One infringement to rule them all: Federal Court finds jewellery infringes copyright in Lord of the Rings
Art Law

One infringement to rule them all: Federal Court finds jewellery infringes copyright in Lord of the Rings

A fictional phrase in a fictional language from Lord of the Rings was protected by copyright, and its unauthorised reproduction infringed that copyright. The importance of obtaining all relevant consents and licences from copyright owners ‒ and the considerable financial consequences of not doing so, and ignoring owners’ complaints ‒ have been recently illustrated by the Federal Court’s decision in Tolkien Estate Limited v Saltalamacchia [2016] FCA 944. Saltalamacchia makes a not so precious ring The Tolkien Estate Limited is the owner of copyright in the late JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books. Central to its plot is the One Ring which was created to gain domination over Middle-earth. The One Ring also displays an inscription in a fictional language called Black Speech. Saltalamacchia was a Melbourne jeweller, who made and sold online rings bearing the well-known "One Ring" inscription from "Lord of the Rings". The Tolkien Estate alleged that the inscription was an artistic work in which copyright subsisted, and that copyright had been infringed by Saltalamacchia manufacturing and selling his rings. It argued that Saltalamacchia infringed section 36 (infringement by doing acts comprised in the copyright) and section 38 (infringement by sale and other dealings) […]

Tags

OrangeniusInc Tweets