‘The Fellowship of the King’ Author Loses Suit Against Amazon and Tolkien Estate
The desire to have the courts charge Amazon and Tolkien Estate for copyright infringement once again came to naught when US-based author Demetrious Polychron was countersued by Tolkien Estate
Demetrious Polychron, the author of the fanfiction novel ‘The Fellowship of the King’ initially sued Amazon and the Tolkien Estate in April 2023 for incorporating a part of his book into the “The Lord Of the Rings” franchise and demanded €228 million for compensation. It was, however, thrown out of court in August.
The presiding judge ruled that the suit was “frivolous and unreasonably filed” as Demetrious originally shared his work as a sequel to Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’.
According to some documents available to the court, long before ‘The Fellowship of the King’ was published in September 2022, the author presented the manuscript to the director of the Tolkien Estate, Simon Tolkien, who is also the grandson of ‘Lord of the Rings’ author, JRR Tolkien in a bid to collaborate to produce the sequel of the series on Amazon Prime Video but received no nod.
In a countersuit filed by the Tolkien Estate for lifting parts of JRR Tolkien’s trilogy, a Californian court ruled against Polychron once again.
The Tolkien lawsuit claims “‘The Fellowship of the King’ takes place two decades after the end of the Lord of the Rings series and features characters from Tolkien’s trilogy including Samwise Gamgee, Aragorn and Legolas.”
The outcome of the lawsuit is the demand for the ‘The Fellowship of the King’ author to destroy hard and soft copies of his book as well as pay €122,000 worth of legal fees to the Tolkien Estate and Amazon.
“This is an important success for the Tolkien Estate, which will not permit unauthorised authors and publishers to monetise JRR Tolkien’s much-loved works in this way.
“This case involved a serious infringement of The Lord of the Rings copyright, undertaken on a commercial basis, and the estate hopes that the award of a permanent injunction and attorney’s fees will be sufficient to dissuade others who may have similar intentions,” lawyer for Tolkien Estate, Steven Maier said.