of napoleon-complex department
We have covered the intellectual property issues that revolve around Tolkien the Lord of the Rings properties before. By now everyone should know that any use or tribute to these properties, or even accidental use, will usually result in angry letters from lawyers. What’s even more fun about all of this is that you are playing the game called “Who are the lawyers going to write the angry letter to this time?” Between Tolkien’s Estate and its IP management partners and Warner Bros., the studio behind the LotR movies, they managed to stop an independent winery from using the word ‘hobbit’, harassed a pub called ‘The Hobbit’ to change its name before renouncing the bullying, and shut down a Kickstarter project for attempting to create a real world “Hobbit house”.
This is where everyone is worth reminding everyone of what Tolkien did. do not find the word “hobbit”. This word already existed, although it meant something different from how Tolkien used it to name his race of tiny people. The Kickstarter example above is specifically about this post, as it looks like Warner Bros. is there again, having forced an Airbnb listing clearly designed to be. another tribute to Tolkien’s hobbit houses in the Shire to change its name.
The Okanagan’s tribute to Middle-earth that also serves as a popular Airbnb spot officially has a new name. It is now the Second Breakfast Hideaway.
“And the h ***** mountain hole is now a second breakfast hideaway (I’m always full of the first),” the AirBNB owners wrote in a May 22 post.
The popular Airbnb named for its resemblance to the accommodation in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of Rings books has gone in search of a new name following a threat from Warner Bros. who owns the hobbit word mark. Christine Le Combe and her husband bought the Halfling Hideaway, located about 30 minutes east of Osoyoos, last year and renamed it the Hobbit Mountain Hideaway. It has been a popular vacation destination since it opened in 2019. Earlier this week, Le Combe was contacted by entertainment media company Warner Bros. and he was told that the word “hobbit” was a registered trademark and they asked him to take it off the list.
Unfortunately, the source post doesn’t bother to ask if Warner Bros.’s takedown request is valid remotely. I would strongly argue that this is not the case, given that Warner Bros. use of the term “hobbit”. is only focused on films and cinema products, both of which are far removed from the hotel and rental industry. But Warner Bros. also has deep pockets and the folks behind this Airbnb listing probably don’t, which is why brand bullying works. The threat of Warner Bros. going far enough to see inside the courtroom is almost certainly an extinction level scenario for the old Hobbit Mountain Hideaway.
So, instead, a movie studio gets rental property to change its name. And it sucks, no matter how positive the victims of this bullying want to be.
“Having to step out of my comfort zone and engage with the community has been a good experience,” said Le Combe.
“I really didn’t think someone would protect the word hobbit and then try to hunt down a person if they use the word hobbit because it’s not like I wanted to do any harm.” The Hobbit House is a tribute to many people’s favorite book series.
It’s almost like at Warner Bros. there was a sort of all-seeing eye that scours the physical and digital worlds for any use of the term “hobbit,” all in an effort to track down and shoot down those who use it. If only there was a workable analogy I could cite for this without getting sued …
Thanks for reading this Techdirt article. With so much going for our attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to bring quality content to our community.
Techdirt is one of the few truly independent media that remains. We don’t have a giant company behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, at a time when advertisers are less and less interested in sponsoring small independent sites – especially a site like ours that is unwilling to fire punches in his reports. and analysis.
While other websites have resorted to increasingly annoying / intrusive payment walls, registration requirements, and ads, we’ve always kept Techdirt open and accessible to everyone. But to continue to do so, we need your support. We offer our readers a variety of ways to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool items – and every little bit helps. Thank you.
–The Techdirt team
Filed Under: hobbit, hobbit hobbit hobbit, lord of the rings, tolkien, trademark, trademark bullying
Companies: airbnb, warner bros.