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Tolkien Trust Sues New Line, May Kill "Hobbit"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the mine-mine-mine dept.

Movies 450

oboreruhito writes "The AP is reporting that the Tolkien Trust and HarperCollins are suing New Line Cinema for $150 million in compensatory damages, unspecified punitive damages, and a court order revoking New Line's rights to produce any more films on Tolkien properties. The Tolkien Trust says that New Line paid them only $62,500 to make 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy of films — instead of the agreed-upon 7.5 percent of gross receipts of all film-related revenue. The suit may set back, if not kill, a film adaptation of Lord of the Rings prequel 'The Hobbit,' which Peter Jackson had recently signed up to make after his own legal row with the studio over payment for the sequels."

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450 comments

When will they learn... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390812)

Studios are scumbags. They do "creative" accounting so that no film ever makes money on paper. If you get suckered into accepting net points you will never EVER see a dime. Gross points are the real money and even then they find ways of hiding that money.

This is why you see lots of big actors and big name directors and talent working on more and more "indie" films. they actually get what they are promised from the indie companies.

Re:When will they learn... (-1, Troll)

opusman (33143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390830)

Yeah the big actors are all hurting bad aren't they...

Re:When will they learn... (4, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390980)

Yeah the big actors are all hurting bad aren't they...

Jackson himself only got paid after he sued New Line. And then New Line refused to hire him for the Hobbit in retaliation.

Its not just that the people are crooks, they are stupid crooks. They kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

Tolkein sold the rights to the film version of TLORT to pay a tax bill. At the time the film could not have been made, the technology didn't exist to do it well on a realistic budget.

What New Line seem to have forgotten is that the contract had a royalty clause. They probably forgot because its stated in terms of profit and everyone knows that the films never make profits after the Holywood accounting and the California courts are owned by the studios.

Only problem is that the contract was signed in the UK and UK law does not favor the studios on this.

Re:When will they learn... (4, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391018)

Jackson himself only got paid after he sued New Line

Not exactly. He had already been paid quite a bit, but not nearly as much as they owed him.

-jcr

re:when will they learn... (3, Insightful)

ed.han (444783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391114)

what new line seem to have forgotten is that the contract had a royalty clause. they probably forgot because its stated in terms of profit and everyone knows that the films never make profits after the holywood accounting and the california courts are owned by the studios.

only problem is that the contract was signed in the UK and UK law does not favor the studios on this.


o, i doubt very much that they forgot. i think it was a calculated decision to save them (new line) money and force a drawn out litgation in which they will make an offer that will wind up costing them (again, new line) less than the royalties.

"competent courts" as a legal precept is probably very, very basic for IP lawyers, esp those employed by a studio like new line.

ed

Re:When will they learn... (3, Informative)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391436)

Jackson himself only got paid after he sued New Line.

Not true. jackson got paid according to his contract. However, his contract did not specify that he should get a percentage of the "tie in revenues" (games, toys etc.) He sued New Line to get a piece of that as well.

Re:When will they learn... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390988)

Well, Stallone had to dig up one of his old characters in a desperate attempt to earn some coin. Schwarzenegger, Eastwood, and others have turned to politics as their bread and butter. You hear it in the back room at the Oscars all the time: "Yeah it made good box office, but she's with Frog-Aid now, and she's pulling down charity board of directors' money".

Re:When will they learn... (2, Informative)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391422)

Eastwood, and others have turned to politics as their bread and butter.
Eastwood has also put his considerable clout to directing. 'Letters from Iwo Jima', 'Flags of our Fathers', 'Million Dollar Baby', 'Mystic River' (just to name the ones in the past 5 years). It seems like his ability improves with each movie he makes.

Re:When will they learn... (3, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391012)

Actually, it would appear that Newline is a bunch of crooks. They did the same thing to Peter Jackson himself.

Article on it [nytimes.com]

So not only do they screw the Tolkien trust, but they also screw the guy who MADE the movie. Good job Newline, I have a feeling you may have a hard time attracting talent in the future.

Re:When will they learn... (2, Insightful)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391382)

Good job Newline, I have a feeling you may have a hard time attracting talent in the future.
Well possibly, but they've got money. When you're desperate enough to find a producer to fund your movie, when you've been preparing your project for a while and money is running low, sometimes you can't be too picky....

Re:When will they learn... (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390876)

This is why you see lots of big actors and big name directors and talent working on more and more "indie" films.

Even so, many films with big-name actors that are called "independent" are nonetheless closely tied to studios. Remember the buzz over Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [amazon.com] , a fresh new film made by a new group of filmmakers outside the mainstream? Well, it came from Focus Features, which despite calling itself an "art house" studio is in fact owned by Universal.

One wonders if the accounting on European films is more honest. European film industries are heavily subsidized by the state, and when you have to report back to the state on what you've done with their funding, perhaps there is less temptation to cook the books.

Re:When will they learn... (-1, Troll)

dj42 (765300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390890)

That's one of the dumbest comments on the movie industry/hollywood I've seen. "They do "creative" accounting so that no film ever makes money on paper." Let's try: http://www.swivel.com/data_sets/show/1000791 [swivel.com] The top 20 movies have made between $284M and $717M, according to that page. I think they are "making money on paper", unless I'm missing something here?

Re:When will they learn... (2, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391032)

You are in fact missing something, the franchise for some of the big movies are in the billions range.

Re:When will they learn... (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391040)

You're missing something. The numbers that the studios publish and what they use on a contractual basis are probably two different things. The contracts usually specify how and when the 'net' is computed. They're not bound contractually by what they publish publicly. The problem is that stupid people often sign contracts without an attorney who is familiar with Hollywood looking it over.

Per Eddie Murphy: monkey points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391086)

Monkey points [wikipedia.org]:

In the motion picture industry, the term monkey points refers to the practice of many low budget production companies offering talent, such as actor or writer, a percentage of a film's profits, as opposed to a percentage of the film's gross, or a fixed salary. (The 'monkey' is intended to be derogatory.)

This term was coined by Eddie Murphy, who also stated that only a fool would accept net points in their contracts; always insist on gross points. Since such projects usually never make any money--at least on paper--the talent who accepts a percentage of the project's profits usually never makes any money.

If no film makes a profit... (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391396)

shouldn't the MPAA be thanking filesharers, since they're diluting their losses? (just using Hollywood accounting logic here)

Well sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390816)

It's part of the MPIAA. They want all the money for themselves.

Wow! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390820)

It's amazing how quickly Slashdot is pulling its news from Digg these days (which is where I read this story first, obviously). Used to take a week or so before Slashdot would finally catch up, maybe they've written some sort of a Perl script to parse Digg stories and automatically front-page them. Wouldn't be much of a surprise, the site's doing everything in its power to -be- Digg down to the very look and feel, and failing miserably.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390870)

Maybe Digg should catch up as well. Heard this 2 days ago on google news.

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390880)

the site's doing everything in its power to -be- Digg down to the very look and feel, and failing miserably.

Surely failing to imitate Digg is a good thing...

Re:Wow! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390958)

Not really, no. Digg is the future of these types of sites -- no abusive admins, user-generated content, no thinly veiled product advertisments. And what does Slashdot have? "Ooh, if you pay us you get a little * next to your user-name, and you get to read the shitty troll submissions and Digg posts even earlier than the anonymous trolls do!"

Thanks for your commentary however, I believe I'll just add in a few lines here for the spambots to pick up:

roundfile@mindless.com
roundfile@mindless.com
roundfile@mindless.com
roundfile@mindless.com
roundfile@mindless.com
roundfile@mindless.com

There you go. Enjoy!

Yeah, this is a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390934)

because I never read digg.
If you see all not-news here, why are you still coming?

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390974)

It's amazing how quickly Slashdot is pulling its news from Digg these days
Watch out Diggers - the Slash will rise agin'.

Re:Wow! (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390994)

Maybe we can prove they come straight from Digg; did they have the same typo - 'The Lord of teh Rings'?

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391342)

Digg can be a neat site for the sheer volume of articles, but it has some serious and aggravating problems. To give one example: it was refreshing to come here this morning and find only one story about the Anonymous protests of Scientology instead of, oh, say, ten.

The Anonymous group seems to have taken a page from Ron Paul supporters: they've positively Digg-bombed the place, putting multiple (and entirely redundant) stories onto the front page, as if this will somehow raise awareness about the CoS amongst a demographic that is vulnerable to the Church's tactics. But they can't do that on Slashdot because of the editorial control here. Add to this the fact that Digg is no longer news for nerds in the way Slashdot is (sports articles now show up with alarming frequency on Digg), and that the comments on Digg absolutely stink compared with those here (yes, they're even worse than ours).

I enjoy Digg for its constant volume of new articles, but Slashdot's articles are much better presented (yes, even with the "teh" in TFA). If this site posted more frequent stories to compete with Digg's volume I'd have little reason to go to Digg. Volume is about the only advantage they have.

Jews (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390822)

Thats what you get when you do business with Jews.

Gee what next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390824)

I don't think the Hobbit is ever going to be made at this rate.

Understandable (0, Redundant)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390836)

I wouldn't pay anyone much to be able to make "Lord of teh Rings" either, "Lord of the Rings" however I may pay a fair bit more for :p

Soo ... (3, Insightful)

phoxix (161744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390840)

Basically the MPAA whines about pirates not paying for films, but itself cannot pay the people who create them ?

I'm shocked! Shocked!

We all know that Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org] is a complete scam.

Re:Soo ... (5, Insightful)

hobbitFeet (1127615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390918)

I suspect you'll find that no-one at the Tolkien Trust created "The Lord of the Rings". Although I don't approve of the studio's alleged wrongdoing with regards payment, I think it is a bit of a joke how long ownership on these things lasts. (Life + 70 years comes to mind, but that is probably wrong).

Re:Soo ... (4, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391158)

That's a very good point, and I agree with you. But I would bet Christopher Tolkien has had some hand in the Tolkien Trust and he has done quite a bit of work on the Lord of the Rings Universe, whether you agree that's good or bad.

But I can't believe that New Line is trying to say that they made less than one million dollars on the movies though. That's got to be worst than Cutthroat Island.

Re:Soo ... (4, Interesting)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391218)

I'm with you 100% there. Copyright is supposed to encourage authors/composers/etc. to create new works to enrich society. Tolkien isn't even enriching the ground he's buried in anymore, so there's *zero* need for a copyright to continue to exist on his works. Copyright is only providing an income stream for his heirs (and New Line) at the expense of society now.

I think that New Line is scummy for their shady accounting practices, but they really should not have had to negotiate for the film rights to begin with.

"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ? (4, Funny)

dj42 (765300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390844)

My subject is a quote from TFA.

Let's break this down.

"The Lord of teh Ring's trilogy"

You know what, I'm not even going to bother. What kind of retard submitted this?

Re:"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390916)

What kind of retard reads the summary, clicks the read more link, then posts about a typo?

BTW the C in Christ is captialized.

Re:"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390962)

Why should he capitalize the C in the name of a stupid Cunt. Go fuck Jesus and spread your cum in his eyes you child loving faggot.

Re:"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390932)

What kind of retard submitted this?

My sources tell me that the submitter typed it correctly but that the Slashdot 'editors' were required to add the typo in order to 'keep it real'.

Re:"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390952)

You mean it's a quote from TFS.

Re:"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391190)

Why did you insert the apostrophe in "ring's"? The summary correctly had it as "rings". The only problems I see are the misspelled "teh" and perhaps the initial "the" should have been outside the quotes. (I'd rather see italics than quotes, but who cares?)

Re:"'The Lord of teh Rings' trilogy". Jesus christ (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391374)

I believe the question you meant to ask was, "what kind of retard let this story go live with such an obvious (though innocuous) spelling error?"

stuff that matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390852)

who cares ?

Movie company greed again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390858)

This is typical of the MPAA companies. They use creative bookkeeping to make profitable films look as though they produce no money so they can screw people out of their share of the revenue.

kdawson Must Be Taco's Brother-in-Law (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390866)

. . . or cousin, or son of an important investor, because that's the only way an idiot like him could be allowed to post 'The Lord of teh Rings' on the front page of /.

Ahh, delicious irony... (2)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390872)

...Major entertainment companies have long been of the opinion that the artists who create the products they sell are expendable and interchangable... THis is how a studio executive could sleep at night after giving the Tolkien estate less than $63,000 compensation for a property that has made New Line north of $1 billion in revenue...

Glad to hear it--they're getting what they deserver.

Re:Ahh, delicious irony... (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391050)

They haven't won their suit yet. The studios haven't yet gotten what they deserve. But I'm with you -- I hope they lose BIG. The judge should award triple damages.

Re:Ahh, delicious irony... (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391206)

for a property that has made New Line north of $1 billion in revenue...

Quite a bit north, actually. In point of fact, just shy of three billion [the-numbers.com] dollars. And that's not considering merchandising tie-ins, DVD sales, and all the rest of the "film related" revenue.

So I guess we now know the answer to "what has it got in its pocketses?" A shitload of other people's money!

Re:Ahh, delicious irony... (2, Interesting)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391450)

Major entertainment companies have long been of the opinion that the artists who create the products they sell are expendable and interchangable

While the artist that created the product New Line is selling was neither expendable nor interchangeable, after almost 35 years he is still irrevocably dead, and as such is quite unlikely to be writing anything more in the near future anyway. New Line should be getting raked firmly over the coals for attempting to weasel out of performing on a contract, but if copyright law made any sense at all they wouldn't have had to pay a dime to Tolkien's estate to make the movie.

It didn't make any money! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390874)

... or at least I'm sure the studio's accountants will attest that it didn't.

In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that no film in the history of Hollywood has ever been profitable. Ask anybody that ever got monkey points [wikipedia.org] on a contract.

Anyone else think.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390886)

when they saw the headline,

"Stand back, New Line, or the Hobbit gets it!" ?

More Hollywood Accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390894)

Hope they are right and supposed to get a cut of the gross. Otherwise it sounds like another case of Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org].

But that WAS 7.5% of the takings (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390914)

Provided you happen to be an accountant who works in a movie studio.

Has anyone ever figured out the arithmetic to find out how much profit a given studio is making on the assumption that the takings they quote to people who should be getting X% of the total are accurate? I am pretty sure it would demonstrate a massive loss year-on-year.

Come on, the studios are right (4, Insightful)

Aaron Isotton (958761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390920)

Everybody loves bashing RIAA, MPAA and the big bad studios, but come on: The Lord of the Rings was originally published in *1955* (more than 50 years ago). Tolkien died in 1973 (more than 35 years ago). The publishers really had enough time to make money; it should be public domain by now. Yes, I know copyright usually expires 50/70 years after the author's death, but these laws really need updating.

Re:Come on, the studios are right (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390984)

The Lord of the Rings was originally published in *1955* (more than 50 years ago)

Isn't the edition with the appendices somewhat more recent, though? Though certainly your point stands.

Re:Come on, the studios are right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391030)

obvious troll is obvious

That wasn't what they were saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391088)

Because they don't WANT 50-year copyrights.

If New Line put their stuff down for a 50-year copyright and release stuff they own older than that, then maybe I'd go along with them.

Re:Come on, the studios are right (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391140)

I agree with you, but it is ironic that the same group of people running around suing college students and claiming that illegal copying is depriving directors and scriptwriters of their paychecks is refusing to honor the very same copyright laws. Funnier still is that the movie studios lobbied to have the length of copyright extended!

Well, answer this (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391268)

I agree that 50 years is too long (or about right).

But what do you think the same studios would say if you took a film made in 1954 and just started distributing it? They'd sue you into oblivion. Further, it was the film studios themselves who pushed for such long copyright terms.

So I don't see they have either the legal or moral standing to complain about this. They should pay their damned bills, frankly.

Re:Come on, the studios are right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391294)

If the MPAA are willing to agree to reducing intellectual property do a reasonable 7 years or so, then id be fine seeing them get away with not paying for this.

somehow i dont think they will, theyre just interested in double standards.

Re:Come on, the studios are right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391354)

Should should should. People should not sign contracts if they don't want to do what the contract says they have to, fucktard.

Re:Come on, the studios are right (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391400)

While I think "come on" is a fantastic legal argument, your point is somewhat moot. It doesn't matter what the law should be, it only matters what it is. I have to concur with a similar comment that essentially says the studio should "pay it's damn bills".

As an aside, with how much those movies grossed, I really believe the people who have legal rights deserve a hell of a lot more than 67,000. But in their own right, I'm sure they saw an increase in royality fees on book sales.

Stupidity or incompetence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390922)

Either someone is screwing up paying the fees due for the LOTR-movies, or some asshat studio director thinks he can make the company some money by not paying up and waiting if he is found out. Of course, no one is going to complain if you screw them out of a couple of million dollars... Sheesh, do they want this movie to be made, or not? Chances are, it'll make them another zillion dollars, seeing how popular the LOTR-trilogy was. But first they screwed over Peter Jackson, making him reconsider making the film, now it turns out they haven't paid the copyright fees.

Btw, isn't it ironic that a movie studio, seemingly very fond of copyrights and keen on apprehending copyrights violations would not pay their fees?

Front for the Mafia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22390936)

Considering New Line Cinemas string of dodgy accounting practices and refusal to pay artists/directors their cut of the profits, it make me think they have some dodgy underworld connections.

Standard corporate intimidation (1, Redundant)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390966)

1- Sign a contract promising a percentage of the gross 2- Pay a small advance to get the job done 3- Once the job is done, don't pay one more cent, and laugh all the way to the bank. 4- Most contractants don't know a decent lawyer or can't afford them, or won't bother to sue -- too much worry. 5- Profit.

Re:Standard corporate intimidation (2, Interesting)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391020)

Yeah I know, formatting is for wussies! There I go again:

  1. Sign a contract promising a percentage of the gross
  2. Pay a small advance to get the job done
  3. Once the job is done, don't pay one more cent, and laugh all the way to the bank.
  4. Most contractants don't know a decent lawyer or can't afford them, or won't bother to sue -- too much worry.
  5. Profit.

What's depressing is that this is becoming more and more a standard practice, as the courts do not demand enough punitive damage to seriously discourage such bullying... and New Line Cinema seems to have a long record at that.

Re:Standard corporate intimidation (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391144)

It is not standard practice. It is a how companies deal with business.

Are you surprised? But this is what you get when company as entity have nor moral nor serious legal obligations to law. Surprise, it is cornerstone of so called American business thinking.

Re:Standard corporate intimidation (1, Insightful)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391208)

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

-- Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

Re:Standard corporate intimidation (0, Offtopic)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391394)

And you forgot the most important step, it should of been.

1. Sign a contract promising a percentage of the gross
2. Pay a small advance to get the job done
3. Once the job is done, don't pay one more cent, and laugh all the way to the bank
4. Most contractors don't know a decent lawyer/can't afford them or won't both to sue
5. ???
6. Profit

It's just not a Slashdot list without the vital ??? step before profit. It's our bitter little way to show that plans always fail so we must use some sort of devil worship to achieve out goals.

MPAA HIppocrits (2, Interesting)

Junkyboy55 (1183037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390976)

The MPAA and their lovers in bed the RIAA have been gong after people for downloading movies and music and everything in between in hopes that people will buy more CDs or specifically more songs (Wired [wired.com] says record companies make more money off songs than CDs>) even to the extent of saying it is illegal to rip CD you bought and put it on your computer and than again to place those same purchased songs on your iPod or MP3 player.

This is pathetic. Those hippocrits are still making tons of money due to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the millions they have made so far, they should at least be respectful. Without LoTR I bet New Line wouldn't have enough money to spend bribing congressman so they should be happy with the few they can buy off and wait for another movie after paying their debts to penetrate deeper and deeper in our government.

Slowly and slowly we are electing the MPAA and RIAA into office and sooner or later the world will be come a dictatorship, not by a single person or politician, but by the entertainment industry telling us we can't even laugh without paying a tax for something funny.

But what do I know?

Fantasy, as a genre, is pure shit anyway (-1, Flamebait)

majorme (515104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22390986)

Am I the only one sick of all recent childish fantasy films? The books aren't any good either. It's time for a new Sci-Fi era!

Re:Fantasy, as a genre, is pure shit anyway (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391104)

LotR childish? You obviously haven't tried reading the original (or its companion novels like the Silmarillion) recently. The majority of children in the majority of schools wouldn't get past the first page without getting confused by half a dozen words and deciding it was "wordy and boring".

Re:Fantasy, as a genre, is pure shit anyway (1)

quintessentialk (926161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391174)

Last I checked, most genre fiction (including most of sci fi) is crap. I wouldn't normally include LotR in that category, but I see what you're saying. LotR, Narnia, Pan's Labrynth, Spiderwick, etc... it does seem to be a bit much! Of course, one could say the same thing about comic book movies.

Re:Fantasy, as a genre, is pure shit anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391274)

Scifi is fantasy, arseknuckles.

Oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391002)

My precioussss

In a very ironic way (4, Insightful)

zuki (845560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391004)

It looks like most of those around adaptations of Tolkien's works are one by one falling prey to the same
sad curse that overtook Gollum...

"My Precious, My Precious!... Must have the Precious!"

If I may say so, I truly wonder what Tolkien himself would think of all this pathetic bickering and bitter lawsuits.

Z.

Re:In a very ironic way (4, Funny)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391116)

If I may say so, I truly wonder what Tolkien himself would think of all this pathetic bickering and bitter lawsuits.

I think he would recommend rising an army of Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits and horsemen to besiege the Two Towers of New Line Cinema, and shoot their Nazgul lawyers whenever you get a chance.

Wouldn't he?

This'll never win. (1)

JazMuadDib (600258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391180)

Throughout 3 hefty volumes, Sauron's forces had chance after chance to kill any of the four hobbits. And yet, they failed utterly. What makes these lawyers think they can do better?

nice (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391036)

When I lived in Wales I shared a student house with a girl called Freya who is a close descendant of Tolkien. I have to say the family is a very nice family and they certainly should get alot more than they are currently getting for the rights. Then again, why should they make money for someone elses work that they didn't make themselves? It's a tough call, but I'm biased so I think they should get the money (and give some to me lol) :-)

Re:nice (1)

popmaker (570147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391122)

Well, maybe for putting up with him in his most intense writing moments, being there for him, cooking dinner, even serving as some inspiration...

Maybe you could also look at it as Tolkiens own right to do something for his family, leaving something behind for them. That's probably the basic thought, which then gets screwed up along the way when not-so-close greedy descendants think it's their right to get money for nothing just because they share a family name with the guy.

But then again, what do I know?

Re:nice (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391364)

. Then again, why should they make money for someone elses work that they didn't make themselves?

Because the author chose to give it to them.

-jcr

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391446)

Why can't Freya just get a job and work for a living like the rest of us rather than expect a free ride from a dead relative?

Accounting (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391066)

It's for reasons just like this that when you want to get actually paid what you're owed you make certain that the contract stipulates you get a percentage of "all gross revenues, without regard to source." The accountants can't fudge those numbers, and you get paid what you are rightfully owed. With crap like this going on -- where no movie ever makes a profit -- is it any waonder that the companies are seen as such scum?

Wow (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391100)

You would think the Tolkien estate would be able to afford laywers up-front to advise them on the stupidity of that contract.

anyone remember dragon magazine (4, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391132)

Anyone else remember Dragon magazine and the spoof on getting sued by the Tolkien estate - they weren't allowed to say "ring".

"Someone get the phone, its circular metal banding off the hook!"

I like to say that... (3, Interesting)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391252)

this is an example of why there needs to be IP law reform. I'm NOT saying it needs to be eliminated: just reformed. Tolkien, as far as I know, is dead. Why is his IP still owned? Why hasn't his stuff gone into public domain?

The reason for IP is to give the creators an incentive to create, not for the folks who buy the rights to profit off of them for all eternity.

Those bastards! (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391402)

Without the royalty money, how is author J. R. R. Tolkien going to afford to put food on his table? Why, without the royalty money, he may not even be able to afford to write a new book!

(I'm not sure who to cheer for here)

Gross vs Net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391440)

If it really was 7.5% off the gross and not the net, Newline could be in for a world of hurt.
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