356 – Greedy Hobbits

Oo look, a shop with a word on it which is the same as a word in a film. Big deal...

Well, this is something along the lines of, “grr, aren’t big companies greedy”, or perhaps it’s actually, “grr, leave our quaint Britishness alone”, though perhaps it’s, “grr, I wish news reports would say what we’re all thinking”.

In a nutshell, there’s a pub in Southampton which for over twenty years has called itself The Hobbit. BIt cheesy if you ask me, given the sign above the door has drawings of characters from the Tolkien books, but nothing much other than cheesy. Given it’s been there for twenty years. It appears that the Saul Zaentz Company have begun legal action to stop them calling their pub that anymore, because said company owns the rights to the name and everything Tolkien related. Arseholes. It’s just a little pub in Southampton, perhaps they should get over themselves. Yes, the pub is a bit of a cash in, but what are they cashing in on exactly? Are they really going to sell beer which the Saul Zaentz Company would have sold instead? I don’t think that company (or more importantly, it’s subsidiary Middle-Earth Enterprises) has any hostelry in the south of England, so perhaps they shouldn’t worry. After all, thirsty people are going to go in there and find out a little about Tolkien and perhaps will go and buy a book or a DVD, and Middle Earth Enterprises (it’s easier to spell than Saul Zaentz) might make a few quid. I can’t imagine how their image or their financial status is being affected by some poxy little pub down south.

This has made the news, but interestingly it’s made the news around the time that the new Hobbit film is going to be released. Cynical? Surely it’s not a coincidence and surely this isn’t the first time in the last twenty years that the company has found out about the pub being in existence? They clearly have a team of interns Googling the words they have licensed and emailing the links to their fat overpaid lawyers. It’s desperately cynical. I suspect they have enough of a publicity machine in place to avoid using the demise of a local pub as ammunition in the race to number one in the film charts. Continue reading