Yesterday we heard that the humble Hobbit pub in Southampton was being threatened by the legal hounds of Mordor over the use of the Hobbit name and imagery from the fantasy saga. Now it seems Saul Zaentz Company has come to it senses after much media pressure, meaning that the southern boozer is saved.
SZC, the owner of the exclusive rights to Tolkein’s Middle-Earth empire, said that it was just doing it because it had to. Mr Zaentz himself told the Southern Daily Echo:
“We had to do this. We had no choice. The law says that unless you protect your trademark it becomes diluted and you can lose it.”
“It’s our responsibility to the Tolkein estate to go after this, or their charities will ultimately lose out.”
Thankfully there’s an easy and relatively painless solution – a £60-odd ($100) licence fee that’ll satisfy the protection elements and not drive the humble Hobbit out of business. The ironic thing is that “if it wasn’t for the Internet we probably wouldn’t have found out about this pub. They’ve been posting a lot of things recently,” said Zaentz.
So there you have it -- online media kicks the whole debacle off, then solves it with a bit of outraged press. Good job internet. Now I’m off to The Potter for a pint before Warner Bros. catch on. [Southern Daily Echo]