Tolkien Estate Says Just Mentioning Tolkien Infringes; Tolkien Censorwear Appears In Response

from the that's-not-how-this-works dept

We've been mentioning a bit about how the estate of JRR Tolkien has been overaggressive in trying to enforce (sometimes non-existent) intellectual property rights related to Tolkien. The estate has been like that for a while, but in the last few weeks it's seemed like the number of such stories have been ramping up. The latest one is particularly ridiculous. Boing Boing points us to the news that the Tolkien Estate has threatened a guy for having a button that merely mentions Tolkien:
If you can't see the image, the button reads: "While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion." That's not infringing in any way, shape or form. Yet, the Tolkien Estate sent Zazzle (where the button was being sold) a cease and desist. Ridiculously, Zazzle simply complied. That's disappointing as well. In cases of obvious overreach, Zazzle should stand up for the rights of its users.

Of course, where Zazzle fails to stand up for its users, its users seem to be more than willing to stand up for themselves. A bunch of protest merchandise has suddenly been showing up on Zazzle, such as the following two shirts, which joke about Christopher Tolkien's desire to censor any mention of his father that he hasn't approved or been paid for:

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  1. identicon
    ClariNerd, 2 Mar 2011 @ 7:50pm

    ?

    Am I the only one in this thread who's worried about the state of mind of a person who'd rather watch a bunch of people being hugged and turned into tang rather than a great literary masterpiece?

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