TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

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Eluadin
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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Eluadin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:53 pm

The most interesting part of all this, it’s the Tolkien Estate and Trust. That means more than the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Those being licensed to Middle-earth Enterprieses. Hmmm, I wonder who approached whom?

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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 am

Eluadin wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:53 pm
The most interesting part of all this, it’s the Tolkien Estate and Trust. That means more than the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Those being licensed to Middle-earth Enterprieses. Hmmm, I wonder who approached whom?
Well, the follow-up Variety article clarified that The Silmarillion (and probably any other postmortem works) is off the table.
The Amazon deal does not cover “The Silmarillion,” the third major work taking place in Tolkein’s Middle Earth and adjacent worlds, published after the author’s death.
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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by daledavis67 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:26 pm

I think it would be awesome for Cubicle 7 to offer up some of it's creativity and source material from it's games to Amazon to help add some continuity to the stories. As Cubicle 7 has shown they have a ton of creative talent and take great care in crafting the world their game is set in.

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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Stormcrow » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:15 pm

daledavis67 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:26 pm
I think it would be awesome for Cubicle 7 to offer up some of it's creativity and source material from it's games to Amazon to help add some continuity to the stories.
That is not at all how the licensing for all this works.

Basically, what has changed is who is in control of the non-movie rights. The movie rights cover The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and include merchandising options, which is what I believe Tolkien-based RPGs fall under. The only influence the Tolkien Estate has over the RPG is to make sure nothing it does oversteps its movie-rights-merchandising role.

The Amazon news is about the Tolkien Estate selling or leasing (I dunno which) the television rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and nothing more. There will undoubtedly be loopholes like the one that lets the movie rights holder license RPGs, but otherwise the two licenses are completely separate. Cubicle 7, as a licensee under the movie rights, cannot collaborate with whoever makes a Middle-earth television show.

But I'm no expert in this stuff. I don't know how it's ultimately going to go down. I don't know how carefully the Tolkien Estate will police what gets produced now that it's under new management.

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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Glorelendil » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:13 pm

Stormcrow wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:15 pm

That is not at all how the licensing for all this works.

Basically, what has changed is who is in control of the non-movie rights. The movie rights cover The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and include merchandising options, which is what I believe Tolkien-based RPGs fall under. The only influence the Tolkien Estate has over the RPG is to make sure nothing it does oversteps its movie-rights-merchandising role.

The Amazon news is about the Tolkien Estate selling or leasing (I dunno which) the television rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and nothing more. There will undoubtedly be loopholes like the one that lets the movie rights holder license RPGs, but otherwise the two licenses are completely separate. Cubicle 7, as a licensee under the movie rights, cannot collaborate with whoever makes a Middle-earth television show.

But I'm no expert in this stuff. I don't know how it's ultimately going to go down. I don't know how carefully the Tolkien Estate will police what gets produced now that it's under new management.
I think you're making some pretty big assumptions. I don't want to hypothesize too much about the C7 contract, but I would think they still own their own inventions, including characters and plots. If Amazon can legally use the Aragorn character I'm skeptical that C7 can't license, say, the Gibbet King to them.

Let's say I write some fan fiction set in ME during this period, and the Amazon producers find it and want to buy it. If that's illegal then it means it's also illegal for their own writers to make stuff up. Not possible.

So why wouldn't Amazon be able buy the rights to C7 stories? I suppose it's possible that the C7 contract precludes this, but I just can't believe it would be the default. IANAL, of course.
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Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:28 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:13 pm


I think you're making some pretty big assumptions. I don't want to hypothesize too much about the C7 contract, but I would think they still own their own inventions, including characters and plots. If Amazon can legally use the Aragorn character I'm skeptical that C7 can't license, say, the Gibbet King to them.
This leads back to the first reports where it said the deal may not include all the well-known characters from the books. But is that referring to the books or the movies? I think that talk may about new characters who were created solely for the movies, like Tauriel. Even though New Line/WB is part of the TV deal, the Tolkien Estate being involved may mean only using characters from the books or new characters they approve of? To me, this is the most confusing or worrying part of the TV deal. Is this just talk or an actual part of the deal and who will end up being off-limits, if it is true.

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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Stormcrow » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:08 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:13 pm
I think you're making some pretty big assumptions.
I am speculating on very little information, yes. As are we all.
I would think they still own their own inventions, including characters and plots. If Amazon can legally use the Aragorn character I'm skeptical that C7 can't license, say, the Gibbet King to them.
I don't think it works that way either. Amazon will be able to use Aragorn because Aragorn appears as a character in The Lord of the Rings. But the Gibbet King is a character invented specifically for a property covered by the movie license. Cubicle 7 has associated it with their license. I am fairly confident that you can't just sub-sub-license out a piece of your property that hangs off your sub-license to a mutually exclusive license to also hang off of that. You might get away with it if you rename him and maybe change some of his characteristics, but I'm pretty sure publishing him in a movie-license-derived book stamps him with a certain amount of movie-license connection. You might also get away with it if Cubicle 7 ended its contract for the movie sublicense and got a sublicense with Amazon or whoever, but I'm not confident you can contribute the same material to both at the same time. Or you could get away with it if the writers at Amazon (or wherever) claim to come up with the same idea independently, but then you don't have your desired outcome of Cubicle 7 actively contributing to the television show.

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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Majestic » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:21 pm

I have no idea what is or isn't allowed, but a couple of examples from pop culture: Boba Fett didn't start in the movies, but was later included (and became one of the most popular characters) there. He began as a character in a parade.

And another popular character from the Batman franchise, Harley Quinn, started as an animated character.
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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Otaku-sempai » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:42 pm

For what it's worth, from TheOneRing.net: Tolkien Rights and the Amazon Television Deal – some insight.
In a fascinating article, TORn staffer and author Kristin Thompson gives us some invaluable insight into some of the legal wranglings which may have led to this new The Lord of the Rings television series deal...
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Re: TV series set in Middle Earth may be coming

Post by Stormcrow » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:52 pm

Boba Fett in the parade was just a Lucas character being shown off before its on-screen appearance in the Star Wars Christmas Special. The owner of the rights to Star Wars also owned the rights to Boba Fett as part of Star Wars. This was not a literary property with separate film and television rights.

DC Comics was the producer of Batman: The Animated Series, which was Harley Quinn's first appearance, therefore there is no rights issue of her appearing in other media also owned by DC.

The issue is not the media or circumstances the characters appear in, it is the specific rights held by whoever invents or owns the characters. Middle-earth Enterprises owns the film rights to The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, and licenses the merchandising-as-RPG to Cubicle 7. The Tolkien Estate either owns the television rights and is licensing them out or has sold them, I'm not sure which. Either way, they are separate from the movie rights. There also appears to be language in the movie rights contract about not being able to produce sequels a certain amount of time after the film rights are exercised to produce films.

More information on the specifics here: http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2017/11 ... e-insight/

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