Lord of the Rings fan fiction writer sued for publishing own sequel

A fan fiction writer has been sued by the estate of JRR Tolkien for copyright after publishing his own sequel to The Lord of the Rings.

Lord of the Rings fan fiction writer sued for publishing own sequel
Lord of the Rings fan fiction writer sued for publishing own sequel

US-based author Demetrious Polychron published a book called The Fellowship of the King in 2022.

He dubbed it “the pitch-perfect sequel to The Lord of the Rings.”

The court ruled that Polychron must stop distributing copies of the book and destroy all physical and electronic copies.

‘Frivolous’ lawsuit

In April 2023 Polychron attempted to sue the Tolkein estate and Amazon, claiming the TV series, Rings of Power, infringed the copyright in his book.

The case was dismissed after the judge ruled that Polychron’s own book was infringing on Amazon’s prequel that was released in September 2022.

The Tolkien Estate then filed a separate lawsuit against Polychron for an injunction to stop The Fellowship of the King from being further distributed.

On Thursday Judge Steven V Wilson called the lawsuit “frivolous and unreasonably filed” and granted the permanent injunction, preventing him from selling his book and any other planned sequels, of which there were six.

The court also awarded lawyer’s fees totalling $134,000 (£106,000) to the Tolkien Estate and Amazon in connection with Polychron’s lawsuit.

The estate’s UK solicitor, Steven Maier of Maier Blackburn, said: “This is an important success for the Tolkien Estate, which will not permit unauthorised authors and publishers to monetise JRR Tolkien’s much-loved works in this way.

“This case involved a serious infringement of The Lord of the Rings copyright, undertaken on a commercial basis, and the estate hopes that the award of a permanent injunction and attorneys’ fees will be sufficient to dissuade others who may have similar intentions.”

Earlier this year it was confirmed by Warner Bros that more Lord of the Rings films are on the way over the next few years.

Work on the second series of Amazon’s TV show began in October.

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