Tolkien suit may hob­ble Hob­bit

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

When not pre­par­ing JRR Tolkien’s laun­dry lists, post-it notes and cheques­tubs for pub­li­ca­tion, the late writer’s fam­ily keep a very close eye on any sup­posed en­croach­ment on their valu­able copy­right. The clan has now taken action that may jeop­ar­dise the pro­duc­tion of Guillermo del Toro’s two-part ver­sion of The Hob­bit.

The case fo­cuses on Tolkien’s de­ci­sion to sell the film rights in 1969 for a fee of £250,000 (¤288,000) and a ru­moured 7.5 per cent share of fu­ture prof­its. The fam­ily claim that they have yet to re­ceive any money from New Line Films. The stu­dio ar­gues that the terms of the orig­i­nal con­tract are am­bigu­ous.

“Should the case go all the way to trial, we are con­fi­dent that New Line will lose its rights to The Hob­bit,” a lawyer for Christo­pher Tolkien, the au­thor’s son, boldly claimed. With this much money at stake, we reckon they’ll come to a set­tle­ment.

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