Jewish Guide to Middle-Earth

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JDM1950

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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?
 

Calla Lily

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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.
 

Medievalist

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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.
 
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Old Hack

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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.
 

GeorgeK

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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.
 

Medievalist

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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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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.

:Wha:
 

maxmordon

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Yeah, even such words as "Hobbit" are trademarked. This is why Dungeons & Dragons use "Halfling" instead.
 

Paul

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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!!)
 

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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!!)

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.
 

JDM1950

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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?
 

Torgo

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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?

Dunno, but I think if they were trying to sell that fanfic they'd get sued into the crack of Mount Doom (TM).
 

Filigree

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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.
 

Hanukkah sameach!

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