In an example of behind the scenes news that the viewing audience isn’t aware of, the estate of late writer JRR Tolkien and studio Warner Brothers along with their subsidiary New Line have settled a five-year battle over a decades old contract between the two and the rights holder.
The conflict, which came down to a final price tag of $80 million to the Tolkien estate stems from a copyright dispute about digital content associated with the films that the estate found offensive. One of the issues within that conflict was whether or not video games were considered “tangible” merchandise based on the original contract. In other words, the “One Ring” replica that you purchased from Sky Mall would fall under the original agreement, but the video game Lord of the Rings Online would not. It also didn’t help that reps for the estate received spam emails touting a rings-themed online poker game.
Between the claims and counterclaims, both parties finally came to a settlement agreement which would allow for the release of the upcoming Middle Earth: Shadow of War, a sequel to Shadows of Mordor, to be released this fall. According to Warner Brothers, both parties have “resolved the matter and hope to work together in the future.”
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