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Re: more on the lawsuit

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  • Lynn Maudlin
    7.5% of the gross would be huge, in this day and age. I think the focus on sale of the film rights *outright* is because it s not done that way any longer, and
    Message 1 of 37 , Feb 16 2:39 PM
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      7.5% of the gross would be huge, in this day and age. I think the
      focus on sale of the film rights *outright* is because it's not done
      that way any longer, and hasn't been for awhile - you option the right
      to make a specific film and within the option you'll structure things
      like "nobody else can make a movie based on this work for X-many
      years," etc.

      -- Lynn --

      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
      >
      > Sara Ciborski <saraciborski@...> wrote:
      >
      > >NY Times this morning, arts section:
      > >
      > >http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/16/movies/16ring.html
      > >
      > >Sorry, that looks as though it's not clickable, but you can get it at
      > >nytimes.com.
      >
      > Thank you. It clicked for me, but I have an NYT login.
      >
      > The article says two things that interest me:
      >
      > 1) "the trustees and others say they have never received a penny
      from a 39-year-old agreement that they say promises 7.5 percent of the
      gross revenue from any films based on Tolkien’s famous novels."
      >
      > As I wrote earlier, it was news to me that there was any such
      arrangement in the 1969 rights sale. Everything I'd read about it in
      the past implied that the rights were sold for a lump sum and there
      was nothing else owing. I do not know if 7.5% is high by standards of
      these contracts; when Tolkien sold the rights, he was of the opinion
      that no film would ever be made, so he might as well have asked for a lot.
      >
      > 2) "The Zaentz company had sold the film rights to the Tolkien books
      to Miramax, when that studio was run by Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
      Miramax sold them to New Line"
      >
      > This is also news to me, as I'd understood that what Zaentz sold was
      a license to make the films, not the film rights altogether. This
      becomes critical if there's ever a question about making another LOTR
      film. As far back as the great Jackson debates here in 2000-03, I
      wrote that those rights remained with Zaentz, and nobody disputed it,
      so if that was false the facts were not well-known.
      >
      > I further believe - and who knows, that might be wrong also - that
      the marketing rights held by New Line are those for items specifically
      tied to the Jackson films. Anyone who wants to market something based
      on Tolkien, or who wishes to use trademarked names from Tolkien, must
      apply to Tolkien Enterprises, which is the marketing firm originally
      set up by Zaentz for the Bakshi film, and which so far as I know he
      still owns.
      >
      > Though Zaentz has the trademarks, neither he nor New Line has the
      copyrights. The film rights sale included no license to publish
      Tolkien's books, and anyone wishing to quote from them beyond fair use
      must apply to the Estate. Trademark law applies if you name a product
      after a Tolkien character [place, thing] and wish to sell copies of it.
      >
    • Lynn Maudlin
      I know you talked about the copyright confusion (one doesn t know whether to call it a loophole when that was, in fact, U.S. copyright law at the time) and I
      Message 37 of 37 , Feb 19 4:38 PM
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        I know you talked about the copyright confusion (one doesn't know
        whether to call it a "loophole" when that was, in fact, U.S. copyright
        law at the time) and I also know you talked about the numbers of
        allowable copies under specific import laws having been exceeded and
        that general sense of "not taking care of business"--

        That's what struck me, that there actually was an argument *for* ACE -
        I'd never heard any of their arguments before.

        This isn't to justify them, btw - just how it struck me 2 1/2 years
        ago in Birmingham.

        Of course, I'm always amazed that many of the same people who go
        outrageous over ACE publishing LOTR without proper authorization
        frequently download and share music, movies, software illegally... we
        do have a glamorous 'bad boys' image to piracy when, in fact, it's
        crime, it's stealing.

        -- Lynn --

        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
        >
        > Lynn,
        > No harm done. I pulled that 2005 Aston presentation out of its
        > electronic cubbyhole and what it says I said was reference to "an
        > unauthorized paperback edition published by Ace Books, a New York
        > science-fiction firm, in June, 1965. This piratical move, spawned by an
        > alleged copyright loophole, prompted Tolkien's publisher's production of
        > an authorized version. "
        >
        > So I guess it depends on whether or not you see pirates as villains.
        >
        > Must.resist.temptation.to.use."Avast"."Belay"."Aaargh".
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Mike
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        > Of Lynn Maudlin
        > Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 11:02 PM
        > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: more on the lawsuit
        >
        > Thanks, Mike - my apologies for any sullying of your scholarship! What
        > struck me were the problems with importing and sloppiness re: proper
        > U.S. copyright paperwork; having *always* had a nasty taste in my
        > mouth re: ACE paperbooks, I was intrigued to learn there was
        > *anything* on the other side of the column, so to speak. Thus what
        > stuck with me most, from your presentation, was that new-to-me data.
        >
        > -- Lynn --
        >
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com,
        > "Mike Foster" <mafoster@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Lynn wrote:
        > >
        > > >I think you're right, Wendell-- and it needs to include the deep
        > > >history of the copyright in the USA and the ACE books (Mike Foster
        > did
        > > >a great paper on that in Birmingham, 2005 - brilliant, Mike!) - ACE
        > is
        > > >not the villain it's usually made out to be and 'spin' took place
        > even
        > > >then.
        > >
        > > Wayne wrote:
        > >
        > > "I don't know what Mike said in 2005, but Christina and I have an
        > > article of
        > > middling size about this ("Ace Books controversy") in vol. 2 of _The
        > > J.R.R.
        > > Tolkien Companion and Guide_. David is right that Ace was indeed the
        > > villain in that instance.
        > >
        > > Wayne"
        > >
        > > I mentioned the Ace brouhaha briefly during "Tolkien: America in the
        > > 1960s" talk at Aston in 2005 as a simple fact. Nancy Martsch gave a
        > > longer and more detailed presentation on the Ace controversy during
        > that
        > > conference as well.
        > >
        > > I don't believe either of us said anything like "ACE is
        > > >not the villain it's usually made out to be and 'spin' took place
        > even
        > > >then."
        > >
        > > Rather like the current film royalties lawsuit which was originally
        > the
        > > topic of this thread, the controversy did draw more attention to the
        > > paperback publication of Tolkien than might have been expected had the
        > > circumstances been more routine. That certainly does not excuse
        > > Wollheim.
        > >
        > > Mike
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ----Original Message-----
        > > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
        > [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com] On
        > Behalf
        > > Of Wayne G. Hammond
        > > Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2008 7:28 PM
        > > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
        > > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: more on the lawsuit
        > >
        > > Lynn wrote:
        > >
        > > >I think you're right, Wendell-- and it needs to include the deep
        > > >history of the copyright in the USA and the ACE books (Mike Foster
        > did
        > > >a great paper on that in Birmingham, 2005 - brilliant, Mike!) - ACE
        > is
        > > >not the villain it's usually made out to be and 'spin' took place
        > even
        > > >then.
        > >
        > > I don't know what Mike said in 2005, but Christina and I have an
        > article
        > > of
        > > middling size about this ("Ace Books controversy") in vol. 2 of _The
        > > J.R.R.
        > > Tolkien Companion and Guide_. David is right that Ace was indeed the
        > > villain in that instance.
        > >
        > > Wayne
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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