When it rains…it seems the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien is upset over an online slot machine game using the Lord Of The Rings property – so much so that they’ve sued Warner Bros, New Line, and Saul Zentz Co. (the long-time movie rights holder Lord Of The Rings) for $80 million.
Apparently the estate’s lawyers received a spam email about the game, and looked into the rights. In the lawsuit they claim, “The original contracting parties thus contemplated a limited grant of the right to sell consumer products of the type regularly merchandised at the time such as figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like. They did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services.” The estate also learned that a physical slot machine game was also planned.
There are video games, etc. based on the movies, so it seems odd that this particular claim is made, as it seems to imply that those rights were not granted to the defendants.