Tolkien Family Suing Over 'Lord Of The Rings' Slot Machines Licensed By Film Studio
Complaint Latest In Bitter Relationship Between Two Camps
The family of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the acclaimed The Lord of the Rings books, is suing the company that turned the story into movies over taking the brand to casinos.
Warner Bros. has licensed The Lord of the Rings to a slot machine maker, and the devices have become common in brick-and-mortar casinos.
Other parties, including book publisher HarperCollins, have aligned with the Tolkiens in the dispute with the movie studio and its subsidiaries.
According to Courthouse News, the plaintiffs claim a breach in the limited merchandising rights agreement, but they are also upset about the situation from a moral standpoint:
“Not only does the production of gambling games patently exceed the scope of defendants’ rights, but this infringing conduct has outraged Tolkien’s devoted fan base, causing irreparable harm to Tolkien’s legacy and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works. Fans have publicly expressed confusion and consternation at seeing [the story] associated with the morally questionable (and decidedly non-literary) world of online and casino gambling.”
The case is the latest in a seemingly perpetual legal war between the Tolkeins and Warner Bros. over matters related to the films and their ancillary products.
The movie trilogy generated about $3 billion in box office sales.
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