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Arts and Entertainment

J.R.R. Tolkein Estate Suing Warner Bros. Over Merchandise

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Some things in this world are sacred, and many of us count among them anything by J.R.R. Tolkein. That includes, of course, the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit."

So we're kind of on board with the fact that the Tolkein estate is suing Warner Bros. for creating merchandise based on the movies about the books that the estate feels isn't in line with the studio's rights.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio created an online slot game based on the "Lord of the Rings," called Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Online Slot Game. The Tolkein estate, in turn, called the game "highly offensive." In the suit, lawyers for the estate write:

"The original contracting parties thus contemplated a limited grant of the right to sell consumer products of the type regularly merchandised at the time such as figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like...They did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services."
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The lawsuit asks for an injunction, as well as $80 million in damages.