Only a day after it was revealed that Peter Jackson personally herded sheep off of New Zealand cliffs for his own sick amusement, laughing astride a miniature steed that he planned to behead before dinner—charges that Jackson has since denied, or whatever—The Lord Of The Rings is once more the subject of a complaint of mythical proportions. The Tolkien Estate and publisher HarperCollins have filed an $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and New Line over copyright infringement—not over the movies, like last time, but rather "online slot machines and digital merchandising" outside the realm of their original agreement back in 1969, when slot machines that you could play from your bedroom were just the beautiful fever dream of many a down-on-his-luck, Raymond Carver-esque drifter.
But now that anyone can relive exciting scenes from Tolkien's stories while also earning their ticket out of this mess—or as the effortlessly hilarious LordOfTheRingsSlot.org puts it, "Try to catch a winning combination and enjoy King Aragorn looking at you or Galadriel making a decision"—Tolkien's heirs believe "this exploitation of Tolkien’s well-loved work has offended and distressed Tolkien’s devoted fans, harming Tolkien’s legacy and reputation." Indeed, hopefully this tacky dilution of Tolkien's brand will be addressed before it harms the more dignified avenues of honoring his works, like Legolas iPhone cases and Gollum Tongue Rings. (Not that we can afford any of that stuff anymore, since we squandered our savings trying to watch Galadriel make a decision.)
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