…The Hobbit Pub in Southampton, UK, that is.
In a move destined to backfire on them and make them look like money-grubbing, mean-spirited, Hollywood d-bags, the notably litigious Saul Zaentz company has instructed lawyers to serve a small British pub with a cease-and-desist order and threatened legal action if they don’t change the name of their hostelry.
This is such an important case, obviously, as many patrons of the Hobbit pub in Southampton will go into it expecting a Peter Jackson film and be nonplussed when they find that they’re actually in a watering hole and have to buy a pint and a packet of crisps, missing out on Bilbo’s early adventures and have to enjoy an evening’s convivial drinking instead. Publicans, eh? What an utter herd of Shelobs…
It’s helping the consumer, clearly, to force the pub to close and is in no way a demonstration of bullying or intellectual property trollling.
Just so we get that clear – it’s definitely NOT trolling. Not in the slightest.
National treasure (and “Hobbit” movie cast member) Stephen Fry has lent his support to the Save the Hobbit Pub’s Facebook campaign – I wouldn’t disagree with his assertion that the Zaentz Company’s campaign is ‘pointless, self-defeating bullying’.
If the Zaentz Company had a worldwide franchise of Prancing Pony Theme Pubs ready to roll out worldwide and regarded the Southampton boozer as a threat to its livelihood then you might grudgingly concede that their desire to remove competing outlets had some basis in reality. As things are, a very rich American producer is trying to shut down a student pub which does ‘Gandalf’ cocktails and has live bands on.
Not exactly a matched battle of equals, is it? Have they actually read the books, and did they think that Saruman was a misunderstood good guy?