We posted earlier about “Hobbit-infringements” here and here.
But now, just before the theatrical release the $200 million movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, Time Warner Inc. won a temporary court order blocking a small production company, Global Asylum Inc., from releasing a straight-to-DVD film titled “Age of the Hobbits.”
Global Asylum argued that its use of the term “Hobbits” refers not to Tolkien’s characters but to “a human sub-species that was recently discovered in Indonesia. In 2003, archaeologists in Indonesia discovered a human sub-species with the Latin name Homo Floresiensis….Scientists nicknamed the species ‘hobbits’.”
The court did not agree, since the subspecies was named with Tolkien’s characters in mind. Scientists gave Homo Floresiensis the nickname ‘Hobbit’ because its appearance resembled Tolkien’s hobbits, as described in his novels.
“Mockbusting” is not new: knockoff films that are typically distributed as DVDs right around the time of the major releases they try to parody. It is merely small production companies trying to free-ride on the entertainment giants’ marketing campaigns.
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