Lord Of The Rings ‘sequel’ must be destroyed after Tolkien estate wins copyright case against writer

Lord Of The Rings ‘sequel’ must be destroyed after Tolkien estate wins copyright case against writer
  • PublishedDecember 20, 2023

Lawyers say the book was a commercial project and they won’t tolerate any attempt to “monetise JRR Tolkien’s much-loved works”.

The writer of an unauthorised Lord Of The Rings sequel has been ordered to destroy all physical and electronic copies and pay more than $130,000 in legal fees.

US author Demetrious Polychron was sued for copyright infringement by the estate of author JRR Tolkien, the writer of the original books – after Polychron first tried to sue them.

Polychron claimed in April that Amazon’s TV series The Rings Of Power – set thousands of years before Lord Of The Rings – infringed his own book, The Fellowship Of The King.

His case was dismissed by a US district court, which said Polychron’s own novel had broken copyright.

The Tolkien estate then began its own legal action to block the book – which Polychron had described as “the pitch-perfect sequel to The Lord Of The Rings”.

A court has now granted a permanent injunction that means The Fellowship Of The King can no longer be distributed and Polychron cannot write any further books based on Tolkien’s work.

All copies of it must be destroyed, the Tolkien estate said in a statement, and the ruling also forces Polycron to sign a declaration confirming he’s complied.

Polychron must also pay legal fees of $134,000 (£106,000) to the estate and Amazon to cover the costs of his initial lawsuit – which the court said was unreasonable and frivolous.

The Tolkien estate’s UK solicitor, Steven Maier, said Polychron had written his book on a “commercial basis” and called the legal outcome an “important success” for preserving the copyright of the famed fantasy epic.

He said Tolkien’s estate would not allow “unauthorised authors and publishers to monetize JRR Tolkien’s much-loved works in this way”.

“The estate hopes that the award of a permanent injunction and attorneys’ fees will be sufficient to dissuade others who may have similar intentions,” added Mr Maier.


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