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25 Apr, 2023
2023-4-25 7:59:58 AM UTC
A copyright attorney discusses the complaint

3 Jun, 2023
2023-6-3 6:15:42 AM UTC
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Trust Sues Author For Selling ‘Derivative’ Sequel To 'Lord of the Rings' As $250 Million Battle Heats Up

J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate has filed a bombshell lawsuit accusing a writer of ripping off the late author’s iconic Lord of The Rings series and is demanding his books be taken out of stores, has learned.

According to court documents obtained by, The Tolkien Trust, which is responsible for managing the intellectual property of the late Professor J. R.R. Tolkien, is suing a man named Demetrious Polychron.

In the suit, the Trust said the lawsuit was brought due to Polychron’s “willful and blatant violation” of its copyright interests in the Lord of the Rings franchise.

The Trust said despite the author being aware of its rights in Tolkien’s work, he decided to “write, publish, market and sell a blatantly infringing derivative sequel to the Tolkien Trilogy entitled The Fellowship of the King (the “Infringing Work”). In addition to clearly mimicking the title of the first book in the Tolkien Trilogy, the Infringing Work constitutes a blatant, wide-ranging and comprehensive misappropriation of Professor Tolkien’s creative opus.”

The Trust said its aware that Polychron plans to release up to six additional books — all based on Tolkien’s characters.

“The Infringing Work is currently being offered for sale on various online platforms in the United States for $17.99 - $26.99 a copy,” the suit read.

The suit explained, “Neither Professor Tolkien nor the Tolkien Estate has ever authorized any written sequels to the Tolkien Trilogy. Not only was the Infringing Work unauthorized, but the Tolkien Estate had already expressly refused the [Polychron’s] request to publish any work of this nature, in keeping with its longstanding policy.” ... -show-250-million-battle/

The Tolkien Trust et al v. Polychron

Plaintiff: The Tolkien Trust and The Tolkien Estate Ltd
Defendant: Demetrious Polychron
Case Number: 2:2023cv04300
Filed: June 1, 2023
Court: US District Court for the Central District of California
Nature of Suit: Copyright
Cause of Action: 28 U.S.C. § 1338 Copyright Infringement
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff ... cdce/2:2023cv04300/886675
28 Jul, 2023
2023-7-28 7:23:12 AM UTC
Urulókë has found an update to Polychron's court case against Amazon and The Tolkien Estate.

Who would have guessed that suing Amazon may lead to this happening.


(As against Tolkien, Tolkien Estate Limited, and Tolkien Trust)

77. Plaintiff realleges the allegations of Paragraphs I through 76 of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.

78. Upon information and belief, on or about June 8, 2023, the Tolkien Defendants wrongfully and unfairly reported Polychron's TFOTK book as an infringing title to several online booksellers, including at least Ingram Content Group, CoreSource, ipage, Lightning Source, EBates, Rakutan, and Amazon, the single largest bookseller in the world, causing the listing for the sale of TFOTK book to be removed, Plaintiffs Amazon account to be deleted, and Plaintiff informed in writing by Amazon that he is permanently banned from their platform.

79. The removal of Polychron's book and his lifetime ban have caused him actual damages in the way of lost sales, as well as incalculable damage to his reputation by the accusation of infringement.

80. Defendants' actions, being unfair, immoral, unethical, oppressive and unscrupulous, violate California Business & Professions Code § 17200 and are likely to mislead the public in that such removal of the listing and allegation will lead the public to believe that TFOTK had infringed the rights of others, when in fact, it is an original work with its own proper copyright registration.

81. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' conduct, Defendants have and continue to receive increased sales of their own literary works by eliminating Plaintiffs competing books and creating publicity by falsely alleging Plaintiff infringed on the Estate's copyright in the previously mentioned separate cause of action by the Estate against Polychron, dated June 1, 2023.
28 Jul, 2023 (edited)
2023-7-28 8:46:46 AM UTC
The moral of this story is that lawyers are scumbags, but this latest update is beyond what I thought this Polychron guy was capable of. His lawyers really should have some questions to answer of their conduct. Polychron clearly has issues, what is his lawyers excuse?
1 Aug, 2023 (edited)
2023-8-1 11:26:00 PM UTC
The Estate, and separately Amazon, have filed to dismiss the case as of July 27 (last Friday). The documentation that they provided to the court includes letters and emails from the "author", and I thought it would be interesting to share a few tidbits in his own words from them. I've just pulled a few interesting quotes, and added bold for emphasis.

November 21, 2017

... For the last three years, I’ve been doing the most obvious hardest thing in the world: I’ve been writing the obvious pitch-perfect sequel to ‘The Lord of the Rings.’

I know I shouldn’t have, but I really didn’t have a choice.

November 7, 2019

(letter from the attourney representing the "author" at the time)
[author] would like to use the intellectual property created by J. R. R. Tolkien to create and publish a seven-book sequel...

November 8, 2019

(letter from the Tolkien Estate in response)

I appreciate that this will come as a disappointment to [author], whose enthusiasm and love for the work of J R R Tolkien is evident, but the Tolkien Estate has long maintained a policy of not licensing other writers to create sequels or extensions to Tolkien’s famous works. As I say, this is a matter of policy and does not reflect on the qualities of the applicants who may seek to undertake such writing. There is no plan to revisit this policy at the present time.

December 24, 2019

.... I have zero interest in infringing on your rights; the rights of the Estate. ...

.... I know it is conceivable to change all the names and publish these books by myself as something else. ...

If you decide you do not want these amazing new stories and histories to be part of the Legendarium, not even as an expanded universe alternate future, then they won’t be. This is your right. ...

I will accept your decision, whatever it is. ...

There is a lot of meat in the motion to dismiss (29 pages) that I won't get in to yet. But Alan Sisto is going to do a deep dive tomorrow on Today's Tolkien Times (YouTube) if you are interested in seeing what he has to say with his law background.

Tune in at 10:30 AM PT for the livestream.

2 Aug, 2023
2023-8-2 3:53:16 AM UTC
He knew that he should not have done this, asked for permission which was denied, wrote and published it anyway.

It is of course absurd for other hearts and minds to write a sequel to The Lord of the Rings and think they can publish it at the moment without the correct permissions.

If he had waited 20 years for publication, then no problem, and I expect we will see a lot of pitch-perfect sequels at that point.
2 Aug, 2023
2023-8-2 4:04:34 AM UTC

Trotter wrote:

He knew that he should not have done this, asked for permission which was denied, wrote and published it anyway.

It is of course absurd for other hearts and minds to write a sequel to The Lord of the Rings and think they can publish it at the moment without the correct permissions.

If he had waited 20 years for publication, then no problem, and I expect we will see a lot of pitch-perfect sequels at that point.

By way of contrast, I am reminded here of Francis Spufford's "8th Chronicle of Narnia," The Stone Table, which was absolutely brilliantly written in Lewis's own voice based on the two chapters I read. But Spufford, being a serious person (and a well-respected author in his own right) approached the Lewis Estate, and, once rebuffed, has not only not published anything but asked for friends who shared initial excerpts on social media to take them down.
2 Aug, 2023
2023-8-2 4:27:51 PM UTC
The letter from Demetrious Polychron on Mar 21 2023 is jaw-dropping: ... ourts.cacd.886675.1.1.pdf
2 Aug, 2023
2023-8-2 4:29:00 PM UTC
Uruloke, where can I read more than the excerpts you quote ?
2 Aug, 2023
2023-8-2 4:31:12 PM UTC
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