Tolkien Collector's Guide
Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Nov 27, 2022
2022/11/27 20:30:50 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
We should create a new one for the site that has all of this additional info incorporated, for users to reference.
Nov 28, 2022
2022/11/28 0:45:00 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

The Amazon license is evidently much more complicated (based on news stories, IMDB entry and other sources) - HarperCollins, Warner Brothers and Middle-earth Enterprises were all involved in some fashion in the deal.

Where was it said that MEE was involved? I remember articles like this one, that specifically listed the parties as "the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema", and that MEE was noticeably absent.
Nov 28, 2022 (edited)
2022/11/28 1:02:29 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

ibid wrote:

Urulókë wrote:

The Amazon license is evidently much more complicated (based on news stories, IMDB entry and other sources) - HarperCollins, Warner Brothers and Middle-earth Enterprises were all involved in some fashion in the deal.

Where was it said that MEE was involved? I remember articles like this one, that specifically listed the parties as "the Tolkien estate, publisher HarperCollins and New Line Cinema", and that MEE was noticeably absent.

I'll scrounge up some press, but remember that New Line Cinema only owns the rights for their specific imagery and script - so for example they own the "look" of their Balrog, and their permission was needed to reuse that in Rings of Power. NLC does *not* own the movie rights, those belong to Middle-earth Enterprises, who gave a *license* for the movies to NLC/WB. So in order to negotiate whether the Amazon TV license steps on the pre-existing rights, MeE would have to be at the table (or in a court if it went acrimonious).
Dec 19, 2022
2022/12/19 20:31:15 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Apologies I haven’t been here sooner to respond to queries, so many places now, I only just noticed this thread about my Tolkien license infographic. Thanks Mr Underhill for posting it!

Yes, I missed the changeover for the US publishers from HoughtonMifflin to WilliamMorrow. I’ll sort that out in an update.

Scrolling through the comments, I think it’s best I first address the main query/thought – the choices made.

The infographic was created in August 2022, based from the information I had on a much older blog post and updated to include Embracer and what we knew about the Amazon deal at the time.

Since that time, as Druss said, someone contacted me (via Twitter I think) to show me the other charts on here.

I know as collectors this chart looks very incomplete to you, I will say the chart wasn’t made to be complete/comprehensive nor aimed at knowledgeable collectors such as yourselves. My original license blog page (I can get the link if you are curious, but it’s due an update) was created to help Tolkien gamers and others understand the various licenses and how the Estate / Middle-earth Enterprises control dynamic works with various products. Back in August I knew something simple and visual would be needed for the incoming new fans via the Rings of Power show. So my purpose was to give people an idea and understand the split in ownership in simple terms:

Tolkien Estate > books and TV
Middle-earth Enterprises > Film, theatre and merchandising (including all games)

Hence the infographic that I created. I was approached by the Tolkien Gateway for them to use it on their site (https://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Licensing) and I’ve promised to let them know if/when I update it.

To cover some of the more specific queries/comments –

“Has it been confirmed anywhere that MEE was involved in licensing the Amazon series?”

No, I still haven’t seen a direct link between Amazon and MEE (but my memory is wobbly at the best of times). However, they must all be talking behind the scenes, because Weta, WB and others (who work under the MEE license) all have a confirmed link to the TV series.
My personal take – the Amazon series has opened up a different relationship between the Tolkien Estate and MEE, perhaps the ice is thawing.

The diagram makes no indication at all as to which rights he is talking about for the Amazon license, which should be similar to the Film and Merchandising rights (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings only).

Oh, I was hoping that was clear – I put Amazon on the left with the Estate and noted the (typo: should be license-provider not) Licensee is the Estate. The Estate have no access to film/merchandising – hence why we so far have had little/no Rings of Power merchandising beyond book covers and KitKats we can’t get here in the UK.

The Amazon license is evidently much more complicated

Yes, it’s definitely complicated and we are still learning about it as we go. Amazon aren’t often forthcoming with info. I am trying to keep it simple for the audience the infographic is reaching out to.

As mentioned above, the publishing rights are more complicated than shown - for example, missing is Ballantine who have the mass market paperback rights in the USA still, and HC USA is using their William Morrow and Mariner imprints which I think should be mentioned.

I’ll look into editing it. Note I am UK and biased towards details from our side of the Pond (sorry!) but I’ll get it updated with what you are saying soon. As noted, the rights are much more complicated, I am not going to hurt people’s heads (or my own) doing a complete chart. The focus is simpler.

There are a lot of other licensees under Middle-earth Enterprises. It appears that Tim was focused just on movie and video game licensees, but there are lots more. Off the top of my head, Shire Post Mint and Oscha Slings as examples.

Yep, I keep a regular check on MEE’s list on their website, but for space and simplicity I limited how many things I put on there. The graphic (and original blog) were always going to be aimed at a TV/gamer crowd (amount of times I have heard SSG don’t have access to the Hobbit etc and other silly claims).

And the top right timeline was meant to just give people an indication that the film/theatre/merchandising rights have changed hands and companies changed names in the past. There were articles at the time talking about SZ and Embracer, so I wanted people to know there was history without dipping fully into it.

One final note – I also created a guide to Tolkien books infographic sheets (about 4 pages) that you may have seen doing the rounds on the internet/social media. There was a lot of to-and-froing on the contents on those pages, but again they were meant to be simple helpful guides aimed at people coming to Tolkien fandom via Rings of Power as well as a crib sheet for others who wanted to see what else is available. It wasn’t perfect, and I still have some edits/additions I hope to get in via Dr Dimitra Fimi’s advice, but it’s like all my ongoing projects – a matter of free time (and not being tired in the evening after work, not getting any younger).
Dec 19, 2022
2022/12/19 20:42:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Hi TimBolton and welcome!

You did a great job with the flowchart, and space (and intent) obviously guided your decisions. If we made a flowchart to serve all of our particular interests, it would be way too complicated to be useful. Let me know if there's anything I can help with, but know in advance I think you are doing great already.
Dec 19, 2022
2022/12/19 23:24:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

TimBolton wrote:

Apologies I haven’t been here sooner to respond to queries, so many places now, I only just noticed this thread about my Tolkien license infographic. Thanks Mr Underhill for posting it!

Yes, great to have you here TimBolton! Would love to collaborate with you on a flowchart for the site.
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