Lawsuit of the rings...


Regular Human
Jul 7, 2009
I came across this article and thought some of you may find it interesting:

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''The estate of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien has filed an $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. claiming the studio is "usurping rights to which they are not entitled" in merchandising Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, specifically online games and gambling slots.

The first comment below the article also made me chuckle:
YOU. SHALL. NOT. (By)PASSSSSS (our copyright laws)!
It says settlement talks have been going on for a while, and this action came along because they were getting nowhere. This appears to explain the strange decision Microgaming made to yank the "unpopular" second of three LOTR games, and replacing it with the SAME "unpopular" game but with Batman themed symbols. Also explained is the yanking altogether of the planned third LOTR slot. It looks like MGS decided to ditch the franchise rather than get caught up in a possible lawsuit.

The argument looks shaky, but in Copyright law bullshit arguments can prevail over common sense. An MGS casino IS "tangible" if it comes on a CD, yet not so if downloaded from the website. If they are relying on this "tangible goods" argument, this could make some lucky lawyers a great deal of money, and take up loads of court time.

The slots in land casinos are clearly tangible, so to get rid of ALL gambling devices the estate will need another argument.

I also recall a very odd edict that was sent out to affiliates, and that specifically they were NOT to mention Tolkein or the books, and ONLY make reference to the film trilogy. Maybe they knew right from the start that boundaries were being pushed in sublicensing the film rights to casino game developers.

It is a disappointment that MGS chose to give out bullshit, rather than the REAL reasoning behind their decision to remove the game. Did they REALLY expect us to believe they removed it because it was so unpopular, given that MGS have never before removed a game, no matter how unpopular it became. It has always been up to operators to select the games they provide, and most choose to have all of them.

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