Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

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Candy Kane
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Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:15 pm

The battle between Hollywood and The Hobbit gained an unexpected new recruit as the British performer Stephen Fry threw his weight behind a campaign to save an imperiled Southampton public house. Fry, who is currently shooting his role as the Master of Laketown in Peter Jackson's Tolkien adaptation, criticised an attempt by the production's lawyers to force the pub to change its name. "Sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in," he tweeted. "What pointless, self-defeating bullying."

Find out more about it here.

Can anyone find examples of the word "Hobbit" being used outside of Tolkien?
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MsBrandybuck
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby MsBrandybuck » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:07 pm

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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby TomCotton » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:01 pm

Just an occasional reference in some books, tv shows, and movies.
There is a Bilbo Baggins bar in Bossier City, Louisiana.
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Candy Kane
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:16 pm

Has that been hammered by the IP trolls?

If anyone can find the word "hobbit" being used non-commerically in folk texts somewhere, the owners of these places can claim prior art and send these trolls on their way.

Thanks for the replies.
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:15 am

Aha! Victory! We have victory! The troll has backed down in the face of a massive public backlash. Details here.

Damn, I feel good. Go internet!
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby shireling » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:42 am

:yay: Two of my favorite guys saving the use of one of my favorite words! It seldom gets better than this :D!

I was thinking about uses of the word Hobbit and the latest one that I could think of was Flo, that tiny primitive lady that was found on an Indonesian island six years ago (has it been that long?)

Btw, have you checked out menu? Yummy but wants more mushrooms...
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:06 am

Birmingham is actually not too far from here so it's not unthinkable...
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby MsBrandybuck » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:24 am

I don't get this. I have read countless books of speculative fiction in the past couple of years whose characters reference Tolkien, Middle Earth, main character names and places, etc.
It's as if Tolkien has passed into the public lexicon. No longer is it an obscure reference.

As to the pub- why should they pay ANYthing to use a name they've been using for 20 years now?
You'd think the 'copyright holders' could at least grandfather these things in.

And what about going after all of the authors that reference Tolkien?

Be satisfied with the millions of dollars you will make on the films and merchandising.
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Candy Kane
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:24 am

What you said, Ms Brandybuck. :D
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby shireling » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:08 pm

Absolutely. The films bear the thanks for that, when this establishment was already into its first decade with the name.
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:41 am

In the Social Media Age, the smart thing to do would be to offer the pub a range of merchandise to promote or sell, the idea being that Zaentz would have another promotional method.

In his shoes I'd have exploited the Hell out of the pub by sending them a load of posters and whatnot and asking for mutual links on the website. In that scenario, everybody wins and I'd have recouped my license fees from the punters buying the advertised stuff that I'd have advertised for free.
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby shireling » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:21 am

That's brilliant, Candy! I swear, you should run for Parliament. Seriously.
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:38 am

I'm Irish so I'm not sure they'd stand for that, even though I can vote in their elections. I compensate by harassing my MP and supporting the Pirate Party. I also blog about this stuff on my business website.

My opinions are informed by the tech and digital rights blogs, and I discuss these things with musicians and creatives who make a living out of copyright in order to maintain a balanced view. I have thought about running for office but I'm not temperamentally suited to a political environment and find it easier and better to just support those people who are good at being politicians.
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shireling
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:30 am

OMG!!! There's a Pirate Party???? We have pirates (rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, it be Wall Street they captain), and they party, when the mood strikes. But, even swashbucklers have a code they abide by, and I can't say these do.

I know I'm dating myself, but I remember Bernadette Devlin...and Bobby Sands, may he rest in peace. I think it's wonderful that you realize you may not be suited for office; I'm the same way.

But, it's a bloody shame there's a whole slew of others that are not, and that hasn't stopped them one bit! I'm referring to the primaries. Would they were taking place anywhere else but here...but then I think, who would I be so inconsiderate as to bless with them?
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Candy Kane
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Re: Who owns the name "Hobbit"?

Postby Candy Kane » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:22 am

The Pirate Party are law-abiding nerds who are campaigning for IP reform. None of them has ever been to prison as far as I know. It was that or the "Star Wars" Party, but that would have meant paying royalties and campaigning dressed as Darth Vader.

I'm kidding, they sympathise with The Pirate Bay and have gone political to change the IP laws that criminalise file-sharing and force up the cost of everyday items. If they got into power, copyright and patents would be reduced and it would be illegal to buy a patent just so you could sue people for infringement, real or imaginary.

Some patent trolls take you to court on the premise that you'd rather pay up than go to court whether you are innocent or guilty. There's a recent case where Fark told an IP troll to jog on, and he did, because he had nothing on Fark, he just wanted to mug them.

Find out more about the Pirate Party here.
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