In one of the many, many overreaches by the Tokien Estate, it threatened author Stephen Hillard, who has written a bit of historical fiction combined with literary criticism, called Mirkwood
, which uses a fictionalized JRR Tolkien as a character. The Tolkien Estate sent a cease-and-desiste, and Hillard smartly sued for declaratory judgment
. Apparently the two sides have worked out their differences and have settled the lawsuit
, which will allow the book to be published. However, Hillard does have to make a few small changes:
According to the settlement, the book will now be released with a modified reference to Tolkien on the cover and will also include the disclaimer, "This is a work of fiction which is neither endorsed nor connected with The JRR Tolkien Estate or its publisher."
I certainly understand why a settlement would be reached, but really it's too bad that any changes were made. Hillard had a strong case, and the estate had little or no case. Yet, now that it was able to pressure the author into making some changes (even if they were small), it emboldens the estate to continue its silly and counterproductive campaign.