Hollywood legal teams threaten UK businesses over "Hobbit" usage

Completely playing into their lack of logic and care stereotype, lawyers for the company that owns the movie adaption copyright of JRR Tolkien's catalogue of novels have threatened several UK businesses with legal action if they don't stop using the word "hobbit."

That company is known as Tolkien Enterprises - I wonder if the Tolkien family consider that a breach of copyright? - and it's owned by 91 year old millionaire Saul Zaentz. He's the man behind such movies as The English Patient and Amadeus and it's his studio - Saul Zaentz Company - that was behind the Lord of the Rings Trilogy - though the currently in-development Hobbit has been licensed.

Most recently Mr Zaentz and his legal team have threatened a pub calling itself "The Hobbit", though in the past they also targeted a sandwhich bar named "Hungry Hobbit" and a wooden lodge maker because it named one of its creations "hobbit houses." Perhaps he believes that these small British businesses will somehow damage his brand or affect his own vast revenue stream?

Understandably none of these businesses are able to legally compete with a company that has the kind of money to splash out on frivolous lawsuits, but complying with the wishes damages their own brands - the former two busineses having operated for several years under their names.

It's not like Tolkien even invented the word Hobbit. While he at times claimed he had, it seems most likely he drew inspiration from its earlier usage in the Denham Tracts, published in 1892.

If you'd like to help the Hobbit pub, there's a growing campaign on Facebook that should give you a few ideas.

Source: Daily Echo