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24099Re: [mythsoc] Law suit update

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  • GH Chinoy
    Feb 6, 2013

      Thanks for the update - fascinating (ok, I find it fascinating) stuff. Would you happen to have references to the documents/filings?



      On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:

      Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner Brothers/New Line.  Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law.  I have had a chance to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much with the slot machine issue).  They cite correspondence going back to 1996 in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant" agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the point that motions for summary judgment are filed. 
      It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky legal grounds.

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