Hobbit pub in Southampton threatened with legal action

by Stephan Kinsella on March 13, 2012

According to a Facebook friend, “The same guy who sued John Fogerty for sounding too much like John Fogerty is now going after a 20-year-old pub in England.”:

 

Hobbit pub in Southampton threatened with legal action

Student Heather Cartwright: “Part of the wonder of this place is that you can come in and order a Gandalf”

A popular pub and music venue called The Hobbit has been threatened with legal action by US movie lawyers.

The Southampton pub has been accused of copyright infringement by lawyers representing the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) in California.

The company owns the worldwide rights to several brands associated with author JRR Tolkien, including The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.

Landlady Stella Mary Roberts said: “I can’t fight Hollywood.”

The pub in Portswood, 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 asked it to remove all references to the characters.

The company asserts it has “exclusive worldwide rights to motion picture, merchandising, stage and other rights in certain literary works of JRR Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit”.

‘Absolutely stunned’

The Lord of The Rings films and the forthcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, made by New Line Cinema, have been licensed from SZC.

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