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Thread: Jewish Guide to Middle-Earth

  1. #1
    Never Forget the First Time JDM1950's Avatar
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    Jewish Guide to Middle-Earth

    I have a nearly-completed 100-page manuscript "Jewish Guide To Middle-Earth". It is a tongue-in-cheek look at how Jewish rituals and observances can be applied to Tolkien's world. (e.g. "How To Ritually Slaughter a Fell Beast and Make It Kosher." "Are Dwarves and Elves Allowed to Inter-marry?")
    I have approached the Tolkien Estate, but they will not give me permission to publish.

    Any way to get around or am I entering lawsuit territory if I move forward?

  2. #2
    Always writing AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    IANAL, but I believe that if you try to pub this without permission, it'd be the same as dousing yourself in steak sauce and offering yourself up as lunch for the Tolkien estate lawyers AND the Hollywood movie lawyers.

  3. #3
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Considering the attitude of the holders of the rights to Tolkien's work as evidenced by this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-17350103 then I think it would be most unwise to publish without their permission

    "wonderfully old-school epic adventure fare"
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  4. #4
    The Alydar of Writers MeretSeger's Avatar
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    Was there any legal action on Bored of the Rings?

  5. #5
    Always writing AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Didn't Bored fall under the "parody" heading, which allowed it to skirt the usual issues?

  6. #6
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callalily61 View Post
    Didn't Bored fall under the "parody" heading, which allowed it to skirt the usual issues?
    Not exactly, no. There were and there still is a pending series of suits and counter-suits. National Lampoon though had, at the time Bored of the Rings was published, deep pockets too, and the law was less of an ass then.

    Parody can only be decided in court; I point as an example to the Aqua Mattell Barbie girl suits and counter-suits.

    The Tolkien Estate, the Trust, and the estate's licensees have deep pockets and attorneys on retainer, and they are litigious.
    Last edited by Medievalist; 03-21-2012 at 12:38 AM.

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  7. #7
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I've worked with the Tolkien estate and echo what everyone else has written here. JDM, don't even think of trying to publish this book. You'll regret it if you do.

  8. #8
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the others: publishing this would be a very, very bad idea.


    Which is a shame, because it sounds really cute.
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  9. #9
    ever seeking GeorgeK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    The Tolkien Estate, the Trust, and the estate's licensees have deep pockets and attorneys on retainer, and they are litigious.
    Sounds like the goblins won at the Battle of Five Armies and are using the lair of Smaug to finance a new regime.

  10. #10
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeK View Post
    Sounds like the goblins won at the Battle of Five Armies and are using the lair of Smaug to finance a new regime.
    Welllllll . . . I was thinking of the ring-wraiths, personally.

    In one set of depositions on the linguistic history of much of LOTR and Hobbit's mythos, I was told by the attorneys that I need to be careful to insert TM after a list of TM words and phrases.

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  11. #11
    Always writing AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    Welllllll . . . I was thinking of the ring-wraiths, personally.

    In one set of depositions on the linguistic history of much of LOTR and Hobbit's mythos, I was told by the attorneys that I need to be careful to insert TM after a list of TM words and phrases.

  12. #12
    Penúltimo maxmordon's Avatar
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    Yeah, even such words as "Hobbit" are trademarked. This is why Dungeons & Dragons use "Halfling" instead.
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  13. #13
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    This is a can of pain I wouldn't go near.

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    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
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    I also would not publish any part of it on line...
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

    From, The Tales of Netherron,
    Book 1, A Game of Pawns
    Book 2, Pawn takes Queen,
    Book 3, Pawn's Gambit,

    In the pipeline,
    Children of Netherron, follow up trilogy
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

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  15. #15
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    'Call it Jewish Guide to Epic Fantasy Quest or How to Court a Hobgoblin.'

    Any unique LOTR names dont use, hint on them, but carefully.

    hard for them to win that one. (I'm not a Lawyer!!)

  16. #16
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Take a page from Diana Wynne Jones' TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND. She lambasted Tolkien and every other epic and cozy fantasy writer, but did it without specific targets.

  17. #17
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    'Call it Jewish Guide to Epic Fantasy Quest or How to Court a Hobgoblin.'

    Any unique LOTR names dont use, hint on them, but carefully.

    hard for them to win that one. (I'm not a Lawyer!!)
    It's just as well that you're not a lawyer, Paul, because that's very bad advice indeed. I urge the OP not to follow it.

  18. #18
    Penúltimo maxmordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Take a page from Diana Wynne Jones' TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND. She lambasted Tolkien and every other epic and cozy fantasy writer, but did it without specific targets.
    I need to read that book so bad.
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  19. #19
    Never Forget the First Time JDM1950's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the feedback.
    What about all of those Tolkien Fan Fiction sites (some obscenely porno using LOTR characters)? Has anybody posting stories on those sites been sued?

  20. #20
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDM1950 View Post
    Thanks for all of the feedback.
    What about all of those Tolkien Fan Fiction sites (some obscenely porno using LOTR characters)? Has anybody posting stories on those sites been sued?
    Dunno, but I think if they were trying to sell that fanfic they'd get sued into the crack of Mount Doom (TM).

  21. #21
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    You do not sell fanfic. The whole 'Fifty Shades of Grey' story aside, sane fanfic writers know better. While there are some amazing sites that blend scholarly research with sizzling Tolkien fanfic, even they know better than to *sell* it.

    At this point, I'd be careful to avoid any direct mention of Tolkien's world, people, or artifacts, because the Tolkien Estate is nearly as vigilant about copyright as Disney.

    Besides, you have more room to play with if you parody other famous fantasy writers.

  22. #22
    Mankind is my Business AW Moderator RichardGarfinkle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmordon View Post
    I need to read that book so bad.
    It's a precursor to TV Tropes, but written with delightful bite by an excellent writer.
    Undermine Pedantic Dadaism.




    Now on Smashwords

  23. #23
    permaflounced
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    There's actually LOTR fanfic erotica?

  24. #24
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus Coppertop View Post
    There's actually LOTR fanfic erotica?
    If there's fanfic, *someone* went there. Whether anyone else wanted it or not.

  25. #25
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    The usual ratios apply: about 98% utter crap, about 2% shining gems.

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