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Re: [mythsoc] Source Material

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  • John Rateliff
    ... Re. a line or two of dialogue : You d think so, wouldn t you? But the recent lawsuit by the Faulkner estate of that Owen WIlson movie about Paris was
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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      On Dec 17, 2012, at 1:36 PM, Jason Fisher wrote:
      I am the first to admit I know very little about the legal side of this — perhaps Doug Kane can chime in here — but it seems to me that mentioning the blue wizards in a line or two of dialogue, even though they are discussed in a book to which the filmmakers do not own the rights, can hardly be construed as an actionable violation. Surely, what Jackson et al. did is no worse than a Fair Use quotation? If Peter Jackson had filmed a scene involving direct depiction of them and their actions, that would be something else, but merely mentioning them? In fact, could it be that having Gandalf be unable to remember their names was a film-rights dodge?

      Jason


      Re. "a line or two of dialogue": You'd think so, wouldn't you? But the recent lawsuit by the Faulkner estate of that Owen WIlson movie about Paris was based on the filmmaker's not getting permission to paraphrase a single sentence of nine words. Sometimes reasonableness goes out the window when large sums of money are involved. Sometimes not: it depends on the literary estate. The Joyce estate, for example, is notorious for asserting that "fair use" doesn't exist.  It's my impression that the Tolkien Estate choses their battles.

      So, they'd have been wise to omit the blueness of the missing wizards, unless they got specific permission to mention them.  For which there is precedent, by the way: Iron Crown got permission to use the names of the two blue wizards in their collectable card game (circa 1995/96?), although their game license was a sub-license of Zaentz's movie merchandising license. 

      Thus Gandalf's omitting their names I assumed is deliberate on Jackson's part, to avoid a blatant violation.

      --JDR
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