Hobbit pub in Southampton threatened with legal action
A popular pub and music venue called The Hobbit has been threatened with legal action by US movie lawyers.
The Southampton pub has been accused of copyright
infringement by lawyers representing the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) in
The company owns the worldwide rights to several brands
associated with author JRR Tolkien, including The Hobbit and The Lord of
Landlady Stella Mary Roberts said: "I can't fight Hollywood."
The pub in Portswood, which is popular with students, has traded with the name for more than 20 years.
It features characters from Tolkien's stories on its signs,
has "Frodo" and "Gandalf" cocktails on the menu, and the face of Lord of
the Rings film star Elijah Wood on its loyalty card.
A letter from SZC asked it to remove all references to the characters.
The company asserts it has "exclusive worldwide rights to
motion picture, merchandising, stage and other rights in certain
literary works of JRR Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The
The Lord of The Rings films and the forthcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, made by New Line Cinema, have been licensed from SZC.
Landlady Ms Roberts said: "We were absolutely stunned. It was
completely unexpected, we never intended to infringe anyone's
"Are we doing any harm? I don't think so. We're bringing people to the books and the stories who haven't heard of JRR Tolkien.
"We don't have the financial resources to fight it - I can't fight Hollywood."
She said that changing the name and rebranding the pub would "cost thousands".
Student Heather Cartwright, who set up a "Save the Hobbit"
Facebook page which has more than 3,000 likes, said: "I was completely
shocked by it. It's great to see so many people showing support.
"How long do we need to protect works for? Do we protect the works of Mozart and Shakespeare?" she added.
Punch Taverns, which owns the freehold to the building, said:
"We are aware of the situation and are currently consulting with our
Source: BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-17350103
Hmmmmmm, I can understand the need to remove the images of the actors playing the characters, but wtf, the pub has been trading for 20 years, long before the films were even envisioned. This kind of copyright really pisses me off. It's aggressive, it's nasty, it's vile, it's putrid and it's what the US government and the US corporates do best, intimidate.
Save The Hobbit Pub https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheHobbitSouthampton
What are your views on this kind of intimidation and bullying?
In: Regional News
Tags: the hobbit, j.r.r. tolkien, pub, southampton, intimidation, hollywood, cargelock
Location: Southampton, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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