Law in Middle-earth
As popular as the three Lord of the Rings movies have been, it’s not surprising that they have generated several legal arguments. Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema had a few skirmishes, but more recently, New Line has been in hot water with the heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien. The estate claims that they received only an advance payment of $62,500, and are still due to get 7.5% of all the profits, which are sizable. A significant portion of that money would go to the Tolkien Trust, a charitable organization that manages the late author’s estate. The lawsuit was brought last year, and it has been looking for some time as though it would go to trial. The estate and New Line finally reached an agreement this week. The details aren’t yet public, but maybe the most important thing for the general public is that New Line is now able to start work on a two-part version of The Hobbit. If you would like to know more, you can read the Associated Press article about the settlement, or you can look at an American Lawyer article published this summer that goes a little into the details of why the estate hadn’t been paid.