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Trial Date Set in Tolkien v. New Line Lawsuit

Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor


Jun 9 2008, 1:32am

Post #1 of 18 (1826 views)
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Trial Date Set in Tolkien v. New Line Lawsuit Can't Post

Apparently, one or both of the parties refused to agree to the court's request to continue the case management conference to June 27, the date the court wants the hearing on New Line's Demurrer and Motion to Strike (currently set for 6/24) to be held. It appears that the case management conference did occur as scheduled on Friday, June 6. The court's website now shows that a trial date has been set, for October 19, 2009. It is scheduled to be a jury trial, with a 15-20 day time estimate. The court also scheduled two more status conferences, for December 8, 2008 and October 9, 2009.

I should caution that it is very common for trial dates to get continued, so there is no guarantee at all that the trial will happen then, even if the case does not settle for then. And there will be a lot more legal manuevering between now and then.

Stay tuned!

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Woodyend
Gondor


Jun 9 2008, 1:56am

Post #2 of 18 (722 views)
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Thanks so much for posting this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been scouring the web, all weekend looking for anything new. So for zip.

May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!
~~~~~~~~Gandalf~~~~~~~
Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!


diedye
Grey Havens


Jun 9 2008, 2:01am

Post #3 of 18 (807 views)
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But what does this mean for the movie production, though?... [In reply to] Can't Post

Does it have to be put on hold pending the outcome of this? Unsure

Join the "Save " Campaign





ArathornJax
Lorien


Jun 9 2008, 2:56am

Post #4 of 18 (760 views)
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Court Case Website [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is the link to the court site incase someone wants to follow it:

http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/civilCaseSummary/index.asp?CaseType=Civil

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.




merklynn
Lorien


Jun 9 2008, 3:08am

Post #5 of 18 (771 views)
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I think the movies are safe for a while... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the movies will be put on hold. I think the judge has to rule against New Line before any actions can be taken. So until this case goes before the court in its full glory which sounds like next year, the movies are probably safe. And even then, the case could get drawn out well into 2010 or further.


ArathornJax
Lorien


Jun 9 2008, 3:22am

Post #6 of 18 (717 views)
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Court Case number is BC385294 [In reply to] Can't Post

if you want to use the link I provided. To see documents you have to pay if you aren't aware of that.

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.




ArathornJax
Lorien


Jun 9 2008, 5:07am

Post #7 of 18 (715 views)
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Link to Lawyers [In reply to] Can't Post

of Brad D. Brian who is representing the New Line/Time Warner. Not sure if any cares but I think he has a pretty impressive resume: Brad D. Brian

Here is the link to the Tolkien Estate Lawyer and she also is equally impressive. I'll add a note to below: Bonnie Eskenazi

Ms. Eskenazi is noted for some worth while items (she is out of Stanford Law School I believe):

Her first listing is the TE lawsuit and it states, "the Estate is seeking a damage award of at least $150 million and has also requested that the Court declare New Line’s rights terminated."

I've heard of this (per the movie that came out earlier) Bagdasarian Productions v. Universal Studios Successfully obtained the return of the "Alvin & The Chipmunks" characters to the original owners from a major motion picture studio.

Hmm, does the Chipmunk sound similar to the above statement on New Line losing righs? Universal had made movies and sold them on DVD etc for many years and then yank, the rights were pulled.

DIC Entertainment v. Speed Racer Enterprises: Successfully represented the children's animation company in an action concerning its intellectual property rights in the "Speed Racer" property

Stephen Slesinger Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co.: Represented the owners of rights in Winnie The Pooh in their action against Disney for fraud and breach of contract relating to Disney's obligation to pay royalties

want to do something fun, research the Pooh Lawsuit(s) that goes back to the 1980's and is still on going. Wikipedia has a quick overview with some links to papers.

• Hans Zimmer v. The Walt Disney Co.: Successfully represented the Oscar-winning composer of "The Lion King" against Disney for failure to properly pay contractually required royalties for Disney's use of the "The Lion King" film score in a legitimate theatrical production

If you read her site you'll find she's represented both sides and done quite well. I think by looking at both sides we have to admit that this probably is not going away anytime soon based on the cases they represented, and it may not be settled until after The Hobbit is out etc. Interesting times a coming! Hopefully wiser heads prevail and New Line/Time Warner pays up in order to make the billions that are still out there.

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.




(This post was edited by ArathornJax on Jun 9 2008, 5:10am)


Sunflower
Valinor

Jun 9 2008, 5:33am

Post #8 of 18 (703 views)
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So far.... [In reply to] Can't Post

NL/Warner's are getting everything they want. It sounds as if the "objecting party" probably was the Studios, who I am sure want the case dragged on as long as possible to 1) have the films well into the pre-production process so that they will be harder to stop, and 2) even more evilly, want this sordid business dragged on through the media as long as possible, in an execrable attempt to stain the Tolkien family name.

It sounds to me as if they knew they were going to lose the case and knew they were going to have to cough up the money, and so, desperate, with their backs to the wall in a sense (as they saw it), like a politician running for office, they have assigned someone to "dig up loot" on the Tolkien family and do a smear attempt; and came up with this dispecable character. And what they have done is perversely EVIL.

The Studios are clearly paying this Christopher Carrie character an enormous sum of money to blab to the press and spread his lies, but even more so, want to make a movie out of it. Think about it: an attempted smear campaign can just be blown away with proven facts, or ignored altogether. . But if there is an attempted movie in the works, the Estate will be *forced* to address this. It's a brilliantly twisted piece of logic. If they just sit back and do nothing, the movie will go forward, and they will be fighting this piece of ugliness with another lawsuit. They are darned if they do and darned if they don't: do nothing, and this piece of slime grabs attention from a media that so far has proven hostile to the Tolkiens and is already proving seemingly sympathetic; and if they DO address this--and the only way to stop this is with another lawsuit--their choosing to address the issue at all will make it look as if they have something to hide. This will divert media attention from the main lawsuit: against Warner's/NL over the LOTR and Hobbit funds. Pedophile priests are so much more sexy than lost film revenue. And the longer this goes on, the more scandal (even fictional) and the Tolkien name will be linked, in the minds of ordinary tabloid-reading housewives.

This is where the trial dates will come in handy. Can the pre-production (such as planting Hobbiton etc) go forward? And filming is set for 2009, or is it 2010? Can they go ahead with casting and filming?

I have seen it all and thought the Studios could sink no lower, but they have. I think I:'m going to be sick,

For those who want to know wha t I'm talking about, the thread is...could someone link to the other lawsuit thread please?


(This post was edited by Sunflower on Jun 9 2008, 5:38am)


leo
Rohan


Jun 9 2008, 7:42am

Post #9 of 18 (715 views)
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So we could get into a situation where... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the movies are finished and done, but they can't be released? ;-)


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 9 2008, 9:39am

Post #10 of 18 (704 views)
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OTOH [In reply to] Can't Post

The distribution rights are in the hands of MGM, not Warner Wink Would that change anything?
Hm, could get entertaining, if it was not so sad! (And if I'd not want the movie so badly!)

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


leo
Rohan


Jun 9 2008, 10:33am

Post #11 of 18 (733 views)
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Doesn't New Line/Warner have the American distribution rights? [In reply to] Can't Post

And MGM the rights for the rest of the world? So, we could even get into a situation where the whole world can see the movies, but America can't ;-)

And off topic, what does OTOH stand for?


(This post was edited by leo on Jun 9 2008, 10:35am)


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 9 2008, 11:15am

Post #12 of 18 (673 views)
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*lol* [In reply to] Can't Post

Now that you mention it, I realise what I know is a bit contradictory. Had always read that NL had the film rights and MGM the distribution rights. But you're right, lately it was mentioned that NL/Warner will distribute in USA and MGM worldwide *scratches head*. Maybe that deal is new?

Your idea about everyone able to see the movies save America is too funny (though I doubt the Americans here would think the same Wink). That would be rather ironic, indeed! Oh well, Warner will not allow things to become *so* dire - they need the money, and they can't allow the whole world to laugh about them Evil Wink

OTOH = On the one/other hand

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 9 2008, 11:56am

Post #13 of 18 (681 views)
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From what I could gather [In reply to] Can't Post

Until now, NL held the production rights and MGM held the distribution rights.

Part of the settlement was:
  • MGM will now share the production costs
  • USA distribution rights are with NL
  • Worldwide distribution rights are with MGM
So from what I can gather, the production rights are still solely held by NL (though MGM is sharing the production costs so as to reap the returns from worldwide distribution). So if NL loses this lawsuit, they lose the production rights, and the films will probably have to be stalled irrespective of which stage of production they're in. it won't affect MGM's distribution rights, but they anyway won't have anything to distribute.

These are just my amateur thoughts though, and I could be completely off the mark here Blush

Crows and Gibbets! What is The House Of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll around on the floor with their dogs! You are but a lesser son of greater Sires.


ArathornJax
Lorien


Jun 9 2008, 12:45pm

Post #14 of 18 (683 views)
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Times Article [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is the link to the Times Article regarding the Christopher Carrie story. It is the second story down, and I believe it is the one Here is a LINK to the other thread as well that discusses the Christopher Carrie Story. Wish I had remember that I would have put my posts over there. Perhaps these two threads can be merged?

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.




Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 9 2008, 12:49pm

Post #15 of 18 (660 views)
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Hmmm ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, this deal would explain everything.

My - equally amateur - thought after reading this: In case NL/Warner/MGM would lose the production rights (what Voronwe thought unlikely) then they should revert back to Saul Zaentz. And he would probably give the 'go ahead', as he wanted the movies made by PJ anyway. They would probably have to haggle a bit with NL about using the existing probs etc., but it could work. And MGM could give them the money they don't have to pay NL/Warner any longer Wink

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Woodyend
Gondor


Jun 9 2008, 3:00pm

Post #16 of 18 (670 views)
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Trial by jury, this could be interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post

Somehow I thought they would just be in front of a judge. Well I think they are up against it, to find someone that is smart and has not read the books or seen the movies, to be a juror. I say smart, meaning that I would think they may want people who can understand this complicated case when it comes to the way the film industry does their books. I would think the average joe would be sympathetic to the Tolkien's being cheated out of their money by this corporation and their incomprehensible accounting.

May your beer be laid under an enchantment of surpassing excellence for seven years!
~~~~~~~~Gandalf~~~~~~~
Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 9 2008, 5:14pm

Post #17 of 18 (661 views)
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Just the opposite [In reply to] Can't Post

UA had the domestic distribution rights and New Line had the foreign distribution rights. Apparently they switched by mutual agreement. Which makes sense as New Line prefers doing just domestic distribution. Sony, UA/MGM's parent company, is a multinational so is much better set up to handle foreign distribution. New Line has always sold off foreign rights to their films so they could hedge their bets if the films flopped. (Even with LOTR.) They all know different this time.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Finduilas101
Rivendell

Jun 9 2008, 9:10pm

Post #18 of 18 (669 views)
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Tolkein has only a small chance at actually halting these movies... [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, does ANYONE think that someone like Christopher Tolkein can completely stop the movie biz? In case you haven't noticed, big movie companies will squeeze through the TINIEST cracks and push as hard as possible to get what they want. I think that the most he can possibly do is slow the production down, but most likely, the movies will be ready to be released long before he can get his claims through courts.

 
 

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