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Stupid lawsuits and historical fiction

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Margaret
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Stupid lawsuits and historical fiction

Post by Margaret » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 7:37 am

Here's an article about a lawsuit that we should all hope is quickly squashed.
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annis
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Post by annis » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 8:08 am

I don't think Tolkien's estate is in any danger of losing any money - it seems a totally OTT reaction.

I'm surprised the Tolkien estate didn't slap Michael Ridpath with a writ after he included Tolkien in Where the Shadows Lie, his latest mystery (a good read, incidentally).

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 12:15 pm

I think, as usual, a bit of common sense is called for!
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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 1:56 pm

Few people would have heard of this book if not for the estate's overreaction. It's self-published with Booksurge. Good grief. The cover design and font do look very much like what you'd see on a Tolkien novel, but since when is it an issue to imitate cover art?

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 4:24 pm

There doesn't seem to be much harm in allowing someone to add to the concepts of a DEAD writer but how far could it go? What happens if someone wants to write their own sequel to something as popular as the "Twilight" or "Harry Potter" series who isn't the original author? There has to be some protection of intellectual property, don't you think?
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 10:06 pm

The Tolkien estate is over-reacting big time. Yes intellectual property rights are important, but they filed on the grounds of "publicity rights," which is a little on the ridiculous side as well as more a murky point of law.

Did anyone read the comments on this article? I found this part from Mr. Wilson particularly relevant for life in these times:

Reality is a consensus fiction. Nobody truly perceives it as it is or agrees with everyone else. Biographers get their facts wrong. Autobiographers embellish or omit to save face. Witnesses to crimes and accidents don't remember accurately exactly what happened. And people will even debate what video footage of an event "clearly" shows.

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Post by annis » Wed February 23rd, 2011, 10:38 pm

Posted by LoveHistory
Reality is a consensus fiction. Nobody truly perceives it as it is or agrees with everyone else. Biographers get their facts wrong. Autobiographers embellish or omit to save face. Witnesses to crimes and accidents don't remember accurately exactly what happened. And people will even debate what video footage of an event "clearly" shows.
Totally agree- there are as many versions of history as there are people to interpret it. I like historical novelist Peter Vansittart's comments on historical truth (I have mentioned this elsewhere, so forgive me for repeating myself :) :

“The picture of the French Revolution which one gets from a book like The Scarlet Pimpernel and the stories of a figure like Lenin which one hears from a committed member of the Communist Party are all wildly inaccurate, I think, in terms of historical truth. Since I was brought up on very old-fashioned history books, I had much to unlearn. If something was in print, I believed it to be true, even though it says black is white in the first paragraph, and black is not white in the second paragraph. In about 1840, King Louis Philippe brought back Napoleon’s body to Paris. When an old horse escaped and joined the procession, rumour went round that this was Napoleon’s own horse, Marengo, who would have been almost forty years old by then. It couldn’t possibly be true, and people knew it; at the same time, they believed it might [be]. There’s a Russian proverb, he lies like an eyewitness.”

Aprropriately there is no confirmed attribution for this particular saying!

Quote from an 1989 interview Vansittart did with Raymond H Thompson.
Last edited by annis on Wed February 23rd, 2011, 10:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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