Stephen Fry Lends Support To 'The Hobbit' Pub In Legal Spat
After operating for over 20 years with 'The Hobbit' name, California lawyers representing SZC ask the Southampton pub to remove all references to the characters. Stephen Fry speaks up in defense of the pub.
According to the BBC, the copyright infringement is being claimed by the Saul Zaentz Company, current owners of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings brand.
As a number of reddit users have pointed out, one of the major points of contention is the pub's usage of imagery from the films in promotion and paraphernalia.
Many have suggested that it is essentially a slippery slope for IP lawyers to not defend their trademark, as not protecting it can lead to further infringement and the risk of losing the trademark rights altogether. This is not the case with copyright law, however, which seems to be the real issue here.
For this TAL editor, I find myself standing with the little guy, and agree with Stephen Fry.
However, intellectual property is an incredibly complex and hot-button topic.
Readers, where do you stand on this? Is the pub in the right? The lawyers? Neither? Both? Sound off in the comments below.