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Re: Cancelled - Wheelbarrows at Dawn: Memories of Hilary Tolkien
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OK... only thing I wanted to say is that with a positive attitude there is maybe still hope to get an agreement and get the book published. That would be very nice and is something we can only hope for!

Posted on: 2010/11/9 3:21


Re: Cancelled - Wheelbarrows at Dawn: Memories of Hilary Tolkien
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"You also have to see that the copyright is there "possession" - and so if you want to do anything you will need to ask permission. Why is it logic so for people to ask permission to lend items, to enter archives, etc but think they can publish anything they like. It is not because I own many handwritten letters by J.R.R. Tolkien that I can just start publishing them... don't you see the logic?"

Of course anything written by Tolkien would naturally be the IP of his estate (although I believe this is not necessarily the case in all locales). Anyway, I'm not arguing that anyone should be able to publish anything that they like, and anything that is published needs to be demonstrably factual (and certainly not libelous, especially in the UK). Most books about Tolkien that would feature small extracts of his work for the purposes of criticism would be covered by the doctrine of fair use. There is really absolutely no requirement to have the authorisation of the estate to write a book about Tolkien, depending on the content. I'm sure plenty of books about Tolkien do not have any explicit approval. If the book uses material copyright of the estate, then that is another matter (again, subject to fair use).

However, where an author or estate is very powerful, challenging that something falls under the fair use doctrine is probably next to impossible.

Stu

Posted on: 2010/11/9 2:43


Re: Cancelled - Wheelbarrows at Dawn: Memories of Hilary Tolkien
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I understand what you write and indeed it is my experience that many literary estates act like that - but in case of the Tolkien Estate I don't know one author who actually had to "pay" the Estate to publish about Tolkien.
Do you think SO MANY books would have been published about the professor if all they were after was money? I believe it is mainly about trust, the good name of Tolkien and now already 4 generations that depend on it...

You also have to see that the copyright is there "possession" - and so if you want to do anything you will need to ask permission. Why is it logic so for people to ask permission to lend items, to enter archives, etc but think they can publish anything they like. It is not because I own many handwritten letters by J.R.R. Tolkien that I can just start publishing them... don't you see the logic?

Anyways, if you wish I can talk about some other literary estates and tell how they work and how they truly 'monetize' the copyright and then you will feel that the Tolkien Estate is very easy. All depends of course on how (and when) you approach them...

Posted on: 2010/11/9 1:43


Re: Cancelled - Wheelbarrows at Dawn: Memories of Hilary Tolkien
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Beren wrote:

" I don't agree on your vision of the Tolkien's Estate purpose - they are the legal body who manage mainly the copyright of Tolkien. Which was asked so by J.R.R. Tolkien in his will. "

The sole purpose of copyright itself is to control "monetization" of the work under copyright. Such laws exist to ensure that the resource continues to be a viable source of revenue for the entity that holds the copyright. Do you believe that the copyright would have been allowed to expire and his work would have gone into the public domain if Tolkien had not expressly made requests in his will?? I hardly think so!

[Edit: Although I accept they might not be quite as evil as I portray - I do have somewhat of a negative view of the establishment and consider pretty much everyone and everything in the universe to be evil -- the posters on this forum excepted, of course!]

[Edit2: I suppose my two cats are not strictly speaking evil, but are certainly very, very, very naughty. Oh, and and my wife (who is a paediatric emergency doctor) might also not *technically* be evil, but again fairly pesky sometimes, especially after a night shift]

Stu

Posted on: 2010/11/9 1:24

Edited by Stu on 2010/11/9 1:39:19


Re: Cancelled - Wheelbarrows at Dawn: Memories of Hilary Tolkien
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I don't agree on your vision of the Tolkien's Estate purpose - they are the legal body who manage mainly the copyright of Tolkien. Which was asked so by J.R.R. Tolkien in his will.

When writing anything that Tolkien wrote, when you wish to quote any letter he wrote, wish to reproduce any picture of him (that is not under copyright of Billet Potter or other photographers,...) or a drawing of him, you need to contact the Estate FIRST and work with them to get permissions to get things published. You cannot expect to write a book first and then think they will just say OK to it. You cannot go and take a car out of a garage, drive all around the planet and then come back to pay for it. There is a way of working they follow which I believe to be very natural and logic.

And by the way, the Tolkien Estate is not so bad if you look at other literary estates, who for example demand money every time you wish to reproduce a letter or picture... there are many literary estate who are MUCH more difficult to work with. In comparison talk with people who wanted to bring out a Tolkien related game and had to work with Tolkien Enterprises and see how they operate before you judge the Tolkien Estate - Tolkien Enterprises is a business and they think with a business mind. The Tolkien Estate is something completely different and really are not having a mind on money as Stu claims, in all talks I had with them not one single time they talked about money - that is a completely wrong way of portraying them!

It is truly a pity this book is not being published, the material would be of interest to anyone interested into Tolkien, but it is no surprise they act like this. Maybe there is still hope? The Tolkien Estate tends to play it very hard, but sometimes they end up giving an OK in the end. My experience is that if you stay positive and talk positive and show the passion you have to get something done they tend to start to listen to you... if you play it hard they will close the door completely. Logic so.

Posted on: 2010/11/9 1:13



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