I have often driven past the Hobbit pub in Portiswood, on the edge of Southampton, and although I have never been inside I have always thought that it was a great name for a pub – and it has been there for some 20 years. So, I was more than a little concerned to read a recent BBC report that mentioned that the pub has been threatened with legal action by the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) back in March 2012. SZC owns the worldwide rights to various brands association with the author JRR Tolkien (acquired in 1976), including the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and appears to be flexing its muscles to ensure that these rights are not infringed. However, taking it out on an English pub seems to be going a bit too far.
It is good to see that others have come to the rescue of the Hobbit – that is, the pub! Some 59,830 people have indicated that they like the Facebook page Save the Hobbit, Southampton, and actors Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen have apparently offered to pay for the copyright licence fee so that the pub can carry on trading under its present name.
Tonight, there is a party at the pub to raise money to pay for legal fees to ensure that this dispute is resolved sensibly. So, if you are anywhere near Southampton do get on down to the Hobbit and party for a cause.
Could this be a reason not to watch the Hobbit (in all its money making parts) when the film comes out?!