even remotely responsible deserves a taste of the lash.

Unfortunately, I suspect the enlightened US justice system will preclude this happening.

Tolkien's Estate Countersued in Legal Battle Over Lord of the Rings Slot Machines | Underwire | Wired.com:

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