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“Lord of the Rings” goes to court

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When the Lord of the Rings merchandising contract was signed in 1969, there were no online gambling games. Now a court must decide if they can be included against the wishes of the author’s estate. 

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“Lord of the Rings” goes to court

"Lord of the Rings" figurines

When the estate of the late “Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R Tolkien signed a merchandising agreement in 1969, the world was a simpler place.

Back then “merchandise” referred to things that you could touch and hold, things like figurines, tableware, stationery items, and clothing.

Nowadays, however, in the minds of the contract holders at least, merchandise can mean just about anything you can sell, including online gambling games.

Thus, you can now turn on your computer and play “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Online Slot Game” – for a price, of course.

The game features images of your favourite Lord of the Rings characters like Frodo, Aragorn, and Arwen.

The Tolkien estate is not happy. Family members say the original contract cannot be extended to include web-based products. Worse yet, they say, the slot games have offended Lord of the Rings fans, thereby damaging the image of author Tolkien himself.

They filed suit against movie maker Warner Brothers and its merchandisers, demanding a halt to the slot machine games and $80 million in damages.

The lawsuit claims that Warner Bros and the other defendants have "with increasing boldness, engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled."

The lawsuit comes ahead of the world premiere in Wellington next week of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first instalment of director Peter Jackson's highly anticipated new Tolkien trilogy.

The first "Hobbit" movie will be released worldwide in December.

Adapted from agency stories.

estate – all the money and property that a person owns, especially everything that is left when they die; the people having rights to an estate กองมรดก
late – dead ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
merchandise – goods that are bought or sold; goods that are for sale in a shop/store  สินค้า
merchandising – selling something using advertising, etc. การค้าขาย
simple – easy to understand; not complicated ง่าย,ไม่ยุ่งยาก, ไม่ซับซ้อน
figurine – a small statue of a person or an animal used as a decorative object รูปแกะสลักเล็ก ๆ ,รูปประดับเล็ก ๆ
tableware – items that you use for meals, such as plates, glasses, knives and forks เครื่องใช้หรือภาชนะที่ใช้ในการรับประทานอาหาร
stationery – the items needed for writing, such as paper, pens, pencils and envelopes เครื่องเขียน
contract – an official written agreement สัญญา
gambling – the activity of betting money, for example in a game or on a horse race การพนัน
slot game – a game using a gambling machine that you put coins into and that gives money back if particular pictures appear together on the screen เกมที่ใช้เครื่องสล็อต (เครื่องหยอดเหรียญสำหรับเล่นพนัน)
feature – to include someone or something as an important part ทำให้เด่น
image – a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing รูปภาพ
favourite – something you like the best of all similar things ที่ชอบมากที่สุด, ที่โปรดปราน, ของโปรด
original – existing at the beginning of a particular period, process or activity เดิม, ซึ่งเป็นแบบฉบับ
extend – to include something more ขยายออกไป
offend – to causing someone to be upset or angry ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดความขุ่นเคือง
image – an opinion that people have about someone or something ภาพลักษณ์
file suit – to sue ; to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you ฟ้องร้อง
halt – to stop หยุด
lawsuit – a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล
defendant – someone who has been accused of a crime and is on trial จำเลย
boldness – actions that do not show any respect, shame or fear ความกล้าหาญ
engage in – to take part in a particular activity  มีส่วนร่วมใน
escalate – to become much more serious or much worse ทำให้เพิ่มขึ้น, ทำให้มากขึ้น
usurp – to take somebody's position and/or power without having the right to do this ช่วงชิง, แย่งชิง
right – something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have สิทธิ
entitled – having the right to have or do something  มีสิทธิโดยชอบ
premiere – showing or performing a film or play for the first time การแสดงรอบปฐมทัศน์
instalment – one of several parts of a story, movie or article that are released at different times ตอน, งวด
anticipated – creating a feeling of excitement about something enjoyable that is going to happen soon รอคอยอย่างคาดหวัง
trilogy – a group of three books, films/movies, etc. that have the same subject or characters ละครหรือนวนิยายสามเรื่อง (ต่อเนื่องกัน)
release – to make something available to the public  ออกวางตลาด, ออกวางจำหน่าย

Related search: Lord of the Rings slot game, lawsuit, Hobbit

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