Hobbit pub copyright row: Legal fees fundraising event
Published: 11th Aug 2012 04:35:39
A Southampton pub at the centre of a copyright dispute with a US movie company over its name The Hobbit is holding a legal fees fundraising party.
The pub in Portswood was threatened with legal action by Hollywood Lord of the Rings film firm the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) in March.
It later offered to resolve the dispute over the pub's name and decor by licensing it to use JRR Tolkien brands.
But wrangling over the small print of the deal is continuing.
Landlady Stella Roberts said any money raised will help pay for the lawyer's fees.
She said she could not discuss the negotiations as she had signed a confidentiality agreement, but added: "We are very frustrated.
"We're living in limbo here. We just want the whole thing finished.
"We just don't know what to do. We've been advised to carry on trading as we were, because we haven't got a lot of choice."
The party starts at midday and goes on until the early hours of Sunday, with an auction featuring items donated by celebrities, live music, sumo wrestling, laser shooting simulators and a Caribbean BBQ.
Actors Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen said they would pay for the copyright licence fee so that the pub can carry on trading as The Hobbit, once it has been agreed.
Both actors have criticised the film company's action.
Mr Fry, who stars in the forthcoming Tolkien film The Hobbit, called it "self-defeating bullying", while Sir Ian, who plays Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings films, described it as "unnecessary pettiness".
Nearly 60,000 people have also joined a Facebook campaign to save the pub.
SZC owns the worldwide rights to several brands associated with author JRR Tolkien.
Producer Paul Zaentz said trademark law dictated it had to act against infringements of its brands, but it was open to licensing the pub to use them at a cost of about $100 a year.
The pub in Bevois Valley, which is popular with students, has traded with the name for more than 20 years.
It features characters from Tolkien's stories on its signs, has "Frodo" and "Gandalf" cocktails on the menu and the face of Lord of the Rings film star Elijah Wood on its loyalty card.
A letter from SZC had asked the pub to remove all references to the characters.
At 15:55:43 in HeadlinesThe last communications between the South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday and traffic services reveal panic and indecision by the crew.
At 15:48:44 in SportJamie Peacock (rested) and Ben Jones-Bishop (head) both return for Leeds Rhinos having missed the win at Bradford on Thursday.
At 15:41:06 in SportHull FC recall Ben Crooks, Jay Pitts and Aaron Heremaia following Thursday's dramatic derby defeat by Hull KR.
At 15:38:38 in EntertainmentIan McIntyre, a former controller of both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, has died aged 82.
At 15:35:56 in SportFour races into this Formula 1 season, and Lewis Hamilton is effectively unbeaten. He might still narrowly trail Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the championship, but it is already looking as if only bad luck can stop him winning it.
At 15:35:52 in SportWidnes youngsters Grant Gore and Adam Lawton could make their first starts of the Super League season.
At 15:28:02 in SportWigan Warriors are without Ian Thornley (pectoral), Eddy Pettybourne (calf) and Ben Flower (ankle), who all suffered injuries in Good Friday's fine 33-14 win at St Helens.
At 15:25:57 in EnglandPeople trying to find an escaped 6ft-tall bird capable of running at 40mph say there has been a threat to kill it.
At 15:25:27 in SportManchester United striker Danny Welbeck is considering leaving the club.
At 15:07:21 in EnglandA sniffer dog has been brought in to find drugs in Shropshire and South Staffordshire hospitals.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Hobbit pub copyright row: Legal fees fundraising event [Online] (Updated 11th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1445679/Hobbit-pub-copyright-row-Legal-fees-fundraising-event [Accessed 20th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
People trying to find an escaped 6ft-tall bird capable of running at 40mph say there has been a threat to kill it.
The demand for bigger buttocks in Venezuela means some women will even have banned injections to achieve them, putting their health at risk.
Ian McIntyre, a former controller of both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, has died aged 82.
Decisions on the pay and conditions of teachers will "inevitably" be devolved to Wales, said a teaching union.
The last communications between the South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday and traffic services reveal panic and indecision by the crew.
Ministers are being urged to end restrictions that prevent many garden centres in England and Wales from opening on Easter Sunday.