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Celiend June 20, 2020 20:21

Regarding Angband Lore...
Nick has been moving the direction of Angband to be less of a mishmash of different fantasy authors to being more Tolkien-esque. Given that the Tolkien estate has been known to be hostile to any representation of the work of the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, is it wise to take a direction where Angband becomes more Tolkien-esque?

Most of us in this forum are probably familiar with the "Cease and Desist" altercation that occurred between the Tolkien estate and TOME4. What, specifically, protects Angband from this kind of unwanted attention?

Sky June 20, 2020 21:12

i doubt that we're on the Estate's radar. Their concerns are with Big Bucks(tm) companies, not fan-based productions.

Celiend June 20, 2020 21:51

I hope you're right. I actually really like a lot of the changes that Nick has made in 4.2.x.

archolewa June 20, 2020 21:59

I thought the cease and desist letter Darkgod got was from whoever owns Dragonriders of Pern over Pernband?

I know one of the motivations Darkgod had for creating Maj'Eyal was concerns over cease and desist, but I dont think the estate ever sent him one? He just didnt want to leave himself open to one.

Besides, I seriously doubt that a mishmash of other stuff would protect Angband from a cease and desist. Its not like Morgoth is an incidental unique some dev threw in as a wink-nudge Easter egg.

Nick June 21, 2020 00:05

I don't think we have anything to worry about, for the following reasons:
  1. archolewa is right, it was Anne McCaffrey's lawyers that DarkGod's C&D came from, for PernAngband; that's why he changed it to a Middle-Earth setting (ToME 2). I'm not sure exactly why DarkGod then chose to move to a setting of his own invention for ToME 4, but I think it was unrelated to any copyright fears.
  2. The Tolkien estate is actually not very litigious; to my knowledge they have sued New Line for basically cleaning up on the film money and not giving them anything (I'm sure it was more technical than that), and a bunch of people (including Warner Bros and Tolkien Enterprises) for producing gambling machines based on LotR. It is important to distinguish between the Tolkien Estate (his family, principally concerned with protecting his legacy and charitable work) and Tolkien Enterprises (the people he sold the film rights to, who are, erm, less concerned with those things).
  3. If anyone was going to come after Angband, it would have been at the peak of its popularity in the 90s. I don't think it's back to the glory days yet :)
  4. Following archolewa again, my efforts at Tolkienising are really tinkering around the edges when we have Morgoth, Sauron, Saruman et al front and centre anyway.
I think it bears repeating that the Tolkien Estate doesn't go around suing everybody. This is an internet meme that I see repeated way too often.

Sphara June 21, 2020 06:01

At least the money making instances like D&D and Ultima-series completely copied the monster Balrog in their lore, but dared not to go with the name. It's Balor in D&D and Balron in Ultima-series. Even DCSS named it Balrug (however, DCSS isn't making any bucks and is consciously avoiding similarities to Tolkien).

I don't think this serves as evidence for Tolkien Estate being litigious. Just that I found it a bit silly.

Bill Peterson June 21, 2020 06:06

Another reason Darkgod may have had for de-Tolkienizing TOME was that he was planning to host it on Steam and make it commercial. Even if the Tolkien Estate didn't send him a C&D the Steam people might object.

Celiend June 21, 2020 19:00

I see that I didn't quite have my facts straight. Thank you for straightening them up.

tangar June 21, 2020 20:35

When Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit will be entering the public domain:

Europe: 2043 (Life + 70)
Canada: 2023 (Life + 50)
U.S: 2043 or 2050

So.. if any probz will appear - we will just move to Canada :P

archolewa June 21, 2020 21:53

Nothing will enter public domain in the US until at least 50 years after Disney goes out of business.

Sorry, I totally misinterpreted what Tangar was saying. I wonder how that would work? Who would they sue? Nick since hes the maintainer? Doesnt he live in Australia.?

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