Tolkien estate settles £62m lawsuit with Warner

JRR Tolkien’s family have settled a £62m lawsuit with Warner Bros over the rights of Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.

Priscilla Tolkien, daughter of the famed British author, teamed up with her father’s publishers HarperCollins to sue the studio over abuse of merchandising rights.
They say Warner has overstepped the mark by producing video games and apps based on the books, when rights sold to them by the estate only covered goods such as figurines, stationary and clothing.
The sale was made in 1969, when only “tangible” merchandising was sold, ignoring any digital exploitation of the franchise.

Image: The Hobbit’s website gives visitors the option of playing online games based on the books
The family also claim Warner “outraged” Tolkien fans by using his characters in online gambling games and casino slot machines.
Warner filed counterclaims saying the studio lost millions in Hobbit merchandising after the lawsuit.

After a legal battle which lasted nearly five years, Warner and Tolkien’s estate have finally resolved the issue “amicably”.

Image: The Hobbit was the latest Tolkien-based franchise from Warner Bros
“The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future,” a spokesperson for Warner said.
This comes as Warner prepares to launch a series of games based on some of its films, including Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.
Video games are a big part of the studio’s profit, which has increased substantially after the release of Marvel and DC-based games like Wonder Woman, Injustice or Lego Marvel.

Source: SKY

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