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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Here We Go Again

Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 6 2008, 10:56pm

Post #1 of 20 (852 views)
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Here We Go Again Can't Post

As I predicted, New Line has filed a new demurrer to the First Amended Complaint, challenging the revamped Fraud cause of action, along with a Motion to Strike punitive damages. No hearing date has been posted on the web site yet, but I'm sure that it will be soon.

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


Sunflower
Valinor

Aug 6 2008, 11:20pm

Post #2 of 20 (354 views)
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Wow. [In reply to] Can't Post

This thing is starting to resemble the Israelis-Palestinians conflict, in that there's a historical unprecidented breaking of the rules on both sides, (in terms of one or the other giving in), neither side is backing down and is equally stubborn, and the whole thing is escalating. Who knows where this is going to end up?

Clearly, the implications for NL being caught on a charge of fraud vs. merely for breach of contract are huge. What's the difference?
And what I'm wondering is, Warner's might have plans to eventually do away with NL altogether right before the Hobbit release (I mean, look how eager they already were to get their paws on Turbine, 3 yrs ahead of time of the scheduled release, and the films aren't even words on paper yet! Clearly, WB wants as much control as possible...they already have this major ancillary revenue stream of Tolkien-related product....Our friend Guillermo better have his antennae out and play this so close to the chest, you can see his ribcage)...so what do you think? Might Warner's pressure the Estate to come to a settlement if this drags on that long--and it might--using the final dissalution of NL as a ploy?

One thing is for DARNED sure. Warner's/NL can't cry poverty now. With The Dark Knight's grosses, they will have money sticking out their ears, and Harry Potter is coming out too. I hope the TE brings up this fact in court, however obliquely.


(This post was edited by Sunflower on Aug 6 2008, 11:22pm)


Elven
Valinor


Aug 7 2008, 12:07am

Post #3 of 20 (340 views)
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As predicted ... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Tolkien Estate were not going to back down, and NL are doing the same again, though this time there seems to be a stronger and more definate case from the TE's point of perspective...even if it seems they are covering the same thing over, I think they wouldn't have persisted unless they have something - I think their persistance is justified. I think the TE might have a small but significant win, and with NL dragging this out, it might be to NL's own folly.
And I doubt it will end there eitherway.

Thankyou for the update Voronwe The Faithful.
Cheers Elven

PS - Voronwe The Faithful ... Im asking alot here LOL! ... but any chance of when a new bit of information comes up, that a link to the thread relating to the last news be put in your new thread? I was having trouble finding the last update ... I dont know if you have them bookmarked somewhere ...

Elven x


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 7 2008, 1:57am

Post #4 of 20 (350 views)
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Some More Info [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, some more information. First of all, the hearing date is September 22, a rather auspicious date. And I think New Line still makes a compelling case on the fraud cause of action. They included the relevant portion of the hearing on the first demurrer, so I got to read the judge's thoughts on the case, and I don't think the plaintiffs have sufficiently met the standards that she set. She basically said that they would have allege completely fabricated costs, not just overstated costs, or costs that are disputed based on the interpretation of the contract. The example that she used was that they would need to allege something like someone bought a Mazerati and charged it to this project. New Line makes a compelling argument that none of the new allegations are comparable to this. Of course, we'll see what the plaintiff's attorneys say, but I am betting that there is good chance that the demurrer will be sustained as to the fraud allegation again.

Also, New Line has added a new allegation that the cause of action for reformation of the contract (regarding the bizarre issue of the different percentage applying to The Two Towers) should be barred by the statute of limitations. Unless there is something I am missing, they should prevail on this argument, too.

Elven, I don't have any greater ability to find those previous threads than you do, I'm afraid. I'm still not used the format here; I am much more comfortable with the format at other messageboards where I post where an old thread goes to the top of the forum when a new post is made in it. In that case, I would be able to keep all of the updates together (as I do at my own site, thehalloffire.net).

And let me just reiterate in response to both you and Sunflower, that it would have been highly irresponsible (bordering on malpractice) for New Line's attorneys to not have filed a demurrer to the First Amended Complaint. In response to Sunflower's question, the difference between fraud and breach of contract is potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages, not an inconsiderable consideration! None of this is particularly unusual; both sides are doing what they should be doing to protect their client's interests. Eventually, these demurrer issues will be completed and we will have a firmer idea of exactly what New Line's potential liability will be. That should help jumpstart settlement negotiations. It just takes a long time.

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


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 7 2008, 3:11am

Post #5 of 20 (327 views)
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Finding your old threads. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Elven, I don't have any greater ability to find those previous threads than you do, I'm afraid. I'm still not used the format here; I am much more comfortable with the format at other messageboards where I post where an old thread goes to the top of the forum when a new post is made in it. In that case, I would be able to keep all of the updates together.



Clicking on a person's nickname leads to his profile, and thence to a list of all his posts. As that list includes only 164 entries in your case, and as your post titles are descriptive enough to indicate the subject of your message, I quickly found your previous threads on the case:

-Latest update on the lawsuit (July 20)
-New Line Wins Round One (June 29)
-Clearing up Misconceptions Regarding the Tolkien v. New Line Lawsuit (Altaira; June 14)
-Trial Date Set in Tolkien v. New Line Lawsuit (June 8)

It's not always that easy.

As for the message board style here versus the Hall of Fire (or TheOneRing.com, or The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza, or almost every other forum nowadays) I see advantages both ways. The ongoing trivia threads at TORC, in which one question at a time is posed, with the correct respondent asking the next question, could not function on these forums. (Though there have been some good quizzes on TORN.) The "Peeling the Onion" analysis at the Plaza, in which Tom Bombadil's nature is examined from many aspects in an accretion of details over a period of years, could not function on these forums. (However, NZ Strider, picking up from Curious's musings, did a fine four-part study of Bombadil back in 2002.) The 96-page (and still growing) discussion of Obama and McCain in the political forum at HoF could not function on these forums. (As many here would prefer, I'd guess. In any case, there's no board here dedicated only to politics.)

The flip side is that once a discussion falls from the first page, it's done. (On the old TORN forums by default; on the new forums by general agreement.) I think that has been one of TORN's two great strengths, by design or chance. The battles, when they happen, last only so long. The conversation is fresh. Old discussions can be nicely packaged for later sampling. TORN's other strength is the hierarchical thread format, which makes it so much easier to follow the discussions. For me, anyway. Not that I don't participate in other forums. But those are two big reasons I mostly post here. (And I like the people here, of course! But I like the people on other forums too.)

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Jul. 28-Aug. 3 for "Journey to the Cross-roads".

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How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 7 2008, 3:42am

Post #6 of 20 (317 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, N.E.B. I actually did know that, and have used that function before. Technically my point (that Elven could find my threads as easily as I could) was correct, since he could have done the same as you did (and most likely did do so).

For the record, my initial posts on the subject were made in this thread (which I did not start).

And I wasn't trying to make a value judgment about the different board styles (even if it sounded like I was Blush). As you say, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I suspect that most people are going to be more comfortable with the style that they are most used to, that is all. Between my different identities at TORC, plus board77 and most of all HoF, I have made an obscene number of posts (well over 20,000 Blush). So it would take a while for me to get used to the different style here.

But I very much enjoy participating in the discussions here. I want to make sure that is clear. Smile

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


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 7 2008, 4:29am

Post #7 of 20 (333 views)
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20,000! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've only been participating in online discussions since December 2003, and was far from being the most frequent poster on the old TORN forums, so my total post count falls far short of your figure (and my posts to other discussion boards number only in the hundreds). Some others here could match it, I'm sure. Gramma's racked up some 7,200 posts in just nineteen months on the new boards! But the old boards were notorious for eating people's stats, so we'll never know.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Jul. 28-Aug. 3 for "Journey to the Cross-roads".

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Aerin
Grey Havens


Aug 7 2008, 7:30am

Post #8 of 20 (307 views)
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So true! [In reply to] Can't Post

"The 96-page (and still growing) discussion of Obama and McCain in the political forum at HoF could not function on these forums. (As many here would prefer, I'd guess.)" No kidding!!!

"The flip side is that once a discussion falls from the first page, it's done. (On the old TORN forums by default; on the new forums by general agreement.) I think that has been one of TORN's two great strengths, by design or chance." Absolutely!!!!

The format of these boards is a huge factor in their success.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Aug 7 2008, 7:31pm

Post #9 of 20 (279 views)
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Politics interest me, somewhat. [In reply to] Can't Post

I follow a couple of political blogs, and I've read along with that long, ongoing discussion I mentioned --and occasionally commented-- where some of the comments have been very insightful (from both the conservative and liberal viewpoints)... and where sometimes the discussion is very frustrating. But I don't need that here.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Jul. 28-Aug. 3 for "Journey to the Cross-roads".

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Woodyend
Gondor


Aug 7 2008, 8:02pm

Post #10 of 20 (273 views)
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Thanks again Voronwë, for keeping us up to date./ [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!


Elven
Valinor


Aug 7 2008, 11:53pm

Post #11 of 20 (248 views)
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Thanks NEB ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thats a great help ...
I did try doing a long run of posts way back on the 'What Say You' headings.. which I can add these threads towards if I go back into my posting history - though eventually they will be way back on the lists as the post count grows ...
This is one thread though, I'd like to see in the FOF format ... its just very hard to keep aligned with what comments and details are necessary to go back and remember ...

Thank you so much!

Cheers
Elven x


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Elven
Valinor


Aug 8 2008, 12:00am

Post #12 of 20 (271 views)
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I thought some of this had already been proven ... [In reply to] Can't Post

though I wonder what new evidence TE have to go back again - I thought this was because they had found some new stuff in the 'accounting archives' ... maybe they have found somebody and not some 'thing' ...
Great to know you go to look over some of the documents too!
And Sept 22! Just too funny!

I love reading the updates - thankyou for the time spend posting all the info!
Will be waiting to see what happens in September!

Cheers
Elven x


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 8 2008, 10:42pm

Post #13 of 20 (253 views)
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You're the only one ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... on either board that I posted about this on, that commented on the September 22 date. Smile


In Reply To

though I wonder what new evidence TE have to go back again - I thought this was because they had found some new stuff in the 'accounting archives'



Basically, what the plaintiffs did in the First Amended Complaint was to state with greater specificity how they believe that New Line falsely calculated that they owed no money to them. What New Line did in response was to quote what the judge had stated at the hearing on the original demurrer as to exactly what kind of allegations would raise the conduct from the level of simply breaching the contract, to the level of a legally constituting fraud, exposing New Line to punitive damages. New Line then went through each of the plaintiff's new, more specific explanations, and explained why even if they were true, they would not be analogous to the example that the judge used. For instance, one that stuck in my mind is that the plaintiffs allege that New Line built facilities in New Zealand, charged the costs to the LOTR project, and then used those facilities for other projects. But as New Line points out, what the plaintiffs don't allege (and presumably cannot allege because it is not true) is that New Line did not actually use the facilities for the LOTR project. New Line points out (I think correctly) that this is at most a case of an allegation of overcharging the project (which the judge specifically and correctly stated could not support a fraud claim) as opposed to a completely invented charge, such as the the Maserati example that the judge used (in which the project was being charged for something that had nothing to do with it). As I said previously, I will reserve judgment until I see the plaintiffs' responses to this (and then New Line's reply to those responses), but right now I am definitely thinking that New Line has a strong argument.

If the judge does sustain the demurrer this time, it will be very interesting to see whether she again grants leave to amend, and whether the plaintiffs will try to amend again. I have seen situations where there have been as many as four amendments to complaints in responses to demurrers, but in this case, I would think that the judge would look pretty unfavorably to the proposition that the plaintiffs had still more specific allegations to make to support their fraud claims. I think we will have a pretty good idea of the resolution of this issue soon after Bilbo and Frodo's birthday.

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


Elven
Valinor


Aug 8 2008, 11:25pm

Post #14 of 20 (244 views)
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It strikes me ... [In reply to] Can't Post

that here we have the team of Legals from TE, going in on this angle (Fraud) and they cannot make this concrete enough not to be challenged ... maybe thats because they are coming from a different angle of law - but these people are at the top of the game, (as are NL's) and yet (as you have pointed out previously in the case of Fraud), they dont seem to have nailed this very well - I find this very odd.
I read a case not so long ago about a similar situation - a man who had penned a Superhero character - his estate finally got a decision from the court, that the Super Hero he created was his property and that he should have been paid some compensation over the years for the Studios use of the character, even though the contracts were so old - Im not sure if it was Superman or one of those characters, but the fight outlasted his life - he was basically destitute when he died. I wish I remember where the article was .. it showed clearly the fight NOT to hand over the money to the owners of the conceptual ideas ... it was a sad and sorry case ..

Thanks Voronwe The Faithful - lets see what September 22 holds - a monday morning - I hope everyone is on their toes for this one ... interesting to see what gets exchanged - Im not sure if it'll be such a party atmosphere though! Wink

Cheers
Elven x


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Peredhil lover
Valinor

Aug 9 2008, 6:33am

Post #15 of 20 (233 views)
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Do you mean this one? [In reply to] Can't Post

I went searching because I remembered that someone had mentioned such a case here, and found this - is that the one you have in mind?

And Voronwe, thank you so much for explaining again all these details - don't know what we would do without you!

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

(This post was edited by Peredhil lover on Aug 9 2008, 6:35am)


Elven
Valinor


Aug 9 2008, 10:45am

Post #16 of 20 (224 views)
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Thats the One .. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had been following that on another lawlink ... as I was interested also that Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra had recently bought shares in one of the comic giants - but thats another story Wink ...

Thanks Peredhil Lover!

Cheers
Elven x


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Phibbus
Rohan

Aug 11 2008, 9:34pm

Post #17 of 20 (196 views)
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Original agreements [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anyone know if the original agreements entered into by Tolkien and Allen & Unwin with Universal Studios are available to the public for examination?


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Aug 11 2008, 9:56pm

Post #18 of 20 (194 views)
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For a Fee [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Does anyone know if the original agreements entered into by Tolkien and Allen & Unwin with Universal Studios are available to the public for examination?



The 1969 Agreements are attached as exhibits to the requests for judicial notice made by New Line in support of both of its demurrers. Those documents are available for download at the Los Angeles Superior Court, for a fee.

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


Phibbus
Rohan

Aug 11 2008, 11:39pm

Post #19 of 20 (205 views)
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Thx [In reply to] Can't Post

Found it. Thank you kindly!


Phibbus
Rohan

Aug 12 2008, 12:45am

Post #20 of 20 (155 views)
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correction [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Does anyone know if the original agreements entered into by Tolkien and Allen & Unwin with Universal Studios are available to the public for examination?

apologies... United Artists, not Universal Studios

 
 

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