Fanfic author would like credit for inventing Tolkien-spinoff The Rings of Power. ‹ Literary Hub


April 20, 2023, 11:29am

Did Amazon get the idea for The Rings of Power from J.R.R. Tolkien’s vast legacy, comprising over a dozen books, or did they steals it from LA dude Demetrious Polychron? That’s what Demestrious Polychron would like to know.

PCMag reports that Polychron wrote a fanfic called The Fellowship of the Kings and very pointedly marked it “©” before printing off a copy and dropping it on the doorstep of Simon Tolkien, the author’s grandson. Now, Polychron is suing Amazon for copyright infringement. Per PCMag:

Polychron admits in the complaint that the book is “inspired by the LotR and JRR Tolkien,” but claims that it is nevertheless a “wholly original book and concept” which The Rings of Power rips off in a variety of ways.

I remember in grade four marking everything in sight with ©. My pencil case was ©, so was my denim skirt. It isn’t legally binding, of course, though no one will stop you doing it. In fact the bounds of imaginative production are hairy indeed, and prove contentious every once in a while.

Recently, game creator Brenda Romero took to Twitter to demand that she be given credit for inventing a board game riffed on in Gabrielle Zevin’s much-celebrated Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. Several years ago, baseball memoirist Charles Green accused Chad Harbach of stealing significant plot points, including a “climactic beaning scene,” for the bestselling The Art of Fielding. There was a kerfuffle also around the origins of the TV show New Girl, the exact details of which have been replaced in my mind by this GIF of Nick being cradled by Tran.

Regarding Demetrious Polychron, I can only say to him: it has been like this since before the Time Of Man.

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