The Hobbit pub under threat from Saul Zaentz Company
A pub that's been happily trading under the name The Hobbit has come under legal fire from the company behind the upcoming films...
Here's a bit of a crappy story. After 20 years of trading, Southampton pub The Hobbit faces closure. Not because of the tough economic climate, but because the Saul Zaentz company has decided to flex its legal muscles and sent it at a cease and desist order.
Owner Stella Mary Roberts has been told to rebrand at prohibitive cost by the end of May or face legal action. She has been quoted as stating, ‘’we just haven’t got the resources to fight it.’’
Sometimes you have to wonder just what goes through the minds of big entertainment companies – this pub has been plying its trade long before any film trilogy even appeared on-screen, has never been threatened in this way before, but suddenly there’s a new film on the horizon and it’s game over for the little guy.
Now, the pub itself is pretty Tolkien themed, and serves such delights as pints of cocktail (yes pints) named Gandalf, but I doubt it's robbing The Saul Zaentz Company of millions of their profits – wouldn’t drinking in a Hobbit themed pub make you want to see the film more?
Indeed, the sheer ridiculousness of the demand has even united the power trio of Stephen Fry, The Sun, and The Telegraph in support of the pub.
Fry commented on his twitter account, "Honestly, @savethehobbit, sometimes I'm ashamed of the business I'm in. What pointless, self-defeating bullying", while both papers feature the story.
Thanks to his support, the Save the Hobbit Facebook group (found here) now has over 16,000 likes – showing that there a lot of people out there who want to stand up for the right cause, and help fight this latest case of a big company trying to stamp its authority just because it can.